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Glenbard North's Tony Ramos won his second consecutive state title last season.

Ramos aims for record season


By Gary Larsen

For Tony Ramos, there is simply no rest in his chase for history.

“Even right after he’s won state titles, he still trains seven days a week,” said Glenbard North coach Mark Hahn. “He puts his time in. He’s earned it.”

Ramos' hunger should drive the Panthers' as he aims to become the first three-time state champion in his program's history. Joe Gomez and Chad Isacson were both two-time state champs for Glenbard North.

“It’s definitely my biggest individual goal right now, and I also want to win the Ironman this year,” Ramos said. “I didn’t accomplish that goal last year.”

Ramos enters his senior season with a career record of 130-4. He finished second in Illinois as a freshman at 103 pounds, became a state champion at 112 his sophomore year, and won the title at 125 last year.

Ramos has always been a terror on his feet. He already owns the takedown records for both a single season and a career at Glenbard North, but those
expecting to see him rely on his takedown abilities alone might be in for a surprise this season.

“He’s trying to be a complete wrestler, and I think you might see more pins out of him this year,” Hahn said.

In 2003, Travis Cherry set the Glenbard North record for pins in a season with 42, a record that puts Cherry second all-time in Illinois according to the IHSA. Ramos is thinking about the number 43.

“I told coach I’m getting that record this year,” he said. “I’ve been working a lot on top and bottom, because in college that’s what you need to be able to do.”

That college will be Iowa, where Ramos made a verbal commitment to Hawkeyes' head coach Tom Brands.

“The coaching staff is amazing, and I’ll be surrounded by Olympians,” Ramos said. “And that’s  my goal--to be an Olympic champ.”

One year after the Panthers sent four wrestlers to the state title mat in Champaign, Ramos and teammate Jimmy Chase return as two of Illinois’ three returning state champions this year. The third is Sandburg’s Jon Morrison.

Heading into his final high school season, Ramos feels better than he ever has in the circle.

“I used to work hard, but not smart" Ramos said, "Now I’m a lot smarter, I know when to do my execution, when to go live, drill some days. I had to learn how to do it all the right way.

“I can tell a difference. I’m more technical and I’m able to finish better. I’m doing sprint workouts, and I’m driving through takedowns better than before. Late in a match, it lets me be more explosive.”

Last year as a junior, Ramos began to take on more of a leadership role for the Panthers. This year, he’s ready to shoulder even more of that role, and he promises that this year’s squad “will be tougher than people might think.”

He’s also ready to take on the challenge of another top ranking and a season-long quest for another state title.

“He’s been at it for a long time, and he’s been competing at a high level for a long time,” Hahn said. “I don’t think he’ll be satisfied without winning a third one.”

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