RICHMOND-BURTON – Jacobs went 7-2 in the first- and third-place matches to dominate the team competition at the second annual Tom DuBois Wrestling Classic on Saturday.
The Golden Eagles won with 197 points, outdistancing second-place Johnsburg with 129. Woodstock was fourth with 117 and Marian Central was sixth with 106.
Mark Mamola won at 220 pounds for the Eagles, pinning Marengo’s Derek Caskey in 1:55. Mamola said first-year Jacobs coach Gary Conrad told the team before the tournament that it could win it. Mamola wasn’t sure if it was just for inspiration or if his coach actually believed it.
“[Conrad] was saying it as a positive, but we ended up doing it,” Mamola said. “We expect to go far this year.”
Conrad said from what he has seen so far from his team he was confident it would do well.
“I definitely thought we could win it,” Conrad said. “We have a lot of tough guys.”
Winning was great for the team and a great way to start his tenure as coach, Conrad said.
“It’s a great motivator,” Conrad said. “It’s great to be a new coach and win your first tournament.”
Austin Ryan at 106 and Chris Dranka (113) got things going for Jacobs, winning the first two weight classes. Ryan pinned Grayslake North’s Luke Pritchett in 36 seconds, and Dranka pinned Woodstock’s Jordan Powers in 2:51.
Ryan also was named the most outstanding wrestler for the lower half of the weight classes. He said winning as a team changes the atmosphere surrounding it.
“It makes the season a lot more fun,” Ryan said. “You stop thinking about you all the time.”
Dranka, a freshman, said the team focus at high school is different than wrestling club. His focus was not only to win his own title, but to get the pin for the team bonus points.
“You have to work as a team instead of individually,” Dranka said. “I wanted to get the pin so I could get the six points.”
Johnsburg had three title winners and two runners-up. In the 126 championship match, Brian McKay decisioned Jacobs Cody Ferencz, 4-2. In the heavier title matches, Christian Nugent pinned Jefferson’s Jon Porter in 3:35 at 195, and Brandon Boyle won by decision against Durand’s Zach Burdick, 4-1, at 285.
Johnsburg took second with only nine wrestlers competing. Some of the younger varsity wrestlers went to a different tournament to gain some experience. The strong team finish is a sign of his team’s development, Skyhawks coach Lenny Grodoski said.
“I think we’re definitely progressing,” Grodoski said. “The attitudes have definitely started to improve.”
R-B’s Grant Sutton decisioned Johnsburg’s Branden Peshek in the 120 title match. The good friends wrestle in club together and have faced off against each other numerous times. Sutton was able to get a reverse to start the third period for the, 2-0 win.
“We’ve know each other for a while,” Sutton said. “We both knew what was coming.”
Also for the Rockets, Cameron Kennedy won at 132 and Garrett Sutton won at 152. Garrett Sutton was named the most outstanding wrestler for the heavyweight classes.
Other local winners were Marian Central’s Charlie Forman at 145 and Hampshire’s Travis Keeling at 170.