Earlier this week, Cary-Grove wrestling coach Ryan Ludwig felt his wrestlers could benefit from a few new adjustments. The Trojans took a chain wrestling approach and it paid dividends Thursday night in Carpentersville.
In total domination, the Trojans (17-4, 6-1) won all but 2 matches in a 54-6 Fox Valley Conference dual meet win over Dundee-Crown.
Six matches resulted in pitfalls, via Michael Underwood (138), Patrick O'Malley (182) and Mike Cullen (120) while the other two Cullens, at 106 and 113, were victorious as well. Garret Glueck (152) and Jeremy Dermont (285) also looked solid in their matches.
"Our kids came out nice and focused this week. We have five duals and big goals for those duals. (I'm) very proud of how they wrestled and I'm proud of the intensity on the mat. They're trying to clean up things they're working on," said Ludwig. "We introduced some new things this week, just tweaking some things of how we do them, and they really pushed themselves to try to do those tonight and it was good."
Underwood (27-6) definitely worked on what Ludwig preached this week. Although his pin of Martell Thompson came with nearly 46 seconds left in the match, Underwood worked on dictating the match and tried not to force any one move while working on his angles along with being more natural.
"I'm going to wrestling for 6 minutes, I'm going to wrestle hard for 6 minutes, and the score should take care of itself," said Underwood. "If I wouldn't have come off the mat with a fall that would have been a mental loss for me."
It was a slow beginning for Glueck (18-7), as D-C's Tim Schanmier contorted him up on his back for a good 30 seconds. But the football team's kicker had it in gear near the end of the first period and a near pin in the second period allowed Glueck to gain more control en route to a 7-0 win that's fueling the fire for postseason success.
"We all have great ambitions, we all have individual goals as well as team goals to win a conference championship and win a regional championship," said Glueck. "The conference championship is coming up and we're getting prepared for that."
Glueck admitted the long playoff run during football was a bit of a setback, which teammate Patrick O'Malley also had a tough time with, but O'Malley was one of the faster C-G wrestlers in the pin department, getting Kevin Novotny in the first period at 1:51. Only freshman Sean Cullen was faster with a pin at 43 seconds as O'Malley (10-6) worked on changing his direction coming off his shots and got Novotny off balance and out of position.
"I feel as of last week I really started clicking," O'Malley said. "Definitely a big transition from wrestling to football as far as losing weight, getting into shape. I feel like I'm getting into a good groove because the conference tournament is coming up and I want to peak right there."
Christian Johnson and Ray Griggel were the only victors for Dundee-Crown (8-6, 1-4), but while head coach Rob Skillman is proud of the way Griggel has been at 220, where he's 2-0 after wrestling previously in the heavyweight division, the matchup was rough.
"We didn't wrestle too well but we knew we were running into a buzz saw," Skillman said. "We did not wrestle well, that's for sure. Not finishing things, not going hard. We're young with one senior ... tough matchups tonight, that's for sure."