Eight Journal Star area wrestlers captured individual titles Saturday at the Bob and Liz Schnarr Invitational in Morton.
Notre Dame brought five wrestlers and all five reached title matches, with three earning championships. The Irish received firsts from Tristan Daugherty (126 pounds), Grant Peterson (132) and Daniel Driggs (182).
Daugherty (24-0 and ranked No. 1 at 126 in Class 1A) and Peterson (25-0 and ranked No. 6) remained unbeaten on the season. Daugherty was also named Outstanding Wrestlers, after getting a 40-second pin and two technical fall victories.
Host Morton put five in championship matches, with two champions (Tristan Parker at 170, Ethan Gray at 220), and scored 160.5 points to finish an area-best fourth in the team standings. Lincoln (206.5) won the team championship.
Peoria High placed fifth (159.5 points), led by championship bout pins from Maldonado Guyton at 152 and Tyson Heerman at 160.
The other area champion was Payton Murphy of Deer Creek-Mackinaw, who won the 106-pound title bout.
Article Source Written By: BY CODY CUTTER email@example.com 815-632-2532 @CodyCutter35
Ethen Doty lets his wrestling skill and accolades do all of the talking when it comes to his success.
Silence is golden on the wrestling mat, and it figures that Doty – a kid of few words – quietly built up enough success to win a state championship last year.
Last year’s Class 1A state champion at 126 pounds, Doty has continued his winning ways for the West Carroll-Eastland cooperative at as the calendar turns to 2020.
“It’s been good so far,” Doty said. “I could do better. Everyone knows what I do now compared to last year, but I’m still going.
“I kind of felt like last year I was the underdog, more or less. Now this year I’m at the top, and everyone’s coming for me.”
Now up one class at 132, wrestlers at that weight now know him well with the “state champion” title to his name. It’s a label that sometimes makes him nervous, and Doty admitted that it sometimes can be a bother to have. It’s a challenge that the Eastland junior keeps firmly in mind each time he walks onto the mat – and so far, so good.
“Mentally, you got to break it down in your head and block it out,” he said.
Doty’s state title, however, came in an unusual circumstance. During the title bout, Aurora Christian’s Cameron Johnson injured his shoulder after just 27 seconds of grappling.
Of last year’s three local state champion wrestlers, Doty is the only one that returns; Fulton’s Eli Pannell (220) and Newman’s Brody Ivey (152) have graduated. Doty will look to become the first back-to-back local state champion since Fulton’s Tyler Fleetwood won two in a row in 2017 (120) and 2018 (132).
Doty burst onto the scene as a freshman; he placed fifth at state at 120, and finished with 38 wins and 8 losses. The win to earn the fifth-place medal came against Kankakee Bishop McNamara’s Caleb Magruder in only 59 seconds.
He hasn’t lost a match since, running his streak to 66 after the ThunderCats’ 7-2 holiday trip to the St. Thomas More New Year’s Challenge in Danville. He had 45 wins last year, and has 20 so far this season.
“He’s pretty much the same kid he was when he came in as a freshman,” coach Jeff McIntyre said. “His demeanor hasn’t changed, he’s still the same kid. He doesn’t come in with the attitude that practice should center around [him].”
During the dual with Attica, Indiana, on Saturday, Doty earned his 100th win by fall. He now has 103 in his 2½-year career against his eight freshman losses.
“I didn’t know I was that close,” he said. “My dad told me that I was at 99 the match before.”
Only a handful of wrestlers in the program have reached the 100-win mark since the West Carroll consolidation in 2005. He’ll be joined by senior Eli Dertz with four more wins.
Dertz (19-3) has made a name for himself with his power lifting records, and has wrestled at 220 most of the year, but has been in some heavyweight bouts this season. He also had a highlight win in Danville; he beat Dawson Pruitt of Westville, 1A’s No. 2 wrestler at 220, in a 3-1 overtime decision.
“I feel like I can wrestle with these better guys because I’m more in shape and have better technique,” Dertz said. “That gives me some confidence that I have a good chance to go to state and wrestle some of these real good kids.”
Like Doty, Dertz also is from Eastland, and six more wrestlers trade in their schooltime blue and orange for Thunder green and black.
