Southern Illinois Invites roundup Dec. 25-31

By Gary Larsen

Lincoln’s Floyd Bee Memorial Holiday Tournament

Lincoln hosted a field of 26 teams at this year’s round-robin tournament honoring Floyd Bee, who passed away in August at the age of 82.After graduating from Springfield Lanphier in 1958, Bee was a two-time national qualifier wrestling for Eastern Illinois University. Bee coached at Lincoln, Rock Island, Warren, and Springfield Southeast high schools in his long career as a teacher and coach, oversaw 30 consecutive winning seasons, and earned membership in both the Illinois Wrestling and National Wrestling halls of fame.

The inaugural tournament honoring Bee’s memory and legacy saw Rock Island edge Lincoln-Way Central to win the team title, 250.5-237.5. Normal Community (213), St. Patrick (176), and Bloomington (156.5) rounded out the top five team finishes.

“This was the first time all year we have almost had our full team,” Rock Island coach Joel Stockwell said. “With two starters still out we were still able to show what we are capable of.

“We know we have the potential to be a top contending team. All of our home-grown kids have been working hard to get back to where we want and know we can be. We still have a lot of work to do, but it was satisfying to see we are finally starting to get everything in line to be ready for regionals and the post season.”

Rock Island got an individual title from Andrew Marquez (195) and second-place finishes from Truth Vesey (113) and Amare Overton (170). Steven Marquez (182) and Eli Gustafson (285) placed third for the Rocks, who also got fourths from Samuel Niyonkuru (106), Temar Hudson (120), and Tristan Willoughby (145), and a fifth from and Antonio Parker (126).

The Rocks also got team points from George Tate (138), Elan Marshall (152), Matthew Cook (160), and Israel McGowan (220). Also placing fifth as a non-scoring wrestler was Merrick Stockwell (113).

“We were exited that we could fend off Lincoln-Way Central for the second year in a row,” Joel Stockwell said. “They are a notoriously tough program and with coach (Tyrone) Byrd at the helm it has been no different. I have nothing but respect for him and his program.”

Second-place Lincoln-Way Central had three runners-up in Nathan Knowlton (126), Jalen Byrd (132), and Caden Harvey (152), thirds from Kristian Meloy (145) and Tim Key (170), and fourths from Ameer Alamawi (138) and Colin Welsh (220).

Centennial led all teams with three champions in Trevor Schoonover (132), Nick Pianfetti (152), and Jack Barhart (220). Rochester’s Nolan Mrozowski (145) finished with the most pins (8) in the least time (13:03), and also led the field in team points (40). Three wrestlers tied for the second-most team points scored with 38 apiece, in Jerseyville’s Jaydon Busch (285), Pekin’s Shamon Handegan (182), and Carbondale’s Brenden Banz (170).

Other individual champions included Normal Community’s Caden Correll (106) and Cole Gentsch (113), St. Patrick’s Olin Walker (120) and Niko Karamaniolas (138), Galesburg’s Gauge Shipp (126), Rochester’s Nolan Mrozowski (145), Dunlap’s Nick Mueller (160), Carbondale’s Brenden Banz (170), Pekin’s Shamon Handegan (182), and Jerseyville’s Jaydon Busch (285).

Floyd Bee Memorial Holiday Tournament championship matches:

106: Caden Correll (Normal) F 2:27 Jackson Soney (Normal)
113: Cole Gentsch (Normal) F 1:50 Truth Vesey (Rock Island)
120: Olin Walker (St. Patrick) TF 3:45 Carter Mayes (Normal)
126: Gauge Shipp (Galesburg) SV 9-7 Nathan Knowlton (Lincoln-Way Central)
132: Trevor Schoonover (Centennial) D 5-4 Jalen Byrd (Lincoln-Way Central)
138: Niko Karamaniolas (St. Patrick) SV 5-3 Ramez Watson (Pekin)
145: Nolan Mrozowski (Rochester) F 1:37 Chase Daugherty (Peoria Notre Dame)
152: Nick Pianfetti (Centennial) D 6-2 Caden Harvey (Lincoln-Way Central)
160: Nick Mueller (Dunlap) D 9-6 Dawson McConnell (Lincoln)
170: Brenden Banz (Carbondale) D 10-8 Amare Overton (Rock Island)
182: Shamon Handegan (Pekin) F 1:48 Phil Shaw IV (Danville)
195: Andrew Marquez (Rock Island) MD 11-3 Aiden Taylor (Carbondale)
220: Jack Barnhart (Centennial) D 5-3 Cooper Caraway (Normal)
285: Jaydon Busch (Jerseyville) F :55 Jose Del Toro (East Peoria)

