Suter Places 3rd in IHSA Championships

Jacob Suter wrapped up a tremendous Titan wrestling career by placing third in the 220 lbs. weight class at this weekend’s IHSA State Wrestling Championships. It was the highest finish by a Titan wrestler at State since Craig Swenson placed second at 145 lbs. in 1990, more than two decades ago.

Suter won his first two bouts by fall (in 3:16) and decision (6-1) before succumbing to eventual state championTom Howell of Marist by a score of 5-2 in the semi-finals Friday night.  Saturday morning Suter was back in the consolation bracket, defeating Tremont Davis of Bellville by the narrowist of margins, 1-0, to set up a third place showdown with Ray Griggel of Carpentersville, who had pinned his three prior opponents before his match with Suter.  In the consolation final, Suter turned the tables on Griggel, pinning his shoulders blades to the mat 55 seconds into overtime to win the bronze. (The opponents wrestled to a 3-3 tie in regulation.)

Suter finished his season with a sterling record of 38-3.

Grappler Jacob Suter is Going Downstate

Jacob Suter’s outstanding senior season continues.  Yesterday at the Barrington Sectional, Suter defeated fellow senior John Benson of New Trier in a 220 lbs. tournament final for the third week in a row, this time by a score of 6-3, to advance to the State Finals this week in Champaign.  It was Suter’s fourth victory over Benson this year and improved his record on the season to 34-2.

Sweilem’s Angle On Sport He Loves

(Journal Online) Jreis Sweilem never paid attention to wrestling until he started high school at Glenbrook South.

He was playing as a lineman for the freshman football team and thinking about taking the winter season off.

But then head wrestling coach Tim Cichowski kept persuading Sweilem to join the team.

“He was annoying me to wrestle, and I was like, ‘nah, I’m not going to wrestle,” Sweilem remembers. “So two weeks into the wrestling season I was doing really well and progressing.”

Within four years, Sweilem fell in love with the sport and continued his progression to be a dominant force en route to achieving his goal of becoming a state qualifier in the 285-lb. weight class.

Last weekend, Sweilem (27-7) placed 2nd amongst six competitors at the Glenbrook South regional. He’ll be advancing to the Barrington Class 3A sectional this weekend where the top four finishers in each weight class advance to the individual state tournament next weekend.

Sweilem has wrestled at the heavyweight class since freshman year. It’s a unique class that requires strategy and patience, he said.

“At heavyweight you have to be a lot smarter. It’s a different style of wrestling,” he said. “You have to be fundamentally technical, do your own thing and get angles and shots.”

One false shot can land a heavyweight on their back or on bottom, making it all the more difficult to escape or reverse.

“You can’t hit switches or crazy reversals,” Sweilem said. “You have to be smart on your feet and pick your shots. It’s all angles.”

Sweilem learned the hard way last year at sectionals the importance of finding the right angles. He advanced to sectionals as an alternate. He ended up wrestling and suffered a first round loss from staying on bottom too long.

“I learned you can’t stay on bottom for more than two minutes,” Sweilem said. “You have to work six minutes as hard as you can, then go sit down, have some water and get ready for your next match.”

Sweilem was ready for last weekend’s regional tournament where he knew he would most likely face Wheeling’s Igor Romanowski (28-3) for the championship.

The two have been wrestling together for most of their high school careers. “What I noticed a lot about Igor is he’s a big kid. He’s tall and likes to throw. He’ll come out at you the whole match,” Sweilem said.

Romanowski won the regional title by a 2-1 decision, placing Sweilem 2nd. The two will most likely see each other again this weekend.

Wrestling as a sport has kept Sweilem in great condition, but it’s the other components that have kept him coming back.

“What I like about is how it progresses you to be a stronger person mentally, physically and just overall builds you to be a better character,” Sweilem said. “It teaches the basic pillars of being a good guy. It teaches you have to work hard to be a successful person. The things you learn from wrestling you can’t find in any other sport.”

After the season is over, the senior is eyeing plans to go to North Central College and compete on the school’s wrestling team.

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Local wrestlers find success at GBS Regional

(Glenview Lantern)  While the term “home field advantage” isn’t typically applied to Wrestling, it certainly seemed that way for Glenbrook South.

Hosting their own Class 3A Glenbrook South Individual Regional, the Titans had five wrestlers finish in the top three in their weight classes, qualifying them for the Barrington Individual Sectional.