Doty attended West Carroll schools growing up and moved to Eastland in seventh grade. He started wrestling when he was 6, but Eastland didn’t have any type of wrestling program when he arrived – it once had co-oped with Polo and Milledgeville a decade ago.
McIntyre reached out to Eastland a few years ago to start a middle school co-op and see where things would go from there. Doty won two IESA state championships along the way.
Four years later, a typical starting lineup now has an about-even mix of Eastland and West Carroll kids. Of the eight wrestlers with at least 15 wins, four are Cougars and four and Thunder.
Doty and Dertz have had to do some hallway recruiting. Getting to know more people outside of their school walls is a great thing, said Dertz, who played football with Pearl City kids.
“The interest is starting to pick up,” Dertz said. “When you get a new co-op, some kids don’t know what it is and will get a little timid about it. Ethen’s an Eastland kid, and everyone knows him, so when he wins state, kids think ‘Oh, maybe I can go out for wrestling and have success, too.’ Kids want to come out and have their own success, and it’s become part of Eastland now.”
Doty’s brother, Wyatt, is a freshman at 120, and older brother is glad to have him along. Wyatt is 20-2, and West Carroll’s Cam Simpson (195) also has a 20-2 record.
“He follows along, and knows what he’s doing so far,” Ethen said. “He’s not doing that bad. Hopefully [he] goes to state this year. It’ll look like I did something to help make him go.”
The trio leads the team in wins at the turn of the year. West Carroll’s Kelden McCombie (160), Briar Nevills (113), and Trapper Hartman (126), and Eastland’s Bishop Groezinger (170) also have more than 15 wins.
The team is 15-3 in dual meets, which doesn’t include a December trip to a dual tournament at Western Dubuque High School in Epworth, Iowa, where the team fielded a mostly junior varsity lineup.
“They’re rivals in football, and they’ll put that big ‘X’ on the calendar, but we don’t have any of that here,” McIntyre said. “They get along famously. You really wouldn’t have an idea of who’s from what school. They came together real nice, and we don’t have a problem.”
Prior to Doty’s fifth-place finish as a freshman, only three wrestlers from Eastland or Lanark High had ever medaled at state: Mike Nansel (167) in 1983, and Pat Dapkus (189) and Nathan Hoffberg (171) in 2001 all finished third.
Since West Carroll High School formed in 2005, only four other wrestlers from there have medaled: Jacob Klein (182) took sixth in 2013, and a trio of grapplers saw the podium in 2017 – Nate Schultz (182) was third, and Andrew VanKampen (120) and Josh Anderson (285) were fifth.
This year’s team has athletes that can add to that list.
“We’re not doing bad this year,” Doty said.
Big meets are coming up this month for the ThunderCats. They host state powers Dakota and Lena-Winslow/Stockton on Jan. 16, and are in the Bob Lueders Invitational in Clinton, Iowa, on Jan. 25.
Article Source Written By: Greg Shashack, firstname.lastname@example.org
Three Civic Memorial wrestlers went unbeaten in a grueling weekend at the Diamond State Duals in Springdale, Arkansas.
Juniors Peyton Bechtold, Caleb Tyus and Caine Tyus all got through the two-day event including 10 dual matches without a loss. CM went 7-3 to place fourth in the 12-team tourney with schools from Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Louisiana and Illinois.
Bechtold finished 10-0 with six pins, including five in the first period. Three of his matches came at 170 pounds with the other seven at 160. Bechtold is 18-2.
Caleb Tyus kept his perfect record intact with nine victories to push his season mark to 22-0. Tyus finished with seven wins by fall and two by technical fall. Six of those pins, including one wrestling up at 138, came in the first period.
Caine Tyus went to 22-1 while matching his twin with a 9-0 weekend with seven wins by fall and two by tech fall. Tyus had one pin at 145 pounds with his other victories coming at 138.
Freshman Abe Wojcikiewicz finished 9-1 with seven pins. Wojcikiewicz went 7-1 at 145 and 2-0 at 152 to get to 24-3 for the season. Sophomore Colton Carlisle also got to 20 wins by going 8-2 with two wins at 160 and a 6-2 finish at 152. He is 20-4.