Jacksonville’s Crimson Ladies Holiday Invite

Thirty teams squared off in Jacksonville on Dec. 28 for this year’s Crimson Ladies Holiday Invitational, a field that included returning state champions in Alton’s Antonia Phillips (145) and Unity’s Lexie Ritchie (155), along with a returning state runner-up in Collinsville’s Taylor Dawson (130), and a returning state third-placer in Schaumburg’s Valeria Rodriguez (140).

All four of those wrestlers won individual titles in Jacksonville, but in the end it was Rodriguez and her deep Schaumburg team taking home the team title for coach Matt Gruszka.

“The team wrestled well to win the tournament and each week I am seeing different girls stepping up,” Gruszka said. “It’s pretty cool to see. Jacksonville ran a great tournament and I really enjoyed seeing the girls from down south.”

Schaumburg won the tournament with 125 points, with Normal Community West (107.5) finishing second, followed by Berwyn-Cicero Morton (96), Unity (96), and Mt. Vernon (82) to round out the top five team finishes.

In addition to the individual title that Schaumburg got from Rodriguez  at 140, the Saxons had a pair of second-placers in Madyson Meyer (120) and Nadia Razzak (190). “Our three finalists had a really good tournament,” Gruszka said. “Valeria Rodriquez dominated her way through the tournament and wrestled some tough girls doing it.  She really is starting to develop a style unique to her.

“Madyson Meyer took second, wrestled a really tough girl in the finals, but wrestled her really gritty. She is starting to understand how to be gritty in those tough matches. Nadia Razzak took second, but the match just go away from her.  She is improving leaps and bounds each week.”

Gruszka also got fourths from Page Bonilla (125), Madeline Zerafa-Lazarevic (135), and Keara Micek (145), a fifth from Olivia Furlan (140), and an eighth from Nina Akimoto (115).Normal West earned second-place team honors led by individual champions Sammy Lehr (100) and Angel Bateson (105).

Berwyn-Cicero Morton and Normal West finished tied for third in Jacksonville. Normal West got individual titles from Sammy Lehr (100) and Angel Bateson (105) to lead the way, while Morton was led by a quartet of third-place finishers in Paris Flores (100), Hope Donnamario (105), Faith Comas (140), and Violet Mayo (170).

Collinsville’s Dawson (130) led all wrestlers in the tournament with 29 team points scored, while three wrestlers tied with 28 team points in Canton’s Kinnley Smith (135), Unity’s Ritchie (155), and Alton’s Phillips (145).

Other individual champions in Jacksonville were Mt. Zion’s Sydney Cannon, St. Andrews-Sewanee, TN’s Melanie Val (115) and Verena Pate (125), Jacksonville’s Alexis Seymour (120), Highland’s August Rottman (170), Macomb’s Avery Lundgren (190), and Unity’s Phoenix Molina (235).

Crimson Ladies Holiday Invite championship matches:

100: Sammy Lehr (Normal West) F 1:43 Hannah Almendarez (Galesburg)
105: Angel Bateson (Normal West) F :37 Kennedy McMenimen (East Peoria)
110: Sydney Cannon (Mt. Zion) F 2:49 Ella Miloncus (Springfield (Lanphier)
115: Melanie Val (St. Andrews-Sewanee) MD 12-0 Jasmine Brown (Auburn)
120: Alexis Seymour (Jacksonville) MD 13-4 Madyson Meyer (Schaumburg (H.S.)
125: Verena Pate (St. Andrews-Sewanee) F 4:32 Alaynia Bryant (Charleston)
130: Taylor Dawson (Collinsville) TF 4:33 Avery Schlickman (Gibson City (G.C.-Melvin-Sibley)
135: Kinnley Smith (Canton) F 4:36 Kelly Ladd (Macomb)
140: Valeria Rodriguez (Schaumburg (H.S.) F 2:44 Anna Vasey (Unity)
145: Antonia Phillips (Alton) F 1:56 Katelyn Marvel (Canton)
155: Lexi Ritchie (Unity) F 2:42 Autumne Williams (Peoria Notre Dame)
170: August Rottman (Highland) F 2:45 Faith Barrett (Mt. Vernon)
190: Avery Lundgren (Macomb) D 13-10 Nadia Razzak (Schaumburg)
235: Phoenix Molina (Unity) F 2:00 Aakira Cain (Mt. Vernon)

