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News Archive - Most Recent News Is at the Top

2009 Offseason


Sign of the times: Letter of intent recap
Three Huskies sign up with two universities · 11/17/2009

OPRF coaches Jim Messer (left) and Paul Collins (right) stand guard as Chris Dardanes,
Nick Dardanes, and Ben Brooks (left to right) ink their intent.

OPRF seniors Chris Dardanes, Nick Dardanes, and Ben Brooks all recently signed letters of intent to wrestle at universities.  Chris Dardanes and Nick Dardanes signed on to wrestle at Minnesota.  Ben Brooks signed on to wrestle at North Carolina.  Congrats to these fine Huskies!



Orange and (Carolina) blue: Ben Brooks to attend UNC
OPRF's 189 pounder of yesteryear to wrestle in the ACC · 11/15/2009

OPRF senior Ben Brooks chooses to attend and wrestle at the University of North Carolina.  Congratulations to Benny!  Follow him and the rest of the Huskies this season as they attempt the repeat feat! | Article



Golden futures: The Dardanes brothers to attend Minnesota
OPRF twins Chris and Nick Dardanes to wrestle in the Big Ten · 10/15/2009

OPRF seniors Chris and Nick Dardanes choose to attend and wrestle at the University of Minnesota.  Congratulations to these two outstanding wrestlers!  Be sure to watch these two during the upcoming IHSA season.  View: YourSeason | The Open Mat



Don't forget: OPRF wrestling alumni news always welcome
Keep infomed of alumni achievements · 09/28/2009

In case you hadn't noticed, this site is jam-packed full of valuable news and information.  Just navigate the links in the menu bar to the left.

One of these links is the Alumni page in the OPRF Wrestling section.  On this page, OPRF keeps track of OPRF Wrestling alumni.  Whenever news is made, send a message to us at  Include a photo if you have one.  Send news about any OPRF Wrestling alumnus: your family member, friend, or even yourself.

Our latest news comes from Brad Bolen.  He is currently ranked #1 in the U.S. Judo Senior Division 66 kg weight class.

By the way, don't forget to send us links to articles you find on the web!



Orange and Blue Wrecking Crew
OPRF Wrestling receives additional name · 09/10/2009

Webmaster and statmagician Brian Tideman works hard to bring the epic tale that is OPRF Wrestling to you in electronic form.  Recently, he has been hard at work to think of ways to improve OPRF Wrestling and OPRF Athletics.  He has stumbled upon gold!

Here's the story:

As you know, the OPRF mascot is the Husky (Huskie/Huskies in athletics).  The OPRF student section and fan base are known as the Dog Pound.  I have no qualms against the Dog Pound, but it isn't original.  As we all know, OPRF is anything but original.  I don't want OPRF to be lumped together with the Naperville North Huskies, Waukegan Bulldogs, or even the Cleveland Browns.  I was thinking, "What could be an original and catchy name to describe the OPRF fan base?"  Then, it came to me:

Orange and Blue Crew

That's it!  The Orange and Blue Crew!  Instead of (or, for the traditionalists, in addition to) the Dog Pound, let's call OPRF Athletics supporters members of the Orange and Blue Crew!  In order to push this new moniker, I invite you to become one of the members of the Orange and Blue Crew! 

Get your own Orange and Blue Crew membership card here.  Isn't it so professional looking?

Orange and Blue Wrecking Crew

The Orange and Blue Crew is for wrestling and all other OPRF enthusiasts.  However, the Orange and Blue Wrecking Crew is the group of dedicated, dominant, and privileged youngsters known as OPRF Wrestlers.

Be sure to use the new terms freely!  And remember, they're always in good fun!

Don't forget your Orange and Blue Crew membership card!



Little Huskies preseason wrestling starts Wednesday (Sept. 9)
Have your child get a fun, early start on the season · 09/02/2009

This just in from the Little Huskies coaching staff:

We will be having practices each Wednesday in the preseason, starting next Wed., the 9th.  Little Huskies are invited and should make sure they have a workout partner their size.  6:30 – 8:15 PM.

Any Little Huskies looking for a partner, please respond to the coaches we'll get a list going and try to match the kids up.

