28 for 28


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In our lead-up to the big day, we will post 28 articles (one for each day -- although they may not be published each day) as a primer for this season.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."



28 for 28: Acronym acrobatics (#1 of 28)

Acronyms have become a place in our language. While the emphasis is on saving time, often acronyms add to confusion. Here is a list of several acronyms that you may not be completely familiar with.
Acronym Description (and Site Link)
OPRF (Oak Park & River Forest) Oak Park and River Forest, while two separate villages, share a public high school. | OPRFHS
IHSA (Illinois High School Association) The Illinois High School Association is the governing body of high school interscholastic sports in Illinois. | IHSA
NFHS (National Federation of High Schools) The National Federation of High Schools is the overseeing governing body of all of the high school interscholastic associations in the United States. The IHSA is a subsidiary member of the NFHS. | NFHS
WSC (West Suburban Conference) The West Suburban Conference is the IHSA athletic conference that contains OPRF. There are two divisions within the WSC: Gold and Silver. Each division has seven participating schools. These two divisions are technically separate conferences; consider the Gold and Silver groupings as conferences and the WSC as the umbrella conference. | WSC
HWF (Huskie Wrestling Family) The Huskie Wrestling Family is a group of parents and volunteers who perform any number of a variety of tasks to help the student athletes and wrestling program. These roles may include helping for fundraising events, monitoring ticket sales at events, facilitating donations, etc. | HWF
IRP (In Relentless Pursuit) "In relentless pursuit" is a motto of great significance in OPRF Wrestling.
HP (Huskie Pride) "Huskie pride" is a phrase attached to athletics at OPRFHS for decades.
OBWC (Orange & Blue Wrecking Crew) The Orange & Blue Wrecking Crew is a phrase introduced by this site's webmaster, Brian Tideman, during the Huskies' state championship 2008-2009 campaign. It refers to the dominance of OPRF Wrestling and of its wrestlers. | OBWC
LH or LHWC (Little Huskies Wrestling Club) The Little Huskies are the youth wrestling club that potentially feeds into OPRF High School. | LHWC


28 for 28: Victory village (#2 of 28)

In Illinois, team state titles are earned only through a dual tournament format. Individual state tournament finals' team scores are not officially kept and are not recognized by the IHSA. In 1983-84, the IHSA switched to crowning the team champion through a dual team state series. Previously, champions were awarded via top team score at the individual state final tournament. Other states designate the individual state championship as the litmus test for team dominance; others still offer two team trophies: one for the dual tournament result and one for the individual tournament team score mark.

OPRF has secured four IHSA Class 3A team state championships: 2008-09, 2013-14, 2014-15, and 2015-16. Previous to this new wave of state success, the Huskies had not won a team state title (either in the individual tournament or dual team tournament). In Huskie history, the Orange & Blue boast 22 individual state championship titles (see below). The Huskies have earned at least one individual state title in the past five seasons. Stay tuned for what will happen in 2016-2017.


    IHSA State Champions | OPRF High School

 Season  Wrestler  Weight  State Result
 1958-1959  Terry Isaacson  154  1st Place
 1959-1960  Terry Isaacson  165  1st Place
 1980-1981  John Giura  132  1st Place
 1982-1983  Tim Obrochta  132  1st Place
 1983-1984  Tim Obrochta  138  1st Place
 1987-1988  Peter Schulte  119  1st Place
 1993-1994  Mike Powell  171  1st Place
 2008-2009  Nick Dardanes  (Jr.)  130  1st Place
 2009-2010  Chris Dardanes  (Sr.)  135  1st Place
   Nick Dardanes  (Sr.)  140  1st Place
   Sam Brooks  (So.)  160  1st Place
 2011-2012  Sam Brooks  (Sr.)  182  1st Place
 2012-2013  Joe Ariola  (Sr.)  182  1st Place
 2013-2014  Isaiah White  (So.)  138  1st Place
   Larry Early  (Jr.)  145  1st Place
   Kamal Bey  (So.)  160  1st Place
   Davonte Mahomes  (Sr.)  170  1st Place
 2014-2015  Isaiah White  (Jr.)  152  1st Place
   Matthew Rundell  (Sr.)  160  1st Place
 2015-2016  Jason Renteria  (Jr.)  120  1st Place
   Isaiah White  (Sr.)  160  1st Place
   Allen Stallings  (Sr.)  220  1st Place


28 for 28: Weight, weight, do tell me! (#3 of 28)

One draw of wrestling is that no matter how big you are (or how small), you have an equal place in the lineup as all other participants, assuming you qualify for a certain weight class. The high school weight class values (and number of slots) has changed over the years. It is a "living document" that almost surely will be edited in some way from time to time.

The NFHS decides on the weight class stipulations, and the member schools adopt the proposal. In 2011-2012, the NFHS created its most recent form of the weight classes. To the best of my knowledge, all states have adopted this except for Michigan (when OPRF visits Michigan later this season, expect the national weight classes to be used for the multiple state event). After researching this issue, I came across high school wrestling weight classes on Wikipedia.

