Seven from area makes state cut at Plano
There were four champions and three runner-up finishes from the area on Saturday afternoon at the Plano Class 1A Sectional. Coal City had five grapplers advance to State competition next Saturday while Seneca sent a pair.
For Coal City, Cody Minnick won the 106-pound class, Corey Jurzak won the 113-pound division and Casey Brown at 120 pounds. For Seneca, Sage Friese won the 126-pound class. They will all get top seeds at the IHSA finals held later this week at Assembly Hall in Champaign.
Three others got runner up status. For Coal City that included Jake Czaja at 145 and Ryan Naples at 170 and for Seneca, 220-pounder Brandon Webb was also second.
"There's been a few times we've had more," Coal City coach Mark Masters said of getting five out of the sectional. "We got seven to state in '05, but not all five were in the sectional finals that year. In '97 we had six in the finals, which is pretty much the same thing that happened here where we had five in the finals."
For all four champions, it is their first sectional title ever.
"We had four go down last year and this year we have two, but there have been lulls in the program where we haven't had anyone," Seneca coach Todd Yegge said. "We had four here and we were hoping for four, but getting out of the sectional is not and easy task."
106 pounds — Cody Minnick
Minnick maintained his undefeated record this season by going 3-0 at the event. He is now 44-0 on the season.
"It feels pretty good to be a sectional champion," Minnick said. "Last year I lost to the Bishop McNamara kid in the finals and got second."
A sophomore, Minnick beat Zach Lorek of Bishop McNamara 6-1 in the finals. Previous to that, Minnick beat Kyle Kelderhouse of Peotone by fall in 1:45 and John Borghese of Guerin Prep by fall in 1:30.
"I kind of came in and wanted to continue what I have been doing," Minnick said.
113 pounds - Corey Jurzak
Jurzak also went 3-0 on the season to improve to 39-4 on the season. He defeated Colin Weis of Wilmington by fall in 1:26 to sink the championship
"I felt confident coming in," Jurzak said. "This was the fifth time I have wrestled him (Weis), so I kind of knew what to expect. I hit him with the pass-by and then pinned him with the cradle. I also hit him with that the last time."
The Coal City sophomore opened with a win by fall in 3:43 against Jose Rodriguez of Guerin Prep before beating A.J. Pascente of Lisle by an 11-2 major decision.
120 pounds — Casey Brown
A junior, Brown defeated Austin Headrick of Wilmington by a 7-1 decision in the finals.
Like Jurzak, Brown said that he has grown quite familiar with his Wilmington opponent in the finals.
"I think we've wrestled 10 times in the past and I've never lost," Brown said. "The last time I wrestled him at (I-8) Conference (Meet), I thought it would be close because he likes to wrestle on the edge, but that time I beat him 13-2."
A junior, Brown opened the event with a win over Lucas Meidema of Illiana Christian by fall in 3:04 and he also beat Danny Grant of Lisle in the semifinals by a 12-3 major decision.
Brown is 42-3 on the season.
126 — Sage Friese
For the fifth time this season, Friese has wrestled Herscher's Brandon Malone, three times in a row for championships. That coming in the I-8 Tournament and both in regional and sectional action. Friese won for the third time against Malone, dismantling the Herscher junior 13-2 for the title.
"From about the second time you wrestle someone, you kind of know what they are going to do. I know his best moves," Friese said. "By the fifth time, you know how they are going to wrestle. The key is that you have to go out and work up some new stuff and to keep working hard."
Friese opened with a win by fall in 3:15 of Liam McLaughlin of Peotone and then a win by fall in 1:11 in the semifinals over Mitch Darbaris of Grant Park.
"This feels great," Friese said. "I've been working hard all year and it's nice to see it pay off."
Friese is 39-2.
Czaja lost in the finals to Brian Czyk of Lisle in a tight 3-2 match. Before that he had defeated Christopher Larkin by fall in 1:07 and Logan Weaver of Manteno by fall in :54. He is 38-8 on the season.
Naples lost 19-6 in the finals to Sean Liaromatis of Wilmington. Previous to that, Naples beat Justin Wood of Manteno 13-1, Roderick Sanders 10-3 and Dushon Schaeffer of Lisle by fall in 1:07. He is 27-11.
Webb lost in the finals to Derrick Maisonet of Plano by a 9-4 score. Before that he opened by beating Ricardo Garibay by fall in 2:21, David McDermott of Westmont by fall in 2:44 and Beau Thomas of Herscher by fall at 7:25 in overtime. He is 39-7 on the year.
At 138, Dylan Pierard of Coal City went 3-2 and ends the season at 20-14; at 160, Tommy Lovett of Seneca went 3-2 and ends the year at 39-9 and at 170, Dayton Coyle of Seneca went 3-2 and finishes the winter season at 27-11.