All-Area Wrestling: Co-Wrestler of the Year Brian Allen and First Team
Hinsdale, 03/11/13--Hinsdale Central High School junior Brian Allen is the 2013 IHSA state champion heavyweight wrestler. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
ALL-AREA WRESTLING FIRST TEAM
106 pounds: Jordan Reich (Jr.), Vernon Hills
His third place finish at Class 2A guaranteed Vernon Hills a third consecutive state medalist, following in the footsteps of Gideon Yim in 2011 and state champ Jeremy Brazil in 2012. Reich (46-6) won the Lakes Regional and Antioch Sectional before falling to eventual state champion Danny Swan of Oak Forest in the semifinals.
113: Jimmy Gallardo (So.), Notre Dame
Gallardo (35-6) led Notre Dame to the Class 3A Evanston Regional team title and won his match against a Glenbard North opponent in the dual-team sectional final. Gallardo made his second consecutive state appearance, competing at Class 2A a year ago.
120: Matthew Rundell (So.), Oak Park-River Forest
The runner-up in 2012 made a return trip to the state meet as a sophomore. He fell victim to a tough draw, dropping his first bout to an eventual state finalist. Rundell (29-8) captured titles at Hinsdale Central’s Whitlatch Invitational and the York Regional.
126: Isaiah White (Fr.), Oak Park-River Forest
The four-time IKWF champion kept winning in high school while finishing third at the IHSA state meet. White (48-3) won the OPRF Invitational and York Regional and posted a victory in the Huskies’ state dual-team quarterfinal loss to Sandburg. White led the Huskies in wins, decisions (17) and technical falls (12).
132: Larry Early (So.), Oak Park-River Forest
Early (47-1) took another step after placing third downstate in 2012. He grabbed second this year, his only loss coming when he was pinned by Marmion’s George Fisher in the state final. He won at Whitlatch, the OPRF Invite, the York Regional and the Maine East Sectional. He was all-tournament at the Clash in Rochester, Minn., and led the Huskies in two-point near falls (43).
138: Juwan Edmond (So.), Hinsdale Central
Edmond (42-10) was one of the biggest surprises at the state meet, finishing second in Champaign after taking third at the Shepard Sectional and winning the Hinsdale Central Regional. He entered Assembly Hall with the third most losses in his weight class. He was fifth at state in 2012.
145: Justin Weber (Sr.), Stevenson
The Lake Zurich Regional champion became only the sixth medalist in school history by finishing third downstate. Danny Sabatello, who claimed consecutive state titles in 2010-11, is the lone Stevenson wrestler who placed higher than Weber (42-4).
152: Kamal Bey (Fr.), Oak Park-River Forest
The second of OPRF’s Fab Five freshmen on our all-area team placed fifth in his state meet debut. Bey (30-7) won the OPRF Invite and the York Regional. His first loss downstate came against eventual champion Kyle Langenderfer of Lincoln-Way East.
160: Davonte Mahomes (Jr.), Oak Park-River Forest
Mahomes’ initial blemish of the season came in the state quarterfinals to eventual champ C.J. Brucki of Sandburg. Mahomes (46-1) rebounded to place third for the second consecutive year. He led the Huskies in takedowns (236), won the Whitlatch and OPRF invites, and posted victories at the York Regional and the Maine East Sectional.
170: Austin Koziol (Jr.), Libertyville
One of six Libertyville wrestlers to qualify for the Class 3A championships, Koziol (28-12) lost his only match in Assembly Hall, to Addison Trail’s Niko Gomez-Rocha. Koziol finished second at the Barrington Sectional and Grant Regional.
182: Joe Ariola (Sr.), Oak Park-River Forest
The Co-Wrestler of the Year took an undefeated record into the last match of his career, in the state dual-team quarterfinals. Ariola (47-1), who won the Class 3A championship, paced OPRF in pins (25) and three-point near falls (44). His other titles came at the Whitlatch and OPRF invites, the York Regional and the Maine East Sectional. He was named all-tournament at the Clash.
195: Pat Vitek (Sr.), Nazareth
Vitek (40-2) remained undefeated entering the Class 2A state meet and finished fourth to become the third state medalist in Nazareth history. A lineman for the football team in the fall, he won the Riverside-Brookfield Regional and Rich East Sectional.
220: Jacob Suter (Sr.), Glenbrook South
Suter (38-3) emerged as Glenbrook South’s first Class 3A medalist, grabbing third after losing in the semifinal to eventual state champion Tom Howell of Marist. The last state medalist from GBS was Craig Swenson, who placed second at 145 in Class AA in 1990. Sutter won titles at the Fremd Regional and Barrington Sectional.
285: Brian Allen (Jr.), Hinsdale Central
The Co-Wrestler of the Year followed the path of his brother Jack Allen by going undefeated and winning the Devils’ second individual state championship. Brian Allen (49-0) broke his older brother’s school record for wins in a season; next year he could eclipse his career mark. Brian Allen collected titles at Barrington’s Moore-Prettyman, the Whitlatch, Palatine’s Berman Classic, the Hinsdale Central Regional and Shepard Sectional.
Updated: March 21, 2013 2:23PM
The first priority for undefeated state champion Brian Allen isn’t wrestling.
The Hinsdale Central junior plans on competing in only two national wrestling tournaments in the offseason. He will return with Team Illinois next month to a dual-team meet in Crawfordsville, Ind., and he’ll also compete in a tournament in Virginia Beach, Va.
Other than that, the Pioneer Press Co-Wrestler of the Year will work on the sport he hopes will lead to a college scholarship — football. It’s a family tradition.
His grandfather, John Allen, played at Wisconsin in 1957 and his older brother Jack Allen became Michigan State’s starting center in the fall as a redshirt freshman.
“It’s fun getting up there seeing (Jack) play,” Brian Allen said. “It’s surreal. You are in a stadium of 80,000 people and one of the 22 guys on the field is your brother. It’s incredible.”
Brian Allen, Hinsdale Central’s starting center, already has scholarship offers from both Wisconsin and Michigan State and visited Wisconsin over the weekend with Hinsdale Central tight end Ian Bunting, another Division I prospect.
Brian Allen currently has offers from four other Big Ten schools. Already 10 programs have tendered scholarships, according to Rivals.com, a number expected to grow for the 6-foot-2, 270-pound center from Hinsdale.
Brian Allen and Jack Allen, a 2011 Hinsdale Central graduate, are the Red Devils’ only state wrestling champions. Brian Allen finished undefeated at 49-0, beating Neuqua Valley senior Andrew Geers 4-2 in the 285-pound state final.
Until next wrestling season, Brian Allen is focused on football. He and Bunting have joined Core 6, a year-round football training center based in Deerfield. Brian Allen and Bunting take turns driving each other at least 30 minutes every Sunday and a few days during the week to Core 6’s headquarters for drills and instructions from the center’s staff. Core 6 is run by former Indiana linebacker Paul Szczesny, who played his high school football at Notre Dame in Niles.
“We work on offensive line drills and individual stuff,” Brian Allen said. “This is so I can keep getting better in the winter.”