BENSENVILLE – With a hefty brace on his right knee, Marian Central’s Josh Glover stepped onto the mat and earned his first win of the season Tuesday.
Glover wrestled for only the third time after tearing his ACL in the team’s third practice of the season. Glover won the 113-pound match, 3-0, over Deerfield’s Renzo Martin, helping Marian secure a 40-26 victory at the IHSA Class 2A Fenton Dual Team Sectional.
Marian will return to dual team state for the third season in a row. The Hurricanes will wrestle Aurora Christian in the state quarterfinals at 9 a.m. Saturday at Grossinger Motors Arena in Bloomington.
The return to the mat was a long journey for Glover, who finished as state runner-up at 106 in Class 2A last year. Glover said he did not have surgery on his knee but put in long hours rehabbing it.
“It was a long four-month process,” Glover said. “It’s just, you can’t really sit and cry about it. You’ve got to put in the work that you can while you’re injured so you can come back strong.”
He returned for the East Suburban Catholic Conference tournament Jan. 31 but lost both of his matches. He did not participate in the individual postseason.
“He’s been trying to come back, trying to come back, getting his endurance up and just feeling comfortable,” coach David Silva said. “Luckily for us, we were able to get him back in and get him in the lineup.”
Marian three-time state champion Dylan Connell (170) set the tone with a technical fall victory to start the evening. State medalist Niko Lopez (182) followed it with another technical fall, and the dual outcome was never really in doubt the rest of the way.
Marian’s Joe Miller won with a pin at 195. Miller is stuck behind Lou Gaddy at 195 during most tournaments, but duals are when he has his chance. Whenever Gaddy moves up to 220, Miller slides into the 195 spot.
“All year, I was thinking about how much I wanted to contribute to the team,” Miller said. “I saw this as my chance to contribute most to the team. Get that win and help us move forward.”
Gaddy avoided a pin or technical fall in a 17-5 loss to Deerfield’s Cody Goodman at 220. Goodman was the runner-up at 195 in the individual state meet Saturday in Champaign. At 285, Marian’s Joey Pawlak, who weighs in at 220, defeated Deerfield heavyweight Zach Willens, 8-5.
“It’s just a lot of weight to carry,” Pawlak said. “I just have to be quicker than the other guy. It makes me change my style a little bit, not get caught underneath as much.”
Other wins by decision came from Elon Rodriguez (126) and Scott Burke (132). Daniel Valeria (138) won via pin. Nick Davidson (120) won by forfeit. Deerfield’s Kai Neumark (106) picked up a win over Charlie Fitzgerald, 11-3.
Marian forfeited matches at 145, 152 and 160 once the victory was secured.
Rodriguez, Burke and Valeria were all wrestling up a weight class, too.
“It just shows how this team, they really want to compete for each other,” Silva said. “They don’t think about themselves, they think about how they can help the team.”
Marian Central 40, Deerfield 26
106: Neumark (Deer) def. Fitzgerald (Marian), 11-3.
113: Glover (Marian) def. R. Morgan (Deer), 3-0.
120: Davidson (Marian) by fft.
126: Rodriguez (Marian) def. L. Wittkamp (Deer), 5-0.
132: Burke (Marian) def. L. Morgan (Deer), 5-4.
138: Valeria (Marian) p. Kehlert (Deer), :38.
145: Shvartsman (Deer) by fft.
152: Mock (Deer) by fft.
160: B. Wittkamp (Deer) by fft.
170: Connell (Marian) tech. fall Reyes (Deer), 17-2.
182: Lopez (Marian) tech. fall Sigmond (Deerfield), 16-0.
195: Miller (Marian) p. Fjeldheim (Deer), 4:32.
220: Goodman (Deer) def. Gaddy (Marian), 17-5.
285: Pawlak (Marian) def. Willens (Deer), 8-5.