Tournament roundup: Berman & Floyd Bee

by Mike Garofola for the IWCOA.


Palatine –

It was too much York Dukes for the field at the 68th Berman Holiday Classic who overpowered its rivals en route to lifting the championship trophy Thursday afternoon at host Palatine High School.

The Dukes advanced seven into the finals – claiming five titles – including three consecutive champions at the lower weights with Zach Parisi (132, 25-0) who was sandwiched around Mondo Martinelli (126) and Frank Nitti at 138 who all impressed en route to their respective individual titles.

“We’ve got a really hard working room, with the new guys coming in this year helping to push each other each, and every day,” said Parisi, who came into the day as the No. 5 rated man according to the latest Illinois Matmen polls.

Teammates Danny Decristofaro (175, 23-2) and Austin Bagdasarian (215, 24-4) would join Parisi atop of the podium at the end of the day.

Parisi, who recently committed to wrestle next fall at the University of Chicago, is now a two-time champ here along with Decristofaro, who continues to explore his collegiate options, which he hopes will include wrestling, while pursuing an Integration degree.

It was little surprise to see why the final team standings would end with tournament champion York having (10) of its men finish top five, followed closely by Richmond-Burton (8) and Mundelein, Maine South, and South Elgin all with (7) in the top five.

When the final match ended, York would collect 233.0 overall points, Mundelein was next at 173.0, with 2022 Berman champ Maine South sitting in third with 164.5.

Richmond-Burton, led by Emmett Nelson (22-0), was fourth overall with 138.5, two points in front of South Elgin (136.5) which celebrated titles from Julius Avendano (106, 21-2) and sophomore Leo Rosas (23-2) at 150.

“(Just) a real gutsy effort from Julius who had to dig down deep to beat a very good opponent from Geneva (Sammy Sikorsky) in his final,” said a proud South Elgin

head coach, James Gloudeman.

The aforementioned Emmett Nelson, third a year ago in Champaign with a 43-2 record, is currently the No. 2 man behind senior Mason Tieffel from Benton.

With this Berman Holiday Classic title, Nelson now has four in the first half of the 2023/24 campaign.

Seniors Ethan Thomas (157, 17-4) and Macson Rastrelli (165, 17-6) spent a combined 1:41 on the mat to give Mundelein its two titles on the day.

Third place Maine South was three-for-three on mat No. 1 with top ranked Teddy Flores (120, 25-0) continuing his blistering start to his senior year for the Hawks.

Flores, who was named O.W. afterwards, cruised into his final where he would meet No. 10 Demetrios Carrera (22-2) who kept things close during a 5-1 decision.

“I worked on fine tuning a lot of what I do, but the most important area that I paid a lot of attention to was my diet – just watching very closely as to what I was putting into my body,” said Flores, third at state last season with a 37-3 record.

Flores’ teammates Brett Harman (113) and heavyweight Tyler Fortis (24-1) both carried off championship trophies.

Carrera would set a handful of South Elgin program records when as a freshmen, he advanced to the state tournament at 106 – finishing with a 38-2 overall record.

The Palatine faithful were treated to its first Berman title since 2007 when junior Trey Widlowski (20-3) used an escape with 4.2 seconds remaining in regulation to defeat Stevenson senior Richie Gueorguiev, 5-4 in the final at 190 pounds.

Palatine fans will remember its two-time state qualifier Dale Jarosch, who last won here in 2007, the same year he earned a fourth place state medal at 112 pounds under-then head coach, Dan Collins, himself a two-time state champion in 1993 and 1994 for his alma mater.

68th Berman Holiday Classic championship match results

106- Julius Avendano (South Elgin) D 12-7 Sammy Sikorsky (Geneva).

113- Brett Harman (Maine South) D 6-1 Bryce Mensik (Lake Park).

120- Teddy Flores (Maine South) D  5-1 Demetrios Carrera (South Elgin).

126- Mondo Martinelli (York) F 3:21 Izaiah Gonzalez (Bremen).

132- Zach Parisi (York) F 1:32 Doug Phillips (Burlington Central).

138- Frank Nitti (York) D 11-4 Ethan Banda (Mundelein).

144- Emmett Nelson (Richmond-Burton) MD 14-3 Jackson Hanselman (York).

