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News Archive - Most Recent News Is at the Top

2011-2012 Regular Season


Conference call: Huskies take a bite out of the WSC

Junior Varsity | Junior Varsity took 3rd out of 14 - The Junior Varsity Huskies took third at the Junior Varsity West Suburban Conference Wrestling Tournament on Saturday. The Huskies were led by championship performances by Ben Sisler (126), Mike Roeser (145), Darion Young (138), and Dom Peel (HWT).

Sophomore | Sophomore took 5th out of 14 - The Sophomore Huskie Wrestling Team took 5th out of 14 Teams at the West Suburban Conference Wrestling Tournament. The Huskies were led by Joe Robles (106) and Will Osborne (195) who took 1st Place in their respective weights

Freshman | Freshman took 1st out of 8 - The Freshman Huskies closed out their season by winning the Freshman West Suburban Conference wrestling tournament on Saturday. The Huskies had 10 wrestlers in the finals with 6 wrestlers taking home the championship: Ben Wilson (126), Max Metzgar (132), Andrew Borgdorff (138), Jonathan Duong (145), Ben Bergen (160), and David Beacom (220).



Huskie hits: For those who want a little more...

Here are a few more finds you may enjoy....

Conference Tournaments | The season ended today for non-Varsity wrestlers with conference tournaments. More information on the results of these tournaments will be posted when available. We do have some news....The freshman team scored 6 champions at the conference meet today! Congratulations! Two links to pictures from this event are below.

Freshman Pics | Jonna Borgdorff has done an incredible job a picture perfect photographer this year. To set your sights further on the unblemished Freshman team, jump to the photo set by clicking on the event links below:

Michael Woulfe's Journey | OPRF Wrestling senior Michael Woulfe was highlighted in a recent article in the Forest Leaves. Read the recent article on this impressive young man -- and some of the very impressive people around him.

Nick Dardanes, WOTW | Minnesota Golden Gopher and former OPRF Huskie Nick Dardanes was named Minnesota's Wrestler of the Week on January 25. Enjoy the candid interview.



Silver sluggers: Huskies tee off on York 49-12 to win conference
OPRF finishes 6-0 against WSC-Silver opponents; Freshman also sweeps to title · 01/26/2012

Coming up roses: Mike Powell proudly speaks of the senior class. (photos by BT)

Tonight's evening didn't quite have the same allure as an LT-OPRF battle for the conference title, but York came into tonight with a higher ranking, #24. It was also Senior Night, and recognition was had for a baker's dozen of OPRF fourth years.

The Action | We commenced at 285 with a flurry of Huskie related victories: Marq Brumant (major), Joe Robles (tech), Matt Rundell (major), and Larry Early (major). The 126 pound match was a goodie with Honorable Mentions Johnny Gahagan and Brandon Kupczyk locking horns. Johnny scored a near fall-3 to lay the groundwork for a hard fought 10-4 decision victory. OPRF was awarded forfeit victories at 132 (Cameron Harris) and 138 (Mike Roeser). #11 ranked (at 138) Colin Rogers bumped up in technical fall fashion to extend the team tally to 37-0. York's first points came on the board when JP Finan won via default at 152. Next, the Huskies reeled off three more: Michael Woulfe (fall), Joe Ariola (minor), and Corey Cepak (minor). Corey wrestled himself a great match. The last two bouts were barnburners, but the Dukes took victories at 195 (with Noah Fleckenstein) and 220 (with Joe Giordano). Slammin' Sammy took in the dual in the role as #1 bench cheerleader.

The Freshmen | The Phenomenal Freshman kept bulldozing the competition. These young men have blitzed every team they've come across this year. Tonight was no different; the Freshman squad won handily by a score of 78-9. Yep, 78-9. The freshmen, like their elder brothers, swept through the West Suburban Silver Conference. Not only that, this assembly line of talent went undefeated on the year. Don't tune away in the next few years, folks.

The Seniors | As mentioned, this was Senior Night. We celebrate their contributions, growth, and future, but we also recognize the families that help tirelessly for their sons and daughters, as well as for this incredible program. The recognized seniors are: Elle Bakke (manager), Marq Brumant, Jamaal Bovell, Sam Brooks, Michael Woulfe, Colin Rogers, Mike Roeser, Cameron Harris, Dominique Peel, Jacob Friesen, Ty Fleming, and Tess Egan (manager).




Shaken and stirred: OPRF succumb to Montini 37-24
Huskies manage six wins in battle of top tier teams · 01/25/2012

First, teams lined up, and then wrestlers (Drew Vrbanec and Colin Rogers). (photos by BT)

Before we get to the nitty-gritty, let's put it all in perspective. This dual was a gift. Just the fact that we're among the top rungs in the ladder is a fact that many, many, teams cannot say. Before we let the tears fall, let's remember that we are traversing roads that may never be found by other schools and teams. Let's also remember that our eyes are still on the prize: the IHSA Class 3A Dual Team State Championship. And, in a magical triple, let's finally remember that we have amazing coaches, athletes, parents, and fans. No matter whatever may happen, we win at being ourselves and living life Huskie Style.

The Dual | I imagine you'll read, see, and hear a ton about this dual, and I'll throw my perspective in the fold as well. Many fans came out, but somehow, I expected more. The cameras were there, along with top notch dedicated individuals to cover all of the action.

The Huskies won the coin toss and chose evens before the first bout. And then:

Weight Matchup OPRF Montini
126 Johnny Gahagan vs. Michael Sepke    
  Sepke pushed the pace early and often and had visions of a major victory before Johnny's last second takedown to push the bout into minor territory. It was a big lift for the Huskies early.   3
132 Cameron Harris vs. Chris Garcia    
  Cameron fell behind early but battled back to make a game of it. In the end, Garcia was too strong: 13-10.   6
138 Colin Rogers vs. Drew Vrbanec    
  This was a battle of attitude. If points were given on attempts, Colin would have had his hand raised. Vrbanec scored on Colin's shots, and this chippy bout continued Montini's winning ways.   9
145 Mike Roeser vs. Xavier Montalvo    

Mikey gave it all he could, fighting off a few near fall attempts before falling late in the second period. The 15 point lead could have been too much early.

152 Davonte Mahomes vs. John Sullivan    
  OPRF could have used a better result, but Davonte scored a major decision over a scrappy Sullivan of Montini. 4  
160 Michael Woulfe vs. Mike Maduko    
  This was a scoreless battle at the end of the first before firmly moving to Woulfie's side. Michael scored a nice five point move before dominating on top for an OPRF ovation pinfall victory. 10  
170 Joe Ariola vs. Conor Winel    
  Joey flat out took a match we needed to have with 10 third period points. Winel's spirit was damaged at the end. After the bout, unbeknownst to both table scorers, the referees docked a team point from the Huskies for unsportsmanlike conduct. 12  
182 Andre Lee vs. Jake Turk    
  Turk looked experienced and under control, while Andre appreaded a little of the opposite. Andre's a sophomore, remember, and next time he'll be better prepared to be on the big stage.   19
195 FFT vs. Anthony Ferraro    
  To have any hope, Sammy needed to wrestle here. Unfortunately, a healing ankle to be ready for state is more important than a six minute challenge. From here on out, the dual was all about the individuals that would toe the line.   25
220 Emonte Logan vs. Edgar Ruano    
  Ruano looked a much more physically mature wrestler walking out onto the mat. He controlled a first period before scrambling to an effective fall victory in the second.   31
285 Marq Brumant vs. David Sarkan    
  This bout was a little slow going, but Marq led in takedowns three to none. Sarkan fought for awhile but met his end in the second. 18  
106 Matt Rundell vs. Tommy Pawelski    
  Marquee match #1: The Dvorak 2nd and 3rd place winners combated one another. This bout was a pick 'em on the internet, but Rundell being able to score a takedown and then ride to end the second was huge. "Runaway" with a 7-4 decision. 21  
113 FFT vs. Jordan Laster    
  The Huskies didn't have anyone to fit in this spot. It's as simple as that.   37
120 Larry Early vs. KeVon Powell    
  Marquee match #2: This is the Dvorak match that did happen. In the first exchange, Powell won 3-1 in overtime. In this one, Larry earned a first period escape due to a second injury timeout. It proved to be the difference in a furiously fought bout: 4-3. 24  
  Final Score 24 37

Watch the Replay Broadcast | If you like, remember that Illinois Matmen streamed a live broadcast of the dual. To find out more, go to this forum thread. IM also said that they hope to put high quality matches on YouTube in the coming days.

What's Next | No time to sit and relax -- York is calling on Thursday night! Come out on Senior Night! Huskies have a chance to wrap up conference, both on Varsity and Freshman levels.



El Clasico: Huskies visit Montini Broncos tonight
#1 (3A) OPRF travels west to battle #1 (2A) Montini · 01/24/2012


Earlier this season, head coaches Mike Powell and Israel Martinez thought, "Why not?" Martinez and the rest of his Montini Broncos will play host tonight, Wednesday, in a dual of top-ranked (by Illinois Matmen) squads. This is only a battle of Varsity, but these two Varsity teams are thick on talent.

Be There | The Varsity dual will begin at 6:30 pm, so don't be late. In attendance should be many, many fans with rooting interest. Some will root for the Broncos. Others will cheer on the Huskies. More still will celebrate dual wrestling on perhaps its highest stage.

