Wrestling: Lane’s Max Schneider claims another state title

Story Image Champaign, IL 2/17/12 The top high school wrestlers in the state met up in Champaign in Saturday's championship matches of the IHSA State Meet. Marist's Mark Duda puts Harlem's Jordan Northrup on his back but is unable to pin him. | Rob Dicker~Sun-Times Media | Rob Dicker~Sun-Times Media
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Updated: February 18, 2012 11:59PM

CHAMPAIGN – Max Schneider noticed a while back that his life was following a familiar path.

If he won out in his senior season, he’d wind up with the same record – and the same result – as his sophomore year. Then, he became Lane’s first state champion in 64 years.

Now, Schneider is the first two-time champ from the Public League in 59 years after beating Glenbard North’s Brian Murphy 3-1 Saturday night in the Class 3A 152-pound final at Assembly Hall.

That wrapped up a second 40-0 season and the greatest career for a city wrestler in decades. Schneider was a three-time state finalist, finishing second as a freshman before missing last year’s state tourney with the same shoulder injury that almost derailed his sophomore season.

And that’s the difference between then and now, as Schneider demonstrated after Saturday’s win by raising his arms over his head.

“I’m not sure if I ever believed my junior season, [that] I believed I could ever do that again,” Schneider said.

But Schneider’s career was filled with hard-to-figure moments right up to the end. He trailed Murphy – a state runner-up last year who was 30-0 heading into Saturday’s final – 1-0 going into the third period. Schneider tied it with an escape with 1:37 left and then, after a scramble at the edge of the mat, tugged Murphy back inbounds by his foot for a takedown with 58 seconds remaining.

“Every move has the potential to score points if you hit it hard,” Schneider said. “It’s all about hitting your moves hard and believing in yourself.”

So it was for Stagg’s Kevin Moylan (45-1), who rode out returning champ Bryce Brill of Mount Carmel in the final 30 seconds of overtime to win 3-2 on an ultimate tiebreaker in the 145 final.

“The last OT [period] was kind of a scramble,” said Moylan, who lost to Brill (45-2) at the De La Salle Sectional last week. “I was trying to hold on for dear life.”

De La Salle’s James Buss (42-0) won the second matchup of unbeatens, getting a near fall to beat Bolingbrook’s Rob Bain (26-1) 5-1 in overtime.

“It’s something I worked all four years for ever since Curtis [Blaydes, the 2009 3A champ] won,” Buss said.

Glenbard North’s Jered Cortez (47-0) won a matchup of defending state champs at 120, cruising past Sandburg’s Sebastian Pique 11-0.

“He’s one of my best friends,” said Cortez, who was one of Marmion’s five champs in Class 2A last year. “It’s tough going out there. [But when] a state title is on the line, you kind of put your friendship aside.”

Lockport had two champs: repeat winner Brad Johnson (37-0), who beat Edwardsville’s Blake Blair 9-2 at 195, and ShaunQae McMurtry (45-1), a 10-4 winner over Lake Park’s Farai Sewera at 160,

Oak Park-River Forest’s Sam Brooks (38-1), appearing in his third consecutive final, won his second title by beating Alton’s Tyler McGiffen 9-2.

“After losing [the 171 final] last season, there was no way I wasn’t going to win this year,” Brooks said. “It was all mental for me. I got it right in my mind and transferred that to the mat.”

Providence senior Eddie Klimara, a four-time finalist, went out in style by blanking Plainfield Central’s Nathan Davis 6-0 in the 126 final. He was runner-up the past two seasons after winning at 103 as a freshman.

“The last two years I fell short,” said Klimara, who finished with a 159-5 career record. “I came in this year [thinking], ‘It’s my last year, my last six minutes of wrestling as a high school senior. I might as well just leave it all on the mat, you know?’”

Junior 132-pounder Sal Annoreno (39-3) became Bartlett’s first champ and freshman 106-pounder Kris Williams (21-2) is Thornton’s first winner in 23 years.

At 220, Schaumburg’s Josh Marchok (43-1) avenged his only loss of the season­ which came in last week’s sectional final ­ and handed Wheaton North’s Mike Swider (44-1) his first defeat, 4-3.

Also winning titles were Lincoln-Way East’s Kyle Langenderfer (42-2) at 138 and Minooka’s Jake Residori (45-2), who beat Sandburg’s Ricky Robertson (44-1) 7-3 in the 170 final.

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