To contact the Little Huskies coaches, send an email to:



OPRF bake sale this Saturday (Sept. 5) at Farmers Market
Bakers (and buyers) are needed · 09/01/2009

Contribute to the OPRF wrestling family by baking and/or buying! 

We will be selling bake goods at the Farmers Market next Saturday, September 5th. Our goal is to make enough money to finance a trip to the preseason nationals in Iowa over Halloween weekend. We are in need of Bakers! Anyone interested in helping out with the baking of cookies, brownies, etc. please contact Coach Powell ( or 773 715 9952). The Huskie grapplers will reap 100% of the profits from the sale of all baked goods.

To read more news about OPRF wrestling, read the Coaches Newsletter from August 28:

Coaches Newsletter (pdf, 82 kb)



Road to repeat: 2009-2010 season schedule released
Midwest Classic is out, Dvorak is in · 08/18/2009

After the history-making season of 2008-2009, Huskie wrestling will be back on the trail this November.  It is important to know that minor changes in OPRF's schedule may occur up to and through the season, but most, if not all, details are in the books.  Visit to stay updated on all of OPRF's sports.

What's OUT (Varsity): Midwest Classic tournament (Kansas City, MO); dual vs. Grant

What's IN (Varsity): Al Dvorak tournament (Machesney Park, IL); dual vs. Mt. Carmel

In addition, all West Suburban Silver Conference duals have switched to the opposite home venue.  Some quad locations have stayed the same, and others have rotated.

Use the menu bar to the left, or click Schedule to view the 2009-2010 OPRF schedule.



Three Freestyle All Americans - Nick Dardanes,
Chris Dardanes & Sam Brooks
Sam doubles, twins place 2nd & 4th · 07/25/2009

OPRF rising seniors Nick Dardanes (left) and twin brother Chris Dardanes (right) were Freestyle
medalists this past week in Fargo, ND.  (Photos by Brian Tideman from 2008-2009 season.)
Sam Brooks had a record of 7-2 (8-2 with walkovers) en route to a 2nd place finish in the Cadet Freestyle 160 pound weight class.  Sam is pictured below in the Greco section.

Nick Dardanes had a record of 8-1 (9-1 with walkovers) en route to a 2nd place finish in the Junior Freestyle 130 pound weight class.

Chris Dardanes had a record of 9-2 en route to a 4th place finish in the Junior Freestyle 130 pound weight class.

In all, Team Illinois had six Freestyle finalists with three champions:

Cadet Freestyle: Edwin Cooper (130, 1st); Sam Brooks (160, 2nd);
Austin Marsden (189, 1st); Gage Harrah (215; 1st)

Junior Freestyle: Nick Dardanes (130, 2nd); Lee Munster (171, 2nd)

Of course, a great pat on the back to all of Team Illinois' coaches and assistants.  And, certainly, to all the family members for this long week.



Double Dardanes in top 4: Nick goes for title, Chris for 3rd
130 pound competitors to wrestle Saturday morning for medals · 07/24/2009

Nick Dardanes will go for the Junior Freestyle national title at 130 pounds on Saturday, July 25.  You can watch it LIVE on LiveSportsVideo.  Finals begin at 9:00 am.

Chris Dardanes will go for the Junior Freestyle 3rd place medal at 130 pounds at the same time as Nick.  Chris lost to Cashe' Quirogo of Indiana in the semis (round robin).

Good luck, gentlemen!



Sammy Brooks takes second 2nd place at nationals
Sam has great run in Freestyle, loses to Jake Waste once again · 07/24/2009

Sammy will wrestle Jake Waste of Minnesota (a rematch of the Greco championship) in the 160 pound Freestyle finals in Fargo, ND.  You can watch it LIVE on LiveSportsVideo.  Cadet Freestyle finals begin at 1:00 central time on Friday, July 24 (they began just BEFORE I posted this update on the internet).  Sammy's match should come on approximately around 3:15 or 3:30, per my estimates.  UPDATE: At 3:20 pm, Sammy's match is in the hole -- that is, it will be 145, then 152, then Sammy (160).  UPDATE: Sammy wins the first period but loses the next two to Jake Waste of Minnesota to finish 2nd.  What a great run Sammy!  Cadet Greco and Freestyle national runner up!

