HINSDALE – Some wrestlers take losses pretty hard, but Mike Hobbs is not like most wrestlers.
The Downers Grove South senior was in good spirits even after a 7-3 loss Saturday to Hinsdale Central’s Brian Allen in the 285-pound championship match at the Class 3A Hinsdale Central sectional. By placing in the top four at the sectional, Hobbs earned his second straight trip to the state tournament.
“It is a pretty good feeling,” Hobbs said of making it back to state. “I’m still kind of happy about being mentioned with guys like Brian Allen, [Moline’s Adarios] Jones and [Lincoln-Way East’s Nicky] Allegretti because two years ago I wasn’t even wrestling varsity and they were.
“It’s a great feeling knowing you made it out of a top sectional like this after being in a close match with one of the top heavyweights in the state.”
Hobbs won three matches, including two via major decision, to earn a shot at Allen, the defending state champion ranked No. 1 at 285 by illinoismatmen.com, in the championship match.
“To have the top heavyweight in the state as my last match before the big tournament, it gives you an edge and it will help me out [this week] and show me what I need to work on,” Hobbs said.
Downers Grove North’s Pat Walker also wrestled for a sectional title at Hinsdale Central and took second at 106 pounds. After taking some satisfaction from making it out of perhaps the toughest sectional in the state, the sophomore heads to state with a definitive goal in mind.
“I’ve watched [at state] before, but this will be the first time wrestling,” Walker said. “I’m just looking forward to trying to place.”
Three more Downers Grove wrestlers punched their tickets to state at the sectional. South junior Joe Nugent placed third at 132 pounds, capping his tournament with a 14-5 win over Brother Rice’s Juan Blanco.
North senior Nick Bonomo (170) and South junior Shawn Jager (160) are also headed to state after placing fourth at their respective weight classes.
Westmont duo headed to state
Two Westmont wrestlers will head to the state tournament this weekend after having successful runs at the Class 1A Plano sectional.
Sophomore Anthony Griffiths placed third at 285 pounds, capping the tournament with a fall at the 3:03 mark of his match against Peotone’s Trevor Marevka.
Junior Adam Ferrell punched his ticket with a fourth place finish at 170.
What: Class 1A, 2A, 3A wrestling
When: 1 p.m. Thursday, 8:30 a.m. Friday, 9 a.m. Saturday
Where: State Farm Center, Champaign