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Among eight high schools, the Aces wrestling team took second place this past weekend at the IHSA Class A Individual Regional Wrestling Tournament at Walther Christian Academy in Melrose Park. The meet begins the tournament season, after posting a 9-6 regular season, and marks the tenth year that ICJA has been allowed to participate. Across the state, every other regional tournament takes place on Saturday morning, however, the Walther Christian regional tournament is moved to Saturday night to accommodate ICJA and its Shabbat observance.

The Aces gave a good accounting of themselves in the tournament, taking second place. Walther Christian won the tournament with a score of 219.50. Ida Crown posted a score of 147.0, well ahead of third place DePaul College Prep at 119.0. This marked ICJA’s highest finish and highest team score since the championship season of 2012.

Ida Crown had two champions, senior Captains Nate Bomben (145) and Matthew Jacoby (152). Bomben pinned his way to the title, easily stopping opponents from Sullivan and Uplift. Jacoby, coming off an injury, showed determination in his semi-final match where he bested his opponent by a score of 6-4. In the finals, he was efficient in obtaining a 7-0 decision. Both were seeded #1 in their weight class, as was senior Captain Ofri Ben David (132). Unfortunately for Ben David, the random draw placed a female opponent against him in the first round. Forced to forfeit that match, Ben David’s path to a certain championship was barred. He showed tremendous poise and class, as he came back to take 3rd place.

Senior Captain Sam Schneiderman (126), junior Raphi Chernoff (138), and junior Joey Silverstein all took second place medals. Each of them faced a state-ranked wrestler in the finals. Chernoff nearly snatched a victory, but Omar Otero of DePaul held on for a narrow 6-3 decision.

Junior Ethan Lewis (106) and Senior Captain Ilan Kaissar (160) finished third in their respective weight classes. junior Akiva Goldberger (120), Junior Max Gorenstein (170), and junior Avi Bar-Meir (220) took fourth place honors.

All-in-all, it was a strong showing by a veteran squad. It should bode well for a equally strong performance at this weekend’s Wittenberg Tournament to be held at The Frisch School in Paramus, NJ.

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