Granite City’s Red Schmitt Holiday tournament

William “Red” Schmitt passed away in 2016 at the age of 94, after establishing himself as an Illinois legend in the sport of wrestling. Schmitt retired as head coach at Granite City in 1985 after 35 years at the helm, and his 602 dual wins as a coach place him seventh all-time in state history, per the IHSA website. His 1965 team won the Illinois state title and his teams placed in the top 10 downstate 15 times.

Two Illinois teams finished in the top five this year at the tournament that bears his name, the Red Schmitt Holiday Tournament, hosted by Granite City.When the dust settled it was the boys from Whitfield, MO claiming top honors, edging second-place Mahomet-Seymour 280.5-269, followed by Batavia (229), Willard, MO (219.5), and Lafayette, MO (216.5) in the top five of the 27-team field.

Second-place Mahomet-Seymour got individual titles for coach Rob Ledin from Brennan Houser (182) and Mateo Casillas (195) and a second-place finish from Cam Harms (285). Coach Rob Ledin also got fourths from Caden Hatton (113) and Colton Crowley (220) and sixths from Colton McClure (106), Cam Heinold (132), and Tallen Pawlak (145).

“Teams from Illinois, Missouri, and Kentucky representing various class levels from each state made this year’s tournament placement very impressive,” Ledin said.

Houser and Casillas are now scaling the heights of Mahomet-Seymour’s program records.

“Brennan Houser is now second all-time with 33 technical falls, just seven shy of Ryan Berger’s program record of 40,” Ledin said. “Also, Mateo Casillas has moved up to No. 6 all-time in wins with 143.  He is three wins behind current assistant coach and state champion Jeff Castor, and 32 victories behind all time wins leader and three-time state champion Brett Camden, who has 175.“And Mateo is just two falls from the top 10 (all-time). He currently stands with 66 falls, just two behind Chance Decker and Doug Younger, who both have 68.”

Third-place Batavia only entered 10 wrestlers at Granite City, getting titles from Cael Andrews (145) and Kaden Fetterolf (152), and seconds from Ino Garcia (113) and Asher Sheldon (220).Also winning individual titles at Granite City were Plainfield North’s Maddox Garbis (106) and Leonardo Tovar (220), Andrew’s Max Siegel (113) and Trevor Silzer (120), Triad’s Colby Crouch (126), Christian Brothers College, MO’s Kolby Warren (132), Mascoutah’s Santino Robinson (140), St, Clair, MO’s Brock Woodcock (160), Troy Buchanan, MO’s Brett Smith (170), and Belleville East’s Jonathan Rulo (285).

Brock Woodcock of St. Clair, MO scored the most team points with 44, followed by Batavia’s Kaden Fetterolf (42), Mascoutah’s Santino Robinson (41.5), and Triad’s Colby Couch (41.5).

Mahomet-Seymour’s Brennan Houser (182) posted the tournament’s most tech falls in the least amount of time, with six tech fall wins in 16:48. No other wrestler had more than three tech falls in the tournament.

Rounding out the top 10 team finishes were Plainfield North (204.5) in sixth, followed by Neosho, MO (203), Andrew (178), Belleville East (174.5), and Normal West (167.5).

Red Schmitt Holiday Tournament championship matches:

106: Maddox Garbis (Plainfield North) MD 16-5 Nadeem Haleem (Andrew)
113: Max Siegel (Andrew) D 5-2 Ino Garcia (Batavia)
120: Trevor Silzer (Andrew) D 3-2 Ryan Meek (St. Clair)
126: Colby Crouch (Triad) D 8-4 Porter Matecki (Whitfield)
132: Kolby Warren (CBC) D 7-0 Caleb Carter (Whitfield)
140: Santino Robinson (Mascoutah) D 9-2 Alexander Rallo (Whitfield)
145: Cael Andrews (Batavia) F 2:53 Rider Searcy (Mt. Vernon)
152: Kaden Fetterolf (Batavia) F 1:24 Terrence Willis (Belleville East)
160: Brock Woodcock (St. Clair) F 2:44 Charos Sutton (Troy Buchanan)
170: Brett Smith (Troy Buchanan) D 3-1 Eli Zar (Neosho)
182: Brennan Houser (Mahomet Seymour) TF 3:11 Jase Motlagh (Willard)
195: Mateo Casillas (Mahomet Seymour) D 3-0 Andrew Wier (Lafayette)
220: Leonardo Tovar (Plainfield North) D 5-3 Asher Sheldon (Batavia)
285: Jonathan Rulo (Belleville East) D 5-1 Camden Harms (Mahomet Seymour)

