Downstate roundup for January 6th

By Curt Herron for the IWCOA

Glenwood easily captures Carbondale’s Murdale Tournament titleWhen a team wins the championship of a quality 32-team tournament by over 130 points, it definitely shows great potential to achieve additional special accomplishments.

That’s what Glenwood hopes will be the case after it scored 287.5 points to easily capture the title at Carbondale’s 62nd annual Murdale Tournament. 

Murphysboro beat out Paducah, Kentucky’s McCracken County by a 155-150.5 margin for second place while Mt. Vernon (148), Harrisburg (144.5), Benton (139.5) Marion (130.5), Mt. Zion (129), Centennial (119.5) and Anna-Jonesboro (117.5) rounded out the top-10 teams.

1. Glenwood

Leading the way for coach Jerod Bruner’s champion Glenwood Titans were title winners Tyler Clarke (106), Drew Davis (126) and Maximus Wiezorek (190) while Eli Smith (165) took second and Justin Hay (175) finished third.

John Ben Maduena (138), Anny Williams (144), Jullian Rammelkamp (157) and Cody Moss (215) all claimed fourth place while Owen Ottino (120) and Brad Dollus (132) took fifth place and Jaxon Ferguson (113) placed seventh.

Davis (32-0), Clarke (28-4), Maduena (25-4) and Hay (22-5) are returning state qualifiers. Davis went 49-2 last season and won the IHSA Class 2A title at 113 to follow up on a 17-0 campaign and 2A title at 106 in 2022 and a fourth-place finish at 106 at the IWCOA Finals in 2021 when he went 32-3. Maduena also qualified for state in 2022 and fell one victory shy of a medal.

Currently ranked fifth in Class 2A by Illinois Matmen, the Titans hope that they have what it takes to qualify for the IHSA Dual Team Finals for the first time since 2019, when they made their second-straight trip and third overall in Bruner’s debut season as head coach. He moved up from his assistant role when Jeremy Mosier concluded his successful eight-year tenure, which was highlighted by their initial IHSA Dual Team Finals appearances in 2011 and 2018.”I thought we had a good showing overall,” Bruner said. “We got some of the matchups that we wanted and were able to win those for the most part. Champions Tyler Clarke and Drew Davis were completely dominant on their way to their individual championships, and Max Wiezorek was able to take out two ranked opponents on his way towards the 190-pound title. 

“Eli Smith has gotten better each week this year so it was no surprise to see him in the championship match as well. The rest of the team found some success as well as all 14 wrestlers placed, including third-place finisher Justin Hay and fourth-place finishers Jullian Rammelkamp, Cody Moss, John Ben Maduena and Anny Williams.”

2. Murphysboro

Top performers for coach Shea Bakers’ runner-up Murphysboro Red Devils were champion Liam Fox (157) and second-place finishers Kanton Richards (106) and Bryce Edwards (144). Also for Murphysboro, Paxton Pyatt (113) finished fifth, Sergio Garcia (132) and Gage Boucher (150) placed sixth and Julien Tanner (285) took seventh place.

3. Paducah, KY McCracken County

McCracken County’s Mustangs, who are from Paducah, Kentucky, were led by title winner Malachi Gray (165), runner-up Frankie Nutt (215) and third-place finisher Camryn Freiberg (132). Additionally, Hunter Hawthorne (150) took fifth, James Barragan (144) placed seventh and Bryce McTaggart (157) and Landon Newman (190) finished eighth.4. Mt. Vernon
Turning in the best finishes for coach Alejandro Wajner’s Mt. Vernon Rams were champions 

Dillon White (138) and Maddux Randall (175) and second-place finisher Mason Randall (190) while Jhymear Smith Henson (215) took sixth and Kamden Hartman (285) placed eighth.5. Harrisburg
Individuals with the top finishes for coach Greg Langley’s Harrisburg Bulldogs were runner-up 

Kahmari Terry (132) and third-place finisher Tony Keene (126), who went 45-4 last season and placed fourth in Class 1A at 120. Avery Henderson (113), Rocko Neal (120), Brendan Hicks (190) and Javier Horton (285) all finished in sixth place.6. Benton
Top performers for coach Aaron Robinson’s Benton Rangers were title winner 

Mason Tieffel (144), third-place finishers Zane Stanley (106) and Tiffin Kouzoukas (165) as well as Braxton Tittle (113), who took eighth place. Tieffel went 52-2 last season and won the IHSA Class 1A title at 138 after going 47-5 in 2022 and placing second at 126 and he placed third at 120 at the 2021 IWCOA Finals to cap a 33-1 freshman season. Benton and Sesser-Valier now co-op.7. Marion
Leading the way for coach Darren Lindsey’s Marion Wildcats were third-place finisher 

Caleb Ohnesorge (150) as well as Jkwon Williamson (113) and Riddick Cook (120), who both placed fourth. Justin Murphy (157) finished fifth, 

Caden Frey (144) took sixth and Hunter Gibb (138) and Bryan Madinger (215) claimed seventh place.
8. Mt. Zion

Turning in the best showings for 2012 National Wrestling Hall of Fame-Illinois Chapter Lifetime Service Award recipient coach Dave Klemm’s Mt. Zion Braves were third-place finishers Mason Gray (120), Kalvin Becker (157), Keller Stocks (190) and Remington Hiser (285). Vincent Baker (106) took sixth and Kaden Becker (165) and Rylan Owens (175) were seventh.

