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Circle of confidence : Sports : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Circle of confidence
Area wrestlers find success at Oswego East Quad

by Kristin Sharp


There's no better way to boost confidence in the circle than with a successful day on the mats.

Both the Oswego and Oswego East wrestling teams did just that last Saturday, competing under the same roof at the Oswego East Quad, hosted by Oswego. Simultaneously, the JV SPC tournament was taking place at Oswego East. Now, the Panthers and Wolves will return to Oswego's gym on Saturday for the SPC tournament, beginning at 9 a.m.

One new twist this week leading up to the SPC showdown was the elimination of two practice days as Oswego School District 08 was closed Monday and Tuesday for dangerously cold weather conditions.

Now, the teams will turn up the focus as the week draws to a close.

"It's interesting not having practice going up to conference time, but I'd rather have it this week than next week before regionals," Oswego head coach Andrew Cook said. "They'll all get workouts in and keep their weights down."

Although Oswego and Oswego East were both competing in the quad, there were six total teams in attendance and the crosstown rivals did not share a mat. Instead, Oswego picked up a 41-26 win over Burlington Central and a 43-15 win over Stillman Valley with a 44-23 loss coming at the hands of Hinsdale Central.

Oswego East went 3-0 on the day with wins over Willowbrook (39-18), Stillman Valley (39-30) and Burlington Central (45-18).

"Overall, we wrestled well," Oswego East head coach Mike Jezioro said. "It was good for the guys to give them that pick-me-up heading into conference and regionals. It gave them a confidence boost, and we needed that.

"When you get to conference and regionals, you're going to wrestle guys you've wrestled before and no natter what happened in the past, you've got to be ready to go," he added. "You have to be ready to put points on the board."

Oswego East

The Wolves had sophomore Jordan Watson (160), freshman Kendall Elfstrum (182) and senior Steve McMahon (285) go 3-0 on the day while Ryan Ingalls went 2-0 in the circle.

Against Willowbrook, senior Austin Scaliatine won an 11-6 decision at 120, Chris Madison won a 7-6 decision at 126, senior Jason Fountain won a 5-4 decision at 132 and senior Mason Miller won by pin at the 3:44 mark at 145. Watson won a 7-1 decision, Elfstrum won a 6-3 decision, junior Dan Moran won by pin in 1:25 at 195, Ingalls won a 3-2 decision and McMahon won a 1-0 decision.

Oswego East won six bouts against Stillman Valley as Madison won a 14-11 decision, Miller won by pinfall in 3:15, Watson won an 8-2 decision, Elfstrum won by pin in 29 seconds, Moran won by pin in 20 seconds and McMahon won a 1-0 decision.

Closing the day against Burlington Central, Scaliatine won an 11-2 major decision, Fountain won by pinfall in 3:54 and freshman Andrew Okayama won by pin in 2:53 at 138. Sophomore BJ Hill won by pin in 1:59 at 152, Watson won a 15-6 major decision, Elfstrum won by pin in 4:15, Moran won by pin in 52 seconds, Ingalls won a 16-5 major decision and McMahon won by pin in 5:05.

Last Thursday, Oswego East closed out the SPC dual season with a 41-18 loss to Minooka to finish 2-5 in the league. Scaliatine won a 4-2 decision at 120, Okayama won a 1-0 decision at 138, Hill won a 9-3 decision, Moran won by pin in 2:24 and McMahon won a 1-0 decision. Three others lost by two points or less.

"Against Minooka, I thought we wrestled well. There were three matches that were one or two points and if they swing the other way, the score is a little closer," Jezioro said. "We're trying to get to that point where we can learn how to win those tight matches. The guys wrestled well overall.


Sophomore Blake Huffmon (120), junior Jack Pradel (126) and senior Nick Schultz (132) all went 3-0 on the day while junior Andrew McFall and senior Nick Aguirre went 2-0.

"We went 3-1 last week and it was a good day (on Saturday) at our place," Cook said. "We had a couple kids out for various reasons and if we had a full lineup, I think we battle with Hinsdale a little bit better."

Oswego opened the day against Burlington Central and freshman Luke Pradel won a 16-1 tech fall at 106 while Huffmon won a 16-1 tech fall at 120. Jack Pradel won by pin in 1:29, Schultz won a 16-4 major decision and at 145, senior Kushtrim Balazi won by pin in 2:48. Junior Arian Osmani won a 10-2 major decision at 195 and senior Blake Patton won by pin in 4:34 at heavyweight.

Against Hinsdale Central, Luke Pradel won a 13-3 major decision, McFall won a 3-0 decision and Huffmon won a 13-4 major decision. Jack Pradel won by tech fall (16-1), Schultz won a 4-1 decision and Aguirre won by tech fall (20-4).

Oswego closed the day against Stillman Valley and McFall picked up a 16-1 win by tech fall, Huffmon won a 8-6 decision, Jack Pradel won by pin in 2:33 and Schultz pinned his opponent in just 56 seconds. Aguirre won a 3-1 decision, Balazi won a 13-1 major decision, senior Andrew Gillingham won a 12-2 major decision and Osmani won by pin in 3:51.

Oswego finished the SPC dual season with a 41-26 win over Romeoville to finish 3-4 against league opponents. The Panthers ended the year with an 8-15 dual meet record. Jack Pradel won by pin in 1:59, Aguirre won by tech fall (17-2), Gillingham won an 8-6 decision and junior CJ Brown won by pin in 3:19.

"It's going to be an interesting conference tournament," Cook said. "In a tournament setting, we do a whole lot better than we do in a dual setting so you never know what kind of run we can make. Plainfield East is tough, Plainfield South, Plainfield Central and Minooka. It's going to be an interesting run at this conference title."

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