Sophomore Ben Skaggs went 8-2, including 6-1 at 113 and 2-1 at 106 to improve to 16-7. Sophomore Dominic Tannler went 6-4 in his season debut, swapping out with Skaggs at 106 and 113. Soph Evan Zobrist went 5-3 at 126 to move his record to 10-8. Alex Miranda (12-5), another sophomore, went 3-1 while splitting time at 170 and 182. Senior Shug Walker finished 6-4 at 195 and is 12-11.
CM won its six-team pool with dual victories over Shiloh Christian (51-24), Springdale (39-24), Sulphur (45-21), Excelsior Springs (47-26) and Nixa (53-24). In the Navy Bracket, the Eagles beat Cass (47-29) and Excelsior Springs (53-30) before losing to North Desota 45-33. In the finals, CM lost to eventual champion Seneca (48-32) in the semis and to Nixa (46-34) to place fourth.
Article Source Written By: Matt Kamp email@example.com
KAUKAUNA, Wis. – Edwardsville senior Luke Odom came up a win short of his third championship at the Cheesehead Invitational, while seniors Lloyd Reynolds and Caleb Harrold enjoyed top-four finishes at the prestigious tournament.
Odom (160 pounds) and Reynolds each took second and Harrold (182) finished fourth for the Tigers, who took 12th as a team with 316 points. Edwardsville was the third-best team out of Illinois, trailing only second-place Mount Carmel (554.4 points) and 11th-place Aurora Christian (322.5 points). DeKalb finished 13th with 299 points, followed by Lockport in 14th with 281 points. Minnesota’s Simley won with 614.5 points.
“The guys fought hard. They all had a lot of matches and were able to weather it. They will all be sore tomorrow, but in the long run everybody got better and we’re on our way to meeting our second-half goals,” EHS coach Jon Wagner said.
A year ago, Edwardsville had three champions in Odom (138), Noah Surtin (120) and Josh Anderson (220). It took seventh as a team.
The Tigers entered Saturday with a chance to match their total for champions, but they came up short with Odom suffering his first loss – he is now 28-1 – in the championship match of 160 pounds and Reynolds falling in the championship match of 285 pounds. Harrold lost in the semifinals to the country’s top-ranked wrestler in the 182-pound weight class.
After winning at 138 pounds last year and 126 pounds as a sophomore, Odom opened this year’s tournament with six straight victories, including three by pin, to set up a 160-pound championship match with Arrowhead Union’s Keegan O’Toole, the top-ranked wrestler in the country and in the tournament. Odom was seeded second in the tournament.
Thanks to a pair of takedowns, O’Toole led 4-1 after two periods and he extended the lead to 6-1 after a reversal just 11 seconds into the third. The eighth-ranked wrestler in the country, Odom recovered with an escape and takedown to whittle the lead down to 6-4 before allowing a reversal and nearfall made the score 10-4 with 36 seconds left. Odom made it 10-6 with a late escape, but a takedown from O’Toole finished off the match.
A Mizzou recruit, O’Toole is a three-time state champion in Wisconsin. He is 24-0 this season.
“Luke had a marquee match-up there. Personally, I thought Luke did an admirable job. I definitely believe in Luke’s abilities. It was a great match. Luke had two takedowns in the match,” Wagner said.
At 285 pounds, Reynolds won six straight, including a 1-0 win over Mount Carmel’s Elliot Lewis in the semifinals, to make it to the championship match in a battle of the top two seeds. Reynolds was ranked No. 1, followed by Howard.
Facing Tennessee’s top-ranked James Howard of McCallie High School, Reynolds trailed 2-0 going into the third period after a first-period takedown. Starting on top in the third, Reynolds surrendered an escape six seconds in and couldn’t rebound, losing 3-0.
Howard is now 15-2, while Reynolds is 27-2.
“(Howard) was a fairly athletic, physical heavyweight. Lloyd just came up short,” Wagner said.
Harrold was a win away from becoming the third Tiger to advance to the final, but he ran into a buzzsaw by the name of Patrick Kennedy in the semifinals. The top-ranked wrestler at 182 pounds, Kennedy, from Kasson-Mantorville, pinned Harrold in 38 seconds to drop him to 23-5. Kennedy, who ultimately won the title, is an Iowa recruit.
Harrold bounced back to win 6-4 over Stoughton’s Brandt Spilde before being pinned in 2:04 by Simley’s Gavin Nelson in the third-place match. Harrold is now 24-6.
