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Sports

Wrestling: Lemont earns four individual state medals, advances team to dual state finals

Lemont's Evan Schiffman wrestles Marian's Josh Glover during their -pound semifinal match at the Illinois High School Association Individual Wrestling State Finals on Feb. 15 in Champaign. (Photo: PhotoNews/Chris Johns)
Lemont's Evan Schiffman wrestles Marian's Josh Glover during their -pound semifinal match at the Illinois High School Association Individual Wrestling State Finals on Feb. 15 in Champaign. (Photo: PhotoNews/Chris Johns)

Four Lemont wrestlers earned medals at the Class 2A individual state finals Feb. 16 in Champaign.

Junior Kyle Schickel posted his third straight state runner-up finish, doing so in the 138-pound class, while sophomore Apollo Gothard was the state runner-up at 220 pounds. Junior Grant LaDuke earned his second medal in as many years with his third-place finish at 145 pounds, while freshman Evan Schiffman was fourth at 106 pounds.

Schickel (43-5) became the first three-time state medalist in program history with his second-place finish. He picked up two wins by decision and one by major decision on his road to the state title match before dropping an 8-4 decision to Carmel’s Riley Palm. Schickel is the first wrestler in school history to record 40 wins in each of his first three seasons.

Gothard (44-3) continued his dominant postseason run. After pinning every opponent in regional and sectional competition, Gothard won his first two state finals matches by fall and a third match by decision. In the state title match, he dropped a 1-0 decision to Cahokia’s Jacob Bullock, who finished the season undefeated.

LaDuke (28-6) won four of five matches on his way to his second straight state medal. After two wins by decision, LaDuke dropped a close match in the state semifinal. He bounced back with a pin in the consolation semifinals and a 5-2 win over Rantoul’s Peter McClusker in the third-place match.

Schiffman (37-10) won three of five matches in his first state finals appearance. After winning twice by decision, Schiffman dropped his semifinal match. He rebounded to win the consolation semifinal match before coming up short, 5-2, against Chicago St. Patrick’s Sean Conway in the third-place match.

Juniors Drew Nash and Kyle Zator each made their second straight state finals appearances. A fifth-place medalist at 126 pounds in 2018, Nash (40-7) split four matches at 132 pounds this season and reached the 40-win mark for the second straight season.

On Feb. 19, Lemont topped conference rival Oak Forest, 42-33, to earn its sixth dual state finals berth. Lemont will face three-time defending state champion Washington in a quarterfinal Feb. 23.

Lemont won eight matches in the dual team sectional. Juniors Mike Mussallem (182), Schickel (138) and Zator (160) and sophomores Gothard (220) and Connor Stomp (152) all pinned their opponents. LaDuke (145) won by technical fall, Schiffman (106) won by major decision, and Nash (132) earned a victory by decision.

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