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In relentless pursuit, always: ESPN
E60 video on Mike Powell
13+ minute film originally aired on October 30
Relentless Pursuit: Mike Powell's Fight"
ESPN direct link
NUWAY? Our way: Team Oak Park nets 3
titles, 4 more medals
Pat Walker, Isaiah White, Joey Ariola take brackets; valuable
matches ensue for several
It has been a tradition to take several wrestlers to a preseason
wrestling tournament. For the last few years, OPRF has sent
wrestlers to the NUWAY Southwest Kickoff Classic in Las Vegas,
Nevada. In this year's tournament, several Huskies (and a few
non-Huskies) did quite well for themselves.
Pat Walker (13 & 15 - 95 lbs), Isaiah White (Elite - 128 lbs), Joey
Ariola (Elite - 192 lbs)
| Louie Hayes (3rd; 13 & 15 - 89
lbs), Ben Sisler (8th; Varsity - 133 lbs), Bobby Campos (5th; Elite
- 106 lbs), Larry Early (7th; Elite - 133 lbs)
| SaVonne Bennette (Varsity - 122
lbs), Michael Ordonez (Varsity - 128 lbs), Zach Brinner (Varsity -
138 lbs), Gabe Townsell (Elite - 115 lbs), Matthew Rundell (Elite -
122 lbs), Johnny Gunther (Elite - 143 lbs), Zach Pickering (Elite -
155 lbs), Sam Koenigsberg (Elite - 163 lbs)
Congratulations to all! You can follow many of these wrestlers at
OPRF this fall season. In relentless pursuit!
Roll the footage: Mike Powell
featured by ESPN on Tues. at 6 pm
"Follow the leader" as ESPN E:60 highlights one of our very own
Mike Powell reflects with fellow HOF
inductees (IL Chapter) on Oct. 21.
(Photo by ILWrestle.com)
The sports outlet that deems itself "The Worldwide
Leader in Sports" will air a program on Mike Powell, current head
coach of our Huskies. Tune into ESPN this Tuesday, Oct. 30 at 6 pm
(Central) for an E:60 story.
For a glimpse, catch the trailer on
A special thanks to Joel Edwards and Peggy Young
for passing the word along.
Preseason preparation: Team Oak Park
Several in the mix at the NUWAY Southwest Kickoff Classic
NUWAY SOUTHWEST KICKOFF CLASSIC
Las Vegas, Nevada - Nov 2-4, 2012
As you know, football and wrestling go together like peanut
butter and jelly (wink-wink), so many of this year's wrestling crop
were in the midst of a football season. Several of the non-football
individuals have been entered in one of the premiere high school
wrestling preseason tournaments (say that ten times fast). So far,
team Oak Park has done well with competitors in contention for
medals. Noting that not all wrestlers are from OPRF, below are the
results thus far.
Taken from TrackWrestling:
2012 NUWAY Southwest Kickoff Classic
Results for Oak Park - Final
13&15 89 - Louie Hayes's place is 3rd and has scored 24.50 team
Champ. Round 1 - Louie Hayes (Oak Park) won by pin over Ethan Leake
(The Empire) (Pin 0:45)
Champ. Round 2 - Louie Hayes (Oak Park) won by major decision over
John Fox (Gilroy Hawks) (Maj 18-4)
Quarterfinal - Louie Hayes (Oak Park) won by tech fall over Dawson
Downing (Las Vegas Gladiators) (TF 17-2)
Semifinal - Zander Silva (Alta Loma Elite) won by decision over
Louie Hayes (Oak Park) (Dec 4-2)
Cons. Semi - Louie Hayes (Oak Park) won by pin over Nikola
Petrucelli (Team Smackdown) (Pin 0:00)
3rd Place Match - Louie Hayes (Oak Park) won by pin over John Fox
(Gilroy Hawks) (Pin 1:03)
13&15 95 - Pat Walker's place is 1st and has scored 29.00 team
Champ. Round 1 - Pat Walker (Oak Park) received a bye () (Bye)
Champ. Round 2 - Pat Walker (Oak Park) won by decision over Daniel
Long (Team Smackdown) (Dec 9-2)
Quarterfinal - Pat Walker (Oak Park) won by pin over Gabriel Gray
(Lovatos) (Pin 0:00)
Semifinal - Pat Walker (Oak Park) won by decision over Kyle Slendorn
(Team New Jersey First) (Dec 4-1)
1st Place Match - Pat Walker (Oak Park) won by major decision over
Colby Harlan (Oakdale) (Maj 14-4)
Varsity 122 - SaVonne Bennette's place is unknown and has scored
7.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 - SaVonne Bennette (Oak Park) received a bye () (Bye)
Champ. Round 2 - SaVonne Bennette (Oak Park) won by major decision
over Darek Hillison (Arbor View Gladiators) (Maj 14-3)
Champ. Round 3 - Robby Standley (Smashmouth Wrestling) won by major
decision over SaVonne Bennette (Oak Park) (Maj 11-1)
