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Eyes on the prize: Josh Ramos wins all three of his matches to power Providence at OPRF quadrangular


rovidence senior Josh Ramos is a two-time state qualifier but has yet to earn a state medal. In his final chance to make a run for the podium, Ramos is hoping to break a pattern.

“In the past, I’ve seemed to always start the season really fast and then kind of faded toward the end,” he said. “This year, I have to keep grinding through the whole season and I can’t let up.

“I know I have to push the pace 24/7, keep my mind straight and do all the right things. I’m fired up to go for that state title.”

Ramos, ranked No. 5 in Class 3A at 145 pounds by the Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association, did everything right Saturday.

He won all three of his matches at the Oak Park-River Forest quad and was one of the bright spots for the shorthanded Celtics.

No. 21 Providence fell 55-17 to No. 2 Oak Park-River Forest, 63-16 to No. 11 DeKalb and 48-22 to Washington, No. 1 in 2A.

Ramos (10-1) beat OPRF’s James Murphy by technical fall with a 17-2 decision in 3 three minutes, 36 seconds. Ramos also pinned Washington’s Donald Hidden in 1:10 and won a 10-1 major decision over DeKalb’s Bradley Gillum.

Ramos’ leadership has been vital for the young Celtics, who are a team in transition under new coach Donny Reynolds, a Providence alum who replaced the legendary Keith Healy.

“Josh is a great kid,” Reynolds said. “He’s a (National Honor Society) student. He does all the right things. He gets the guys motivated and leads by example.

“It’s important for our young guys to have a role model like that to look to instead of it just being me barking at them all the time.”

That’s especially key with the Celtics missing five starters due to injuries and illness, including 2016-17 state champion Jake Lindsey.

Lindsey, who was sidelined much of last season because of a right shoulder injury but returned for the postseason, hasn’t wrestled this season after reaggravating the same injury.

Reynolds said Lindsey could return next week.

“I want the program to keep continuing on after I’m gone and have a good future, so I want to do everything I can to help the young guys,” Ramos said. “We have some talented freshmen.”

One of those freshmen is 220-pounder Ryan Boersma, who also won all three of his matches Saturday.

Boersma (9-1) beat OPRF’s Jaylan Pascascio 4-2, pinned Washington’s Gabe Robison in 3:16 and pinned DeKalb’s Bryan Mora in 3:45.

“High school wrestling is a lot more challenging and I need to get in better shape, but I’ve been working my offense pretty well,” Boersma said. “I need to get better on the bottom.

“I just love being a part of Providence. We have a great freshman class this year and we’re all excited about what we can do.”

Billy Meiszner, another freshman, went 2-1 at 106.

Ramos is confident the Celtics will continue to improve throughout the season.

“Coach Reynolds is great,” he said. “I couldn’t have asked for anyone better. He’s going to take us in the right direction.”


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