“I thought Caleb had a phenomenal tournament. He did what he had to do to get back in the fourth-place match. I’m proud of him,” Wagner said.
The Lincoln High School wrestling team scored 206.5 points to win the 11-team Bob and Liz Schnarr Invitational on Saturday at Morton where runner-up Normal Community scored 203. Deer Creek-Mackinaw was ninth (78).
Area winners included Lincoln’s Austin O’Donoghue (145) and JT Guzzardo (195), Dee-Mack’s Payton Murphy (106) and the NCHS trio of Brock Bacus (120), John Carter Owen (138) and Ethan Johnson (285).
Other NCHS placers were Cody Correll (2nd at 126), Anderson Ryan (2nd at 145), Jacob Bergelin (2nd at 160), Will Naour (3rd at 113) and Jacob Ogg (3rd at 220).
Also placing for Lincoln were Trevor Bree (2nd at 132), Isaac Decker (3rd at 120), Brandon Sweitzer (3rd at 152) and Jared Merriman (3rd at 182). Dee-Mack placers were Branson Bottorff (2nd at 285) and Kyle Huff (2nd at 170).
GCMS-Fisher 1st at Argenta: GCMS-Fisher scored 212 points to win the Argenta-Oreana Invitational by eight points over runner-up Rochester.
The Falcons’ three champions were Cale Horsch (126), Kaden Gream (145) and Payton Kean (195). Placing second for GCMS-Fisher was Braylen Kean (170). Taking third for the Falcons were Andrew Ferguson (120), Cole Maxey (132) and Markus Miguel (285).
GCMS-Fisher went 8-3 in the final round and won every head-to-head matchup with Rochester to overcome a 14-point deficit.
Article Source Written By: By Kevin McGavin – Daily Herald Correspondent
Josh Mathiasen barely broke a sweat Saturday afternoon in Maple Park.
After a first-round bye, Mathiasen, a York senior heavyweight wrestler, had back-to-back first-period falls to ease to the championship of the Margaret Flott Invitational at Kaneland High School.
Alex Gutierrez and Matt Cozzi also captured titles for the Dukes at 120 and 132 pounds, respectively, as York defended its team championship with a 222.5-181.5 victory over Crystal Lake South.
Romeoville was third with 149 points, followed by East Aurora (112.5), Woodstock North (82.5), Proviso East (73), Naperville North (60.5), St. Charles North (56) and Kaneland (45).
“Last year was our breakthrough here,” York coach Nick Metcalf said. “All the teams are better this year, but our team is very good. We’re looking for (Mathiasen) to be our next state-placer-slash-state-champion.”
Mathiasen improved to 14-1 after returning to action last week at the rugged Flavin Invitational in DeKalb, where the Dukes went 5-1 in the bracketed dual-meet tournament to capture the consolation championship.
“I was working on perfecting my moves,” said Mathiasen, who missed two weeks with an ankle sprain. “I have the fire in me. I am ready to take it as far as I can.”
Gutierrez and Cozzi both captured their titles with second-period falls.
“It was putting in the hard work in the gym on our days off,” Gutierrez said of his championship run.
Guttierez, a junior, looks to make a deeper postseason run this winter after failing to get out of the regional the last two seasons.
“Not the outcome I wanted, but hopefully it will change this year,” Gutierrez said of his first two regional tournaments.
“When he shot on me, I defended,” Cozzi said of his victorious pin. “I reversed him. I defended him and did a go-behind move.”
Naperville North coach Tom Champion dispatched his junior-varsity lineup to the nine-team tournament.
Robert Padgett also returned to the lineup after being saddled with a nagging groin injury.
The Naperville North senior scored the lone point of the championship match at 220 pounds.
“This is my first time wrestling in two weeks,” Padgett said. “(Champion) got me into the JV to get me some matches in. I chose down and rolled out (to score the lone point on an escape).”
Runner-up Crystal Lake South had the most bountiful day in terms of crowning champions.
The Gators had back-to-back champions to start the final round with falls by Amador Castro and Christian Olsen at 106 and 113 pounds.
“I was just staying calm, trying to get my attacks,” Castro said.
Castro, a sophomore, improved to 16-3.
