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News Archive - Most Recent News Is at the Top

2010 Offseason

"The Realest Sport" - TP & Esco

Here's a new music video that's exploded on the wrestling scene.  Enjoy it, as it gets you (and me) ever more ready for the 2010-2011 season.  |  View on YouTube.


Are you ready for some...WRESTLING?
Relive the 2009-2010 highlight film · 10/08/2010

Despite the Huskies faltering in their bid to defend their dual team title, 2009-2010 was a record year.  OPRF pushed its consecutive duals win streak to 35 duals before losing, won conference for the third straight year, advanced 6 wrestlers to individual state where it won the unofficial state point total count, had four state place-winners including the first sophomore state champion in OPRF history.  I tell you; this year's crop of Huskies are just as hungry -- if not more -- than last year's squad.  Enjoy the 2009-2010 highlight film, created and edited by James Oliva of Video Infinity.

(Fast internet speed recommended to view video.)

2009-2010 | The highlights



Q & A 101: Who is the brain behind this site?
OPRF alumnus Brian Tideman pulls the electronic strings · 10/08/2010 sat down with Brian Tideman to gather his thoughts about the Huskies.

(Keep in mind, Reader, that and Brian Tideman are one and the same.  Or, forget that fact altogether if you want!) I'm glad you could find the time to chat with us.

Brian Tideman: My pleasure.

O: Tell me about your past.  Did you wrestle?  Where did you grow up?

B: I was born in Oak Park and attended Oak Park public schools through high school.  I moved to River Forest earlier in my adult life.  I did wrestle in high school for one winter and spring, but after winning only one match, I decided to stop wrestling.  I was in the process of falling in love with the sport, and I acted as a manager for two of my remaining three years at the high school.

O: When did you come on board with the Huskie wrestling program?

B: In the summer of 2008.  I began a website that highlighted results and achievements of the West Suburban Silver conference, of which OPRF is a part.  Mike Powell learned that I was an alumnus of OPRF, and he asked me to create a website for the program.  Before 2008, I had been a fan of the team and watched them whenever I could.  My running joke was that I was Waldo in the book "Where's Waldo?"  Even if you couldn't find me in the crowd, you knew I was there.

O: So, you created OPRF's wrestling website all by yourself?

B: I did.  Don't ask me how many hours I spent on that.  I benefited from lots of practice and from seeking out tricks of the trade.  It was a rollercoaster of frustration and elation.  Being without a human child of my own, the website is my baby.

O: Do you just manage the website?

B: No, I also tally and input Varsity statistics, as well as announce for Varsity dual meets at the high school.  I really enjoy announcing, and I keep working to improve in that area.

O: And the photos on the website?

B: I take many of the ones that I post.  I do my best to give credit to photographers and websites for ones I post that are not my own.  I try my best to show respect to others.  I've had visions of possibly recording summary podcasts and posting them on the web.  I may do that someday.

O: What is your favorite part of managing the website?

B: I like the writing aspect of it.  I write the articles, and I love being creative and fun with them.  Sometimes it does take time for me to get it the way I want.  It feels great when it feels perfect.

O: Tell me about some of the neat ideas that you've come up with to show Huskie support.

B: Well, I think about the Huskies a lot.  I always think about ways to highlight the website, the athletes, and to make things fun.  I had two ideas when it comes to dual meets.  The first idea is that when a Huskie wrestler has his opponent on his back, the home crowd would repeatedly yell, "Call the fall! Call the fall!"  The second idea piggybacks the first.  After a pin is called, the home crowd would shout, "Orange and Blue...Orange and Blue...Orange and Blue Wrecking Crew!"  Or, after a fall, maybe we could have a Huskie bark sound bite over the sound system.

O: What is the Orange and Blue Wrecking Crew, and where did it come from?

B: There are two, actually, and they both came from me.  There's the Orange and Blue Crew and the Orange and Blue Wrecking Crew.  The Orange and Blue Crew is the name of the supporters of Huskie wrestling.  I was tired of generic titles like "Dog Pound" that can be claimed by many schools.  I wanted something particular to the high school.  The Orange and Blue Wrecking Crew is the name of the wrestlers themselves.  They do what the name suggests.

O: Looking back on all the Huskie wrestling you've seen in your life, what's your favorite memory?

B: That's extraordinarily difficult to decide.  I remember individual moments like Chris Dardanes winning the state title in the final seconds this year, Ben Brooks scoring a reversal with two seconds left before winning in overtime last year, and Chris Ragucci trailing by about a dozen before throwing a headlock and pinning his opponent a little over ten years ago.  The best moment has to be a team achievement: completing a 2008-2009 undefeated season en route to the first team wrestling title in history.

O: How about the worst memory?

