Wrestling: Local boys, girls shine at annual Berman Classic

Area wrestling fans were able to double their pleasure these last two days thanks to the 67th annual Berman Holiday Classic which would host both a boys tournament on Tuesday, followed by an all-girls tourney Wednesday at Palatine High School.

Maine South would hold off hard-charging South Elgin and York to lift the big trophy with 188.5 overall points, 14.5 more than the Storm, and 26.5 over York which led the field with four individual championships.

The Dukes would flex their lower weight muscle with Zach Parisi (120, 18-1), Sean Berger (126, 12-2) and Sean VanSleet (15-3) at 132 all winning in grand fashion, while teammate Danny Decristofaro (17-4) claimed the top prize at 170.

Demetrios Carrera (21-1) and Tommy Roach (20-4) would start and end the day for South Elgin on a high note by winning at 106 and 285, respectively.

"We have a rock solid team this year that has a terrific mix of freshmen (on) up through our senior class, and both Demetrios and Tommy really set the tone for us today," said South Elgin coach Jim Gloudeman.

Seniors Lorenzo Frezza (Stevenson, 23-0) and Scott Busse (25-2) were unstoppable at 138 and 145 as they both cruised to victory, while Maine South senior Danny Spandiary (16-0) gave his club its lone title on the day at 152.

A big field of 21 teams were no match for Andrews which claimed the 2nd annual girls tournament trophy scoring 217 overall points.

Oak Forest (172), Minooka (158), Homewood-Flossmoor (145) and Round Lake (106) would round out the top five on the leaderboard.

The area would celebrate five champions, four of which came at the lower weights with the quartet of Riley Kongkaeow (Round Lake), Ayane Jazinski (Grant, 110), Tori Macias (Burlington Central) and Sophia Ball (120) from Hoffman Estates.

"It feels great winning a big tournament like this one," said Ball, who won earlier in the season at Maine East. She was a state qualifier with a 17-8 record a year ago.

The freshman Kongkaeow would pin her way to victory at 100 pounds, as did Macias at 115.

"I only started wrestling in eighth grade (and) mostly against boys, so now I feel much more comfortable competing against girls only," said Kongkaeow, who is coached by her brother Grayson who was a sectional qualifier last season.

Macias bumped up to 115 for this tournament, but will return to 110 as the season progresses.

"It's all about getting back downstate this year, and having a better finish there," said Macias, who was fourth overall with an impressive 24-6 record.

The aforementioned Jazinski was fourth at state last February as a sophomore at 100 pounds.

"It was good to win here today, but I was a little disappointed in my overall effort in that final, I needed to take more shots," said Jazinski, who won a 3-1 thriller in overtime over Sophia Figueroa from Andrew.

Jazmine Hernandez, 29-1 last season and sixth at state, was in an all-Palatine final with teammate Sabrina Cargill which ended with the Pirates star and No. 2 rated 155-pounder in the state recording a pin against her good friend.

Hernandez, who plans on pursuing a nursing degree while still a collegiate wrestler, won a state title two years ago. She was an Illinois Free Style champion during the offseason, while also a member of Team Illinois at Junior Nationals.

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