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2012-2013 Postseason


Flight is might: Eagles handle Huskies 33-23, oust OPRF in 1/4's
Sandburg has, uses all the pieces to repeat as Huskie repellers in the state series · 02/23/2013

All knew it would be epic, and it was. Even though it didn't come down to the last match, the dual was full of strategy, surprises, and a whole lot of wrestling on the grandest stage.

As a reminder, Sandburg and Oak Park-River Forest met in the first round in a non-seeded tournament. To be here, you needed to tally the highest team score at your individual regional (Feb. 2). Next, you needed to top your round of 16 opponent (labeled as a dual team sectional).

All eyes, ears, and whatever else you can throw near a mat gathered to Mat 5 in the US Cellular Coliseum. What they experienced: the dual began at 120 pounds. In a rematch at individual state, Sebastian Pique (CS) was just too technical and proved his overtime win didn't need to be so close. He scored a major victory over Matthew Rundell. The next three bouts were huge for the Huskies: Isaiah White dominated his partner to a 21-6 technical fall victory over Jake Vales. The Huskie train kept coming with victories (and yes, more tech falls) from Larry Early (132) over Ben Schneider and Jake O'Mara (138) over Brian Krasowski. This turned out to be Jake's last match as a Huskie, and he turned in one of true Huskie heart and character.

A toss up at 145 pitted our Johnny Gahagan and Sandburg's John Pellegrino, a state medalist from 138 pound weight class just one week ago. Pellegrino rode well and pushed back against Gahagan, scoring a 7-2 decision to repel the Huskie flourish. Another highly contested bout was at 152, where Kamal Bey (OPRF) has risen and grown during his inaugural campaign. Mitch Cook scored a takedown at the 1st period buzzer, and held off all attempts to win 3-2. At 160, Davonte Mahomes wrestled against the state champion, CJ Brucki, who defeated Mahomes a week prior. (Mahomes defeated Brucki earlier in the season.) This bout was no contest, and Mahomes controlled the 9-3 win.

170 caused a bit of a surprise. OPRF sent out Corey Cepak to counter Colin Holler's excellence. It worked for a while, but in the end, Holler scored a pinfall. This closed the team score gap to 18-16, in favor of Oak Park. This set the stage for 182, where state champion Joe Ariola grappled with CS's Chris Pajak. In a wild six minutes without a takedown, Pajak scored the upset 2-1, on a point violation. Honestly, this removed the wind from the sails of many in the room, except they kept wrestling, knowing the Huskies still had a chance.

At 195, Andre Lee scored a 22-5 triumphant technical fall victory over Pat Halpin. CS decided to bump up Ricky Robertson and Bill Gore to 220 and 285, respectively. Malik Brumant wrestled in all kinds of positions, and gave the team a lift by staying off his back against a national power in Robertson. After the TF, Gore and Adam Lemke-Bell were nearly knotted until Lemke-Bell began the third period on the bottom. Gore exploited it, and he eventually scored the fall victory. Now, the team score displayed a 30 for Carl Sandburg and a 23 for OPRF, with 2 bouts remaining. The Huskies needed (realistically) a fall along with another win in the last two matches to crawl back. In the end, Christian Robertson of the Eagles flew in and seized the dual with a 6-0 victory over Bobby Campos at the turnaround weight of 106. At 113, both coaches decided to forfeit on account that the dual winner had been determined.

Despite the four digits that read 33-23, the Huskies wrestled well on the day, in many areas. We have our heads to raise high, and the future is bright, regardless if it's in college or in the 2013-2014 season. Or, heck, in the 2013 offseason...!

To even be in the fortunate position of vying for a state title is a gift, as is the tremendous Huskie Wrestling Family that came out in droves this Saturday morning. It was pouring with the Huskie backers -- you could say it was raining dogs and dogs! Even after the dual, conversations happened, relationships strengthened, and the realization that sometimes -- just sometimes -- wrestling isn't everything in this fine world took hold.