Jreis Swilem (285) and Jimmy Binder (113) each took second place overall, both falling in the championship round.

The Titans’ Diego Galvez (106), Amra Otgonbaatar (120) and JJ BaMaung (195) each took third place for GBS.

Loyola had three wrestlers qualify for sectionals, including two wrestlers who came out on top of their weight class.

Patrick Dancer was crowned champion of the 138 weight class with a 6-4 overtime decision over Prospects’ Harry Hamilton in the final round, and the Ramblers’ Michael Paloian took the 182 class with a 9-6 win against the Knights’ Dan Fiumetto.

Loyola’s Santonio Cathery also advanced with a third-place finish in the 160-pound weight class.

Glenbrook South finished fifth among the eight teams in the regional with a score of 89, followed by the Ramblers’ seventh-place finish with a 70.5.

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GBS Grapplers Finish 5th In CSL

(Journal Online)  Glenbrook South senior J.J. Bamaung had no problem wrestling his opponents at Saturday’s Central Suburban League finals, until he went up against Maine South’s Mike White.

The two went head-to-head for the conference champion title at 195 pounds. Bamaung collected two falls through his bracket to get into the bout with White. Last time the two met, White won by a late third period takedown.

The two grapplers were equal in size and strength. Both were patient with their shots, which were few, leading to a defensive battle.

“It was hard finding an opening on the kid, and I usually don’t like to force shots. So there wasn’t much action going on at all,” Bamaung said.

The first period was scoreless. White scored an escape in the second, but Bamaung tied it 1-1 in the third with his escape. The clock was ticking down, and it looked like White was going to score another late takedown for a victory, but Bamaung reversed and threw White down, holding him in the final six seconds for a 4-1 win.

“My plan was to take shots on him, but I didn’t really do that. I guess I out worked him,” Bamaung said.

Bamaung (24-2) was also named the 2012 Elias George Outstanding Wrestler for the CSL-South.

Glenbrook South as a team finished 5th with 120 points at the 12-team CSL meet hosted by Maine East. New Trier won conference with 259.5 points followed by Deerfield (247.5).

Maine West finished 3rd (213.5), then Maine South (154.5), Niles West in 6th (104), Glenbrook North (97.5), Highland Park (83), Maine East (54), Evanston (50), Niles North (27) and Waukegan (15).

Bamaung was the lone conference champ for the Titans. The team collected two second, one third and two fourth place finishes.

Jacob Suter (24-3) placed 2nd at 220. He scored an 11-1 major-decision to get into the final round with Deerfield’s Artie Bess. The Warrior then majored Suter 11-2 for the conference title. Bess was named outstanding wrestler for the CSL-North.

Michael Kindelin (12-11) placed 2nd at 126. He had a fall going into the final round with New Trier’s Arah Ghafouri, but was pinned at 5:46.

Jries Sweilem (23-6) finished 3rd at 285. He was knocked out in the first round by Glenbrook North’s Alex Kanellopoulos in a 9-8 overtime decision.

The Spartan eventually lost and met Sweilem again for the 3rd place title. Sweilem was hot for retribution and pinned him in 4:55.

Finishing in 4th place for the Titans were Amra Otgonbaatar (16-9) at 120 and Isaac Jarava (13-13) at 160.

Glenbrook South will compete next at Glenbrook North Friday at 6 p.m. in their CSL crossover. The post-season begins Feb. 4 with the individual regional tournament hosted by the Titans.

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BaMaung leads Glenbrook South at conference meet

(Glenview Announcements)  The Glenbrook South wrestling team had a memorable CSL tournament, as senior JJ BaMaung took home two major honors while the Titans boasted one of their best finishes in years, placing fifth overall in the 12-team field.

BaMaung (195 pounds) earned his first conference title, defeating Maine South’s Michael White 3-1 in the championship match at Maine East on Saturday. With the win, BaMaung avenged an earlier loss to the top-notch Hawk.

BaMaung’s performance certainly earned everyone’s attention, as he was awarded the CSL South’s Most Outstanding Wrestler Award, a distinction voted on by conference coaches.

“He’s been a great story,” said first-year Glenbrook South head coach Tom Mietus. “He’s only lost two matches, and now he’s avenged both losses. To have the other coaches vote him Most Outstanding is a great accomplishment for him and great for our program.”

Mietus attributed much of BaMaung’s in-season success to the wrestler’s hard work and dedication to training.

