Few wrestling programs in the state can match the Marmion achievement of nine state champions in a three-year period.
But the Cadets entered their first Class 3A regional Saturday at Naperville Central with two gut-wrenching postseason team defeats in as many years.
The first team championship in its 11-year history came with frightening ease as Marmion steamrolled the competition by advancing 13 of its 14 athletes to the Shepard sectional on Saturday.
The team will advance to the Hinsdale South dual-meet sectional the Tuesday after the individual state tournament.
Marmion, which crowned eight champions, totaled 244 points to more than double the 119 points runner-up Downers Grove South accrued.
George Fisher became the first Marmion athlete in history to win a fourth consecutive regional title.
Fisher stopped Geneva junior Thomas O’Bryan in the third period on a technical fall to claim the title at 138 pounds.
“To me, the goal is not just to advance,” Fisher said. “I want to dominate. There is no adjustment (moving up to Class 3A). It doesn’t matter if it’s 2A or 3A.”
The Cadets are battle-hardened after competing at several out-of-state competitions.
“This was probably the easiest tournament we have had all year,” said Jake Field, who ended the 37-match winning streak of Batavia senior Joey Shump with a 4-3 decision at 126 pounds. “It feels good to finally make it to the team sectional.”
Anthony Bosco stoked the Cadets’ fires by coming out of the gate with the first championship at 106 pounds, a 15-4 verdict over Batavia freshman Michael Doranski.
Two-time state champion Johnny Jimenez captured his 40th win on the season with a technical fall over returning state qualifier Carlos Jacquez of West Aurora.
The heart of the Cadets’ lineup is in the low to middle weights; Marmion won five out of six titles between 120 and 152 pounds.
Trace Carello had an overtime win over Downers South senior and top seed RJ Hickok at 145 pounds; Riley DeMoss then prevailed over West Aurora junior Brandon Varias at 152 pounds.
Cody Snodgrass and Alex Fritz had the Cadets’ last two wins with decisions at 195 and heavyweight, respectively.
“Our goal is to win a team state championship,” Marmion coach Ryan Cumbee said. “I am so proud of every one of our boys. We won 12 of 13 final-round matches.”
None of the other eight competing schools won more than one individual title.
Batavia had five finalists, but Charlie Smorczewski was its lone champion.
“This is the first tournament I have ever won,” the 138-pounder said after escaping Wheaton Warrenville South senior Ramond King with a 7-5 triumph. “I came out firing on all cylinders.”
West Aurora sophomore Tim Young earned the Blackhawks’ lone triumph with a gutsy overtime verdict over Metea Valley senior Breon Hoosier.
Young overcame a 3-point deficit in the final half-minute of the 170-pound match with a reversal and penalty point to force an extra two minutes.
Young had a takedown to cement the 10-8 victory.
“I was trying to listen to what my coach (Mike DiNovo) was saying because he sees it so much better from the outside,” Young said. “I had a lot of adrenaline (going into overtime).”
Jake Boser claimed the sole title for Geneva with a 7-6 win over West Aurora senior Trevon Williams at 182 pounds.
“Now I get a (first-round) bye for the sectionals,” Boser said. “That’s huge, too.”
Batavia (6), West Aurora (5) and Geneva (4) combined for 15 totals sectional qualifiers.
Wayne Yuan will be a lonesome figure for Naperville North at the Shepard sectional.
The Huskies had seven athletes eliminated from the postseason with third-place defeats.
The 113-pound Yuan was not only the sole wrestler to defeat a Marmion finalist but also the lone Naperville North competitor to make the sectional cut.
The senior improved to 36-3 on the season with a semifinal fall and 3-1 victory over Marmion freshman A.J. Jaffe in the championship.
“I felt like I was stronger on top,” Yuan said. “I felt like I was more conditioned than (Jaffe).”
Luke Roth has still not tasted defeat this season for Naperville Central.
The senior had a first-period fall to reach the finals, where Metea Valley senior Sam Freedlund awaited.
Berg was not scored upon in the 220-pound final, whitewashing Freedlund 5-0; he improved to 30-0 on the season.
“I don’t look at wins. I just go out there and wrestle,” Berg said. “I know if I am wrestling well, wins will come. I feel like I was mentally prepared going into (the final match). I knew what I was going to do — and did it.”
Shuji Mizoguchi (106 pounds), Ben Williamson (132), Hunter Stephens (145) and Ryan Berg (195) captured major-consolation titles to advance.
Stephens reversed a loss to Naperville North senior Alec Engblom from the DuPage Valley Conference tournament last week, and Berg overcame a firestorm of controversy in his third-place showdown with the Huskies’ KiJuan Walker. But Berg won with an overtime takedown for his 32nd win on the season.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.