To watch a replay of the dual, go to There are many articles about the event, and you may wish to search for and read these write-ups.

As the days and weeks unfold, more will be written about the 2012-2013 season, and all of us want to share our deepest gratitude that you follow us in your busy lives. Huskie pride -- and, it will never be cliche -- in relentless pursuit.



There can be only one: OPRF and Sandburg set for title tussle
War of national powers could decide championship; rematch begins at 9:00 am · 02/20/2013

Amateur Wrestling News publishes a Prep 40 High School rankings list. On this catalogue, 3 of the top 11 wrestling squads in the nation reside in Illinois. One of these, #9 Monitini, is a school in the 2A classification. Two others, #11 Sandburg and #8 Oak Park & River Forest, find themselves in the larger 3A classification. In a potential title dual clash, these two giants must settle their score in the first round of the dual team tournament, as the IHSA does not seed team qualifiers. So, buckle your seatbelt, execute your own lucky charms, and come down to Bloomington, IL, to scream (supportive, of course) as loud as you can for the team with our familiar and endeared orange and blue. This is the culminating moment of the season, and regardless of result, it will be epic.

Happy hurdle | In the very beginning of 2012-2013, then #3 OPRF and #1 Marist engaged in an electric, archived showdown. The Happenin' Huskies sealed the deal against the Redhawks by way of Mr. Bey.

Giddy with gold | At the Hinsdale Central Whitlach tournament, the Huskies held off a Sandburg charge to win the team point race, 286.5 to 278.

The clash that wasn't | OPRF joined the elite field at The Clash, and they lost only one dual -- to the eventual champion St. Michael-Albertville. Carl Sandburg also attended this frenetic festival but didn't face the Huskies. On Day 2, OPRF swept the second bracket while the Eagles were downed in three consecutive (including to Montini).

#2 became #1 | At Sandburg's Mega Duals (Jan. 12), both teams met up in the championship bout. Both weren't at full strength, but the Huskies persevered and hustled out with the win after wrestling to a 27-24 victory.

The above doesn't quite tell the tale of these two behemoths, but you get the idea. This dual is BIG. Fourteen weights will be addressed, and the starting weight and coin flip figure to affect somewhat. Then again, with all eyes watching, the Broncos of Montini won the coin flip in their dual versus the Huskies, but the dual result didn't end quite as favorable.

Close call -- just in case | From start to finish, this dual will likely be contested of the highest degree. In the improbable (but also possible) dual score tie, the meet will be settled on tie-breaking criteria. In essence, the team that has the most team point deductions will lose, followed by the team that has the least number of bout wins, then 6-point wins, 5-point wins, and 4-point wins. It gets complicated after that: the cumulative higher first points scored in matches will win it, followed by more. The last tie-breaker is a coin flip (what else?). At the end, the winning team on criteria receives an extra point, similar to a shootout win in hockey.

If you absolutely, positively can't attend | You are able to watch a live feed on If you do make the trip, tickets are $7 per each of two sessions (S-I: quarters/semis; S-II: medal round).


-- To wrestle 6 minutes against Oak Park is a daunting task. To wrestle 14 bouts,
it is even more so. We are fearless. We are fierce. We are the Huskies. --




Round 'em up: Dual Team State round of 16 is tonight at Lake Pk.
OPRF faces Conant at 6 pm; winner goes to Bloomington to wrestle in quarters · 02/19/2013

This is the last week of the IHSA season, and the IHSA recognizes a team champion by way of a dual team tournament. The winner of each of 16 regionals is a participant in this tournament, and the first round of wrestling is Tuesday, February 19. The Huskies will wrestle at Lake Park High School in Roselle, IL. They challenge the Conant Cougars for a spot in the 8-team Class 3A tournament at the US Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington. Also at Lake Park will be Glenbard North versus Niles-Notre Dame.