Also, Juniors Chris Dardanes and Nick Dardanes are both undefeated in the 130 pound weight class.  If they win out, they will face each other for the national title.  Both are in line to garner All American status at the very least.  Junior medal matches are Saturday morning beginning at 9:00 am.



Two Greco All Americans - Ellis Coleman & Sam Brooks
Ellis claims national title, Sam is national runner up · 07/22/2009

OPRF rising sophomore Sam Brooks (left) and OPRF graduating senior Ellis Coleman (right) were Greco-Roman
finalists this past week in Fargo, ND.  (Photos by Paul Monson from 2008-2009 season.)
Sam Brooks had a record of 6-1 (8-1 with walkovers) en route to a 2nd place finish in the Cadet Greco 160 pound weight class.

Ellis Coleman had a perfect record of 9-0 en route to his Junior Greco 135 pound title.

In all, Team Illinois had eight Greco finalists with 5 champions:

Cadet Greco: Zane Richards (125, 1st); Dylan Reel (152, 2nd);
Sam Brooks (160, 2nd); Josh Marchok (215; 2nd)

Junior Greco: Ellis Coleman (135, 1st); Josh Castellano (145, 1st);
Mark Stenberg (171; 1st); Josef Rau (215; 1st)

Of course, a great pat on the back to Mike Powell and all of the Greco coaches and assistants.



Fargo Greco and Freestyle Nationals are underway
Several Huskies compete · 07/17/2009

via USA Wrestling (

Several Huskies traveled to Fargo to compete in Greco-Roman Nationals, Freestyle Nationals, or both.  Competitions will be held between July 17-25 in Fargo, North Dakota.

For more information on the championships, visit Junior & Cadet National Championships.  For a preview, click here.

For specific tournaments, click on the links below to follow the OPRF entries.

Cadet Greco - Sam Brooks (160), Eddie Guen-Murray (189)

UPDATED  Sam Brooks will wrestle in the national championship match on Monday, July 20!  You can watch him live by visiting LiveSportsVideo!  Cadet Greco finals begin at 5:30 pm on July 20.

UPDATED (#2)  Sam Brooks wrestled his best but fell to Jake Waste of Minnesota; Dec 0-1, 1-0, 3-2.  Congratulations on finishing 2nd in the country, Sam!

Junior Greco - Joey Schwartz (119), Ellis Coleman (135), Dan Martin (160), Joe DiBenedetto (189)

UPDATED  Ellis Coleman will wrestle in the national championship match on Tuesday, July 21!  You can watch him live by visiting LiveSportsVideo!  Junior Greco finals begin at 3:00 pm on July 21.

UPDATED (#2)  Ellis Coleman is the Junior Greco national champion at 135 pounds!  He defeated Joseph Locksmith of Florida; Tech Fall 6-0, 7-0.  Ellis also won a Cadet Greco national championship in 2007.  Last year, Ellis finished 2nd.  Good luck at Northern Michigan and the USOEC, Ellis!

Cadet Freestyle - Sam Brooks (160)

Junior Freestyle - Joey Schwartz (119), Chris Dardanes (130), Nick Dardanes (130), Ben Brooks (189)



Andrew Matticks, Little Huskie, featured in Wednesday Journal
Matticks places 3rd nationally in Greco and Freestyle · 07/14/2009

Story and picture from Wednesday Journal of Oak Park and River Forest:

"Andrew Matticks,10, recently competed at the USA Wrestling Kids Greco-Roman and Freestyle National Tournament held in Orem, Utah.  Matticks won third-place titles in both styles, Greco-Roman and Freestyle, for the 87-pound Intermediate Division.  Matticks was named to the USA Wrestling Kids National Team.  Also this season, Matticks won the Freestyle Division at the Northern Plains Regional Tournament and placed third at the Illinois State Championship.  Matticks is a student at Mann School and a member of the OPRF Little Huskies wrestling team."