Watch the Live Broadcast | Just today it was reported that Illinois Matmen would stream a live broadcast of the dual. Tune in around 6:30 pm. If you can't make it to the gym, well, this is the next best thing. Cheer from afar!



Mirror images: Freshman and Varsity top home tourneys
In this busy weekend, reflection limited as Freshman top by 158.5 and Varsity by 74.5 · 01/21/2012

Gather 'round the gold: wrestlers huddle inside OPRF's field house for award-winning competition. (photos by BT)

The Huskies better be careful. If they make this two-for an annual tradition, they may not be able to have any teams accept the invitation to the tournament. On this successful day, the Freshman (8 champions) blasted the competition. OPRF's second Freshman entry (OPRF Blue) fared 7th in the 11 team tournament. The Varsity squad didn't run up the score like the freshmen, but they were head sand shoulders above (in order of finish) Lyons Township, Oswego, Minooka, Arrowhead, and others. Here is a closer look at some of the details:

Champions | Altogether, OPRF had 13 champions. There were 8 on Freshman: Savonne Bennette (120), Ben Wilson (126), Max Metzgar (132), Andrew Borgdorff (138), Jonathan Duong (145), Nate Godwin (152), Ben Bergen (160), and David Beacom (285). There were 5 on Varsity: Matt Rundell (106), Larry Early (120), Colin Rogers (138), Davonte Mahomes (152), and Sam Brooks (182).

Varsity | Varsity won the 3rd out of 4 tournaments this season; finishing only as a bridesmaid in the Dvorak tournament. If you remember, the Huskies were unable to field a full lineup at that tournament. On this Saturday, OPRF wrestled 13 wrestlers (no 113) who wrestled well against opponents from "the toughest little tournament in the state." There were a few bouts we could have had, but then again there were some we flat out took. The rundown:

Matt Rundell | 106 | 1st | "Runaway" Rundell continues to shine in the littlest of weights. Not only does he win matches in a runaway, but his opponents run away from the Huskie leader in falls.
Larry Early | 120 | 1st | Larry pinned a national-calibur wrestler from Wisconsin in the finals. Yep, folks, Andrew Crone of Arrowhead is very good.
Johnny Gahagan | 126 | 6th | As luck would have it, Johnny had a really tough bracket on the day. This sophomore has had some great contributions for us on the year, and I'm sure he's looking to add more.
Cameron Harris | 132 | 2nd | Cameron avenged his loss to AJ Villarreal (Lyons) before colliding with #7 ranked Conrad Bugay (Hersey) in the finals. Cam lost 5-4, and he was quicker than the referee expected.
Colin Rogers | 138 | 1st | Either at 138 or 145, Colin has done a more-than-formidable job. His win over Adam Yde (Aarowhead) is a statement victory.
Mike Roeser | 145 | 6th | Mike has stepped in for injured wrestlers this year and is gaining valuable experience. He is also giving abundances of Huskie heart.
Davonte Mahomes | 152 | 1st | This super soph continues to prove that he's one of the best 152 pounders in the state. His two losses are second on the team.
Michael Woulfe | 160 | 2nd | A senior leader, Michael pinned two en route to the finals. On this day, he couldn't overcome Hunter Rollins (Hersey) but made it a contest with a 13-8 score.
Joe Ariola | 170 | 2nd | Joey has made tremendous strides this year, but senior Jake Residori (Minooka) was simply too strong in the finals. It was Residori's second victory over Joe this year.
Sam Brooks | 182 | 1st | As expected, no match was in doubt for the top-ranked wrestler. Sam enters the last week of the regular season undefeated.
Andre Lee | 195 | 6th | Andre is a second year wrestler who has all of the tools. He is one of the strongest and most athletic Huskies in the bunch.
Emonte Logan | 220 | 1st | Emonte is five bouts above the .500 mark, and he is improving quickly. He has been solid in his sophomore campaign.
Marq Brumant | 285 | 3rd | Marq wasn't bothered by a first round loss to Adam Rodgers (Lyons). He shook it off to win the next three and take the consolation championship.

Writeup | Mack Bolen wrote up a quick review of the Varsity tournament (below). Also, you can visit the bracket.


OPRF 259.5
Lyons 185
Oswego 183
Minooka 176.5
Arrowhead (WI) 170
Ft Zumwalt West (MO) 141.5
Hersey 141.5
Argo 93
Morton 55
Riverside-Brookfield 17

106: Rundell OPRF WBF 2:55 Minor MIN
113: Callahan FZW 10-4 dec Schultz OSG
120: Ealry OPRF WBF :34 Crone AHD
126: Krischke FZW 7-0 dec Scales HER
132: Bugay HER 5-4 dec Harris OPRF
138: Rogers OPRF 6-4 dec Yde AHD
145: Oughton MIN TF Bates LT
152: Mahomes OPRF TF Berenz AHD
160: Rollins HER 13-8 dec Woulfe OPRF
170: Residori MIN TF Ariolla OPRF
182: Brooks OPRF 23-13 maj dec Morris MIN
195: Ryder AHD WBF :33 Day FZW ( to be fair, Day pinned himself)
220: Rodriguez MOR WBF 3:50 Logan OPRF
285: Flores OSG 6-2 dec Rodgers LT

Freshman | Was it ever a contest? As mentioned above, the freshmen bounced the competition for eight titles, including seven in a row (...death row...) from 120-160. Teammates squared off in the heavyweight finals as David Beacom (OP-Orange) outpointed Adam Lemke-Bell (OP-Blue). Here are all of the medal-placers:

92 | Mike Pace (3rd; OP-O), Chris Helm (4th; OP-B) 145 | Jonathan Duong (1st; OP-O), Jack Bauhs (6th; OP-B)
99 | Carter Rayburn (3rd; OP-O), Drew Swope (4th; OP-B) 152 | Nate Godwin (1st; OP-O)
106 | Jack Puhalovich (5th; OP-O) 160 | Ben Bergen (1st; OP-O)
113 | Ben Avis (2nd; OP-O) , Phil Garland (5th; OP-B) 170 | Josh Mitchell (3rd; OP-O)
120 | Savonne Bennette (1st; OP-O) 182 | None
126 | Ben Wilson (1st; OP-O) 195 | Nick Saleh (2nd; OP-O)
132 | Max Metzgar (1st; OP-O), Jack Newman (3rd; OP-B), Talmage Svehla (4th; OP-B) 220 | Riley State (2nd; OP-O)
138 | Andrew Borgdorff (1st; OP-O), Andrew Kibler (5th; OP-B) 285 | David Beacom (1st; OP-O), Adam Lemke-Bell (2nd; OP-O)

Work of Art | Yes, watching the Orange and Blue was a beautiful sight, but perhaps the real masterpiece was a work of "heart" by Halley Bergen, age 11. The image is of her brother, Ben, dominating on the mat. This drawing could be applied to most Huskie wrestlers on Saturday. Enjoy! For a better look, click on the image for a larger view of this majesty.


Hill of a good time: Huskies brave storm, storm Glenbard West
OPRF tallies a dozen bouts for 54-9 victory; event live-streamed on iHigh website · 01/20/2012

Dichotomy: Huskies were red hot amongst chilly Mother Nature. (photos by BT)

It's difficult to say what the #1 story was on Friday night. Was it the winter storm? Was it not knowing if the dual would take place? Was it the strong Varsity victory? Was it the downhill snowball known as OPRF Freshman wrestling? Or, was it the live video and audio feed...?

The #1 Huskies (16-2, 5-0 conference) won the first nine bouts and kept the Hilltoppers (now 2-3 in conference) at far arm's length on the night. The dual began at 170 pounds. The Huskies scored 5+ bout points in the first four bouts: Joey Ariola (tech. fall), Sam Brooks (fall), Andre Lee (fall), and Emonte Logan (fall). In a battle of two ranked heavyweights, Marq Brumant outpointed Brendan Gilligan of the Hilltoppers 7-4. Joe Robles (tech. fall) and Matt Rundell (major) raised their hands before a marquee bout at 120 pounds. Rodrick Smith, a Proviso West Panther of last season, dropped a weight class to battle Larry Early. In a close decision, Early scored the win 5-4. Johnny Gahagan won in the "fingernails match of the night" with a last second reversal to win 5-4 as well. In another highlight bout, Cam Harris and GW's Zak Hassan went toe to toe. Harris came on late but couldn't overcome Hassan, losing 9-7. The final Huskie wins went to Colin Rogers (tech. fall), Davonte Mahomes (tech. fall), and Michael Woulfe (decision). At 145 pounds, OPRF's Mike Roeser lost by fall to a surprisingly unranked Jack Carlson of the Hilltoppers.

And, did you have to even ask? The Freshman took care of "bidness" 66-30. The Junior Varsity's weren't so lucky (GW 37, JV1 27 - GW 62, JV2 30).

Archived Live Video/Audio Feed | Glenbard West live streamed the Varsity dual on iHigh. Yours truly (me!) was asked to assist on the audio commentary. I had a blast. Jeff Sojka of Glenbard West was the main play-by-play announcer, and I added some color. Click here to jump to the archived dual on iHigh. Jump through the intro videos (Junior Varsity) to get to Varsity. Watch it quickly; it may not be up for long!