Cons. Round 4 - Jansen Engelbrecht (USA Gold) won by decision over
SaVonne Bennette (Oak Park) (Dec 4-0)
Varsity 128 - Michael Ordonez's place is unknown and has scored 0.00
Champ. Round 1 - Michael Ordonez (Oak Park) received a bye () (Bye)
Champ. Round 2 - Anthony Yocum (TEAM G) won by decision over Michael
Ordonez (Oak Park) (Dec 5-4)
Cons. Round 2 - Michael Ordonez (Oak Park) received a bye () (Bye)
Cons. Round 3 - Michael Tim (Palo Verde) won by pin over Michael
Ordonez (Oak Park) (Pin 1:12)
Varsity 133 - Ben Sisler's place is 8th and has scored 15.00 team
Champ. Round 1 - Andrew Mazziotti (Team Jackrabbits) won by decision
over Ben Sisler (Oak Park) (Dec 5-2)
Cons. Round 1 - Ben Sisler (Oak Park) won by pin over Trae Workman
(Fallon Outlaws) (Pin 4:33)
Cons. Round 2 - Ben Sisler (Oak Park) won by major decision over
Jared Furey (orange lutheran) (Maj 17-7)
Cons. Round 3 - Ben Sisler (Oak Park) won by major decision over
Eugene Laksana (Chino Hills High School) (Maj 14-2)
Cons. Round 4 - Ben Sisler (Oak Park) won by major decision over Lee
Valdez (Beaumont) (Maj 11-1)
Cons. Round 5 - Ben Sisler (Oak Park) won by pin over Kristopher
Madrigal (Bruins Elite WC) (Pin 1:01)
Cons. Round 6 - Ben Sisler (Oak Park) won by major decision over
Robert Cobler (Centennial) (Maj 10-1)
Cons. Round 7 - Jimmy Garcia (Hemet) won by pin over Ben Sisler (Oak
Park) (Pin 1:00)
7th Place Match - Brady OKeefe (Carson High School) won by decision
over Ben Sisler (Oak Park) (Dec 6-5)
Varsity 138 - Zach Brinner's place is unknown and has scored 10.50
Champ. Round 1 - Zach Brinner (Oak Park) received a bye () (Bye)
Champ. Round 2 - Zach Brinner (Oak Park) won by pin over Roman
Salcedo (San Fernando Tigers) (Pin 4:30)
Champ. Round 3 - Johnny OHearon (Champions wrestling club) won by
decision over Zach Brinner (Oak Park) (Dec 4-0)
Cons. Round 4 - Zach Brinner (Oak Park) won by tech fall over Sergio
Ramirez (San Ysidro Pumas) (TF 21-6)
Cons. Round 5 - Korey Jensen (cataline`s wildcat wrestling) won by
decision over Zach Brinner (Oak Park) (Dec 9-2)
High School Elite 106 - Bobby Campos's place is 5th and has scored
13.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 - Bobby Campos (Oak Park) won by pin over Danny Vega
(Tucson Cyclones) (Pin 1:06)
Champ. Round 2 - Juan J. Jimenez,II (porterville klaws) won by
decision over Bobby Campos (Oak Park) (Dec 8-2)
Cons. Round 2 - Bobby Campos (Oak Park) won by decision over Cole
Rohan (La Grande Mat Club) (Dec 6-2)
Cons. Round 3 - Bobby Campos (Oak Park) won by decision over Chris
Marin (The Empire) (Dec 5-3)
Cons. Round 4 - Bobby Campos (Oak Park) won by decision over Denzel
Tovar (Team New Jersey First) (Dec 4-0)
Cons. Round 5 - Bobby Campos (Oak Park) won by decision over
Christopher Lacayo (TEAM SOCAL) (Dec 4-3)
Cons. Semi - Durbin (DJ) LLoren (The Empire) won by pin over Bobby
Campos (Oak Park) (Pin 2:17)
5th Place Match - Bobby Campos (Oak Park) won by decision over Nico
Colunga (Oakdale) (Dec 4-2)
High School Elite 115 - Gabe Townsell's place is unknown and has
scored 5.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 - Gabe Townsell (Oak Park) received a bye () (Bye)
Champ. Round 2 - Sean Williams (Team Tiger) won by decision over
Gabe Townsell (Oak Park) (Dec 5-1)
Cons. Round 2 - Gabe Townsell (Oak Park) received a bye () (Bye)
Cons. Round 3 - Gabe Townsell (Oak Park) won by decision over
Matthew Hofenbredl (Fantastic Utters) (Dec 3-2)
Cons. Round 4 - Gabe Townsell (Oak Park) won by decision over Miles
Avila-Johnson (Bruins Elite WC) (Dec 8-3)
Cons. Round 5 - Cameron Sykora (Borders West) won by decision over
Gabe Townsell (Oak Park) (Dec 3-2)
High School Elite 122 - Matthew Rundell's place is unknown and has
scored 12.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 - Matthew Rundell (Oak Park) received a bye () (Bye)
Champ. Round 2 - Matthew Rundell (Oak Park) won by pin over Jaydon
Rogers (Utah United) (Pin 3:55)
Champ. Round 3 - Matthew Rundell (Oak Park) won by pin over Issac
Aguilar (Hermiston) (Pin 1:19)
Quarterfinal - Julian Flores (san marino) won by decision over
Matthew Rundell (Oak Park) (Dec 6-4)
Cons. Round 6 - Jacob Palmgren (Piedra Vista) won by decision over
