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Orange and Blue Wrecking Crew · IHSA Class 3A State Champions: 2009, 2014, 2015, 2016 · Huskie Wrestling Family


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28 for 28 Stories: A 2016-2017 Season Primer

|  -->  -->  -->  -->  JUMP:
  Weeks 1-4 (Days 1-28)  ***  ***  ***  ***  |

In our lead-up to the big day, we will post 28 articles (one for each day -- although they may not be published each day) as a primer for this season. It is my intention (the webmaster speaking, here) to educate as many as I can about what I know and what I've learned so that you can have the richest experience of the 2016-2017 IHSA Wrestling season. 28 days = 4 weeks.



The locker room is open: Roster page is updated
View the faces that make up the Varsity / Junior Varsity squads · 12/04/2016



We have been following our beloved Huskies for two weeks now, and you've seen several faces that are new to our program. Also, for newcomers to the school, team, or website, we offer you a chance to know and follow wrestlers as they continue their 2016-2017 season journey.

Our season roster is updated, complete with names, weights, and photos. If you see any errors, please send us an email.

Get to know these very talented young men and women, and enjoy this ride!

We extend a warm thank you to Jonna Borgdorff for her photography skills and time spent. :)



Close, closer, and closest: Huskies take 3 in Washington
OPRF bests Lincoln-Way West at the finish; Huskies also beat Deerfield and Carmel · 12/03/2016


OPRF finished 3-0 at the quad.

While many anticipated a potential Washington-OPRF monster dual, the Huskies instead faced Lincoln-Way West, Carmel, and Deerfield (respectively). At a traditional four-team quad, it is clear that all teams are scheduled to compete against one another. At a Mega-dual or Super-dual, more than four teams are present, and the ensuing matchups are not as obvious.

The first dual of the day turned out to be a barnburner. Lincoln-Way West finished last year ranked as the #3 best Class 2A squad (behind Washington and Mount Carmel). They are a tough bunch. After 13 bouts, the Huskies trailed 28-27. The last match was a winner-take-all situation. Brian Holloway -- "Mr. Cool" -- defeated his opponent 7-2 to win the match and dual!! The 160-pounder took care of business for the team.

After that dual, the anxiety waned as the Orange & Blue downed Carmel (50-12) and Deerfield (41-21).

All fourteen wrestlers were needed today, and all gained valuable experience as the season continues. Eight Huskies finished a perfect 3-0 on the day: Nico Bolivar (106), PJ Ogunsanya (113), Eddie Bolivar (120), Tony Madrigal (126), Jay Renteria (132), Brian Holloway (160), Drew Matticks (170), and Christopher Middlebrooks (220). Two wrestled to a 2-1 record: Tariq Thurman (182) and Elijah Osit (195). One ended with a 1-2 record: Torry Early (138). Three went 0-3 against tough opponents: Kedrick Bryant (145), Jake Cagnina (152), and Talvin Gibson (285).

If you made the trip, we hope you weren't disappointed!



Week 2 terrors: OPRF hopes to continue to scare the competition
Huskies to travel to Proviso West and Washington; coincidently, both teams' mascot is Panther · 12/01/2016

Washington is a tough squad.

After one week of blazing action, the Huskies look to keep their momentum moving forward this week. Proviso West will host the Huskies on Friday night. If you know Panther wrestling, you know that they've had trouble filling complete Varsity squads in years past. It will be a homecoming for former Proviso West student-athlete Tariq Thurman.

On Saturday morning, the Orange & Blue Wrecking Crew will be down south, at Washington High School. Yes, Washington and Oak Park-River Forest have become close in recent years. You may remember that they have shared a special offseason bond with such team names as "Washington North" and "Oak Park South." On Saturday, though, inside the warring circle will strictly be business. A year ago, OPRF faced Deerfield, Lincoln-Way Central, and Washington on the 3-0 day. What will happen this time?

For lower levels, view our Schedule page.

