RB wrestling just misses state berths, focuses on team sectional
Six Bulldogs came one win away from qualifying for state
At individual sectional wrestling, if you aren't fortunate enough to make the final, you will have to get to state through the wrestlebacks, which means pressure matches.
The wrestleback semifinals are the get-into-state matches. Win and you're in, lose and the season is over.
Riverside Brookfield had six wrestlers in that decisive match at the Class 2A Rich East sectional, but none of the Bulldogs could win the big one to get to Champaign for state.
"Out of the eight qualifiers that I had, I didn't think I'd have six of the eight of them in that match to get downstate," said RB coach Mike Bertoni. "I was happy with the team effort out of guys that advanced, especially to come within one match of getting downstate and to get that big match experience and the taste of everything that goes in with winning that bout."
Bertoni noted that the sectional showing was a big improvement over last year when no RB wrestler even came within two matches of getting to state.
"It's tough not getting one out of the six," Bertoni said. "I was able to get them through dealing with the mental aspect. A tough loss like that, especially three of them are sophomores, where you get pushed back it's just going to help you in the long run."
RB qualified eight to sectionals and got a ninth competitor, 182-pounder Shannon Hickey, to go as the alternate from the regional. Nick Guirini (113 pounds), Vince Zaccagnini (145), Nick Brusaw (195) and Lou Grigoletti (285) are alternates to go to state.
Bertoni is hoping the Bulldogs' depth will give them the edge in the dual team sectional against Bowen on Tuesday.
"Our goal since winning regionals is to get to team state," Bertoni said. "We've been doing well as a team all year and we're going to continue doing that. They're all focused and ready to take on Bowen on Feb. 19."
If you have any technical difficulties, either with your username and password or with the payment options, please contact us by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org