As the Ida Crown wrestling team prepares for a busy February tournament season, the Aces achieved a milestone Thursday night in defeating traditional Class 1A powerhouse Lisle for the first time in school history.
But before recounting this great victory, ICJA had a little business to take care of a rival from the old neighborhood–Mather High School. Junior Raphi Chernoff (138), Senior Captain Ilan Kaissar (160), and Junior Avi Bar Meir (220) all pinned their opponents. Senior Captain Nate Bomben (145) scored a technical fall, while Senior Captain Ofri Ben David (132) and Junior Joey Silverstein (182) also won their matches. Mather ended up winning last Thursday’s match on the basis of forfeits, as starters at 120 and 170 were out of the Aces’ lineup. The final score was 45-30.
On Tuesday, 6 January, Ida Crown traveled to Chicago Hope Academy. Hope, a defending regional champion, presented tough competition for the Aces. Most of the matches were closely-contested, and it proved to be a night of drama, as several bouts went down to the last second. Ben David notched a first period pin, while Chernoff sweated out an 8-7 victory after being down 5-0 after the first period. Senior Captain Matthew Jacoby (152) won his match, followed by Kaissar victory via a second period fall. Silverstein earned a 7-1 decision, and Bar Meir finished the evening with an business-like first period pin. ICJA forfeits at three weight classes handed the decisive edge to Chicago Hope. Even in the 41-30 defeat, though, the Aces displayed their tenacity and skill.
On Thursday, ICJA hit the road once more to Lisle, where they also wrestled Westmont High School. Westmont proved to easy pickings for the Aces, who cruised to a 54-18 victory. Junior Akiva Goldberger (120), Senior Captain Sam Schneiderman (126), Ben David, Chernoff, Bomben, Jacoby, Kaissar, Junior Max Gorenstein (170), and Bar-Meir all reeled off wins in rapid succession. Schneiderman, Jacoby, and Kaissar each had first period pins. Bomben claimed another technical fall, 15-0.
Against Lisle, Ben David was defeated by #10 ranked Drew Sonnefeldt, and Silverstein fell to state-ranked Jake Pawlowicz. The rest of the evening belonged to the Aces. Goldberger and Schneiderman brought home victories to stake ICJA to a 12-0 lead. Chernoff scored a last second fall to make the score 18-6. Bomben cruised to 13-4 major decision to push the team score to 22-6. After Jacoby was victorious, Kaissar was clinical in his 15-0 technical fall. The senior needed only five seconds of the second period to score the points necessary to end the match. With the score then 33-6, Gorenstein fought to a 10-4 decision. Bar-Meir closed out the scoring with an exciting 13-10 victory. The score stood at 39-12, before Lisle picked up four forfeits to make the final score 39-36. The final team score, though, does not reflect the total dominance displayed by the ICJA grapplers.
Next week features Senior Night with the varsity’s final home match against St. Viator on Tuesday, 2 February. The JV/frosh squad will wrestle Christ the King on Thursday, 4 February. The varsity will then trek out to spend next Shabbos near Walther Christian, the site of Saturday night’s IHSA Class 1A Regional. This strong ICJA squad will be looking for a good finish to their regular season.