The Storm Has Arrived

Amy Herff, Crown Writer and Photographer

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The storm has been building and growing all season as the hurricane of wrestlers has rolled through. The Marian Central wrestlers have beat multiple teams throughout the year by a number of points. The team consists of fourteen starters, ranging in weight from 106 pounds to 285 pounds, along with head coach David Silva and five other coaches. The team has competed in 30 duels and five tournaments, showing off their skill and drive to win.  With a 27-3 record, the wrestling team has won the ESCC tournament, the ESCC duel tournament, the class 2A Regional for the first time in Marian Central history, and is currently ranked second in the state.

The wrestling program has been gaining strength, numbers, and experience over the past few years. Their last state champion was Rich Powers winning back-to-back state championships in 1986 and 1987. This year that has all changed; the team has placed at three tournaments including the Carmel Catholic Duel Tournament in first place, The Geneva Invite in second place, and the Batavia Invite in second place. Beating the second place team, Crystal Lake Central, by over 70 points, ten out of the fourteen starters had placed at the Harvard High School regional and have moved forward to the individual sectional hosted by Grayslake Central High School. “It was the best feeling when I qualified for state, this is the fourth time I will have competed at the state tournament which was a goal of mine since day one,” stated Anthony Randazzo (12) Six out of the ten sectionals qualifiers had placed at the sectional tournament to now move on to the state tournament hosted by the University of Illinois in Champaign Illinois.

The wrestlers who moved forward to state included Jack Harman (10) at 106 pounds, Bryce Shelton (9) at 120 pounds, Daniel Valeria (10) at 126 pounds, Anthony Randazzo (12) at 132 pounds, Dylan Connell (9) at 152 pounds, and Luke Silva (12) at 160 pounds. These wrestlers have been training for state since November and are now one of sixteen wrestlers competing to place at the state finals. Freshman Dylan Connell stated, “I’m extremely excited to have made it to the state tournament as a freshman, beating seniors all season and going to the finals at state was amazing!” The individual state tournament took place February 15th through the 17th. After the long weekend Luke Silva (12) took fifth place and Dylan Connell (9) took first. Three days later the team sectional took place on Tuesday, February 20, at Fenton High School against Niles Notre Dame. Marian beat Niles with a 32-24 score and moved forward as a team to state. Aiden McCrea states, “We will wrestle like it’s our last match ever; go hard or go home.” This is what motivated McCrea and his team as they wrestled at The Grossinger Arena in Bloomington, Illinois on Saturday, February 24 at 9 A.M. Unfortunately, the team lost to the two-time state champion team, Washington High School.

The two place winners, as well as the rest of the team, have had the most successful year possible. “It was truly one of the coolest experiences; being down on the mat in the arena with the best of the best is amazing. The result isn’t what we wanted, but we will be back,” stated Joey Fitzgerald (11) The team hopes to have many future state placers and continue their winning record as well as placing at the team state tournament next season.

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