No sleep required: Full weekend on tap
OPRF to host two events this weekend · 01/19/2012

This weekend is perhaps the biggest of the regular season for our beloved Huskies. There's a conference dual on Friday night followed by the annual home tourneys:

Friday | All levels travel to Glenbard West where the Varsity and Freshman try to remain undefeated in conference play. I believe that Freshman, JV1, and JV2 all begin at 6 pm. The Varsity squad will wrestle alone thereafter. The Hilltoppers are a rising team in our ultra-tough conference, and they ought not to be underestimated. Several strong bout matchups should develop.

Saturday | OPRF High School will host the Varsity and Freshman Huskie tournaments. The Varsity is set to entertain Ft. Zumwalt West (MO), Arrowhead (WI), Minooka, Lyons Township, Morton, Argo, Oswego, Riverside-Brookfield, and newcomer Hersey. The Freshman team slate is different; last year's tournament had Notre Dame, Morton, Niles West, Maine West, Loyola, Argo, Evanston, Riverside-Brookfield, and Brother Rice. Wrestling for both tournaments begins at 9. 

Sunday | The Susan P. Collins Memorial Little Huskies youth tournament will be run in the Field House. If you've never come out to one of these gems, book your ticket for 201 N. Scoville. Thank you if you're planning to volunteer. If your Sunday opens up, please help where you can.



Freshman big time: Youngsters deserve, get recognition
Wednesday Journal observes rising future as freshman dominance continues · 01/18/2012

Freshmen are all smiles at Hoffman Estates. (photo by Jonna Borgdorff)

From Wednesday Journal (1-17 Jump) | The OPRF freshman wrestling team remained undefeated after finishing first at the Hoffman Estates Tournament last week.

The Huskies scored 261.5 points to take first, while Lake Park (196.5) and McHenry (196) rounded out second and third respectively in the 11-team tournament.

OPRF had seven first place finishers, including Josh Mitchell (170-pound weight class), Nate Godwin (160), John Duong (152) , Andrew Borgdorff (138) , Max Metzgar (132), Ben Wilson (126) and SaVonne Bennette (120).

David Beacom (285) and Ben Avis (113) finished second for the Huskies.

Pictured are: Ben Bergen, Josh Mitchell, Ben Avis, Dave Beacom, Andrew Borgdorff, Nate Godwin, Nick Saleh, John Duong, Joe Pasternack, Riley State, SaVonne Bennette, Ben Wilson, Max Metzgar, Evan Thompson and coaches Jim Messer and Fred Arkin.

Champion Photos | To see the seven champions on the medal stand, click here.   Photos by Jonna Borgdorff.



Iowa City Pity: Huskies drop two to nationally ranked teams
OPRF can't keep up with Apple Valley (#4-Nat'l) or Iowa City West (#21-Nat'l) · 01/14/2012

On Saturday, the Huskies left the comforts of home (state) and met their toughest two opponents to date. OPRF fell to Apple Valley (Minnesota) and Iowa City West (Iowa) before defeating Marmion Academy (Aurora, IL). The Huskies lost by scores of 44-20 (to Apple Valley) and 38-29 (to Iowa City West). They defeated Marmion 71-12 in the last dual of the day. The losses were the first two this season for OPRF, ranked #30 nationally by Intermat. Apple Valley is currently ranked #4, and Iowa City West is ranked #21. Marmion Academy is not ranked nationally. OPRF's streak of 19 straight dual victories is snapped. The Huskies are now 15-2 (4-0) on the 2011-2012 campaign.

Illinois Streak Intact | The Orange and Blue still have a winning streak against Illinois teams. They have won 20 straight duals against Illinois schools. This streak will be put to a giant test next week when the Huskies travel to Lombard for a dual against AA-top ranked Montini. In other streaks, OPRF has won 1 (overall) and 6 (conference). The record for most overall duals won is 35.



Mane attraction: OPRF doubles up Lyons Township 42-21
Lions don't lie down as #1 OPRF wins 3 of 4 duals; Freshmen still unbeaten · 01/12/2012

Knick, quick, and thick (L to R): Iman Shumpert, Darius Henry, and a large crowd of onlookers. (photos by BT)

The end result of the OPRF-LT dual was never in question; it was clear that the Huskies would add another notch to the West Suburban (Silver) win column. If the Lions had won, the IHSA would likely have launched an investigation. Even so, in these rivalry tilts, one knows better than to know what to expect.

After the first 7 bouts, the Huskies led 31-0. With Matthew Rundell's forfeit (120), the Huskies had the dual locked up. The Lions wrestlers cared not about their team fate; they battled as individuals and won 5 of the last 6 contested bouts to leave with a little sweeter taste in their mouths than the Huskie faithful would have liked.

The dual started at 145 pounds where Colin Rogers continued his torrid pace en route to a tech fall victory. Davonte Mahomes followed Colin's feat precisely at 152. After a "W" by Woulfie, pins by Joey Ariola and Sammy Brooks continued the early onslaught. Next, the senior/sophomore combo of Jamaal Bovell and Emonte Logan took care of business. Now is when the interesting parts set in. Adam Rogers, an athletic heavyweight for LT, scored a 4-2 victory to put the Lions on the board. LT's Chris Letsinger controlled Huskie newcomer Evan Thompson for a major at 106. Darius Henry (who looks so good in those striped stockings) stalled the rally. LT blitzed the Huskies at the last three weights, with Carter Beebe outpointing a "wrestling up" Larry Early (#4 ranked at 120) and AJ Villarreal stunning Cam Harris with a go ahead takedown and pin in the final seconds at 132.

Lyons Township (and their battling individuals) should be commended for their fight. On this night, however, the Huskies were what the Lions were in last season's dual: just too strong. OPRF rises to 4-0 in conference while LT falls to 1-3.

On Saturday is a big quad in Iowa City versus Iowa City West, Marmion, and Apple Valley. Some fireworks will be had for sure.

Duals 2, 3, and 4 | The Huskies did well for themselves in the other duals. Junior Varsity 1 battled to a 48-30 victory, but Junior Varsity 2 fell in its matchup by a tally of 60-25. Team "Fab Frosh" clicked on all cylinders again and one-upped (or four-upped, if you follow) the Varsity squad by more than doubling their opponent, 58-27. These youngsters continue the season unblemished. Congrats to all the wrestlers for your efforts -- and for wrestling Huskie Style -- regardless of the outcome!



Huskie hits: Dardanes destruction, Freshmen frighten, Rival renewal, Home cookin', Beards-r-us, and Granite glance

Dardanes Destruction | University of Minnesota red shirt freshman and 2010 OPRF graduate Chris Dardanes has done excessive damage of late. On January 2, Chris won a 23-team tournament in Chattanooga, TN. Go to: TrackWrestling | Match Video. He also recently defeated #2 ranked Logan Stieber of Ohio State. Both he and his brother Nick are worth following on the college level.

Freshmen Frighten | The Freshman team continues to strike fear in each opponent. In fact, all opponents have succumbed to the Huskie bite. This past Saturday, the freshmen defeated three more at New Trier. With photos courtesy of Jonna Borgdorff, a sample of the many winners are:

Ben Wilson (120) Max Metzgar (132) John Duong (145) Nick Saleh (195)

You can witness these fabulous freshmen this coming Thursday against our familiar foe....

Rival Renewal | Lyons Township, our chief rival, will come calling this Thursday night. Come out as you're able. Last year's Lions team was the talk of the state, and tables have reversed this season. And besides, how often do you get to witness two head coaches with the same last name? Junior Varsities tangle at 6 pm with Varsity/Frosh following.

Home Cookin' | OPRF super mom Peggy Young is working to organize the hospitality room on January 21 for the Varsity/Freshman tournament. Please bring what you can, and contact Peggy with what you can bring. Also contact her with questions. Thank you for your support.

Beards-R-Us | As a show of support, coaches and fans have grown out beards to show support for the team. Just like in 2009, growing your facial hair will let our guys know you are behind them.

Granite Glance | As we move into the events listed above, let's take one look back at the Granite City trip. Enjoy both the travel down I-55 and up the team standings. A variety of pictures are included. Photos taken by Brian Tideman, webmaster. Click here to view the gallery.



Three time's the charm: Huskies win triple at Libertyville quad
#1 OPRF takes down St. Rita, #15 Libertyville, and Wheaton North · 01/07/2012

1-2-3: Andre Lee (vs. St. Rita), Sam Brooks (vs. Libertyville), and Michael Woulfe (vs. Wheaton N.).  (photos by BT)

OPRF (13-0, 3-0) drove to Chicagoland North to face three formidable squads.  While the squads were formidable, the fight just wasn't.  The top-ranked Huskies sped by the competition en route to three easy wins: 56-9 over St. Rita, 43-12 over Libertyville, and 52-21 over Wheaton North.

Cam Harris had a big day for the Huskies.  He defeated 3 ranked wrestlers by major and two decisions.  Jake O'Mara won his first three matches back from absence, including a win over #3-ranked (138) Tim Corse of St. Rita (by injury default).  Darius Henry returned to the lineup with a victory, and Larry Early (126) won a tough, close bout over the #7-ranked (120) Pat Fitzgerald of Libertyville.  Colin Rogers is proving he is tough at 138 and 145 with a pair of wins over ranked opponents.  Andre Lee and Emonte Logan are both showing amazing growth in their sophomore campaigns.  Emonte had the throw of the day, putting #2-ranked (220) Mike Swider of Wheaton North on his back before falling after an epic battle.  Dominique Peel dominated in his match to score a win in his first Varsity appearance.  All in all, the Huskies won 30 of 37 contested bouts (non-forfeits) against three ranked teams.