“He’s worked his butt off the last two offseasons,” the coach said. “He’s one of those guys who (organizes workouts) and drives to tournaments on Saturdays and Sundays in the offseason. He’s definitely well-deserving of the award.”

BaMaung’s performance helped the Titans compile 120 points at the two-day meet, which combined the CSL North and South. New Trier (259.50) was crowned champion.

Mietus, a former Maine West wrestler who spent six years as a GBS assistant before taking the top job, said the Titans are not accustomed to first division showings.

“Finishing in the top half was one of our goals early in the year,” said Mietus, who didn’t even bring a full lineup. “We knew we weren’t going to go out and win the whole thing. But we’re taking small steps and crawling up the ladder. (After the meet) I talked to our freshmen and JV guys and said, ‘The top half of the standings is where we want to stay for awhile. We want to start attacking the top teams.’ ”

Mietus credited his predecessor, Tim Cichowski — who’s still on staff — with laying the groundwork for the Titans’ current success and increasing numbers within the program.

Among other top performers for Glenbrook South was senior Jries Sweilem, who finished third in the heavyweight division. Sweilem pinned Glenbrook North’s Alex Kanellopoulos in the third-place match.

Titans senior Michael Kindelin reached the finals at 126, thanks to a pin of Niles West’s Thomas Williams in the semifinal. New Trier’s Arah Ghafouri pinned Kindelin late in their title bout, but the GBS wrestler already had exceeded expectations.

“No one thought (Kindelin) would be in the finals,” Mietus said. “But he had a really good tournament and ended up getting there. It was a fairly close match in the finals, up to the end. He’s a really good kid.”

Glenbrook South junior Jacob Suter (220) also finished runner-up, losing to Deerfields’s talented Artie Bess in the final.

Another memorable effort for GBS was turned in by junior Amra Otgonbaatar, who took fourth at 120.

Glenbrook South will compete in a CSL crossover double-dual meet against Glenbrook North and Maine East at 6 p.m. Friday. The meet, which also will include Niles West facing both CSL North foes, will be held at Glenbrook North.

Glenbrook South enters the meet with an 8-9 record, and will be looking to climb over the .500 mark with two victories. It marks the Titans’ final preparation for the Glenbrook South Regional on Feb. 4.

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BaMaung named top wrestler at tournament

(Glenview Lantern) Glenbrook South wrestlers took home a fifth place finish at the CSL tournament last weekend.

The two-day tournament, held Jan. 20-21, was hosted by Maine East and was won by New Trier. The Trevians snagged first with a score of 259.5 points and the Titans earned fifth out of 12 teams with a score of 120.

Top finishers for GBS included JJ BaMaung, who was named the wrestler of the tournament with a 4-1 decision over Michael White of Maine South.

GBS Top Finishers

Six wrestlers placed at the CSL Conference Tournament last weekend. Here’s who made the list:

JJ BaMaung: 1st place, 195 pounds (24-2)

Jacob Suter: 2nd place, 220 pounds (24-3)

Jries Sweilem: 3rd place, 285 pounds (23-6)

Michael Kindelin: 2nd place, 126 pounds (12-11)

Amra Otgonbaatar: 4th place, 120 pounds (16-9)

Isaac Jarava: 4th place, 160 pounds (13-13)

The Final Results

Here’s how teams finished:

1. New Trier: 259.5 points

2. Deerfield: 247.5

3. Maine West: 213.5

4. Maine South: 154.5

5. Glenbrook South: 120

6. Niles West: 104

7. Glenbrook North: 97.5

8. Highland Park: 83

9. Maine East: 54

10. Evanston: 50

11. Niles North: 27

12. Waukegan: 15

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Glenbrook South bests Loyola at quad meet

(Glenview Lantern)  It was a close match between two well-met Wrestling teams Saturday morning.

Glenbrook South and Loyola Academy fought fiercely for position on the mat at the Niles West Invite, but the Titans were able to eke out a team win over the Ramblers 34-26.

Both teams had no one to wrestle in the 113 weight class, and where Loyola forfeited the 126 and 220 weight classes, Glenbrook South forfeited the 182 weight class. The advantage was slight, but it proved to be more than enough, as Loyola’s inability to pin any Titan wrestlers proved costly.

“We won a lot of matches, but we had no pins,” Loyola head coach Chris Stephens said.

