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Rice bro runs the gamut, brings home the state trophy


BLOOMINGTON — On Jan. 11, Brother Rice’s tumultuous season reached its nadir when the Crusaders lost 68-0 to Marist.

Fast forward to Saturday and the Crusaders were bringing home the first state trophy in program history, finishing fourth in Class 2A.

Resilience was the word of the weekend for the Southland wrestling teams, especially the three teams that overcame their own challenges to win state trophies.

On the boys side, Mount Carmel brought home the Class 3A state championship. Lockport finished as state runner-up and made history as one of the first girls teams to win a trophy in the first year of the team awards.

But no team was able to overcome the barricades like Brother Rice.

After winning the Class 2A 126-pound state title as a star wrestler as a sophomore last winter Bobby Conway He suffered an injury that kept him out of the Crusaders for the entire season.

Gambino PerezFinished in fourth place last season and Mac MurzynThe player, who was in the middle of a strong season, was injured during the season and never returned.

“It’s kind of like, ‘What if? Suppose? Suppose? If we had all these guys, would we be in this (dual championship)?’” Brother Rice coach said Jan Murzyn, Mac’s father. “I don’t know, but you can’t help but keep that in mind.”

The Crusaders were able to advance, advance and prepare for Friday’s quarterfinals with Mahomet-Seymour.

Two seasons ago, Brother Rice made its first appearance at the dual team state meet but lost to Mahomet-Seymour in the quarterfinals.

This time the Crusaders took their revenge by winning 36-27.

The history-making state cup was secured.

What about difficulties?

James BennettOne of Brother Rice’s notable elders felt that the ordeal was really working.

“I think those things make it even better,” Bennett said. “You get through the hard things and that makes things easier. We’re a good bunch of guys. We are all friends. We are close. “I think next year will be even better.”

It was a well-deserved moment for a program that has grown stronger under Murzyn over the past few years.

“In 2017, we suddenly raised the money to build a wrestling room at Brother Rice,” he said. “As soon as everything was confirmed, I came home. My wife gave me the biggest hug and said, ‘We did it.’

“It’s the same feeling. We did it. We got to the show. Now can we improve on this show?”

With 12 underclassmen on the roster this weekend, Brother Rice’s future certainly looks bright.

So what did you think of that embarrassing score against the rival RedHawks?

“Let me just say this, I would rather be where we are than where Marist is right now,” Murzyn said.

Sticking with the comeback theme, let’s get back to the Mount Carmel senior Eddie Enright.

The Northwestern native lost 5-2 to Warren’s Aaron Stewart in the 157-pound title match of the Class 3A individual state meet. This was his second consecutive place finish.

A week later, Enright went from heartbreak to joy as Yorkville’s badge. Cameron Peach It clinched the Caravan’s state title.

“It’s great to be on this journey with this team that I grew up with and became a man with,” Enright said. “That’s all I can ask for.”

Enright said he was still emotionally dealing with his defeat at the individual state meet, but was able to get the 3-0 score for his team.

“It definitely takes time,” Enright said. “I still think about it now and that feeling lingers in my head. But when I walk into the room and see these guys, that feeling disappears.

“I feel like myself. “These teammates are like my brothers,” he said.

Mount Carmel ram Alex Tsirtsis Thrilled to see Enright start out on such a high note.

“I told him, ‘Everyone is heartbroken about what happened last week, but every kid on this team is a state champion,'” Tsirtsis said. “They will have this for the rest of their lives.”

Make it count, Caravan.


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