Carlyle also had two champions, brothers Preston Waughtel (113) and Tyson Waughtel (120). The other Murdale champions were Carbondale’s Isaac Smith (132), Herrin’s Blue Bishop (150), East Alton-Wood River’s Drake Champlin (215) and Centennial’s Jack Barnhart (285).Three other teams had two second-place finishers. They were 

Highland’s Gavin Merkle (113) and Tyson Rakers (150), Althoff Catholic’s Brenden Rayl (126) and Jason Dowell (285) and Red Bud’s Alex Woltor (157) and Ty Carter (175). The other Murdale runners-up were Anna-Jonesboro’s Drew Sadler (120) and Richland County’s Carson Bissey (138).

The high school resumes of three of the event’s 2024 champions is impressive. They are two-time IHSA champion and three-time state medalist Davis (126), two-time IHSA champion Tyson Waughtel (120) and IHSA champ, two-time finalist and three-time state medalist Tieffel (144).

Champlin and Smith tied for the most team points with 40 while Davis and Tieffel tied for third with 39.5 points. Barnhart and Maddux Randall tied for fifth with 39, Bishop and White tied for seventh with 38.5 points, Gray scored 37 points and Wiezorek collected 36 team points.Half of the champions walked away from the Murdale Tournament with perfect records. And 22 of the 28 finalists have won over 80 percent of their matches this season.

Finalists with the best records are Tieffel at 144 (38-0, 1.000), Davis at 126 (32-0, 1.000), Fox at 157 (28-0, 1.000), Tyson Waughtel at 120 (28-0, 1.000), Preston Waughtel at 113 (28-0, 1.000), Bishop at 150 (25-0, 1.000), Barnhart at 285 (23-0, 1.000), Smith at 132 (26-1, .963), Bissey at 138 (22-1, .957), Nutt at 215 (22-1, .957), Sadler at 120 (32-2, .941), Wiezorek at 190 (32-2, .941), Rayl at 126 (13-1, .929), Dowell at 285 (11-1, .917), Rakers at 150 (22-2, .917), Champlin at 215 (19-2, .905), Gray at 165 (28-3, .903), Carter at 175 (25-3, .893), Clarke at 106 (28-4, .875), White at 138 (21-3, .875), Edwards at 144 (24-5, .828) and Terry at 132 (18-4, .818).Some of the closest title matches included Maddux Randall edging Carter 3-2 at 175, Wiezorek prevailing over Mason Randall 1-0 at 190, Gray defeating Smith 7-3 at 165, Barnhart getting past Dowell 4-0 at 285 and Bishop beating Rakers 11-5 at 150.

Additional third-place finishers were Cahokia’s Nicholas Smith (113), Centennial’s Trevor Schoonover (138), Fairfield’s Scotty Cuff (144) and Johnston City’s Jude Beers (215).Anna-Jonesboro’s Zoee Sadler, who was an IHSA runner-up at 105 last season, placed fourth at 106 for the best finish by a girl in the competition.  

Also finishing in fourth place were Centennial’s Andon Beldo (126), Centralia’s Lane Griffin (132), East St. Louis Senior’s Pierre Walton (150), Salem’s Carter Moore (165), Anna-Jonesboro’s Drew Holshouser (175), Frankfort Community’s Conner Henson (190) and Carterville’s Zechariah Miller (285).Others who finished fifth were 

Mascoutah’s Jordan Sonon-Hale (138) and Brock Ross (144), Cahokia’s Nathan Fisher (106), Goreville’s Jeremiah Pulliam (126), Carbondale’s Thomas Imboden (165), Trico’s Johnny Ramaker (175), Highland’s Ashton Zobrist (190), Frankfort Community’s Brandon Turner (215) and East St. Louis Senior’s Mekhi McDowell (285).

Also taking sixth place were Centralia’s Nate LeCrone (126), Anna-Jonesboro’s Daniel Dover (138), Fairfield’s Nicholas Masterson (157), Herrin’s Kolby Coffey (165) and Johnston City’s Randy Fuqua (175).

Other seventh-place finishers were Carterville’s Landyn Flood (120) and Carter Jones (157), Centralia’s Brylan Guthrie (106), Anna-Jonesboro’s Daylon McNelly (126), Johnston City’s Benjamin Harris (132), Effingham’s Saul Ellis (150) and Althoff Catholic’s Antwan Strong (190).

Those who also took eighth were Richland County’s Baxter Smith (106) and Kaeden Davis (120), Effingham’s Kaiden Stewart (126) and Baker Moon (138), Anna-Jonesboro’s Wyatt Wright (132), Frankfort Community’s Lucas Parker (144), Breese Central’s Matthew Walsh (150), Fairfield’s Talan Keoughan (165), Carlyle’s Brody Diekamper (175) and Herrin’s Logan Dirden (215).

Mason Tieffel led in total match points with 77 while Preston Waughtel was second with 74 and Drew Davis was third with 61 match points. Liam Fox and Preston Waughtel had the most combined falls and technical falls with five, with Fox achieving that feat in 6:02. Mt. Zion’s Rylan Owens was seeded 27th and placed seventh.