In the other three duals, the scores were: Libertyville def. St. Rita 39-17; Libertyville def. Wheaton North 42-14; and St. Rita def. Wheaton North 35-31.

Extra! Extra! | Read about the event on the Daily Herald: Libertyville meets its match in Oak Park.

#1 Huskie Fan? | Paul Voss (pictured at right, along with Libertyville head coach Dale Eggert and former OPRF head coach Norm Parker) is an Oak Park High School graduate who has been attending OPRF Wrestling events for the last 38 years.  As many of us have, he has fallen in love with the sport.  Paul, a resident of Elkhorn, Wisconsin, travels to many -- but understandably not all -- of the Varsity events.  Paul, we're honored to have your support!

Next Week's Road | Next week, the Huskies face rival Lyons Township (#25) at home on Thursday before embarking on a trip to Iowa City that has the makings of a blockbuster against Marmion, Iowa City West (IA), and Apple Valley (MN).  That quad is on Saturday in Iowa City.



Better than the West: #1 Huskies topple Panthers 66-9
Huskies lose one contested bout at host Proviso West · 01/05/2012

The OPRF faithful came out; Jamaal Bovell wins in OT.  (photos by BT)

One thing you can say is that Proviso West has talent.  That is for certain.  One thing you cannot say, however, is that Proviso West has numbers.  They just don't.  A perennial powerhouse in basketball, the wrestling team has struggled to put forth a full lineup.  Thursday's meeting only consisted of 5 contested bouts after 9 forfeits (eight by PW and one by OPRF).  The Huskies took all but one of these contested bouts.  The 160 match was a close affair, but Michael Woulfe couldn't overcome a sluggish start against Kenard Washington, losing 10-8.  Other contested winners for OPRF were Cameron Harris (decision), Sam Brooks (fall), Jamaal Bovell (decision-ot), and Emonte Logan (fall). 

Two notable bouts where wrestlers punched out victories Huskie Style were on Junior Varsity with Luke Pederson and Malik Brumant.  Both trailed early.  Luke withstood an explosion from his opponent in which he was on his back in the first few seconds.  He battled tough and scored a well earned fall over the PW opponent.  Malik worked his way into forcing overtime with a takedown and two back points in the last few seconds.  An overtime takedown gave Malik a well earned decision.  Congratulations, gentlemen!

Earlier in the day, OPRF (10-0, 3-0) was named the top ranked 3A school, per Illinois Matmen.

Varsity travels to Libertyville this coming Saturday.  The host Wildcats (#15) pose the toughest challenge, but honorable mentions St. Rita and Wheaton North can also be dangerous.



OPRF to visit Proviso West on Thursday
Several marquee bouts could emerge in conference tilt · 01/03/2012

The Proviso West Panthers are not the same team of one year ago.  Gone are pivotal seniors and leaders who made their squad a dangerous foe.  However, there remains talent that resides in Hillside.  OPRF will travel to unranked Proviso West on Thursday.  If you come out, you'll have a chance to witness the Huskie Freshman Fury as well.

Bouts to Watch | Despite the lack of some of the 2010-2011 talent, there are a few Panther wrestlers to watch.  Bouts that could emerge on Thursday (rankings as of 12-21): 160 lbs - Kenard Washington (#9) vs. Michael Woulfe (#8); 170 lbs - Shaq Pittman (HM) vs. Joe Ariola (HM); 182 lbs - Jameer Thurman (#8) vs. Sam Brooks (#2)



Wrecking crew: OPRF demolishes Granite City competition
Three 1st, three 3rd, and one 4th help pace Huskies to win by 86.5 pts · 12/30/2011

One happy family at G.C. (photo by Mike Powell)

Driving nearly five hours to the south is never fun...unless it's to an abundantly enjoyable tournament in Granite City!  As a fan, this tournament always satisfies.  As an OPRF fan, however, this weekend's tournament sizzled as the Orange and Blue worked as a cohesive and dominant unit en route to its second tournament title of the year.

Results (of 24) |

106 - Joe Robles (18th)
113 - Matthew Rundell (1st)
120 - Larry Early (3rd)
126 - Johnny Gahagan (6th)
132 - Cameron Harris (3rd)
138 - Colin Rogers (5th)
145 - Zach Pickering (12th)
152 - Davonte Mahomes (1st)
160 - Michael Woulfe (4th)
170 - Joe Ariola (3rd)
182 - Sam Brooks (1st)
195 - open
220 - Emonte Logan (7th)
285 - Marq Brumant (6th)


Entering day 2: Huskies atop standings with much to be settled

OPRF has wrestled very well thus far in the tournament.  The team has much yet to accomplish, but it leads all teams in scoring thus far.  Stay connected with the link below.

Follow the Action | Granite City Tournament on Trackwrestling



To the land down under: Huskies return to Granite City Dec 29-30
OPRF to combat 23 other teams in Illinois/Missouri clash · 12/28/2011

OPRF vs. 23 teams         Illinois / Missouri

The Granite City William "Red" Schmitt Holiday Tournament has quickly become a favorite for coaches, wrestlers, and fans alike.  In reverse order: the fans love two days of exciting action where each bout matters.  Furthermore, the matchups (oh, the matchups).  Wrestlers appreciate that they are guaranteed 8 matches in a full bracket.  They'll be wrestling both days regardless.  Coaches respect the growth that all wrestlers will get against talent up and down the totem pole.

Follow the Action | Granite City Tournament on Trackwrestling

This year's participating schools include:

1. Alton 0.0
2. Aurora (West) 0.0
3. Carbondale 0.0
4. Christian Brothers (Memphis) 0.0
5. Civic Memorial 0.0
6. Francis Howell Central 0.0
7. Francis Howell North 0.0
8. Ft. Zumwalt West 0.0
9. Granite City 0.0
10. Lincoln-Way West 0.0
11. McCluer North 0.0
12. McCluer South-Berkeley 0.0
13. Minooka 0.0
14. Mt. Zion 0.0
15. Neosho 0.0
16. Northwest 0.0
17. O`Fallon 0.0
18. Oak Park-River Forest 0.0
19. Staley (Oak Park) 0.0
20. Timberland 0.0
21. Triad 0.0
22. Washington 0.0
23. Whitfield 0.0
24. Willowbrook 0.0


Freshman festival: OPRF first years storming through competition
Don't blink; you might miss another quick OPRF Freshman victory · 12/27/2011

Above are two examples of OPRF's "fresh" start to 2011-2012.

Andrew Borgdorff (138) and Ben Avis (113) (both pictured) are 2 members of the currently undefeated freshman wrestling team. Most of the team also wrestled as Little Huskies. That experience seems to be paying off as they are taking the conference by storm.

The undefeated Varsity squad has gotten all of the "state" headlines thus far.  There's another group of wrestlers that ought to be recognized: the Freshman team.  This team is blazing competition at a torrid pace.  Undefeated and unmatched, this uber-talented collection of 2015 graduates has set a pace of effort, dedication, and success that possibly is unmatched in recent memory.  You may want to sneak away from Varsity events and take in a Freshman quad or tournament.  Show up early; you might miss a few quick bouts and wonder how high the score board will go.

Freshman Schedule | Jump to view



A fan's holiday gift: OPRF and Montini agree to wrestle on Jan. 25
Current #1 ranked Broncos (AA) and #2 ranked Huskies (AAA) to battle in Lombard · 12/25/2011

The fans received an extra special present this holiday season: a chance to watch two of the top teams in the state go toe-to-toe in late January.  Montini, winners of four straight team titles in class AA, and Oak Park & River Forest, representatives at two of the last three dual team state tournaments in AAA (including a 2008-2009 title), will combat each other in a dual that fans have been clamoring for in recent seasons.  There is much to be wrestled, and there are many highly talented squads in this great state, but this matchup will be a top test for participating schools.

Mark Your Calendars | January 25, 2011 at Montini (Lombard, IL)



Freshmen led: Huskies take trio of place-winners at Dvorak
Freshmen Matthew Rundell and Larry Early medal before senior Michael Woulfe earns 5th · 12/23/2011

Rundell in his championship bout. (photo by BT)

Due to a school calendar which included classes these past two days, OPRF was only able to send a limited roster to the Dvorak.  Among these, Matthew Rundell (106), Larry Early (120), and Michael Woulfe (160) all earned places on the medal stand for their efforts.  These Huskies finished 2nd, 3rd, and 5th respectively.  Both Rundell and Early waged wars against the eventual champions.  There are many threads on the Illinois Matmen forums, including videos to be posted on IM and on Badger State Wrestling.  Visit conversation on Illinois Matmen | Follow brackets

View these three from the medal stand | And of course, happy holidays to all!



Dvorak attack: Tough teams line up in "Granddaddy of them all"
Huskies prepare for third attempt at the Illinois super tournament · 12/19/2011

In 2010, OPRF fared just so-so in the Dvorak tournament at Harlem High School in Machesney Park.  Sam Brooks withdrew due to injury, but Darius Henry made himself a name to be feared en route to a runner-up finish.  The Huskies finished sandwiched in the exact middle: 15th.  As you can tell, this year's squad is its very own, and potential for improved results is great.  That being said, the Dvorak falls within the OPRF school calendar, and the lineup is yet to be determined.  Action takes place this Thursday and Friday.  Visit conversation on Illinois Matmen | Follow brackets



Waltz down Central: #2 Huskies upend #11 Red Devils 39-20
OPRF takes 9 of 14 bouts to nearly double up Hinsdale Central · 12/13/2011

Davonte Mahomes in action. (photo by Mack Bolen)

It was not another night at Route 201: Huskie Highway.  The Red Devils boast a formidable nucleus of talent.  The Huskies were well prepared (as they almost always are) for the war that would ensue.  But, it was a war nonetheless.  OPRF, winners of 13 duals in a row, put on a show of betterment to, in turn, better its record to 9-0 (2-0 in conference).

