Clemente is going to Sectionals!
The tournament is a two day competition held in Antioch, Illinois which requires the team to stay overnight and find out if they can place and advance to the State tournament at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. The team, which consists of Head Coach Matthew Tolene, Assistant Coach Brandon Bailys, Charles Perdue wrestling at 138, Noah Myers wrestling at 160, Keontay Knox wrestling at heavy weight, as well as Larry Christopher and Nick Ramos as drill partners, will be head out from Clemente on Friday morning and will be walking on the mat around 3:00pm.
The road to sectionals started with the regional tournament held at Elmwood Park Community High School Saturday, February 6th. Although he started his season 0-2, Charles Perdue kept his mind focused on what he knew he was capable of. Perdue’s path to the top of the regional podium started earlier that Wednesday at a coaches seeding meeting. Head Coach Tolene had every intention of seeding his 9-5 wrestler number one, however, the other coaches had different ideas. Charles ended up getting the three seed and would meet up with the wrestler who was seeded 1st in the bracket. In the finals match, Charles took control in the first period and finished with a couple take downs that led to a potential cradle situation. Time would run out and the wrestlers started out at neutral to begin the second period. Not long in to the second period Charles would pin his opponent and secure the title of regional champion. Later, Coach Tolene asked Charles why he won so handedly and the effervescent Charles responded, “I have a lot of stuff going on in my life and I used it to fuel my will on the mat… ”.
Noah Myers is another Clemente wrestler who faces a lot of challenges, but finds a way to focus on the task in front of him. Noah Myers, also known as “the Sandman”, wrestled his way into the regional finals match. To get to that point, he used his athleticism and raw power to pin his first opponent. Noah would not be denied. Noah has a solid knee pick which he used in his finals match to acquire a takedown. However, after a few scrambles and reversals later, Noah would find himself down on points. Noah would end up taking second at regionals but was graceful in defeat. “One of the great things about Noah is that he is an optimistic person and grows from each practice and from match to match,” said coach Tolene. Going forward, Noah has expressed his readiness to bring his spirit and passion to sectionals by stating, “I’m going to be ready, coach!”
Keontay Knox is Clemente’s heavy weight wrestler, but from the looks of him you might thing he is a 220 pounder. Keontay regularly gives up about 20 to 40 pounds to his opponents who might weigh in at 285, whereas Knox comes in around 244lbs. In his first match, Knox went up against an Elmwood Park wrestler who was seeded number one in the bracket. Knox was hand fighting and working angles until his opponent eventually was hit with a stalling call. However, while down 3-1, Knox took an awkward turn and lost the hard fought match. Afterwards, the two wrestlers embraced after the battle in a great show of sportsmanship and respect. Keontay was down, but definitely not out. Before his next match for 3rd place and a ticket to sectionals, you could see him warming up in the hall ways of the school preparing for another hard match. Fast forward to the third period and Knox was in position to pin his opponent. With Coach Tolene’s encouragement, with Coach Bailys’ support, and with the crowd cheering, Knox turned his opponent on his back and locked up a hold and the ref hit the mat. Knox was visibly overjoyed and one could see the jubilation and relief come over him as the victory sunk in. Keontay Knox is going to sectionals!
Clemente High School is an International Baccalaureate World School. Check out the other links on our website to learn more about athletics at Clemente and what we have to offer!