Week Two Slate (Varsity)
 Friday, December 2  Saturday, December 3
 OPRF @ Proviso West (c)  OPRF @ Washington (Quad)
 AWAY - Proviso West  AWAY - Washington
The Panthers have always been tough; the main problem is that there were too few wrestlers who toed the Varsity line. Still, several individual bouts were competitive. Jaleel Hollingsworth, a senior, finished last year as #11 on the Illinois Matmen rankings. If the name sounds familiar, you may remember that he wrestled in the Little Huskies Wrestling Club years ago.
The Washington Panthers are reigning Class 2A team champions. Fellow champions, Dakota (1A), also met the Huskies last week. Have a go at the final 2A rankings from a year ago. Punke (x3!), Delaware, Goin, Warner.... If you can make it on Saturday, you'll be treated to tremendous wrestling. Again, last year the Huskies also wrestled Deerfield and Lincoln-Way Central.


Nothing new about it: OPRF sweeps New Trier quad, blanks two
Huskies wow crowd, competition with 75-0, 72-0, 59-7 victories; OPRF now 5-0 on the young season · 11/26/2016


OPRF is 5-0.

That was impressive. I don't know if the IHSA keeps state records about fewest points allowed in consecutive duals, but the Orange & Blue came out determined and decisive against Schaumburg (75-0), New Trier (72-0), and Dakota (59-7). Before the Dakota dual, Varsity had not given up a team point in three consecutive duals. That is correct: not a single team point.

On Saturday, the Huskies took all three duals by a combined 206-7 tally. For the season, the "Scoville Scurriers" have amassed a very impressive 331-16 cumulative team score (5-0 record). While certainly this looks good on paper, the OPRF coaching staff knows that locking horns against the top teams in Class 3A will be a different story. Therefore, "Improve, improve, improve" continues to lead the way in the practice room and in front of paid spectators.

At New Trier, OPRF's Twitter account reported all of the action. Fourteen Varsity Huskies each partook in three matches apiece. A dozen of these wrestlers finished 3-0 on the day: Nico Bolivar (106), Josh Ogunsanya (113), PJ Ogunsanya (120), Eddie Bolivar (126), Tony Madrigal (132), Jay Renteria (138), Ronnie Massari (145), Jake Cagnina (152), Brian Holloway (160), Drew Matticks (170), Tariq Thurman (182), and Christopher Middlebrooks (220). Two heavier-weights finished the day 2-1: Elijah Osit (195) and Max McDermott (285).

If you came out, thanks for traveling up north!



Calming the Storm: OPRF thunders to 73-0 win over South Elgin
Varsity and Junior Varsity combine for a 149-12 team score differential on the night · 11/23/2015


Huskie fans, coaches were all smiles on Wednesday night. (photos by Jonna Borgdorff)  | |

On Wednesday night, the OPRF Huskies took a head start on their Thanksgiving meals by feasting on the visiting competition. First things first, we'd like to acknowledge and appreciate South Elgin for accepting to schedule this event after the St. Rita-OPRF dual meet was cancelled. South Elgin is a spirited, well-coached squad, and we wish them the best of luck moving forward this year and in years to come.

Oak Park & River Forest (2-0, 1-0) was brilliant on the mats against the Storm. The Huskies' Junior Varsity squad blitzed South Elgin 76-12 before the Orange & Blue big dogs scored an impressive 73-0 victory.

The Varsity dual began at 195 pounds. Here are the fourteen Huskie victors, in order: Tariq Thurman, Christopher Middlebrooks, Max McDermott, Nico Bolivar (106), Josh Ogunsanya, PJ Ogunsanya, Eddie Bolivar, Tony Madrigal, Jason Renteria, Ronnie Massari (145), Daniel Pedraza, Brian Holloway, Drew Matticks, and Darian Nichols.