The dual began at 220 pounds.  Jamal Bovell "went up" and defeated J. Katovitz in a close one.  Marq Brumant fared well against the HC dynamo known as Brian Allen, but Marq was defeated in a proud effort.  The score was tied 3-3.  The Red Devils began hoping it was their night with another win at 103 pounds (tech).  OPRF was not swayed, reeling off 5 consecutive victories and 7 of 8.  Wins by Rundell (113), Henry, Gahagan, Harris, and O'Mara (138) put all but the writing on the wall.  Jimmy Grimm (HM at 145) stopped the momentary bleeding, but the Huskies kept on coming with a major and tech from Davonte Mahomes and Michael Woulfe, respectively.  The dual was out of reach.  In a highly anticipated matchup, TJ Sally won via injury default over OPRF's Joe Ariola.  The dual concluded with split decisions: Tosello 5-4 over Andre Lee and a technical fall for Sam Brooks.

On this night, the Freshman squad continued its torrid season.  They won 66-24.  It's hard to say whether Varsity or Freshman was the more impressive group.

Now, with some time of, Varsity prepares for the Dvorak tournament at Harlem High School next week.  Lineups are to be determined.



Planning a Devil of a good time: Hinsdale C. to visit Thursday
Conference frequent foe makes its way to 201 N. Scoville · 12/13/2011

Conference Clash of Titans | Hinsdale Central has been in the vision of Oak Park & River Forest for years now.  Yes, Lyons Township has been the focus, but the Red Devils have moved from far off in the periphery to right smack dab in our faces.  Hinsdale Central has been a rising program for some time.  This year is no different.  With a current #11 ranking (as of 12/08), the Devils have some muscle to flex.  Last year's highly touted squad didn't end where they anticipated (save one immediate legend in Jack Allen).  This year's collective group is also one of talent.  Against OPRF, this conference foe will put will and skill to the test.

HC boasts five ranked wrestlers as of 12/08: honorable mentions Tommy Ward (132), Jimmy Grimm (145), Ernest Battaglia (145), TJ Sally (170), and #2 Brian Allen (285).

The action is slated to take place in OPRF's West gym.  Be there or be square!!  Go Huskies!



Valley of the won: Huskies take three, but without full squad
OPRF defeats Neuqua Valley, Lake Park, and West Aurora; next up: Hinsdale Central · 12/11/2011

Michael Woulfe (photo by Mack Bolen)

A Squeaker with Neuqua | Without Glenbard North present, and with the first few weeks of the season unfolding as they have, most would expect OPRF to control the competition on Saturday in Naperville.  However, six starters were absent due to injuries and infections.  The Huskies persevered, being challenged only in the dual with the host Wildcats, winning 38-32.  In the other duals, OPRF (8-0, 1-0) downed Lake Park 47-25 and West Aurora 45-27.

Mack Bolen wrote a story about the quad and posted it on Illinois Matmen:

It was UGLY. OPRF had 6 starters out due to injury, illness, etc, which included Brooks, O'Mara, Henry, and Rogers but still managed to win all 3!

OPRF 38 NV 32: The Brooks vs Swier match-up never happened. Geers beat Brumant 7-0 at 285, and Mahomes WBF over Slavik at 152. Woulfe was pounding Hunt at 160 and ended up winning by Inj Def, Ariola won 4-2 over Parker at 170. All 3 of OPRF's JV fill-ins got pinned. Gahagan over Klein at 126, 8-2. NV forieted 106 all 3 duals and OPRF forfieted 120 in all 3 duals.

OPRF 47 LP 25: The Sewera vs Woulfe rematch didn't happen either. Sewera wrestled up at 170lbs and won a close match 4-3 over Ariola.

OPRF 45 WA 27: Jaquez got a FF at 145, the younger Jaquez WBF at 106. Cam Harris won 9-7 over Nathan Zinzer at 132lbs (good match). Mahomes won a bizzare 36-17 match at 152 that was stopped about 10 times and took about 20 minutes to complete; injury times, score problems, referee brain lock...and I am still trying to figure out how it took almost 10 minutes alone to fix a score that was actually 10-2, and went from 6-6, to 7-4, to 9-5, to 9-3, and finally 10-2. That was just the first period.

On the day, Larry Early (132/126) and Cam Harris (132/138) won all matches, and Matt Rundell won all matches by fall at 113lbs, Woulfe perfect at 160, two pins and an inj def, Mahomes won two by fall and one by maj dec at 152lbs.

Other results: Neuqua Valley defeated Aurora West 39-33; Swier over Warren 4-3 in a match that almost...and I MEAN almost was won by Warren.

Next up is the second West Suburban (Silver) conference dual against rising rival Hinsdale Central.  The dual will take place on Thursday, Dec. 15, at OPRF High School.  As of this weekend, Hinsdale Central is ranked just outside the top 10 in the state.  OPRF, remember, is currently ranked #2.



Trip dip: Huskies to visit Neuqua Valley for trio of duals
Lake Park replaces Glenbard North in this annual matchup · 12/08/2011

Down to the Valley | With no dual on Thursday or Friday, it's a quiet week.  The Varsity Huskies have a one and done day on Saturday.  They'll meet (HM) Lake Park, (HM) West Aurora, and the host (#15) Wildcats.  Junior Varsity will join.  Neuqua Valley is located in Naperville.

This quad lost a little of its luster when Glenbard North decided to travel to the southeast, but the quad will be a fair representation of where OPRF is at this point in the season.

Come out if you can.  The Freshman squad is slated for a trip to Conant and a tournament.



Four-midable: Huskies sweep quartet of duals this weekend
Huskies show strength in first conference tilt of the season · 12/01/2011

Many wondered which dual was the more anticipated this weekend: Downers Grove North or Notre Dame.  DGN is a conference foe who can be very dangerous, and Notre Dame -- well, just remember a year ago.  Neither could stand to the might of the orange and blue.  Conant and Addison Trail wilted, as well.

Victories by the Huskies: over Downers Grove North 54-12 (Friday), Conant 47-24, Addison Trail 66-6, and Notre Dame 55-13.

Undefeated at Saturday's quad were |

Joseph Ariola
Jamaal Bovell
Sam Brooks
Marq Brumant
Larry Early
Johnathan Gahagan
Cameron Harris
Darius Henry
Andre Lee
Davonte Mahomes
Matthew Rundell
Michael Woulfe

Oh, and the Fred Arkin-Jim Messer machine known as "The Freshman Team" continue to dom-in-ate.  All levels are looking strong thus far.  Head coach Mike Powell said it best, "We have a long way to go, but we are very proud of the young men in our program thus far."



Statistically speaking...

11  4  9  6  15  24  21

First Batch of Stats Complete | I have compiled the Varsity stats from the first weekend of competition.  I have not yet added this weekend's statistics, but I will do so as possible.

View the statistics.  Team leaders thus far?  Four Huskies have 6 wins, Matthew Rundell sets the early pace with 5 pins, and Cameron Harris/Sam Brooks co-author the takedown tally with 30.  Follow as the statistics get posted all season long.

Oh, yes.  And since we're on the subject, how about a glance at those pesky rankings?



Weekend No. 2: Conference play kicks off the weekend
OPRF travels to DGN and Conant as the newly minted #2-ranked team in the state · 12/01/2011

Conference Call and a Taste of... | The Huskies are a team thus far.  I mean, a team.  There's a lot more than just Varsity this year.  As a team, they will begin their conference tilt on Friday night at Downers Grove North.  DGN is an Honorable Mention in the rankings, whereas Oak Park & River Forest is now behind only Sandburg in AAA rankings.  This is very early, of course, but the point to note is that the Huskies are executing "Huskie Style" wrestling.

On Saturday, Varsity travels to Conant for a quad with Addison Trail, Notre Dame (Niles), and the host Cougars.  Addison Trail just doesn't have much or any firepower this year.  Conant has some guns, despite the fact that they are not ranked.  The feast of the day will pit the Huskies (2nd-AAA) against Notre Dame (2nd-AA).  After last year's squeaker, you can bet OPRF is out for a taste of something special.

Go Huskies!



A place for all of us: 12 of 12 medal at Conant en route to title
Huskies dissect competition with steady dose of talent; Sam Brooks and Jake O'Mara win brackets · 11/26/2011

Huskies are all smiles. (courtesy of Mack Bolen)

The Huskies had no post-Thanksgiving trouble on this weekend, as they steadily and consistently came out as a team not to be stopped at Conant High School in Hoffman Estates, IL.  The Huskies did not bring Joe Robles (106) or Darius Henry (120).  All of the other twelve placed (all but one of the 12 placed in the top 4).  With Robles and Henry, the Huskies would have been even more dominant.