Matthew Rundell (Oak Park) (Dec 5-4)
High School Elite 128 - Isaiah White's place is 1st and has scored
39.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 - Isaiah White (Oak Park) received a bye () (Bye)
Champ. Round 2 - Isaiah White (Oak Park) won by pin over Tristan
Lyga (Team Royal Regime) (Pin 0:16)
Champ. Round 3 - Isaiah White (Oak Park) won by decision over Joseph
Dominguez (TEAM TRIBE) (Dec 2-0)
Quarterfinal - Isaiah White (Oak Park) won by decision over Giovanni
Castillo (Corona Centennial) (Dec 3-2)
Semifinal - Isaiah White (Oak Park) won by decision over Deshun
Brown (Team New Mexico) (Dec 4-0)
1st Place Match - Isaiah White (Oak Park) won by decision over
Vincent Gomez (Elite Force) (Dec 3-1)
High School Elite 133 - Larry Early's place is 7th and has scored
18.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 - Larry Early (Oak Park) received a bye () (Bye)
Champ. Round 2 - Larry Early (Oak Park) won by pin over Izaak Tobin
(Silverton) (Pin 1:29)
Champ. Round 3 - Larry Early (Oak Park) won by pin over Tate
Sandifer (mt.view) (Pin 0:40)
Quarterfinal - Jed Mellen (Utah United) won by decision over Larry
Early (Oak Park) (Dec 8-2)
Cons. Round 6 - Larry Early (Oak Park) won by pin over Gordan Wolf
(Team New Jersey First) (Pin 1:00)
Cons. Round 7 - Seth Gross (Apple Valley) won by decision over Larry
Early (Oak Park) (Dec 5-1)
7th Place Match - Larry Early (Oak Park) won by decision over Kyler
Hansen (The Empire) (Dec 4-2)
High School Elite 143 - Johnny Gunther's place is unknown and has
scored 5.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 - Johnny Gunther (Oak Park) received a bye () (Bye)
Champ. Round 2 - Jared Johnshoy (Suples LTD) won by decision over
Johnny Gunther (Oak Park) (Dec 5-1)
Cons. Round 2 - Johnny Gunther (Oak Park) received a bye () (Bye)
Cons. Round 3 - Johnny Gunther (Oak Park) won by major decision over
Dominick Magana (san marino) (Maj 13-0)
Cons. Round 4 - Devin Reynolds (All Phase) won by decision over
Johnny Gunther (Oak Park) (Dec 5-0)
High School Elite 155 - Zach Pickering's place is unknown and has
scored 6.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 - Kevan Garcia (Smashmouth Wrestling) won by decision
over Zach Pickering (Oak Park) (Dec 9-5)
Cons. Round 1 - Zach Pickering (Oak Park) received a bye () (Bye)
Cons. Round 2 - Zach Pickering (Oak Park) won by pin over Daniel
DeMaria (POWAY ELITE) (Pin 2:05)
Cons. Round 3 - Jacob Hill (Team Tiger) won by decision over Zach
Pickering (Oak Park) (Dec 5-4)
High School Elite 163 - Sam Koenigsberg's place is unknown and has
scored 4.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 - Sam Koenigsberg (Oak Park) won by decision over
Barrett Hamilton (West Torrance Wrestling) (Dec 4-3)
Champ. Round 2 - Kyle Perreault (eastside) won by pin over Sam
Koenigsberg (Oak Park) (Pin 2:00)
Cons. Round 2 - Sam Koenigsberg (Oak Park) won by major decision
over Tomas Fulgentes (Royal Regime) (Maj 16-7)
Cons. Round 3 - Robert Flores (TEAM TRIBE) won by injury default
over Sam Koenigsberg (Oak Park) (Inj.)
High School Elite 192 - Joe Ariola's place is 1st and has scored
31.50 team points.
Champ. Round 1 - Joe Ariola (Oak Park) won by tech fall over Cody
Lindberg (Southlake Carroll) (TF 18-2)
Champ. Round 2 - Joe Ariola (Oak Park) won by pin over Cosme
Martinez (MATPAC) (Pin 4:15)
Quarterfinal - Joe Ariola (Oak Park) won by pin over Chris Whilden
(West Torrance Wrestling) (Pin 1:59)
Semifinal - Joe Ariola (Oak Park) won by pin over Austin Gaun
(Flagstaff Wrestling) (Pin 2:29)
1st Place Match - Joe Ariola (Oak Park) won by decision over Ryder
Newman (Team GV) (Dec 8-5)
Upended: Huskie football ousted, but
outlook is bright
OPRF lose to Waubonsie Valley by a 28-7 score; finish with 7-4
It was a fun little year, but we will have to wait another nine
months to watch the OPRF Football squad again. In Oak Park Stadium,
the one-loss Waubonsie Valley squad proved too strong against the
Huskies. No matter, we'll have excellent memories to keep us fed
until August 2013. Congratulations to the players, coaches, parents,
and fans, and we'll see many of you on the mats this winter!
