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Maine South's Tommy Brewster (152) wins over New Trier's John Lee | Michelle LaVigne~Sun-Times Media
Tom Brewster won his second tournament title of the season Saturday.
The Maine South junior beat Downers North’s Mike Gastaldello 4-3 in overtime in the 152-pound finals at Batavia’s invitational, helping his team place eighth.
Maine South coach Kevin Hansen said Brewster would not have won that match last season.
“Tom didn’t wrestle his best match, and that kid was clearly ready for him,” Hansen said. “Still, he found a way to win, and that shows a lot. The last two seasons those matches, those close matches, seemed to slip away from him.
“This year, he’s more focused in those matches.”
Brewster, who also beat Gastaldello earlier in the season, agreed.
“I am more mature this year,” he said. “Now that I am a junior, I have kids on the team who follow me, and I have to be a leader out there.”
Brewster definitely has been leading by example this season. Heading into this weekend’s CSL tournament, which is Friday and Saturday at Niles West, he’s 26-1 with nine pins and three wins by technical falls. His lone loss came to Sandwich’s Rigo Fraire on Dec. 15 at Stillman Valley. Brewster is ranked fourth in the Chicago area at 152 pounds by the Sun-Times.
“He’s improved quite a bit from last year,” said Hansen, whose Hawks earned a share of the CSL South championship Friday with their 43-16 win over Evanston. “He’s more of a complete wrestler. He’s much better on his feet, and he’s good on top or on the bottom.
“The thing that’s come a long way is his focus and intensity in matches. That’s what we saw Saturday at Batavia.”
Brewster is the third and final child in his family to wrestle for the Hawks. Joe, a 2010 graduate now wrestling at South Dakota State, wrestled at the state tournament all four seasons. Dan, who graduated last season, also was a fixture in Maine South’s lineup.
“I was almost forced to love the sport,” Tom Brewster said. “That’s not the reason I do it, though. Even if they didn’t wrestle, I would. But they helped me out a lot.”
Hansen doesn’t see many similarities between the brothers, at least on the mat.
“I think Tommy is the most athletic, the most powerful,” he said. “I hope Tommy can have the same success in the second half of his career as they did.”