For the full article, click here.  Article author and photographer are not posted on the website.



Illinois Juniors enjoy mixed success in dual team tournaments
IL again reigns supreme in Greco but is frustrated in Freestyle  · 06/28/2009

Illinois is quickly becoming the state for Greco-Roman wrestling.  For the third consecutive year, Illinois defeated all other entries en route to the Greco dual team title.  OPRF Huskies Nick Dardanes (130), Chris Dardanes (135), Ellis Coleman (140), Dan Martin (160/171), and Ben Brooks (189) all contributed for the title team.

In Freestyle, the Illinois dual team finished 7th despite higher hopes.  OPRF was represented by Greco holdovers Nick Dardanes (130), Chris Dardanes (135), Ellis Coleman (145), and Ben Brooks (215).

For more information on the duals, visit Junior Greco | Junior Freestyle



Give green, get clean: Thank you for coming to the car wash
Put a dent into the trip costs of some of OPRF's wrestling finest · 06/26/2009

From 9 am - 2 pm, come by the high school (Erie and Scoville) for gleam and clean.

Help send 8 -- tops in state -- qualifying Huskies to the Cadet and Junior Nationals in Fargo, ND.

P.S. We wash dogs and bikes as well!

Updated: Car wash took place on Saturday, June 27.  Thank you to all who came and to all who had a hand -- some literally -- in this event.



Illinois Cadets take national titles in Greco and Freestyle
OPRF's Mike Powell and Sam Brooks have hand in success · 06/21/2009

The championship Illinois Greco team included Mike Powell (middle) and Sam Brooks (top, third from right).
Photo by Mike Turner, Varsity Photos Inc.

You know that Mike Powell is the head coach of Oak Park-River Forest.  You may not know that he is the head coach of the Illinois Greco National Dual Team.  Under his tutelage, the Cadet squad (generally 9th and 10th graders) won the Greco national title by defeating Minnesota 36-29.  Sam Brooks, the OPRF fabulous freshman from last year, made it double the fun by helping the Cadet squad take the Freestyle national championship as well, also beating Minnesota 37-35.

For more information on the duals, visit Cadet Greco | Cadet Freestyle

The Junior Duals are up next (June 23-28 in Oklahoma City, OK).  You can be sure OPRF will be well represented in those competitions, too.  Junior Duals details



Offseason results are updated! (June 19, 2009)  Click here!



Just what the doctor ordered:
Myositis fundraiser a huge success
Huskie family, friends come out in full force · 06/17/2009

A warm thank you to all of you who came out to Doc Ryan's on Monday, June 15th, in support of Mike Powell and scores of other people and families who live with myositis conditions as an everyday reality.  Many past and present die hard Huskies were present at the event, in addition to a number of individuals from other wrestling programs. 

Remember, if you still would like to donate to the cause, please do so:

You can also send a donation via check made out to:

In Relentless Pursuit
P.O. Box 4226
Oak Park, IL  60304



Youth wrestling camp at OPRFHS
July camp will teach basics, technique, and more · 05/24/2009


Contact: Mike Powell
WR-01 Boys’ Youth Wrestling
Open To: Grades: 1-8
Description: Learn the basics of wresting. Focus on agility, technique, strength, and fun!
Location: 2 South Gym
Dates: 7/6 – 7/23 (Monday-Thursday)
Time: 1 p.m.–3 p.m.
Fee: $100.00

You can sign up on line through the web page (click on the link), or come into the AD’s office and sign-up.



Myositis fundraiser at Doc Ryan's
on Monday, June 15, from 4:00-8:00 pm
In relentless pursuit of knowledge · 06/05/2009

Mike Powell, OPRF teacher and head coach of the Oak Park-River Forest wrestling program, has been diagnosed with a disease called polymyositis.  In the spirit of his relentless dedication to bettering the lives of both his students and his athletes, we are going to hold a fundraiser to raise money for research on polymyositis.

For years, Coach Powell has been a dynamic and influential force in local, statewide, and national wrestling.  Please come if you are able.  The cost is $25 per person.  You can also contribute items or services to the silent auction. 