Olsen is a 14-2 with his first tournament title of his junior campaign.
“I was just working my stuff on top,” Olsen said. “The whole time, I was adjusting for the fall.”
Peyton Timmons’ first-period fall in the championship at 145 pounds gave the Crystal Lake South his 20th win on the season against two defeats.
“I was able to turn him and get the finish,” Timmons said of his abbreviated victory. “I pinned him with a half-Nelson. I have a lot of confidence going into the state tournament.”
One class later, the Gators’ 152-pound representative Shane Moran, a sophomore, improved to 10-1 with a 5-0 verdict over St. Charles North newcomer Drew Surges.
“I was just too weak,” said Surges, a freshman who fell to 14-3. “I wasn’t moving fast enough.”
St. Charles North crowned its lone champion at 195 pounds as Colman Gonnella had nothing but falls in his round-robin competition.
“I used a three-quarter half-Nelson,” Gonnella said. “It was very smooth. A three-quarter half-Nelson is different from a full-Nelson (an illegal move) because you’re coming from the side.”
The host Knights were short-handed as freshman Lane Robinson, a 120-pounder, finished third to pace the team.
“It was kind of a down day,” Kaneland coach Kenny Paoli said. “We were missing five or six varsity wrestlers. We wrestled a lot of lower-level guys. Guys are on vacation, guys are injured.”
Article Source Written By: Mike Garofola – Daily Herald Correspondent
State ranked wrestling teams Libertyville, Naperville Central and Bolingbrook did not disappoint a big crowd at host Schaumburg Saturday afternoon.
No. 13 Libertyville closed out No. 22 Bolingbrook (8-3) on the final bout of their contest, as did No. 14 Naperville Central against Schaumburg to signal the start of an entertaining day of wrestling.
After its 39-31 victory in its opener, Naperville Central (18-4-0) would stay perfect the rest of the way after sending off both Libertyville (36-29) and then Bolingbrook 42-18.
“It’s been a busy, but two pretty good days,” said Central head coach Noah Fitzenreider. “But we still have a lot of work ahead of us.”
The Redhawks, without their 106 and 285-pounders on Saturday, immediately began to chase 12 forfeit points against Schaumburg (8-8-0) but soon took over the proceedings by outscoring the Saxons 24-3.
Grant Hansen’s major decision at 145 and a pin from Tyler Bobnick at 170 would fuel a late comeback from the Saxons, who drew within five at 36-31, until Angelo Eklou’s thrilling 9-8 decision gave Central its first win of the day.
It was more of the same against Libertyville, which would erase consecutive pins from Tommy Porter (113) and Tyler Driessens (120) to make a game of the second contest.
Danny Pucino, No. 2 in the state at 138, inspired the Wildcats’ comeback with his 16-5 major decision triumph and with Josh Knudten (160) and Chase Baczek (170) lending a hand Libertyville closed the gap to 30-23 until an Eklou pin at 220 dashed the hopes of coach Dale Eggert’s club.
“This was an exciting day of wrestling. Naperville is a tough ride, Bolingbrook tore us apart with their lower weights and Schaumburg battled right until the end,” opined Eggert, whose team went 2-1 just before the new year against Barrington, Cary-Grove and Yorkville.
“You saw the value of earning bonus points, and not giving them away today, especially against Bolingbrook who went way up on us. Pucino, Knudten, Chase, and Adam Pressley, who bumped up to 95 got us 22 points, but it was Bronson Mitran staying away from getting pinned that was the difference.”
The Wildcats (10-2) would edge Bolingbrook 40-38, then defeat Schaumburg, 40-26.
“We’ve had a lot of injuries of late, but we’re getting closer to being 100% which should put us in real good shape for the last part of the season,” said Baczek (22-4), who recently was fourth at the prestigious Dvorak Invite, and has improved dramatically from a year ago when he was 29-13 overall.
“I’m attacking and riding so much better than last year,” added Baczek, 3-0 on the day.
Driessens, and Eklou were also 3-0, as was junior Shane Roth (18-5), who went 5-1 last weekend at DeKalb, and 3-0 when the Redhawks traveled to Grant on Friday for three matches.