Here come the Huskies: Footballers
oust Red Devils 28-24
OPRF scores late touchdown to advance in postseason for first time
John Hoerster has only been on the job for 2
years, this being his "sophomore" season. While he may not be as
familiar with OPRF's past perennial successes, his will to win isn't
diminished. In Hoerster's tenure, the Huskies moved up to 3-6 before
this year's win-loss reversal. The 2012 regular season record
(including an overtime victory over conference rival Hinsdale
Central) vaulted the Huskies into the postseason.
On this night, the Devils came out blazing,
jumping to a 17-0 lead. Our Huskies stormed back with three
consecutive touchdowns. However, Hinsdale Central responded with a
score of their own to take the lead 24-21. With about one minute to
play, a ricocheted pass willed its path (or is it the other way
around?) into Tommy Odell's hands before he scampered for the
decisive score. Up next: a second round home game versus Waubonsie
Valley. It will take place at Oak Park Stadium, game time is
Saturday at 1:00 pm.
For more on this thrilling victory, visit:
Forest L. |
W. Journal |
Chi Tribune ||
Taking a walk on the wall side: View
The 2012-2013 season shall commence in less than
one month (IHSA practice begins in early November), so we shall take
a look back before we look forward.
Wall of Fame
page is (slightly) new and improved, with updated results through
the summer of 2012. Also added is a new "Record Holders" section. If
your initials are E.C. or S.B., you did quite well for yourself.
Can't get enough numbers? I hear ya. Visit the
2011-2012 final statistics page. In the next few weeks, we'll
have more on numbers to watch for in the upcoming IHSA season.
One thing we will watch for is the mega-preseason
tournament NUWAY Southwest
Kickoff Classic from November 2-4...
Leading by example: OPRF coach
Octavius Bellamy scores bronze
Bellamy wins 3rd place in Greco-Roman at Veterans Worlds in Hungary
Our very own talent, Assistant Coach Octavius
Bellamy, showed his mettle against top worldly competition on Sep.
20. He finished the Greco-Roman 97 kg Division A (35-40 yrs old)
tournament with a 3-1 record and a bronze medal to show for his
efforts. Congratulations, Octavius! We are humbled by your
leadership and exemplary attitude. Our entire Huskie Wrestling
Family acknowledges your achievements! (Jump to the article on
USA Wrestling Weekly (Sep. 21): Mike
Powell, Ellis Coleman
Ellis Coleman and US Olympic wrestlers meet President Obama, Mike
Powell on SI tv
Ellis Coleman, 2012 Greco-Roman Olympian, and his
teammates recently had the pleasure of visiting the White House to
meet with President Barack Obama. They also had the privilege of
meeting Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and Ohio
Congressman Jim Jordan. Our head coach Mike Powell was mentioned for
being featured on Sports Illustrated on NBC Sports Network. View the
article and the webcast.
Be a part of history: Donate or watch
Mike Powell's HOF induction
The National Wrestling Hall of Fame's banquet on Oct. 21 is open to
As we reported earlier, our own head coach, Mike
Powell, will be inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame
(Illinois Chapter) on Sunday, October 21. Mike will receive the
Medal of Courage.
You can witness this historic event. Visit
National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
There you can purchase tickets to the banquet. The banquet is from
3:00 pm - 7:30 pm in Bloomington, Illinois. If you are unable to go
but want to contribute, you can
donate as well.
What: Illinois Chapter of
National Wrestling Hall of Fame induction banquet
When: Sunday, Oct. 21, from 3:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Where: Holiday Inn, 3202 East Empire, Bloomington, IL
Why: Support Mike Powell, six other inductees, and
wrestling organizations in our great state
Banquet tickets with directions |
View as Word doc
Medal of Courage
Oak Park & River Forest H.S.
Mike Powell first
walked into the Oak Park & River Forest High School Wrestling Room
at the age of 5. He graduated from Little Huskies Youth Wrestling to
become a state champion high school wrestler. In 1994 he won the AA
171lb IHSA State Wrestling title and went on to wrestle at Indiana
After becoming an
NCAA All-American at Indiana University at 167lbs Mike returned to
Oak Park & River Forest High School to teach and coach in 1999. He
has excelled at both. In 2010 Mike was presented an Outstanding
Educator Award by the Northwestern Chapter Phi Delta Kappa, one of
the nation's largest education associations, which includes
teachers, principals, superintendents, and higher education faculty
In March of 2009
just after coaching his wrestling team to win the IHSA AAA State
Dual Team Wrestling Championship and just before being honored as
the IHSA AAA Coach of the year, Mike was stricken and diagnosed with
a rare disease called polymyositis, an autoimmune disease that
results in the destruction of muscle cells. Polymyositis is often a
crippling or fatal condition.
Mike has faced his
physical challenge with the same courage and ferocity that he uses
on the mat, in the classroom or in the coach’s chair. His battle
with this rare disease and his commitment to education and coaching
was a feature story in Sports Illustrated and to be chronicled in
documentaries on NBC as well as ESPN.
To date Mike has
amassed an impressive listing of coaching accomplishments, including
conference, state and national championships. So far in only 9 years
as head coach his dual record of 155 wins and 39 losses speaks of
his commitment, and how he inspires his athletes. He has also won 5
National Dual Championships and coached scores of national place
winners and champions. In 2012 Mike was named USA Wrestling’s Cadet
Development Coach of the Year.