Full bracket | As it stood, Huskies results are: 

Matthew Rundell (113 / 4th),  Larry Early (126 / 2nd),  Cam Harris (132 / 7th),  Jake O'Mara (138 / 1st),
Colin Rogers
(145 / 3rd),  Davonte Mahomes (152 / 3rd),  Michael Woulfe (160 / 3rd),  Joey Ariola (170 / 3rd),
Sam Brooks
(182 / 1st),  Jamaal Bovell (195 / 4th),  Emonte Logan (220 / 2nd),  Marq Brumant (285 / 2nd)

Mack Bolen also wrote a story for posting on Illinois Matmen: Husky "Sleigh-ride" 
More results by Mack Bolen:

Finals results:
106: Yuan (NN) over Zabraskus (DLS) TF 20-4; Alexander (CON) 3rd
113: Kohlberg (RM) WBF 2:30 over Bradford (BLM); Browne (GBN) 3rd
120: Garelli (FEN) 9-2 over Gonzalez (GBN); Fulco (PRO) 3rd
126: Cortez (GBN) 6-4 over Early (OPRF); Vela (SCE) 3rd
132: Klimara (PRO) 6-3 over Adcock (LP); Marmalejo (GBN) 3rd
138: O'Mara (OPRF) WBF over Lutzow (CLC) 1:12; Santi (LP) 3rd
145: Gonzales (MV) WBF over Sylvester (Con) 3:55; Rogers (OPRF) 3rd
152: Noverini (SCN) 6-2 over J. Fugiel (CLC); Mahomes (OPRF) 3rd
160: Sewera (LP) 13-4 over Alvis (BLM); Woulfe (OPRF) 3rd
170: Caprio (RM) 5-3 over Krieger (NN); Ariola (OPRF) 3rd
182: Brooks (OPRF) WBF over Alfaro (LEY) 1:59; Stockley (PE) 3rd
195: Harrah (CLC) WBF over Brown (OF) :32; Wilson (JC) 3rd
220: Marchok (SCMB) WBF over Logan (OPRF) 1:00; Ambrose (PRO) 3rd
285: Buss (DLS) 5-2 over Brumant (OPRF); Diaz (RM) 3rd
1st - Oak Park-River Forest 270.0
2nd - Glenbard North 178.5
3rd - Providence Catholic 168.0
4th - Conant 148.0
5th - Leyden 132.5
6th - Crystal Lake Central 127.5


Flexing muscles: Huskies roar to 59-11 kickoff victory
#3-ranked OPRF goes 12-2 in bout victories to begin 2011-2012 campaign · 11/23/2011

Photos by Kevin O'Mara - View all of his pictures from the event on Flickr.

The Huskies dominated the St. Patrick Shamrocks at home Wednesday with an impressive 59-11 victory.  The Shamrocks only managed two Varsity victories.  Huskie winners: Joe Robles (106), Matthew Rundell (113), Darius Henry (120), Larry Early (126), Cameron Harris (132), Colin Rogers (145), Davonte Mahomes (152), Michael Woulfe (160), Joey Ariola (170), Sam Brooks (182), Jamaal Bovell (195), and Marq Brumant (285).  It was not the night for Jake O'Mara (138) and Emonte Logan (220).  They fell to tough opponents.  The Freshman team did very well for themselves, as they "feasted" by winning all but one bout in their dual.

Photos by Mack Bolen | Left to right (Darius Henry, Colin Rogers, Michael Woulfe, Sam Brooks)

Happy Thanksgiving to all!  And don't forget to follow the Conant Tournament on Friday and Saturday!



A message from Brian Tideman, world traveler | 11/22/2011 | If you know the voice of this website, please click and read a message from him.  If you'd like to know him, please read as well.



Let us finally give thanks: OPRF to open Wednesday
St. Patrick returns for the annual matchup; all-alumni event to follow · 11/21/2011

Sweet Treat | The rock 'em and sock 'em Huskies are back!  We invite you to come to OPRF High School to watch the first dual meet of the season this Wednesday.  You have the day off on Thursday (we hope!), so come out and be one of our thousand!  After the event is an all-OPRF Family gathering event at Molly Malone's in Forest Park.

Junior Varsity 1 and 2 are slated to begin at 6:00 pm with the Varsity and Freshman immediately after.  Come out, wear some orange and blue (if you forget your Norm Parker look-alike outfit, that is) and relax.  Or, well, I suppose watching wrestling isn't quite relaxing, is it?  Ah, it's heavenly, that's for sure!

Hoffman Estates, IL, will host the Conant Tournament on Friday and Saturday.  Come out to that, too, if it fits you!



Setting the Stage | 2011-2012 | Stories of the Season

2011-2012: Huskies Eager to Regain Mountaintop  (written by BT) | During each season, new questions emerge.  With new questions come new answers.  With new answers come more questions still.  This season is no different.  There is a lot to be excited about.  Personally, I am excited at following the talent -- yes -- but also the character.  And the growth.  Heck, I will have a unique perspective myself, and I'm sure to grow a great deal.  Let's take a look at some of the initial stories that are worth a few thoughts here and there.

The Coaches | The Power of Powell

Mike Powell (career 122-23 record) heads one of the -- if not the -- best coaching staffs in the state.  I don't want to sound like a broken record (or do I?), but these coaches are intelligent, relentless workers who love the kids.  I hear rumblings of the potential for greatness on all levels, including with the talented Little Huskies.  Those coaches ought to be recognized as well.  What is the question here, you ask?  Well, simply, how will these coaches continue to push this wrestling program to further heights?

The Newcomers | Hello, and Nice to Meet You!

Last year, Davonte Mahomes had one of the greatest freshman seasons in recent OPRF memory.  He led the team in takedowns and was a dangerous force in every match against every opponent.  This year, two freshman who come ready to make substantial impacts are Matthew Rundell and Larry Early.  Early is in a battle for "playing time" while Rundell seems to be penciled in at 106.  How will these IKWF dynamos dish it out to their opponents?  Matthew Rundell was a champion in IKWF and Larry Early placed 2nd.  Davonte Mahomes took an IKWF silver two years ago as an 8th grader.  Hmmph.

The Veterans | Seasoned to Perfection

Whether you're a second year (ever in wrestling) starter or a talented individual who's been waiting in the wings, the veterans will make a lot of noise this year.  Junior Joey Ariola stepped onto Varsity last year qualifier and finished with a plus .500 record.  How far will this Frosh-Soph runner-up continue to rise?  How will Emonte Logan and others follow Joey's example?  Seniors Jamaal Bovell and Marq Brumant have steadily improved.  If they're both on their game, very definitely watch out.  And what about Colin Rogers, who's seemed to find buzz saws in his first three years.  It's his turn to be a buzz saw, don't you think?  Zach Pickering-Gahagan will bring great summer success with him this fall.  Another with all-country summer success is Jake O'Mara.  How scared will the competition be?  Don't blink, people.  Others more like Ty Fleming and Donald Hicks haven't had the Varsity records they've liked, but they sure have a world of talent.  How will the talents blend together?

The Heroes | Huskie High-lighting the Way

Inevitably, duals and tournaments provide heroes.  (In all honesty, these young student athletes are my heroes.)  Legends are made for a moment, a day, or a lifetime.  Perhaps it's a wrestler who just won't let himself get pinned in a dual or a fighter who pulls off a last second headlock to gain a victory.  Wrestlers will step in; wrestlers will step up.  What magic will we see?  What Huskie Heart will we have the great fortune of enjoying?  Whether you're an undefeated wrestler or a winless wrestler, you can always be a hero.

Those State Qualifiers | Sweet Taste of Champaign

The Huskies have five returning state qualifiers in Sam Brooks, Cameron Harris, Darius Henry, Michael Woulfe, and Johnny Gahagan (a transfer).  You can bet these five want to improve on their 2011 appearance at Assembly Hall.  Much will be done before then, however.  Other wrestlers are gunning for a trip south and for the medal stand.  How many state qualifiers will OPRF have?  Nothing will be determined until much later, but the answer to this question cannot be greater than 14.  But it surely can be 14.

Sam Brooks | There's Still a Long Road before Iowa

Slammin' Sammy has done so much for himself and his team throughout the last three years.  And he has one last chance to do both of these things this year.  His career record is 108-19.  He'd have to win 58 matches to tie the OPRF career wins record (166, Ellis Coleman), but a 50 win season isn't out of the question.  You and I both know that Sam's gunning for that podium pinnacle.  There will be some great stories to watch.  Steve Congenie (remember him?) will be nursing an injury to start the season.  If he comes back, will he and Sammy tangle?  And Gage Harrah, another nationally ranked heavy hitter, may also see action against the Steamroller.  Harrah is from Crystal Lake Central, so this might happen this week (Conant) or down the road (Dvorak).  Then again, some highly anticipated matchups just don't end up happening.  Whatever the path, this future Iowa Hawkeye is one to watch every step of the way.

The Conference | Silver in the Sights

I'll give credit where credit is due; Lyons Township was by far the best team in the conference last year.  However, as has been discussed, the Lions likely won't have near the firepower this year as 2010-2011.  The Huskies intend to regain the conference title as they had done the previous three seasons.  The Varsity duals are filled with drama and intensity.  How will this year's conference grind unfold?

The State | "Blooming" at the End

We all remember the 2008-2009 season.  This year's OPRF group will not be another 2008-2009 squad, nor does it want to be.  It wants to write its own 2011-2012 story.  Without equivocation, the team goal is to push it, relentlessly, as far as the Orange and Blue Express can go.  A preseason #3 ranking might sell a few more seats into the Field House this Wednesday night, but everyone knows it must all be done on the mat.  A team trophy is within reach, and this talented troupe will make up a team to be reckoned with.

