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Providence leads after first day of Feutz Classic

By Curt Herron

Providence and Oak Park gave good indications of why they're the state's top-ranked Class 3A teams at the opening day of the Feutz Classic Friday at Conant.

But Crystal Lake Central, which is ranked second to Montini in Class 2A, showed that it can also hang tough with the big boys.

Following the quarterfinals of the two-day competition, Providence held first place with 109 points while Crystal Lake Central led Oak Park 104.5-104 for second.

Glenbard North (94.5), Leyden (83), Schaumburg (72.5), St. Charles East (64), Conant (59), Marmion (58) and Rolling Meadows (58) rounded out the top 10 teams.

The Celtics and Huskies each advanced seven individuals to Saturday's semifinals while the Tigers had five wrestlers who moved on.

Advancing for Providence were Ed Klimara (103), Edwin Cooper (112), Tom Ambrose (119), Mike Togher (130), Brett Phillips (145), Brian Walsh (152) and
Phil Kollinger (171).

Falling in the quarterfinals for the Celtics were Jake Wojcik (135), Nick Grabavoy (160) and Victor Vernon (215).

The biggest quarterfinal of the night involved Wojcik and Glenbard North's Jimmy Chase. A year ago, Chase won the state title at 130 while Wojcik placed fifth.

In Friday's matchup, the two wrestlers exchanged escape points in regulation before Chase got a takedown with one second left in overtime to claim a 3-1 victory.

Despite missing some of his key performers from a year ago, who are still bouncing back from a semifinal appearance in football, Celtic coach Keith Healy liked what he saw from his squad.

"I saw some good things today," Healy said. "We were able to bounce back from some situations. We have some guys who normally wouldn't be getting matches who are getting in shape quicker and are out there learning, so this will only benefit them.

"It was a great match between Jake and Chase, the kind of match that I was hoping for where both kids went after it. What I love about this tournament is that you have a lot of good individuals here and you never know who you're going to see."

Earning semifinals spots for Crystal Lake Central were Chris Maier (103), Chris Malouf (125), Joey Kielbasa (145), Trevor Parlberg (171) and Gage Harrah (215).

Tigers who lost quarterfinal matches were Trevor Jauch (112), Blake Sanderson (135) and Austin Marsden (160). Jauch threw a scare into top-ranked Cooper in the quarterfinals but the Providence wrestler pulled out a 7-5 win.

Oak Park's semifinalists are Kendall Hutchinson (112), Chris Dardanes (130), Nick Dardanes (135), Ellis Coleman (140), Dan Martin (152), Sammy Brooks (160) and Ben Brooks (189).

Huskies who fell in the quarterfinals were Jake Venerable (125), Matt Monson (215) and LaQuan Hightower (285).

Sammy Brooks was on the verge of losing in his quarterfinal match but he got a pin with 15 seconds left to knock off Crystal Lake Central's Marsden.

"It would have been nice to get a couple of other guys through," Huskies coach Mike Powell said. "We want our guys to perform well and wrestle hard, but we're competitive people so we want to win, too. We don't want to be right there we want to be on top.

"We have a bunch of four-year wrestlers who were in their first varsity tournament. We know with our tough schedule that they'll get better and better so we'll stay positive and keep pushing them. We think we're the hardest working program in the state."


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