Deerfield's Colton Emmerich celebrates after defeating Dundee-Crown's Christian Brunner during the 3A IHSA State Finals in Champaign on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. | Mike Mantucca / For Sun-Times Media
CHAMPAIGN — The record book is getting a makeover.
Lake Forest High School’s Regis Durbin became the first state champion in program history, while Colton Emmerich earned the first title for Deerfield since 1964.
“I never thought I would have this feeling,” Emmerich said. “I still don’t know if this is really life or if I’m dreaming, but I love it.”
Emmerich (47-1) took an early lead and never relented against Dundee-Crown’s Christian Brunner (43-5), winning 5-3.
“Hopefully there are many more champions (from Deerfield) to come,” Emmerich said.
In the only 3A title bout featuring unbeaten wrestlers, Durbin (41-0) defeated Lockport’s Tyler Johnson (51-1) for the 195-pound crown. It was a stalemate throughout, but Durbin managed an escape in the ultimate tiebreaker for a 3-2 overtime win.
“I couldn’t really get my offense going, so I was making sure there was no way he was taking me down,” Durbin said.
“It’s great for our program,” he added. “I can’t thank coach (Matt) Fiordirosa enough.”
Wauconda’s Nate Magiera (48-1) was another champion from the area and defeated Montini’s Edgar Ruano (35-5) for the 220-pound champion in 2A. Magiera was dynamite, rolling to a 17-4 win.
“We definitely had a game plan coming in,” Magiera said. “I remember coach (Tom) Nance saying to me in the background, ‘If you have a shot early, take it.’ I saw the shot and took it right away. I think that was one of my big things — I wanted to be more aggressive.”
Libertyville’s Steve Polakowski (42-2) fell in title action to Thornwood junior Kris Williams, a three-time state champion. Polakowski took Williams (30-0) to deep waters, but eventually dropped a 2-1 decision in overtime.
“As hard it was right after the loss, this is something special to be a part of no matter how it ends,” Polakowski said. “I’m really glad I got the opportunity for this.”
Warren’s Emery Parker (39-3) also fell in title action. Parker dropped a 10-5 decision to Oak Park-River Forest’s Kamal Bey (39-6).
Medalists out in force
Libertyville’s Kayne MacCallum (43-2) took bronze after topping Lincoln-Way Central’s Bryce Gorman (44-2) with a takedown in overtime at 170. It was revenge for MacCallum following a December loss to Gorman in the finals of the Hoffman Estates Invite.
Chris McDermand, fourth at heavyweight, and Joey Gunther, sixth at 152 pounds, made it four placers for Libertyville.
Deerfield’s Andrew Merholz (50-5) finished third with a convincing 13-5 decision over Oak Park-River Forest’s Richard Townsell at 120 pounds.
Grant’s Nick Koch (40-7) placed sixth in the loaded 113-pound field.
In 2A, Vernon Hill’s Jordan Reich (42-5) notched third at 120 pounds while Antioch’s George Bessette (41-6) took fourth at 195 and Briley Schultz (36-6) sixth at 113.
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