Conant is ranked as an honorable mention in the Illinois Matmen team rankings. A glance at the individual rankings spots four ranked Cougars. The winner of the OPRF-Conant matchup will face the winner of Sandburg-Hinsdale Central, a dual wrestled at Hinsdale South. A full bracket is located on

Admission is $5 to attend. Lake Park wrestling is located on the East campus -- 600 S. Medinah Rd in Roselle.

Follow online | From what I can find, there is no streaming video or audio of the 6 pm dual. However, you can bet there will be a lot of chatter on the Illinois Matmen forum.

About US Cellular Coliseum | Website

Team Sectional Result | OPRF defeats Conant 47-15, to face Sandburg in first round of Dual Team State; top-half quarterfinals are at 9:00 AM on Saturday.



International Oops Committee: Save Olympic wrestling
IOC is considering dropping Olympic wrestling in 2020, act with petitions · 02/12/2013

image via online petition at

It has been reported that the IOC has decided -- or is in the process of considering -- to drop Olympic wrestling from the 2020 Olympics. In this short day, online petitions have risen to save this historic and storied sport. If you agree with the petitions, please sign and pass the word along to others who may agree:

Online petitions | | | Commentary: IOC's poor decision



Joey A+: Joe Ariola claims 182 pound state title
Huskies finish with 5 medals, one week remains to IHSA season · 02/16/2013


Joey Ariola becomes the second OPRF state champion in as many years. (photos by Jonna Borgdorff)


Joey Ariola began his wrestling career at OPRF High School. As a first year wrestler, Joey took home two recognitions from the Freshman team: Pin King and MVP. In his sophomore year, he didn't place in a tough Regional, but he turned it around to take runner-up in Frosh-Soph state. His junior year yielded further improvement: in 2011-2012, Joey was a state qualifier. Just two days ago, Joey's victory over Sandburg's Chris Pajak was his 100th Varsity win. With this victory, he became the 13th member of the OPRF Century Club (earlier in this campaign, Davonte Mahomes had already punched his way into the prestige). Joe's record now stands at an unblemished 46-0 (and counting -- Dual Team State is next week). In the IHSA championship bout, Joey defeated Donnie Bell (36-8) of Homewood-Flossmoor by a score of 1-0. The entire match was wrestled on their feet, with the lone point being scored on a granted Ariola escape. Congratulations, Joey!

The Huskies also had four other placers. Larry Early (132) advanced to the championship bout against #1-ranked George Fisher of Marmion. After a scramble, Fisher corralled Larry and turned him for the fall. Larry is a sophomore and will be back. Davonte Mahomes (160), a junior, suffered a hiccup of his own in the quarterfinals against CJ Brucki of Sandburg. He battled back for his second consecutive 3rd place medal. Davonte might see Brucki next weekend in the Team State quarterfinal. Isaiah White (126) suffered his third loss of the year (and twice to Jordan Northrup of Harlem) but began his high school campaign with a 3rd place finish. Kamal Bey (152) also medaled as a freshman, defeating AJ Villareal of Lyons Township twice in this tournament (and four times during the season). He is a talented three sport athlete that succeeds wherever he goes.

There were six other tournament participants from Team Orange & Blue, but none placed: Robert Campos (106), Gabe Townsell (113), Matthew Rundell (120), Johnny Gahagan (145), Allen Stallings (170), and Andre Lee (195). All of these are underclassmen.

Don't go anywhere Dual Team Sectionals will be wrestled on Tuesday at Lake Park High School in Roselle, IL. The Huskies will face Conant. With a win, OPRF advances to the Dual Team State tournament on Saturday, February 23, at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington, IL. The winner of the OPRF-Conant dual will wrestle against the winner of Sandburg-Hinsdale Central in the quarterfinal round in Bloomington. Visit the IHSA team bracket.



Who will pop the Champaign?: Individual tilt this weekend
Huskies with 11 alive; top 6 in each weight will medal · 02/13/2013
Update below!

