Ferrante reigns supreme again
CHAMPAIGN -- David Ferrante will forever be associated with Huntley wrestling.
Prior to last year, Huntley had never crowned an individual state champion.
But Saturday night at the University of Illinois' State Farm Center, Ferrante made life miserable for Barrington senior Luke Rasmussen in the Class 3A championship match at 170 pounds.
Rasmussen is undefeated no longer as Ferrante ended his 44-match winning streak with a decisive 8-2 victory.
The Rasmussen slim margin of victory at the Barrington sectional last week was a distant memory as Ferrante became a two-time state champion.
"I am beyond thankful for everything," Ferrante, a Northwestern recruit said. "It's really surreal to do this my senior year. I had to use those (two) losses as motivation."
In addition to Rasmussen, Ferrante (46-2) was stunned by two-time Class 2A state champion Dylan Connell of Woodstock Marian during the regular season.
Connell, who finished 44-0, pinned Ferrante in the teams' dual meet.
Ferrante took command of the match with a takedown midway through the second period followed by a 2-point near-fall to beat the buzzer.
"David always has a plan," Huntley coach B.J. Bertlesman said. "He didn't deter from that plan."
Ferrante was one of three local athletes in a Class 3A championship match.
But Diego Sotelo and Dzhabrail Khurshidov had to settle for runner-up performances.
Sotelo is a three-time state finalist for Marmion is as many attempts.
But the 113-pounder had his bid for a second straight title -- the junior was at 106 pounds the previous two seasons -- denied by Mt. Carmel freshman Sergio Lemley.
"I am really disappointed," Sotelo said. "Giving up those 5 points early really hurt."
Lemley had a takedown and 3-point near-fall sequence in the first period to accentuate a hard-fought 6-4 victory.
"I made some improvements, but things didn't go my way," Sotelo said of his second defeat to Lemley in as many weekends.
Aurora-area coaches familiar with both combatants were anxiously awaiting the final at 195 between Nick Stemmet and Khurshidov.
"The West Aurora kid (Khurshidov) has one (heck) of a cradle," Waubonsie Valley coach Brad Caldwell said.
But the expected showdown never materialized as Stemmet, the Stanford-bound star from Yorkville, handled his Southwest Prairie Conference rival with a first-period fall.
Stemmet soundly justified his season-long No. 1 ranking by running the table in all 45 matches.
"I didn't watch any of his matches," Stemmet said of Khurshidov literally pinning his way to the finals. "I just focused on how I could beat him."
Khurshidov required medical attention afterward and was unavailable for comment.
Five other area athletes received all-state honors.
Sam Spencer and Jake Penzato were fourth and fifth, respectively, for Huntley and St. Charles East at 126 pounds.
One-hundred and thirty-eight pounds also produced two all-staters as Jeremy Jakowitsch, yet another standout for regional-champion Huntley, and Jacob Tinajero, a Marmion senior from West Dundee, both won consolation titles for third- and fifth-place.
"It was probably the best I have wrestled all year," Jakowitsch said.
"It was good to at least get fifth," Tinajero said.
Batavia junior Mikey Caliendo was fourth for a second straight year.
Montini's Michigan-bound 145-pounder Fidel Mayora reversed the sectional results against Caliendo in the third-place match.
"It was probably the most boring match I have wrestled all year," Caliendo said of his 3-2 loss.
In Class 2A, Aurora Christian continues its upperwardly mobile trajectory.
Noah Villareal won his third consecutive state championship as the Aurora Christian 138-pounder had few issues with Bloomington 52-match winner Ryan Gardner.
Bound for Virginia, Villareal dominated with the 10-1 victory.
"I'm glad it's all over," Villareal said. "High school creates a lot of unnecessary anxiety. In the last three days I have been sick as heck."
Freshman Chris Moore earned a second state championship for Aurora Christian by rallying for a 4-3 victory over Freeport sophomore Markel Baker.
"I knew I had to get a takedown (in the third period) to get the win," Moore said.
Joel Mylin, an Algonquin native, had to settle for third for Aurora Christian at 120 pounds in his quest for a third consecutive state title.