BLOOMINGTON — Brian Murphy and Johnny Gosinski have virtually known nothing but success since entering the Glenbard North wrestling program four years ago.
So it was only fitting that the senior duo helped the Panthers capture the Class 3A third-place trophy at the dual team state meet last weekend in Bloomington.
Murphy and Gosinski leave with four state trophies: three third-place finishes and a state championship in 2010-11.
"Not many people get the opportunity to go down there and place all four times," Murphy said. "It's an honor to be a part of and it shows how hard we work."
While the end result was similar, the team's path this winter was a lot different. Glenbard North dealt with youth and inexperience this season in certain parts of its line-up.
"I thought we came a long way from where we started," said Glenbard North coach Mark Hahn. "They grew up and that showed this weekend. Every match was tough. I'm really proud of the kids for how far they came."
The Panthers opened up the state event with a 31-29 victory over Harlem in the quarterfinals before falling 36-23 to eventual champion Sandburg in the semis. The team then rebounded to defeat Lincoln-Way Central 34-27 in the third-place match.
"I think we did a really good job," Murphy said. "Our goal this season was to finish with a medal and we accomplished that. We wrestled really well (at state), we haven't wrestled that well all season. It's nice to do that in the state tournament.
"We wrestled really tough against Sandburg. They beat us really bad earlier in the year and this time we were down only two with two matches left."
With this latest accomplishment adding another chapter to the storied history of the program, Murphy is quick to credit the coaching staff.
"They do a really good job making kids believe in the philosophy they have," he said. "They get everything out of the kids and they have a strict process we go through which makes you peak at the right time. They've got it down to a science."
Leading the way is Coach Hahn, who just completed his 26th year at the helm. In his tenure, Glenbard North has 11 top-four finishes.
"He has meant a lot to me," Murphy added. "He will do anything for his kids. He is a great role model and he turns high school kids into young men. I couldn't ask for a better high school coach."
Losing Murphy and Gosinski and the rest of the senior class will hurt but expect the Panthers to be in a similar position next year behind three-time defending state champ Jered Cortez and fellow 40-win wrestlers Jon Marmolejo and Patrick Augustyn.
"Murphy and Gosinski are both good kids, good leaders," Hahn said. "They will be definitely missed. Murphy is the most competitive kid I've probably ever coached, a hard-working kid. He has great days ahead of him at Michigan. Gosinski was really a great leader this year, just taking charge of things. And every time we needed a pin, he came through.
"We had other seniors who did a nice job too but those were our two big ones."