Senior wrestling Captain Matthew Jacoby won the 152 pound weight class at the recent Evanston Holiday Tournament, becoming the first Ida Crown champion of this highly-competitive tournament since Stanley Dayan won the title at 160 pounds in 2006. Jacoby also spearheaded a fine tournament performance by the ICJA contingent, which took seventh place out of 15 teams.
Jacoby was seeded fourth and started strongly with a :42 pin of Noel Gutierrez of Luther North. Jacoby then faced first seeded Max Garland of Taft High School. Jacoby got an early lead and stayed in control the entire match as he defeated his opponent 7-4. In the finals, he squared off against Evanston’s Danny White. White scored the initial take down, but Jacoby quickly reversed him, and the score was knotted 3-3 at the end of the first period. Jacoby started the second period from the down position, and again, hit a quick reversal move to extend his lead. He added to his lead by gaining near fall points before the end of the period. At the start of the third period, Jacoby was leading, 8-3. White opted to wrestle from neutral. He executed a deep shot on Jacoby and managed to gain exposure points on the ICJA wrestler. The score was tied again, 8-8, with about a minute remaining. Jacoby earned an escape point, but continued to be aggressive in order to maintain his advantage. Jacoby emerged victorious with a final score of 9-8.
Junior Raphi Chernoff (138) and Senior Nate Bomben (145) also turned in fine performances, and each finished third in his respective weight class. Chernoff decked Guerin’s Julian Southard in :45 seconds in the quarters, but dropped an 8-1 decision to eventual champion Kameron Kull of Evanston in the semi-finals. Chernoff came back to earn third with a second period pin of David Hernandez of Taft. Bomben dominated Evanston’s William Perkins in the quarterfinals before pinning him in the third period. Saleem Griggs-Taylor of Gary Comer High School eked out a narrow 4-3 decision over Bomben in the semis. In the third place finals, Bomben conceded an initial takedown to Mattias Amezquita-Fox of Evanston to make the score 0-2. However, the ETHS wrestler, apparently fearing Bomben’s explosive moves from the bottom position, opted to let Bomben return to the neutral position after a re-start. Bomben then proceeded to takedown Amezquita-Fox and put him on his back a few times. When regulation time expired, Bomben had established a commanding 9-4 lead and won the bronze medal.
Senior Captain Ofri Ben David (132) had the misfortune to meet the eventual champion at the weight–Al Aguliar of Taft–in the first round. While Aguliar easily pinned all of his other opponents, he barely managed a 3-0 decision against Ben David. For his part, Ben David charged through the consolation bracket to take fifth place, pinning opponents from Guerin and Kelvin Park along the way.
Juniors Ethan Lewis (106) and Avi Bar Meir (220) took sixth place in their weight classes. Junior Max Gorenstein (170) wrestled hard as well, but did not place.
“With only seven wrestlers available to participate in the tournament,” Coach Doug Klein said, “We posted an excellent team result. All of the other teams who finished ahead of us had nearly full squads. Individually, this team continues to perform well and to build momentum for an impressive tournament run in February.”