After finishing in third place at the POWERade Tournament last weekend, the Lockport wrestling team had high hopes coming into Cheesehead. While the POWERade is considered the second-hardest individual tournament in the nation, the Cheesehead is generally regarded as one of the top-ten, sometimes top-five. Either way, there is no doubt that the Cheesehead is always the most grinding tournament on our schedule.
The Cheesehead is a "Hybrid" style tournament - meaning it combines four-man round-robin pools with two traditional 8-man brackets with full wrestlebacks. Those who finish in the top two in their pool compete in the championship bracket, which determines the 1st-8th place wrestlers for that weight. Wrestlers finishing in the bottom two in their pools enter into the consolation bracket, a separate full 8-man bracket, which determines the 9th-16th place finishers. Even prior to round-robin pools, there's one single pigtail bout round. Wrestlers must win their pigtail bout to get into the pools. Those that do not are entered into a bracket with all others who dropped a pigtail bout, where they compete for 17th place. All in all, with 32 teams invited, the brackets will "place out" a full 1st through 22nd place at each weight class.
The Porters were lead by senior Abdullah Assaf, who captured his first Cheesehead title at 132 pounds with a 10-6 over Montini freshman Fidel Mayora in the championship bout. Assaf, ranked 5th in the latest IllinoisMatmen rankings, controlled 2nd ranked Mayora from start to finish. Assaf scored 4 takedowns to Mayora's 1, never getting in any precarious positions, just wrestling solid from start to finish. Assaf had a few notable wins earlier in the tournament as well, defeating former WI state champion Brandon Klein of Stoughton, 3-2, in the semifinals, as well as a decision victory over Sean McKenna of Marmion, ranked 10th in Illinois, in the pool round.
The Porters had several others place in the top eight. Matt Ramos was our lone competitor on the third place mat, coming up just a bit short and taking 4th place after a 4-3 loss. Taking 5th for the Porters were seniors Trevell Timmons (160) and Payton Fernandes (182). 6th place finishers included Anthony Molton (113), James Pierandozzi (120), and Baylor Fernandes (145). Brandon Ramos (132) was the only other wrestler placing in the top eight, having to medically forfeit his 7th place bout. Also of note, Yousif Salah won the consolation bracket, finishing in 9th place for the tournament.
As a team, the Porters placed 5th. It was a good showing given the circumstances (out 1.5 starters - one of which seeded very highly), but not great. Lockport, ranked 24th nationally coming into the tournament, finished with 456.5 points. Apple Valley (MN), ranked 33rd, finished only 10 points ahead, while 26th ranked Kasson-Mantorville (MN) finshed in third place with 480.5 points. Two other Illinois teams lead the tournament. Mt. Carmel, whom we defeated 38-20 in a dual, had a great tournament showing, finishing in second place with 506.5 points. Pulling away for the title with 526.5 points, however, was Montini, who went 3-for-6 in championship bouts, showing their strength as a fantastic tournament team.
If you'd like specific results, click here to be directed to the results for ONLY Lockport. If you'd like to browse the entire tournament, click here instead.
I'm not going to write long paragraphs for each wrestler, but I will give some extra tidbits in the...
CHEESEHEAD NOTES FOR LOCKPORT
- Only one Lockport wrestler knocked off a nationally ranked opponent: Matt Ramos beat FloWrestling's 19th ranked Sam Latona of Thompson (AL) by a score of 14-7 in the Championship Quarterfinals
- Only one person wrestled to their seed: Baylor Fernandes. The Cheesehead seeding system fully seeds out every single entry at each weight. Eight other wrestlers "beat" their seeds, five failed to reach their seed.
- Rematches were not kind to us. Four wrestlers lost bouts to opponents that they had beaten at some point during the course of this season, be it earlier in the tournament or in an earlier dual. Two wrestlers lost bouts to the same person twice during the course of this tournament itself. One other lost a rematch from earlier in the year that had also resulted in a loss.
- Lockport was missing Ronald Tucker (285) and Chandler Proszek (170), both of whom were POWERade placers. BIG kudos go out to Nick Dado (170) and Brandon Baker (285), both of which came in and wrestled with less than 24 hours notice that they would be competing in such a tough tournament.
- A lot of people were asking what difference it would have made if those two athletes were in the lineup. Tucker was seeded 3rd at 285, Proszek 8th at 170. If you swap the points for the 3rd place finisher at 285 and 8th place finisher at 170 into our lineup in place of our points (not in addition to), we would have had 529 points - enough to win by 2.5 points.
- I want to emphasize that this does NOT matter, at all. I calculated this to answer the question for anyone wondering (given that at least 12 adults asked me yesterday), NOT to make excuses We wrestled with the team we had, just like all those who finished above and below us did, and I commend our guys who stepped up on short notice.
- The other reason this DOES NOT matter: This this assumes that both wrestlers would finish in their seeds - something that almost no one actually did, for better or worse.
- If everyone on the team we brought had "wrestled to their seed," we still would have finished in 5th.
- If everyone had wrestled to their seed on the original lineup, with Tucker and Proszek, we take 3rd place.
They will be up - editing is just taking more time this season, because, quite frankly, I know what I'm actually doing now! (Or at least more than I did last year). I took over 1000 at POWERade, not counting the finals. Most of those will be deleted (blurry, bad photo, ref blocked the view, etc.) but it still takes some time to get through everything.
*Bonus: I said that the MO duals were up, and I wasn't lying, but someone told me they didn't see them. I had them updated but the folder was still hidden because sometimes, I'm not smart. That has been fixed, and all the MO duals should be visible.*