Wrestling is a peculiar sport in that it is both a team and individual sport. Despite the disparity in the Varsity team score, each wrestler who is put forth has a duty (and hopefully, a passion) to do everything s/he can to win that bout. Also, valuable experience and practice can help wrestlers later on in the season. For new fans to wrestling, there is no "mercy rule" in wrestling. Regardless of the team tallies, each of fourteen (Varsity) bouts will be wrestled unless there is a forfeit.

There will be a break in competition on Thursday and Friday, but the whistles will once again blow this coming Saturday.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

Event pics (by Jonna Borgdorff) | Varsity | Junior Varsity | Senior Night




2016-2017 Senior Night Photos

(Photos by Jonna Borgdorff)



And they're off: Huskies charge out of the gates in 52-9 triumph
OPRF bests Downers Grove North; Huskies begin season 1-0 in conference · 11/22/2016


OPRF scored a dizzying dozen victories in a row. (photos by Jonna Borgdorff)  |

Tonight's opening night affair for both squads took place in the warm confines of the OPRF Field House. The Huskies and Trojans competed in a traditional dual, in that the first contested weight class was the lightest weight. Prior to each dual meet, a drawing is held to determine the starting weight class. If 152 pounds is drawn, for example, the dual would begin at 152 pounds and finish at 145 pounds.

The three-time defending state champion Huskies looked like they didn't skip a beat. OPRF (1-0, 1-0 in conference) earned victories in 12 of 14 Varsity bouts. The Trojans, however, were the first team to grace the team scoreboard. At 106 pounds, Nico Bolivar went toe-to-toe with Nate Cummings (DGN). Despite the 2-1 loss, keep tabs on Nico. The Huskies next blazed to a dozen victories: Josh Ogunsanya (113), PJ Ogunsanya (120), Eddie Bolivar (126), Tony Madrigal (132), Jay Renteria (138), Kedrick Bryant (145), Jake Cagnina (152), Brian Holloway (160), Drew Matticks (170), Tariq Thurman (182), Elijah Osit (195), and Christopher Middlebrooks (220). At heavyweight, Max McDermott had his opponent in danger but was ultimately bested. Final score: OPRF 52, Downers Grove North 9. (On the JV side, JV defeated the Trojans 54-6.)

Come on out tonight (Wednesday) for Senior Night and to watch the Huskies battle South Elgin.

Event pics (by Jonna Borgdorff) | Varsity | Junior Varsity







Week 1 warriors: OPRF opens season at home (x2), New Trier
Huskies officially to begin quest for fourth consecutive team state title · 11/20/2016

How will the Field House appear on Tuesday night?
(archived from 2009-2010 season opener vs. St. Pat's)

For a few weeks now (let's be honest -- since this past March), the Oak Park & River Forest Huskies have readied themselves for the 2016-2017 season. Preparation is paramount, and on Tuesday, November 22, the Orange & Blue open up their event schedule at home versus conference challengers, Downers Grove North. The very next night, OPRF will also play host to South Elgin.

Wednesday night will be Senior Night. Come out and support our seniors! There will be a ceremony and photo session before the Varsity dual versus South Elgin. Following the South Elgin-OPRF dual meet, there will be an alumni event at Skrine Chops (Forest Park).

Thursday and Friday yield days of rest, but Saturday brings a field trip to New Trier High School in Winnetka. Varsity will battle in a traditional quad (or, quadrangular meet). The Huskies will wrestle opposite three teams.

We really, really appreciate your time and dedication to sell admission tickets, run the concession stand, or simply spread the word about our home events.

For a lineup preview, zoom lower on the page to view a weight-by-weight breakdown of whom to expect this week and this season.

For lower levels, view our Schedule page.

Week One Slate (Varsity)
 Tuesday, November 22  Wednesday, November 23  Saturday, November 26
 Downers Grove North @ OPRF (c)  South Elgin @ OPRF  OPRF @ New Trier (Quad)
 HOME - Field House  HOME - Field House  AWAY - Winnetka
DGN is also in the West Suburban-Silver Conference. Last year, the Trojans did not appear in the GEI Illinois Matmen final rankings. According to last year's spreadsheet, there are three returning wrestlers from the rankings: Nate Cummings, Austin Maher, and Sky Arend.
* - Senior Night

South Elgin is not a familiar adversary. Many of you are not familiar with the Storm. They bring three levels of action to Oak Park. Their lone ranked wrestler from the conclusion of 2016-2017 has since graduated.

