Dons Take Crown at Wrestling Tournament
Notre Dame sends six wrestlers to the title mat in edging Lincoln-Way Central in Hoffman Estates.
The final round of Saturday's 12-team Hoffman Estates tournament didn't quite go the way Notre Dame wrestling coach Augie Genovesi would have liked.
But the final team scores added up exactly the way he wanted.
"We don't have guys that stand out individually," Genovesi said. "We just have a good team. We only lost three seniors and we started eleven underclassmen last year, and they're all back."
Tournament champion Notre Dame marched six wrestlers to the title mat and placed 12 wrestlers on the day in earning a 216.5 to 212 edge over second-place Lincoln-Way Central.
"Our team is ranked and we're doing really good," Dons senior Jimmy Wallenberg said. "We have a solid team and we're working hard. Today was a good day."
Wallenberg and Kevin Stahmer won individual titles, with unbeaten Wallenberg (16-0) posting a 4-1 win on the title mat at 152 over Geneva's Nick Bradberry.
"I expected to win," Wallenberg said. "I wrestled well today. I've been drilling a lot with our 160-pounder, Joe Cortese, and drilling with our upper and lower weights, and it's making me better."
Stahmer (12-2) won 7-3 over Naperville Central's Luke Roth to win the title at 189 pounds. The second-seeded junior opened with a pin before posting an 8-4 semifinal victory over third-seeded Richard Vachula of Libertyville.
Notre Dame had four runners-up on the night in Matt Sommers (103), Charlie Doyle (171), Colton Kelly (215), and heavyweight Quinn Machain.
Sommers (14-3) posted a pair of wins before losing a 5-4 decision on the title mat to New Trier's Chris Alcock, while Doyle (8-4) suffered his only loss of the day on the title mat, to returning Illinois state champion Steve Congenie of Willowbrook.
Machain (12-3) was tied 1-1 with time running out in his title match before Naperville Central's James Mitchell earned a late takedown for the win, and Kelly (12-3) took Libertyville's Luke Miller to the limit in their title match.
"He took Miller into overtime and he had his opportunities to win the match," Genovesi said. Miller won the title with a takedown in overtime.
The Dons also got a third at 119 from Scott Smith (11-4), and fourths from Brendan Moore (7-4) at 125, Tim Donnely (13-4) at 135, and Jimmy Biancofiore (12-4) at 145 pounds.
Sean Heneghan (14-3 at 130) and Cortese (9-3 at 160) also chipped in fifth-place finishes for a Dons team currently ranked 14th in Class 3A by Illinois Best Weekly, the state's premier rankings system.
"We have leaders this year," Wallenberg said. "Me, Mike Rice, and Matt Sommers are all trying to be good leaders. Our upper weights are good and our lower weights are solid, too."
"We could have wrestled better in our last round. We let a few matches slip away," Genovesi said. "So we've got plenty of work to do."