It's that time again: Illinois State Freestyle Tournament. Kids
and young adults trek to Champaign-Urbana to compete for division
and weight supremacy. This is an open tournament for any wrestler.
Despite this, some brackets can be small. Yet others can be large.
Don't worry; the Huskies have come in strong force once again.
This year's offseason club name is 10FO WC. Many of the
wrestlers are members of the O & B Wrecking Crew, but not all
wrestlers are. For a full look at the results, go to "Team Results"
- "10FO WC". Good luck, wrestlers!
Official new logos for the newly named State
the assembly line | The
University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana) hosts the IHSA Individual
State Wrestling Tournament each February. The arena is the campus's
Assembly Hall. As of April 30, that name no longer exists. State
Farm Insurance has partnered with the University of Illinois to
rename the building "State Farm Center." This name will run for 30
years (at a $60 million price tag). Come February 2014, thousands of
fans won't be flocking to Assembly Hall, they will be huddled inside
the State Farm Center. If I may say so, the new logos are
spectacular. You really can't go wrong with orange and blue, I tell
The results are in: IKWF and Frosh-Soph
feature some O & B
Little Huskies season culminates with state,
two compete at Frosh-Soph, and more · 03/13/2013
Going west, but always north
Roy Nyberg, 1997 wrestling captain and graduate of OPRF, is a coach
at Beverly Hills High School in California. Recently, he and Ryan
Faintich, the Beverly Hills head coach, decided to add a special
distinction in their program. They decided to name their takedown
award as the Lovelace-Collins award after their own high school head
coaches. Niall Collins was Roy's head coach at OPRF. Before coaching
in Beverly Hills, Roy attended and was a four-year wrestler at the
University of Pennsylvania. Congratulations on your achievements,
Roy, and best wishes to your program!
The IKWF State Championships were held this past weekend on March
8-9. Rockford, IL, hosted the event, and the Little Huskies sent 15
qualifiers in the Novice and Senior divisions. The LH competitors
took home 5 medals: Ja'Chun Smith (4th/Novice 89), Jaleel
Hollingsworth (7th/Senior 101), Rolliann Sturkey
(3rd/Senior 147), Dijour Cotton-Crockett (8th/Senior 156),
and Davion Talbert (6th/Senior 166). The other ten qualifiers
did not place, but they wrestled their Huskie hearts out. As a team,
the Little Huskies finished in 6th place in the Senior division. Not
half bad, huh? For full results, visit
Novice Qualifiers: William
Miller (84), Ja'Chun Smith (4th/89)
Senior Qualifers: Joe Giurini
(79), Jonathan Mitchell (79), Jaleel Hollingsworth (7th/101), Andrew
Matticks (130), Tariq Thurman (138), Rolliann Sturkey (3rd/147),
Dijour Cotton-Crockett (8th/156), De'Undre Garner (156), Christopher
Middlebrooks (166), Davion Talbert (6th/166), Maxwell McDermott
Congratulations to wrestlers, parents, and coaches!.
Up and comers |
The annual Freshman-Sophomore state championships (any interested
wrestlers who didn't qualify for the IHSA individual state
tournament) took place on March 9-10 in Springfield, IL. Max Metzgar
(152) and Ben Bergen (182) each represented the Huskies in the
championship. Max took home 4th in his bracket, and Ben won a match
but didn't place.
Visit the website, or just
results list or
| Get FS and GR strong! You need a
USA Wrestling Card. See a high school coach for details.
Food, food, delicious food!
| The End of season banquet will be
held on March 20 at OPRF HS. This is a feast for the mind, senses,
and belly -- no question. Don't forget to circle the calendar and be
The leading role |
Mike Powell was featured in a recent blog by George Wilcox, Pioneer
Local author. The article includes links to other media interviews
and stories of Mike and the Huskie program. Two can't miss pictures
are also included. Go the article at
Huskie Pride: Inside OPRF wrestling.
Huskie notes: Keep on Marchin'
The IHSA season might be over, but Illinois (and OPRF) is still a
hotbed of wrestling activities.
IKWF State Championships (March 08-09)
| Several "little ones" are
gunning for titles. Jump to
Team Illinois Frosh-Soph State
Championships (March 09-10) |
Visit the website, with
brackets. Huskies have sectional champs Max Metzgar (152) and Ben
Bergen (182). Good luck!
| Get FS and GR strong! You need a
USA Wrestling Card.
End of season banquet (March 20)
| Don't miss this always
historically Huskie hearted event. See your wrestler for more
Photo shoot |
George Wilcox (Pioneer Local) is looking for headshots of Matthew
Rundell, Isaiah White, Larry Early, Kamal Bey, and Davonte Mahomes.
If you can help him, please
International Oops Committee: Save
IOC is considering dropping Olympic wrestling in 2020, act
with petitions · 02/27/2013
Online petitions update
Change.org has 58,772 signatures as of 27 Feb 2013, 3:32 pm
has 31,784 signatures as of the same time.
