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Wrestlers make statement in Day 2 : Sports : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Wrestlers make statement in Day 2
Oswego takes runner-up finish at Glenbrook South Tournament

by Kristin Sharp


Oswego head wrestling coach Andrew Cook made an important scheduling decision this season, opting out of the Barrington tournament in late November in favor of a debut appearance in the Rus Erb Tournament at Glenbrook South.

The decision paid dividends for the Panthers as a more experienced group filled the brackets in late December and lifted Oswego to a runner-up finish in the 18-team field last Saturday.

Grant won the tournament with 262.5 points followed by Oswego (134) with six placewinners and Metea Valley (122.5) rounded out the top three. Even more impressive, Oswego sat in fifth place after Friday’s opening rounds.

“We wrestled pretty well, especially Day 2. In the final round we went 6-0 and we had two pins in that time,” Cook said. “We were trailing Metea there for the majority of the tournament, but caught up to them in the finals, which was surprising. We made some positive gains, that’s for sure.”

Oswego enjoyed three championship finishes from junior Andrew McFall at 120, senior Nick Schultz at 138 and senior Nick Aguirre at 145.

For McFall (14-2), he opened with a 13-1 major decision over DeLaSalle’s Dionicio Luna before winning a 6-3 decision over Lane Tech’s Ciaran McCarthy. He reached the finals by virtue of a 5-1 decision over Wheeling’s Johny Carvajal in the semifinals before closing out the tournament with a 5-4 decision in the championship bout over Grant’s Gage Datlovsky.

“Andrew wrestled well – good enough to win his matches,” Cook said. “He just wasn’t on 100 percent, but he still went 4-0. He was in good control of the whole match in the finals and did what he needed to do to get his hand raised and win the championship.”

Schultz improved to 9-2 with his championship run, which started with a pinfall in just 15 seconds over DeLaSalle’s Adrian Vasquez before he pinned Wauconda’s Connor Ford in 2:56. In the semifinals, he clinched a 3-2 overtime decision against Carmel’s Anthony Swindell to face Grant’s Christian Coronado in the finals. There,
Schultz won a 5-2 decision for the championship.

“He was the comeback kid,” Cook said. “In the semifinal match, he was losing with under a minute left to go in the match and the kid had a penalty point then Nick got an escape to tie it at 2. They went through all the overtimes, then the kid from Carmel chose down and Nick rode him out for the win. It was very intense.”

At 145, Nick Aguirre (12-1) won three decisions to get through the bracket. He won a 9-2 bout over St. Ignatius’ Michael Shanahan before winning 5-2 over Grant’s Mike Kouvelis. In the finals, he won a 5-2 decision over Buffalo Grove’s Jake Siebert.

“He’s wrestling well right now,” Cook said. “He’s 12-1 with over 40 takedowns and has only been taken down twice this year, and both takedowns were at 152 in the first match of the year.”

At 106, freshman Luke Pradel placed fifth overall. He pinned his first opponent from St. Ignatius, but lost by fall to eventual champion Christian Kanzler of Grant to move into the wrestlebacks. There, he went 3-1, winning an 8-4 decision over Loyola in the wrestleback finals.

“Luke weighs in at 90 pounds and he just battled,” Cook said. “He doesn’t give up in a match. He won one late in the match and just kept wrestling six minutes because good things happen when you push it to the limit. He definitely impressed me over the weekend, wrestling in his first varsity tournament against guys that are 16 pounds heavier than he is. That’s a big difference when you’re down that low; 16 pounds is a big difference.”

At 132, junior Jack Pradel placed third overall. He pinned his first opponent from Metea Valley in 4:28 and won an 11-2 major decision over Glenbard South, but lost a 5-4 decision in the semifinals to Grant to move into the third-place match. He pinned Glenbard South in 5:02 for the win.

The final placewinner came at 220 with junior CJ Brown capturing third place. He pinned his first opponent from DeLaSalle in 2:18, but lost by fall to Lake Tech.
In the wrestlebacks, Brown won a 7-2 decision over Niles North, pinned Metea Valley in 2:00 and won a 12-3 major decision over Wheeling to reach the third-place match. He pinned Marian Catholic in 4:38 to go 5-1 on the day and improve to 13-5 on the season.

Oswego will continue its tournament schedule, entering the two-day Berman Classic at Palatine on Friday and Saturday.

“Palatine will be a tough tournament,” Cook said. “There are over 20 teams there and some really tough teams will be there. We’ll get to see individually how we do, and hopefully we can continue doing well as a team too.”

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