Lenny Bloom and Artie Bess will represent at the state wrestling tournament for the after they both captured sectional titles in their respective weight classes Saturday in Barrington.
"They both had outstanding performances," Deerfield Head Coach Mark Pechter said. "This is a grueling sectional and they both had to wrestle well and they did. They stepped it up when they needed to."
At 145 pounds, Bloom racked up a 38-1 record this season and is currently ranked 8th in the state by illinoismatmen.com. He cruised through regional and sectional competition, topping Buffalo Groves Jordan Rathje (ranked 9th in the state) 7-4 in the sectional championship match. After a first round exit at last years state tournament, Bloom believes he'll be able to go much further this year.
"I was really nervous last year," Bloom said. "So nervous that I literally gassed in the first period. So having been down there once I feel like my head will be much better."
At 220 pounds, Bess also had just one loss on the season (36-1) and was ranked 3rd in the state. He wrapped up his second straight sectional title with a dominating performance over Prospect's Max Triveline. Bess built a 9-0 lead before pinning Triveline with 30 seconds left in the match. Bess also believes his experience last year will help him succeed at the state meet this time around.
"It gives me a lot of confidence going down there again, being a returning state qualifier," Bess said. "I know what to prepare for and I know what I need to do. I have expectations now and I feel like I can really step it up this year."
"Both those guys have bigger goals than just getting out of sectionals," Pechter said. "They know that if you win this tournament, you get one of the four places down state for sectional champs. They've got a goal and they just took another step towards that goal."
Deerfield had five other wrestlers in the Barrington sectional who did not attain the necessary top four finish to qualify for state. Keven Hoogheem (113 pounds), Tyler Pohn (170) and J.J. Nawrot (285) each finished with a 2-2 record in the sectional tournament. Christian Hoogheem (120) went 1-2 while Jim Kirby (195) was 0-2.