Loyola had plenty of chances though to get the elusive pin. In the 138 weight class, Patrick Dancer narrowly missed being awarded a pin in the final seconds of the match. Dancer dominated the game versus Glenbrook South’s Sanja Erdenbaatar. But despite getting Erdenbaatar on his back three separate times, Dancer couldn’t finish the job. With a few extra seconds, Dancer’s final attempt put Erdenbaatar on his back for another three points, capping off an 11-2 win for Dancer.

The following match in the 145 weight class also proved to be an intense grappling between Loyola’s Jack McInerney and Glenbrook South’s Tom Brown. With the score tied at 4-4 in the third, McInerney bolted up to escape and gain a point. But a takedown attempt later turned into a minute-long fight for top position on the mat, with neither side giving in. In the end, Brown gained position with roughly 10 seconds left in the match, winning 6-5.

Loyola also had trouble pulling a win out of a close match against the Titans. GBS’ Diego Galvez won the 106 weight class against Nico Couri in a close 5-4 matchup that ended in triple overtime. In the 30-second overtime attempt, Galvez was able to escape from the bottom for the win.

“We’re going to be working on pinning combinations, that’s for sure,” Stephens said.

GBS beat Loyola in the 120 weight class as Amra Otgonbaatar beat Alex Lopez by pin. JJ BaMaung also won by pin in the first period with 14.9 seconds remaining, beating Loyola’s Christian Janssen in the 195 weight class. Jries Sweilem pulled out a 9-0 victory in the 285 weight class against Loyola’s Phil Spagnolo.

Loyola pulled out big wins at the 132 weight class as Kevin Kuncheria of GBS lost to Colin Skinner 11-1. Loyola’s Tom Mulroe defeated Eddy Otgonmunkh in a one-sided 12-1 victory at the 152 weight class. Santonio Cathery defeated the Titans’ Issac Javara in the 160 weight class. David Kennedy also pulled out a 9-3 win over Chris Altonji in the 170 weight class. Michael Paloian won by forfeit in the 182 weight class.

Glenbrook South was happy to come out ahead against Loyola even without a full team.

“Our job is to get better each week,” GBS coach Tom Mietus said. “Our guys are doing pretty well.”

GBS later lost to Wheeling in the next round of the tournament 39-28, but Mietus said he was proud of their improvement from the previous year, where the team won only two matches against them. GBS did not wrestle against Niles West.

“To lose by 11 and be down by a few weight classes is a lot better,” Mietus said.

Loyola fell to Niles West 39-24, but played a lot better, coming close to defeating Wheeling but ultimately losing 39-31. With several pins against Wheeling and many more close matches, the Ramblers played better throughout the invite. Stephens credited Dancer, who went 3-0 in the invite, among his top performers of the day.

“We wrestled better each round,” Stephens said. “I think we wrestled better than I thought we would against Wheeling, but we should have done better against Niles West and GBS.”

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Titans senior BaMaung baffles Batavia’s Watson in semis

(Glenview Announcements)  JJ BaMaung didn’t wait long to get back at Mickey Watson.

After the Glenbrook South senior lost to the Batavia junior 4-3 in overtime in the second round at the Rus Erb invitational last weekend, BaMaung saw Watson again in the third-place match at 195 pounds.

This time, BaMaung was more focused and earned a 3-2 win, also in overtime, to close out the tournament with four consecutive wins and improve to 16-2 on the season.

“I was pretty happy with how I finished,” BaMaung said. “I thought I wrestled strong. I definitely was happy to get redemption. It felt good to beat him.”

BaMaung the top Titan at the tournament as Glenbrook South finished 11th out of 19 teams with 78 points. Grant won the team title with 214 points. The Titans placed higher than the other three CSL teams: Glenbrook North, Evanston and Niles North finished 17-18-19.

Glenbrook South was strongest at the upper weights, finishing fourth or better at 195, 220 and 285. Jacob Suter came in fourth at 220, while Jreis Sweilem was fourth at 285. Isaac Jarava took sixth at 160, and Michael Kindelin placed sixth at 126.

Suter lost to Grant’s Quinton Quarles 12-5 in the semis. Quarles went on to win the title at 220. The Glenbrook South junior, who came into the tournament undefeated, fought his way through the wrestleback rounds before finishing fourth by default.

Sweilem also advanced to the semis before falling into the consolation bracket at 285. He lost a 2-1 decision in the third-place match to Carmel’s Jake Cochrane.