PHOTO: Mike Powell - Josh Hawkins / Wednesday Journal


  • 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm on Monday, June 15, at Doc Ryan's in Forest Park, IL
    (7432 Madison St - two blocks west of Madison and Des Plaines)
  • $25.00 per person
  • Pizza and pop provided / Cash bar
  • Silent auction


Contact if you have any questions about the event or if you would like to make a contribution to the silent auction.

If you can't make the event on June 15th but still want to contribute, it's very easy.  Just click on the link below and your donation will go to The Myositis Association in Mike's name.

You can also send a donation via check made out to:

In Relentless Pursuit
P.O. Box 4226
Oak Park, IL  60304



Two of OPRF's own to compete against Russia
Nick Dardanes, Ben Brooks to be showcased in Elmhurst on June 10 · 06/02/2009

Project Achievement is hosting an international dual meet between young Chicago area wrestlers and wrestlers from Russia.  The dual meet will be held at:

R.A. Faganel Hell, Elmhurst College, 221 Walter Street, Elmhurst, IL

It will take place on Wednesday, June 10, at 7:30 pm and will feature international freestyle rules.  Tickets can be bought beginning at 6:30 pm at the door.  Prices are $5 for adults and $3 for students.  Children 5 and under will be admitted free.

Earlier this summer, OPRF's Nick Dardanes and Sam Brooks won in their bouts in a dual with Russia.



OPRF High School to host Illinois Greco-Roman
Championships on May 16 & May 17
Come out and watch the state's, OPRF's best  · 05/04/2009

As you know, wrestling offseason is in full swing.  Two premier in-state tournaments include the Freestyle State Tournament and the Greco-Roman State Tournament.  Just like last year, Oak Park-River Forest High School will host the Greco-Roman state championships.

Here's the schedule:

Saturday, May 16th - Kids Divisions (10 AM to conclusion), Cadet Division (10 AM to 2:30 PM),
Junior Division (4 PM to 8:30 PM)

Sunday, May 17th - Cadet Division and Junior Division (9 AM to conclusion)

For more information on the tournament, go to ILUSAW.

To get you ready for the action, view this highlight video from the 2008 Illinois Greco-Roman State Tournament (hosted by OPRF).  Thanks to kgdrendel:


If the video does not appear in your browser, click here to view the video on YouTube. 

Be advised: The above video was recorded with no audio.




Winning Huskie (Free)style: 1 Cadet, 3 Juniors place
at Freestyle State Championship
Brooks x2 and Dardanes x2 shine · 05/03/2009

  • Freshman Sam Brooks wins the Cadet 160 pound title.

  • Junior Chris Dardanes wins the Junior 140 pound title.

  • Junior Nick Dardanes places 2nd in the Junior 140 pound weight class.

  • Junior Ben Brooks places 2nd in the Junior 189 pound weight class.



Come one, come all: OPRF's wrestling room to host
refereed matches the next 4 Wednesdays
$5 and USA Wrestling card required  · 04/19/2009

Count Dante's Black Dragon Fighting Society (held @ OPRF high) will be holding open rooms for the next four Wednesdays, starting 4/22.  Four mats will be available for matches.  All matches will be refereed.  Cost = $5 per workout.  We will hold both Greco and Freestyle matches.  All high school age wrestlers holding a current USA Wrestling card are invited. Competition in the room ranges from 1st year wrestlers to state and Fargo champs, all sizes and shapes.

OPRF High School
201 N. Scoville Ave
Oak Park, IL 60302
6 - 8 PM in the wrestling room(s)
Wednesdays 4/22, 4/29, 5/6, 5/13



Huskie hardware: Coaches recognized at the IWCOA banquet
Mike Powell wins top coach, Paul Collins honored as nominee · 04/19/2009

The IWCOA (Illinois Wrestling Coaches & Officials Association) held its awards banquet this Sunday, and OPRF head coach Mike Powell took home his second trophy this year by being recognized as the Class AAA Coach of the Year.

Paul Collins was honored as a nominee for Class AAA Assistant Coach of the Year but did not win the award.  Coach Collins has worked tirelessly for the OPRF Wrestling program, and we thank him for all his hard work. 

