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Old 02-18-2009
Rob Sherrill Rob Sherrill is offline
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A look at Class AAA through a different lens

A quarter of a century ago, this is the type of column we’d have been writing.

Officially, there’s no team scoring at the individual state tournament in Champaign, and that’s a shame. Last year, Montini, the Class AA top team this year, outlasted Glenbard North 130-125 – unofficially, of course. In 2007, the team race would have gone down to the tournament’s final match, with Montini rallying past Carl Sandburg and Glenbard North, 119.5-116-113.5.

This year is different. No team will challenge the century mark. With only a 16-man bracket, the points just aren’t available. In a throwback to the old days, 60 points might win the team title this year. A handful of teams have two or three individuals they seem to be able to count on for sure points…and two or three more who are question marks. Tournaments are won when the question marks come through.

Wouldn’t that add incredible drama to what should be outstanding semifinals and finals?

Lots of folks are posting their individual top fours and top sixes here on the Illinois Matmen forums, and that’s great. I’ve put together a handicap of the race behind the race…the unofficial team scoring race.

So let’s see which teams those might be.

1. Oak Park-River Forest: Coleman looks good for a dominating state title and 25 points or more…but we said that last year, too. If N. Dardanes gets to the finals and C. Dardanes to the third-place match, the 130-pound final could have been for all the marbles. That leaves Martin and the Brooks brothers, who have the opportunity to make contributions other teams won’t get. If we were really giving out trophies this weekend, they’d rue the inability of Monson, who could have contributed in a wide-open weight, to get out of the sectional. Still, OPRF has passed every important test to this point – in state, anyway – and they still have more state-level scorers than anyone else.

2. Lockport: Based on their performances at Lincoln-Way Central, Oster, Bialka and Stenberg all have finalist potential, putting the Porters alongside OPRF with three who can score big points. All three, however, will be underdogs in the finals. Tetlow got close last year, and if he can again, they’ll push the Huskies. Whatever happens, Lockport got six out of a brutal sectional that reminds many veteran observers of the 1960s, and are looking to cap a watershed season.

3. Providence: The bad news: the brutal Lincoln-Way Central sectional significantly pared down the Celtics – and a lot of other teams – heading into the Assembly Hall. The good news: the four that remain are all place prospects. Klimara and Cooper are the odds-on favorites at their weights and Wojcik could make it three in the Grand March with a semifinal upset. An Ambrose place would virtually cement a top-three finish.

4. Glenbard North: From the get-go, this has not been the kind of Panthers team we’re used to seeing…a lineup with extended stretches where wins are not assured. Ramos and Chase could pile up close to 50 points on their own, but nobody else seems capable of more than a low place. But if they get three of them…and Rios, Gosinski and Soko are the best possibilities…they’ll also be there at the end.

5. Neuqua Valley: Also coming out of the Lincoln-Way Central nightmare, the Wildcats will take five to the Assembly Hall…but there isn’t a sure finalist in the group. Proctor would have to rewrite history against Akui to get there and Stine and Spangler appear to have their paths blocked as well. Still, they have a solid shot at four places, which would add to what would be a dramatic finish.

6. Minooka: They also got five out of Lincoln-Way Central and seem to have three semifinalists – Bokoski, Rangel and Warczynski – but only Rangel has a realistic shot at advancing to the Grand March. As for freshmen Ruettiger and Hill, it probably isn’t their time just yet.

7. Marian Catholic: The Spartans have plenty of potential in Marianovich and Larson. Both could win it all and that’s a lot of points. That’s likely all of it. The Murphy brothers both have tough draws that would require upsets for additional scoring.

8. O’Fallon: Two state champions? Distinct possibility. Surber and Pugh put the Panthers in the top-five mix. It’s a lot to ask of Wise, as good a season as he’s had, to contribute extra in a tough weight class.

