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Plainfield C. turns tables

on day one at Moore-Prettyman


By Mike Garofola

Plainfield Central, low in the final tally one year ago, found themselves atop the leader board of the 18th Annual Moore -Prettyman Wrestling Invitational after the first day of competition Friday at Barrington.

The 34-team mega-tournament helped officially open the 2008-09 wrestling season as a jam-packed fieldhouse welcomed some of the best of the best Illinois wrestlers has to offer.

Central leads 2007 champion Neuqua Valley 136-128.5 heading into the action Saturday. Wrestling begins at 10 a.m. with fourth-round wrestle-back bouts, followed by the semi-finals. Championship matches are scheduled to start at 4 p.m.

Libertyville, fourth overall in the 2008 Class AA state dual-team tournament, was third with 101 points. Mid-Suburban League champ Wheeling tracked close behind with 97 points. Hoffman Estates (86), Barrington and Grant (tied at 85.5) and Waubonsie Valley (80.5) rounded out the the top 10.

Missing from action in a still star-studded group  were Matt Walters (ankle) of Neuqua Valley and Prospect senior Matt Boggess, who injured his knee earlier in the week.

The two state medalists from a year ago were on a collision course here if both were healthy at 140 pounds.

St. Rita sophomore Jahwon Akui, considered by many to be the top-rated player at 160 pounds, was not entered.

Tourney leader Central advanced six into the semifinals to Neuqua's five. The two sides will not meet in what could be crucial head-to-head bouts Saturday morning.

Wheeling's trio of 2008 state qualifiers, Luke Smith (125), David Aranda and Danny Vargas (189), will be joined by sophomore Mike Smith (130) who will meet Highland Park senior Danny Fisher. The Giant senior suffered through an injury-filled junior year. He hopes to recapture the magic of 2007 when he advanced to state at 112.

"I am just glad to be out there and wrestling," said a smiling Fisher, who missed most of last season with back problems.

Most of the Moore-Prettyman top seeds went through unscathed. However, 103 pounds was anything but safe. The top four seeds were banished into the back draw.

No. 1 Miah Shearer (Stillman Valley) fell to No. 7 Matt Garelli of Fenwick (8-5) in the quarterfinals. No. 2 Tom Laskowske of Palatine, seventh here last year, was bounced by unseeded freshman Adrian Gonzalez of Barrington by a 5-4 first-round score.

"I didn't get a match in Wednesday in our quad (against Addison Trail, Jacobs and Highland Park) so that was my very first varsity match. It's all kind of hard to believe," said Gonzalez, the younger brother of former Barrington star and state medalist Josh Fiorito.

No. 3 Jackson Robinson (Neuqua Valley) and No. 4 Frank Contreras-Gomez of Round Lake each were dropped from the championship bracket by Nick Fontanneta of Crystal Lake South and Jake Smith of Zion-Benton respectively.

Top seeds Matt Holmes (Lakes, 135), Lee Munster (Grant, 171) and heavyweight Chris Narel (Lincoln-Way East) didn't have to work too hard Friday.

Narel pinned his way into the semifinals in 1:48. He'll meet Mike Eisele of Hoffman Estates. Munster used all of 2:24 minutes and Holmes 2:45.

Defending Moore-Prettyman champ Munster, a junior, will face Barrington junior Dan Santoro; Holmes (40-5 a year ago at 130) meets Plainfield senior Kyle Schomer. Holmes, a favorite to medal in class AA this winter, advanced to the state tournament last February after winning the Barrington Sectional with an overtime score over Dillon Pousson (Round Lake).

Other defending champions still alive on day two include: Joe Schwartz (Highland Park); Fenwick's Bobby Barnhisel; Holmes, Munster and Narel.

Class A Stillman Valley, runner-up last season to Wilmington in the old Class AA dual team championships, put itself in the thick of things with the big boys. The Cardinals tied for fifth place with East Suburban Catholic Conference power Marist with 93 points.

Today's Schedule: Season Schedule