150- Leo Rosas (South Elgin) F 5:17 Kevin Hernandez (Mundelein).

157- Ethan Thomas (Mundelein) F 0:55 Nick Decrisofaro (York).

165- Macson Rastrelli (Mundelein) F 0:48 Dominick Dickins (Richmond-Burton).

175- Danny Decrisofaro (York) D 9-3 Jovani Piazza (Hinsdale South).

190- Trey Widlowski (Palatine) D 5-4 Richie Gueorguiev (Stevenson).

215- Austin Bagdasarian (York) F 5:36 Joe Petit (Geneva).

285- Tyler Fortis (Maine South) F 5:34 Abisai Hernanez (Mundelein).

Team Standings:

York 233.0, Mundelein 173.0, Maine South 164.5, Richmond-Burton 138.5, South Elgin 136.5, Hinsdale South 132.0, Oswego East 80.0, Rolling Meadows 75.5, 

Grant/Leyden 71.0, Lake Park 69.5, Palatine 64.5, Bremen 62.5, Geneva 59.5,

Stevenson 56.0, Burlington Central 49.0, Grayslake North 46.0, Zion-Benton 34.5.


Lincoln –

It was at this time last year that officials honored Floyd Bee, the beloved, and long time former Lincoln High School head coach by renaming the long running Floyd Bee Tournament to the Floyd Bee Memorial Holiday Tournament.

Coach Bee, who was a three-time state qualifier at Lanphier High School where he graduated from in 1958 became head coach at Lincoln where he enjoyed 30 years of winning wrestling from 1970-2000 where he amassed 451 dual meet victories.

Mr. Bee would pass away at the age of 82 last August, but school officials made sure to keep the memory of this IWCOA, and National Hall of Fame gentlemen in front of all to see with the name change of his tournament which has gone on for over 50 years.

No doubt that Mr. Bee would have enjoyed the thrilling finish to his tournament that saw two long days of action between (31) teams be decided by just one-half points with Normal Community outlasting Lincoln-Way Central 403.0-402.5.

Chicago St. Patrick was not far behind, finishing third overall with 398.0, followed closely by Gibson-City-Melvin Sibley (379.5) and Rock Island, which used a trio of individual titles to earn fifth place with its 351.0 points.

“I was very proud of how well our guys would compete over the weekend,” begins Normal Community head coach, Trevor Kaufman.

“(Lincoln-Way Central) is a great team, coached by a local legend in our area, and that’s Tyrone Byrd.”

“I was in junior high at Olympia when he was dominating the high school ranks at Clinton High School, and he always has well coached, and tough teams, so anytime you can finish in front of him is a good day.”

Kaufman went on to say that although his four individual champions: Jackson Soney (106, 25-0), Caden Correll (24-2), Cole Gentsch (21-3) and Cooper Caraway (24-2) provided plenty of points to the cause – the difference between trading places with Lincoln-Way Central at the end was this.

“It was the contributions from our unheralded kids that really pulled us through – guys like Hunter Hardwick at (50) and Victor Reyes at (60) just did their job when we needed it,” said Kaufman.

Soney would pin his way to the 106-pound title, and now has (21) pins, while not conceding a single point along the way.

Correll, No. 4 in the state, would pin Truth Vesey (Rock Island) who entered the weekend at the No. 1 guy in 2A at 113.

Gentsch recorded a 6-0 victory over Deshawn Armstrong (Jacksonville) at 120 in a rematch of an early season contest, while Caraway, who collected his 100th pin of his career over the weekend, won at 215 due to a medical forfeit.

Runner-up Lincoln-Way Central would celebrate just one individual title on Saturday, this one coming from Caden Harvey (17-6) who would decision Carson Maxey (18-3) from Gibson-City – Melvin-Sibley in the 157 pound final.

“Caden battled through two days – pulling off some gritty wins, so it was nice to see him earn a championship,” said Byrd.

“Day No. 2 for us was rough at the start, but we recovered, and chipped away at the tournament leaders by maximizing our bonus points – so I was proud of the guys for finishing the way we did.”

Byrds’ club was chasing Normal Community, and third place St. Patrick by nearly 80 points after the first two rounds on Friday.

“As coaches, we talk about not focusing on the things you have no control over, and these two days were the perfect example as they guys turned their attention to what they ‘could’ control, which was effort and attitude.”

