ANTIOCH– Crystal Lake Central wrestling coach Justen Lehr had a simple analogy for facing Montini, owner of five straight Class 2A state championships.
"When you've got that staring you in the face, it's like knowing you're going to be in a car accident with a semi," Lehr said. "You just have to see how much damage you can do back."
The Tigers fell 59-7 in the Class 2A Antioch Dual Team sectional.
Lehr said he was proud of the way his team competed, as the Broncos had more wrestlers place at state (10 medalists) than the Tigers had state qualifiers (six). Central is familiar with Montini, as the Broncos defeated the Tigers in 2010 and 2011 for the Class 2A dual
team state championship.
Central found itself down early, getting four pins and a major decision in the first six matches.
Jake Parlberg picked up the first win for the Tigers, winning a 10-3 decision at 138. Parlberg was down 2-0 when he hit a switch from bottom, rotated towards his opponents head and picked up three back points for a five-point move.
Mike Zelasco had the other win for Central at 160. Zelasco led 4-2 after the first period, 7-2 after the second, and continued to work takedowns in the third to earn the extra team point, winning a 10-2 major decision.
The Tigers were without two state qualifiers in Brent Pfaff (195) and Kyle Fugiel (145). Lehr said Pfaff hurt his elbow and Fugiel was out with a triceps injury.
Lehr said this season's Tigers were a young team. Central only losses Pfaff, Darwin Stone (220) and Justin Ellman (182) from this season's lineup.
"We've got four seniors," Lehr said. "We'll be OK."