The IHSA does govern rules concerning body fat testing in regards to weights, how to rise or drop in weights, and additional pound allowances for consecutive tournament days, turning the page on the new calendar year, and so on. These rules are murky even to me, but it's good to be aware that they exist. And yes, be aware that there is a cap on heavyweight wrestlers. They need to make weight just like all other wrestlers do.

In Freshman competitions, 16 weights are mandated. This allows young, growing student-athletes the opportunity to participate and grow. In all other competitions, 14 weights are facilitated. In rare Sophomore events, perhaps the 99-pound weight class is used but not the 92-pound one. Take a look below at the current weight class assignments for IHSA competition.


IHSA Weight Classes (by Level)

Freshman 92 99 106 113 120 126 132 138 145 152 160 170 182 195 220 285
JV / Varsity -- -- 106 113 120 126 132 138 145 152 160 170 182 195 220 285


28 for 28: Give me a (tie) break (#4 of 28)

Now that you know about the weight classes, what happens if two teams finish a dual meet with the same number of team points? Ties have been a part of Illinois wrestling in the past. However, nowadays, if two teams wrestle to a matching team score, a tiebreaker system is applied. This system is called, "criteria." After analyzing the criteria conditions, a winning team is declared. Sometimes, it is very obvious who will win the dual (e.g., 8 bout wins to 6). However, at times the criteria need to be thoroughly scrutinized to determine who is granted the victory (e.g., most first points in all bouts).

An another important note is that both teams ought to be very careful in the accuracy of both the order of criteria applied and the statistics applied to each criterion. After a referee certifies a decision, signs each team's dual sheet, and leaves the mat table, the decision is final (even if the tiebreaker criteria was misapplied and the opposing team would have won instead). Therefore, it is very important that all statistics are recorded accurately throughout the bout and that the criteria is applied correctly.

Below is the tiebreaker criteria applied to dual meets. Reading it may make you a bit dizzy at first. If you get the hang of it, however, you will be much more informed if a tiebreaker scenario looms. Thank you to wvmat.com for the information.


Dual Meet Tie-Breaker System (Criteria)

In dual-meet competition, if the teams have identical scores, the following tie-breaking system shall be used to determine the winner:

a. The team whose opposing wrestlers or team personnel has been penalized the greater number of team points for flagrant misconduct or unsportsmanlike conduct shall be declared the winner.

b. The team whose opposing head coach has been penalized the greater number of team points for coach misconduct shall be declared the winner.

c. The team whose opposing wrestlers were penalized the greater number of match points for unsportsmanlike conduct during a match shall be declared the winner.

d. The team having won the greater number of matches (including forfeits) shall be declared the winner.

e. The team having accumulated the greater number of points for falls, defaults, forfeits, or disqualifications shall be declared the winner.

f. The team having the greater number of points for technical falls shall be declared the winner.

g. The team having the greater number of points for major decisions shall be declared the winner.

h. The team having the greater number (total match points) of first point(s) shall be declared the winner.

i. The team having the greater number of points for near-falls shall be declared the winner.

j. The team having the greater number of takedowns shall be declared the winner.

k. The team having the greater number of reversals shall be declared the winner.

l. The team having the greater number of escapes shall be declared the winner.

m. The team whose opponent has been penalized more often for stalling will be declared the winner.

n. The team whose opponent has been warned more often for stalling will be declared the winner.

o. The team whose opponent has the greater number of points for all other infractions (i.e. false starts) shall be declared the winner.

p. If none of the above resolve the tie, a flip of a disk will determine the winner.

Upon determining the winning team by use of the tiebreaking system, a single team point shall be added to the prevailing team. The method of recording the score in breaking team ties shall be the score followed by the letter of the criterion that broke the tie.


28 for 28: You stay classy, Illinois (#5 of 28)

In 2008-2009, the Illinois High School Association expanded their wrestling classes from two to three. Now, the classes are A, AA, and AAA. More commonly, they are referred to as 1A, 2A, and 3A. Beginning with the smallest class, 1A, these classes feature high school squads of increasing enrollment. In comparison, you may be aware that the IHSA has 8 different classes for high school football. For this school year, the IHSA announced OPRF's enrollment at 3242 students. Here are the program enrollments for the 2016-2017 wrestling season:

1A: up to 665.00, 2A: 665.01 to 1618.00, 3A: 1618.01 and over

While high schools in different classes often compete with one another, the State Series (or IHSA wrestling playoff system) separates team and individual tournaments by class.

To quench your thirst for classification knowledge, visit the IHSA classification main page.



28 for 28: Double agents (#6 of 28)

via tru-wrestling.com

The frequency of three-sport athletes in high school has been declining, but I think it comes as little surprise to the readers that there is a link between football players and wrestlers. Yes, many more young athletes choose to specialize in one (or two) interscholastic sports. Sadly, OPRF Football's season ended on Friday night in a thrilling overtime loss to Edwardsville, and now many of these Huskie athletes have begun their transition to the wrestling mat.

In the anticipated class of senior wrestlers, Brian Holloway, Brandon Killingsworth, Christian Banks-Mitchell, Christopher Banks-Mitchell, Darian Nichols, Rolliann Sturkey, Christopher Middlebrooks, and Tariq Thurman are listed on the OPRF Football roster. Certainly, several underclassmen will join the wrestling room.