“We had some great senior leaders in our room last year, but guys like Driessens, Ryan Silva, Sean King and Eklou have really stepped to be the new leaders, and with an influx of new guys to our lineup, who are hungry to win and be successful, we’re having a good year thus far,” said Roth, back from a broken nose suffered at the Marchese Invite last month.
“If we can get ourselves healthy, and turn up the work in the room from here on out, we could have a real solid run in us but we’ve got to do the little things so much better, and have to understand in order to be the best, we have to be at our best at all times,” said Fitzenreider.
Schaumburg coach Mike LeVanti was encouraged at some levels despite going winless on the day, but he was not happy with one area in which his club struggled.
“We gave up far too many bonus points and did not get enough of them for ourselves,” LeVanti said. “We competed well against quality opponents, but it wasn’t enough to just compete.
“Grant (Hansen) was very good against Pucino, who moved up to 145 to wrestle Grant, and we had a few other bright spots, but we’ll have to be ready against an improving team from Palatine next week Friday.”
Libertyville will host league rival Warren next week, while Naperville Central hosts Wheaton North on Thursday.
Article Source Written By: By Stan Morris of the Peoria Journal Star Posted Dec 25, 2019 at 8:00 AM
The Richwoods wrestling room looks a little different than your average area high school wrestling room.
That’s because nearly a third of the athletes in the room are girls.
A dedicated commitment to recruiting females, those not in other sports in the winter or not in any sport at all, has paid off for head coach Rob Penney and his Knights.
A roster of 50 athletes includes 16 girls.
“We’ve had girls wrestling at Richwoods for years,” Penny said. “We’ve been pretty progressive all along, we’re just in a situation now where the (Illinois High School Association) is looking seriously at making it a sport. I’m just hoping to hit the ground running.”
Girls wrestling is considered an “emerging sport” by the IHSA. According to Oak Park-River Forest girls coach Fred Arkin, 641 girls were certified last year by the IHSA to participate in wrestling, a number up from 433 in 2017.
Richwoods is one of 54 schools registered with the IHSA — along with Metamora and Pekin among metro-area schools — as participating in the emerging sport of girls wrestling.
“It’s been a rewarding experience,” Penny said. “The girls are hard-nosed, they listen well. They remember moves faster than the boys sometimes, they work harder than the boys sometimes.”
Of the 16 girls on the team, junior Maria Lopez is the only returning female wrestler. She “fell in love with (wrestling) the first week” after picking up the sport last season.
She was also part of a promotional video put together at the end of last year by videographer Chris Nash. The video showed a wrestler making some moves, only to reveal at the end that the wrestler was a girl.
“Clearly, it worked,” Lopez said. “It was a big eye-opener that, ‘Whoa, a girl can do this,’ That showed a lot of women at the school that wrestling isn’t just for boys, and I can be aggressive, too, and I can channel that aggression into a sport.”
Two other big recruiters were freshmen Kyley Bair and Katlyn Boone. Both Bair and Boone earned fourth-place medals in their respective weight classes as eighth graders competing in the Illinois Kids Wrestling Federation girls state tournament.
“No one was expecting that,” Bair said of so many girls joining the team. “We were expecting like five, but then to see the next 10 come in we were like, ‘Whoa, that’s really crazy to see that many.’”
Lopez noted the influx of girls is not just for show, or because of peer pressure.
“The girls on the team are like, ‘Show me that again. How do I do that? I want to do that again,’” Lopez said. “Just repetition. They actually want to be involved. They don’t do it for the look, to say they’re wrestlers. They do it because this is where they want to be and want to show they can be aggressive as well.”
Boone, who was encouraged to start wrestling by Bair, has noticed the improvement and staying power of the girls out for the first time.
“I like to see everyone grow with the program, to see everyone who has stuck with it so far,” she said.
And the reaction of the boys on the team?
“We get along great,” Lopez said. “It’s never, ‘Oh, she’s a girl.’ They know that we put up a fight, too. They have more muscle, but we have brains, we have skills.”
Match time has been limited so far for most of the girls. But Richwoods will get its first chance to compete in an all girls formated tournament this weekend at the Ottawa Invitational.
“That’s crazy exciting, because a lot of times we don’t get many matches in because some schools don’t want to wrestle girls,” Lopez said. “An all girls tournament is going to be very good for us, so that we can all get as much mat time as we can against female wrestlers. You’re going to go a lot harder against them as well, because it’s not boy-girl so nobody is going to be holding back.”
