Two grapplers from different high schools in Oak Park added to their collection of individual state wrestling title trophies by winning their respective weight classes at the IHSA Individual Wrestling State Meet held at Assembly Hall in Champaign on Saturday.
OPRF’s Sam Brooks and Fenwick’s Matt Garelli both took home their second state titles to cap off their impressive high school wrestling careers. Brooks, who won an individual title his sophomore year and finished runner-up last season, defeated Taylor McGiffen of Alton by a 9-2 decision to win the Class 3A state title at 182 pounds. The Iowa-bound Brooks, who fought through injuries this season, was a bronze medalist in the FILA Cadet World Championships in Hungary over the summer.
Garelli secured back-to-back state titles by battling KeVon Powell to a 2-1 decision in double overtime for the Class 2A title at 120 pounds. Last season Garelli became Fenwick’s first ever state wrestling champ at 103 pounds. He went undefeated this season, earning 23-straight victories. Last August, the senior defended his USA Wrestling Freestyle National Championship title in Fargo, N.D.
Brooks wasn’t the only OPRF wrestler to find success at the Class 3A State Meet as the Huskies had a total of four grapplers place in the top three at the tournament. Freshmen Matt Rundell and Larry Early proved OPRF won’t be losing any steam with the graduation of Brooks. Rundell finished second at 106 pounds, losing to Kris Williams of Thornton 4-3. With 44 victories this season, Rundell has the most wins for a freshman in the program’s history. Early, also a freshman and a 40-match winner this season, defeated Plainfield Central’s Nick Nasenbeny 2-0 to win third place at 120 pounds.
At 152 pounds, OPRF sophomore Devonte Mahomes finished third by defeating Tom Gerszewski of Crystal Lake South 10-4.
On Tuesday, the Huskies rolled Hinsdale Central 47-19 in the Class 3A Dual Team Sectional in Oak Park. They now advance to the state quarterfinals to take on Machesney Park Harlem on Saturday at U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington. OPRF won the school’s first dual team state title during the 2008-09 season.