Two recent articles also address the benefits of wrestling to football players. In July, USA Wrestling published an article entitled "How Wrestling Builds Better Football Players." Additionally, tru-wrestling.com announced a list of NFL players who wrestled, as of September of this year.

One news of note: the IHSA football championships take place Thanksgiving weekend. For teams that advance deep into the postseason, some football-wrestling crossover athletes may miss wrestling competitions (the wrestling season begins prior to the IHSA football championship games) or -- as some have described -- may need time to get into "wrestling shape." These are other people's words; they're not mine!



28 for 28: Institutions of higher yearning (#7 of 28)

Some who toe the line in high school wrestling competitions know that their wrestling careers may end at the end of the season. Few continue the desire to wrestle at higher level institutions, fewer still make that dream a reality. Wrestling is not an easy sport. It is, however, an awesome sport.

In leafing through the University of Illinois wrestling roster for the upcoming season, you can see two very familiar student-athletes. Andre Lee, a 2014 graduate, and Michael Ordonez, a 2016 graduate, decided to leave their athletic wardrobe alone and maintained the orange and blue outfit scheme. You may remember that Michael previously committed to Indiana University.

Oak Park & River Forest High School has begotten a number of wrestlers who have continued their post-high school wrestling careers. We try to include information about these wrestlers and the achievements that they create, but we always need your help. Please send us news about OPRF Wrestling alumni who continued their athletic careers (also including football, judo, or any sport -- the more you give, the more we post).

Here's a look at the most recent class of OPRF wrestlers who chose to continue their careers: Kendale McCoy (Cornell College -- Mt. Vernon, IA), Bobby Campos (Notre Dame College -- South Euclid, OH), Isaiah White (Notre Dame College -- South Euclid, OH), and Gabriel Townsell (Stanford University -- Stanford, CA). Additionally, Allen Stallings is a football player at Indiana University (Bloomington, IN). If you can correct or add any information, please contact us.

For a current view of alumni action and accomplishments, visit our Alumni page.

"Once a Huskie, always a Huskie."



28 for 28: Huskie Nation is limitless (#8 of 28)

7 days are complete! We are one week closer to the beginning the IHSA competition schedule. I've been working hard to get you prepared for this dynamic 2016-2017 wrestling season. Where I live (temporarily, at least), the number 8 is a lucky number. In fact, many stores begin their first day of business at 8:08 am. Coincidently, the first Chicago Cubs night game began on 8-8-88 (August 8, 1988). Perhaps it took some time for that luck pot to stew, but 2016 sure has been a magical season for the Cubbies.

Because this post is the eighth in our series, I'd like to extend a more personal view of my connection with OPRF Wrestling. By becoming more familiar with my story and situation, perhaps we can work together to provide -- what I think rivals -- the best high school wrestling website in the nation.

My name is Brian Tideman, and I am the sole webmaster of this site. Yes, all of the pages that you see to your left (along the menu bar) were created by me. When it comes to OPRF Wrestling, my brain zooms full throttle to think of ideas. If I may be so candid, one of my Huskie dreams is to have an LCD scoreboard that leads a cheer after an OPRF pin: "Orange & Blue Wrecking Crew!" The scoreboard announces each section of the chant, and the stands would erupt in alternating jubilancy: the east stands would shout, "Orange & Blue!" -- then the west, "Orange & Blue!" -- returning to the east, "Orange & Blue!" -- and finally, in unison, "Wrecking Crew!" (Hey, a boy can dream.)

If you haven't guessed yet, I live and work halfway around the world. I am a fifth grade international school homeroom teacher in China. My city is Qingdao, located in Shandong Province. If you're visiting here, I have a bed available.

You can imagine the challenges I face to learn information and post information about our beloved Huskies. China's internet is commonly referred to as "The Great Firewall." Furthermore, my days and your nights are switched. China's time is all the same: there is one time zone (Beijing Time). Even though China is a very big country, all cities and provinces observe the capital's time.

Being across the globe has thrilled me and enhanced my fullness (I can't choose a better word at this time) as an individual on this planet. Without question, some experiences have caused great frustration. I think about the USA constantly, about my family and friends. and about what was there for me (and about what will be there for me each time I return).

Paul Collins, our head honcho, once described me as "OPRF's #1 fan." I can neither confirm nor deny that assertion, but I passionately adore OPRF Wrestling. When I add to this site, I try to satisfy my own desires. If I can quench my own insatiable thirst for the Orange & Blue Wrecking Crew, surely I hope that I can quench yours as well!

Huskie Nation? That sounds pretty good. At times, though, Huskie World might be more appropriate.



28 for 28: Making cents of it all (#9 of 28)

100 is a beautiful number. Its achievement cannot be realized quickly. OPRF Wrestling's Century Club is a collection of Varsity wrestlers who have reached triple digits in their high school careers. Some of these grapplers enjoyed Varsity victories in all four of their high school years while others accumulated their wins in three. It might be possible to garner 100 wins in just two seasons if every step works out perfectly. There have only been two OPRF wrestlers who scored 50+ wins in a season, both in 2008-2009: Ellis Coleman (52) and Nick Dardanes (50).

This is a prestigious club. In Huskie history, there have been 20 wrestlers who have climbed the entirety of this ladder. This season, there are a few poised to join the ranks.

