Kendall Gibbs knew what to expect when he went to overtime in the Public League wrestling tournament Sunday at Chicago State.
The Bowen senior’s opponent, Morgan Park senior Jaleel Hampton, also was his long-time teammate with the Harvey Twisters age-group program.
Gibbs improved to 4-0 in the series by getting an escape in the third overtime period for a 3-2 win that gave him the 145-pound title.
“Man, I feel good,” Gibbs said. “Last year, I came in third. The year before that, I couldn’t make weight. So you know, it’s my senior year, I had to do it.”
Gibbs, who improved to 32-3, was one of two champs who had to work extra to win. The other was Clemente’s Georgie Sosa (30-4), who got an escape and a takedown in an overtime flurry to beat Taft’s David Wojs 4-1 in the 160 final.
Sosa had plenty in the tank at the end of a win he hopes will help put his team on the radar of prospective athletes. “I train with some MMA fighters and the conditioning [helps] a lot,” he said. “We’re just building our program to make sure the kids in the neighborhood know about Clemente and the wrestling team.”
South Siders will be aware of Simeon after this tournament. Behind titles from Deondre Ward (23-1) at 152 and Antoine Cobb (23-2) at 170, the Wolverines won their first Public League title, 213-184 over Taft. Lane (157), defending champ Bowen (113.5) and Amundsen (102) rounded out the top five teams.
“Simeon is known for basketball and football,” Cobb said. “We’re trying to make it known this is the third sport Simeon is good at.”
Four wrestlers maintained their perfect records by winning titles: Lane’s Danny Carlson (34-0) at 132, Bowen’s Brandyn Peacock (32-0) at 195, Douglass’ Terry Martin (18-0) at 220 and Lindblom’s Deuce Rachal (20-0) at 285.
It’s still a work in progress for Rachal, who moved up after winning city at 220 last year.
“I have to get my wind up because I picked up weight,” he said. “It’s more slow-paced, but I have the gas to finish.”
“I’m doing a lot better than last year,” Carlson said. “I’m moving on my feet, I’m turning my opponents more on top. That’s big, because those cheap points [are] what’s key Downstate.”
Rachal, Martin, Morgan Park’s Devante Williams (17-1 at 113), Bowen’s Cory Wilson (33-2 at 120), Lane’s Jake Davis (35-7 at 138) and Taft’s Nico Gallo (35-1 at 182) were all repeat champs.
Lane also got a title from freshman Kaiden Friedrich (23-12 at 106) and Amundsen’s John Flores (25-3) took first at 126.