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HIGH SCHOOL REVIEW FOR JANUARY 2: Montini, Apple Valley share Clash crown

Lombard (Ill.) Montini High lived up to its No. 1 seed, winning five of six matches and a share of the title in its first-ever appearance in The Clash National Duals, Dec. 29-30, at Rochester, Minn.

The 32-team field included eight nationally-ranked teams and all eight showed they belonged in the rankings; all of them advancing to the meet's top two flights.

No. 6 Montini had an explosive day to begin the event, blowing out Melville (N.Y.) St. Anthony's High, 66-0, Vacaville (Calif.) High, 47-23, and No. 20 Albert Lea High, 46-16, to win its pool.

Second-seeded Jackson (N.J.) Memorial High, ranked No. 7, and fourth-seeded Orland Park (Ill.) Carl Sandburg High, the event's defending champion and ranked No. 9, also won their pools with ease. Jackson's pool final was a 43-16 victory over No. 18 Hastings High. Carl Sandburg, pushed by Belle Plaine Scott West High, 35-23, in the semifinals of its pool, had an easier time in the final, dispatching Cincinnati (Ohio) Archbishop Moeller High, 38-18.

The Carl Sandburg-Archbishop Moeller dual featured three key match-ups between national-caliber wrestlers, with Carl Sandburg winning two of the three. The Crusaders took the first match-up at 140 pounds as Germane Lindsey beat Cadet National place-winner Conrad Polz, 8-3. Polz, who injured his shoulder in the finals of the Al Dvorak Memorial Tournament the previous week, did not wrestle in any of the Eagles' duals on the meet's second day.

Carl Sandburg's upper weights helped lock up the match, with unbeaten Eric Pretto edging Archbishop Moeller's Mike Mahon, 4-3, at 160 and heavyweight Eric Rettke, sixth in state a year ago, scoring a 5-2 victory over fellow state place-winner Frank Becker, who recently announced he will accept a football scholarship to the University of Cincinnati.

That left Pool C and a classic between No. 19 Apple Valley and another former Clash champion, No. 8 Carol Stream (Ill.) Glenbard North High. It hadn't been easy for Apple Valley in the semifinals, the Eagles getting past powerful Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln High, 32-23. And in the previous two weeks, the Eagles had finished second in a loaded Minnesota State Christmas Tournament and lost, 33-27, to Wayzata High on Dec. 22.

But Apple Valley posted eight wins and a 31-25 victory. Despite state champion Destin McCauley's 3-1 loss to top-ranked Tony Ramos at 112, Apple Valley got three other key wins in the lower weights: Eric Devos' 7-3 victory over Ironman place-winner Jamie Warczynski at 103, Tom Kelliher's 3-1 win over Jimmy Chase at 119 and Jarret Hoeppner's technical fall over Geno Capezio at 125. It marked the first time that Glenbard North had failed to advance to Flight 1 of the event. The Panthers made amends the second day, however, with three victories: 38-15 over Albert Lea, 33-29 over Moeller and 45-17 over Hastings.

Ramos' victory was his second straight over a national-caliber wrestler. In the Panthers' 46-20 semifinal victory over Sedro Woolley (Wash.) High, Ramos edged two-time state champion Derek Crouter 3-2.

Montini locked up the title by edging Apple Valley, 33-32, and beating Jackson Memorial, 36-28, making a 42-24 loss to Carl Sandburg - a match in which lineups were shuffled in anticipation of a potential Class AA state championship showdown - inconsequential. Jackson beat Carl Sandburg, 37-23, and Apple Valley and Carl Sandburg wrestled to a 31-31 tie, Apple Valley advancing on a 3 2 edge in pins.

Five Carl Sandburg wrestlers - Junior National runner-up Jon Morrison (103), state champion Matt Cusick (145), Pretto, John Doyle (171) and Rettke - finished the tournament 6-0, the most of any team. Morrison was particularly dominant, posting two pins, three technical falls and a major decision.

Montini had four unbeatens, Isaiah Gonzalez (140), three-time state champion Mike Benefiel (171) and Ethan Winel (215) going 6-0 and Garrett Goebel (285) 5 0. Apple Valley, Archbishop Moeller, Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln, Inver Grove Heights Simley High, Jackson County Central High, South Plainfield (N.J.) High and Kennesaw (Ga.) Carl Harrison High all had three unbeatens.

Lodi (Wis.) High heavyweight Cody Weber was a perfect 6-for-6, pinning all six opponents. Carl Harrison state champion Josh Condon (160) had four pins and two technical falls, South Plainfield's Patrick Hunter (112) racked up two pins and
four technical falls and Benefiel had two pins, three technical falls and a forfeit.

The list of unbeaten wrestlers, by weight:

103 - Garrett Garnes, Kasson-Mantorville High; Nick Heilmann, South Plainfield; Morrison.

112 - Tommy Glenn, Simley; Hunter; Ramos (5-0); David Thorn, St. Michael Albertville High.

119 - Derek Schreiner, Wayzata.

125 - Trey Bertram, Hastings; Hoeppner (5-0); Tyler Sackett, Omaha Skutt High; Jacob Tabbert, Simley; Cole Von Ohlen, Jackson County Central.

130 - Brian Litch, Wayzata; Jake Madigan, Lodi; Ryan Medved, Carl Harrison; Matt Mincey, Apple Valley.

135 - Billy Ashnault, South Plainfield; Teddy Gunderson, Scott West; Glen Meyerhofer, Kaukauna (Wis.) High (5-0); Danny Monaco, Glenbard North; John Prokopowicz, Simley (5-0).

140 - Isaiah Gonzalez, Montini; Lindsey; Lucas Murray, Anoka.

145 - Cusick; Jake Deitchler, Anoka; Vince Pollotta, Minot (N.D.) High.

152 - Joe Grygelko, St. Michael-Albertville; Michael Kent, Vacaville; Juan Medina, Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln; Scott Winston, Jackson Memorial; Evan Taylor, Carl Harrison; Tommy Weinkam, Archbishop Moeller.

160 - Condon; Michael Lomsdalen, Sedro Woolley; Pretto; Travis Rutt, Jackson County Central.

171 - Benefiel; Matt Christensen, Aitkin High (5-0); Doyle; Caleb Lines, Jackson
County Central.

189 - James Belville, Valentine (Neb.) High; Joe Budi, Kaukauna; Judd Connell,
Hastings; Jacob Dralle, Apple Valley; Kirby Sorenson, Owatonna (4-0).

215 - Vance Grube, Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln; Pat Mahan, Owatonna; Ross
Quehl, Archbishop Moeller (5-0); Winel.

285 - Doug Fuller, Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln; Goebel (5-0); Will Lutmer, Adrian High; Rettke; Weber.

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