Glenwood easily had the most total match points with 390 while Highland (282), Harrisburg (279) and Benton (277) were next in line for match points. Cahokia had the most falls with 26 while Mascoutah was second with 24 and Glenwood third with 23 pins.

Title matches for the 62nd annual Carbondale Murdale Tournament

106 – Tyler Clarke (Glenwood) TF 4:00 Kanton Richards (Murphysboro)

113 – Preston Waughtel (Carlyle) TF 3:15 Gavin Merkle (Highland)

120 – Tyson Waughtel (Carlyle) TF 5:53 Drew Sadler (Anna-Jonesboro)

126 – Drew Davis (Glenwood) TF 5:07 Brenden Rayl (Althoff Catholic)

132 – Isaac Smith (Carbondale) MD 11-0 Kahmari Terry (Harrisburg)

138 – Dillon White (Mt. Vernon) F 5:43 Carson Bissey (Richland County)

144 – Mason Tieffel (Benton) F 0:53 Bryce Edwards (Murphysboro)

150 – Blue Bishop (Herrin) D 11-5 Tyson Rakers (Highland)

157 – Liam Fox (Murphysboro) TF 2:22 Alex Woltor (Red Bud)

165 – Malachi Gray (McCracken County, KY) D 7-3 Eli Smith (Glenwood)

175 – Maddux Randall (Mt. Vernon) D 3-2 Ty Carter (Red Bud)

190 – Maximus Wiezorek (Glenwood) D 1-0 Mason Randall (Mt. Vernon)

215 – Drake Champlin (East Alton-Wood River) MD 11-2 Frankie Nutt (McCracken County, KY)

285 – Jack Barnhart (Centennial) D 4-0 Jason Dowell (Althoff Catholic)

Team scoring for the 62nd annual Carbondale Murdale Tournament

1. Glenwood 287.5, 2. Murphysboro 155, 3. Paducah, KY McCracken County 150.5, 4. Mt. Vernon 148, 5. Harrisburg 144.5, 6. Benton/Sesser-Valier 139.5, 7. Marion 130.5, 8. Mt. Zion 129, 9. Centennial 119.5, 10. Anna-Jonesboro 117.5, 11. Highland 115, 12. Carbondale 107.5, 13. Cahokia 100.5, 14. Richland County 99.5, 15. Althoff Catholic 95, 16. Centralia 94.5, 17. Red Bud/Valmeyer 92, 18. Mascoutah 89.5, 19. Carlyle 88, 20. Johnston City 86.5, 21. Carterville 85.5, 22 East St. Louis Senior 77, 23. Fairfield 74.5, 24. Herrin 73.5, 25. Frankfort Community 70, 26. East Alton-Wood River 69, 27. Salem 60, 28. Effingham 55, 29. Goreville/Vienna 54, 30. Trico/Elverado 39, 31. Breese Central 21, 32. Pinckneyville 6. 

Peoria Notre Dame wins championship at Prairie Central Hawk Classic

It’s been a long time since Peoria Notre Dame had last won an invitational tournament. And it’s unclear if the program had ever even captured a tournament title at an event with a large field. 

But on Saturday, the Irish achieved both of those when they edged El Paso-Gridley by a 224.5-218 margin to win the 38th annual Prairie Central Hawk Classic, a 19-team competition which took place in Fairbury.

“This is the first tournament championship our program has won in quite some time at an individual tournament, likely almost 20 years, and potentially the biggest tournament we have ever won, in regards to the number of teams involved,” said Irish coach Danny Burk, who was Notre Dame’s first IHSA medalist in 2002.

Danny Burk is in his first year as head coach but was an assistant coach for 16 years under his father, Kevin, who retired following a 44-year coaching and teaching career. Kevin Burk won 705 dual meets at both Notre Dame and Spalding, ranking him in second place among Illinois coaches in dual meet wins, behind only PORTA’s Jeff Hill. 

Danny Burk also has had a successful career as an assistant coach in boys soccer at Notre Dame for coach Mike Bare, who’s won four titles and had five other teams place third or better. Bare was a huge supporter of wrestling in the state for many years when he ran Illinois Matmen.

Plano (204) finished third, Chicago Hope Academy (192) was fourth and Camp Point Central (188.5) edged Hoopeston Area (187) for fifth place. Beardstown (150), Bishop McNamara (143.5), Sandwich (140) and Herscher (129) rounded out the top-10 teams in the field.

1. Peoria Notre Dame

Top performers for coach Danny Burk’s champion Irish were title winners Ian Akers (113) and Michael McLaughlin (285). Taking third was Andrew Elward (132) while Josh Stedwill (106), Remi Joesting (120) and Michael Kimbrough (165) finished fourth and Chase Daugherty (150) and Joe Culp (190) were fifth.

Akers went 43-6 last season and finished fourth in Class 1A at 106 to join Burk as one of the program’s sevan medal winners. McLaughlin and Daugherty also both won 30 or more matches and also qualified for last year’s IHSA Finals.