It is Mike’s
passion to continue to pass on life’s lessons to all the young
people he meets. His philosophy is that maximizing one’s potential
as a high school student/athlete is difficult, therefore having a
plan on how to do it is essential. He stresses that contributing to
family, community and the larger world demonstrates you have a part
in a world that is bigger than yourself. He stresses integrity,
discipline, hard work, respect and kindness. Mike assists his
students with their life plans even into adulthood; he has been a
father figure to many, including 2012 Olympian Ellis Coleman.
Not only has Mike
encouraged young men to become better athletes and positive members
of the community, he has succeeded in creating a “Huskies Wrestling
Family” of parents, alums, siblings and fans of the team who support
the wrestlers each year in fundraising and cheering at local and
state tournaments. The Huskies Wrestling Family, as directed by
Mike, raised almost $40,000 for Ellis Coleman’s family in his quest
for a gold medal in the 2012 Olympics.
Each summer he
leads the senior members of the wrestling team on a senior trip of
hiking, climbing, fishing and exploration to national parks, a
journey that becomes symbolic and monumentally life changing in each
young man’s life.
No question or
request is off-limits to his wrestlers and wrestling alums, and even
in his times of health challenges, he serves as a role model for
hundreds of athletes who look to him for advice, inspiration and
help. Mike lives in River Forest with his wife, Elizabeth.
SI guy: Mike Powell featured on Sep.
12 television broadcast
NBC Sports Network to report on our relentless head coach
Sports Illustrated on NBC
TV: NBC Sports Network |
Time: 8:00 pm central
Mike Powell, the current OPRF Head Varsity Coach since 2003, is
featured in the Sep. 12 edition of "Sports Illustrated on NBC Sports
Network". This program highlights inspirational stories of sports
figures across the country. This September 12 episode features three
coaches involved in high school or university athletics (taken from
USA Wrestling article):
Show Features the Inspirational Stories of West Virginia
University Cornerbacks Coach Daron Roberts; Oak Park and
River Forest High School Wrestling Coach Mike Powell; and
Aazar Abdul- Raheem, Football Coach of Washington, D.C.’s
Friendship Collegiate Academy – Andy Staples, Chris Ballard
and B.J. Schecter Report
The second episode of Sports Illustrated on NBC Sports
Network features the inspirational stories of Daron Roberts,
West Virginia University cornerbacks coach; Mike Powell
wrestling coach for Oak Park and River Forest High School
(Oak Park, IL) and Aazar Abdul-Raheem Head Football Coach
for Washington D.C.’s Friendship Collegiate Academy.
All, through great personal sacrifice and courage, inspire
their teams and communities in ways that transcend the final
The new episode debuts Wednesday, September 12, 9 p.m.
[eastern] with subsequent re-airs throughout the month.
Bake and make: Farmer's market
fundraiser a delicious success
In excess of $800 is raised; many thanks to cooks, workers, and
Huskie wrestlers pose for photos
while working the table on Saturday.
News from the "Farm"
Thanks to all who help put together on short
notice a very "sweet" bake sale, especially to Amy Rising, Ginny
Beacom & Mary Matticks for organizing!
We raised a total of $814 in just 3 hours!! (All in part because
Powell wasn’t around to eat the profits!)
Ben Bergen’s cinnamon rolls were awesome!
- Fred Arkin
Bake sale: OPRF Wrestling Family to
Farmer's Market on Sep. 1
Sale is from 7:00 am to 1:00 pm; come enjoy delicious treats while
helping the Huskie Family
7:00 am - 1:00 pm
Saturday, September 1
Attention all individuals with a sweet tooth, there will be a
bake sale on Saturday, September 1 at the Oak Park Farmer's Market.
Sweet tooth? Any tooth! Come out to buy amazing foods prepared by
the OPRF Wrestling Family. The market is open from 7:00 to 1:00.
Thank you to the hands and hearts that help put this together.
Share the news! Your neighbor's stomach will thank you!
Call to Hall: Mike Powell earns
National Wrestling distinction
OPRF head coach also receives Illinois Chapter's Medal of Courage
Mike Powell in 2009
(photo by Wednesday Journal)
Mike Powell has been driving force in Oak Park & River Forest's
wrestling program since the 2004-2005 IHSA season. He has elevated
the Huskies to legitimacy scarcely known in the history of our fine
school. On Sunday, October 21, Mike will be recognized as being
elected into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Coach Powell will
receive a plaque and jacket from the NWHoF, based in Stillwater,
Oklahoma. The October awards banquet will take place in Bloomington,
Illinois. The OPRF alumnus and 1994 IHSA 171-pound state champion
will receive the Medal of Courage, awarded to "a wrestler or former
wrestler who has overcome what appear to be insurmountable
Also this year, Mike was announced as the USA Wrestling Cadet
Development Coach of the Year.
Read the articles:
Wednesday Journal |
Chicago Tribune |
OPRF Patch |
Star of "Today": Ellis Coleman and
Dremiel Byers lift NBC hosts
US Greco-Roman teammates prepare Matt Lauer and Al Roker for battle
Photo by Jen Long / TODAY
London: If you search Google or
YouTube for "Ellis Coleman," pull up a comfy chair and have
something refreshing to sip. You'll be there awhile. In 7+ minutes
of that while, you can enjoy Ellis and teammate Dremiel Byers toss
around Matt Lauer and Al Roker, respectively.
