Article Source Written by: By Mike Garofola – Daily Herald Correspondent
Gio Jackson and Alejandro Mejia laugh when they call themselves a dynamic duo, but the best wrestlers from Buffalo Grove have every right to do so.
The Bison stars led their club to a pair of victories over visiting Geneva and Romeoville Monday in their home gym to move BG over .500 (9-7-0) in advance of the new year.
“We feed off each other’s success,” echoed the Bison seniors, who each recently won individual titles at the Glen Erb Invite and before that another at their own Rex Lewis.
“Having those two in the room has really made a big difference,” said BG coach Kurt Kutska. “They bring the level of intensity way up because of how hard they work, and with the results each has had because of their work rate.
“But it’s kind of funny because Alejandro is all business, while Gio is a little more carefree, always with a smile on his face. We’re obviously fortunate to have both of them with us.”
Mejia would wrestle as a freshman at BG, then, along with his family, move to Kentucky before returning last season, and advancing to sectionals.
This season he is currently the No. 10 rated 152-pounder in the state with a 19-3 record.
Jackson, who transferred from Palatine where he was a state qualifier last season, sits at No. 2 in the state polls, squashing the opposition all throughout the first half of the season on his way to a 22-0 overall record.
“I’ll continue to work on my fitness, while working to push the pace and stay quick on my feet. I know I can be cleaner and better in everything that I do, so that’s what I’ll concentrate on from here on out,” said Jackson.
Teammates Antonio Lopez (138, 16-6) and heavyweight Brandon Flores (18-5) won both matches on the day for BG as well.
Elk Grove was without four starters including its top man, Tuvshin Zuunbayen (126, 17-0), but the Grens managed to go 1-1 on the day when an Emmanuel Gonzalez pin at 285 on the final bout gave coach Dan Vargas’ club a 40-39 victory over Geneva.
“The program is in great shape because of strong underclass numbers, but on the varsity level we’re a little light at some weights. But with guys like Tuvshin and Emmanuel, plus two terrific sophomores in Danny Gaskill (120, 14-6) and Brady Tosterud (182, 14-5) the future is looking bright,” opined Vargas.
Zuunbayen was first at both the Rex Lewis and Niles West, where 2019 state qualifier Ian Huck (16-4, 126) from Geneva was runner-up to Zuunbayen.
“There’s a few losses this season that I am not happy with and sectionals are always tough,” said Huck, 38-9 a year ago. “I feel that the experience of getting downstate last year, plus getting bigger in an offseason when I competed in preseason nationals, training at Izzy Style, and going to a camp at SIU-Edwardsville has prepared me for this season.”
The Vikings were down 35-17 in its final contest of the day with Romeoville but would make a valiant comeback effort in their final contest of the day, coming back from a 33-18 deficit to take a two-point advantage over the Spartans, 35-33.ADVERTISING
Richard Krieger (195), Hank Smith (220), Blake Kunkel (285) and Maguire Hokesema (106, 14-5) would score 17 unanswered points to give Geneva a 35-33 advantage until Jaden Ruiz (12-2) dashed the Vikings’ hope with a pin at 113.
Geneva is at St. Charles East on Thursday in a DuKane Conference contest.