What a night for Opsal, Conant's super seniors
Three seasons ago, Conant coach Mike Opsal began his coaching career as freshman head coach.
On Friday, that group of freshmen celebrated senior night in style with their rook head coach as the Cougars roared to a 154.60, he second-highest team score in the state this season.
"When I found out was going to be head coach this year, I thought 'Cool. I get to introduce them on senior night,' " Opsal said. "And what a night they had."
The seniors -- Joey Mauk, Brian Reedy, Zack Davis, Josh Hoppe, Shane Fessenden, Brandon Metcalf, Matt Poczatek, Paulo Cipriano, Nathan Lopez, Faral Quoraishi and Adrian Lisowski -- had all been with Opsal during the four-year span.
"It has been great to be with coach for four years," Reedy said. "He has been amazing to me and the rest of the team."
Mauk, who was on varsity his first season, likes the chemistry of this year, with the addition of Roman Cruz and Blake Rossdeutcher adding some depth.
"I couldn't be happier with the team," Mauk said. "It has been a great experience being with everyone."
Mauk was also happy with his first all-around performance in over a year. Mauk had been competing in just five events as he worked his injured shoulder back into shape.
On Thursday, he competed on the rings for the first time, scoring a 9.30. Mauk won the five other events with scores of 9.60 on the floor, 8.70 on the pommel horse, 9.40 on the vault, 9.70 on the parallel bars and 8.00 on the high bar.
"It has been too long since I did all-around," said Mauk, who finished with a 54.70. "It felt real good to get back on the rings. I couldn't be happier on what I got."
Reedy also had terrific night, posting career bests in floor (9.00), pommel horse (8.40) and parallel bars (8.60). Only a fall on the high bar kept the night from being perfect for him.
"I still had the best meet I ever had," said Reedy, whose 50.10 all-around score was also a career-best. "I just wish I had hit the last event."
Prospect was competing in only its third meet of the season. And the Knights were a bit shorthanded with Mark "Ringo" Larock and Tim Pappas nursing injuries while Matt Strafaci competed in only three events. Chris Klein was third on parallel bars (8.55) to help lead the Knights with a 128.95.
"We just had light schedule early in the season," Prospect coach Randy Smith said. "It is crunch time coming up for us. Now we are done with practice."
Schaumburg has been on the upswing. And the Saxons used spring break to put in new tricks. The addition paid dividends as Schaumburg improved nearly 5 points to score a 120.50.
"We haven't had a meet in a couple of weeks," Schaumburg coach Erik Bostrom. "We are getting our younger guys to pull together their requirements. And it is going pretty well."
Elliot Lam was second on the vault with a 9.10 while Mat Sigler was third on the vault with an 8.90.
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