B: My worst individual memory was when Alan Cartwright, class of 1996, lost in the state title match that year.  I watched from the stands, and I thought Alan Cartwright outpointed his opponent in the match.  As for the team, I could barely move after Lyons Township defeated the Huskies by criteria in a dual meet in 2007.  It gave the Lions the conference title over OPRF.

O: What most frustrates you about your work?

B: I wish more article writers would mention the name of the website in their articles.  They utilize the website for information, but still Tim Stablein and Brad Spencer choose to ignore me?  I don't get it.

O: If you could have one OPRF wish, what would it be?

B: For the program, I would wish that the field house is filled to the brim for each and every home event, that every child in our community tries wrestling, and that families fight tooth and nail to move into our community because of the greatest wrestling traditions.

O: What are you most excited about for the future of OPRF Wrestling?

B: I can't wait to read the unwritten stories.  Anybody can step up to be a hero, and anybody can succeed through hard work and dedication.  It makes me smile to think that there will be amazing young men and wrestlers who haven't even been born yet.



The case of the missing website gets back on track · 09/27/2010


"Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, put your hands together for...the Orange & Blue Wrecking Crew!  Your 2010-2011 Oak Park-River Forest Huskies!"

My summer was nice.  I visited with friends.  I stayed out late.  I slept in occasionally.  I hid from the mosquitoes (that wasn't so nice).  One thing that particularly bugged me (no, not the mosquitoes again) was the fact that I couldn't update the website.  Yes, THE website.  It is the only website in my eyes.  (Okay, there's this one, too.)

My tiny laptop fell fatally wounded.  After a brief and very exciting resurrection, it firmly rested six feet under.  That's okay, I have a desktop, I told myself.  Well, that computer perished shortly after my laptop.  No website updating capabilities.

Fortunately, I have progressed with a new (and smaller still) laptop to use.  Hooray!  You'll be seeing me with my laptop at events this season.

In the coming weeks, I will have this website updated for the 2010-2011 season.  I hope you are as excited as I am.  The Orange & Blue Wrecking Crew returns!

Thank you for your patience during this past hiatus.  Case solved!

-Brian Tideman, author



Best of the best: Fargo championships are on the brink
Illinois Junior Freestyle dual team takes gold in another USA Wrestling event · 07/15/2010


ASICS/Vaughan Junior and Cadet Nationals, a.k.a. Fargo (July 19-24)

Beginning on Sunday, July 18, with the kickoff of the Cadet Greco tournament, wrestlers from across the country will clash at the Fargodome to determine who is the best of the best.  Last year, OPRF shone brightly with three All-Americans and four medals (Sam Brooks x2, Nick Dardanes, Chris Dardanes).  Who will make an impact on behalf of our Orange and Blue Wrecking Crew this year?

Follow Fargo | Preview | Cadet Greco | Junior Greco | Cadet Freestyle | Junior Freestyle

Huskies at Cadet Greco: Darius Henry (112), Michael Woulfe (152), Sam Brooks (171), Marq Brumant (285), Elijah Thompson (285)

Huskies at Junior Greco: None

Huskies at Cadet Freestyle: Sam Brooks (171)

Huskies at Junior Freestyle: None

All-American Medalist (top 8 finish)

Sam Brooks repeats as National All-American!  He takes 7th in the Cadet Greco division and 2nd place in the Cadet Freestyle division.  Congratulations, Sammy!

Illinois Juniors take 2nd in Greco, then dominate Freestyle (June 25-28)

Team Illinois has been dominant on the high school duals level for years.  Its Greco and Freestyle squads have consistent talent that is barely paralleled -- if at all.  Both the Cadets and Juniors continue to succeed.  In late June, the IL Junior group took home the silver (Greco) and gold (Freestyle) trophies.  OPRF's Nick Dardanes and Ben Brooks wrestled in the Greco tournament, and Nick Dardanes also took part in the Freestyle tournament.  Congratulations to all involved for Team Illinois!

Junior Duals Articles | Greco recap | Freestyle recap



Summer fun: The greatest sport in the world heats up
Spring officially says goodbye, but wrestling churns on · 06/23/2010

OPRF Coach Octavius Bellamy (right) oversees the Huskies at June 22's summer league event. (Photos by B.T.)

In these first days of summer, let all of us from the OPRF Wrestling Family wish you warm times with family and friends.  On to more news!

Cadet Duals in Rochester, Minnesota (June 15-19)

Our own "Slammin'" Sammy Brooks and "Dynamite" Darius Henry wrestled for Team Illinois.  Sammy wrestled in both the Greco and Freestyle tournaments, and Darius wrestled in the Greco tournament.  The IL Cadets (rising sophomores and juniors) took 3rd in Greco and 2nd in Freestyle.  Sammy wrestled to an all-tournament 8-0 in Greco and 6-1 in Freestyle.  Darius wrestled to a 6-3 record in Greco.  Congratulations, gentlemen!

