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Prep Wrestling Insider: Marmion wrestling climbing ladder

Marmion’s Johnny Jimenez wins at the IHSA Class 2A state wrestling tournament during the semifinal round at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Jimenez finished third at a tournament this past weekend.
Marmion’s Johnny Jimenez wins at the IHSA Class 2A state wrestling tournament during the semifinal round at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Jimenez finished third at a tournament this past weekend.

Four of Marmion’s anchors notched top-eight finishes at the prestigious Walsh Jesuit Ironman Tournament in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, this past weekend.

With Anthony Bosco (eighth at 106 pounds), Johnny Jimenez (third at 120), George Fisher (seventh at 132) and Cody Snodgrass (fourth at 195) excelling, the rest of the Cadets still did more than slink away.

Marmion left the suburb near Akron with 86.5 points and a good measure of buzz, finishing eighth among 24 teams.

“Everybody else putting in 100 percent effort in every match helped us get pretty much everybody a win at what is arguably the nation’s toughest tournament,” Cadets coach Ryan Cumbee said. “I was very happy about it, and it’s where we expect to be. That’s one thing I do want to say. We don’t want to be a Cinderella story. We want to set our expectations high, and we want to achieve those high expectations.

“While it might have been a shock to most, it wasn’t a shock to us.”

A top Illinois program during the past few seasons, Marmion also has emerged on the national scene. Its move to IHSA Class 3A this winter presented a new hurdle, one the Cadets don’t shudder from.

Marmion, which vaulted from off the board to No. 28 in this week’s InterMat Wrestling Fab 50 national team rankings, traditionally wrestles a challenging schedule. Upcoming matches include tonight’s dual at Suburban Christian Conference rival Montini (InterMat No. 10) and a Saturday home quad that features Marist (No. 21) and Luxemberg-Casco, defending Wisconsin Division 2 state champions.

Whatever gets the team ready for the state series in February.

“We don’t want to wait for next year or the next year or the next year,” Cumbee said. “We want to do it this year, so that’s what we’re striving for.”

Brothers in armlocks

St. Charles East freshman 106-pounder Anthony Rubino often stays after practice for extra live wrestling with his brother, Ryan, a senior who competes at 113.

Although he and younger brother Chris were a few years further apart, Saints coach Jason Potter finds the scene reminiscent of his past. Both Jason and Chris Potter won back-to-back state titles in their Saints careers.

“Being just as good as them would be pretty good,” Anthony Rubino said.

The Rubinos follow in the path of another former Saints state champion. Older brother Brandon is now a wrestler at Nebraska.

The younger Rubinos often credit the same things for their success.

“Being strong, working out after practice and having good practice partners,” Anthony Rubino said. “Everybody that’s good has good practice partners.”

– Kevin Druley,

Johnny Jimenez
Marmion, Jr., 120 pounds
What he did:
Jimenez led Marmion's top placewinners at the Walsh Jesuit Ironman Tournament in Ohio over the weekend, taking third at 120 as the Cadets finished eighth in the team race.

Craig Kein
Burlington Central, So., 170 pounds
What he did:
Competing at Saturday's Carson DeJarnatt Invitational at Sterling, Kein placed second at 170 to move to 9-3. The Rockets placed fifth in the 10-team event.

Sycamore still has Kaneland's number. After losing in a Northern Illinois Big 12 East dual last week, the Knights remain winless against their longtime rivals since 2007. Despite the slide, Kaneland coach Monty Jahns and a strong cast of seniors remain optimistic about the season and the chance to shine in the Class 2A state tournament.

Whether Batavia can keep pace with St. Charles East in the UEC River race. The Bulldogs topped Geneva in their league opener late last month and are set to travel to St. Charles North on Friday. The Saints are 3-0 in the conference after rolling at Geneva last week and host Batavia one week from tonight.

Sly's eager to see how host St. Charles North shows against Batavia on Friday. The North Stars have their share of veterans, but their UEC River opener against St. Charles East might still have some stinging effects.

The Bulldogs have their sights on a conference title, too, as they brace for their first UEC River dual on the road.

Can North keep building progress as the new year looms?

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