The 59th Annual Berman Classic wrestling tournament at Palatine couldn’t have been more balanced.
Eleven different teams sent individual champions to the podium and when the dust settled, Glenbard East’s one champion and three second-placers keyed the Rams 177-165.5 team win over second-place Oak Forest.
“I guess the little guys carried us today,” Rams junior Jake Drew said after winning the title at 132 pounds.
“Little guys” Carlos Fuentez Jr. (106), Dayton Olson (126), and Josh Martin (145) all placed second while D’Andre Johnson (285) placed third to round out the Rams’ field of medal winners.
Oak Forest’s lower-weight wrestlers also shined, with Francis Edelen topping second-seeded Darvell Flagg of Joliet West and then posting a 5-2 decision over top-seeded Fuentez on the title mat at 106 pounds.
Top-seeded Danny Swan also won a title for Oak Forest, 6-5 over Zion-Benton’s Anthony Munoz, among the Bengals’ six medal winners.
“I knew we’d be good competitors with Lincoln-Way West, who is ranked above us in 2A, but we came in here and had a lot of kids wrestle tougher than they usually do,” Swan said.
Lincoln-Way West placed fourth with seven medalists, led by second-placers Noah Keefe (132), Matt Ryan (152), and Javier Montalvo (170).
Third-place Lyons led all teams with eight medal winners on the day and saw A.J. Villareal (152) win his first Berman title after placing third the last two years. Johnny Mologousis (145) also placed third for the Lions.
Fifth-place Hinsdale Central got titles from Juwan Edmond (145) and Brian Allen (285), who won his third Berman crown with a 3-1 decision over Lincoln-Way East’s Nick Allegretti.
The junior Edmond won a major decision on the title mat after placing second in his freshman and sophomore campaigns.
“I felt a lot better this week,” Edmond said, after placing third at last week’s Whitlatch tournament. “My main goal is to win a state championship and I today I wrestled my style of wrestling. I felt good on my feet.”
Deerfield’s Colton Emmerich (24-0 at 182) was one of five unbeaten title winners, along with Allen (21-0), St. Laurence’s Johnny Gahagan (19-0 at 138), and Richmond-Burton’s Grant Sutton (21-0 at 126) and Garrett Sutton (22-0 at 160).
Downers Grove North’s Nick Bonomo used a late reversal to win 5-4 over Montalvo for the title at 170. Lake Park’s Tyler Vittal (195), Plainfield East’s Zach Krause (120), and Andrew Sierawski (220) of Delaware-Hayes from Ohio were also Berman champs.