Junior Duals in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (June 25-28)

Team Illinois's Junior squad (rising seniors and recent graduates) will also prepare for Greco and Freestyle dominance.  Look for a few of the Huskie finest to contribute on one or both of the teams.

Go to: Preview | Junior Greco Duals (June 25-26) | Junior Freestyle Duals (June 27-28)

Car Wash

Thank you to all who came out to the annual Car Wash on Saturday, June 19th.  Your contributions to the bar-none absolute greatest Wrestling Family (of which you are a part) are greatly appreciated.

Summer League

The Huskies have entered a summer league for our high school age wrestlers.  The location varies, but this past Tuesday, June 22, the league took place at York High School.  There were several teams in attendance including Fenwick, Waubonsie Valley, Hinsdale Central, and the host Dukes.  In the summer league, wrestlers gain invaluable experience by wrestling many short matches during the night.

OPRF Summer Camp (July 12-17)

OPRF High School and the OPRF Wrestling coaching staff will run a summer wrestling camp to all children who are entering 1st - 8th grades.  The fee is only $65.  View the camp details.  Email Mike Powell with questions.

The high school wrestling camp (incoming 9th - 12th grades) will also be held at OPRF High School the same week as the youth camp, but at different times during the day.  The fee for this camp is $115.  It is a top notch camp and a great way to prepare for winter wrestling.  View the camp details.  Email Mike Powell with questions.

Register for either camp at the OPRF athletic office between 8 am - 3 pm weekdays.  With a top notch coaching staff like ours, this camp is truly an amazing experience (for any age!).  Don't miss out!

Former Huskies and Company Show Support

Let's not forget the contributions of OPRF lifers in the spirit of Huskie love.  Thank you to all who came out for the May 14 fundraiser in honor of Steven Shupe (OPRF '87), a former Huskie wrestler.  The event was held at Skrines in Forest Park.  To learn more about the event at Skrines, or how you can contribute, please go to our latest News Archive section and scroll down a few articles.

Former Huskie wrestlers gather at Skrines on May 14.



Coaching to the letter: News from the top
Don't miss out on car wash, summer camp, and more! · 06/14/2010

Huskie Wrestling Family,

We have great news and a couple of announcements.

Ellis Coleman, just 18 years old, just placed 3rd in the world team trials at 66 kg in the Greco-Roman style. His only loss in the trials was to a 36 year old veteran. Since leaving us, Ellis has been honing his craft at the Olympic Training Center (with Pete Kowalczuk, who didn’t wrestle due to injury) in Colorado Springs where he has established himself as the next great Greco prospect. This is an amazing accomplishment and we are very proud of Ellis.

Darius Henry, soon to be a household name in Illinois wrestling, and Sammy Brooks leave tomorrow to defend Team Illinois’ 2009 Cadet (15 -16 years old) National Greco-Roman Championship. Darius is a new comer to Team Illinois and Sammy will be the captain of this year’s team. Good luck Huskies!

(Follow the team duals on Trackwrestling: Sammy and Darius with IL Greco | Sammy with IL Freestyle)


Car Wash-

The annual Car Wash will be this Saturday, June 19th, from 9 AM – 1:00 PM. We hope to retain our status as slightly below average car washers and great fundraisers. Please come out and support the Huskies. We will be washing cars on the corner of Scoville and Erie.

Summer League-

We have entered a summer league for our high school age wrestlers. It starts tomorrow night, the 15th. We will be leaving from the alley at 5 PM.

OPRF Summer Camp-

If you still need to sign your wrestler up for our summer camp, you can do so at the athletic office of the HS between 8 AM – 3 PM weekdays.

Lifting –

We are weight lifting each M,W, F at 8:30 AM. All wrestlers are expected to be there and get strong with/like coach Messer (awesome beard optional).

In Relentless Pursuit,

The Huskie Wrestling Staff



Niall Collins, former Huskies head coach, immortalized by OPRF
Former football and head wrestling coach accepts school's call to hall · 06/14/2010

(Photo by Jon Langham, Sun-Times Media)

Niall Collins, selected to be a grand marshal at the 2009 IHSA Individual State Wrestling Tournament and previously selected to the St. Patrick High School Hall of Fame, was honored by Oak Park & River Forest High School on Sunday, June 6.  Niall was chosen to be added to a prestigious, and newly revived, tradition at OPRF.  Niall was one of three new members of the high school's Coaches Hall of Fame.  Niall's efforts throughout the years have been substantial, coaching for 22 years in football and wrestling.  He was the Huskies head wrestling coach from 1994-2004. 

