Holiday week out-of-state tournament recaps

By Gary Larsen for the IWCOA

Montini Catholic wins Marge and Tate Dual Tournament in Michigan

Montini Catholic improved to 12-1 after winning four dual meets, including three that were decided by two points or less, to capture top honors at the Marge and Tate Dual Tournament that was hosted by Grandville High in Grandville, Michigan.

Coach Mike Bukovsky’s Broncos, who competed against four Michigan teams, won 54-21 over Cedar Springs, 38-36 over the tournament hosts, 37-35 over Byron Center and 38-36 over Temperance Bedford 38-36. 

It’s the team’s second title of the season, with the other one being the Neuqua Valley Scuffle on December 2. Montini Catholic also finished in third place in Harlem’s Dvorak Tournament, which took place December 16-17. 

The team’s lone loss in a dual meet came against Marist by a 35-34 score. The next-closest dual meet that they’ve had against an Illinois team was a 47-22 victory over Woodstock.

Josh Vazquez (22-2 at 126) and Kam Luif (20-4 at 132) are leading the Broncos in wins through the 2023 portion of the schedule. Several members of the squad have been dealing with injuries but are expected to be back in action shortly.

Other top winners for Montini Catholic are Santino Tenuta (16-3 at 157), AJ Tack (15-3 at 165), Alex Marre (14-3 at 175), Jaxon Lane (14-6 at 190), David Mayora (13-1 at 150), Mikey Malizzio (12-3 at 113), Allen Woo (11-3 at 106), Jeremy Huf (6-0 at 138), Mick Ranquist (6-3 at 285) and Bobby Ruscitti (4-0 at 106). Huf, Malizzio, Ranquist and Woo did not compete in Michigan.

Mayora is a two-time state medalist who lost a 1-0 decision to Aurora Christian’s Taythan Silva in the 2023 Class 2A Finals at 152. Luif placed sixth at 120, Tenuta fell one win shy of a medal at 145 and Ranquist also qualified for state.

Bukovsky is happy to be back at the school that he attended and later served as an assistant coach before taking over the head coaching duties in 1994 and remained in that position through 2010.

In his 16 seasons, his teams posted a 459-39 dual meet record, which is good for a .922 win percentage, that featured eight IHSA championships as well as one runner-up finish and two third-place showings in 13 appearances in the IHSA Dual Team Finals. Other than his debut season, his teams won at least 24 dual meets and on 12 occasions they concluded a season with two defeats or less.

He also has enjoyed success at Montini in two other sports, being a longtime assistant coach in football under Chris Andriano before taking over as head coach in 2017 and leading the Broncos to  second place the next season. And he was the school’s head softball coach from 2015 to 2018 and won IHSA titles in 2016 and 2018.

He has received numerous honors for his outstanding coaching career and service to the Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association. In October, he received a Lifetime Service Award from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame-Illinois Chapter. In 2020, he was an IWCOA Lifetime Service Award winner and a Grand Marshal at the 2017 IHSA Finals. He received the IWCOA Person of the Year Award in 2010 and was inducted into the IWCOA Hall of Fame in 2008.

Hononegah wins Mid-States Wrestling Classic in Whitewater, WI

Illinois traveled well to Wisconsin’s Mid-States Wrestling Classic in Whitewater this year. Twelve teams from Illinois joined 30 Wisconsin teams in the 42-team field Dec. 29-30, and nearly half of the 28 individual finalists haled from Illinois.

Thirteen Illinoisans wrestled for individual titles, winning eight individual crowns.

Hononegah ruled the day for the team title, finishing at the top of the 42-team field.

Hononegah posted a 312-284.5 edge over a second-place Sun Prairie East/West from Wisconsin. Downers Grove South was third, finishing a mere 1.5 points behind Sun Prairie.

Among the other Illinois teams present, Wauconda (274) finished fourth; Morton (188.5) was seventh; Grayslake Central (174) was eighth; and Round Lake (156) took 10th to round out the top 10 team finishes.

