Machesney Park, Ill. (WIFR) As usual, the 30th Annual Dvorak Wrestling Tournament of Champions boasts some of the top wrestlers from across the region and this year, two of the titles were captures by two local athletes.
After taking second place last year, Dakota's Maverick McPeek aimed to finish on top in the 220-pound class this time around. In a close bout, McPeek defeated Mukwonago, Wisconsin's Aric Bohn in the final with a 2-1 victory in double-overtime. This marks the Dakota senior's first Dvorak title.
"Usually at a 1A tournament there's the studs, and then there's not as much depth in the tournament. So wrestling these 3A tournaments and 3A duels that we do makes us better in the long run throughout the season," said McPeek. "It just means a lot to me, I've been just pushing myself, making the younger kids on my team better, it's just what I strive for."
The next mat over, Hononegah's Anthony Cassiopi tried for a three-peat in the 285-pound class. The defending IHSA state champion faced Iowa City West's Guy Snow, who is ranked fourth in Iowa. However the Hononegah senior made it look like a breeze with ten takedowns. Cassioppi, who will wrestle at Iowa next year, went on to win 23 to 8 in the second period with a technical fall victory, claiming the Dvorak heavyweight title.
"This is the biggest tournament we go to as a team and it's just really great to come out on top these last three years," Cassioppi said. "I don't like to make matches special, I just treat them all the same. I love wrestling... it's my favorite thing to do, so it's just great to get to go out there and wrestle and get to do it with my team."
Cassioppi was also named the tournament's Most Outstanding Wrestler