IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Bayne Kiser just kind of threw it out there.
He said that he might go out for the school’s rugby team this spring.
Might, he said.
Kiser certainly would be tough enough for that rugged sport.
The senior has emerged as one of the top-flight wrestlers for New Trier this winter.
On Feb. 3, at the Class 3A Glenbrook South Regional, Kiser lived up to his expectations. Seeded No. 3 at 160 pounds, he defeated Prospect’s Dan Larson in convincing fashion, 12-1, in the third-place match.
Kiser will join fellow seniors Patrick Ryan (1st, 145 pounds), Jack Tangen (1st, 152), Russel Sanchez (2nd, 170) and Jimmy McDermed (3rd, 285) at this weekend’s sectional at Barrington High School.
Credit hard work.
Credit good coaching.
And credit … these guys: the lay-down-the-law firm of Ryan, Tangen and Sanchez.
Especially Tangen and Sanchez.
“They’ve been my practice partners,” said Kiser. “And they’ve made me a lot better. We push each other.”
It’s not always a pretty sight.
“It’s not like they always throw me to the ground and pin me,” Kiser said. “I can put up a pretty good fight.
“But yeah, they kind of beat up on me,” he added. “I don’t mind.”
Kiser’s victory in that third-place match was cause for celebration. In addition to stamping his ticket to the sectional, it was his 30th win of the season (30-15).
“Winning 30 was one of my season goals,” said Kiser, who began wrestling in the sixth grade at Wilmette Junior High School. “Pretty exciting.”
Kiser went into the do-or-die third-place match feeling good. He had faced — and pinned (1 minute, 38 seconds) — Larson (22-17) in the Prospect Tournament on Dec. 9.
“I knew it would be a fight, but I figured that I could take him,” said Kiser, who took fourth at 152 pounds in last year’s regional meet. “I went into the match confident, not cocky.”
New Trier head wrestling coach Marc Tadelman is putting no limits on Kiser.
“He’s a solid wrestler,” said Tadelman. “And he should be aspiring to make it to state. I’m not a big fan of just getting there [to the sectional meet]. Get some wins and find a way to get to state. Why not?”
Kiser, who will study economics at the University of Pennsylvania next year, is a well-rounded individual. He started playing the piano when he was 5, and he continues to take lessons.
“I’ll change it up a little, but I mainly play classical,” he said.
“Bach,” said Kiser. “I would have to say Bach.”
Which brings us “Bach” to Ryan and Tangen. Like the great Johann Sebastian Bach, they were maestros at the regional.
Ryan recorded a pair of technical falls before closing out his day with a pin against Wheeling’s John Smith in the 145-pound championship. The senior will take a classic 41-0 record to Barrington.
Tangen raised his record to 39-1, when the senior standout defeated Stevenson’s Muzi Sitshela 6-0 in the title match at 152.
“Patrick and Jack wrestled tough opponents — and dominated them,” said Tadelman.
Sanchez (27-14) turned in a solid showing at 170 pounds. He went 2-0 before dropping an action-filled 16-7 match to Prospect’s Ryan Vedner in the finals.
The Trevians were hoping to advance two McDermeds.
Senior Jimmy McDermed (28-11) earned a sectional berth by pinning Hersey’s Austin Korba in the 285-pound third-place match, while freshman Tommy McDermed (15-20) came up just short in his third-place match at 195 pounds. He lost 11-7 to Rolling Meadows’ Alexis Garcia.
New Trier sophomore Matt McKenna also was denied. The 132-pounder had to default after sustaining an injury in the semifinal round.
McKenna ended the season with a 25-18 record.