HINSDALE – Johnny Mologousis is part of a freshmen group on Lyons Township’s wrestling team that have been mainstays in the lineup.
During Saturday’s Class 3A Hinsdale Central sectional, Mologousis kept up his solid campaign as he earned a trip to this weekend’s state tournament at the State Farm Center in Champaign.
“It feels good. I thought I could make it, but I knew I had a tough road to get there because 145 is a stacked bracket,” Mologousis said.
Just to get to the state finals this weekend, Mologousis had to navigate a 145-pound bracket that featured four wrestlers ranked in the top-6 at 145 by illinoismatmen.com. Mologousis was ranked 12th heading into the weekend. He wrestled into the semifinals with a pair of dominant wins (a technical fall in the first round and a 9-0 major decision in the quarterfinals).
Mologousis fell to Hinsdale South’s Justin Maslow 10-4 in the third place match, but just surviving the sectional to get to state was a big accomplishment.
“That was my goal in the beginning of the year, to get to state, because I knew it would be big to be a freshman to make it to state at 145, which is mostly seniors and juniors,” Mologousis. “My confidence is up a little more than it was.”
With the first round at state beginning tomorrow, Mologousis had just a couple days of practice to get ready for the tournament. There were two areas in particular where he hoped to improve.
“Mostly [working] my feet and getting the tie-ups that I like,” Mologousis said. “I’m not that good with outside wrestlers like in the Maslow match, so I’m a lot better when I’m inside.”
Senior A.J. Villarreal and freshman Zach Villarreal just missed out on making the state finals. A.J. Villarreal wrestled to the wrestleback semifinals at 152 but fell in that match on the verge of earning a state berth. Zach Villarreal endured the same outcome at 113.