Also competing from Illinois were McHenry (12th), Bradley-Bourbonnais (24th), Dundee-Crown (25th), New Trier (27th), Harvard (31st), and Lakes Community (41st).

Top three Illinois team finishes:

1st place: Hononegah (312)

Bringing home individual titles for Hononegah coach Tyler DeMoss were Rocco Cassioppi (106), Bruno Cassioppi (113), Brody Sendele (157) and Connor Diemel (165). Isaak Smith (215) placed fourth, Jackson Olson (120) placed fifth, and DeMoss got sevenths from Robert Darling (132), Max Haskins (150), and Kurt Smith (175).

Also chipping in team points were Evan Musil (126), Max Aranki (144), Greyson Cotone (190), and Carlos Delgado (285).

3rd place: Downers Grove South (283)

All 14 of coach Sean Lovelace’s crew contributed team points for Downers Grove South, led by a second-place finish from Matty Lapacek (190), a third from Connor Kelly (165), and fourths from Miguel Castaneda (113) and RJ Samuels (175). The Mustangs also got a fifth from Nick Spirek (138), sevenths from Jadon Dinwiddie (120) and Mack Piehl (215), eighths from Trevor Dinaso (106), Drew Woolsey (126), and Noah Greene (157).

Other Mustangs scoring team points were Jordan Christin-Holley (132), TJ Johnson (144), Jax Canik (150), and Jayden Contreras (285).

4th place: Wauconda (274)

Wauconda had 10 place-winners in Wisconsin, and Wauconda coach Trevor Jauch got a second-place individual finish from Cooper Daun (138), a third from Nathan Randle (120), and a pair of fourths from Cole Porten (150) and Zachary Johnson (165).

The Bulldogs also got a fifth from Gavin Rockey (106), sixths from Brian Hart (132) and Logan Andrews (144), and eighth from Michael Merevick (190), a ninth from Lucas Galdine (126), and a 12th from Kason Buse (157).

Also scoring team points were Nicholas Ruiz (113), Brody Rudolph (215) and Caleb Apodaca (285).

Top individual finishers from Illinois:

A pair of previously unbeaten, top-ranked wrestlers met in the finals at 175, where Jake Stoffel (20-0) of Appleton North, WI won on an ultimate tie-break against Illinois’ top ranked Matty Jens (21-1) of Grayslake Central.

Other Illinois wrestlers winning individual titles in Wisconsin were Round Lake’s Alejandro Cordova (120) and William Cole (285), Grayslake Central’s Tyler Weidman (126), and Morton’s Steven Marvin (150).

Other second-placers from Illinois included Grayslake Central’s Jens (175) and Vince DeMarco (106) and Matty Jens (175), Morton’s Harrison Dea (113), McHenry’s Pedro Jimenez (144) and Aiden Fischler (165), 

Bradley-Bourbonnais’ AJ Mancilla (175) placed third; fourth-placers included McHenry’s Ryan Hanson (120) and Round Lake’s Grayson Kongkaeow (126); placing fifth were New Trier’s Tagg Miller (150), Morton’s Clayton Mckee (157), and Dundee-Crown’s Jose Gavina (165); and finishing sixth from Illinois were Grayslake Central’s Warren Nash (150) and Harvard’s Riley Vest (285).