OPRF senior Jaime Hernandez is on the verge of etching his name into the Century Club tablet. At present, Jaime owns 96 victories. One junior to keep an eye on is Anthony Madrigal. He owns 67 career tallies. If you want to go further down the line, sophomore Eddie Bolivar enjoyed a 22-win season as a freshman. He could be in the mix within a few years. Certainly, more possibilities will pop up as the clock continues to tick in OPRF Wrestling. Below are all 20 entries through the conclusion of the 2015-2016 season.


Century Club

 Class of  Wrestler  Record  Win %
 1988  Paul "Figure Four" Zina  108-34-2  75 %
 1988  Pete "Stick Man" Schulte  105-19  85 %
 1993  LeDon "Black Lightning" Robinson  101-25  80 %
 1994  Mike "Pin King" Powell  120-14  90 %
 1995  Justin Henry  128-37  78 %
 1996  Alan "Bumps" Cartwright  150-18  89 %
 2008  Lillashawn "Greedy" Coleman  118-34  78 %
 2009  Ellis Coleman  166-9  95 %
 2009  Dan Martin  103-26  80 %
 2010  Ben Brooks  124-33  79 %
 2012  Sam Brooks  150-20  88 %
 2013  Joe Ariola  104-23  82 %
 2014  Davonte Mahomes  170-19  90 %
 2015  Larry Early  156-18  90 %
 2015  Matthew Rundell  156-25  86 %
 2016  Isaiah White  157-7  96 %
 2016  Gabriel Townsell  145-33  81 %
 2016  Kamal Bey  102-15  87 %
 2016  Robert Campos  110-23  83 %
 2017  Jason Renteria (active)  103-6  94 % (a)


28 for 28: Streaky clean (#10 of 28)

On the same day that the Chicago Cubs -- by virtue of an 8-7 extra inning victory -- bid farewell to 108 consecutive non-title seasons, we look at streaks in OPRF Wrestling. Wrestling, as you know, offers both team and individual achievements and accolades. To split hairs further, team competitions consist of dual meet and tournament opportunities. At this site, we tally consecutive dual victory streaks in four areas: WSC-S conference foes, Illinois high schools, non-Illinois high schools, and overall dual victories (Illinois and non-Illinois high schools combined). We also note the record number of consecutive dual meet victories. Here is a glance at this homepage's "running ribbon" of dual victories (as the 2016-2017 campaign readies itself):

C: 2 | I: 9 | N: 5 | O: 14 | R: 55

This line rests peacefully at the top-right location of the index page. The Huskies have won 2 consecutive duals against West Suburban-Silver Conference opponents, 9 duals versus Illinois schools, 5 duals opposite non-Illinois schools, and 14 duals overall facing all challengers. The program record for consecutive dual tallies is 55, from January 9, 2014, to January 1, 2016.

C = Conference | I = Illinois | N = Non-Illinois | O = Overall | R = Record

Stay tuned as the wheels on this counter continue to rotate.


28 for 28: Off and running (#11 of 28)

You may be familiar with the expression, "There are only two seasons: winter and construction." You may be less familiar with this one, "There are only two seasons: in-season wrestling and off-season wrestling."

Some wrestlers decide to continue their growth and development (and enjoyment) during the spring/summer/fall seasons (or a combination of the three). Club wrestling opportunities are virtually non-stop. Wrestling isn't like baseball or soccer. In order to participate, the minimum you need is a body, a body, and a floor. That's what I say to myself, anyway.

One such non-IHSA event is happening this weekend. It is the USAW Preseason Nationals tournament. Several of the OPRF wrestlers will wrestle under the club name OS/WN. Others, perhaps under Little Huskies WC. Others, look for Oak Park.The tournament takes place on Saturday, November 5, and Sunday, November 6. Each division will be completed in one day.

Jump to USAW Preseason Nationals on Trackwrestling.

To see a number of other Huskie results since the conclusion of the 2015-2016 IHSA season, jump to our 2016 Offseason page and scroll down.

For some, wrestling is a sport. For most, wrestling is a lifestyle.


UPDATE | OPRF finished with two medalists at the USAW Preseason Nationals: Eddie Bolivar (Grades 9-10, 126 pounds, 3rd place) and Peter Ogunsanya (Grades 11-12, 113 pounds, 3rd place).


28 for 28: Building history (#12 of 28)

The campus at 201 N. Scoville Avenue is the home to our very own Oak Park & River Forest High School. Some of you may be intimately familiar with the details surrounding the high school; others may be Huskie admirers from afar or, perhaps, newcomers to the area.

Either way, we would like to share some details about OPRF High School. You may learn a thing or two; I sure did!


OPRF High School - Fast Facts

 Name  Oak Park & River Forest High School
 Address  201 N. Scoville Avenue, Oak Park, Illinois, 60302
 Towns Served  Oak Park, River Forest
 Opened  1871
 Enrollment  3,242 (IHSA)
 Student Body  Public, Coeducational
 Mascot  Siberian Husky (Huskies)
 Colors  Burnt Orange and Navy Blue

Did you know that OPRF High School Athletics boasts 52 team state titles, according to OPRF's postseason history on IHSA.org? Be sure to scroll down to find Oak Park. A good tip to remember is that the IHSA always lists schools according to city location. For example, the Huskies are listed as "Oak Park (O.P.-River Forest)." Fenwick is also listed under "O": "Oak Park (Fenwick)."

