From Luis Marquez at 106 to Ruben Holcomb at 285, it was quite a day for Snider seniors Saturday at the Summit Athletic Conference championships. And, coach Dave Mohr knew that if his seniors stepped up, it would be a great day for the Panthers overall.
“After last year’s great group of seniors, this group had a tough act to follow,” Mohr said. “But, they found their way and came together to provide great leadership. Ultimately (winning the SAC) was about our seniors coming together.”
Snider had a meet-leading four individual champions and second-place finishes en route to a 225-206 victory over runner-up Bishop Dwenger. Northrop (180), Concordia (149), South Side (142), Wayne (137.5), North Side (128) and Bishop Luers (42) filled out the team standings.
Along with titles by Marquez and Holcomb, Snider got victories from Erique Early at 120 and Bobby Humphrey at 126. Humphrey’s 11-5 victory over Sam Lovejoy of Bishop Luers was widely considered an upset. Lovejoy came in 25-3 and ranked No. 16 in the state. Humphrey came in 15-3 and the two have never met.
“I missed the beginning of the season because of football and then I hurt my back,” Humphrey said, explaining why he hasn’t wrestled Lovejoy. “I don’t really look at rankings or what the other guy’s record is. In a meet like this, it’s about getting points for the team.”
Points, not just advancement points, was key said Mohr.
“I think all but one of our wrestlers got bonus points today for a pin,” Mohr said. “To win a meet like this, you need all the extra points you can get. We did a great job with that.”
And Holcomb’s 29-second pin of Bishop Dwenger’s Shawn Ryan for the championship was the exclamation point.
“It was nice to get the pin,” Holcomb said of the final. “He beat me at the beginning of the season and then I got him back. This was the tie-breaker.”
Asked about his role as a senior, Holcomb said: “At times like these, it’s best to just lead by example. Go out there on the mat and get it done.”
Winning titles for Bishop Dwenger were Austin Hillman (145) and Ben Evans (182). Both beat Snider opponents in the finals.
“It was real close and we knew it would be,” said Bishop Dwenger coach John Tone. “All those tweener points up for grabs? They just won more than we did. I thought both teams wrestled really well.”
In the most exciting final of the day Wayne’s Luke Martinez pinned Northrop’s Xavier Poindexter at 138. Martinez, now 25-4, was trailing in a high-scoring match before turning Poindexter at 4:54. Also winning for Wayne was Shaun Johnson at 152.
North Side wrestlers claimed two titles: Carlos Garcia (132) and Anthony Linnear (170).
Other winners were Northrop’s Logan Aldrich (113), South Side’s Thavanh Xayarath (160), Bishop Luers’ Everett Green (195) and Concordia’s Aaron Olson (220).