ROXANA - Roxana High School lost a lasting member of the Shells’ athletic club Tuesday night when legendary wrestler Alex Maguire died in a tragic vehicle crash at Illinois Route 3/New Poag Road in Madison County.
Both Roxana Athletic Director Mark Briggs and Alex’s coach Rob Milazzo were both shocked at his death.
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“It happened late last night,” Briggs said. “I talked to the wrestling coach (Rob Milazzo) and we are both in a state of shock about it. Alex was a good kid. It seems like yesterday he was at the state meet smiling ear-to-ear with his whole life ahead of him. This is so unfortunate."
Briggs said Roxana was fortunate to have had Alex as a member of their wrestling team and also as a student.
“He meant a lot to the Roxana wrestling program,” Briggs said. “I think one of the things, when Alex reflected back on his life, was his positive time with Coach Milazzo and the wrestling program. Coach Milazzo had a huge impact on him.”
Coach Milazzo said he woke up Wednesday morning and received word Alex had passed from a colleague.
“This is a difficult time for me and everyone who knew Alex,” Coach Milazzo said. “This impacts his family, his friends, along with his classmates, teachers, administrators, and the Roxana community."
Milazzo said Alex was “a great wrestling talent.”
“Alex was second at state one year in state and third another. He didn’t start wrestling until sixth grade. He had a special talent for wrestling. He wrestled normally between 138 and 145 pounds. He reminded me of me in some ways.”
Milazzo was one of Roxana’s best wrestlers ever during his exciting career in the 1980s.
Milazzo described Alex as “very likable” with an “infectious smile and charm.”
“I don’t know anyone who didn’t like Alex,” Milazzo said. “We have been communicating and e-mailing teachers providing support and will be here for any students who may need help about his passing. We have kids who are related to Alex in school and it will have a ripple impact on all of us in Roxana."
In a tweet on the Roxana Athletics Twitter page, Briggs said: "He had made an enormous contribution to Roxana High School as a student-athlete. He will be missed….Our Shell Family lost a good one. RIP."