Below is the snippet of information about OPRF Wrestling. I suggest you take a moment and view the entire sport history. It's worth a look.

State Final Qualifier (9): 1987-88 (AA), 2005-06 (AA), 2008-09 (3A), 2009-10 (3A), 2011-12 (3A), 2012-13 (3A), 2013-14 (3A), 2014-15 (3A), 2015-16 (3A).

Regional (13): 1986-87 (AA), 1987-88 (AA), 1991-92 (AA), 2003-04 (AA), 2005-06 (AA), 2006-07 (AA), 2008-09 (3A), 2009-10 (3A), 2011-12 (3A), 2012-13 (3A), 2013-14 (3A), 2014-15 (3A), 2015-16 (3A).

Sectional (2): 1987-88 (AA), 2005-06 (AA).

2nd (2): 1987-88 (AA), 2011-12 (3A).

1st (4): 2008-09 (3A), 2013-14 (3A), 2014-15 (3A), 2015-16 (3A).


28 for 28: The flow of the foe (#13 of 28)

Rivalries drive a sport, some say. For a baseball fan, what's better than watching Sunday Night Baseball with either Red Sox-Yankees or Cubs-Cardinals on the widescreen? I suppose many things could be better, but rivalries are thrilling, especially for the squads and fan bases involved.

In my high school days -- way back in the late 90's -- I remember York being, perhaps, our biggest  rival. They are a close neighbor do the west, in Elmhurst. Certainly, within our own village lies another high school, Fenwick, whom we have challenged. As the years aged, Lyons Township has entered the realm of rivalhood. They will tout their "Decade of Dominance" in the West Suburban Silver Conference if asked (I'm guessing). Hinsdale Central also has had nice runs within the past several years and is on the radar. Sandburg High School (so you remember those duals, do you?) is unquestionably a top rival. Montini, now that they are in 3A, should be a major rival of the Huskies for seasons to come.

At this point, you may be asking your screen, "Why are you not listing X or Y High School?" Well, rivalries are really opinions, and your opinion carries the same weight as mine. Sure, one could argue that Glenbard North is a rival of OPRF, or possibly Downers Grove North. Marist is another group who has had spirited contests with the Huskies. Others, yet, could be mentioned. I think rivalries have to do with 1) the frequency of meetings and the 2) competitiveness of the meetings. What's your criteria?

Of course, with the Huskies' national schedule, the next question that looms is, Who are the out-of-state foes? We invite you to do some homework and decide which non-Illinois opponent you'd most like to see lined up against the Huskies.



28 for 28: In state, first rate (#14 of 28)

High school wrestling coverage seems a bit of a mystery to me. While at the same time that wrestling scores and stories are disappearing in printed and electronic newspapers, there has been a surge in specific website attention. There are a few sites which specialize in national high school coverage, such as FloWrestling, InterMat, Wrestling USA Magazine, WIN Magazine, and The Open Mat. (To my knowledge, of these, only FloWrestling offers live and archived video of high school wrestling events). In addition, we have a gem of a site that focuses on Illinois wrestling news (youth, high school, college, and international) that you need to be notice.

The website is Illinois Matmen. To view the content and to become a forum member is free, but the site gladly welcomes donations. This site hosts news articles, forums, rankings, results, job links, IWCOA information, and even occasional broadcasts. Without question, the rankings are a gift from above. I can learn about other teams and wrestlers in anticipation of potential matchups and upcoming events. The forum provides an opportunity to learn news and share opinion. But beware: you've heard of "Twitterstorms," and occasionally there can be dustups among the Illinois Matmen forums. The moderators work hard to enforce the rules, but strong-willed personalities (some anonymous) can sometimes clash.

An email publication that partners with Illinois Matmen is Illinois Best Weekly. It gives a more in-depth analysis on weekly rankings as well as sharing program milestones, general news and notes, and postseason predictions.



28 for 28: Sweat the small stuff (#15 of 28)

And, we're underway! On Monday, the IHSA Wrestling season officially began! Coaches are now able to run a practice room to prepare for the upcoming IHSA event schedule. All levels are able to call themselves IHSA Wrestling athletes during the 2016-2017 school year.

Below is the 5-year calendar for IHSA Wrestling. Don't forget that you can visit the IHSA Wrestling homepage to learn many, many things!

All right! The opening event is upcoming on Tuesday, November 22! It's at OPRF, so come on out and cheer on the Huskies as we open the season (and conference season) against Downers Grove North. Huskie pride!



28 for 28: Whistle while you work (#16 of 28)

Previously, I have said that there are three items required for wrestling: two bodies and a floor. However, in a competition, and additional piece must be added: the official.

These individuals work hard and certainly want to make every call correct. Personally, I don't know the training time or procedure to become officials, but they've accomplished all that the IHSA has required of them. Wrestling rules change from year to year, and the referees need to be up-to-date on all laws. During the event, the situation can be very tense; referees must cut through the hot spotlights to complete their task. One call (or interpretation of a situation) can decide the outcome of a match (it has before). Still, officials are humans trying to do their very best.