2. El Paso-Gridley

Leading the way the runner-up Titans, who are coached by 2007 National Wrestling Hall of Fame – Illinois Chapter Lifetime Service Award recipient Joe Cliffe, were second-place finisher Ryden Barker (190) while Kiana Mayne (113), Nolan Whitman (120) and Parker Duffy (215) took third place. Waylon Melick (157) and Christopher Blackmore (285) placed fourth and Dominic Ricconi (175) finished sixth.

3. Plano

Individuals who finished highest for coach Dwayne Love’s third-place Reapers were champions Caidan Ronning (150) and Prince Amakiri (190), runner-up Antoine Gilford (138) and third-place finisher Trevion Gilford (144). Finishing fifth were Shane Downs (106), Luis Ballesteros (157) and Timmy Young (165) while Marcos Garcia (132), Oscar Cervantes (144) and Tyler Mast (285) were sixth.

4. Chicago Hope Academy

Coach Dan Willis’ Chicago Hope Academy Eagles were led by champion Santiago Chaparro (144) while Josiah Willis (126), Arkail Griffin (150), Ismael Martinez (165), Alex Garcia (190) and Roy Phelps (285) all took third place and Jeramy Sanders (175) finished fifth.

5. Camp Point Central

Top finishers for coach Kasey Monroe’s Camp Point Central Panthers were title winner Jack Thompson (157) and second-place finishers Kanye Mitchell (144) and Conner Griffin (165). Taking fourth was Case Hughes (113) while Dylan Mowen (132) placed fifth and Paul Schenk (138), Konnor Bush (150) and Jacob Leenerts (215) all finished sixth.

6. Hoopeston Area

Leading the way for coach Chris Kelnhofer’s Hoopeston Area Cornjerkers were champions Aiden Bell (132) and Angel Zamora (175), second-place finishers Charlie Flores (106) and Ayden Larkin (157) as well as Talan Nelson (126), who finished fourth.

The other team in the field that had multiple champions was coach Zach Whitsel’s Unity Christian Lions, who received first-place finishes from brothers Clinton (120) and Garrett VerHeecke (126). They both placed in the IHSA Class 1A Finals last year as freshmen as Clinton went 48-2 and took third at 113 and Garrett went 43-7 and placed sixth at 120.

Other Hawk Classic champions were Streator’s Nicholas Pollett (106), Dwight’s Dylan Crouch (138), Bishop McNamara’s Kayden Roach (165) and The High School of Saint Thomas More’s Brody Cuppernell (215), who went 42-6 last season and took second in Class 1A at 195. Cuppernell met James Schmidt in the 215 finals, the event’s only title matchup of teammates.

The High School of Saint Thomas More had three second-place finishers, August Christhilf (175), James Scmidt (215) and Robbie Vavrik (285). Also taking second place were Sandwich’s Colten Stone (113) and Ian Hawkins (150), Bishop McNamara’s Blake Arseneau (120), Ridgeview/Lexington’s Danny Tay (126) and Prairie Central’s John Traub (132).

Some of the closest title matches included Ronning edging Hawkins 3-2 in sudden victory at 150, Thompson getting past Larkin 5-3 at 157, Pollett capturing an 8-5 decision over Flores at 106, Bell prevailing 6-2 over Traub at 132, Crouch defeating Antoine Gilford 4-0 at 138 and Zamora winning a 4-0 decision over Christhilf at 175.

Clinton VerHeecke had the most team points with 50 while Zamora ranked second with 48, Bell and Christholf tied for third place with 44 points and Arseneau and Traub tied for fifth with 42 team points.

Top records of finalists following the Classic included Clinton VerHeecke (24-0, 1.000) Garrett VerHeecke (24-0, 1.000), Zamora (25-1, .962), Crouch (24-1, .960), Amakiri (20-1, .952), Ronning (19-1, .950), Cuppernell (16-1, .941), Chaparro (31-2, .939), Pollett (28-2, .933), Christhilf (19-2, .905), Tay (25-3, .893), Hawkins (6-1, .857), Akers (20-4, .833), Antoine Gilford (19-4, .826), Thompson (14-3, .824), Griffin (17-4, .810), Vavrik (17-4, .810), Arseneau (12-3, .800), Barker (23-6, .793), Larkin (23-6, .793), McLaughlin (15-4, .789), Bell (14-4, .778) and Roach (10-3, .769).

Others who took third place were Sandwich’s Jacob Ross (106) and Sy Smith (157), Beardstown’s Luis De La Cruz (138) and Illini West’s Shawn Watkins (175).

Additional fourth-place finishers were Ridgeview/Lexington’s Judson Stover (138) and Payton Campbell (150), Streator’s Alejandro Lopez (190) and Aydan Radke (215), Bishop McNamara’s Alex Kostecka (132), Urbana’s Emiliano Bedello (144) and Beardstown’s Gunner Looker (175).

Also taking fifth place were Urbana’s Vincent Benjamin (113) and Malachi Hutchinson (138), Herscher’s Everett Osenga (120) and Gerrit Osenga (126), Beardstown’s Maddox Medrano (144) and Leonel Lopez (215) and Peoria Heights’ Issac Coleman (285).

Other sixth-place finishers were Bishop McNamara’s Noah Pelletier (120), Trevor Torres (126) and Tristin Golden (157), Streator’s Lily Gwaltney (106) and Addison Yacko (113), Beardstown’s Alcantar Medrano (165) and Herscher’s Gavin Collins (190).

