Wrestling: KeVon Powell helps Montini sweep
Updated: December 3, 2011 5:20PM
It doesn’t seem like that long ago that KeVon Powell was the smallest and youngest guy on Montini’s wrestling team.
Now he’s one of the elder statesmen in a program that just keeps rolling along. Winners of four consecutive state titles, the No. 2 Broncos showed they’ll be a force to be reckoned with again this season on Saturday when they swept a double dual from Marist (36-27) and Mount Carmel (52-22) in Lombard. Marist got a split, beating the Caravan 58-12.
Montini (6-0) won even as several members of its Class 5A state football championship squad are still getting into wrestling shape. Till they do, it’ll be up to Powell and some other full-time wrestlers to lead the way. The senior 120-pounder, an Ohio recuit, is comfortable with that role now.
“Coming in as a freshman, there were guys like Colton Rasche, Carl Foreside, Grant Goebel, Stephen Robertson,” Powell said. “I watched them and watching them made me a better leader.”
Powell got the Broncos started right vs. Marist with a pin in 4 minutes, 36 seconds at 120 pounds, starting a 24-0 match-opening run. Chris Garcia (132) and Drew Vrbenec (138) had technical falls in the spurt, while Michael Sepke (126) and Xavier Montalto-Mata (145) added major decisions.
Marist (3-1), which beat No. 3 Minooka on Friday, rallied for a 27-27 tie behind pins from Joe Galason (160), Dan Drew (170) and Tom Howell (220) along with a tech fall by Peter Andreotti (152) and Ethan Benoit’s major decision at 182.
Montini regrouped, though, closing with decisions by Edgar Ruano (285), Tommy Pawelski (106) and Jordan Laster (113), who beat Mark Duda 3-1 in a matchup of state-ranked rivals. The Broncos also got a key win at 195, where Anthony Ferraro beat state-ranked Josh Pruitt 5-2.
“We’ve got to get the [football] guys back, establish the roots of Montini wrestling,” Broncos coach Israel Martinez said. “That is being together, making everyone believe we’re champions.”
Powell, Pawelski, Sepke, Garcia, Ferraro, Ruano, Laster and Montalvo-Mata all went 2-0 on the day for Montini.
Andreotti, Howell and Galason were double winners on the day for Marist. “We’ve got to get tougher,” coach Brendan Heffernan said. “We can’t be giving those [bonus] points up.”
Bryce Brill, ranked No. 1 in Class 3A at 145 pounds, and Jimmy Mickens (182) both won twice for Mount Carmel (4-5), “Obviously, the team doesn’t like to lose and doesn’t like to lose in the fashion that we did,” coach John Kading said. “It’s a long season, though. We’ll be ready in February.”