For Immediate Release – Champaign, IL ( 2/18/12 ) –
Max Schneider continues to add to his historic resume. This past Saturday at Assembly Hall in Champaign, IL, Schneider earned his second individual state wrestling title. In doing so, Max became the first Chicago Public School wrestler to win two individual state titles in 60 years ( Jack Monroe of Tilden won titles in 1952 and 1953 ). He defeated the previously unbeaten Brian Murphy of Glenbard North ( 30 – 1 ) 3 -1 to take the title in the Class 3A 152lbs division. It was a close, tense match throughout, as Murphy took a 1 – 0 lead into the third and final period. After Schneider leveled the match early in the third, he scored the decisive two points with less than 40 seconds remaining in the match. Max, a Senior at Lane Tech High School, ended his season with a perfect 40 – 0 record. For his prep career, Max won 145 matches while losing only 5. He also won the state title in the 145lbs division ( again with a 40 – 0 record ) as a Sophomore in 2010.
Max is also a world class Judo player. In 2010 he won the inaugural Youth Olympic Gold Medal in Singapore. Schneider won all of his matches by full point, including the gold medal match up against his opponent from North Korea. Max started taking classes at the Menomonee Judo Club at the age of 5. The club is located in the Old Town neighborhood in Chicago. He has represented the United States in international competitions in South Africa, Japan, Hungary, Korea, El Salvador and Costa Rica. This past November, Max was part of Team USA at the Junior World Judo Championships in Cape Town, South Africa.
Max was very close to being a 4 time state champion. As a Freshman, Max upset the top ranked Ellis Coleman from Oak Park River Forest in the quarterfinals. Coleman came into the match with a 45 – 0 record ( 35 pins ). No one gave the then unknown Schneider any chance at victory. In a scintillating match, Max pinned the heavily favored Coleman in the third period and earned a standing ovation from the Assembly Hall crowd. In the championship match, he lost a very close match to Kevin Fanta, a Senior from Lake Zurich High School. Schneider had beaten Fanta earlier in the year, but came up just short in the final. He lost 12 – 9, but was unquestionably the star of the state tournament.
As a Junior, Max was unable to defend his first state title. An injured shoulder kept him out of the state tournament. He re injured the shoulder in the Lincoln Holiday Tournament against three time state champion Joey Kielbasa from Crystal Lake Central. The injury cost Schneider a 59 match winning streak and the chance to defend his title. He wrestled only three for the remainder of the season while recuperating and rehabbing the injury.
Max had initially hurt the shoulder during the quarterfinals of the 2010 state tournament. He continued to wrestle and won the title with one good shoulder. Wrestling a healthy and hungry Max Schneider proved too much for any of his 40 opponents this year. In fact, very few of his matches lasted the distance. He was in dominant form throughout the season. Although Schneider’s accomplishments on the mat ( both Judo and wrestling ) put him in very elite company, he has left a far more important legacy to future Chicago Public School wrestlers. For the first time in decades, they can set realistic goals of not only making it downstate, but also winning the state title once they get there.
Max Schneider, a true champion both on and off the mat.
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