Two wrestling programs with blueprints for long-term success met in the Class 2A Bremen Sectional on Tuesday night, and one team showed it’s a little farther along.
Simeon is heading to the IHSA team state finals for the first time after cruising past short-handed Evergreen Park 52-14.
The Wolverines, who were coming off the program’s first regional title in coach David Burchett’s third season, will meet Geneseo — a 39-24 winner over Lincoln-Way West at LaSalle-Peru — Saturday in the Class 2A quarterfinals at U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington.
“It means a lot, knowing we are a Chicago team and a (third)-year program,” Simeon junior Carnell Wrencher said. “We just really worked hard to get here.”
By getting to state, the Wolverines may be able to step out of the shadow of some of the school’s other high-profile teams.
“We were trying to make a statement,” Wrencher said. “Simeon, they’re not known for wrestling. We’re going to make a name for ourself.”
That’s what Burchett wants to hear.
“We tell them we’ve been good all season — now is the time to be great,” he said. “We’ve got a big stage (to) show everybody what we’ve got.”
On Tuesday, the Wolverines won the first four bouts in a match that started at 170 pounds and cruised from there. Antoine Cobb had a fall at 170, Arnell Anderson (182) and Antonio Crosby (195) won decisions and William Whitehead (220) earned a major decision.
Wrencher added a fall at 132 and the Wolverines, who also took advantage of several forfeits by the Mustangs.
“Sometimes it’s a little to much to ask to come back from that big of a deficit,” Evergreen Park coach Dave Pierce said.
The Mustangs (10-12) did have wins from four seniors: Tremane Holt at 285, Eddie Rebollo (113), Will Jones (126) and Elliot Wilson (160).
They were joined in Tuesday’s lineup by one junior, four sophomores and one freshman.
“We’re pretty young, so we’ve got something to look forward to,” said Pierce, whose team won its first regional since 1996. “I’m pleased.
This is my fourth year [at Evergreen Park]. We’re trying to get kids excited about the sport of wrestling.”