"I appreciate the honor," Niall said of his selection.  We appreciate you more, Coach Collins.

Read more | Forest Leaves | Wednesday Journal



World Team Trials, 2nd Chance, and Northern Plains, oh my!
 Michael Woulfe the lone Huskie champion in these three recent tournaments · 06/05/2010

Here are the Huskie/Little Huskie results from the last week of tournament action:

May 28-29 | FILA World Team Trials | Nick Dardanes (60 kg / 132.25 lb) | 2nd Place

May 29 | IL Cadet Freestyle Nat'l Team 2nd Chance Qualifier | Maurice Wilson (119) | 3rd Place

May 29 | IL Cadet Freestyle Nat'l Team 2nd Chance Qualifier | Sam Koenigsburg (125) | 2nd Place

May 29 | IL Cadet Greco Nat'l Team 2nd Chance Qualifier | Donald Hicks (125) | 2nd Place

May 29 | IL Cadet Greco Nat'l Team 2nd Chance Qualifier | Michael Woulfe (152) | 1st Place

May 29 | Northern Plains Schoolboy Freestyle Regionals | Matt Kleinkopf (112)

May 29 | Northern Plains Schoolboy Greco Regionals | Matt Kleinkopf (112) | 6th Place

You can view these results and more posted in our 2010 Offseason page.

Here is more information about Matt Kleinkopf, the lone Little Huskie at Northern Plains:

Matt Kleinkopf, River Forest, age 12, as a member of Team Illinois, placed 6th in the Kid’s Northern Plains U.S. Regional Greco-Roman Wrestling Championships in Rochester, MN, in the Schoolboy Division Age 12-14, 112 lbs, on 6/4/10. Northern Plains is one of six U.S. Regional’s and hosts Kid’s Greco-Roman and Freestyle state champions and place winners from IL, IA, NE, WI, MN, ND, and SD. Matt qualified for Kid’s U.S. Regional’s by earlier placing 4th in Illinois Greco-Roman State on 5/15/10 at OPRFHS, Oak Park, and also earlier placed 4th in Illinois Freestyle State on 5/1/10 at The University of Illinois, Champaign.



State of affairs: Greco State nets more Huskie success
 OPRF secures double digit medalists in its home Field House · 05/16/2010

The string of mats prepares for Saturday's action.

This past weekend, May 15-16, Oak Park & River Forest High School hosted the Illinois Greco-Roman state championships.  Many of the young Orange & Blue competed, with strong results.

Here are the competing wrestlers, along with any medals:

Little Huskies wrestlers included Jaleel Hollingswoth (4th - Novice 70), Brian Holloway (3rd - Novice 90), Jerry Johnson-Reyes (Schoolboy 91), and Matt Kleinkopf (4th - Schoolboy 112).

Big Huskies included Cadets: Anthony Felix-Reyes (112), Cameron Harris (112), Darius Henry (2nd - 112), Donald Hicks (119), Maurice Wilson (4th - 125), Sam Koenigsberg (6th - 125), Jake O'Mara (5th - 130), Colin Rogers (3rd - 135), Brandon Beltran (140), Arlo Sheridan (5th - 140), Ivan Castro (4th - 152),  Michael Woulfe (6th - 152), Terry Martin (6th - 160), Joe Ariola (6th - 160), Mike Disher (160), Sam Brooks (2nd - 171), Marq Brumant (2nd - 285), and Elijah Thompson (3rd - 285).

Big Huskies included Juniors: Robert Manolo (4th - 98), Andrew Sparks (112), Milan Stambolic (145). and Kris Ellis (189)

If I you know OPRF names that should be added or subtracted from the above lists, please email me.

View the results on Trackwrestling!



Champaign redux: Huskies storm Freestyle State
 Seven Huskies place, several put up strong showings · 05/02/2010

Little Huskies wrestlers included Jaleel Hollingswoth (Novice 70), Jerry Johnson-Reyes (Schoolboy 91), and Matt Kleinkopf (Schoolboy 112).

Big Huskies included Cadets: Anthony Felix-Reyes (112), Cameron Harris (112), Darius Henry (112), Maurice Wilson (125), Donald Hicks (125), Sam Koenigsberg (125), Arlo Sheridan (135), John O'Mara (135), Terry Martin (152), Michael Woulfe (152), Joseph Ariola (171), Sam Brooks (171), Jamaal Bovell (189), Marq Brumant (285), and Elijah Thompson (285).

Big Huskies included Juniors: Milan Stambolic (152) and Kris Ellis (215).

