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Rob Sherrill’s High School Notebook: Cheesehead and Doc B turned in exciting results
Southeast Polk upstages powers at Cheesehead
It was a disappointing end to their season last year, but Runnells (Iowa) Southeast Polk didn’t hang their heads. After a statement victory in The Cheesehead Tournament at Kaukauna, Wis., the Rams showed they’re back for more.
Southeast Polk scored 593.5 points to out-distance a pair of nationally-ranked Illinois teams, Lombard Montini (575) and Aurora Marmion Academy (490). Defending Iowa 3A champion Bettendorf (432) edged the third-ranked team in the field, Apple Valley (Minn.), which scored 419.5 to complete the top five.
Southeast Polk rode sophomore 106-pound champion Nolan Hellickson and its loaded upper weights to the victory. The Rams had three runners-up, a third, a fifth and a sixth in the six weights from 160 through heavyweight. Junior heavyweight Jake Scanlan, who transferred from Johnston, was the third-place finisher. Hellickson and three of the Rams’ six upper-weight stars are first-year starters.
Bettendorf, meanwhile, had all six entries from 106 through 138 place in the top five, led by sophomore-sensation Fredy Stroker (126). Stroker lost 5-2 to two-time Illinois champion Jered Cortez of Carol Stream Glenbard North in a battle of unbeatens.
The list of champions was a “Who’s Who” of nationally-ranked wrestlers which would be the envy of any tournament in the nation…yes, ANY tournament. Among the champions: Marmion’s Johnny Jimenez (120) and George Fisher (132); Chicago Mount Carmel’s Bryce Brill (145); Inver Grove Heights (Minn.) Simley’s Jake Short (152) and Nick Wanzek (170); West Fargo’s (N.D.) Preston Lehmann (182) and Plainfield (Ill.) Central’s Jeremy Ellingwood (195).
The 152-pound final, which concluded the tournament, saw Short score a reversal in the ultimate tie-breaker to beat Glenbard North’s Brian Murphy in a battle of top-two wrestlers nationally. Murphy’s semifinal match also went to the ultimate tie-breaker, a 3-2 victory over Apple Valley freshman Mark Hall.
Clovis wins Doc Buchanan in final match
California’s most storied tournament, the Doc Buchanan Invitational, came down to a clash between two of the nation’s top five teams. And those two teams entered the weekend with completely different storylines: Clovis (Calif.), at home in their own gym, and Kingston (Pa.) Wyoming Seminary, which traveled 3,000 miles for the event.
Veteran observer Al Fontes predicted throughout the final day that the tournament could come down to the last match, and he was correct. It was as it should be: a tournament between top-five teams decided by a championship match between top-five heavyweights.
Nick Nevills blanked Michael Johnson, 4-0 to give the Cougars a heart-stopping 180-178 victory and the highest national ranking in school history, No. 2.
Neither wrestler had a match go the distance prior to the final. The top-seeded Nevills pinned all three of his opponents, while the second-seeded Johnson racked up four falls.
Poway, also nationally ranked, finished third with 130.5 points.
Several weight classes have become weekly toss-ups in California – most notably 106, 126 and 170 – and the Doc Buchanan was the latest proof of that. At 106, junior Matt Gamble of Porterville Monache took the title with victories over Reno champion Tirso Lara of Poway, 9-7 in the semifinals and top-ranked Matt Camposano of Fresno Central, 19-12 for the title.
Sem’s Judson Preskitt overcame a loaded California field to win at 126, beating Michael Knoblauch of Fresno Clovis West, 3-1 in the semifinals and Vincent Gomez of Bakersfield Frontier, 6-4 for the title. Gomez toppled defending state champion Jonas Gaytan of Clovis, 5-4 in the semifinals. Gaytan beat Knoblauch, 4-2 for third place.
But it’s 170 which holds the most drama in the Golden State. Junior Corey Griego of Hesperia Sultana nipped Peter Santos of Roseville Oakmont, 1-0 to reverse a 2-0 overtime loss in the Ironman third-place match. Keaton Subjeck of El Dorado Hills Oak Ridge, fifth in the Ironman, won four straight after a quarterfinal upset to take third place. In the consolation semifinals, he won 2-1 in the overtime tie-breaker over Poway’s Stevie Cervantes, who took Canonsburg (Pa.) Canon-McMillan’s Cody Wiercioch to overtime in the Reno final.