Sunday, February 23, 2014

Hobbs Places 5th at 2014 IHSA State Wrestling Tournament

The 2013-2014 wrestling season has finally come to a close for the Mustangs.  Three Mustangs wrestled this past weekend at the IHSA State Wrestling Tournament in Champaign, IL.  Michael Hobbs (SR-285) completed a storied career at HWT for the Mustangs with a 5th place All-State finish in what was perhaps the deepest HWT field in 30 years.  The weight class included several high school All-Americans, several ranked in the top 20 in the nation and also the defending state champion at that weight class.  Michael was right in the mix and finished 3-2 on weekend for his 5th place finish and the seventh time in the last eight years that the Mustangs have had an All-State wrestler.

Michael started the tournament with a last second win over #6 ranked Kyrin Tucker from Normal West who came into the match 32-2.  This put Hobbs in the Quarterfinals for the second consective year and also a facing a familiar foe in Libertyville's Chris McDermand.  Hobbs and McDermand battled in a tight match as they always do, unfortunately McDermand ultimately prevailed in the third overtime period 5-3.  This put Hobbs in the wrestlebacks where he pinned Matt Zolper from Schaumburg and then defeated Mantas Drukteinis from Stagg 4-3 with a takedown in the final five seconds.  Hobbs then came out on the wrong end of an 8-0 decision with Lincoln Way East's Nicky Allegretti which meant he would wrestle for 5th place.  In the placing match, Hobbs defeated #8 ranked Bryan Ditchman from Lincoln Way Central with another third period takedown 3-1 to claim 5th place and All-State status.

Hobbs finishes the season with a record of 38-6.  All of the season's statistics will be finalized prior to the Awards Night on March 6th, but Hobbs looks to be among the school's best in pins, two year win totals and wins in the Heavyweight division.  It's also impossible to put a number on the amount of time that Michael has put into getting himself to this point over the past four years.  Michael won numerous All-American honors (3X and will compete this summer) and was also a member of several national championship dual teams for IL.

Juniors Joe Nugent (132) and Shawn Jager (160) also competed in the state tournament for the Mustangs, but failed to win any matches on the weekend.  Nugent dropped a 9-0 decision to #2 ranked Dan Radcliffe from Lockport, and was then eliminated from the tournament when Radcliffe was head locked and pinned by Bobby Alexander from Conant.  Jager faced off against #8 ranked Emery Parker from Warren in his first match.  While Parker was somewhat of an unknown before the tournament started, he wasn't for very long as he wrestled his way all the way to the finals including a first period fall over Jager.  Jager then dropped a decision to Maine South's Tom Brewster who finished with a 4th place finish at 160 lbs.  While the state tournament did not end how Nugent and Jager would have liked, both will have a shot at earning a medal and All-State status next year in their senior seasons.  The Mustangs will return two state qualifiers for the second consecutive year for the first time in school history.