Bair is also excited about the possibilities at Ottawa.
“To already have our first girls tournament is super cool,” she said. “It’s really exciting to see how much these girls have grown, just in the past couple weeks. It’s going to be a big eye-opener for everyone.”
Richwoods will take 14 girls this weekend in 10 different weight classes.
“I think the girls are going to surprise some people when they get to some tournaments,” Penney said. “They’re pretty tough.”
The girls will compete in two regular-season tournaments next year. This year, they’ll also compete in the Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association girls state series.
“This is almost pre-season for them, to get them geared up for the big tournament at the end,” Penny said.
Girls wrestling as an official IHSA sport may still be a few years away, but Richwoods has a good head start.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing where this thing goes,” Penney said. “Bigger picture is a quality varsity girls team traveling around the state exactly when the boys are doing the same thing and winning duals and winning tournaments. That’s the end goal. Right now, it’s just building the sport.”
Article Source Written By: By PATRICK Z. MCGAVIN – DAILY SOUTHTOWN |DEC 30, 2019 | 2:03 PM
Photo: Andrew senior Kyle Silzer, who has moved up several weight classes in three varsity seasons, has a 14-4 record at 132 pounds this year. (Photo provided by Andrew Athletics)
Andrew senior Kyle Silzer loves a breakneck pace. He also has the ability to dictate the tempo at 132 pounds.
“I always like to push the pace on my feet and take my guy down,” Silzer said. “Let him up and take him down and try to score as many points as I can.”
Silzer is part of a proud family tradition. His older brother Jake, a three-time state placewinner at St. Rita, wrestled three years at the University of Illinois.
His youngest brother Trevor, a freshman, also starts for the Thunderbolts. Jake was the inspiration to take up the sport when Kyle was younger.
“He brought a sheet home for my dad one day, and my dad fell in love with it,” Kyle said. “And they brought me and my little brother into the sport.”
Jake is working with his brother to develop a more aggressive approach.
“Jake has been coaching me a lot and has encouraged me,” Kyle said. “It’s awesome having him around. We are always competing with each other, in and out of the room.
“Now that my little brother is wrestling this year, it is great to be competing with everyone.”
Kyle Silzer has a 14-4 record this season. He has excelled with a blend of quickness, speed, balance and technical prowess.
He also has adjusted to going up against bigger and stronger opponents, making a difficult leap by moving up several weight classes in three varsity seasons.
He wrestled at 106 as a sophomore and at 120 as a junior.
“I feel like everybody is really good at 132,” Silzer said. “I had my growth spurt during my sophomore year. As a sophomore, I started out at 126, but the kids were just too strong.
“Now, I just work to get better.”
He has also demonstrated a relentless style and unforgiving mentality, something he has adopted from working with his older brother.
“The way I see it is that you must have a serious dislike for your opponent for the six minutes you are out there and do everything possible to win,” Silzer said. “You can be friends after the match.
“When I am out there, I like to stay focused and try and score as many points as I can.”
Impressive showing: The youngest of the three Silzer brothers, Trevor showed off his precocious talent with an outstanding performance in the DeKalb Invitational.
Silzer posted two pins, a technical fall and two majority decisions at 106 in finishing 6-0 at the two-day tournament.
Joey Roti went 5-0 at 126 for the Thunderbolts.
Versatile middle: December is the time when most coaches experiment with lineups.
Lemont coach John St. Clair has a range of options at the heart of his order.
Just looking at 145, he has two wrestlers ranked in the top five with Grant LaDuke and Kyle Zator.
LaDuke finished third in the state last season in Class 2A. He’s currently ranked No. 2 by the Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association.
Zator is ranked No. 5 at the same weight class.
Additionally, the emergence of AJ Heeg at 138 has allowed Kyle Schickel, who finished second in the state at 138 last season, to move up to 145.
In the DeKalb Invitational, Lemont went 5-1 and finished second in its bracket against Oak Park-River Forest.
Heeg, LaDuke and Zator each finished 6-0. Schickel went 5-1.
Patrick Z. McGavin is a freelance reporter for the Daily Southtown.
Barbs drop two of three in top pool Saturday; Spartans finish with win, go 3-3 over weekend
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.”