Assembly Hall

It's that time of the year again. University of Illinois's Assembly Hall will host three days (Thursday-Saturday) of do-or-die wrestling to crown 42 state champions (14 each in 1A, 2A, and 3A classes). It's the best of the best, creme de la creme, and even a few or more "darkhorses" you might hear about.

Each 16-wrestler bracket will begin on Thursday evening. The 3A preliminary round is slated to begin at 6:30 pm (approximate). View the full tournament timetable. Wrestling continues Friday and Saturday, and it culminates with the state championship matches (1A, 2A, and 3A wrestling simultaneously) at 6:30 pm on Saturday night. This year, the first championship weight will be 170 pounds. The round will continue and finish at 160 pounds. The 3rd and 5th place bouts will take place earlier on Saturday, at around 1:00 pm. Only wrestlers that lose to semifinalists advance to the wrestleback bracket. There are no walkovers in the tournament, and the top 6 will receive medals.

Huskie wrestlers are eleven: Robert Campos (106), Gabe Townsell (113), Matthew Rundell (120), Isaiah White (126), Larry Early (132), Johnny Gahagan (145), Kamal Bey (152), Davonte Mahomes (160), Allen Stallings (170), Joey Ariola (182), and Andre Lee (195).

Update | View semifinal round pictures, by Jonna Borgdorff: pictures 

Finalists | Larry Early and Joey Ariola: championships begin at 6:00 pm on Saturday night.

Medalists | Isaiah White, Larry Early, Kamal Bey, Joey Ariola; in the hunt: Robert Campos and Davonte Mahomes


Individual State Tournament Links & Information

 - IHSA Wrestling Main Page  - Tournament Preview | Preview 2  - Tournament Schedule
 - Tournament Brackets  - Watch on (all mats/rounds)  - Follow on TrackWrestling
 - Illinois Matmen Rankings  - Illinois Matmen and Social Media  - Tickets: $8 per session / $40 for all
Individual State Tournament Results
 - Robert Campos (106)  - Gabe Townsell (113)  - Matthew Rundell (120)
     W - D. Flag - Joliet W. - 4-2      L - Z. Denny - Harlem - 6-2 OT      L - S. Pique - Sandburg - 6-4 OT
     L - T. Piotrowski - Pr. Ridge - 7-1      -- eliminated --      L - T. Zabala - Joliet C. - 15-10
     W - S. Marciano - Shepard - 7-2        -- eliminated --
     L - A. Bosco - Marmion - 4-3    
     -- eliminated --    
 - Isaiah White (126)  PW  F: 3rd  - Larry Early (132)  PW  F: 2nd  - Johnny Gahagan (145)
     W - J. Nugent - DGS - 22-7      W - J. Bandy - Joliet W. - 17-1      L - C. Wiseman - Barrington - Fall
     W - N. Nasenbeny - Plainf. C. - 5-2      W - B. Egan - Buffalo G. - Fall      -- eliminated --
     L - J. Northrup - Harlem - 3-1      W - R. Holzrichter - Plainf. C. - 4-3  
     W - C. Alcock - New Trier - Fall      L - G. Fisher - Marmion - Fall  
     W - N. Gil - Crystal Lake S. - 7-1    
 - Kamal Bey (152)  PW  F: 5th  - Davonte Mahomes (160)  PW  F: 3rd  - Allen Stallings (170)
     W - A. Villareal - Lyons T. - 8-3      W - A. Metz - O'Fallon - 19-7      L - S. Jones - Harlem - 8-4
     W - T. Schneider - LWC - 2-1 OT      L - C. Brucki - Sandburg - 9-4      -- eliminated --
     L - K. Langenderfer - LWE - Fall      W - T. DeMoss - Hononegah - 11-5  
     L - N. Higgins - Belleville W. - 14-5      W - M. Larsen - Oswego - 8-3  
     W - A. Villareal - Lyons T. - 6-2      W - P. Andreotti - Marist - 5-3 OT  
       W - N. Jackson - Br. Rice - 10-1  
 - Joe Ariola (182)  PW  F: 1st  - Andre Lee (195)  
     W - C. Pajak - Sandburg - 5-2      L - J. Thurman - Proviso W. - 3-1  
     W - T. Cashmore - Grant - 8-6      -- eliminated --  
     W - S. Wilson - Joliet C. - 3-1    
     W - D. Bell - Home.-Floss. - 1-0    


