Reich ready for another shot at state
Carmel's Jake Cochrane (top) stops a shooting Lavontay Cobb during a 285-pound match at the Class 2A state wrestling tournament Saturday. | Jeff Cagle~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 22, 2013 6:59AM
CHAMPAIGN — After finishing third in his state wrestling meet debut, Vernon Hills’ Jordan Reich feels he can do even better next season.
The junior’s only loss came in Friday night’s Class 2A semifinals at Assembly Hall, when eventual state champion Danny Swan of Oak Forest beat Reich 4-3 at 106 pounds. Reich (46-6) claimed third by pinning Montini’s Jimmy Pawelski (32-20) at 1:53.
“After that loss you have to let it go. You have to move on,” Reich said. “I thought I wrestled pretty well. Obviously, I did not wrestle my best. I beat that kid before. It is what it is.”
Reich met Swan earlier this season and defeated him 3-1 in overtime.
“I knew I had the potential to place. My goal was to win it,” Reich said. “I didn’t reach my goal, but I still wrestled pretty good.”
Reich became Vernon Hills’ third different state medalist in the last three years. He follows 2012 state champion Jeremy Brazil and Gideon Yim, a state runner-up in 2011.
Teammate David Pierce came within one win of earning a medal at 145 pounds, but lost 5-2 to Springfield’s Haratio Austin in the wrestlebacks. Joe Blitstein lost his only match at 285.
Stevenson senior Justin Weber (42-4) became the sixth different state medalist in school history after beating Lake Park’s Austin Schoen 3-1 in the third-place match at 145 pounds in Class 3A Saturday.
Weber walked off the mat for the final time trying to rub a sore right shoulder, but kept bouncing up and down with excitement after finishing his career with a win.
Weber injured his shoulder earlier in the tournament while warming up with an assistant coach.
“I shot in and hurt my neck,” Weber said.
He refused to take any pain medication before his upcoming matches and suffered his only loss in the tournament during Friday night’s semifinal against eventual state champion Bryce Brill (49-0) of Mount Carmel. Brill won by major decision, 22-9.
“I like wrestling,” Weber said. “One loss is not going to get me down. I like going out there and I like battling. I just go out there and give it my all.”
Carmel senior Jake Cochrane (43-2) placed third at 285 pounds in Class 2A after getting pinned at 1:54 by Springfield Southeast’s Copache Taylor in the semifinals.
In his previous match, Cochrane pinned Jacksonville’s Josh Smith in 1:49. Cochrane wrapped up his tournament with a 1-0 decision over Lavontay Cobb of King in the third-place match.
Carmel’s Brodie Palm (106 pounds), Jake Morgan (120) and Jimmy Dandino (160) did not win a match at state.
Lake Zurich Regional champion Barrington brought five wrestlers to the Class 3A state meet, but only senior Ben Calamari (38-9) medaled by taking fifth at 285 pounds. Calamari won his final math in overtime, beating Marmion’s Alex Fritz (37-16) by a 3-1 score.
Libertyville had six Class 3A state qualifiers but could not produce a state medalist. Few teams struggled as much as the Wildcats, who went 2-9 in the tournament. Only Austin Pettinato at 145 pounds and Chris McDermand at 285 picked up wins. McDermand needed to beat Barrington’s Ben Calamari to earn a medal, but Calamari won 3-2 in overtime.
Mundelein’s Jake Long (31-8) dropped his first match at 152 pounds, losing to Belleville West’s Nate Higgins by a 14-0 decision.