Last year, the Huskies toppled New Trier, Schaumburg, and 1A power Dakota. Will the same three come calling again in Winnetka? Dakota is a team to learn about. They return a possible 6 ranked wrestlers. View them here. Beware; there could be impact freshmen in the mix, too.


28 for 28: Shaking care of business (#23 of 28)

With the first competition right around the corner (Tuesday, Nov 22, 6:00 pm vs. Downers Grove North), we're thrilled to announce this season's sponsorship list!! Below are the sponsorship logos for all Platinum, Gold, and Silver Levels. For more information about each business or association, you can click directly onto the logo to jump to the official website. Thank you to all of our sponsors for their kind support! To the viewers, please consider these businesses and associations if you have a need or desire to do so.

We invite you to visit the full Sponsors List at our Sponsors page. You can also view it by using the left menu bar and selecting "SHOW YOUR SUPPORT - Sponsors". If you wish to add your name to the list, further details are available on the Sponsors page. Thank you again, sponsors!







See the entire Sponsors List!! (Click here)



Social media mania: Davonte Mahomes featured on Wed. podcast
Davonte Mahomes, OPRF Class of 2014, will be a guest on IL Wrestling News Podcast this Wed · 10/24/2016

Davonte in 2014

Mack Bolen, a River Forest resident and OPRFHS alumnus, will invite Davonte Mahomes (and others) to appear on his podcast to be broadcast this Wednesday, October 26, at 7:00 pm CST. Here is the podcast URL link or visit:

Wednesday's episode has a focus on the University of Michigan. After graduating Oak Park & River Forest High School, Davonte enrolled and wrestled for the Wolverines. Davonte is a redshirt sophomore this season. Also appearing on the podcast are Sean Bormet and Brian Murphy. Jump to Davonte's University of Michigan bio: Davonte Mahomes.



Weeks to prepare 4: IHSA competition begins Nov. 22
We're down to four weeks until the first whistle blows in the IHSA season · 10/24/2016

"There's nothing more true...than the Orange & Blue."

November 22, a Tuesday, is the kickoff competition event for the Orange & Blue Wrecking Crew. On that day, Huskies will tussle with the Downers Grove North Trojans. We are less than one month away, folks, to seeing your young adults in action that counts on the stat sheets.

In our lead-up to the big day, we will post 28 articles (one for each day -- although they may not be published each day) as a primer for this season. It is my intention (the webmaster speaking, here) to educate as many as I can about what I know and what I've learned so that you can have the richest experience of the 2016-2017 IHSA Wrestling season. 28 days = 4 weeks. Now, we are striving during this 4 week period. Coincidently, the Huskies are also striving for consecutive team state title championship number 4.

The articles will be a hodgepodge of knowledge that -- quite frankly -- I want to import into your brain. A lot of it is education; some of it is fun. All will add a fuller view of these Oak Park & River Forest Huskies and the program (and family) that surrounds them.

Don't expect these articles to be lengthy ESPN-like pieces. I am -- after all -- a full-time elementary school teacher when the sun comes up (or go does down in the Chicago area). But there is little in this world that I love just as much as I love these Huskies, and I want you to feel as fulfilled and inspired as I do. I will learn and grow as I write and share, too.

In the meantime, buckle up for the World Series, and remember: "There's nothing more true...than the Orange & Blue."



Coach is champ: Octavius Bellamy earns gold at World's
After previous successes, OPRF Wrestling coach delivers with a gold · 10/07/2016

Certainly, Octavius Bellamy enjoys a gold-medal smile. | Click to enlarge.