Visit IWCOA website | Visit IWCOA All-State Banquet ticket form | Full list of award finalists



Huskies come home: (Harlem) Huskies to host OPRF for first time
The premiere in-state tournament elevates its status with new additions · 04/16/2009

The 32-team Al Dvorak tournament hosts some of the best in-state talent.  Well, the best just got better with the addition of at least four new teams.  The four new teams include Crystal Lake Central, Glenbard North, Lyons Township, and Oak Park-River Forest

The 2009 Dvorak won't take place for 8 more months, but already the anticipation is building.  Harlem High School in Machesney Park, IL, will be the host for this late December war.

The Dvorak tournament will replace the Kansas City Midwest Classic on OPRF's 2009-2010 schedule.  Instead of flying (or driving) out to Kansas City next year, you can hike up to Machesney Park where the action surely will keep the spectators warm regardless of the outside conditions.

Mark your calendars now!

When: Mon and Tues, December 21 and 22
Where: Harlem High School (Machesney Park, IL)
Times: To be announced

Teams (as of 04/16/09): Barrington, Bishop Lynch, Bloom Township, Bolingbrook, Carl Sandburg, Crystal Lake Central, Dixon, Dundee-Crown, Edwardsville, Fenwick, Glenbard North, Hersey, Hoffman Estates, Hononegah, Iowa City West, Libertyville, Lockport Township, Lyons Township, Mahomet-Seymour, Marist, Montini, Morton, Mt. Carmel, Neuqua Valley, Oak Park & River Forest, Plainfield Central, Providence, Springboro, St. Rita, Waubonsie Valley, Wheaton North, Yorkville



Moving on up: IWCOA recognizes two of our best
Coaches Mike Powell and Paul Collins nominated for awards · 04/07/2009

The IWCOA (Illinois Wrestling Coaches & Officials Association) has released its 2009 award finalists. 

OPRF is honored to have two in its ranks nominated for awards.

Mike Powell - nominated for Class AAA Coach of the Year

Also nominated are Bernie Ruettiger, Minooka; Jon Wagner, Edwardsville; and Neal Weiner, Wheeling.

Paul Collins - nominated for Class AAA Assistant Coach of the Year

Also nominated are Jeff Charlebois, Minooka, and Chris Edwards, Glenbard North.

Winners will be announced at the IWCOA All-State Banquet on Sunday, April 19th in Countryside, Illinois.

Visit IWCOA website | Visit IWCOA All-State Banquet ticket form | Full list of award finalists



Den meets pen: Ruminations by Matt Monson
Senior wrestler reflects on the OPRF Wrestling Room · 04/05/2009


The Huskies’ Den
Matt Monson, Author

            It is hard to describe, to people who have never experienced it, what the Oak Park wrestling room is like.  I say ‘experienced’, because to pass through that single door high above the fieldhouse floor is to step into an isolated world, thick with history and sensation of all kinds.  Many young men have spent countless hours in this place, and over the decades their names and stories have accumulated into nothing short of a lineage, which is inseparable from the space itself.  The room has lasted through many eras, changing with the times and the people who spend – it sometimes seems – their entire lives in it.  The dark blue mats used to be orange; a huge cargo door painted with an overmuscular, anthropomorphic Huskie once comprised the bulk of one brick wall; the stationary bike no longer occupies the corner of the room.  What has remained constant through the years is the atmosphere of work and dedication which permeates and suffuses every inch of the small room as wholly and completely as gravity.  There is no natural human sense which can detect this quality – or if there ever was, it was lost to most of mankind long ago, through disuse.  To most people, the room simply smells of sweat, and feels hot and humid.  But to those who have, for years, dutifully climbed the narrow stairs to that mural-covered door day after day, the room is where pain, pride, fatigue, integrity, frustration, triumph, and a hundred other sensations coalesce and give undeniable meaning to the space enclosed between its four walls.

            I have, at times, thought of this place as a kind of monastery.  Cloistered off from the world by solid brick and mortar, our group of brothers is devoted solely to our age-old discipline, carrying with us the values of our order, as have many before us, and as will many who will come after.  Our brotherhood assembles in the room daily, with a common purpose, and we concentrate our energy collectively for a cause we believe in.