Keeping it in the family
| Michele Weldon and Caryn Brooks,
two parents of OPRF alumni wrestlers, recently rote op-ed pieces
about the IOC's decision to recommend wrestling be dropped beginning
from the 2020 Olympics. Michele Weldon's article was posted on The
Christian Science Monitor, and Caryn Brooks's article was posted on
Al Jazeera. Please read and enjoy these unique perspectives.
Flight is might: Eagles handle
Huskies 33-23, oust OPRF in 1/4's
Sandburg has, uses all the pieces to repeat as Huskie
repellers in the state series · 02/23/2013
All knew it would be epic, and it was. Even though it didn't come
down to the last match, the dual was full of strategy, surprises,
and a whole lot of wrestling on the grandest stage.
As a reminder, Sandburg and Oak Park-River Forest met in the first
round in a non-seeded tournament. To be here, you needed to tally
the highest team score at your individual regional (Feb. 2). Next,
you needed to top your round of 16 opponent (labeled as a dual team
All eyes, ears, and whatever else you can throw near a mat gathered
to Mat 5 in the US Cellular Coliseum. What they experienced: the
dual began at 120 pounds. In a rematch at individual state,
Sebastian Pique (CS) was just too technical and proved his overtime
win didn't need to be so close. He scored a major victory over
Matthew Rundell. The next three bouts were huge for the Huskies:
Isaiah White dominated his partner to a 21-6 technical fall victory
over Jake Vales. The Huskie train kept coming with victories (and
yes, more tech falls) from Larry Early (132) over Ben Schneider and
Jake O'Mara (138) over Brian Krasowski. This turned out to be Jake's
last match as a Huskie, and he turned in one of true Huskie heart
A toss up at 145 pitted our Johnny Gahagan and Sandburg's John
Pellegrino, a state medalist from 138 pound weight class just one
week ago. Pellegrino rode well and pushed back against Gahagan,
scoring a 7-2 decision to repel the Huskie flourish. Another highly
contested bout was at 152, where Kamal Bey (OPRF) has risen and
grown during his inaugural campaign. Mitch Cook scored a takedown at
the 1st period buzzer, and held off all attempts to win 3-2. At 160,
Davonte Mahomes wrestled against the state champion, CJ Brucki, who
defeated Mahomes a week prior. (Mahomes defeated Brucki earlier in
the season.) This bout was no contest, and Mahomes controlled the
170 caused a bit of a surprise. OPRF sent out Corey Cepak to counter
Colin Holler's excellence. It worked for a while, but in the end,
Holler scored a pinfall. This closed the team score gap to 18-16, in
favor of Oak Park. This set the stage for 182, where state champion
Joe Ariola grappled with CS's Chris Pajak. In a wild six minutes
without a takedown, Pajak scored the upset 2-1, on a point
violation. Honestly, this removed the wind from the sails of many in
the room, except they kept wrestling, knowing the Huskies still had
At 195, Andre Lee scored a 22-5 triumphant technical fall victory
over Pat Halpin. CS decided to bump up Ricky Robertson and Bill Gore
to 220 and 285, respectively. Malik Brumant wrestled in all kinds of
positions, and gave the team a lift by staying off his back against
a national power in Robertson. After the TF, Gore and Adam
Lemke-Bell were nearly knotted until Lemke-Bell began the third
period on the bottom. Gore exploited it, and he eventually scored
the fall victory. Now, the team score displayed a 30 for Carl
Sandburg and a 23 for OPRF, with 2 bouts remaining. The Huskies
needed (realistically) a fall along with another win in the last two
matches to crawl back. In the end, Christian Robertson of the Eagles
flew in and seized the dual with a 6-0 victory over Bobby Campos at
the turnaround weight of 106. At 113, both coaches decided to
forfeit on account that the dual winner had been determined.
Despite the four digits that read 33-23, the Huskies wrestled well
on the day, in many areas. We have our heads to raise high, and the
future is bright, regardless if it's in college or in the 2013-2014
season. Or, heck, in the 2013 offseason...!
To even be in the fortunate position of vying for a state title is a
gift, as is the tremendous Huskie Wrestling Family that came out in
droves this Saturday morning. It was pouring with the Huskie backers
-- you could say it was raining dogs and dogs! Even after the dual,
conversations happened, relationships strengthened, and the
realization that sometimes -- just sometimes -- wrestling isn't
everything in this fine world took hold.
To watch a replay of the dual, go to
There are many articles about the event, and you may wish to search
for and read these write-ups.
As the days and weeks unfold, more will be written about the
2012-2013 season, and all of us want to share our deepest gratitude
that you follow us in your busy lives. Huskie pride -- and, it will
never be cliche -- in relentless pursuit.
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.