"Walk out proud": Eleven head to U of I, a dozen Huskie proud
OPRF finishes with 4 titles, 5 runner-ups; OPRF unofficial sectional champion · 02/09/2013

Orange & Blue Family Crew: OPRFers gather for a tournament picture. (photo by BT)

The Oak Park & River Forest Wrestling Family came out in droves this past Saturday. They witnessed twelve Huskies who gave their all for their families, their team, and themselves. After Mike Powell's post-tournament pep talk, a look at the final brackets had the Huskies send 11 entries downstate to Champaign-Urbana. A twelfth, Jake O'Mara, serves as the alternate for the 138 pound weight class representatives from Maine East.

In Session II, the Huskies went undefeated in bouts. 10 wrestlers won semifinal bouts, guaranteeing their paid admission into Assembly Hall. O'Mara clawed back to face #1 ranked Sal Annoreno (Bartlett) in the qualifying match, but Annoreno outpointed Jake in the beginning of Session III.

The Finals - Part One Robert Campos (103) kicked off the championship round. He wrestled Carlos Fuentez of Glenbard East. This was a rematch from last week. Campos led early and throughout, before once again raising his hand in victory with a second period fall. 106 pounders beware of Mr. Campos. Gabe Townsell (113) tried to reverse the past against Kegan Calkins of Wheaton North. Calkins won this year -- at 120 -- in a dual. Townsell came out throwing, but Calkins worked himself back in the match. In the end, Calkins scored the determining takedown for the title. Matthew Rundell (120) locked horns with Jon Marmolejo, Glenbard North, in a low scoring affair. Rundell rode strong, but a late scramble by Marmolejo tallied the 2-1 victory. Isaiah White (126) faced junior Jered Cortez, also of the Panthers. In the highly anticipated matchup, Cortez calmly gained a sustained lead against the freshman phenom. A late White takedown lent to the final 5-2 score. Larry Early (132) went toe-to-toe with Isaiah Vela of St. Charles East. Early managed the match, and settled for a victory by the slimmest of margins: 4-3.

The Finals - Part Two Johnny Gahagan (145) also matched up with a wrestler from an earlier dual. This one was Austin Schoen of Lake Park. This bout had many great scrambles, with each wrestler trying to push across a takedown. In the second overtime, Schoen held off a Gahagan rally for the bracket board. Kamal Bey (152) muscled and hustled his way to the finals where he shook hands with Brian Murphy, Glenbard North. Murphy is one of the top ranked seniors in the country, and Bey fought with Huskie heart in a losing 8-3 effort. Davonte Mahomes (160) had no trouble on this weekend, winning each bout by a major or greater. He downed yet another Glenbard North Panther, Jimique Davis, in the title bout. Allen Stallings (170) has really blasted off during the postseason. The freshman gained a state berth before meeting Dan Rowland, Willowbrook, in a rematch from the York Regional. This bout was even closer, with Rowland scoring the only takedown to win 2-0. Joe Ariola (182) has been grinding out victories all year. He executed a calculated, comfortable sectional championship over Vaughn Monreal-Berner, Niles West. He's a wrecking ball all in himself. Andre Lee (195) met Kellen Cleveland of Wheaton North. These two, again, met in the the North-OPRF dual from earlier. Action was high, but a Cleveland two with just seconds remaining rose him to the top of the award stand.

Year of the snake Jake "The Snake" O'Mara didn't advance to Champaign, but you know he'll work hard (just like countless others) to get his teammates ready for their brackets...and to get the team ready for team state. Today is the first day of Chinese New Year, and this year is the year of the snake. When he next steps on the mat, Jake'll have over a billion people wishing him luck.

