AURORA – Walter Green epitomized the fortunes of the Marmion wrestling team Saturday at home in Aurora.
The sophomore is part of a gifted team of reigning Class 3A state finalists, future Division I athletes and battle-tested competitors.
The Cadets’ 126-pounder entered the Marmion Class 3A Regional with a sub-.500 record.
But it made little difference in the championship match after Green had the only points of the final to win one of seven regional titles for the Cadets.
“It was a lot ups and downs this year with [making]) weight,” Green said after improving to 19-18 on the season with his 2-0 win over Wheaton Warrenville South 32-match winner Dominic Duve in the final. “It all came together at the end of the year to pull through [the regional championship].”
Since being elevated to Class 3A in 2013, Marmion has captured every regional championship during the sequence.
The Cadets will try to match a seventh straight team state appearance against Catholic League rival Mt. Carmel at the Sandburg Sectional on Feb. 19.
But the individual state championships are first on the docket as 10 other Marmion athletes also advanced to the Bolingbrook sectional this weekend.
The Cadets also had two runners-up and two major-consolation champions as first-year coach Nate Fitzenreider bested his older brother Noah’s DuPage Valley Conference championship Naperville Central squad, 225-169.5, for their latest regional title.
Diego Sotelo (106 pounds), Michael Jaffe (120) and reigning state champion Trevor Chumbley (138) all won titles with technical falls for Marmion.
Brad Gross, like Sotelo, is a reigning state runner-up; the former won his fourth straight regional championship with a first-period fall at 160 pounds.
Nathan Callaway (132) and Ryan Fleck (138) won the Cadets’ other two titles with a major and simple decision, respectively.
“We have a great support system,” said Callaway. “It’s awesome to wrestle with a team like this and continue the tradition of championships.”
Fleck turned back highly regarded Batavia sophomore Mikey Caliendo as the second seed at 138.
“The coaches said that [Caliendo] was voted the top seed 8-1 by the other [schools’ head] coaches,” Fleck said. “I think I should have been seeded ahead of him.”
Like Chumbley, a Northwestern recruit, who made mincemeat of Illinois-bound Metea Valley senior Phillip Sims, Sotelo is ranked No. 1 at his weight class.
“I know if I can get on top, it’s my bread and butter,” said Sotelo, who had the earliest of the three Marmion technical falls in the opening weight class. “I know I am going to have a target on my back.”
Batavia, third with 135 points. advanced six athletes to the Bolingbrook individual sectional as Justin Major had the sole championship for the team with his second-period fall in the 152-pound finals.