Enjoy the video. Roll it:
Greco-Roman wrestlers on Today.
Just the beginning: Ellis Coleman
ousted in London, future awaits
OPRF alumnus falls in opening round of 60 kg Greco-Roman tourney;
still just 20 years old
There is no question that Ellis Coleman is a wrestling phenom.
He's the all-time winningest wrestler in Oak Park & River Forest
High School history. He's accomplished feats nearly all can simply dream about.
In the early summer, he charged through domestic competition to
punch his ticket to the Olympics. In the late summer, he discovered
the largest stage of international competition. Any way you look at
it, these are massive successes for a young man who can't quite yet
order himself a beer at a bar.
In the qualifying round, Ellis lost to Ivo Angelov of Bulgaria in two
rounds: 1-0, 7-1.
Many of the Huskie faithful made the trip to support Ellis. This
is further evidence that there is no family like the Huskie
Follow post-Olympics articles:
Yahoo Sports (AP)
Staycation: Relentless Pursuit
Wrestling holds successful clinic
Scores of wrestlers from several states participate in RPW camp from
Clinicians included alumni Nick
Dardanes, Mike Powell, Brad Bolen, and Chris Dardanes.
(photos by Mack Bolen)
Relentless Pursuit Wrestling (jump to site) strives to educate
and prepare high school students with successful, cutting edge
wrestling techniques and philosophies. During the past week
(Mon-Thu), RPW used OPRF High School to run a wrestling camp for
over 70 wrestlers from 3 states.
Clinicians included several standouts from OPRF and other local
communities. The listed teachers were Chris McGrath, Mike Powell,
Octavius Bellamy, Paul Collins, Jeremy Powell, Mike Boyd, Reggie
Wright, Eric Pitts, Nick Dardanes, and Chris Dardanes.
For more information, visit:
Pursuit Wrestling |
Camp Info and Schedule
Perfect ending: Sam Brooks doubles at
Fargo, earns 8 AA's
Sammy ends his high school chapter with national titles in freestyle
Sam Brooks reacts to his victory.
(photo via bout at themat.tv)
Sam Brooks didn't have to go to Fargo. He'd already committed to
Iowa. He'd already won two individual state titles. He'd already
placed in Fila Cadet World's. He chose to complete this chapter of
his life -- wrestling and otherwise -- by challenging the country's
best under the Fargodome.
Slammin' Sammy (or "Slammy" if you prefer) found pay dirt on
Saturday when he earned a pinfall victory in the championship of the
195 pound freestyle bout. He went undefeated on the week and did not
lose a round. Sam now has earned double All-American honors in each
of his four attempts at Fargo (after frosh/soph/jun/senior years).
Watch the freestyle bout here:
195 FS Championship |
Sammy, the nation already knows about Ellis Coleman. The nation
already knows about the Dardanes. And today, the nation just
received notice about Sam Brooks. Congratulations. We'll be tracking
you in the next few years and beyond.
Up and running: Wrestlers engage in
Sam Brooks is the lone Huskie in the Junior Freestyle
Championships. He will wrestle at 195 pounds. There were no OPRF
entries in the Cadet Freestyle tournament.
Larry Early, rising sophomore, is a Cadet Greco All-American!
He finishes in 8th place.
Jake O'Mara, rising senior, is a Junior Greco All-American!
He finishes in 7th place.
Sam Brooks, graduating senior, is a Junior Greco National
Champion! He takes the title!
View Sam's national championship victory here!
Congratulations Larry, Jake, Sam, and all of the OPRF Cadet and
Keep up-to-minute with
Brian's blog: "Two knew? Walking in
Asics Gel Flash -
Qingdao, China, sometime between February 2012
and June 2012:
Brian Tideman sees a 6th grader walk in the
hallway wearing beautiful orange and blue shoes. He turns, "Where
did you get those shoes?" The student replies, "I don't know. I
think Korea." Saddened, Brian continued to his classroom. Brian was
hoping for somewhere in China.
Weeks later, he sees another student wearing
similarly beautiful orange and blue shoes. "Where did you get those
shoes?" This response was a one-worded one, "Korea." Drats!
In search mode, Brian visited an athletics store,
found a blue pair of shoes, and forced orange laces on them. It
didn't quite work. Until...back in the states...
He found this
Asics Gel Flash pair of sneakers! Whoa! They might as well have
the OPRF logo branded on the sides! If you find yourself often
thinking of orange and blue shoes (who doesn't, right?), consider
these shoes! You can look online or to your nearest department
store. I must declare that this pair is a men's tandem and that
Brian is awfully happy with his new get.
Oh yeah, one more thing. Orange you glad I
told you this story!
National attention: Fargo takes
center stage yet again
Several Huskies qualified, will be competing against country's best
At the mention of the word "Fargodome," what do you think of? Well,
the Cadet and Junior National Championships, of course! July 13 will
mark the beginning of the annual clash of the country's top high
school wrestlers in Freestyle and Greco-Roman. It's a chance for
every wrestler, regardless of state or class, to flex some muscles
and show the entire country their mettle and grit. Please remember
that many, many of the top wrestlers will compete, but this is an
optional off-season tournament. In order to compete, wrestlers must
have qualified during USA Wrestling tournaments.
