The Riverside-Brookfield High School wrestling team knew that moving up from Class 2A to 3A would call for tougher competition, particularly during the state series of the individual state tournament.
The Bulldogs got a first-hand look Saturday at better competition during the Downers Grove Sectional of the IHSA individual state tournament. RBHS (61 points) placed seventh out of nine teams and qualified three wrestlers for sectional competition.
Perennial powerhouse Montini (217) won the regional, followed by Lyons Township (168.5), Downers Grove South (147.5), Glenbard East (102), Willowbrook (74.5) and Hinsdale Central (65).
“The switch from 2A to 3A is tough,” Boyd said. “When you wrestle a big school like Lyons Township, all of those kids have five or six years of kids club experience. Our next step for our own program is to keep building our kids clubs.”
Joey Giurini (22-10) and Chris Colvin (22-14) placed second in the 113-pound and 195-pound weight classes, respectively, as the Bulldogs’ top finishers.
Giurini defeated Willowbrook’s Andrew Verr by a 6-3 decision in the semifinals before bowing out of the title match with an injury default against Real Woods of Montini. He won his opening match with a 14-6 major decision over Morton Ceasar Meraz.
Colvin (20-15) was pinned at 3:42 by Downers Grove South’s Sergio Villalobos in the first-place match at 195, Colvin won by a fall and decision en route to the finals.
“Giurini and Colvin were in tough regionals but they really battled,” RBHS coach Mike Boyd said. “Every match they were in was close. Contreras was also in a tough bracket, but he wrestled hard. Everybody wrestled hard and I’m really proud of them.”
Although Blanco (28-4) lost to Lyons Township’s Mac Casella (fall 3:40) in the 138-pound semifinals, he wrestled well with three victories in four matches to punch his ticket to the sectionals. He closed out the day with an 18-7 major decision against Scott Szabo of Glenbard East.
The Bulldogs’ Josh Contreras (22-13) finished fourth at 120, while Joey Swallow (18-14) went 2-2 with wins by decision and major decision at the regional.