Mid-States Classic championship matches:

106 – Rocco Cassioppi (Hononegah) F 4:45 Vince DeMarco (Grayslake Central)

113 – Bruno Cassioppi (Hononegah) TF 4:00 Harrison Dea (Morton)

120 – Alejandro Cordova (Round Lake) F 5:53 Lukas Orloff (Pecatonia-Argyle WI)

126 – Tyler Weidman (Grayslake C) F 4:55 Ethan Aird (Darlington-Blackhawk WI)

132 – Christopher Anderson (Sun Prairie WI) D 4-2 Cade Aaberg (Oregon WI)

138 – Owen Race (Cedar Grove-Belgium WI) D 10-3 Cooper Daun (Wauconda)

144 – Owen Seffrood (Darlington-Blackhawk WI) MD 13-5 Pedro Jimenez (McHenry)

150 – Steven Marvin (Morton) D 6-0 Ashton Meister (Poynette WI)

157 – Brody Sendele (Hononegah) D 10-6 Breylin Goebel (Darlington-B’hawk WI)

165 – Connor Deimel (Hononegah) D 3-0 Aiden Fischler (McHenry)

175 – Jake Stoffel (Appleton N. WI) UTB 3-2 Matty Jens (Grayslake C)

190 – Owen Burling (Lake Mills WI) D 7-4 Ross Crist (Darlington-B’hawk WI)

215 – Nate Grooms (Lake County Luth. WI) D 4-3 Jaxon Johnson (Sun Prairie WI)

285 – William Cole (Round Lake) F 3:26 Evan Held (Nicolet WI)

Illinois team finishes among 42 teams:

1. Hononegah 312, 3. DG South 283, 4. Wauconda 274, 7, Morton, 8. Grayslake Central, 10. Round Lake, 12. McHenry 24. Bradley-Bourbonnais (89) 25. Dundee-Crown (85) 27. New Trier (79) 31. Harvard (60.5) 41. Lakes Community (12) 

Lourdes OTW Classic in Oshkosh, WI

The Oshkosh, Wisconsin tournament saw Hortonville, WI take the team title, with Libertyville snaring second-place in a field of 70 teams. Sixty-six of the teams competing were from Wisconsin, with three from Illinois and one from Minnesota.

Hortonville won 287.5-267.5 over Libertyville and among Illinois teams, Fremd (154) finished 15th and Lane Tech (133) finished tied for 19th.

Libertyville coach Dale Eggert got an individual title from Matt Kubas (175) and a second from Owen McGrory (215) among the Wildcats’ six wrestlers finishing in the top 12 of their divisions.

Kubas was dominant in Oshkosh, posting four falls before winning by 10-2 major decision for the title at 175 against Markesan, Wisconsin’s Treston Eckstein. Kubas improved to 24-2 with the win and is ranked No. 2 in Rob Sherrill’s Illinois Matmen rankings. It was Kubas’ second tournament title this season, to go with two second-place tournament finishes.

Third-ranked in Illinois at 215, McGrory went 5-1 in Wisconsin to up his record to 27-2, his lone loss coming in a tight 4-3 decision in the finals to Ayden Grulke of Hartford, WI.

Libertyville also got a fourth-place finish from Caleb Baczek (190), a sixth from Luke Berktold (120), and a seventh from Charlie Clark (165). Placing 10th in the 70-team field was Tyler Wuh (113), and Orion Moran (132) placed 12th.

Also scoring team points were Jake Shafer (106), James Liu (126), Antonio Kelly (138), Will Carney (144), James Scanio (157), and Rhett VanBoening (285).

Fremd was paced by a fourth-place finish from Peter Mondus, and Vikings coach Jeff Keske also got a sixth from Drew Fifield (126), a seventh from Ryan Muslimovic (157), an eighth from Trent Odachowski (113), and a 12th from Jack Sloan (138). Also scoring team points for Fremd were Max Duberstein (120), Jovan Gongora (132), Chase McCluskey (144), Lucas Nance (150), Jaime Vela (215), and Owen Jakubczak (285). 

Lane Tech coach Matt Yan had a pair of wrestlers take third in Alex Valentin (113) and Robert James Zavala (126), and got a seventh from Evan Coles (106) and a ninth from Nasser Hammouche (138). Also scoring team points for Lane were Angel Santana (120) and Vermaat VanderBrug (144).

