Davino defends state title



East Sophomore Ben Davino is congratulated for his win at the individual state competition. After winning the 113-pound weight division in 2021, he competed this year in the 120-pound division this year.

Chloe Ladines, Editor-in-chief

Senior Elijah Chiaro, juniors Tyler Guerra and Austin Barret, and sophomores Ben Davino, Gavin Connolly, Brody Murray qualified for the individual state wrestling tournament.
From February 17-19 in Champaign, all six represented the Saints’ Wrestling team.
Ben Davino won first at 120 pounds. Tyler Gara took third at 132 pounds. Also qualifying was Gavin Connolly 145 pounds, Brody Murray at 168, and Elijah Chiaro at 172. Then junior Austin Barrett qualified in heavy weight.
However, the team didn’t qualify for the wrestling team state tournament due to losing to a 3-3 ranked team in state in the region.
Davino justified his season-long Class 3A by reclaiming his first place title once again in back-to-back weight classes. He improved his score from 73-1 throughout his initial two seasons.
He gained 19 points after defeating Loyola junior Massey Odiotti on a technical downfall.
For wrestlers who weren’t able to make it to this year’s tournament Ben says to “just keep working. You’ll get there, especially for the juniors going into the senior year.” Since it’s their last year, Davino encourages them to just give it everything they have next year and dedicate three months to “focus up” on wrestling.
To prepare for this event, coach Jason Potter said, “We went out to try to find the best competition we can to try to get our guys [wrestlers] tested throughout the year.” And because of that, the team was able to have positive results. He added that “having a state champion at third…the program is trending in the right way.”
Even though the team wasn’t able to qualify for the state tournament as a team, coach Potter was still proud of their accomplishments. Potter said that, “I’m proud of them and that the work shows and we continue to make strides. I’m looking forward to the continued success of this program, even for the seniors that are leaving.”