9. Harlem: Another squad with ifs. Thanks to the rigors of Lincoln-Way Central, this is strictly a two-man team. But you can pencil Elmore into the finals and Hecox is always dangerous. Two in the Grand March might translate to a top-five finish.

10. West Aurora: Some consider Gonzalez the surest bet to win a title at the Assembly Hall and Drendel’s breakthrough performance at Lincoln-Way Central put some pep in the Blackhawks’ step. Zinzer has placed before, too, making this a dangerous three-man band.

11. Grant: In this brave new state tournament world, even a title and bonus points from Munster won’t have the bang it did in previous years. Montemayor is the only other scoring possibility. The weeding out of potential scorers like Dempsey and Becker in the sectional didn’t help.

12. Carl Sandburg: Cast in a supporting role his first three years, Morrison is the Eagles’ standard-bearer as a senior. Unfortunately, only Soliz seems capable of additional scoring, and he’s in a loaded weight class. Schneider is a possibility, but that’s a lot to ask.

13. Lincoln-Way Central: Who would have put this Knights team up against the rest of the studs in its own sectional? Yet, when the dust cleared, Mark Ruettiger’s final team actually outqualified cross-town rival Providence, 5-4. The question is whether any can score at the state level – even Farmer, who’s placed twice but faces an evil draw in an evil weight class – and Heimer can’t just be happy getting to the Assembly Hall.

14. Batavia: Some think Arlis is a state champion in waiting and Watson will score points, too. How many, though, in a loaded weight class? That leaves Ryan, who’s had a nice second half, to take advantage of a decent draw if the Bulldogs are to move up.

15. Wheeling: For the second straight year, the Wildcats hope they didn’t peak at the sectional. Vargas could get to the finals in a relatively wide-open weight, but L. Smith is a finalist-caliber wrestler facing a tough draw. Aranda is probably the next best scoring bet, no certainty in a loaded weight class.

Last edited by Rob Sherrill; 02-18-2009 at 10:36 PM.
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Old 02-19-2010
iron cross iron cross is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Sherrill View Post
A quarter of a century ago, this is the type of column we’d have been writing.

Officially, there’s no team scoring at the individual state tournament in Champaign, and that’s a shame. Last year, Montini, the Class AA top team this year, outlasted Glenbard North 130-125 – unofficially, of course. In 2007, the team race would have gone down to the tournament’s final match, with Montini rallying past Carl Sandburg and Glenbard North, 119.5-116-113.5.

This year is different. No team will challenge the century mark. With only a 16-man bracket, the points just aren’t available. In a throwback to the old days, 60 points might win the team title this year. A handful of teams have two or three individuals they seem to be able to count on for sure points…and two or three more who are question marks. Tournaments are won when the question marks come through.

Wouldn’t that add incredible drama to what should be outstanding semifinals and finals?

Lots of folks are posting their individual top fours and top sixes here on the Illinois Matmen forums, and that’s great. I’ve put together a handicap of the race behind the race…the unofficial team scoring race.

So let’s see which teams those might be.

1. Oak Park-River Forest: Coleman looks good for a dominating state title and 25 points or more…but we said that last year, too. If N. Dardanes gets to the finals and C. Dardanes to the third-place match, the 130-pound final could have been for all the marbles. That leaves Martin and the Brooks brothers, who have the opportunity to make contributions other teams won’t get. If we were really giving out trophies this weekend, they’d rue the inability of Monson, who could have contributed in a wide-open weight, to get out of the sectional. Still, OPRF has passed every important test to this point – in state, anyway – and they still have more state-level scorers than anyone else.

2. Lockport: Based on their performances at Lincoln-Way Central, Oster, Bialka and Stenberg all have finalist potential, putting the Porters alongside OPRF with three who can score big points. All three, however, will be underdogs in the finals. Tetlow got close last year, and if he can again, they’ll push the Huskies. Whatever happens, Lockport got six out of a brutal sectional that reminds many veteran observers of the 1960s, and are looking to cap a watershed season.

