Last Shabbat, the ICJA wrestling team made its annual pilgrimage to a hotel on Mannheim Road in Schiller Park, in order to spend a Shabbaton close to the site of Saturday evening’s Class 1A Regional Tournament at Walther Christian Academy in Melrose Park. Complete with food and a Sefer Torah, the wrestlers bided their time and enjoyed a quiet Shabbat. (Click here to read how our region is the only one to accommodate Shabbat in Illinois.)
Saturday night, the wrestling began at what was the toughest, most competitive regional ICJA had ever participated. In addition to traditional regional rivals Walther Christian and DePaul College Prep, Lisle, Westmont, and Immaculate Conception Catholic were added to the tournament mix. Unlike previous years, the brackets were full, and the road to the podium was more difficult than ever. While Ida Crown did not have anyone in the 1st place finals for the first time since 2007 since the Illinois High School Association moved the tournament to Saturday to accommodate ICJA, the Aces did not lose a single match in the entire tournament where they were expected to win. While they did not pull any major upsets, they did manage a few minor upsets, and four wrestlers took bronze medals.
Sophomore Enon Gurvich (120) began the tournament with third period pin over an opponent from DePaul. He lost in the semi-finals to the No. 1 seed from Lisle, but came back to upset the No. 3 from IC Catholic with a tense 6-3 decision.
Junior Meir Cohen (138) needed only :58 seconds to earn the fall over his quarterfinal opponent from Guerin. He jumped out to an early lead in the semis over the No. 1 seed from Westmont, before the higher seeded wrestler prevailed. Cohen did not despair, though, and charged through the consolation bracket to take 3rd place, pinning a wrestler from IC Catholic and the No. 2 seed from DePaul along the way.
Junior Captain Ray Goltz (145) pinned his Westmont opponent in the quarterfinals, then dropped a 10-1 decision to the No. 1 seed and eventual champion from Walther. Goltz, though, dominated his foe in the consolation finals with a second period fall to earn 3rd place and a spot on the medal stand.
Senior Captain Binyomin Krohn (160) took on a wrestler from DePaul in the quarterfinals and pinned him in the first period. He dropped a hard-fought match to the No. 2 from Westmont in the semis. Krohn then pinned his way to the podium, notching first period pins over foes from Lisle and DePaul.
Though Ida Crown ended up sixth in the team race, just behind IC Catholic, it proved to be an outstanding performance by the individual wrestlers on the Aces squad. The wrestling team closes out it season over Presidents’ Day Weekend at the XXIII Wittenberg National Invitational Tournament at the Frisch School.