Molitor Leads Five Grayslake Wrestlers To State
Three wrestlers from Grayslake Central and two from Grayslake North advance to State.
Senior Jimmy Molitor capped a competitive 2A sectional competition, hosted by Grayslake Central, with a 7-1 decision over Urso of St. Patrick to capture the crown at 220. Rams Molitor, Dylan Hay (2nd) and Joey Valdivia (2nd) join Knights Kasen Christensen (3rd) and Jimmy Prince (4th) in Champaign next weekend for the 2A State tournament.
Molitor (220), who finished first at last week’s Regional competition, kept the pressure on in three close matches. On Friday night, Molitor defeated Zelinsky of Richmond-Burton 5-3 in what can only be described as a big man brawl. On Saturday, Molitor took down Walsh of Notre Dame with seconds left in the third period to take a 3-1 decision. His finals win over Urso gave him the championship and his first trip down state.
Hay (145) outscored his opponents 43-11 before losing a close battle to Gonzalez of Antioch 2-4. Wins over Hilgertof St Viator 16-4, Kozyra of Fenwick Tech Fall 18-3, and Whittington of Notre Dame 9-4 took Hay to the title match. In each of these matches, the only points scored on Hay were intentional releases.
Valdivia (195) earned a return trip to Champaign with a second place finish to #1 state ranked Harrah of Crystal Lake Central. Valdivia battled until the final buzzer in a 6-14 loss. Valdivia, ranked #3 in the state, defeated #4 ranked Magiera of Wauconda 7-3 on Friday before Tech Falling Claussen of Vernon Hills 20-5 Saturday.
“We are really proud of the kids,” said Central Head Coach Dan Catanzaro. “These are three seniors who have really sold their souls to the program and worked real hard to get where they are. We are excited for next week and we’ll see how they do.”
Christensen (285) battled the big guys to take third and a bid to State for Grayslake North. Christensen registered falls in his first two matches, Curio of St. Patrick and Mauk-O’Connor of Northside before running into #1 ranked Brazil of Vernon Hills. Christensen hung tough in a 1-5 loss to Brazil. A big takedown in OT versus Harris of Marshal sealed Christensen’s place in the State tournament. A 5-2 decision over #3 ranked Cochrane of Carmel closed the tournament with a bang.
Prince (182) makes a return to Champaign after capturing fourth place on Saturday. After Tech Falling his first opponent, Sama of Elmwood Park 15-0, Prince battled LaMontagne of Marengo for a 6-2 decision. A close loss to Stahmer of Notre Dame 2-3 was followed by a 17-4 major decision over Ellman of Crystal Lake. A 2-7 loss to Antioch’s Freundt still allowed Prince to advance.
Grayslake Central hosted what many to believe one of the toughest 2A sectionals in the state.
“Obviously this is a great pleasure and honor to host an event like this," said Grayslake Central's Athletic Director Tom Kim. "We have to say thanks to a lot of people. Obviously this doesn’t happen without the coaches, parent volunteers, students in the program and all of our staff members who are always willing to work. This is a great event to highlight Grayslake Central and our facilities. We have received compliments all weekend on how well this was run, so hopefully in the future we will continue to have some opportunities.”
These five wrestlers will close what has been a successful season for both programs. Both programs continue to grow in the Fox Valley Conference and improve the sport in Grayslake.