A three-year varsity wrestler, BaMaung is in the best shape of his career and wrestling at a lower weight class than his previous two seasons. He’s motivated this season after coming up short at regionals last season. BaMaung, who finished 19-16 as a junior, wrestled at sectionals as a sophomore.

“Last year was disappointing to me,” he said. “I want to come back strong as a senior. I definitely would say last weekend was one of my best this year. I thought I was more aggressive this week than I have been.”

But BaMaung isn’t satisfied. He plans to spend the holiday break working to improve, especially his skills on his feet.

“I not a very aggressive wrestler, but I want to change that,” he said. “I think I have a really good ground game, but I struggle taking people down. That’s what I am going to be practicing.”

Glenbrook South, 1-2 in the CSL South, next wrestles Jan. 6 when it faces Evanston.

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Being more aggressive pays off for GBS’ Bamaung

(CSL Insider) Glenbrook South senior wrestler J.J. Bamaung may not have won the 195-pound title at his school’s Russ Erb Tournament Saturday, but he did the next best thing.

Bamaung avenged his only loss at the 19-team tourney to finish third with a 5-1 record. He beat Batavia’s Mickey Watson 3-2 in triple overtime after losing to Watson 4-3 in triple overtime in the quarterfinals.

“I guess I would have liked to take first, but I’m pretty happy with third. There’s a lot of tough guys in this tournament, a lot of ranked kids,” Bamaung said. “I feel like I wrestled back strong. I would say I gave up that first match, but I think he might have wanted it more than me. This second time around I gave it my all. It felt really good to go out there and beat him after I lost to him before.”

Bamaung was one of five top-six place winners for GBS, which finished 11th with 78 points behind 10thplace Buffalo Grove (89). Grant (214), Lane Tech (180) and Sycamore (170.5) were the top three teams, with Glenbrook North (30) 17th, Evanston (21.5) 18th and Niles North (21) 19th. The Titans’ Jacob Suter (220) and Jreis Swielem (285) placed fourth, while Michael Kindelin (126) and Isaac Jarava (160) took sixth.

Bamaung’s performance not only was a big improvement over his sixth place at last year’s tourney, but also in the way that he attacked his opponents.

“He had a great tournament,” GBS coach Tom Mietus said. “I can’t even really explain how well he really did.

“We’ve been talking and worked with him all year on just being a little more aggressive and offensive on his feet. He has a problem being a little bit too hesitant on his feet, he’s afraid he’s going to make a mistake and that’s what we kind of worked on this week, just not to be afraid, just go, be aggressive and keep matches close and you’ll win them. It seems like he’s starting to get it. I was very happy with how he wrestled.”

Bamaung pulled out a 3-2 win over Notre Dame’s Colton Kelly to get another shot at Watson after also winning by default and first-period pin in the wrestlebacks and 11-1 in his opener.

“It’s my best season so far,” Bamaung said. “This year I think I’m being more aggressive and going after it.”

Bamaung, who improved his record to 16-2, hopes to continue his progress enough to qualify for sectionals and perhaps even state after not getting out of regionals last year and being a sectional alternate as a sophomore.

One reason for his improvement is his work with new practice partner Suter.

“I have a better practice partner this year,” Bamaung said. “Before I would just wrestle heavyweights and it was a lot harder to finish on guys who are 50, 60 pounds heavier than you. I developed a lot of bad habits. Now I have a guy who’s only 10, 15 pounds heavier than me, it’s a lot easier for me to finish and get rid of those bad habits.”

Sweilem (16-4) lost to Cary-Grove’s Jake Cochrane 2-1 for third at 285 when he was called for stalling for the second time at the third-period buzzer. He finished 3-2 on the day, including a 3-0 semifinal loss to eventual champion James Buss of DeLaSalle.

The top-seeded Suter (17-2) suffered a shoulder injury in his third-place match at 220 and defaulted to Lane Tech’s Dan Murray to finish 2-2 with two overtime wins.

Jarava (9-8) won his first two matches 14-6 and 6-4 to reach the 160 semifinals, where he fell to eventual champion Matt Zabrin 11-2.

Jarava lost to Evanston’s Gabriel Brieva 4-1 in the fifth-place match to finish 2-3.

Kindelin (7-8) finished 3-3 at 126.

Niles North’s Cameron Pascoe (11-7) placed sixth at 220 with a 3-3 record, including two pins and a 3-2 overtime loss to Suter in the consolation semifinals.

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