Down to the wire

Students from the MCHS’s wrestling team head to the IHSA’s State Wrestling Tournament this weekend and next



Sophomore Ryan Hanson wrestles during a meet at Libertyville High School on Nov. 23. Hanson is one of four wrestlers who are headed to the IHSA State Wrestling Tournament.

Mackenzie Sroka, Sports Editor

As the final whistle blows, the match is done. The feeling of joy and adrenaline surges through the body and the brain, for the match was won. The goal to go to state was accomplished once again. The opportunity to travel and compete against the best of the best in the state is officially here.

Wrestling state starts February 16 and it is held at the University of Illinois at the State Farm Center. The tournament will go from Thursday morning until Saturday evening with the state championships.

While the wrestling team did not make it to state, three individuals from their team are able to go to the tournament this weekend. 

“Ryan Hansen, at 106 pounds qualified for state. He took second in our sectional which is very tough,” described head coach Dan Rohman. “Pedro Jimenez at 145 pounds qualified, he took fourth at our sectionals. Chris Moore at 170 pounds took first at our sectional. Chris is the number two ranked wrestler 170 pounds in the state, and received the number one seed at the tournament.”

Being seeded number one at state is a huge accomplishment, but it does not happen without hard work throughout the season. Moore’s season while challenging continued to be a success, much like his previous wrestling years at MCHS. 

“The season is going good. I’m undefeated, so it’s probably the best way to start the season going into the last end of the year,” described Moore. “The past three years I’ve been undefeated going to the state so it’s nothing new.”

Even though this is nothing new to Moore, for Hansen, a sophomore, this is his first time at state.

“It’s been my goal this whole year to make it to state after last year not being able to,” described Hansen. “So I’ve been putting in a lot of work between just working hard every practice, extra running, extra practices, extra time to cut weight, making the hard decisions to not eat something one day to make weight, and going to an extra practice even when you’re super tired and just pushing yourself a lot.”

For those that have been to state before, this is an opportunity to improve and to do better than they have previously.

“I took second the past few years and won my freshman year, so I’m hoping to win it again,” explained Moore. “Also I am proud that I’m actually healthier this year because last year I was pretty beat up, so I’m just happy that I’m healthy.”

These individuals going to state reached great success and pushed themselves to get to this tournament, but the team also was able to reach goals that they have held for a long time. 

“The team did pretty good, we won the conference for the first time in many years,” described Moore. “The team did pretty good at Regionals and took third. Then we did a pretty good job at sectionals as well as a team, but needed to do better to reach team state.”

Everyone on the wrestling team this season has always put their best effort forward. At state, that is all that coach Rohman wants from his wrestlers. 

“I’m expecting them to give me their best effort. Regardless of what the outcomes are of the matches, I just want to see a never quit attitude,” explained Rohman. “I want them to give me everything they got, to leave it all out on the mat. When the last whistle blows, they know that they gave everything that they had to achieve or accomplish at their highest levels.”

At state, there is a lot of down time for them, so this is often an opportunity for the guys and coaches to bond and form stronger connections. It is an overall unique experience for these young wrestlers for many reasons.

“It is a great experience being in the stadium,” stated Jimenez. “There is nothing greater than being in that atmosphere with some of the best athletes out there, it’s just awesome.”

They are able to look up to these great athletes that they meet at the tournament, but they also have each other for inspiration to improve themselves. 

“It is good to see the people up there because I want to do as well as they are, and it helps me see where they’re at and I can try to follow that trajectory of how they’ve done,” described Hansen. 

The wrestlers will be competing over the stretch of the weekend, where they will push themselves through the tournament as far as they can get.

In the next coming weeks, there is another wrestler, Natalie Corona, that will be competing at state as well in the female tournament. She also plans to push herself to accomplish her goals against the best girls in the state.