As is a yearly tradition, OPRF will send a sprinkle of Huskies to
North Dakota. The list of qualifying wrestlers is below. Please note
that this is a list of qualifying wrestlers, and all may not
are entered in the tournament, according to
Qualifying Huskies -
Qualifying Huskies -
(Gabriel) Townsell (GR)
- Larry Early (GR
- Johnny Gahagan (GR)
- Andre Lee (GR & FS)
- Jake O'Mara (GR
- Zach Pickering
- Davonte Mahomes (GR)
- Joey Ariola (GR)
- Sam Brooks (GR
Qualifiers (complete list)
Qualifiers (complete list)
Event page |
Event schedule |
Video on TheMat.tv
Fun-draiser: Doc Ryan's is a flying
In excess of $14,000 is raised for Coleman's family ·
A festive crowd gathered in Forest
Park to enjoy food, friends, and family. (Photos by Mack Bolen)
Ellis Coleman is flying to London. I've got a T-shirt that proclaims
that very fact. The question is...who will join him? That question
was partially answered on June 24, when OPRF and Olympic wrestling
families collided at Doc Ryan's in Forest Park. The plus-$14,000
intake allows Ellis's siblings, mother, and aunt to travel to
London, as reported by the
For all those that attended or contributed to the event, we all say
a heartfelt thanks. Ellis Coleman was the guest of honor -- albeit
by remote presence. A Skype interview was arranged with the
Olympian. At the fundraiser, all eyes were on Ellis. They will
continue to be on Ellis as he competes in London.
For more on Ellis Coleman, visit
Ellis Coleman Gold.
Team Illinois takes 5 of 6 titles against states' best
Junior, Cadet, and Schoolboy Duals all dominated by talented Land of
Some may wonder if the USA duals should continue in 2013. After last
year's sweep of Junior and Cadet titles, Team Illinois continued the
onslaught in 2012. It started with the Schoolboy squads winning
double gold before the Cadet freestyle's title (and second place
Greco finish). It concluded with the Junior twin titles in Oklahoma
City. A number of Huskies were among the participants. All results
can be found on
TrackWrestling (with more information on
USA Wrestling). Here is the quick
- Schoolboy |
June 7-10, 2012
| Indianapolis, IN
| GR-1, FS-1
- Cadet |
June 13-16, 2012
| Daytona Beach, FL
| GR-1, FS-2
| Huskies: Larry Early (GR/FS), Andre Lee (GR/FS)
- Junior |
June 27-30, 2012
| Oklahoma City, OK
| GR-1, FS-1
| Huskies: Jake O'Mara (GR/FS), Zach Pickering (GR), Sam
Brooks (GR/FS), Joey Ariola (GR)
The Doctor cures all: Fundraiser for
Ellis Coleman on June 24
Support Ellis by going to the Doc Ryan's fundraiser; early tickets
are $30 ·
Ellis Coleman, OPRF graduate and 2012 Olympian, needs all the
support he can in order to travel to London and do his very best to
represent our community and our country. On Saturday, June 24,
please attend the fundraiser in his honor. The fundraiser will be
from 3:00 pm - 7:00 pm at Doc Ryan's in Forest Park, IL.
Tickets are $30.00 in advance and $35.00 at the door.
Come hungry and thirsty! All-you-can-consume pizza, tap beer, wine,
Get tickets |
| RSVP to
| or Huskie Wrestling Family
Circulate the Flyer
| made out to The Huskie Booster
There's no "Lion" in baseball: OPRF
claims IHSA title over rival LT
Huskies win in walk off, dethrone chief rival en route to first team
championship trophy in 31 years ·
This story couldn't have been written any better. The OPRF Huskies
(30-9-1) went toe-to-toe with their rival -- dare I say nemesis?
-- Lyons Township Lions (27-13-1) in the IHSA Class 4A Baseball
Championship. Two West Suburban (Silver) Conference teams locked
horns in Joliet, IL. It was a grudge match. As one announcer said,
"There's something magical when every pitch matters."
It was a seesaw affair, with no team leading by more than one run.
In the end, Jack Picchiotti leadoff triple set the stage for the
final moments. Two intentional walks followed before a lightning
shot by Mike Brennan sent the championship trophy to 201 N. Scoville
on "Orange and Blue Avenue."
Enjoy snapshots of the final sequence. The photos are from IHSA.tv,
and were taken and edited by Brian Tideman, webmaster. Click on each
for a larger photo.
IHSA 4A Bracket
Style points: Three Huskies are
crowned at Freestyle State
Three 2012-2013 returnees shine in central Illinois ·
Champaign was revisited this past weekend, as many wrestlers of all
ages combated for the state title in Freestyle. Not all IHSA
wrestlers attended, but three of our own stood out as champions in
their brackets. Larry Early (a rising sophomore) won at Cadet 132,
Andre Lee (a rising junior) won at Cadet 195, and Jake O'Mara (a
rising senior) won at Junior 138. Andre didn't give up a point in
any bout. Congratulations to members of La Flama Blanca!
