Riverside-Brookfield High School senior Bill Martin enjoyed continued success as a wrestler at the IHSA Class 2A RBHS Regional on Feb. 4.
He also did as a teammate and coach.
While Martin at 170 pounds was among 12 Bulldogs who advanced to the Deerfield Sectional with top-three finishes, sophomore Max Strong, who qualified at 160, usually is Martin’s sparring partner at practice.
“It means a lot to help coach these younger kids, the underclassmen,” Martin said. “I just love the bond we have. I was really glad he did [advance].”
Senior and No. 1 seed Joe Midona (28-6 at 195) won his final by injury default as the Bulldogs’ lone regional champion.
Seniors Quintavius Murrell (27-11 at 120), Devontae Givens (27-14 at 285) and Martin (26-13 at 170), juniors Josh Gonzalez (28-12 at 138) and Cade Tomkins (24-15 at 152) and sophomore Edgar Mosquera (24-10 at 113) all finished second.
Senior Dan Williams (7-14 at 195), junior Jacob Noe (30-13 at 152) and sophomores Ethan Rivas (13-7 at 132), Max Strong (23-17 at 160) and Matt Elzy (17-9 at 182) were third.
Finishing fourth, one victory from advancing, were sophomores Chase Murrell (24-15 at 106) and Nate Stannard (10-17 at 126).
“It helps definitely to have a lot of good people on varsity, which benefits the program, but it also gets me better because it forces me to wrestle way better people,” Strong said. “Let’s just say I don’t normally win those matches [with Martin].”
Despite continued success, the Bulldogs (214 points) won’t be able to compete for a third straight team state berth. They finished second to Montini Catholic (236), which earned the sectional team berth as regional champion.
The Broncos have returned to 2A following three straight 3A state titles from 2018-20. They advanced 11 with eight individual champs, three of which beat Bulldogs in the finals.
“I can never be disappointed when we have 12 wrestlers advance to the sectional,” RBHS coach Nick Curby said.
Top-four sectional finishers qualify for state. Midona and Mosquera earned their first state berths in 2022 in their same weight classes. The other 12 Bulldogs in that lineup also advanced to sectionals, including Quintavius Murrell, Martin (then 152), Noe and Gonzalez (then 132).