Congratulations to the medalists! | Matt Kleinkopf (4th - Schoolboy 112), Cameron Harris (5th - Cadet 112), Sam Koenigsberg (6th - Cadet 125), Michael Woulfe (5th - Cadet 152), Sam Brooks (1st - Cadet 171), Joe Ariola (5th - Cadet 171), Marq Brumant (5th - Cadet 285).

If I you know OPRF names that should be added or subtracted from the above lists, please email me.

View the results on Trackwrestling!



The ultimate pride: May 14 fundraiser for Steven Shupe ('87)
 Show your support for former OPRF wrestler in this critical time · 05/06/2010

May 14 (Fri) | 7:30 pm - 10:30 pm | Skrine Chops (Forest Park, IL) | All-you-can-drink | $60 donation

Former wrestler Steven Shupe (OPRF CLASS OF 87) had an unfortunate turn of events recently when he found out he had brain cancer.  The cancer was on the Front Lobe of his Brain so the doctor was able to remove the cancer tumor with minimal disturbance.  As everyone can imagine the daily medical cost are extremely expensive.  He is currently undergoing Chemo and Radiation on a daily basis.  A fund raiser has been put together to help pay some of these bills.  You can help by drinking a few beers on May 14th at 7230 Madison Street (SKRINES) in Forest Park from 7:30 pm to 10:30 (All you can drink).  A 60 dollar donation will be collected at the door.  A lot of people we graduated with will be there as well as friends and family.

--HAVE A GOOD TIME---DRINK----AND SUPPORT SHUPE | More information on Skrine's

If you are unable to attend the fundraiser, or if you would like to make a contribution in your own chosen amount, you may send a check.

Checks payable to:

Stephen Shupe Trust

Mailing address:

TCF National Bank
c/o Kathy Bertany
Attn: Stephen Shupe Trust
One West Devon Ave
Park Ridge, IL 60068


Little Huskies families, please return your singlets

Please return your Little Huskies wrestling singlets to Coach Matt.  Here is his message:

Little Huskies and Parents,

Thanks to everyone who has returned their singlets so far.

There are still 49 Little Huskie singlets out there. The replacement cost of the singlets is $60 each.  If we have to replace the 49 singlets, it will cost the club $2940.00.

If you haven't returned your singlet yet, please bring it to 412 South Grove.  There is a marked box and a sign in sheet.  Don't forget to leave your name so I can update the records.

We have a list of everyone who has been loaned a singlet, but I work and don't have time to go to each house and pick up the singlets.  Please take the time to drop it off.

Coach Matt



IWCOA banquet honors two Huskies

Two Huskies were recognized at the Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association All-State Banquet.  The banquet was held on Sunday, April 26, 2010.

OPRF Award Winners | View full list of award winners

Bronze Recognition: Nick Dardanes (2 time state champion)
Ken Gerdes III Memorial Foundation Leadership Recipient: Charlie Johnson

Congratulations, gentlemen!



FILA Fever: ASICS FILA Jr. Nationals with Huskie flavor
 Ellis Coleman and Nick Dardanes take 1st, other Huskies participate · 04/22/2010

Ellis Coleman has been working to take the Greco world by storm.  It isn't difficult due to his abilities.  Ellis recently won the ASICS FILA Jr. Nationals Greco championship at 66 kg / 145.5 lb.  Congratulations, Ellis!

Also in the Greco tournament, former Huskie "Greedy" Lillashawn Coleman placed 3rd in the 55 kg / 121.25 lb bracket.  He fell in his first match, but Greedy came back to dominate the rest.  Ethan Moes, another OPRF graduate, did not place but put up a very respectable 1-2 record against tough competition.

In the Freestyle tournament, Chris Dardanes and Nick Dardanes competed at 60 kg / 132.25 lb.  Nick Dardanes came out unscathed as the champion!  Congratulations, Nick!  Chris defeated a monster of an opponent in Tony Ramos in the championship bracket but was eliminated after losing to two outstanding wrestlers on his side of the bracket.

ASICS Fila Junior Nationals results
Greco Freestyle
Lillashawn Coleman (3rd at 55 kg / 121.25 lb)
Ethan Moes (DNP at 60 kg / 132.25 lb)
Ellis Coleman (1st at 66 kg / 145.5 lb)
Lillashawn Coleman (DNP at 55 kg / 121.25 lb)
Nick Dardanes (1st at 60 kg / 132.25 lb)
Chris Dardanes (DNP at 60 kg / 132.25 lb)
Ethan Moes (DNP at 63 kg / 138.75 lb)
ASICS U.S. Open results
Greco Freestyle
Ellis Coleman (4th at 66 kg / 145.5 lb) [none]


Huskie highlights: wrestlers past, present, future in the news


OPRF alumnus John Guira (state champion, 1981) is featured in two archived videos found online.