Complete results are on
TrackWrestling. (Not all La Flama Blanca wrestlers attend OPRF.)
From tree to tea: Ellis Coleman to
enjoy London's finest
2009 OPRF graduate flying high as Olympian in 60 kg Greco-Roman slot ·
Ellis Coleman (courtesy USA
Ellis Coleman, a twenty-year-old national and
international sensation, has just earned a spot to compete against
the best as one of the best. He bested Joe Betterman, also an
Illinois native, two bouts to zero in the championship. Ellis was a
member of the 24-0 undefeated state champion Huskies in February of
Ellis previously helped qualify the weight for
Olympic competition, as weight classes are not automatic entry into
for video on nbcolympics.com.
after his semifinals |
interview after his title
Chicago Tribune |
For brackets and results, visit
At left, photo by
Charlie Neibergall / AP.
So long Sammy: Sam Brooks story
begins a new chapter
Sam Brooks with Coach
Sam Brooks, a 2012 OPRF graduate, will go down as
the most decorated wrestler (as of today) in Oak Park & River Forest
history. Mack Bolen, a skilled and enthusiastic member of the OPRF
Wrestling Family, recently wrote an article highlighting Sam Brooks.
View the article on
Flying over the competition: Coleman,
Kowalczuk seek London
Peter Kowalczuk and Ellis Coleman, both accomplished
wrestlers in their time at Oak Park & River Forest High School, are
competing this weekend for the right to represent the Red, White,
and Blue in London later this year.
In the 120 kg Greco-Roman division, Peter lost a
close bout to the eventual Challenge champion, Steve Andrus. He
rebounded to a pin victory before losing his second and final match
to the third place finisher, Toby Erickson. Peter wrestled well and
was one of only eight wrestlers in the Challenge bracket.
Ellis Coleman will wrestle on Sunday in the 60 kg
Greco-Roman bracket. He is one of twelve with aspirations in this
bracket. For brackets and live results, visit
More in store: The news in OPRF
Regardless of what Tom Skilling of WGN-TV might say,
it's spring. And with spring, the Huskies spring into growth and
maturity. Here's another glance at newsworthy stories:
| Several Little Huskies completed
their IKWF seasons on Saturday at the IKWF Senior and Novice State
Championships. Nine Little Huskies earned a trip to Rockford, and
seven took home a medal. Senior results: Louie Hayes
(74-champion!), Gabriel Townsell (108-2nd), Ben Schneider (122-6th),
Robert Holt (156-DNP), Dijour Cotton-Crockett (156-DNP), and Karim
Fuentes (215-6th). Novice results: Jaleel Hollingsworth
(84-5th), Davion Talbert (156-5th), and Max McDermott (177-DNP).
Congrats to these and all the Little Huskies this year! View the
A "Frosh" Perspective
| This past Saturday, the Frosh/Soph
state tournament was held. This tournament was open to all freshman
and sophomore wrestlers who did not qualify for the state tournament
in Champaign. The Huskies had eight participants who qualified
for the state tournament. They were Jake Bajo (101), Savonne
Bennette (113), Zach Brinner (126), Max Metzgar (132), Andrew
Borgdorff (138), William Osborne (182), Malik Brumant (220), and
David Beacom (220). Although none medaled, valuable experience was
earned as the wrestlers did it Huskie Style! Visit
Team Illinois for results and
You Can't Spell N-C-A-A
| Upcoming this weekend is the NCAA
Division I Wrestling Championships in St. Louis. Two studly redshirt freshmen you
might know are Nick and Chris Dardanes. They have earned spots from
the Minnesota Golden Gophers roster. Follow the tournament
Banking on a Banquet
| The OPRF end of season banquet
will be held this Sunday, March 18, at 4:30 pm in the South
Cafeteria. Freshman families bring salad/appetizers; Sophomore and
Junior families bring entrees, Senior families bring desserts. This
is a can't miss event; your taste buds will never let you hear the
end of it.
Iowa City to London?
| If you haven't realized, this
year is an Olympic year. Two alumni are among the nation's best in
Greco: Ellis Coleman and Pete Kowalczuk. Both are in the hunt to
represent our great country in London later this year. The USA
Wrestling Olympic Trials will be held in Iowa City, IA, on April
21-22. For more information, go to
Nowry, Wheeling graduate and former OPRF assistant coach, will also
be in the action.
Keep the Fun Going
| You know you want to...wrestle with ILUSAW
this spring and summer.
Download an application here. Visit
Odds and ends: Pursuit relentless
(what's new?) and photos
For a better view of the dual tournament, visit
photos by Paul Dengel
by Kevin O'Mara
Keep the Fun Going
| Wrestle with ILUSAW.
Download an application here. Visit
| Chris and Nick Dardanes (OPRF
'10) are in the thick of things on the national stage in their
redshirt freshman campaign for the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Visit a
recent article about them:
Little Huskies / Big Hearts
| The Little Huskies wrestled in
their regional competition this past Saturday, February 25. Here is
a rundown from the Little Huskies coaches: "We had 35 Little Huskies
compete in the IKWF Regional at St. Laurence on Saturday. 17 of
those wrestlers made it to the finals and 11 of them were crowned
champion." Congrats to the qualifiers! Keep it up!
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