I have heard some say that the goal of an official is "to go unnoticed." In other words, if the referee does a solid job, then there will be little focus on him or on her; instead, the focus is on the competitors and their wrestling. Your own opinions about referees are up to you. However, officials are an integral part of the wrestling scene.

For more about officials in Illinois, visit the Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Associaion (IWCOA) on Illinois Matmen. At the site, you can use the IWCOA tab at the top to learn about specific issues regarding the IWCOA.



28 for 28: Rules and revelations (#17 of 28)

All right. You've come to your first (or second, or third...) wrestling event. How are you supposed to know what's going on during the matches? Well, fear not! We're here to help you understand the basics of a wrestling bout. Sure, there are intricacies, but we want to help you feel more comfortable to enjoy the action and cheer on our Huskies!

To help you understand the in's and out's of wrestling bouts, duals, and tournaments, visit our Wrestling Tutorial page. Here, you can view many helpful aspects: Overview, Web Resources, The Basics, How to Win, How to Score, The Match, Dual Meet Scoring, Tournament Scoring, and Dual Team Tournament Scoring.

Did you know? A takedown is worth two points. A technical fall is worth five team points. Triple overtime would be the last round if the match gets to that point.

For more, please take a look! | Wrestling Tutorial



28 for 28: Team Blorange (#18 of 28)

When it comes to favorite colors, it's no secret about my selection. This year in my 5th grade class, I was trying to pass a few minutes of extra time. I asked students to guess facts about me. I offered, "What are my favorite colors?" A student, Jason, raised his hand. "Blue and orange?" he mentioned. I replied, "How did you know?" He surprisingly responded, "Wow! I just guessed my favorite colors!"

Yes, orange and blue are my favorite colors. Specifically, I enjoy the effect and feeling of orange and blue colors meeting on an object. Together, they make the color "blorange." Blorange is impossible to paint, however, in one can. You'll need at least two!

Below are a few of my "blorange" items. Having them with me in China allows me to remember YOU, the Huskie Wrestling Family and all it does and stands for. What will you add to your "blorange" treasure chest today?


click to enlarge | enlarge



28 for 28: Answering the call (#19 of 28)

In the lead-up to the IHSA season, we're turning your guesswork into yes-work! I'll admit that's cheesy, but it is catchy, too. One page that many visitors don't visit -- but that holds a wealth of information -- is our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page.

We invite you to visit our FAQ page.

On this page, you will refresh your knowledge on the differences between dual meets and tournaments, team scoring rules in dual meets and tournaments, weight class information, how teams and individuals advance in the postseason, specific facts about OPRF High School and the wrestling program, and more.

As always, if you'd like to recommend that we add or revise any information on the page, please Contact Us.



28 for 28: Great minds link alike (#20 of 28)

I'll say it: this site is perhaps the most thorough high school wrestling website in the West Suburban Conference, in the state of Illinois, and in the nation. Why not take full advantage of what we have to offer? Certainly, internet information is forever transitioning, but we invite you to take full advantage of internal and external links on the left sidebar (<---).

Did we say, "link"? Speaking of links, you can link your curiosity with knowledge. View our links page to find a number of helpful or fun sites during a slow day at work, a rainy weekend morning, or a late night surf-fest.

We invite you to visit our Links page.

As always, if you'd like to recommend that we add or revise any information on the page, please Contact Us.



28 for 28: It's never too late to affiliate (#21 of 28)

So, you've heard about this "West Suburban Conference," but you want to know more? It is confusing, I guarantee. On one hand, the West Suburban Conference is a conference comprised of two divisions. On the other, each division is a separate conference. Whaaat?

We created a brief but informative article about the affiliations associated with OPRF Wrestling. On the Affiliations page, you can learn a little more about the IHSA, WSC, NFHS, and ILUSAW. If you are googly-eyed right now, click and enter!

We invite you to visit our Affiliations page.

One thing that we omitted on the page is our affiliation with awesomeness. Everyone's entitled to a few mistakes now and again.

As always, if you'd like to recommend that we add or revise any information on the page, please Contact Us.



28 for 28: Orange & Blue Wrestling Crew (#22 of 28)

What better way to kick off the final week of our "28 for 28" feature than with our Wrestler Preview article. Below are the wrestlers whom you should anticipate taking the mat as the season's starting gun sounds. Keep in mind that this list is in flux, just as the season's event schedule is. As OPRF Wrestling opens its competition schedule (at home versus Downers Grove North on November 22), we present the "November Names to Know." Who knows? We may see a bunch of these who will become "February Famous." The Huskie Coaching Staff provided the preview.




(Written commentary by Huskie Coaching Staff)


Nico Bolivar: Nico is one of two freshmen who will battle for the starting position at 106. Nico comes into OPRF after winning the IKWF State Championship last year. Nico is a quick study to the sport and we expect him to continue to push for the top varsity spot.

Josh Ogunsanya: Josh is our other freshman who will be working hard for the starting spot at 106. Josh is coming off an 8th grade year where he finished 2nd in the IKWF State Tournament; he also finished 4th this summer at the Cadet National Freestyle Championships. Josh is an athletic young man with a good motor. We look forward to these two making each other better throughout the year.