Video 1 | John is competing in a Freestyle match in a USA vs. USSR dual (date unknown)
Video 2 | John is competing in the 1988 Freestyle Final Olympic Qualifier

OPRF alumnus Ellis Coleman is featured in USA Wrestling Video.

2009 graduate Ellis Coleman, OPRF's all-time winningest wrestler, is featured in a video posted on USA Wrestling's website.  Ellis continues to train in Colorado Springs, Colorado, at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.

View video with Ellis | You can view Ellis's face in the video.

OPRF alumnus Brad Bolen wins Judo Pan American gold.

Recent graduate Brad Bolen steamrolls competition to win Judo Pan American gold in the 66 kg division on April 10.  The Pan Am games took place in El Salvador.   This 21-year-old continues to achieve against the best competitors.

View article about Brad | A picture of Brad from the tournament is below.

Click to enlarge (Photo by Chris Skelley)


Several Huskies were named to the 2009-2010 The Doings/Pioneer Press All-area Team:

First Team | Chris Dardanes (135), Nick Dardanes (140), Sam Brooks (160), Ben Brooks (189)
Second Team | Charlie Johnson (152)
Wrestler of the Year | Nick Dardanes (140)

Sam Brooks competes in national all-star dual tournament.

OPRF sophomore Sam Brooks, 2010 IHSA state champion at 160 pounds, helped the premier Illinois team to a national title in Folkstyle duals.  On April 16-17, Sam helped Illinois Navy to the NWCA/BRUTE Scholastic Duals championship.

Sam also had a chance to visit his old elementary school in District 97 (Oak Park).  Sam celebrated spelling with a great group of youngsters.

View more about Sam's visit | A picture of Sam, and the OPRF Huskie, is below.

Click to enlarge (Photo by OPRF staff)


OPRF High School is offering a youth summer camp from July 12-17 from 1 to 3 pm. 

The cost is $60.00.  In the summer camp book handed out by the school, they list the price as $100; that's a misprint.  The actual retail price is $60.  You can register on-line until June 11.  Just go to  Under QUICK LINKS look for Online Payments.  Walk in registration will occur from May 31 until June 11.  There is no mail in registration.

Little Huskie Drew Matticks represents Illinois in national tournament.

Drew Matticks has been selected to represent Illinois at 95lbs. at the AAU National Elementary School Team Duals in Kingsport, TN on April 16-18, 2010.  He will join other top youth wrestlers from the state who have been assembled as "Team Illinois United."  Good luck to Drew and the team!



Next four Wednesdays (4/21-5/12) are "Open Room" at OPRF HS
April 21, April 28, May 5, May 12 will host "Open Room" Wednesdays · 04/14/2010


Here is el jefe's announcement, hot off the presses:

Coaches, parents, and wrestlers,

OPRF will be hosting an “open room” on Wednesday nights for the following dates: April 21st, April 28th, May 5th and May 12th.  This is the same thing we did last year and it was hugely successful, a great way to prepare for freestyle and Greco state.  We will be reffing matches on 4 mats.  Wrestlers will be able to find partners of all varieties and abilities levels.  Greco and/or freestyle will be wrestled, chosen by the wrestlers.  Guys were wrestling between 3 and 8 matches last year.

Time: 6 – 8 PM
Location: OPRF wrestling room(s)
Cost: $5 per wrestler at the door

Singlets are not required, but preferred.

Contact coach Powell-
773 715 9952



Big Ten tandem: Chris and Nick Dardanes shine in Dream Dual
OPRF seniors hand defeats to senior national all-stars · 04/10/2010

Nick (left) and Chris (right) in late December 2009.

At the 14th annual Cliff Keen Dream Team Classic (held in Elmhurst, Illinois), both Chris and Nick Dardanes came to play.  They let their actions speak, and their actions shouted out in convincing victory.  Chris Dardanes wrestled first, defeating Ryan Nieman (Bullock Creek, MI) by a 6-4 overtime score.  Nick Dardanes followed by outpointing Frankie Porras (Hobart, IN) in a 7-3 tally.  Team Illinois, however, fell in the team battle.  Team USA won 8 of 13 bouts to win by a final score of 31-15.

