By Mac Murzyn ‘24

On Friday, Feb. 16, the Brother Rice wrestling team beat Mahomet Seymour in the quarter finals of the IHSA Team State Tournament with a score of 36-27. This was the first time the Brother Rice wrestling team has ever advanced to the semifinals, which solidified them as a top four team in state for class 2A.

Senior captain James Bennett said, “It’s something we can all live with forever and be proud of. Only we and the coaches truly know how much work we put in to achieve our goal. One of the best memories I have is making history with people who deserved it.”

Jimmy Lotito started the Crusaders off strong with an early pin. Lotito played a major role for the Crusaders all season by starting every meet at 106 pounds.

Freshman Jimmy Lotito said, “I knew I had to win. I had to set a spark for the rest of the team. After my match, I felt good knowing I gave the rest of the team motivation and momentum to win.”

The two teams were neck and neck. The entire stadium was on their feet watching the final few matches. The Crusaders led 30-27. A win meant that the Crusaders etched their names into history, but a loss would send everyone home. It was up to Jimmy Crane to put the Crusaders on his back, and he did not let the moment get to him. Crane pinned his opponent with a cradle late in the 3rd period and sent the Crusaders to the second round.

Junior Jimmy Crane said, “It wasn’t just me that won it for the team. Everyone went out there and did the best they could. Tensions were high, but I knew what I had to do, so I just went out and wrestled the same way I always do.”

The Crusaders lost a heartbreaker to Washington, then lost to Chatham Glenwood which placed the Crusader 4th in state. This does not take away from the amount of hard work these Crusaders have put in. Not only are they the best team in school history, but they made memories that will last a lifetime.