Hersey saved its best for last, finishing off a three-match sweep with a 38-33 victory in Carpentersville against host Dundee-Crown in Saturday afternoon's wrestling quad.
The Huskies flexed their upper-weight strength, using pins from Hunter Rollins and Matt Korff to take a slim lead over the Chargers. Hersey then slowly pulled away down the stretch with a major decision by Deon Rice (195) and Ed Beyer's second pin of the day before 106-pounder Andy MacTavish iced the Chargers with a pin of his own at 5:13.
"It's always a fun and nostalgic day when we come here to wrestle," said Hersey coach Jim Wormsley, who was an all-state football player here as well as a standout wrestler under famed coach Al Zinke, who is now Wormsley's assistant. "We had a pretty good day going 3-0, and we saw some of young guys take another step forward. But yes, our big guys, Korff and Beyer, really led the way for us, especially in that last dual with Dundee-Crown."
Despite the loss to Hersey, D-C enjoyed a fine day of wrestling, pounding an undermanned Chicago Foreman to begin with, then overwhelming a young Larkin club 62-12.
The Royals finished 1-2 after a 60-18 defeat of Foreman.
"I thought we had a very good day all the way around," said D-C coach Bob Skillman, who was without four regulars Saturday while listing seven sophomores in his lineup for all three matches. "That was a good dual that we had with Hersey, a real tight battle almost right until the end, and now they got one back after we beat them here last year."
After a quality victory over Prairie Ridge Friday night in FVC action, the Chargers went on a pinning frenzy against Foreman (4-5-0) to build a 44-6 advantage, before the visitors gave away 24 points to forfeits at the upper weights. Heavyweight Jeremy Marshall outlasted Foreman big man Ryan Mason 13-11 to end things in favor of the Chargers 71-6.
"Jeremy has been fighting the flu all day, but he still managed to go 3-0 for us," said Skillman, who saw Marshall, Diamond Flynn (106), Christian Brunner (132), Marshall Thompson (138), Elijah Velez (152) and Christian Rodriguez (195) all record falls against Larkin.
Royals first-year coach Steve Hoyt was upbeat even though his team managed just one victory. He praised the top duo of Duke Bojicevec and Kory Plate as well as the overall effort his club has shown in the early stages of the season.
"We're going to really lean on Duke and Kory because we lack so much experience on this team and in our program," said Hoyt. "For some of these guys, it's only been 30 days in the room and on the mats, and there's no substitute for experience.
"But the guys are working hard, and we gave St. Charles North a good match on Friday (44-32) and we lost very tight duals with Riverside-Brookfield and Belvidere -- matches we could have won. So we're getting better each time out."
Bojicevec and Plate were a perfect 3-0, and against Foreman, heavyweight Jeremy Hernandez turned a 10-4 deficit into a shocking pin at 3:57 over Mason.
Hersey took an early 6-0 lead against the Chargers after a pin from Grant Warner at 120 pounds to start things off, but a forfeit, followed by consecutive pins from Brunner and Thompson, put D-C ahead at 18-6.
Tom Somenek, also 3-0 for the Huskies at 145, pulled his team closer (at 18-10) with a major decision win at 145, helping to set the stage for Hersey's big men.
"Korff had a big win against Prospect on Friday night to give him 4 big wins over the two days, and Beyer has really been coming along in his progress as well," said Wormsley. "So along with Hunter and Deon, we've got a nice core at the upper weights, which has helped us through at times while our guys at the lower weights have been slowly finding their way."
For 2012 state medalist Rollins, the push is on to climb atop the podium in Champaign after the senior fell short of that goal last year downstate.
"Some of those matches down there left a bad taste, and I haven't really forgotten about things went for me at state," said Rollins, who brought home a fifth-place medal at 160 pounds.
The four-year star dropped a heartbreaking 3-2 decision to eventual state runner-up Farai Sewera of Lake Park in the semifinals, then another 3-2 to Dan Rowland (Willowbrook) in wrestlebacks to end his hopes of a third-place finish.
"I've put all of that behind me, but it still is a reminder of how hard I need to work to be the best," Rollins said.
Rollins is considered one of the favorites to win it all at along with Devonte Mahomes of Oak Park-River Forest and Peter Andreotti of Marist at 160 in February.