- Last Updated on Friday, 03 August 2012 10:13
- Written by Bobby Leach "The Rooster"
- Category: Sports News
Lockport Central's gym has had a storied past and has witnessed some tremendous athletic performances in its rich history. Walking into the main gym for their sectional contest against Plainfield Central Tuesday night, it was clear that this would be an almost magical moment for the wrestlers preparing to hit the mat.
Lockport (19-4) had never advanced as a team to a state quarterfinal but that dubious footnote was erased after the Porters won their first 4 of 5 matches and jumped out to a 14-4 lead over Plainfield (10-8) and went on to win 33-23 advancing to the Class 3A semifinal in downstate Bloomington.
The Porters won eight of the matches and led 9-5 in bonus points which proved to be plenty enough to earn the win in front of huge crowd. The biggest highlight and only pin of the night came when the 138 lbs match saw Tony Rossi pin Tommy Kokkines in 5:32 over putting the Porters out of reach 33-13.
As the last match finished and the lights came on, a celebration took place among the Lockport faithful whose program waited a long time to finally crack Bloomington and get a shot at the historically elusive state title.
"We started our season of with the first practice goal of winning the state tournament and after today's victory we at the very least have a shot to accomplish that goal," said Porter coach Josh Oster. "These kids have been working their tails off to get her. We had a chance a couple of years ago but lost a dual to Minooka the year they won state. We are going to give our all but it will definitely be a challenge to walk away with a trophy considering the competition. I believe in these kids and I know they want it as bad as any team."
Lockport had seven wrestlers beside Rossi at 138 to walk off the mat in victory, Eric Dietz (170), Luis Montoya (195), Shaun’Qae McMurtry (160), Brad Johnson (220), Brian Rossi (106), Austin Strzelczyk (113) and Dan Radcliffe.
For Central, Jordan Ellingwood (182), Mike Farr (285), Nick Nasenbeny (120), Nathan Davis (132), Ryan Holzrichter (145) and Mike Marro (152) all earned victories but it was not enough to overtake the Porters.
Unfortunately for the Porters, they lost on Saturday 33-24 to Sandburg in Bloomington at the quarterfinals and did not get accomplish their last goal however, the last match these seniors left on a darkened mat in their home gym will be remembered for decades.