Rock Island did well during the final session, claiming a trio of titles from Daniel McGhee (126, 21-1), Amare Overton (175, 21-2) and Andrew Marquez (190, 21-1) all of whom were 2023 state medal winners.

Gibson City – Melvin-Sibley head coach Cody Moody was thrilled with the two-day effort from his young men who would stay in the race all throughout during its maiden voyage to the Floyd Bee.

“We approached this tournament as an opportunity to practice what we want to do in the post-season – we asked the guys to focus on effort, not outcome in order to free them up to just compete without pressure,” begins Moody.

Our first few rounds really set the tone for what we expected out of the tournament – so in the end, it was an entire team effort, and one that will help us set our sight(s) on a conference team title, regional title, and (then) a birth in the 1A dual-team state tournament.”

Moody would praise his terrific threesome of returning state qualifiers: Shawn Schlickman, Aiden Sancken, and the aforementioned Carson Maxey who he says continued to compete at the level needed in order to give themselves opportunities to be at the top of the podium each time out.”

A quick look at the six who raised the championship bracket begins with DePaul Prep junior, and two-time state qualifier, Max Rosen (23-0) at 132 followed by the senior from Galesburg, Gage Shipp, now 20-0 after his win at 138.

Two-time state qualifier, RaMez Watson (17-1) from Pekin was the champ at 144, while another two-time state qualifier, Tyson Rakers (20-1) solidified his No. 4 ranking in the state at 150 after his win in his weight class.

Dunlap senior, No. 2 Nick Mueller (23-1) pinned his way to a 165-pound crown to claim his second major title of the season for the three-time state qualifier, and 2023 state runner-up at 160. 

Last, and certainly not least, was the superb two days of play turned in by Jack Barnhart (16-0, Champaign Centennial) who in his five matches registered five pins – needing just over five minutes to do so.

The No. 2 man in 2A at 285 pounds was recently named first team All-State, and All-Academic by the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association.

Floyd Bee Championship Match Results

106: Jackson Soney (Normal Community) MD 8-0 Daniel Goodwin (St. Patrick).

113- Caden Correll (Normal Community) F 4:00 Truth Vesey (Rock Island) 4:00.

120- Cole Gentsch (Normal Community) D 6-0 Deshawn Armstrong (Jacksonville).

126- Daniel McGhee (Rock Island) F 3:12. Rocky Almendarez (Galesburg) 3:12

132- Max Rosen (DePaul Prep) D 7-4 Isaac Smith (Carbondale) 7-4.

138- Gauge Shipp (Galesburg) F 3:47 Trevor Schoonover (Champaign Centennial).

144- RaMez Watson (Pekin) D 5-3 Nikolas Karamaniolas (St. Patrick).

150- Tyson Rakers (Highland) SV-1 4-2 Joe Reif (Jacksonville).

157- Caden Harvey (Lincoln-Way Central) D 5-3 Carson Maxey (Gibson-City/Melvin-Sibley).

165- Nick Mueller (Dunlap) D 5-2 Dawson McConnell (Lincoln).

175- Amare Overton (Rock Island) F 5:51Phillip Shaw IV (Danville).

190- Andrew Marquez (Rock Island) D 12-5 Aiden Sancken (Gibson-City/Melvin-Sibley.

215- Cooper Caraway (Normal Community) FFT Brody Cuppernell (St. Thomas More).

285- Jack Barnhart (Champaign Centennial) F 1:15 Jose Del Toro (East Peoria).

Floyd Bee Team Standings:

Normal Community 403.0, Lincoln-Way Central 402.5, St. Patrick 398.0, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 379.5, Rock Island 351.0, Lincoln 295.0, Galesburg 292.5,

DePaul Prep 263.0, Jacksonville 240.0, Champaign Centennial 230.0, Peoria Notre Dame 221.0, Rochelle 188.5, Dunlap 174.0, Highland 166.5, East Peoria 164.5,

Marengo 160.0, Chatham-Glenwood 159.5, Limestone 149.0, Carbondale 143.0,

Pekin 138.0, Danville, Jerseyville 128.0 each, North Boone 113.0, St. Thomas More 109.0, East St. Louis 107.5, Thornton 100.5, Heyworth 73.0, Lanphier 64.0, Springfield 42.0, Taylorville 39.0.

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