Here is the box score (from the InterMat article):

112: Miko Villanueva (Dundee Crown, IL) dec. No. 5 Blake Thomas (Brentwood, TN), 9-4
285: No. 1 Michael McMullen (Wyoming Seminary, PA) pinned Andrew Ellington (Edwardsville, IL)
119: No. 1 Ryak Finch (Safford, AZ) dec. Logan Arlis (Batavia, IL), 8-4
215: No. 3 Trevor Rupp (Pocatello, ID) dec. Matt Dwyer (Hononegah, IL), 3-1 OT
125: No. 3 (at 130) Devin Carter (Christiansburg, VA) dec. Matt Bystol (Libertyville, IL), 13-7
189: No. 1 Mike Evans (Blair Academy, NJ) pinned Dan Santoro (Barrington, IL)
130: No. 10 Keith Surber (O'Fallon, IL) dec. No. 1 Frank Cagnina (Queen of Peach, NJ), 6-2
171: Andy Spangler (Neuqua Valley, IL) dec. Michael Duckworth (Union County, IN), 8-6
135: No. 8 Chris Dardanes (Oak Park River Forest, IL) dec. No. 2 Ryan Nieman (Bullock Creek, MI), 6-4 OT
160: No. 1 Marshall Peppelman (Central Dauphin, PA) dec. Joe Strocchia (Hinsdale Central, IL), 8-2
140: No. 4 Nick Dardanes (Oak Park River Forest, IL) dec. Frankie Porras (Hobart, IN), 7-3
152: No. 1 Dylan Alton (Central Mountain, PA) dec. Joey Moorhouse (Marengo, IL), 10-6
145: No. 1 Andrew Alton (Central Mountain, PA) maj. dec. Demetrios Mitchell (Hersey, IL), 22-13

Here was the event preview:

OPRF seniors Chris Dardanes and Nick Dardanes will wrestle with other Illinois senior standouts against Team USA: an all-star lineup of some of the nation's best senior wrestlers.  Team USA travels around the country each year, and this year it is traveling to Elmhurst College for a dual against Illinois this Saturday night.  Chris will wrestle at 135 against Ryan Nieman (Bullock Creek, MI).  Nick will wrestle at 140 against Chris Villalonga (Blair Academy, NJ).  All weight classes except 103 pounds will be wrestled this Saturday night.

Where | Elmhurst College (R.A. Fanagel Hall - 221 Walter St., Elmhurst, IL)  Google Map
Time |
Saturday, April 10, at 7:00 PM
Admission |
  $10.00 general admission
Flyer | Flyer

Also this weekend: OPRF alum Ellis Coleman is competing in the ASICS University Nationals - Men's Freestyle tournament.  He is wrestling in the 70 kg / 154.25 lb bracket.  Follow his action here: Tournament on Trackwrestling.  Ellis finished the Freestyle tournament in 8th place.  Not bad for a freshman.

Earlier in the week, Ellis Coleman took 3rd in the Greco tournament at 66 kg / 145.5 lb bracket.



Bubbles and flo: Ellis Coleman wins bronze, Chris Dardanes silver
Ellis Coleman medals in Junior International; Chris Dardanes earns 2nd place in Flonationals tourney · 03/28/2010

Ellis Coleman (left) and Chris Dardanes (right) are in their orange and blue. (Archived photos)

To the top: OPRF alumnus Ellis "Bubbles" Coleman earned a bronze medal in the Junior International Greco competition this past weekend in Bulgaria.  He wrestled in the 66 kg/145.5 lb division.  Ellis joined the USOEC after graduating from OPRF.  Congratulations, Ellis!  View the USA Wrestling article.

Ready, set, Flo!: OPRF senior Chris Dardanes took 2nd in the first annual Flonationals tournament held in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.  Chris wrestled at 135 pounds.  I know it's not the ending he would have wanted, but he deserves a lot of kudos for wrestling so well in this national tournament.  Congratulations, Chris!

Here is the tournament lead in:

Chris Dardanes and Nick Dardanes will wrestle in the inaugural Flonationals wrestling tournament in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.  Chris will wrestle at 135 pounds, and Nick will wrestle at 140 pounds.  Day 1 begins Friday, March 26; seeded wrestlers begin on Day 2.  The tournament concludes on Sunday, March 28 (Day 3).  The Illinois entrants in Chris's bracket are Mikey Avelar of Brother Rice and Luke Smith of Wheeling.  Stephen Robertson of Montini will also wrestle in Nick's bracket.  Follow the tournament!

Updated (03/26/10): Seeds have been released, and Chris Dardanes (135 pounds) is seeded #2.  View the Flowrestling seeds.  Previous registrants Nick Dardanes (OPRF), Stephen Robertson (Montini), and Luke Smith (Wheeling) will not wrestle at the Flowrestling tournament. 



Spring fever: OPRF High School hosts Greco & Freestyle club
Club boasted 19 state qualifiers, including 8 state place-winners, during the 2010 IHSA series · 03/18/2010

OPRF HS once again touts its spring Freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling club.  Practices are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-8 PM in the wrestling room (Field House balcony).  The wrestler's fee is $60.  In addition, a USA Wrestling card needs to be purchased.  The first workout was Tuesday, March 16.