Follow the Action | Get Your Fix

In addition to local newspaper articles, a wonderful free source of information is Illinois Matmen.  The rankings and forum are worth your time.  Illinois Matmen may also stream live wrestling of major tournaments (Dvorak, Granite City) throughout the year.  If you want to pay a little for a little more, $35.00 will get you highly detailed results/previews of the entire state. is also a site to be familiar with.  It will be all aflutter come February.  Don't forget the source: IHSA wrestling.  Other sites are Flowrestling and YouTubeTrackWrestling will also show live and archived tournament results of different events.  There's also my "sister" website that follows the West Suburban Conference.  Who of you will record and upload?  Who of you will spread the wealth?  And who of you will inform me of your uploads and finds?



Postseason Assignments, Preseason Preview

Postseason Assignments | The IHSA recently released their class 3A, 2A, and 1A regional and sectional assignments.  OPRF will compete in the Leyden Individual Regional against a total of nine teams: Austin (Chicago), Foreman (Chicago), Taft (Chicago), Addison Trail, York, Proviso West, Proviso East, Leyden, and OPRF.  The following week, OPRF qualifiers will head to De La Salle (Chicago) for the Individual Sectional.  View the entire Class 3A postseason assignments here.

Preseason Previews on the Web | The Chicago Tribune released a short preview of the wrestling season.  Visit its rankings and wrestlers to watch.



Weight-by-Weight Preview | 2011-2012 | Starters and Reserves

2011-2012: A Relentless Lineup (written by MP / Coaching Staff) |

From the coaches | Just about every year, the Huskies are underrated in the preseason. We like it this way. This year will probably be similar. With only a few household names, the Huskies plan to make waves the old fashion way, well, "Huskie Style" anyway. The rankers don't tally off-season matches, lifts, individual workouts, mat time, etc. These are the areas in which the Huskies excel with an eye on "closing the gap." After an excellent spring and summer, and with the fall training coming to an end, the Huskies are not planning on taking a backseat to anyone.

Regardless of outcomes this season, one thing is for certain, the Huskies plan to outwork everyone.

Here's a look at the 2011-12 Huskies:

106 | Matthew Rundell  (Jake Bajo, Joe Robles)

Incoming IKWF state champion and Fila Cadet All-American Matthew Rundell looks to make an immediate impact on the HS level. The sky is the limit with this young man and we are excited to see what he can do. Sophomores Jake Bajo and Joe Robles had outstanding off-seasons and will be solid back-ups. Jake and Joe are as dedicated as they come.

113 | Darius Henry

Once Darius Henry gets down to weight, he will occupy this spot. Darius will be a state and nation wide force after winning the Fila's and placing third in Fargo last summer. Darius missed all-state status last year and it left a bitter taste. Expect this 3rd year wrestler to come into his own this season.

120 | Johnny Gahagan - Larry Early - Andrew Sparks

This weight is expected to be a battle between state qualifier Johnny Gahagan (So.), IKWF superstar Larry Early (Fr.), and senior Andrew Sparks. Each of these young men have made huge leaps this fall and are looking very good. Whoever gains the spot will be a force in a very tough group of lower weights. This is one weight where the Huskies will surprise a lot of people.

126 | Cam Harris  (Ty Fleming, Zach Brinner)

Returning state qualifier and captain Cam Harris will start here for the Huskies. Cam is only a fourth year wrestler and will anchor the powerful Huskie lower weights. Behind Cam is stud Ty Fleming. Ty has varsity experience and put in a huge off-season. Do not sleep on sophomore Zach Brinner. Zach will turn many heads in the years to come.

132 | Donald Hicks - Jake O'Mara  (Ben Sisler)

Expect returning starter Donald Hicks and national dual all-tournament team member Jake O'Mara to duke it out for this spot. Both talented, the Huskies have significant depth at this weight. O'Mara has shown that he is capable of beating the best guys in the country. Add Ben Sisler to the list and you have a very tough weight class. Ben is amongst the hardest working young men in the program and has shown huge growth as he enters just his second year of wrestling.

138 | Colin Rogers  (Sam Koenigsberg, Darion Young)

Colin Rogers looks very good this fall. After two disappointing injury plagued seasons where he showed signs of brilliance, this is Colin's year. A healthy Rogers will be a huge asset for the Huskies. Pushing Colin every step of the way will be Sam Koenigsberg. Sam brings passion and hard work to the room everyday and is making huge strides. Junior Darion Young had a terrific sophomore campaign and will also be a force here.

145 | Davonte Mahomes

Sophomore Fargo All-American Davonte Mahomes is the man here. There is no limit for this fierce competitor. With hard work, expect to see Davonte high on the podium come February.

152 | Zach Pickering-Gahagan

Zach Pickering-Gahagan was a sectional qualifier a year ago. Zach had an outstanding off-season and has made huge gains this fall. This young man brings tremendous strength and physicality to the middle of the Huskie line-up.

160 | Michael Woulfe

Captain and returning state qualifier Michael Woulfe will go unchallenged for this spot. Woulfe is training like a madman in his quest to make the stand this year. Expect great things from Michael in the months to come. Side note: Woulfe was just accepted into the Naval Academy at Annapolis.

170 | Joe Ariola

Joe Ariola was a member of the team Illinois National Champions this summer. As a junior, we see this as Joe's break out year. Joe is extremely gifted, and now well experienced. This kid is going to be tough.

182 | Sam Brooks  (Luke Pederson)

State champion, 2 x state finalist, 3 x state qualifier, 3 x Fila Cadet National Champion, 6 x Fargo All-American, Fila Cadet World Bronze Medalist. You may have heard of him.... Workman Luke Pederson to provide solid back up here.

195 | Jamaal Bovell  (Andre Lee)

Jamaal Bovell is set to have a senior year for the ages. Jamaal has grown tremendously as a young man over the past year. Combine his current hard work, talent, and recent emotional growth and you get a guy who is set to win a lot of matches this year. Expect sophomore stud Andre Lee to push Jamaal everyday in the room.

220 | Emonte Logan  (Malik Brumant, Will Osborne)

Sophomore and second year wrestler Emonte Logan doesn't act or wrestle like one either. The names Jon Davis and LaQuan Hightower are being thrown around when describing Emonte. Don't tell anyone. Expect hard working sophomores Malik Brumant and Will "Dr. Oz" Osborne to push Emonte for this spot.

285 | Marq Brumant - Jacob Friesen - Dominique Peel

There are three capable seniors here. Returning starter Marq Brumant has lost his spot and will need a great preseason to regain it over Jacob Friesen and Dominique Peel. Jacob and Dominique have shown significant growth in the recent months. If Marq brings his A game, look out big boys.

Last Words | Freshman Class

One last thing. You heard it here first. This is the best freshman class since 1985, the last year the Huskies won the freshman conference. That team grew into the 2nd place 1988 squad. The future looks bright!



Team Competition Preview | 2011-2012 | Silver and 3A Look

2011-2012: What Will the Silver Do for an Encore? (written by BT) | 2010-2011 demonstrated -- without equivocation -- the up and down strength of the seven team West Suburban (Silver) Conference.  Each year provides wonder, excitement, and anticipation.  Here is a quick look at each of the other six conference teams.  A look at possible top 3A team follows below.  (Note: the weights listed are from last season.) 

Lyons Township Lyons | Griff Powell - 1st in 2010-2011 with 6-0 record

LT is the primed rival of the Huskies (not just in wrestling, people), and their season outlook is mysterious at best.  In last year's York regional, Lyons advanced 7 wrestlers to individual sectionals.  A week later, these same seven wrestlers earned their way to Individual State.  All but one of these wrestlers have now moved on from the high school ranks.  Jaime Jones (189, Sr.) is the lone returning state qualifier.  Who knows where the Lions will end up in conference play, but most feel they will be the most vulnerable in years.  The other Coach Powell, however, is a talented Freestyle expert, and he has proven his keep in the conference.  AJ Villarreal (112, So.) will be a young leader for the Lions.  Others, both newcomers and old, will have to step up.

Downers Grove North Trojans | Chris McGrath - 2nd (tie) in 2010-2011 with 4-2 record

The Trojans come off of a proud program victory over a top-tier Hinsdale Central team from a year ago.  In their quickly-getting-stronger-tradition, the Trojans have not had an individual state champion in decades.  Cullen Cummings (125, Jr.) is the only returning sectional qualifier.  Justin Novatny (285, Sr.) will also play a role for North.  The Trojans graduate some strong individuals, but there were other young wrestlers last year who went under the radar.  For years, DGN has salivated at the chance to break into the Silver Top 3.  Last year, they did.  Will this year be a repeat performance, or will the Trojans return to the middle of the pack?

York Dukes | Terry Clarke - 4th (tie) in 2010-2011 with 3-3 record

York began last year ablaze, burning the competition.  At the end of the season, they fell a little off the pace, but they were a talented squad for sure.  This year, a fair amount of that talent returns.  The Duke trio of Brandon Kupczyk (125, Jr.), Troy Valdez (135, Sr.), and Sergio Lopez (152, Sr.) will lead this squad.  Denzel King (112, Sr.), a sectional qualifier a year ago, will also contribute.  Coach Clarke has had a number of individuals who have excelled, but he hasn't won a conference title since 2004.  If they get strong contributions from other starters, they could be in the hunt to make some noise.

