Barbs hand off Flavin title, find excitement in dual competition

Barbs drop two of three in top pool Saturday; Spartans finish with win, go 3-3 over weekend

Article Source Written By: Daily Chronicle – KALEB CARTER Email Follow

Photo By: Mary Beth Nolan

DeKALB – For Austin Martin, competing in the Don Flavin dual team wrestling tournament for the first time and battling in front of a raucous field house environment resonated with the DeKalb 113-pound freshman wrestler.

“It’s fun seeing all the people in the stands and getting them to watch you and scream and shout. It’s fun,” Martin said. “It’s a cool interaction.”

The Barbs handed Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association 11th-ranked Oak Park and River Forest a 40-25 loss to start the day Saturday, but DeKalb lost its other duals to out-of state powers Mukwonago (41-37) of Wisconsin and Brownsburg (31-25) of Indiana. Mukwonago went on to win the Flavin title.

One big win against OPRF came from Bradley Gillum at 160 pounds, who defeated IWCOA No. 2 ranked Joe Chapman, 2-0. Martin earned a 3-2 win, with a third-period takedown providing the difference in his victory.

“I knew that kid [Chapman] was good,” Gillum said. “He’s one of the few names that I recognized. I knew I need to wrestle smart, wrestle hard and keep my energy going the whole match.”

The two were tied after Gillum rode out Chapman in the second period, and after securing takedown in the third, again rode out Chapman.

Gillum later went on to defeat Brownburg’s Peyton Asbury, Indiana’s fifth-ranked wrestler, with a 3-1 decision after another third-period takedown.

“We just need to come together as a team,” Gillum said. “People would mess up, do small things wrong that cost big team points, but it would be fine if that was like individual, but when you come together as a team, we need to learn how to come together and keep the motivation going.”

Other Barbs defeating ranked wrestlers included Ben Aranda (106), Danny Curran (120), Damien Lopez (152), Michael Clayton (170) and Tucker Ikens (195). Curran went 6-0 with three wins by fall, two by major decision and a tech fall. Aranda went 5-1 over the weekend with four falls. Lopez was 5-0 in contested matches over the weekend.

“We split seven matches and seven matches with Mukwango and [Brownsburg] Indiana, the best that Wisconsin and Indiana have,” DeKalb coach Sam Hiatt said. “It came down to bonus points. We just got pinned too much, especially in the last one, but our kids wrestled hard, and I’m proud of them.”

Sycamore ended the day with a 36-33 win over Hinsdale Central after losing to St. Charles East, 45-31, and Aurora Christian, 52-18.

Zack Crawford helped start a run of four Spartans wins in five matches against Hinsdale Central, pulling out a 3-1 decision.

“Zack Crawford getting that takedown to change that decision, end up winning that, it was 1-1 in the third, that’s a huge match,” Sycamore coach Alex Nelson said.

Brayden Peet at 145 pounds, Gus Cambier (152) and Colton Berg (160) recorded consecutive pins to lead the Spartans to the win.

“When our hammers [have] tough matches, they can pick up the slack for us and score some big bonus points in matches when we need them to,” Spartans senior 170-pounder Zak Kozumplik said.

After Sycamore went 1-2 Saturday and 3-3 overall over the weekend, Kozumplik, Class 3A’s fifth-ranked wrestler according to the IWCOA, said the Spartans are looking forward to getting right back to work.

“It gives us some good feedback on how much more work we have to do, as well as in the practice room, coming up before we get to our regional, sectionals, state,” Kozumplik said.

For the Barbs, who were coming off a Flavin title last season, Saturday proved to be a reminder of what the Barbs can address in the practice room to get better at.

“All these good teams give us challenges,” Danny Curran said. “Make us better every day, either in the mat room because we’re working on stuff, but we can get better than wrestling mediocre teams and feeling like we’re on top of the world that when a good team comes, you don’t know what to do.”

A beat up DeKalb team, fighting off sickness from several wrestlers, will take time to get healthy before wrestling in the Cheesehead Invitational in Kaukauna, Wisconsin, on Friday and Saturday.

In the meantime, Martin treated the weekend as a learning experience. He said that not only did he pick up new techniques from strong opponents, but also that patience was an important thing for him to build.

“Patience is something that I’ve needed to learn,” Martin said. “I’m getting to the point to where I’m getting to where I need to be with patience.”