MOROCCO | It was an historic day of firsts Saturday for River Forest at the Greater South Shore Conference meet at North Newton High School.
The Ingots won the GSSC title for the first time in the fifth year of the league's existence, and they did it by beating four-time defending champion Calumet (48-32) for the first time ever in the process. Each of the six teams wrestled each other in dual meets.
"It's a great pride and honor to win conference today, and I'm real proud of my kids," said first-year River Forest coach Brian Wesley, who was named GSSC coach of the year. "They did a helluva job. They worked hard all season, and this is what they've worked for."
The Ingots' only blemish was a 37-36 loss to Lake Station on a tiebreaker -- on the eighth criteria -- of total number of first points in the match.
Ryan Brown (120), Isaac Rentas (138), Jamie Layton (145) and Robert Yanez (220) all went undefeated on the day and earned individual conference champion medals.
Rentas said they came out and wrestled smart to get the hardware.
"We had to be the best today," he said. "That's what the coaches kept telling us, and that‘s just what we did."
River Forest also beat Whiting 60-15, Noll 60-22 and North Newton 45-33.
"We had a lot of first-year young guys, and they stepped it up today," Wesley said. "I'm excited to see what they can do come sectional time."
Calumet's only loss was to River, and it ended up with five conference champs in Jose Villarreal (106), Alec Noworul (113), Doriante Bryant (126), Domingo Rodriguez (152) and Nick Fowler (170).
"We lost to a team that wanted it more than we did," Calumet coach Jim Wadkins said. "We were underwhelmed. I'm not going to diminish what River Forest did. They've done a nice job, and I congratulated coach (Wesley). His kids came in ready to wrestle. They battled."
Other individual champions were North Newton's Juan Romo (132), Adam Davis (145) and Casey Sonaty (160); and Lake Station's Keith Durbin (182), Orlando Salas (195) and David Guerra (heavyweight).