Akers, Amakiri and Cuppernell had the most falls with five, with the latter achieving that in 2:48. Stedwill edged Chaparro 47-46 for the most match points. And Joesting (21st to fourth) and Mowen (22nd to fifth) both finished 17 places better than they were seeded.

Peoria Notre Dame had the most total match points with 265 while Chicago Hope Academy (240) ranked second and Camp Point Central (224) was third. Plano edged El Paso-Gridley 27-26 for the most pins while Chicago Hope Academy and Notre Dame were next-best with 25. 

Championship matches at Prairie Central’s Hawk Classic

106 – Nicholas Pollett (Streator) D 8-5 Charlie Flores (Hoopeston Area)

113 – Ian Akers (Peoria Notre Dame) F 1:26 Colten Stone (Sandwich)

120 – Clinton VerHeecke (Unity Christian) F 1:58 Blake Arseneau (Bishop McNamara)

126 – Garrett VerHeecke (Unity Christian) D 10-4 Danny Tay (Ridgeview/Lexington)

132 – Aiden Bell (Hoopeston Area) D 6-2 John Traub (Prairie Central)

138 – Dylan Crouch (Dwight) D 4-0 Antoine Gilford (Plano)

144 – Santiago Chaparro (Chicago Hope Academy) F 1:43 Kanye Mitchell (Camp Point Central)

150 – Caidan Ronning (Plano) SV 3-2 Ian Hawkins (Sandwich)

157 – Jack Thompson (Camp Point Central) D 5-3 Ayden Larkin (Hoopeston Area)

165 – Kayden Roach (Bishop McNamara) F 2:55 Conner Griffin (Camp Point Central)

175 – Angel Zamora (Hoopeston Area) D 6-2 August Christhilf (The High School of Saint Thomas More)

190 – Prince Amakiri (Plano) F 1:41 Ryden Barker (El Paso-Gridley)

215 – Brody Cuppernell (The High School of Saint Thomas More) F 0:28 James Schmidt (The High School of Saint Thomas More)

285 – Michael McLaughlin (Peoria Notre Dame) F 5:13 Robbie Vavrik (The High School of Saint Thomas More)

Team scoring at Prairie Central’s Hawk Classic

1. Peoria Notre Dame 224.5, 2. El Paso-Gridley 218, 3. Plano 204, 4. Chicago Hope Academy 192, 5. Camp Point Central 188.5, 6. Hoopeston Area 187, 7. Beardstown 150, 8. Bishop McNamara 143.5, 9. Sandwich 140, 10. Herscher 129, 11. The High School of Saint Thomas More 116, 11. Streator 116, 13. Unity Christian 108, 14. Prairie Central 98, 15. Ridgeview/

Lexington 76, 16. Urbana 74, 17. Illini West 58, 18. Dwight 49, 19. Peoria Heights 30.

Geneseo claims top honors at Morton’s Bob and Liz Schnarr Invitational

With much of its team returning from last season’s Class 2A fourth place team that went 22-3 and earned the school its first trophy since its 2A runner-up teams in 2013 and 2014 in its first state appearances, Geneseo figures to again be one of the top teams in the state.

And on Saturday coach Jon Murray’s Maple Leafs made another big statement by scoring 198 points and finishing 26 points ahead of Yorkville Christian to capture top honors at the 18-team Bob and Liz Schnarr Invitational in Morton. It’s the second invitational title of the season for Geneseo, adding to its first at Rockford East’s Giardini Invite on December 2. 

Yorkville Christian, which lost 28-27 to Coal City in last year’s Class 1A championship dual meet to finish with a 22-6 record after winning the Class 1A championship in 2022, has been moved up to Class 2A this season. Although the Mustangs graduated 10 individuals who helped them to appear in two IHSA Dual Team title meets, they figure to be in the mix of what is developing to be a quality group of teams that is pursuing appearances in this season’s Class 2A Finals.

The host Potters claimed third place with 160.5 points and Normal West edged Triad 119-117.5 to finish fourth. United Township (109), Lincoln (85), Dunlap (84), Morton’s JV (69.5) and Limestone (61) rounded out the top 10 teams in the competition.

1. Geneseo

Maple Leafs coach Jon Murray, who was inducted into the IWCOA Hall of Fame last year, received two titles and three second-place finishes in addition to two thirds, two fourths and two fifths to help his team capture the invitational championship.

Winning titles for Geneseo were Izaac Gaines (138), Zachary Montez (150) while Devan Hornback (126), Grady Hull (132) and Kye Weinzierl (165) took second place. Tim Sebastian (113) and Josh Hock (144) placed third, Malaki Jackson (157) and Colten Mooney (215) were fourth and Logan Palmer (190) and Brayden Franzen (285) finished fifth. Kie Smith (120) and  Brennan Lambin (175) also scored points for the Maple Leafs.

Geneseo returns three state qualifiers, Montez, Jackson and Weinziel. Montez went 51-3 last season and placed third at 132 in Class 2A after finishing fourth at 113 in 2022. 

