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At 106 pounds, Dylan Duncan (top) of Marmion hangs on to defeat Jake Silzer of St. Rita. | Jon Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media
The number seven is supposedly lucky. Sometimes it doesn’t represent luck thought, but simply greatness. Last week, seven Marmion wrestlers qualified as individuals for the IHSA state tournament.
During Tuesday’s Class 3A Hinsdale South dual team sectional against St. Rita, seven Marmion freshmen helped the Cadets down the Mustangs, 37-22, and qualify for Saturday’s state finals at U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington.
Marmion will face Minooka at 11 a.m. on Saturday.
“I’m really excited for these guys,” Minooka coach Ryan Cumbee said. “A couple of these kids said they wanted to do this for the coaches, but I told them we don’t need it anymore. We want you do this for you. We want them to feel the exact same thing we felt and I think they’re going to.”
The Cadets got off to a great start, which culminated with the team picking up two key victories, both with third period domination, to take a 31-7 lead after nine bouts.
“It came down to a few toss-up matches at 126, 145 and 160,” St. Rita coach Dan Manzella said. “We just lost a dual today and some of it came down to the third period. That’s how the sport is. Sometimes you pull it out of the third and sometimes you fold. Today we folded in the third.”
Marmion’s Nick Ferraro snuck past Tyree Lee at 160 pounds, rallying to knot the score at 9-9 before breaking away with a takedown with 22.6 seconds remaining in the third period.
“I lost 4-3 to him at sectional and didn’t want that to happen again,” Ferraro said. “I just decided to make it happen. I got the takedown and the last minute cradle.”
St. Rita won the ensuing three bouts to claw within 31-22, but Marmion’s Alex Fritz outlasted Tommy Schofield at 285 pounds to seal the victory.
“We knew there were some toss-up matches but we also felt we could win all of them,” Fritz said. “Our guys did a great job. We all know how to win and compete, and I thought we competed very well today.”
A.J. Jaffe (113 pounds), Johnny Jimenez (120 pounds) and Trace Carello (152), among others, also gave the Cadets a nice boost, and one that takes them out of town once again.
“This is my first time going so this is very awesome.” Ferraro said. “And to do this with these new coaches just makes it even better.”
This should become a regular thing with so much young talent too.