Picture perfect | Once again, photographer extraordinaire Jonna Borgdorff posted several pictures of the event. Jump to the Facebook gallery.

C-U soon Next stop, Champaign-Urbana. The individual state tournament will be on three dates, February 14, 15, and 16. Go to for more information about this final step on the individual scene.



Step one, check: 11 in semis, all 12 have a shot
Math is simple: win one of the next two for Champaign · 02/08/2013

The Huskies entered 12 into the Maine East individual tournament (Adam Lemke-Bell qualified but did not wrestle), and all but one have gone undefeated on the day. The Huskies advanced 11 to the semifinals, where a win would guarantee a trip to Assembly Hall in Champaign. Jake O'Mara (138) had a hard-fought OT loss, but he can advance to state with three straight wins.

Fabulous Friday Allen Stallings (170) had the only two victories on the evening, and ten more took care of business en route to the semis: (106-132, 145-160, 182-195) Robert Campos, Gabe Townsell, Matthew Rundell, Isaiah White, Larry Early, Johnny Gahagan, Kamal Bey, Davonte Mahomes, and Joey Ariola.

Simple math With 16 qualifiers downstate in each weight, 4 come from each sectionals. Which four? The wrestlers who make it to the championship and third place bouts. The final medal doesn't matter for the ticket, but it will will matter for placement in Champaign's bracket. So, it's simple: win one of the next two. A loss in the semis drops a wrestler to the consolation semifinals. The wrestler must win that bout to advance.

Winnable situation Jake O'Mara dropped his initial bout, and he needs to win three in a row. If he defeats the first two, the deciding match will be against the loser of #1 Sal Annoreno (Bartlett) and #9 Steve Galiardo (St. Patrick). O'Mara already defeated Galiardo one week ago. It's not a road he wanted, but it's where he is. In 2010, Chris Dardanes dropped a sectional bout to Mike Avelar of Brother Rice. Chris didn't let the loss defeat him, and he went undefeated in his next four matches to claim the 135 pound IHSA title.

Session information See below for spectator information. Come out to cheer on the Orange & Blue. Nothing is punched yet, and we sure could use all the family we can stuff in the Maine East walls. Go Huskies!



Maine attraction: 13 vie to punch ticket to state this Fri and Sat
#1 Huskies put individual berths on the line; must finish in top 4 to qualify for Champaign · 02/05/2013

2012                    2013

Individual sectionals are a time for competition, intrigue, and lore. This season will be no different. The IHSA has assigned Oak Park & River Forest to the Maine East individual sectional. This two day tournament will take place this Friday and Saturday, February 8-9. Each bracket will have 12 wrestlers, and the top third will win a chance to compete for a state title in Champaign. In other words, the goal is to reach the championship semifinals or the consolation finals. The outcome won't matter to travel to Champaign, but it will affect state bracket placement.

Location Maine East H.S., Park Ridge, IL                     Sessions | (I) Fri 5:30 pm, (II) Sat 10:00 am, (III) Sat 3:00 pm

Admission $5 per session                                            Tournament info packet via ilwrestle

Full bracket | via ilwrestle                                            Individual rankings | via Illinois Matmen

Top teams OPRF #1, Glenbard North #12, St. Charles East #17, Glenbard West #25, Conant HM, Glenbard East HM, Niles-Notre Dame HM, Schaumburg HM, Wheaton North HM, Willowbrook HM

Our boys | Robert Campos (106), Gabe Townsell (113), Matthew Rundell (120), Isaiah White (126), Larry Early (132), Jake O'Mara (138), Johnny Gahagan (145), Kamal Bey (152), Davonte Mahomes (160), Allen Stallings (170), Joey Ariola (182), Andre Lee (195), Adam Lemke-Bell (285)

Weather report | When you visit Maine East, beware. There is a 100% chance of a Huskie Hurricane!