2. Yorkville Christian

Leading the way for coach Mike Vester’s runner-up Mustangs were champions Aiden Larsen (113) and Ty Edwards (132). Grason Johnson (138), Isaac Gray (150), Robby Nelson (157), Xander Oliver (215) and Garrett Tunnell (285) all took third place, Jackson Allen (175) placed fifth and Eli Foster (120) finished sixth.

Edwards placed second in Class 1A at 120 and went 49-7 last season and also took second at 106 in 201 in the IWCOA Finals while Larsen went 19-11 and took sixth place at 106 after placing fifth at 106 in 2022.

3. Morton

Top performers for coach Edward Henderson’s third-place Potters were title winner Tyus Almasy (175) and second-place finishers Harrison Dea (113) and Steven Marvin (150). Taking third place were Noah Harris (106), Caleb Lenning (126) and Caiden Robison (132) while Cash Hill (120) finished fourth and Clayton McKee (157) and Colton McKee (165) took fifth place.

Dea went 37-11 last season and placed fifth at 106 in Class 2A while Marvin fell one win shy of a state medal at 145.

4. Normal West

Individuals with the best finishes for coach Dave Lehr’s Wildcats were champions Evan Willock (157) and Matt Hanold (285) and runner-up Gus Schreiber (175). Claiming fifth-place finishes were Jacob Payne (106), Dylan McGrew (113) and Abram Rader (120). Willock went 39-7 last season and placed sixth at 132 in Class 2A to become the program’s second state medalist.

5. Triad

Knights’ coach Russ Witzig, a 2022 IWCOA Hall of Fame inductee, got a title win from Colby Crouch (126) and a runner-up finish from Will Kelly (106). Placing third was Glen Henry (120) while Braden Rowe (132) and Brody Smith (138) finished fifth and Shane Seip (113), Pearce Goodfield (150) and Jason Powell (215) all claimed sixth place. Crouch went 31-1 last season and finished second at 126 in the IHSA Class 2A Finals after going 35-0 and winning the 2A championship at 120 in 2022. 

6. United Township

The best finishers for coach Lambros Fotos’ Panthers were champion Blake Trickey (106) and second-place finishers Brody Oppendike (144) and Kayden Marolf (157). Finishing fourth was Xavier Marolf (132) while Payton Birdsley (215) placed fifth and Joel Gutierrez-Garcia (126) and Alex Long (175) claimed sixth place.

Limestone also had two champions, Ethan Dixon (190) and Taylor Dixon (215). Other Schnarr Invitational title winners were Lincoln’s Cort Pentecost (120), Pekin’s RaMez Watson (144) and Dunlap’s Nick Mueller (165), who went 43-8 last season and finished in second place at 160 in the IHSA Class 2A Finals.

There was a four-way tie for the individuals with the most team points with 28 involving Crouch, Ethan Dixon, Taylor Dixon and Edwards. Watson ranked fifth with 26.5 points while Almasy, Hanold, Mueller, Trickey and Willock all tied for sixth with 26 team points.

The host Potters also got a runner-up finish from a member of its JV team, Ben Chaffer (215). Additional second place finishers were Champaign Central’s Elliott Tanner (120), Dunlap’s Colton Mosack (138), Southeast’s Chris Hull (190) and East Peoria’s Keegan Barnes (285).

Some of the closest title matches included Montez edging Marvin 7-6 at 150, Almasy prevailing 6-2 over Schreiber at 175, Trickey winning a 10-5 decision over Kelly at 106 and Mueller beating Weinzierl 6-1 at 165.

Finalists who had the best records following the Schnarr Invitational include Edwards (27-1, .964), Mueller (26-1, .963), Larsen (25-1, .962), Willock (23-1, .958), Watson (20-1, .952), Crouch (17-1, .944), Marvin (29-2, .935), Montez (27-2, .931), Gaines (12-1, .923), Weinzierl (22-2, .917), Kelly (22-4, .846), Kayden Marolf (22-4, .846), Dea (21-4, .840), Trickey (19-4, .826), Almasy (27-6, .818), Schreiber (24-7, .774), Hanold (23-7, .767), Tanner (13-4, .765),  Barnes (15-5, .750) and Ethan Dixon (27-9, .750).

Others who captured third place were Lincoln’s Dawson McConnell (165), Richwoods’ Gabe Martinez (175) and Dunlap’s Joseph Weeks (190).

Additional fourth-place finishers were Champaign Central’s Talin Baker (113) and Rowan King (138), Springfield High’s Gabriel Ruvalcaba (144) and Keyshaun Harris (175), East Peoria’s Dalton Oakman (165) and Chase Bancroft (190), Morton JV’s Ryan Siebenthal (106), Lincoln’s Karter Hild (126), LaSalle-Peru’s Caleb Plut (150) and Richwoods’ Shaun Anderson (285).

Fifth-place finishes were also turned in by Morton JV’s Lincoln Yerby (126), Southeast’s Frank Kittrell (144) and Springfield High’s Cody L Stevens (150). And also taking sixth place were Peoria High’s Chris Walker (144) and Sargent Maubach (190), Lincoln’s Aiden Frye (157) and Logan Wachendorf (285), Richwoods’ Wensley Rahn (106), Dunlap’s Tristan Mosack (132), East Peoria’s Cole Brooks (138) and Morton JV’s Lucas Hermann (165).