LeRoy/Tri-Valley goes 8-0 to win Saint Thomas More New Years Challenge

LeRoy/Tri-Valley beat Jacksonville 45-23 in the title match to finish with an 8-0 record, giving it  top honors at the High School of Saint Thomas More New Year’s Challenge in Danville, which featured a field of 22 teams, with 18 of those being from Illinois.

Coach Brady Saint Amor’s champion Panthers went 3-0 on the first day beating Alleman, East Alton-Wood River and Montini Catholic. On day two, they beat Seeger, IN, University High, Mahomet-Seymour and Westosha Central, WI before facing Jacksonville for top honors.

Leading the way for LeRoy/Tri-Valley were Jack Green (8-0 at 138), Tyson Brent (8-0 at 170), Brady Mouser (7-0 at 106/113), Landon Sakinas (4-0 at 106), Colton Prosser (7-1 at 132), Connor Lyons (6-1 at 145), Ethan Conaty (6-1 at 160) and Brock Owens (5-1 at 126).

Coach Dustin Sectrist’s runner-up Crimsons beat North Boone, Rantoul and University High on day one and claimed wins over Mattoon, Attica, IN, Montini Catholic and Bismarck-Henning-Rossville-Alvin/Armstrong to advance to the championship mat with a 7-0 record.

Top performers for Jacksonville were Mason Meyer (8-0 at 195), Joe Reif (4-0 at 145), Luca Thies (7-1 at 182), Deshawn Armstrong (6-1 at 120/126), Abram Davidson (6-1 at 160) and Collin Reif (5-1 at 145/152).

In the championship meet, LeRoy/Tri-Valley got falls from Tate Sigler (285), Mouser (113), Owens (126), Prosser (132) and Green (138) and a win by technical fall from Sakinas (106). Tyson Brent (170) won a major decision while Jacob Bischoff (220) and Conaty (160) both won close decisions. 

The Crimsons got a fall from Thies (182) while James Cotton (152) and Joe Reif (145) won major decisions and Armstrong (120) won a decision while Meyer (195) earned a forfeit win.

Montini Catholic took third place with a 44-33 win over Seeger, IN. The Broncos went 2-1 on day one with the loss to LeRoy/Tri-Valley and went 4-1 on day two, falling to Jacksonville. 

The Broncos’ new coach is Jonathan Marmolejo, who followed a fine career at Glenbard North for 2006 IWCOA hall of fame inductee Mark Hahn with success at both Iowa State and Purdue.

Leading the way for the third-place Broncos were Ben Dunne (8-0 at 113/120), Kam Luif (8-0 at 120/126), David Mayora (8-0 at 152), Will Prater (8-0 at 160), Sam Ostrowski (5-1 at 182/195) and AJ Tack (4-1 at 170).

In the consolation bracket, the top three teams were Alleman, Glenbard South and Ridgeview/Lexington.

Coach Norman Jacks’ Pioneers beat Glenbard South 56-15 and Ridgeview/Lexington 51-24 while coach Derrick Crenshaw’s Raiders won 41-21 over Ridgeview/Lexington, which is coached by Jeremy Lopshire.

The Pioneers also beat East Alton-Wood River, Clinton, High School of Saint Thomas More and Pittsfield/Pleasant Hill while falling to LeRoy/Tri-Valley and Montini Catholic to finish 6-2.

Top performers for Alleman were Jason Bowker (8-0 at 285), Adam Jacks (7-1 at 132), Carlos Ramirez (7-1 at 138) and Andrew Torres (7-1 at 182).

Coach Brett Porter’s Mattoon Greenwave also went 6-2, beating Clinton, Westosha Central, WI Glenbard South, Lutheran School Association Decatur, Attica, IN and Bismarck-Henning-Rossville-Alvin/Armstrong while falling to Jacksonville and Montini Catholic.