Wonder Women in Columbia, Missouri

The 79-team field in Columbia, Missouri, saw Collinsville’s Taylor Dawson emerge as the lone individual champion from Illinois, after she won a 5-4 decision in the finals at 130 against Alexis Dunwiddie of Jefferson, MO.

Dawson used five pins to reach the finals and improved to 18-0 with her win over Dunwiddie (22-2).

An Illinois state runner-up at 125 last year, Dawson competed as the lone entrant for Collinsville, and the No. 3-ranked girl in Illinois at 130. She also won individual tournament titles at Granite City and Normal this year.

Highland’s August Rottman — an Illinois state champion at 170 last year — is currently ranked No. 3 in Illinois. Rottman competed as Highland’s lone competitor in Missouri and opened her tournament with three pins before a 9-4 decision win in the semifinals over Oak Park, Missouri’s Nevaeh Wardlow.

Bixby, Missouri’s Millie Azlin (16-0) won a 3-0 decision in the title match against Rottman (15-3), who also placed first at Normal’s tournament and second at Granite City this season.

Edwardsville was the only Illinois team present with more than one wrestler entered in the 79-team field, and placed 17th in Columbia.

Edwardsville coach Jon Wagner entered 13 girls and got team points from eight wrestlers. Leading the way for the Tigers were a pair of seventh-placers in Holly Zugmaier (125) and Tayla Phillips (235) and an eighth-place finisher in Olivia Cole (105).

Also scoring team points for Edwardsville were Genevieve Dykstra (100), Gianna Linhorst (110), Allie Chong (115), Lydia Blind (140), and Abbrey Dewerff (155).

Hallsville Holiday Tournament in Hallsville, Missouri

Belleville West and Edwardsville were the lone Illinois teams at the Hallsville Holiday Tournament in Missouri and they did the Land of Lincoln proud.

Washington, MO won the team title with 224 points, followed by Ft. Zumwalt North with 181.5. Belleville West (170) finished third and Edwardsville (114) placed fourth in a 30-team field.

Belleville West coach Bob Dahm got individual titles from Xander Goodwin (132) and Kenwyn Horne (285) and the Maroons got a second from Ethan Hofmeister (190), a third from Rocky Seibel (113), a fourth from Alex Ramos (165), a fifth from Brody O’Donnell (175), and a sixth from Tyson Seibel (126).

Also scoring team points for the Maroons were DeMario Walters (106), Kadin Alexander (150), and Shamontae Matthews (215).

Goodwin won a 4-0 decision on the title mat at 132 against Edwardsville’s Ian Trauernicht, and Horne won by fall for the heavyweight title against Aiden Christian of Holden, MO.

Edwardsville got seconds from Chase Mathney (106) and Ian Trauernicht (132) for coach Eric Pretto, a third from Kenneth Jamison (144), and a sixth from Lucas Kunz (285). Colin Waddington (120), Ethan Knecht (138), Charles Houle (157), Jack Cloud (165), Graham Taylor (175), and Dominic Dykstra (215) also contributed team points for the Tigers.

Mater Dei Holiday Classic in Evansville, IN

Civic Memorial placed ninth in the 19-team field of this year’s Mater Dei Holiday Classic in Evanville, Indiana. The Eagles got an individual title from Bryce Griffin, when Illinois’ top-ranked 157-pounder posted a 6-0 decision on the title mat against Trinity’s Malachia Harris.

Griffin improved to 27-2 with the win and handed Harris (19-1) his first loss of the year. Griffin was Illinois’ 2A state runner-up last year at 145 pounds and also won a tournament title at Civic Memorial this season.

Civic Memorial coach Jeremy Christeson also got fourths from Bradley Ruckman (120) and Caleb Scott (126), and a sixth from Nathan Herrin (144). Also contributing team points were Brody Johnson (106), Josh Harkey (132), James Wojcikiewicz (165), Luke McCoy (175), Kale Hawk (215).

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