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Trio of champs: Dechow, Harrah, Stott win state wrestling titles

February 21, 2012
Richmond Burton High School


Trio of champs: Dechow, Harrah, Stott win state wrestling titles

By ROB SMITH - rsmith@shawmedia.com

CHAMPAIGN – No one could have predicted the end to Harvard’s Dan Stott’s championship match at 170 pounds in the Class 1A final at the IHSA Individual Wrestling State Tournament on Saturday.

Stott and Herrin’s Drake Holland were scoreless through three periods, an overtime and two tiebreaker periods. In the ultimate tiebreaker with Stott on the bottom, Holland just needed to retain control for 30 seconds to win a state title.

Instead, Stott somehow got Holland on his back and got the surprise pin. The pin at 8:15 was the longest pin in any class in state tournament history.

Stott said he would have felt more confident trying to control Holland from on top, but knew he had to find a way to win.

“I knew he rode me out in earlier periods,“ Stott said. “I figured on the bottom there was no way I could stay down.”

With the length of the match, the matches on the 2A and 3A mats had already been completed and the attention of the entire arena was focused on the 1A overtime match.

“There was not any way I could walk out of here without a bracket,” Stott said. “It’s for sure a match I’ll never forget.”

Even Hornets coach Tim Haak, who has been coaching much longer than Stott has been alive, could not explain what or how it happened.

What Haak did know is that Stott is very good at making adjustments and taking advantage of opportunities. And with 44 wins this season, a little experience with winning.

“[Stott] doesn’t have 40 wins for nothing,” Haak said.

Richmond-Burton’s Jack Dechow won his championship match at 182 much the same way he has won all his matches – by dominating.

Dechow took Bloomington’s Stephon Rudicil down three times in the first period and gave up the escape twice before pinning Rudicil at 1:53.

After placing second the past two years, winning one doesn’t erase those memories.

“Taking second twice is not the best feeling,” Dechow said. “I’m not completely satisfied, but it’s nice.”

Dechow said he wanted to dominate the championship match just like he did in the matches getting there.

“That was my goal, to control him and wrestle my pace,” Dechow said.

The Tigers’ Gage Harrah was not able to pin his way through the state tournament, but won his second consecutive state title by decision at 195.

Harrah defeated Grayslake Central Joey Valdivia, 6-2, in a rematch of the Fox Valley Conference Meet and the Grayslake Central Sectional finals.

Harrah said he respected Valdivia and they are both very competitive and driven.

“Me and Joel go back a while,” Harrah said. “We’re two exactly the same people.”

With the two meeting several times this year, Harrah said Valdivia switched up how he had wrestled previously. In the state finals, Valdivia came out on one knee instead of wrestling upright. The move was likely to thwart Harrah’s well-known double leg takedown.

“[Valdivia] came out with a different style and I had to adjust to it,” Harrah said.

Central’s Clay Lutzow lost his 138-pound championship match to Marmion’s Angelo Silvestro, 7-3.

Heading into the third period, Lutzow and Silvestro were tied at two, with Silvestro getting his points on a first-period takedown and Lutzow on escapes.

In the third, Lutzow gave up the escape to start the period, but could not capitalize in the neutral position and got taken down twice. (NWHerald 2/17/12)

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