Hinsdale Central Red Devils | Jason Hayes - 4th (tie) in 2010-2011 with 3-3 record

In the eyes of the Red Devil faithful, last year was a disappointment.  The team fared very well against other in-state teams, but a .500 record in the Silver conference just didn't cut it -- not in a year when some saw Hinsdale Central as potential state trophy contenders.  The sugar came at the end of the season when Jack Allen, then senior, did what nobody had done before: win a state title for the Devils.  Perhaps another title is in store this year when Brian Allen (215, So.) hopes to improve on his 3rd place state finish.  Central returns 3 other sectional qualifiers: Tom Ward (119, Jr.), Jimmy Grimm (140, Sr.), and TJ Sally (171, Sr.).  Ernest Battaglia (130, Jr.) has a powerful pedigree and will also be a strong force.  This core is formidable.  How high will HC be ranked in the preseason rankings?

Proviso West Panthers | Randy Spaulding / Carl Foreside - 6th in 2010-2011 with 1-5 record

The Panthers have had some talented wrestlers, but a full, Varsity squad has been somewhat of a challenge in recent years.  Proviso West dismissed that image in 2010-2011 by competing very well against non-conference opponents.  However, a strong senior class has now graduated, and it's up to others to step in and step up.  Rodrick Smith's transfer to Glenbard West (see below) really hurts the Panthers.  This leaves Kenard Washington (145, Jr.) as the lone returning sectional qualifier.  Jameer Thurman (152, Jr.) should also make some noise.  Proviso West was a ranked team a year ago (Honorable Mention).  It'll be interesting to see what next comes for those in Panther Country.

Glenbard West Hilltoppers | Nick Posegay - 7th in 2010-2011 with 0-6 record

Glenbard West was the 7th ranked squad in the West Suburban (Silver) Conference one year ago.  A rising program in a potential hotbed of wrestling-ready athletes, the Hilltoppers flexed their muscles in 2010-2011.  Rodrick Smith (119, Sr.), a state qualifier for Proviso West, joins the Green and White.  Zak Hassan (125, Jr.) will also be trying to make a repeat trip to Champaign this year.  Brendan Gilligan (285, Sr.) will also be strong.  Last year's group made great strides to see glimpses of the mountaintop.  In a conference this talented, it's difficult to see Glenbard West making significant noise in the conference this year.  That being said, if they continue the strides from last season, they will have a lot to remember. 

Top Competition | Early Favorites

Three of the teams at or near the top on nearly all private and public lists are Glenbard North, Sandburg, and Minooka.  In 2008-2009, OPRF won its first team title in school history.  In 2009-2010, Minooka won its first team title in its school history.  In 2010-2011, (you guessed it) Glenbard North won its first team title in school history.  Minooka has asserted itself among the big boys, while Glenbard North has reasserted itself.  And Sandburg is -- well -- Sandburg.

Glenbard North returns three state qualifiers, and none are seniors.  Jon Marmolejo (So.), Johnny Gosinski (Jr.), and Brian Murphy (Jr.) are the heart of this squad.  Add to that Jered Cortez (So.), a transfer from Marmion, as well as a strong supporting cast.  Sandburg returns two state qualifiers, Johnny Pellegrino (So.) and Colin Holler (Jr.).  They have two national-type transfers of their own in Sebastian Pique (Jr.) and Ricky Robertson (Jr.).  Minooka returns depth: Jake DeKlerk (Sr.), Bobby Zabel (Jr.), Leo Ruettiger (Sr.), Jake Residori (Sr.), and Kalvin Hill (Sr.) all were state qualifiers.  Corbett Oughton (Jr.) didn't make to Champaign, but he's as tough as nails.

Other potential teams to watch out for (in no particular order) are Plainfield Central, Hinsdale Central, Marist, Harlem, and York.

Where would most put OPRF on the favorites list?  Somewhere near the top.



Season Schedule Preview | 2011-2012 | Month-by-Month Glance

2011-2012: The Year We Venture West (written by BT) | The new year's schedule looks very similar to the one from a year ago.  Most of the events are the same with a few tradeoffs.  Here's a month-by-month breakdown of the Varsity schedule:

November | one dual (1 H) and one tournament (1 A)

As always (in the last 30+ years anyway), OPRF opens up against local high school St. Patrick in the OPRF Field House on the night just before Thanksgiving.  As an FYI, an open alumni event will be held immediately after the dual at Molly Malone's in Forest Park.  Back to the schedule -- the Shamrocks have had several impressive wrestlers in recent years but their teams haven't matched up to the Huskies' power.  After a day to relax and stuff our bellies, we head to Conant High School in Hoffman Estates for a traditional two day post-Thanksgiving tournament.  At this tournament, tough teams have been Glenbard North, Providence, and Crystal Lake Central, among others.

December | eight duals (1 H, 7 A) and two tournaments (2 A)

The Huskies kick off their conference schedule on Dec. 2 as they travel to Downers Grove North.  The Trojans have been growing in talent and respect the last few years, and they earned a big program win last season over Hinsdale Central.  That Saturday, OPRF travels back to Conant for a quad also with Addison Trail and Notre Dame.  Last year's dual with the Dons left a bad taste in the Huskies' mouth.  The action returns on Saturday, Dec. 10, at a quad in Naperville at Neuqua Valley High School.  The extra opponents will be West Aurora and Lake Park.  A highly anticipated matchup with Glenbard North won't take place, as the Panthers visit Florida that weekend for a tournament.  The last dual of the month will take place at home against the always tough Red Devils of Hinsdale Central.  OPRF's late comeback attempt last year came up just a hair short.  The first holiday tournament will take place in Machesney Park at the ultra-competitive Dvorak tournament on Dec. 22 and 23.  This event's Huskie lineup will include only a limited number of wrestlers, due to calendar conflicts.  The full lineup is back in full swing in Granite City the following Thursday and Friday (Dec. 29 and 30).  If you're willing to drive five hours south to a milder climate for a few days, please make the journey with us.  This powerful tournament blends Illinois and Missouri wrestling and gives each wrestler lots of matches and opportunities for growth.

January | ten duals (2 H, 8 A) and one tournament (1 A)

The conference schedule revs up again on Thurs., Jan. 5, at Proviso West High School.  On Jan. 7, the Huskies trek out to Libertyville for a quad also against St. Rita and Wheaton North.  Last year's dual against the Falcons was cancelled after a late start to the quadrangular.  The Lions of Lyons Township come calling on Jan. 12.  They had too much firepower a year ago to be stopped in the conference and made a trip downstate before losing to the eventual state champion Glenbard North.  This year's LT lineup will look considerably different.  After this conference clash, OPRF will travel west to Iowa City for the first time to match up with Marmion (IL-2A), Apple Valley (MN), and Iowa City West (IA).  This will be a big-time event.  This quad will replace the Dundee-Crown quad of recent years.  Back in Illinois, the Huskies make their way to Glenbard West on Jan. 20 before hosting "The Toughest Little Tournament in the State" in the famed Field House that Saturday.  OPRF concludes the conference slate by locking horns with the York Dukes, also at home.

February | potential for four duals (1 H, 3 A) and three tournaments (3 A)

February is the month of legends.  As is customary in Illinois, the month kicks off with a one day Regional tournament.  The top three wrestlers advance to the two day Individual Sectional a week later.  The team with the most tournament points will head to Dual Team Sectionals.  Prior to the Dual Team Sectionals is a three day Individual State tournament in Champaign, IL.  This tournament takes place on Feb. 16-18.  While the Regional and Individual Sectional sites have yet to be assigned, OPRF will host a Class 3A Dual Team Sectional on Tue., Feb. 21.  The victors on Tuesday head to Bloomington, IL, to combat for a team trophy (semifinalists) and title.

It is not a stretch to say that this Huskies squad may take that two hour bus ride along I-55 on Feb. 25.  Time will undoubtedly tell.  Stay very tuned in to the action.



Hungry, hungry Huskies: Setting the table to devour competition
Our fearsome force only a fortnight away · 10/26/2011

A few reminders as the season prepares to get underway on November 7:

Parents of fine young men,

The season is coming. We start November 7th. The preseason has been a huge success. We should see results from our work in Vegas this weekend! A couple of reminders:

  • The preseason meeting will be Wed. Nov. 2nd at 7 am in the monogram room.

  • All studs, a.k.a. "wrestlers", need to have their physicals and registration in before Friday, Nov. 4th.

  • If your stud (see above) was in a fall sport, all his equipment must be turned in or paid for before they will let you register for another sport.

Thanks.  We are looking forward to a special year.

Coach Powell

Also, the famed and dynamic Little Huskies Wrestling Club is soon to be underway.  Registration is this week, Tues. and Thurs. (Oct. 25 and 27), from 7-8 pm in the OPRF Monogram Room.  New wrestlers will need a copy of their birth certificate.

Whether you're "big" or "little", the pursuit is always relentless.




  • November 1 - OPRF results from the NUWAY Southwest Kickoff Classic (Las Vegas, NV)

  • November 6 - Season Schedule Preview

  • November 11 - Conference Preview and Top Teams in 3A

  • November 16 - OPRF Weight-by-Weight Preview

  • November 21 - Stories of the Season (Setting the Stage)

* OPRF is ranked 3rd in the preseason rankings by IL Best Weekly.  Subscribe if you like. *



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