Marmion qualifies 12 for state
Jameson Garcia's personal motivation list has a few more bullet points to cross off before he moves on to his next life chapter.
Garcia, the Marmion senior, already has major accomplishments to his name: winning the IHSA individual state title at 113-pounds last season and later committing to Harvard for its wrestling program.
Beyond the obvious desire of adding another individual title to his legacy, what fuels that fire to be the competitor he is with overarching goals already achieved?
"I definitely would say to help my teammates surrounding me accomplish the goals that they want to accomplish," Garcia said after winning the Hinsdale Central Class 3A 126-pound sectional title over Batavia's Aidan Huck by tech fall on Saturday.
Winning the team dual state title in two weeks is another one.
"It's something I look forward to all year," Garcia said. "That's why I continue to work hard, so others work hard and we can all accomplish that goal together."
Garcia and the Cadets appear ready for anything after qualifying 12 of 14 individuals to Champaign next weekend.
Nicholas Garcia (106), Donny Pigoni (113), Zach Stewart (120), Brody Kelly (132), Tyler Aters (138), Santino Scolaro (145), Collin Carrigan (152), Tegan Chumbley (160), Jack Lesher (182), Ed Perry (220) and Sean Scheck (285) all placed within the required range of first place through fourth to qualify beyond sectionals.
"After I leave, I want the best for our program," Jameson Garcia continued. "It's [about] being the best person I can outside and inside the wrestling room, so those other kids, after I leave, follow in the same footsteps. Hopefully, they'll do it for the next."
Cadets freshman Nick Garcia, Jameson's younger brother, is doing his best to shed, he feels, some lower outside expectations.
"I thought [people] were underestimating me the whole year, and I finally showed them who I am," Nick Garcia said. "[Flo Wrestling] has me ranked sixth [in the state for the weight class]. I just think people didn't expect this. Maybe they consider [a sectional title] an upset, so I like to show them who I am."
While the Cadets will be throughly represented in Champaign, so too will Batavia. The Bulldogs qualified four, including three ready for their repeat tour in Kaden Fetterolf, Cael Andrews and Huck.
Fetterolf, who entered Saturday with a 42-0 record, fell for the first time in the semifinals in a 6-2 decision to Mount Carmel's Edmund Enright. Fetterolf then rebounded for two victories in the consolation semis and again for third place.
"Coming in [to the semis] I knew it was going to be a tough match," Fetterolf said. "I'll see him again [in the future], so I'm not too worried about it. I got to make some adjustments this week and stay positive.
While the intense competitor in Fetterolf would've preferred a run through the state bracket with an unblemished personal record, in a sense, the weight that can come with those expectations has been alleviated slightly.
"Also, losses, that's just exposing weaknesses," Fetterolf continued. "From that match, [I can pull] four or five things I'd rather catch now than next week down in Champaign, so those don't bother me too much."
Last season, Fetterolf was runner-up at 138-pounds in the state finals. He'll learn in due time how his final high school match will conclude.
Andrews, meanwhile, is looking to improve upon his eighth place finish last season. Saturday, though, was simply about surviving and advancing any way possible.
Andrews won by tech fall over Wheaton Warrenville South's Charlie Gross in the consolation semi and later Marmion's Santino Scolaro in the third-place match.
"I feel good. I was thinking during that match, 'Don't do anything stupid, stay clean, stay basic,' and I did what I know I can do," Andrews said.
Dom Serio (145), Francisco Solis (170) and Tyler Johnston (285) are going to Champaign for West Aurora, while WW South's Sedeeq Al Obaidi at 170 will go for the Tigers.
Cody Tavoso didn't need much more motivation beyond his sixth-place finish at the IHSA state tournament last season to prepare for another shot at glory.
Tavoso, the Hinsdale Central 138-pound Class 3A sectional champion following a 5-0 decision over Mount Carmel's Liam Kelly in Saturday's final, has another week to see what's in store for his next go-around in Champaign.
"Last season was a bit disappointing for me," Tavoso said. "I had much higher expectations for myself. I want to be top three on that podium, at least, even if I don't get that title. That definitely fueled me. I was training with a good room of guys all summer long; great coaches, had a lot of different coaches. ... They've all been helping me a long the way. It's been a grind absolutely, but I've been hungry."
Tavoso and 220-pound Hinsdale teammate, Marko Ivanisevic are leading the Red Devils' contingent next week.
After fighting through and winning the Stagg High School Invite in his weight class via all pins three weeks ago, Tavoso has been feeling solid ever since. Considering it is Tavoso's senior season, he figures to give it his all before continuing on at Princeton next fall.
"That was definitely a good feeling," Tavoso continued. "It was two weeks before regionals and I've been feeling good since then. I've been on a roll, hoping to continue that at state."
Ivanisevic won his sectional title over Marist's Luke Liberatore in a 4-1 decision.
"Marko is also looking for that title this year. He's an incredibly hard worker," Tavoso said. "...He's a bear. A really hard worker...[and] he's got a lot of guys pushing him also."
Downers Grove North heavyweight Ben Bielawski entered Saturday with just one loss on his resume. That came at the hands of Joliet Catholic Academy's Dillan Johnson at the Whitlach Invite hosted in Hinsdale two months ago.
Bielawski (41-1), nonetheless, won his sectional title over Marmion Academy's Sean Scheck in a 5-0 decision to close the day. Harrison Konder (152) also will head to Champaign for the Trojans.
"I think [my success is from] my coaches and how much time they're investing in me," Bielawski began. "My teammates and how much they believe in me. I think it's my family. I'm lucky to have both parents present helping and supporting me."
Downers Grove South's Luke Swan is also a close friend of Bielawski. Swan captured his 160-pound sectional title against Lyons Township's Gunnar Garelli.
"...We just push each other every day," Bielawski continued. "I got a lot of good support, but it's always one thing at a time. All love for my DGN family, my Mom, Dad, friends everybody."
Bielawski lost in the third round of the consolation bracket at state last year. Improving upon that result is an obvious goal, but now he is going to have the week to prepare for that success.
"[Balancing the mental grind], it's just taking one thing at a time," Bielawski said. "That's all you can do. You can control what you can control and be present. Which, my brother always told me: You be present and you enjoy showing up to school, enjoy talking to your friends. Then, when it's time to go to work, [wear your] hard hat...it's just one thing at a time."
Matty Lapacek (138) will also head to Champaign for DGS. Garelli is the lone representative for LT. Jacob Lachs (138) is Glenbard West's lone qualifier.