Here's the message from the OPRF Wrestling Coaching Staff:

Coaches wrestlers and parents,

We would like to invite you to join our Freestyle and Greco-Roman club @ OPRF high school.  We practice each Tuesday and Thursday from 6-8 PM in the wrestling room at OP (located in the balcony of the fieldhouse).  Our first workout will be March 16th.  Club fee for the entire spring, thru the 2nd chance qualifier, will be $60 -- which includes a t-shirt.  Further, each wrestler will need to purchase a card from USA wrestling.  You can download the form for the card at  Look to the left under "forms."

Our history:

We started this club as a very inexpensive alternative for local kids to find a variety workout partners, learn technique, and have fun.  What started small has grown, and last year's results speak for themselves.  Illinois had four junior national champions last year, all of whom were from our club.  Further, a total of 11 national dual team members, 9 Fargo All-Americans, and 21 Fargo qualifiers worked out with us last year.  19 members of our club qualified for the IHSA state tournaments.  At the state tourney, we had 3 champs, 2 thirds, and 3 other place winners.  And we did this all while having a blast, never forgetting our mission.

Each year we rename our club.  In the past we have been called -- regulation, un club muy especial de lucha libre, club sensitivity, and Count Dante's black dragon fighting society.  Last year was so successful that this year's name is a dove tail, Count Dante's Inferno.

In Relentless Pursuit,
The Staff of Count Dante's Inferno



Tourneys, duals, and more, oh my!: Huskies still competing
Darius Henry, Mike Woulfe wrestle in frosh-soph state; Ben Brooks earns win; Dardanes wait · 03/16/2010

Ben Brooks wrestles in the IL/IN Duel.
(Photo by Jeff Pape -

OPRFers Darius Henry and Mike Woulfe took part in the frosh-soph (freshman-sophomore) state championships that were held over the weekend in Springfield, IL.  In order to be eligible, wrestlers needed to be a freshman or sophomore this past season who did not make the IHSA individual state tournament.  Furthermore, wrestlers needed to advance through a regional and sectional prior to state.  Neither wrestler placed, but both wrestled Huskie Style.

For more information on frosh-soph state, click: team illinois | completed brackets

Senior Ben Brooks was a part of the 17th Annual 2010 Illinois vs. Indiana All-Star Duel.  It took place at Hinsdale South H.S. (Darien, IL) on Sunday, March 14.  Ben scored a thrilling 9-7 overtime victory over his Indiana opponent to help his team to a 35-18 Illinois dual victory.  Indiana defeated Illinois in the other dual. 

For more information on the IL/IN duals, click: results | pictures

Twin state champions Nick and Chris Dardanes will wrestle in the upcoming Dream Team Classic to be held in Elmhurst, IL.  A national team of All-Star high schoolers will compete with a lineup of Illinois' best.  The dual will take place on Saturday, April 10, at Elmhurst College in Elmhurst.  The event will begin at 7:00 pm.

For more information on the Dream Team Classic, click: lineups | discussion



One for the money, two on the show: Dardanes duo in the media
Mike Powell also featured on CBS morning show as Chris and Nick discuss state titles, wrestling · 03/07/2010

OPRF wrestlers Chris and Nick Dardanes, along with head coach Mike Powell, were featured on the CBS morning program "Monsters and Money in the Morning" this past Friday, March 5.

The segment lasted greater than six minutes, and you can view the interview on the internet.

To view the video:

  1. Go to the Monsters and Money in the Morning homepage.

  2. Click on the Search Box to the top right and type in the word "twins."

  3. Select the video that is titled "Twin brothers win wrestling championship."


Early success: Frosh/Soph state in full swing
Local sectional at Proviso East on Sunday; state is in Springfield · 03/04/2010

Team Illinois

The IHSA wrestling season has concluded, but there are several wrestling opportunities available for high schoolers in the coming weeks and months.  One such event is Frosh/Soph state.

This individual tournament is sponsored by Team Illinois High School Wrestling Coaches Alliance.  To qualify for the local regional, wrestlers must be a high school freshman or sophomore during the 2009-2010 school year.  Furthermore, only freshman or sophomores who did not qualify for IHSA individual state are eligible.  Wrestlers who advanced to individual regionals or sectionals (but not to state) are eligible.

Due to OPRF's dual team state tournament advancement, OPRF frosh/soph entrants did not need to participate in this past weekend's regional tournament.  They advance to the individual sectional this Sunday.  The top three wrestlers in each weight class advance to state (Springfield, IL).  Unlike the IHSA, there are eight individual sectionals across the state.

To learn more about this tournament, visit Team Illinois.

Here are the details for Sunday's sectional tournament:

Where | Proviso East High School - 807 First Ave., Maywood, IL, 60153
When | Sunday at 9:00 am
Advancement | Top 3 in each weight class



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