On October 7, Oak Park & River Forest High School wrestling coach Octavius Bellamy was halfway around the world in Walbrzych, Poland, to participate in the UWW (United World Wrestling) Veteran World Championships. Not only did Bellamy compete, but he also won gold!

Bellamy competed in the Freestyle competition (Division B) at 97 kilograms. Simply put, Bellamy crushed it; he won his quarterfinal, semifinal, and final bouts by a combined score of 24-1 -- 10-0, 4-1, and 10-0, respectively.

More to see | Octavius Bellamy video with photos from 2016 event | Octavius Bellamy 2015 interview (full) | Jump to HWF to view more photos (scroll down)

Click above photos to enlarge.



Senior sensations: Now introducing the 2016-2017 graduating class
Get to know the Class of 2017 before they line up in November · 09/29/2016

Kenzo Murray, Darian Nichols, and Brandon Killingsworth (left to right) are in the first wave on interviews.

The 2016-2017 OPRF Huskies will have a large senior class. Roughly a dozen members of the Orange & Blue Wrecking Crew will graduate in June 2017. Why not begin introducing some of the leaders of the upcoming IHSA season now? We will be adding senior photos and interview details on a rolling basis. For news about the Huskies and our Huskie Wrestling Family, please be sure and check out the HWF Facebook page.

To see all of the OPRF Wrestling seniors, jump to our Senior Scroll page. New names, photos, and quotes will be added as interviews are completed.

Senior wrestlers on the Senior Scroll (so far):

Jason Renteria (most recent)
Peter Ogunsanya
Drew Matticks
Deundre Garner
Brian Holloway
Kevin Davis
Tariq Thurman
Daniel Pedraza
Brandon Killingsworth
Darian Nichols
Kenzo Murray



Back to school: Huskies hope to learn, then burn the competition
IHSA Wrestling practices begin in just over six weeks on November 7 · 09/23/2016


It's been a long (or perhaps short?) summer, but the fall season is firmly here. The Oak Park & River Forest Football Huskies are enjoying a blemish-free 4-0 record on the year, and the thermometer has started its trek south for the winter.

In a mere 45 days from the time of this posting, the IHSA Wrestling season will be underway once again. The OPRF Huskies are three-time defending Illinois Class 3A champions, and they are poised at yet another strong run at both at the team and individual levels.

Paul Collins and his (Orange & Blue Wrecking) Crew continue to lay the groundwork to be prepared from day one. "In Relentless Pursuit" isn't just a three word tagline that looks good on t-shirts or posters; there is a village and Huskie Wrestling Family already working hard to create yet another amazingly successful season.

We hope you take the time to pencil in a few -- dozen! -- Huskie wrestling events this season. Below is the upcoming Varsity wrestling schedule, as accessed on September 23. Please note that dates, times, or opponents may change if necessary. For schedules of Junior Varsity 1, Junior Varsity 2, and Freshman squads, visit OPRF Wrestling on to view the competition slates of all levels.

We hope that you stay tuned to as we take another proud vault into the world of interscholastic high school athletics. Go Huskies!




Don't skirt the shirt: Buy your Huskie wear today
Huskie gear is here · 12/15/2013

Support the HWF: Click on each image for a larger picture

Keep your eyes out for 2015-2016 gear! | Attend home events for OPRF Wrestling gear, or contact Jonna Borgdorff with questions:


Being a Huskie in China
I am happy to be in Qingdao, Shandong, China, but I am unable to experience one of my most treasured gifts -- being there in the flesh to witness what I call "The Orange and Blue Wrecking Crew." I need your help for pictures, results (matchups, dual scores!), newsworthy items, video finds, anecdotes -- whatever you can send. Please consider spending a few seconds or minutes of your day to email me information. Yes, somebody else may send me the same info, but it's better that I receive two notices than zero.

In relentless pursuit and Huskie pride!

- Brian Tideman |



Huskie History | Relive the stories that made 2008-2009 a season to remember



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