Roberts, much older & wiser, meets Hafizov again in Final X
Photo: Dalton Roberts (left) beat Ildar Hafizov at the 2023 U.S. Open...
WIN High School Notebook • Jan. 3, 2013
By Rob Sherrill
STMA completes historic Clash run
St. Michael-Albertville, just a short drive west on I-94 from the Twin Cities, followed up a historic win in the Minnesota State Christmas Tournament by winning The Clash National Duals XI at Rochester, Minn.
In the championship match of Bracket A, which concluded the first day, STMA edged Oak Park-River Forest, 28-26, to advance to the Championship Bracket and dropping the Huskies to the Second Bracket. Four Illinois teams finished in the top seven, Oak Park-River Forest finished fifth and Chicago Marist seventh.
Three of those teams — Montini, Oak Park-River Forest and Marist — beat Minnesota’s legendary program, Apple Valley. The Eagles had lost just once to an Illinois team in the first 10 years The Clash was held.
Beast a race for second place
Battling for the runner-up spot is often happens when Blairstown Township (N.J.) Blair Academy is in the same gym with any other team.
The Bucs had just two champions at Newark, Del. — Russell Parsons (152) and Brooks Black (Hwt) — but they still nearly doubled the rest of the field, outscoring runner-up Kingston Wyoming Seminary, 309-157, to take home the Beast of the East title for yet another season.
With the flipping of the calendar resulting in a two-week lag between the Walsh Ironman and the Beast, Wyoming Seminary, Christiansburg (Va.), Ohio powers Massillon Perry, Brecksville-Broadview Heights and Cuyahoga Falls Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy (CVCA) and Maryland schools Owings Mills McDonogh School and Olney Good Counsel, competed in both events this year.
Seminary outdistanced Perry (144), Brecksville (142) and Harrisburg (Pa.) Central Dauphin (120.5), which rounded out the top five.
Parsons and Black added Beast titles to their Ironman titles, and were among six wrestlers to prevail in both tournaments. The others: Nathan Tomasello (120) of CVCA, Joey Dance (126) of Christiansburg, Eric Morris (182) of Wyoming Seminary and Kyle Snyder (220) of Good Counsel. Tomasello, who pinned Blair Academy’s Matthew Kolodzik in the Ironman final, had to go the distance in their Beast finals rematch, prevailing 8-7. A seventh Ironman champion, Blair Academy’s Frank Mattiace (195), lost 6-2 in the semifinals to Ray O’Donnell of Hellertown (Pa.) Saucon Valley and finished third.
Junior Alfred Bannister (138) of Forestville (Md.) Bishop McNamara scored the only pin of the finals, putting away Blair Academy freshman Mason Manville in 1:50.
In not winning, Archer shows strength
Not every top program builds itself in the public eye. But one that is building itself into, in their words, “the team nobody wants to wrestle,” is Lawrenceville (Ga.) Archer.
Archer is in only its fourth year of existence as a school. But the Tigers, who finished third in big-school Class 5A last year, are 22-0 and already own a 40-20 victory over defending dual champion Kingsland Camden County. They won their first eight tournaments easily, but it was the one they didn’t win which may have put coach Tom Beuglas’ team on the map.
In its inaugural appearance in the William “Red” Schmitt Holiday Tournament at Granite City (Ili.), Archer scored 594.5 points to finish third in the 25-team field, behind Memphis (Tenn.) Christian Brothers (665) and New Lenox Lincoln-Way Central (598), ranked No. 5 in Illinois’ Class 3A. Fourth-place Neosho (Mo.) was 116 points behind the Tigers.
Senior state champion Ernest Alexander (195) improved to 33-0 for the Tigers, pinning his first six opponents, then adding a 7-0 decision and a 12-3 major decision to become one of two Archer champions. The other was Thomas Bullard (145), one of four dynamic freshmen in Archer’s line-up. His twin brother, Daniel, finished second at 138. Freshmen Vinny Artigues (106) and Chris Diaz (132) finished fifth and seventh, respectively, and the four are a combined 149-15 so far this season. Archer won three of five matches against Illinois opponents ranked in the top six in the state.