3. Providence: The bad news: the brutal Lincoln-Way Central sectional significantly pared down the Celtics – and a lot of other teams – heading into the Assembly Hall. The good news: the four that remain are all place prospects. Klimara and Cooper are the odds-on favorites at their weights and Wojcik could make it three in the Grand March with a semifinal upset. An Ambrose place would virtually cement a top-three finish.

4. Glenbard North: From the get-go, this has not been the kind of Panthers team we’re used to seeing…a lineup with extended stretches where wins are not assured. Ramos and Chase could pile up close to 50 points on their own, but nobody else seems capable of more than a low place. But if they get three of them…and Rios, Gosinski and Soko are the best possibilities…they’ll also be there at the end.

5. Neuqua Valley: Also coming out of the Lincoln-Way Central nightmare, the Wildcats will take five to the Assembly Hall…but there isn’t a sure finalist in the group. Proctor would have to rewrite history against Akui to get there and Stine and Spangler appear to have their paths blocked as well. Still, they have a solid shot at four places, which would add to what would be a dramatic finish.

6. Minooka: They also got five out of Lincoln-Way Central and seem to have three semifinalists – Bokoski, Rangel and Warczynski – but only Rangel has a realistic shot at advancing to the Grand March. As for freshmen Ruettiger and Hill, it probably isn’t their time just yet.

7. Marian Catholic: The Spartans have plenty of potential in Marianovich and Larson. Both could win it all and that’s a lot of points. That’s likely all of it. The Murphy brothers both have tough draws that would require upsets for additional scoring.

8. O’Fallon: Two state champions? Distinct possibility. Surber and Pugh put the Panthers in the top-five mix. It’s a lot to ask of Wise, as good a season as he’s had, to contribute extra in a tough weight class.

9. Harlem: Another squad with ifs. Thanks to the rigors of Lincoln-Way Central, this is strictly a two-man team. But you can pencil Elmore into the finals and Hecox is always dangerous. Two in the Grand March might translate to a top-five finish.

10. West Aurora: Some consider Gonzalez the surest bet to win a title at the Assembly Hall and Drendel’s breakthrough performance at Lincoln-Way Central put some pep in the Blackhawks’ step. Zinzer has placed before, too, making this a dangerous three-man band.

11. Grant: In this brave new state tournament world, even a title and bonus points from Munster won’t have the bang it did in previous years. Montemayor is the only other scoring possibility. The weeding out of potential scorers like Dempsey and Becker in the sectional didn’t help.

12. Carl Sandburg: Cast in a supporting role his first three years, Morrison is the Eagles’ standard-bearer as a senior. Unfortunately, only Soliz seems capable of additional scoring, and he’s in a loaded weight class. Schneider is a possibility, but that’s a lot to ask.

13. Lincoln-Way Central: Who would have put this Knights team up against the rest of the studs in its own sectional? Yet, when the dust cleared, Mark Ruettiger’s final team actually outqualified cross-town rival Providence, 5-4. The question is whether any can score at the state level – even Farmer, who’s placed twice but faces an evil draw in an evil weight class – and Heimer can’t just be happy getting to the Assembly Hall.

14. Batavia: Some think Arlis is a state champion in waiting and Watson will score points, too. How many, though, in a loaded weight class? That leaves Ryan, who’s had a nice second half, to take advantage of a decent draw if the Bulldogs are to move up.

15. Wheeling: For the second straight year, the Wildcats hope they didn’t peak at the sectional. Vargas could get to the finals in a relatively wide-open weight, but L. Smith is a finalist-caliber wrestler facing a tough draw. Aranda is probably the next best scoring bet, no certainty in a loaded weight class.
Harlem: Looks like this team of if's brought more than a team of two. one of them brought there A game.
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Old 02-19-2010
BEAR-HUG BEAR-HUG is offline
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WOW, digging up last years articles. Must be a slow day of wrestling
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