ARLINGTON HEIGHTS • Over the previous six seasons, Stevenson has been within the hunt for a 3A regional title; sadly, three separate groups have been the proverbial thorn within the aspect for the Patriots. For 3 seasons, it was Deerfield, with titles received by seven factors in 2015, and a one level victory in 2016. In 2018, it was Prospect. And, over the previous two seasons, it has been Barrington—and final 12 months, with Stevenson internet hosting the regional, Barrington received by a distinction of seven.5 factors.
Monday in Arlington Heights, the Patriots felt prefer it was lastly their time to seize the title, and that’s precisely what they did. When the match ended, the distinction within the workforce race was 8.5 factors, however this time it was in favor of the Patriots. Along with the workforce title, the workforce had eleven sectional qualifiers, and that set a faculty document.
“Our youngsters wrestled very well,” Head Coach Shane Cook dinner mentioned excitedly. “We had been actually thrilled. We’ve taken second within the regional the previous six years—six years in a row. To be knocking on the door like that and to lastly break by means of, particularly in a loopy 12 months like this one, was actually particular—it’s only a tribute to the whole Stevenson household with how exhausting our youngsters work and the dedication of our wrestlers and training employees.”
The distinction for Stevenson got here within the semifinals. They might advance six wrestlers to the finals, three greater than Barrington—successful two head-to-head match-ups—and three greater than Prospect. From that time ahead, the workforce rating separation was merely an excessive amount of for any workforce to beat.
Nonetheless, it was extra than simply successful shut matches, Stevenson had half its workforce decide to dropping a weight class in an effort to assemble a stronger match workforce.
“These semifinals had been enormous for us,” Cook dinner defined, “and there have been a variety of motivating components. Initially, we had seven guys that each one dropped a weight class for the regional that had been wrestling up all season. So, for these seven guys to make that collective dedication, realizing that it might be greatest for us to have our strongest workforce—and for a few of them it didn’t essentially imply it was the most effective transfer for them, individually. However, for them to make that dedication to one another was one thing that motivated us all day lengthy.
“A type of drops,” Cook dinner continued, “was Lorenzo Frezza who dropped to 120 kilos after wrestling 126 all season. He did it for the workforce, and he did it realizing he was going to run into Will Baysingar—and Baysingar would make successful a person title very exhausting. He in all probability would have received it at 126, however for him to acknowledge that and nonetheless make that dedication; effectively, that was actually particular on his half. That was a motivating issue as effectively.”
As in any shut workforce race, there are all the time a wide range of components that go right into a workforce win—it’s by no means only one particular person; nevertheless, typically, one particular person could make the distinction. The Patriots had that difference- maker in 195-pounder Jacob Whiting.
“Up till final weekend,” Cook dinner shared about his line-up, “Whiting was taking part in on our state championship water polo workforce. He had been out the whole season and for him to be again within the lineup was a shot of life for us.”
Whiting would find yourself putting second within the regional, however he would win by a fall in 1:22 throughout his quarterfinal match in opposition to Ethan Medina of Lake Zurich, after which win by a 13-0 main determination in his semifinal bout in opposition to Stefanos Lahanis of Glenbrook South. His presence and workforce level complete finally performed a big function within the workforce morale and the workforce race.