Marlowe Middle School’s wrestling team got an idea during the season they were good, just not how good.
The Mustangs, located in Lake in the Hills, took second as a team at the Illinois Elementary School Association state meet at the Northern Illinois Convocation Center in DeKalb. Zach Spencer became the first Marlowe wrestler to win an individual state title with his championship at 105 pounds.
“It’s by far the best we’ve ever been,” Mustangs coach David Joslyn said. “I think we finished 30th one time.”
Marlowe was strong in both duals and tournaments during the season..
“We went through the dual season and won all 17 of our duals,” Joslyn said. “Nobody was closer than 28 points against us.”
Marlowe won tournaments at Deerfield, Lake Villa, Gurnee and on its home mats. The Mustangs knocked off eventual team state champions Deerfield Caruso at both the Deerfield and their home tournaments. Marlowe also won the Fox Valley Conference tournament.
"I knew we had a good team,” Joslyn said. “I didn’t know it was as strong as it was.”
Spencer may have gotten some of his best competition in the practice room. Juan Quiroz placed third, also at 105, for Marlowe. The IESA allows schools to enter multiple competitors at a weight class.
Spencer beat Quiroz in the finals of the Island Lake Regional and the DeKalb Sectional but both matches were decided by a point or two.
“They were so close. They went to overtime in regionals,” Joslyn said.
After wrestling most of the year at 112, Spencer went down to 105 for the state series.
Also placing for Marlowe were Anthony Randazzo, second at 119, and Peter Murray, third at 100.
Joslyn said his team attracted some club wrestlers this year. The appeal was being able to compete as a team.
“The parents said they like the dual competition,” Joslyn said. “They don’t get that with club. Everything is individual.”
“It’s much more team oriented,” Joslyn said. “They learn to cheer and pull for each other. It was very exciting.”
Area wrestlers who placed at IESA state: Valentino Mendoza, second at 215, and Matt Tobin, sixth at 135 for Johnsburg, Mason Brakefield, second at 167 for McHenry Middle School, Jake Leske, third at 145 for McHenry Parkland.
At the Illinois Kids Wrestling Federation state meet in Rockford March 13 to 15, the following wrestlers placed.
Cary-Grove Matmen: Cadin Koeppel, fourth at senior 166, Bradley Peters, eighth at novice 122.
Crystal Lake Wizards: Christoper Flores, third at senior 215, Frank Carone, fourth at senior 138, Martin Krasinski, sixth at senior 147, Casey Allen, seventh at senior 108, Austin Ernd, eighth at 115.
Golden Eagles: Joel Mylin, seventh at novice 62.
Junior Wolves: Trey Piotrowski, sixth at senior 130.
--Rob Smith is a sports writer for the Northwest Herald. Write to him at email@example.com