Reading material: More stories about this storied program
Enjoy these gems while counting down the hours to the individual sectional · 02/07/2013

You may have missed it, but the Oak Leaves (Sun-Times News Group) has a number of great articles on the OPRF Wrestling program. You may have to register to view the articles in full, but these are a must if you need to read and see everything you can find. Keep watching as these weeks progress because they will add more as the remainder of the season unfolds. If you haven't followed the Little Huskies in some time, there's a great video with Richard "Doc" Townsell (link below).                                        


Oak Leaves | jump to articles (by George M. Wilcox and Rob Valentin)

Little Huskies video | Sun-Times Media - Ryan Pagelow OPRF Wrestling webmaster | jump


Comprehensive crush: Huskies devour regional competition
Orange & Blue are the envy of all at host York, blow past opponents by 110 points · 02/03/2013

The team huddles up for a post-tourney pic. (photo by BT)

On a post-snowy 6:00 am (give or take), a motorized vehicle departed OPRF High School to visit the house of conference rival Elmhurst Dukes. Fourteen wrestlers, two stat magicians, one camera superman, and a litter of highly talented (and may I say charismatic) coaches successfully entered the tournament premises and prepare for February: Step One.

Moments after the national anthem, it was clear that schools located outside of Oak Park were in for a long day. Those six minute matches (there weren't that many) felt like day long affairs for our opponents. What they saw:

OPRF Huskies (34-5; 275.5 pts) |

Robert Campos (2-0; 106) | Robert was the first of five freshman entrants. He controlled both matches of his depleted bracket. He's had some great wins this season, and he could do some serious damage as February progresses.

Gabe Townsell (2-0; 113) | Gabe is Mr. Quick. There may not have been an OPRF wrestler this speedy since the Dardanes twins. Gabe had no trouble, and he won the title bout in major fashion.

Matthew Rundell (3-0; 120) | The first two matches were falls for this sophomore stud. The final match was against a strong opponent, Dayton Olson (Glenbard East). In a highly competitive match, the two continued to overtime. Matthew scored a takedown (with back points) to seal the deal.

Isaiah White (3-0; 126) | Isaiah scored the rainbow trifecta: (in order) one fall, one technical fall, and one major decision. If you've followed this young man this season or in years past, you know that he's the real deal. Freshman #3 to compete on Saturday.

Larry Early (3-0; 132) | The state's returning 3rd place medal winner had little trouble, save for about 25 seconds. Caught in a precarious position, Larry showed veteran poise and proceeded to demonstrate why he's a favorite to take home a bracket board in February.

Jake O'Mara (3-0; 138) | This senior has been on an absolute tear in recent weeks. As the favorite (yes, favorite) against Steve Galiardo of St. Patrick, Jake controlled from start to finish and handed Galiardo his first loss on the 2012-2013 campaign.

Johnny Gahagan (3-0; 145) | Johnny-on-the-spot rolled through the competition, managing three victories. He went the distance in all three, but let's be honest, each of these three didn't really have a chance.

Kamal Bey (3-0; 152) | Kamaal is piling up the wins late in the season, and he is a joy to watch. If Townsell is Mr. Quick, then Bey is Mr. Athletic. Nick Duda (Willowbrook) lurched around in the finals, but Bey stuffed a late takedown attempt to pad his victory to 5-2.

Davonte Mahomes (2-0; 160) | The #1 ranked wrestler played a 1-2 punch of tech-tech to gain his bracket board. Davonte has been radically collected and supremely cool on the season -- wire to wire.

Allen Stallings (2-1; 170) | The fifth freshman of the fab five secured his inaugural ticket to sectionals. Allen brings the goods, but it gets more and more difficult for freshman to do well as you move up the weights ladder. Regardless, Allen is capable of performing very well at sectionals.

