ST. JOHN | The most successful wrestlers are a greedy sort.
Not content to control one leg or one hand, they always want more.
They want complete and utter domination, and they want it consistently.
The desire carries into every workout, every match and every tournament, even the major ones such as Saturday’s 32nd annual Robert Emerick Harvest Classic at Lake Central.
That attitude carried four local wrestlers and an out-of-towner to add championships to careers that already included at least one Harvest Classic crown, led by the meet’s most outstanding wrestler, Hanover Central 113-pounder Steve Micic.
While Joey Mamolentti (145) of team champion Penn, Highland’s Mark Maldonado (160), Hobart’s Scotty Sopko (170) and L.C.’s Gelen Robinson (220) each made their second appearance at the top of the tourney, Micic made it 3-for-3 so far.
The junior and defending state champ improved to 99-5 for his career with a 21-6 technical fall in the championship match against Penn’s Zach Davis.
“He’s a tough kid,” Micic said. “Penn is a tough team, and this is a good early season tournament.”
The Kingsmen had 279 team points to beat 2011 champ Lake Central (207) and 2010 champ Hanover (176.5) in the standings.
“(Micic) is a great kid who does all the right things,” Hanover coach Nick Petrov said. “Today he wrestled a quality kid and turned it up a notch to show a little toughness and remind him he was there.”
Petrov said his team overachieved for how young it is. Three-time Harvest champ and 2011 state champ Paul Petrov graduated, but 182-pounder Tyler Scott beat defending 170 champ Tony Rodriguez of Hobart, 4-2 in overtime. Heavyweight Josh Bartoszek pulled a late comeback to pin Gerald Valenzuela of the fourth-place Brickies.
Robinson was dominant in winning his second title in a row, almost toying with opponents to put on takedown clinics. The junior was runner-up at 215 his freshman year. He won the championship after two first-period pins and a semifinal technical fall. Asked why he didn’t pin his semifinal opponent he humbly shrugged and said, “I lost track of the points.”
“It’s nice being the two-time champ of our home tournament,” said Robinson, who improved to 86-16 for his career. “It’s tough competition, and everyone I wrestled did a really good job.”
Driving toward a state title after taking third last year and beating the actual champ in prior competition, Robinson is forced into a lead-by-example role vacated by graduated four-time Harvest champ Kyle Ayersman.
Highland’s Maldonado has the same ledger as Robinson, only he was a runner-up last year after winning as a freshman. He won 9-2 over McCutcheon’s Caleb Medrano in the final.
Griffith’s Eric Peek won the 106 title 5-3 in overtime, L.C.’s Matt Lechowicz won 9-5 at 120, River Forest’s Ryan Brown edged Griffith’s Nate Reitz 5-3 at 126, and Penn won the other five weights.