Hinsdale South's Justin Maslow medals in first trip to state
Mike Matozzi believes there is a progression to achieving success at the state wrestling tournament.
CHAMPAIGN — Mike Matozzi believes there is a progression to achieving success at the state wrestling tournament.
"In the years I've been coaching," the Hinsdale South coach said, "It's first you qualify, then you place and then you think about becoming a state champion."
Justin Maslow must have tuned out his coach during that lesson because the junior placed fifth at 145 pounds in his first trip to the Class 3A tournament last weekend at Assembly Hall in Champaign.
"Going in there I was kind of an underdog," Maslow said. "People didn't really know who I was because I didn't even qualify last year, but now I definitely have confidence and the stuff to back it up where I know I have a chance to be the best kid next year."
Maslow earned a decision win in his first match at state, then fell to the eventual runner-up in the second round. But he finished strong with a 3-1 record in the backdraw, including a 7-2 win the fifth-place match, to earn his medal.
"All my matches were kind of close, but the one I won in the quarterfinal wrestlebacks where I was sure I was going to place, that was my best match," Maslow said.
"To be able to medal his first time down there is an outstanding accomplishment," Matozzi said.
An offseason of hard work, training and wrestling got Maslow to state this year. He plans to stick with that formula as he gets ready for next season.
"I think Overtime (School of Wrestling) starts in two or three weeks, so I hope I can make the Fargo freestyle (national championship tournament) team and just wrestle throughout the whole summer," Maslow said.
Freshman Joshua King also represented South at state and had a 1-2 showing at 220 pounds at the tourney, but Matozzi still found positives in that performance.
"I know he wanted to be on the medal stand and he was disappointed after his second loss," Matozzi said. "But to be the only freshman to qualify for state at 220 and to win a match at state by pinning a kid who's a senior, I think that showed a lot. I think it's a good learning experience for him."
Maslow's state scores
1st round: W, 4-2 decision
Quarterfinals: L, 7-1 decision
Backdraw 1st round: W, 1-0 decision
Backdraw quarters: W, 7-4 decision
Backdraw semis: L, 7-2 decision
5th place: W, 7-2 decision
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