Joey Ariola (2-0; 182) | This is one hungry Huskie, with one thing on his mind: crashing through the competition all the way to the medal stand. He's been "The Whole Show Joe" day in and day out. He's also been recognized in the national wrestling scene.

Andre Lee (3-0; 195) | Welcome back! I've got to "hand" it to Andre. After a rest of a few weeks, Andre told the other 195'ers that it was not their day. The junior is eager to show that he's a top dog in the state.

Malik Brumant (1-2; 220) | Malik has had a bit of a challenging season, but he's done remarkably well when the team's needed him. He's gone toe-to-toe with the best, and you an be sure that he'll be called upon for the team series. He'll have another crack next year.

Adam Lemke-Bell (2-2; 285) | Adam came up big on this day (pardon the pun). After a close loss to reach the finals, Adam battled back until the match of the day. He tangled with Matt Larsen (Glenbard West) in a win-or-go-home situation. Adam reversed an earlier loss with a takedown with a second remaining, winning 3-1. The Huskie crowd went wild!

Pictures a plenty | View many photos from the regional tournament. Click here for a gallery.




Aces are wild: Huskies go 11-1-1 to finish #1 at York
Thirteen wrestlers advance to sectionals, Maine East runner-up · 02/02/2013

OPRF kicked off their postseason is Huskie Style fashion as all but one wrestler advanced to Friday and Saturday's individual sectional tournament at Maine East. Overall, the Huskies finished with only four bout losses. Oak Park & River Forest began the medal round with nine -- count 'em nine -- regional titles. These titles (from 106-160) came from Bobby Campos, Gabe Townsell, Matthew Rundell, Isaiah White, Larry Early, Jake O'Mara, Johnny Gahagan, Kamal Bey, and Davonte Mahomes. At 170, Allen Stallings fell to #2 ranked Dan Rowland by a score of 6-3. The Huskies returned to the winning ways at 182 and 195 with Joey Ariola and Andre Lee, respectively. Malik Brumant fought well at 215 pounds, including a come from behind overtime victory. In the end, Malik didn't place. At 285 pounds, sophomore Adam Lemke-Bell displayed veteran nerves of steer in a last second victory in the win-or-go-home third place match.

IHSA results For official results, go to                      Full bracket | via Illinois Matmen

Up next | The lucky 13 will visit Maine East HS (Park Ridge, iL) on Friday and Saturday. The top 4 (of 12 participants) in each weight will advance to Champaign. Maine East's schedule: Session I (Friday, 5:30 pm), Session II (Saturday, 10:00 am), Session III (Saturday, 3:00 pm).

More to come | Stay tuned in the next few days as we have more on this event.



The month that counts: OPRF to combat 8 on Saturday at York
Regional field presents several opportunities for Huskies to advance · 01/31/2013

  York Regional - Nine Teams - Class 3A - 9:00 am

Two plus months of wrestling is great. It's thrilling, it's emotional, it's heaven sent. Ah, but many a coach would say that it's all preparation for what really matters: the state series. Yes, it is the state series where medals are awarded, wrestlers become legends (trust me, you don't need to wear a ribbon to be a hero), and that special growth comes true. This year's assignment pits the Huskies against eight other squads at a familiar location: York. This Elmhurst facility will host a sea of squads that likely won't challenge OPRF for the regional title. I caution to say that in wrestling, nothing is guaranteed. Wrestling begins at 9:00 am.

The teams (according to the IHSA naming system) Chicago (Foreman), Chicago (St. Patrick), Elmhurst (York), Franklin Park-Northlake (Leyden), Glen Ellyn (Glenbard West), Lombard (Glenbard East), Maywood (Proviso East), Oak Park (O.P.-River Forest), and Villa Park (Willowbrook).

Time and money | The whole gala begins at 9:00 am. Finals are slated to begin around 2:00 pm, but that time is approximate. Admission is $4 per session or $6 all day.

Read about the behind-the-scenes | Explore the 2012-2013 manual for tournament managers. View it here.



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