            When I leave for college and life after graduation, I will leave a part of me in the wrestling room, where it has grown and developed, and where it will always remain.  It is my contribution to that continuing legacy which will outlive us all.  In return, I have taken from the wrestling room the lessons that it gives to all those whose lives are given shape in its heat.  Like the forge of a master blacksmith, the wrestling room transforms raw material into a hardened, galvanized product, imbued with the qualities necessary to succeed by the very process which the entity endures.  The wrestling room is a powerful force over the span of four years – it hardens the spirit, sharpens the mind, and will pound flat nearly any flaw in the original article.  The conditions in which this transformation takes place are harsh, but in the end what emerges is powerful.  For, having survived the fire of the forge, what can break the tempered steel?

            The wrestling room is far more than just a physical location.  It is forever linked in my mind with both my experiences in it and the people with whom I struggled for four long years.  It is not my home – home is a place where one can retreat to for comfort – but I will never forget the wrestling room as long as I live.  And for as long as the room continues to exist, I can guarantee it won’t forget me either.



Count Dante's Black Dragon Fighting Society
OPRF Freestyle & Greco Training 2009 · 04/01/2009

OPRF's Freestyle and Greco training has already begun.  Spring wrestling is in full swing.  In case you weren't aware, springtime is a hotbed for wrestling activity.  You're bound to find your share of Folkstyle wrestling, but Freestyle and Greco take center stage in the offseason. 

Championships are often won in the offseason.  A quick survey to the Varsity squad will determine that spring and summer wrestling make a big difference.

Whether you're a fan looking for action or a student looking for growth, you won't be disappointed.

To learn more about these events and opportunities, here are great starting points:

One event you surely can't miss is the Illinois Greco-Roman State Championships on May 16-17 at Oak Park-River Forest High School.

This year's name: Count Dante's Black Dragon Fighting Society.  If you're thinking of joining, there's still time to join the dojo.



On Saturday, March 28, a memorial was held in the honor of my mother, Dawn Tideman.  The memorial was held at Unity Temple in Oak Park.  I was humbled that so many of the wrestling faithful came out in this difficult and meaningful time for my family.  Some of you came for me; some came for my mother; some yet came for yourself.  I can never justly put into words the outpouring of support and love I received.

Throughout this year, I have tread with buoyancy and persistence, with duty and expression.  I have bared and shared my soul.  Even though my mother wasn't as visible a staunch supporter of the Huskie Wrestling Family, she welcomed it into her heart.  She welcomed you into her heart.

Each one of you that came to the memorial has given me an ounce more of strength, courage, and determination.  Certainly this is a time of need for me.  And I shall strive to do what is right.  Always.  But you must know; I live for others.  If I can be of any service to you, please be not shy.  You have touched me in a way I will never forget.  Forgive me if I mistakenly refer to the Huskie Wrestling Family as the Huskie Wrestling Community because I am calmed by the warmth of your -- of our -- community.

Relentless in pursuit and in love,
Brian Tideman



Death in the Huskie Family: OPRF mourns loss of one of its own
Dawn Tideman, OPRF bookstore employee and friend of the Huskie Wrestling Family, passes away · 03/21/2009

Dawn Tideman, mother of OPRF Wrestling webmaster Brian Tideman and friend of OPRF Wrestling, died on March 10, 2009, after a short illness.  Dawn worked as an employee in the OPRF High School bookstore and as a librarian at the Dole Branch library in Oak Park.  She previously served as co-president of the OPRF PTO for several years.  Dawn established many positive relationships with Oak Park and River Forest residents throughout the years, and she was friends with many members of the Huskie Wrestling Family. 

A memorial service will be held at 11 AM on Saturday, March 28, at Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist Church, 875 Lake Street, in Oak Park. 

Unity Temple is located at the southeast corner of Lake and Kenilworth (right across the street from the Oak Park Main Post Office).

Dawn in the news: Wednesday Journal | Oak Leaves #1 | Oak Leaves #2 | Chicago Tribune (Sun/22)



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