PJ Ogunsanya: PJ enters his senior campaign as our reigning Takedown and Pin King; last year he finished the season with 213 takedowns and 21 total falls. PJ is also a returning IHSA State Qualifier and is working to improve his finish last year when he came up just one match short of being all-state. PJ is working tirelessly to ensure he leaves no stone unturned on his journey back to Champaign. PJ is showing much more maturity and we will count on him leading the younger lightweight wrestlers this season.

Eddie Bolivar: Eddie is in his second year at OPRF, but he is not new to our lineup. Last year as a “backup” Eddie touted at 25-10 record while facing some of the toughest competition in the country and state. This year Eddie will carry the load as a starter, but we know he is up to the challenge. This fall, Eddie finished 3rd place at the Cliff Kean Preseason National Tournament. The tournament should serve as a nice warm-up to the competitive season ahead.

Anthony Madrigal: Anthony is a junior and returning IHSA State Runner-Up. Anthony is currently ranked #8 in the country by FloWrestling. Anthony is competing in the same weight class as last year, and has improved his strength. Anthony is one of our “smoother” wrestlers and can attack from multiple positions. This fall, Anthony won the Conflict in Carver, after defeating a top ten wrestler in the country. Now in his third year, Anthony will look to emerge as more of a leader.

Joe Chapman: Joe is a freshman and will provide good depth and both 132 and 138. Joe finished 6th in the IKWF State Championships last spring. He is a hard working young man and we look forward to watching him grow over this season.
Torry Early: Torry enters his sophomore year after a lot of competition and training last spring and summer. Torry won the IWCOA Frosh/Soph State Tournament last spring. He will look to get more varsity matches this year at 132 and 138, and we expect him to thrive.
Jason Renteria: Jason, or Jay, doesn’t need much of an introduction headed into his senior year. Jay is a 3x IHSA State Finalist, and last year he captured his first IHSA State Championship. Jay’s focus this year is much more team-orientated. Jay would like to win his second IHSA State title, but he continues to bring it back to being a captain on the fourth straight IHSA Dual State Championship team. Jay has committed to continue his wrestling career at Nebraska next year. As for now, Jay is showing great leadership and working to improve everyone around him.
Kedrick Bryant: Kedrick is a junior in our program. Kedrick is one of the harder working young men in the program. He has a great enthusiasm for exercise and learning wrestling. Kedrick will get some matches on the varsity this year and it will be a great learning experience for him.
Jake Cagnina: Jake is a sophomore with a ton of upside. Jake is another product of the Little Huskies WC. He traveled the country with us this spring and summer putting in countless hours of training. Jake will continue to progress and hone his technique throughout this season. We look for big things from him in the near and distant future.
Daniel Pedraza: Daniel enters his senior year as one of our most improved wrestlers. Daniel is a four-year guy in our program. His efforts in and outside of the room allow him to be a leader in the program. Daniel will push for the starting varsity spot and provide leadership for the younger wrestlers at and around the weight class.
Brian Holloway: Brian performed mostly as a backup last year for our team, but he has higher aspirations this season. Brian looks to solidify himself in the starting lineup for his senior year. Brain decided to leave football behind and solely focus on wrestling. This spring, summer, and fall Brian trained harder than ever before. His level of maturity has increased with his training and ability to buy-in. Brian will be another senior leader this year.
Kenzo Murray: Kenzo is a senior in our program. Kenzo works hard in the room and classroom; he aspires to attend West Point. Kenzo is a well-rounded young man who embodies the spirit of a Huskie Wrestler. Kenzo will push for the starting spot in the varsity lineup. His effort in the room will help rise the intensity of his workout partners.

Drew Matticks: Drew enters his senior year with plenty to prove. Last year he was 2 points away from earning a trip to Champaign. Drew has strived to ensure there will not be a repeat performance. As one of our senior leaders, Drew is the consummate Huskie Wrestler; his efforts in the classroom mirror those in the room. We will rely on his hard work and discipline this season. He will be a great mentor for our younger wrestlers.

Darian Nichols: Darian is another four-year senior wrestler in our program. Darian is coming off a junior year where he started coming into his own as a wrestler. He won his conference tournament and put a good offseason building strength and technique. Darian is an explosive athlete and will provide depth at both 170 and 182 this year.

Tariq Thurman: Tariq transferred from Proviso West High School last spring. Since then, he started on the football team at linebacker, helping the team to a 7-3 record. Tariq was a match away from qualifying for state last year. Tariq brings with him great qualities as a student-athlete and is a great addition to our program.
DeUndre Garner: Dre heads into his senior year with high aspirations. Last year he came up short in qualifying for state. This year, Dre is working to improve on last year’s disappointment. Dre is one of our most courageous wrestlers. He has endured some tough times, and is coming out on the other side with a positive mindset. Dre is more of an emotional leader, and we hope others will feed off of him.
Elijah Osit: Elijah will push Dre for the varsity spot at 195. He will also provide some depth at 220. Elijah is a junior in his second year in the program. Elijah was one match away from earning All-American honors this summer at the Cadet Freestyle Nationals. We look forward to him building off that success and continuing to improve.
Christopher Middlebrooks: Christopher enters his second year as a starter for our team. Last year, he did his part for the team and filled in well at heavyweight even though he weighed only 230lbs. He battled impressively, and showed a lot of growth throughout last year. We expect this to be a breakout season for Christopher. Christopher will be the leader for the upper weights and will help guide the younger guys throughout his senior year.
Ashford Hollis: Ashford is a second year wrestler who will get some varsity experience this year. He is a big young man who is very good student-athlete. This will be a year for him to gain valuable experience moving forward in his football and wrestling careers. Being a younger wrestler, he will have some growing pains this season, but we expect him to learn and develop from them.
Max McDermott: Max is a junior who saw limited varsity action last season. He is a strong young man with a lot of wrestling experience. Max will give us depth at 220 and HWT. We expect Max to have a good season. His experience will help guide him as he learns how to battle with the big boys.