Geneseo had the most total match points with 248 while Yorkville Christian ranked second with 221 and Triad was third with 215 points. Yorkville Christian had 21 falls, which was eight more than were recorded by Geneseo, Morton and Normal West.

Yorkville Christian’s Jackson Allen had the most total match points with 48 while Pekin’s RaMez Watson had 46 and Geneseo’s Zachary Montez collected 43 match points. Morton’s Clayton McKee and Springfield High’s Cody L Stevens had the most falls with four. And Yorkville Christian’s Xander Oliver had the biggest seed to place differential with 12, placing third after being seeded 15th.

The Bob and Liz Schnarr Invitational honors a couple from the village who were longtime supporters of Morton’s wrestling program. 

Championship matches for Morton’s Bob and Liz Schnarr Invitational

106 – Blake Trickey (United Township) D 10-5 Will Kelly (Triad)

113 – Aiden Larsen (Yorkville Christian) D 9-2 Hamilton Dea (Morton)

120 – Cort Pentecost (Lincoln) F 1:10 Elliott Tanner (Champaign Central)

126 – Colby Crouch (Triad) F 0:40 Devan Hornback (Geneseo)

132 – Ty Edwards (Yorkville Christian) F 0:24 Grady Hull (Geneseo)

138 – Izaac Gaines (Geneseo) D 9-2 Colton Mosack (Dunlap)

144 – RaMez Watson (Pekin) TF 3:55 Brody Oppendike (United Township)

150 – Zachary Montez (Geneseo) D 7-6 Steven Marvin (Morton)

157 – Evan Willock (Normal West) MD 11-1 Kayden Marolf (United Township)

165 – Nick Mueller (Dunlap) D 6-1 Kye Weinzierl (Geneseo)

175 – Tyus Almasy (Morton) D 6-2 Gus Schreiber (Normal West)

190 – Ethan Dixon (Limestone) F 5:55 Chris Hull (Southeast)

215 – Taylor Dixon (Limestone) F 4:41 Ben Chaffer (Morton JV)

285 – Matt Hanold (Normal West) F 1:24 Keegan Barnes (East Peoria)

Team standings for Morton’s Bob and Liz Schnarr Invitational

1. Geneseo 198, 2. Yorkville Christian 172, 3. Morton 160.5, 4. Normal West 119, 5. Triad 117.5, 6. United Township 109, 7. Lincoln 85, 8. Dunlap 84, 9. Morton JV 69.5, 10. Limestone 61, 11. Champaign Central 57, 12. East Peoria 56.5, 13. Springfield High 49, 14. Pekin 44.5, 15. Richwoods 42, 15. Southeast 42, 17. LaSalle-Peru 34, 17. Peoria High 34.

Frankfort Community places first at Carbondale’s Murdale Girls Tournament

Frankfort Community has only competed in wrestling for the past two seasons so that makes what its young team was able to accomplish this past weekend even more special.

What coach Rick Arrington’s Lady Redbirds did was capture top honors in the girls division of Carbondale’s Murdale Tournament, which featured individuals from 22 teams.

Frankfort Community, which is in West Frankfort, scored 77 points to take first by 21 points over Glenwood, who had 56 points. Goreville (45) took third, Paducah, KY’s McCracken County (43) placed fourth, Trico (39) finished fifth while Granite City (38) and Marion (38) tied for sixth-place. Salem (29), Highland (26), Mascoutah (25) and Red Bud/Valmeyer (25) were next in line.

1. Frankfort Community

Coach Rick Arrington’s Frankfort Community Lady Redbirds had two champions and seven individuals who placed fourth or better. Nikolette Ronketto (105) and Kaitlynn Childers (235) won titles while Sophia Bechelli (110) and Hannah Mullins (145) took second, Lilly Browning (170) was third and Aleah Davidson (135) and Rylee Franklin (155) both finished fourth.

Ronketto won the title at 105 after getting two falls over Red Bud’s Emma Smith while Childers took first at 285 with a fall and a 4-3 decision over Marion’s Olivia McDermott.

“We are very proud of the accomplishments of the girls team,” Arrington said. “This being only our second year having a girls program and five of the seven girls being underclassmen makes it even better. The girls work very hard every day and keep learning.”

2. Glenwood

While coach Jerod Bruner’s Titans were rolling to a decisive championship in the 62nd Murdale Tournament, his girls team claimed second place, despite having only four competitors, who all finished in the top three at their weight class.

Taking first place for Glenwood were Kadi Wilbern (100) and Jenna Tuxhorn (135) while Izzy Resendez (125) and Elsie Dozier (155) both took third place. Wilbern won the title at 100 with a pin in 1:14 over Mt. Vernon’s Lilly Davis, who was second in the round robin, while Tuxhorn took first at 135 by getting a fall in 0:54 over Granite City’s Audrey Barnes.

3. Goreville/Vienna

Coach Bart Pulliam’s Goreville Blackcats, who co-op with Vienna, took third thanks to two titles, one second and a third. Taking first place were Madalynn Lapatas (130) and Alivia Ming (145) while Liberty McBride (190) finished second and Krista McBride (190) took third place.