Leading the way for Mattoon were Logan Blackburn (8-0 at 126), Korbin Bateman (8-0 at 132/138), Leo Meyer (8-0 at 220/285), Ben Capitosti (7-0 at 138), Blaine Howell (5-0 at 160/170) and Aidan Blackburn (6-1 at 152/160).

Mahomet-Seymour went 5-3 with wins over Attica, IN, Southwood, IN, Illinois Valley Central, High School of Saint Thomas More and University High while losing to Westosha Central, WI, LeRoy/Tri-Valley and Seeger, IN. Top performers for the Bulldogs were Lukas Altstetter (7-1 at 106/113) and Hayden Hart (4-1 at 182). It was a fine showing, considering that most of coach Rob Ledin’s team was competing at Granite City, where they got edged for top honors.

Glenbard South went 5-4, beating Lutheran School Association Decatur, Illinois Valley Central, East Alton-Wood River, Rantoul and Ridgeview/Lexington while falling to Mattoon, Westosha Central, WI, Clinton and Alleman. Reid Sebahar (7-2 at 145/152) paced the Raiders.

Clinton finished with a 3-3 mark, Leading the way for the Maroons were Will Winter (6-0 at 145/152), Kristan Hibbard (5-0 at 170), Rihanna Ortiz (5-1 at 106), Cayden Poole (5-1 at 132/138) and Karl Morlock (4-1 at 195). 

Bismarck-Henning-Rossville-Alvin/Armstrong went 3-4 over the two days. Top performers for the Blue Devils were Hunter Wilson (7-0 at 285), Ayden Golden (6-1 at 132) and Nathaniel Gnaden (6-1 at 220). 

The host school, High School of Saint Thomas More, was led by Brody Cuppernell (7-0 at 195/220), Joseph Clavey (6-1 at 152/160) and James Schmidt (6-1 at 220/285).

Other top performers in the tournament included Ridgeview/Lexington’s Braydon Campbell (6-0 at 126/132) and Hunter Tillotson (5-1 at 195/220), Lutheran School Association Decatur’s 

Clinton VerHeecke (7-0 at 113/120) and Garrett VerHeecke (7-0 at 120/126), East Alton-Wood River’s Drake Champlin (6-0 at 220), North Boone’s Maysen Smith (5-1 at 145/152), Rantoul’s 

Drew Owen (5-1 at 195/220) and Pittsfield/Pleasant Hill’s Tucker Cook (4-1 at 182/195).

Title meet – Saint Thomas More New Years Challenge – LeRoy/Tri-Valley vs. Jacksonville

106 – Landon Sakinas (LeRoy/Tri-Valley) TF 16-1 Karley Moore (Jacksonville), L 5-0

113 – Brady Mouser (LeRoy/Tri-Valley) F 0:45 Hunter Hayes (Jacksonville), L 11-0

120 – Deshawn Armstrong (Jacksonville) D 7-3 Kobe Brent (LeRoy/Tri-Valley), J 3-11

126 – Brock Owens (LeRoy/Tri-Valley) F 3:46 Cannon Suter (Jacksonville), L17-3

132 – Colton Prosser (LeRoy/Tri-Valley) F 1:01 Miles Rowe (Jacksonville), L 23-3

138 – Jack Green (LeRoy/Tri-Valley) F 0:35 Nathaniel Crook (Jacksonville), L 29-3

145 – Joe Reif (Jacksonville) MD 8-0 Connor Lyons (LeRoy/Tri-Valley), J 7-29

152 – James Cotton (Jacksonville) MD 15-3 Bo Zeleznik (LeRoy/Tri-Valley), J 11-29

160 – Ethan Conaty (LeRoy/Tri-Valley) D 6-3 Abram Davidson (Jacksonville), L 32-11

170 – Tyson Brent (LeRoy/Tri-Valley) MD 12-2 Keaton Wilhelm (Jacksonville), L 36-11

182 – Luca Thies (Jacksonville) F 0:40 Adam Moore (LeRoy/Tri-Valley), J 17-36

195 – Mason Meyer (Jacksonville) FFT No opponent (LeRoy/Tri-Valley), J 23-36

220 – Jacob Bischoff (LeRoy/Tri-Valley) D 3-1 Oliver Cooley (Jacksonville), L 39-23

285 – Tate Sigler (LeRoy/Tri-Valley) F 5:21 Aiden Surratt (Jacksonville), L 45-23

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