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)



28 for 28: Sked marks (#24 of 28)

The IHSA schedule is a hard thing to "pin" down. Even after finalization, there can be starting time changes, event additions or subtractions, or even postponements due to a variety of reasons (snow, severe cold, building issues, etc). Please keep alert at our Schedule page to view the upcoming events, locations, and times. You may also want to keep an eye on OPRFHS's Wrestling schedule on il.8to18. This site is updated by the coaching staff and would reflect any changes more quickly than on this website.

All that out of the way, we have some schedule news! St. Rita and OPRF, on November 23, will not take place. I'm unaware of the circumstances of the change. However, South Elgin has agreed to come in the Mustangs' stead. So, fear not! There will be wrestling at OPRFHS on Wednesday, November 23, the night before Thanksgiving.

We hope you plan a visit during the first week (and perhaps every week?) of competition. We encourage you to come out, wear your orange and blue, and cheer on the Huskies!



28 for 28: Season's greetings (#25 of 28)

Yes, I may be a little confused about which holiday is upcoming, but it is time that this website fully greet you with our full page set of 2016-2017 season pages. Updated are several pages for this season: Schedule, Results, Roster, Coaches, and Standings. The Rankings and Statistics pages will be updated as available.

According to the Roster, we have 15 Seniors, 11 Juniors, 30 Sophomores, and 31 Freshman. Altogether, that's 87 young men and women aspire to wrestle "Huskie Tough" for 6+ minutes each time out on the mat. Let's encourage them, let's congratulate them, and let's be in awe of them.

To view these updated pages, use the links at the left side bar (above). Under the logo header at the top of this page, you will find the links. The action has almost arrived!



28 for 28: Family style eating (#26 of 28)

Our Huskie Wrestling Family Alumni night will continue once again! After the conclusion of Wednesday's home dual meet between OPRF and South Elgin, there will be an Alumni gathering at Skrine Chops in Forest Park.

OPRF Wrestling Alumni Meet, Eat, Treat, and Greet - Wednesday, November 23, after OPRF vs. S. Elgin:

Skrine Chops - 7230 Madison Street, Forest Park, IL, 60130

You can view the event invitation on Facebook.

Certainly, we appreciate your hard work throughout the season to support our program, our wrestlers, and our coaches. Thank you for being a part of the OPRF Huskie Wrestling Family.



28 for 28: Our logo is never a no-go (#27 of 28)

Since the inception of this website prior to the 2008-2009 season, I've posted a logo icon at the top left corner of the home page. During each new season, the logo has changed. The significance of the logo is simple: we are ready. This website has updated its new pages for the season (perhaps a few small edits remain), and the squad -- too -- is full systems go. Well, you'll notice a new logo at the top of the home page. We are ready.

Below are the logos used in years past. Please contact us if you have more logos to share or if you feel that a logo should be removed due to copyright concerns.




We are the Huskies. --> We are relentless. --> We are proud. --> We are the Huskies.



28 for 28: The gift that keeps on giving (#28 of 28)

With sincerity unending, I am thrilled and grateful that you come to this website. Time after time, you keep up-to-date about the goings-on in OPRF Wrestling: the news, the stories, the pride, and the achievements. I intend to convey my appreciation for all of you. Huskie Wrestling and the Huskie Wrestling Family are special entities, and their greatness is made stronger by your presence and hard work. Thank you.

If I may turn the camera for a few moments, I would like to close my "28 for 28" series with a few personal viewpoints. To understand this site is to understand me, and to understand me is to understand love and passion.

Again, I am an OPRF graduate (1998), and I adore the Orange & Blue. I aspire to upload my spirit, drive, and knowledge into your heads and hearts.

I speak a lot about family. My own mother, Dawn, passed away ten days after the Huskies won their first IHSA team championship. She would be astonished and proud that I have worked so long and so well for our hometown program -- and in China, no less! Still, if ever I leave this current post as webmaster, I will know that I will have done my very best to live "Huskie Proud."

This week, the Huskies begin their annual trek from where they are to where they want to be. I want to be involved. I want to witness the dedication, the perseverance, and the accomplishments (both in wrestling and in life). I ask you, what do you want to do?

While you ponder that question, come out to the OPRF Field House on Tuesday and Wednesday and watch the Orange & Blue Wrecking Crew blast out of the gates during this IHSA campaign.

In Relentless Pursuit and Huskie Pride.


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