Glenrbook South nips Fremd
A valiant attempt by an undermanned Fremd wrestling club to catch host Glenbrook South (18-7-0) at the end fell short when the Vikings dropped their regular-season finale in Glenview Thursday night.
Fresh off a quality two days at the Mid-Suburban League tournament, the Vikings (7-12-0) were forced to give the Titans 24 points to forfeits, yet still came close in a 37-36 defeat.
"The guys really came out and competed tonight, earning plenty of bonus points to help make up for the holes in our lineup, and we nearly pulled it off on that final match of the night," said a proud Vikings coach Jeff Keske. "We received a strong effort from Will Kristo (170 pounds), a sophomore who was filling in for starter Ethan Fifield, whose been out sick the last two days, as well as Jack Riemer, who came through with a big pin when we needed it. The season for Jack has been tough because he's battled injuries all year, but he's a real student of the sport, and you saw how he used that first take down to go on and get us six points."
There were two lead changes in the early stages, Fremd taking its first lead (6-4) when MSL champ Isiah Pettigrew (19-6) recorded a pin at 182, before teammate Brian Morel (21-12) answered a pin from Cam Mercer with his own. Leading 12-10, heavyweight Justin Lilliebridge made it a 3e-point advantage after a 3-0 decision.
CSL champion, KP Santos (106) 27-10 slowed the Vikings with a 13-8 decision, but Charlie Fifield's pin at 1:13 pushed the Fremd lead, its last of the night, to 21-13.
Forfeits at the next four weights (113-138) and a forfeit win to Michael Mondus (145, 27-11) made it 37-27.
"KP is one of those guys nobody really knows about, but he's given us some big wins this season, including last weekend when he won conference at 106," said GBS coach Pat Castillo.
The former two-time state medal winner at Lyons Township, and three-time NCAA qualifier at Northern Illinois University, has down a remarkable job of turning around a struggling program since taking over three years ago.
"We now have guys who wrestle because they really love the sport, and who not only are committed to the program but to each other," added Castillo, who listed just one senior in his lineup Thursday night, along with four sophomores, and one big-time freshman, Will Collins (32-1), who claimed the 138-pound CSL championship one week ago.
Following the Mondus forfeit at 145, the aforementioned Riemer drew the Vikings within four (37-33) with a fall at 5 minutes, setting up a dramatic ending, much to the delight of a big Senior Night crowd.
MSL runner-up Jorge Martinez drew first blood with a takedown midway through the first period with his opponent, George Papagiannoupoulos (27-13), getting back level after an early second period takedown.
Martinez went back in front with an escape, then another to start the third period, but Papagiannouplous forced overtime with a takedown in the final 20 seconds of regulation.
Martinez would earn a 6-4 victory 25.4 seconds into the extra session.
"Jorge knew a tech-fall or pin would have given us a win, so he was trying very hard to get that for his teammates, and although he wasn't able to do so he found a way to grind out a win for us, which I was most proud of," said Keske.
Both clubs will now begin preparation for regionals, with the Titans a part of the nine-team field at the Fremd regional on Saturday, February 2.
Prospect and Glenbrook North will be the favorites, with Fremd and Glenbrook South in the hunt as well.