Wrestling: Marmion upper weights finish strong to take regional title
Marmion senior Sean Scheck plans on enjoying his final few high school wrestling matches.
After signing his letter of intent to play football for the University of San Diego, Scheck is looking to break new ground in wrestling.
A year ago, Scheck missed the cut to land a coveted spot in the finals in the state wrestling tournament at 220 pounds. Before he heads to start a new chapter in his life in the West Coast, plus enjoy the sunshine and beaches in the San Diego area, Scheck has a side detour scheduled for the weekend of Feb. 16-18 in Champaign.
"I was a state qualifier last year, but it didn't go my way," Scheck said. "It motivates me a lot. I'm excited for football season coming up. I'm going to San Diego. You can't beat the weather there, but I'm excited to get back to the state tournament and to Champaign for the state tournament to see what I can do. I'm looking to go to the top this year, so I plan on giving it my all."
Scheck took a big step toward his primary goal in wrestling, winning both of his matches at Saturday's Class 3A Marmion Regional. Scheck closed out a strong day for the Cadets by winning the 285-pound title. He pinned East Aurora's Arnold Walker to improve his record to 27-7.
"I felt great and in shape and was excited to be out there," Scheck said. "I'm motivated a lot for state. The key for me to go to state is to make sure my condition is up and I keep working with heavier guys.
The Cadets cruised to their second consecutive regional title by finishing with 279 points, while Batavia (151 points) and West Aurora (118) completed the final three. Oswego (108.5), Oswego East (66), East Aurora (53), Waubonsie Valley (30) and Metea Valley (7) rounded out the field.
Marmion coach Anthony Cirrincione credited his eight senior wrestlers for leading the charge on Saturday in a competitive field of teams.
"We competed hard," he said. "That's what we've asked from the guys all year. We try not to put any unnecessary pressure or goals on the guys. We just want them to wrestle hard.
"We wrestled really well up top with some really dominating performances. They continue to lead the charge. We've not always been a school where the big guys carry a lot of the load, but we're becoming one. We had great senior leadership. This is the most complete team we've had, from top to bottom. There's no hole in the lineup. Everyone wrestles hard and to the best of their ability. It's an absolutely fun team to be around. We're looking forward to sectionals next week."
The Cadets lived up to Cirrincione's words by dominating the regional in the heavier weights, as Ed Perry defeated Batavia's Asher Sheldon 7-3 in the 220-pound final.
"I trained hard and felt pretty good and am just trying to get ready for next week," Perry said. "I'm going for a state title after not placing at state last year. I'm trying to stick to my training and works in the (wrestling) room."
Marmion junior Jack Lesher won his two matches, including pinning East Aurora's Hiran Lopez in the 182-pound title match. Lesher, who placed fourth in state at 182 pounds last year, is on track for a big finish.
"I got both of my matches done quick, so I'm ready for sectionals," Lesher said. "I kept my emotions going and trusted my speed and athleticism. I feel more stronger and bigger this year. I've matured a lot and grown up. Last year I let my nerves get to me. I got into my own head. I'm ready to go now."
Marmion junior Michael Phillips is another wrestler aiming to land an appearance at the state tournament. He flashed his skills with an inspiring effort, pinning Oswego East's Dylan Crawford to win the 170-pound title.
"This is what I wanted out of today, to get ready for next week and put me in the best position to get downstate," Phillips said. "It was tough last year because I was hurt. I missed a lot of last year. Going into this year with one more year left, it gave me a lot of motivation to put in a lot of hard work. I felt pretty good in my two matches today. I'm happy it has all worked out, just thinking about how I felt last year. It makes today so much better."
At 145 pounds, West Aurora's Dom Serio (30-2) made quick work of his competitors to cruise to the title in his class. Serio posted a 7-3 decision over Marmion's Santino Scolaro in the final.
"I trained really hard for this, and that's taken me higher," Serio said. "I just tried to keep the pressure. I felt great, but there's always something to work on."
Oswego's Cruz Ibarra (33-5) defeated Marmion's Joey Favia 3-0 in the finals at 195 pounds to cap a stellar day for him.
"(Joey) is a tough one," Ibarra said. "I'm feeling confident right now. I just tried to slowly dominate. I told my coaches I'm making state this year and not holding back after falling short my sophomore and junior year.
Batavia's Ino Garcia had a relatively easy day, completing his goal of claiming the 113-pound division with a hard-fought 3-0 win over Marmion's Donny Pigoni. Garcia said he's happy to be healthy after missing a big chunk of the first half of the season due to a knee injury.
"I felt pretty good and kind of controlled that (last) match, which was kind of what I was going for," Garcia said. "I feel I'm going in the right direction. I'm going up. It's been a little rocky season. I was injured, but I'm back. Sitting out eight weeks was hard. I'm just getting in there now."