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Calkins gearing up for state tournament

01/21/2013, 9:45pm CST
By Matt Harness and Eric Van Dril ppnpreps@pioneerlocal.com

Check out Matt Harness and Eric Van Dril's notebook from the CSL tournament's South teams.

Niles West's thomas Williams (right) and Highland Park's Brandon Garcia-Galvan battle in their 138 pound match during the Central Suburban League Varsity Wrestling Conference Tournament in Skokie, Saturday, January 19, 2013 I David Banks~for Sun-Times M

Terry Calkins got himself in the right frame of mind for the state series by capturing the CSL championship at 126 pounds.

The Maine South senior beat New Trier sophomore Alec McKenna 9-3 in the final Saturday at Niles West for his second career league title. He also won in 2011 at 112 pounds.

“I am really happy with my performance, especially after coming back from second place last year,” said Calkins, who raised his record to 22-3 overall. “I really wanted it this year.”

A two-time qualifier for the state tournament, Calkins said he can’t wait to get back to Champaign for the final weekend of the season.
The state series starts Feb. 2.

“I’m getting in the groove,” said Calkins, who beat Highland Park sophomore John Ciancio by technical fall in the opener of the league tournament before earning a 15-1 win over Deerfield junior Brian Spinello in the semifinals. “I want it all to start as soon as possible. I am ready.”

Calkins was one of three conference champs for the Hawks, who took third place in the team standings with 163 points.

Junior Tom Brewster (29-1) cruised at 152 pounds, beating Deerfield senior Ari Sapinsley 10-3 in the title bout.

Senior Mike Garvey (26-6) recorded two pins during the two-day tournament, including a win by fall against Maine East junior Ahmed Al-Rifael in the 160-pound final.

“Everything is coming together at the right time,” Maine South coach Kevin Hansen said.

Maine South is at the Evanston Regional, along with area teams Notre Dame, Niles North, Niles West and the host Wildkits.

Suter’s knee much better
Jacob Suter said he left Niles West satisfied, but the Glenbrook South senior isn’t content.

Suter won his first CSL South title by beating New Trier senior John Benson 5-3 in the championship final at 220 pounds.

“This was a revenge match for me,” said Suter, who was the runner-up at 220 to Deerfield’s Artie Bess a year ago. “But no one really cares until regionals. This was just another meet for me.”

A torn meniscus suffered during the football season slowed Suter earlier this season, but he said he is as healthy as he’s going to be.

“It’s a lot better,” said Suter, who forfeited his match to Benson on Dec. 3 because of the knee injury. “There was a lot of swelling, but it’s about the same size as the other one now. I just ice it a lot.”

Suter (26-2) will be going after his first-ever trip to the state tournament when the Titans compete Feb. 2 at the Fremd Regional. Other local teams there include Glenbrook North, Loyola and New Trier.

“Conference always is a good reality check, especially for guys who lose a match,” said Suter, who was selected as the CSL South’s outstanding wrestler for the tournament. “I like where I’m at. This was a good start.”

Glenbrook South senior Jimmy Binder also advanced to the first-place match at Niles West. He lost a 10-2 decision to New Trier senior MJ Pritchard at 120 pounds.

Wolves stake claim as true champs
Three teams — Maine South, Niles West and New Trier — finished with identical 4-1 records to sit atop the CSL South this season.

But after the Wolves (198 points) outscored the third-place Hawks (163) and fourth-place Trevians (149) at the CSL Conference Tournament, there’s little doubt about who is the CSL South’s best team in the mind of Niles West senior Tommy Williams.

“We pretty much proved that we won conference on our own,” said Williams, the tournament champion at 138 pounds. “The three-way-tie thing, I don’t really believe in that. We are the true conference champions and it feels great because this is something we’ve been working on since sophomore year.”

Varied approach
The Trevians couldn’t repeat their success from last season at the CSL tournament.

After earning six individual titles and taking the team championship a year ago, New Trier finished fourth with 149 points and had one first-place finisher.
Pritchard didn’t have much trouble Saturday, capping his weekend with a 10-2 win over Glenbrook South senior Jimmy Binder in the championship final at 120 pounds.

Pritchard (31-4) credited his success with a switch in tactics.

“Everybody here knows my moves, so I wanted to be smarter with how I wrestled out there,” said Pritchard, a conference champ last season at 113 pounds. “I changed up my techniques to show I am not some two-trick pony. I didn’t do a lot of leg rides, but I did a lot of hand controls and used the strength in my upper body.”

Senior John Benson (32-6) was one of three Trevians to take second place, losing a close match to Suter. Junior Colin Kenyon (30-3) was the runner-up at 113, and sophomore Alec McKenna (27-9) finished second at 126.

New Trier coach Marc Tadelman held out three starters — seniors Chris Alcock, Paul Papoutsis and John Lee — because of injuries. Tadelman said he wants to make sure all three are ready for the Feb. 2 regional at Fremd.

Gratch third again
One of three third-place finishers for the Wildkits, Simon Gratch earned his second third-place medal in a row at the league tournament. Following a loss by fall to Highland Park junior Dom Ciancio in the semis, the senior rebounded to beat Maine West’s Ryan Lowe 10-0 at 145 pounds.

In part because of Gratch, who improved to 17-8, the Wildkits went from 10th a year ago to fifth this season with 125 points. They won 75 more points this time.

Gratch took third at 138 pounds last year.

Freshman David Rivera and senior Brandon Vamarasi also won consolation championships at the conference tournament. Rivera (25-6) won at 106 pounds, while Vamarasi (24-8) won at 220.
Junior Nathan Shelly (22-10) finished fourth at 132 pounds, and senior Karl Foster (18-14) finished fourth at 182.

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