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Published: Sunday, 2/9/2003

City League wrestling: Waite takes team title; Guerra wins 4th

BY STEVE JUNGA
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Waite dominated the City League wrestling tournament last night at Rogers, winning seven individual titles highlighted by senior 140-pounder Antonio Guerra, who became the league's third four-time champion.

The Indians posted 238.5 team points to 179 for St. John's Jesuit and Central Catholic, who tied for second.

Waite sent wrestlers into the final round in 13 of 14 weight classes, winning seven of eight title matches, two of three for third place, and both fifth-place tilts.

“We put in the work all year and I knew tonight it would show,” said 12th-year Waite coach Carmen Amenta, whose Indians also won in 2000. “Tony [Guerra] has been keying on this match all year, and he's been doing the things he needed to win.

“I was confident about this team. I know how much running we've done, how long we've been in the weight room, and all the four-hour practices. We're peaking at the right time.”

The seven champions is believed to be the most by one team since the first CL tourney in 1967.

In the 103 final, Waite junior Kyle Holliday (28-7) got things rolling with a 13-1 major decision over Central's Rico Andeverde.

Top seed James Schuller (29-3) of Central took the 112 title by pinning Waite sophomore Josh Sneyd in 3:15. Start's Alex Abitua (24-3), who won last year at 103, took the 119 title with a 4-2 decision over Rogers' Chad Carpenter. At 125, Central's Joe Reams (18-7) squeaked out a 3-1 win over St. John's Pat Konicki.

Waite's second individual title went to junior Jami Cummins (18-11), who edged St. John's Nate Savona by a 4-3 decision at 130. Cummins won at 125 last year.

Indians junior Antonio Ramirez (23-8) nipped Libbey's Ray Savage 4-2 for the 135-pound crown, then Guerra outdueled the 27-2 Brad Marzec of St. Francis 5-2 in the night's top matchup. Guerra was voted the tourney's outstanding wrestler.

St. John's Shawn Contos (1990-93) and Woodward's Mohammad Mallah (1994-97) also won four CL titles.

Libbey's Jordan Portillo (25-5) proved stronger in the late going against Rogers' Mike Ziehr, taking a 12-8 victory, and Justin Bork of Central spotted St. John's James Kettinger an early 2-0 lead before dominating their 152-pound title match for a 14-2 major decision.

At 160, Libbey's Gordon Hagen took a 4-0 lead over Start's Rick Goss after one period, but Goss (20-11) put Hagen on his back midway in period two and earned a pin at 3:22.

Fans who blinked during Josh Johnson's title match against Start's Matt Brubaker might have missed it. The projected 171-pound Division I state champion from Waite took Brubaker to the mat in three seconds and pinned him in 15. Johnson's three wins in the tournament were pins in a total time of 3:52.

“I just wanted to get it over with quick,” Johnson said of his first CL title. “I'm real satisfied we won as a team. We had a couple win who we thought would, at the most, take second. They really pulled through.”

The Indians added crowns at 189, with Justin Brown (8-5) edging Scott's Jacob Smith 7-6, and at 215, with Bilal Abyad (21-13) beating Bowsher's Matt Pegis 4-1. The 275-pound title went to Central's Matt Holzhauer (25-6), who nipped Sarge Modrowski of St. Francis 3-2.



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