Ming, a two-time IHSA medalist who was second last year at 140 and fourth at 135 in 2022, won at 145 with a fall in 1:25 over Frankfort Community’s Hannah Mullins. Lapatas took first at 130 with a fall in 1:38 over Marion’s DJ Tucker-Lester, who was second in the round robin. 

Trico, which co-ops with Elverado, also had two champions, Cynthia Macke (170) and Maddie Ramaker (190). Other Murdale title winners were Granite City’s Ma’Kayla Bonner (110), Mascoutah’s Ezri Linertz (115), Benton/Sesser-Valier’s Mia Balota (120), Red Bud/Valmeyer’s Avery Smith (125), Highland’s Nina Landmann (155) and Paducah, KY McCracken County’s Abby Ellis (140). Smith is also a two-time IHSA medalist, taking third last year at 115 and fourth at 120 in the inaugural Finals in 2022.

Second-place finishers who weren’t on the top three teams were Salem’s Greta Motch (115), Sierra Malone (155) and Anna Dodson (170), Marion’s DJ Tucker-Lester (130), Daisjha Cooper (140) and Olivia McDermott (235), Mt. Vernon’s Lilly Davis (100), Red Bud’s Emma Smith (105), Centennial’s Ava Beldo (120), Granite City’s Audrey Barnes (135) and McCracken County’s Eelyn Hayden (125).

Individuals who took third place but weren’t on one of the top-three teams were Mascoutah’s Zoey Nelson (110), Cahokia’s A’Liezsha DeLoach (115), Carbondale’s Kylee Wheetley (130), Marion’s Joelene Nappier-Feth (135), Carterville’s Jacee Mardirosian (145) and McCracken County, KY’s Jillian Conn (100) and Lakelynn Janssen (120).

And fourth-place finishers who weren’t on Frankfort Community, Glenwood or Goreville/Vienna were Highland’s Bryleigh Thomas (145) and Sophia Elkins (190), Carbondale’s Delaney Measimer (110), Marion’s Alauni Muex (120), Murphysboro’s Gabriella Mason (125) and Granite City’s Chloe West (170).

Frankfort Community had the most total match points with 61 while Marion was second with 54 and McCracken County was third with 44 points. The team champions also had the most falls with 10, which was one more than runner-up Glenwood had, which recorded nine pins.

Four individuals tied for the most team points with 20. They were Granite City’s Ma’Kayla Bonner, Highland’s Nina Landmann, Trico’s Maddie Ramaker and Red Bud’s Avery Smith. Benton’s Mia Balota and Trico’s Cynthia Macke tied for fifth place with 19 team points. Goreville’s Alivia Ming and Glenwood’s Jenna Tuxhorn tied for seventh with 18 team points.

Benton’s Balota had the most total match points with 23 while Highland’s Sophia Elkins was next with 21. Mascoutah’s Zoey Nelson ranked third with 20 and Carterville’s Jacee Mardirosian and Carbondale’s Delaney Measimer tied for fourth with 18 match points.

Championship matches for Carbondale’s Murdale Girls Tournament

100 – Kadi Wilbern (Glenwood) F 1:14 Lilly Davis (Mt. Vernon) – round robin

105 – Nikolette Ronketto (Frankfort Community) F 1:22 Emma Smith (Red Bud/Valmeyer) 

110 – Ma’Kayla Bonner (Granite City) F 1:45 Sophia Bechelli (Frankfort Community)

115 – Ezri Linertz (Mascoutah) F 1:25 Greta Motch (Salem) – round robin

120 – Mia Balota (Benton/Sesser-Valier) F 3:05 Ava Beldo (Centennial)

125 – Avery Smith (Red Bud/Valmeyer) F 0:30 Eelynn Hayden (McCracken County, KY)

130 – Madalynn  Lapatas (Goreville/Vienna) F 1:38 DJ Tucker-Lester (Marion) – round robin

135 – Jenna Tuxhorn (Glenwood) F 0:54 Audrey Barnes (Granite City)

140 – Abby Ellis (McCracken County, KY) F 1:38 Daisjha Cooper (Marion) 

145 – Alivia Ming (Goreville/Vienna) F 1:25 Hannah Mullins (Frankfort Community)

155 – Nina Landmann (Highland) F 1:56 Sierra Malone (Salem)

170 – Cynthia Macke (Trico/Elverado) F 0:36 Anna Dobson (Salem)

190 – Maddie Ramaker (Trico/Elverado) F 1:43 Liberty McBride (Goreville/Vienna)

235 – Kaitlynn Childers (Frankfort Community) D 4-3 Olivia McDermott (Marion)

Team scoring for Carbondale’s Murdale Girls Tournament

1. Frankfort Community 77, 2. Glenwood 56, 3. Goreville/Vienna 45, 4. Paducah, KY McCracken County 43, 5. Trico/Elverado 39, 6. Granite City 38, 6. Marion 38, 8. Salem 29, 9. Highland 26, 10, Mascoutah 25, 10. Red Bud/Valmeyer 25, 12. Benton/Sesser-Valier 19, 13. Centennial 14, 14. Carterville 11, 15. Carbondale 10, 16. Mt. Vernon 9, 17, Murphysboro 8, 18. Anna-Jonesboro 2, 18. Carlyle 2, 18. Pinckneyville 2, 21, Cahokia 1, 22. Breese Central 0.

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