Fenton, Glenbard South feeling good about sectional
It was a productive day for three local Class 2A wrestling programs in Bensenville over the weekend.
Host Fenton had five athletes win regional championships via fall in sending 10 wrestlers to the Wauconda individual sectional this weekend.
Glenbard South had more sectional qualifiers than the Bison with its total of a dozen, but Fenton won the team title with 234 points to the Raiders' 218.5.
St. Francis had six sectional qualifiers in finishing third with 143 points.
"We had a lot of pins throughout the tournament," Fenton coach Brian Hastings said of the difference over Glenbard South. "We knew it was going to be tough with Glenbard South. A lot of guys came through."
Bison wrestlers Jeremy Piskorz (120 pounds), Angel Nava (138), Ryan Mencini (145), Kyle Higgins (160), Dylan Butts (170) and heavyweight Jesse Galeana all won championships for Fenton.
The Bison will meet second-ranked Crystal Lake Central in a bid for a state berth for the Class 2A team tournament two days after the individual state finals on Feb. 21.
"They're deep and they're talented," Hastings said of Crystal Lake Central. "They are a really good program. It will be an exciting challenge for us."
Glenbard South coach Derrick Crenshaw will have a program-best 12 wrestlers vying for a state slot this weekend at Wauconda.
"We have never had three guys make it to state during my tenure (since 2000-01) -- and we have a chance this year," Crenshaw said. "I have never had three (regional champions) before."
The Raiders' Vince Marra, Numan Ayhan and Adam Haushahn emerged victorious in Bensenville with championship efforts at 152, 182 and 220 pounds.
Ayhan is a returning state qualifier for Glenbard South.
"He is getting better and better each weekend," Crenshaw said of his senior standout.
Eleven of the 14 Fenton regional champions hailed from area programs.
St. Francis' Ben Bougadis and Jayson Powell became the first multiple postseason champions in the Spartans' brief history.
"We've never had that before," St. Francis coach Don Page said of his 113- and 126-pound titlists. "They should have a lot confidence. They are peaking at the right time."
Lots of Lions:
Lisle fell short of its team title last weekend with a 239-200.5 loss than Chicago Hope in the first Class 1A preliminary.
"They were just better than us," Lisle coach John Ruettiger said of Hope. "Overall we did real well."
Drew Sonnefeldt won for the 32nd time in 34 attempts in claiming the lone championship for the Lions at 138 pounds.
Sonnefeldt is seeking a fourth consecutive state finals appearance in Champaign at Coal City's sectional.
Ten other Lisle wrestlers made the sectional cut.
"He is starting to look like some of my former state champions," Ruettiger said of his prized 138-pounder. "If he continues to wrestle like he has, he will be a high medal-winner."
Mark Pivek also seeks a return bid to Champaign for Lisle.
"I think, for sure, Drew and Mark will get out," Ruettiger said.
The toughest sectional:
There is a near-universal consensus that Downers Grove North is the deepest Class 3A sectional.
"Without a doubt it's going to be crazy," Trojans coach Chris McGrath said. "There are some weights with five of the top-10 ranked kids on illinoismatmen(.com)."
"It is not equitable," Metea Valley coach Claudio Torres said. "I never get an answer (from the IHSA)."
The west suburban programs along the Interstate-88 corridor will face off with multiple state-champion contenders from southeast Chicago and the far south suburbs.
The 195-pound class is particularly intriguing.
Four of the contenders are ranked in the top eight.
"It is going to be the class to watch," Torres said.
Sandburg senior Patrick Brucki entered the season ranked No. 2 in the nation at 195 pounds.
Batavia regional champion Mason Kroening of Waubonsie Valley and Wheaton Warenville senior Andrew Leonard have lost only to each other the entire season.
Downers Grove South 195-pounder Sergio Villalobos, the Lyons Twp. regional champion, is another formidable threat.
"I don't even know if it's going to be the toughest (class)," McGrath said.
Montini, the team champion at Lyons Twp. will face storied power and Catholic League rival Mt. Carmel in the Hinsdale Central team sectional, has had seven wrestlers ranked in top three at some point on the matmen ratings.
Lyons Twp. regional champions Dylan Raguson and defending state champion Joey Melendez are both ranked No. 1 at back-to-back classes of 106 and 113 pounds.
Real Woods and Will Lewan are second ranked at 126 and 145 for Montini.
Faber has company:
Glenbard West will be one of the local programs at the Class 3A Conant sectional.
Charlie Faber had his season-long 36-match winning streak snapped by conference rival Eddie Bolivar of Oak Park-River Forest in the 120-pound Leyden regional championship match.
"It was the first time they have ever faced each other," Glenbard West coach Nick Posegay said. "We got six guys through (to Conant), so that was our goal. We really had to battle to get in Conant. We have some good things happening."
Catron Frazier (106 pounds), Will Skowronski (113), Aaaron Castellanos (132), Patrick Mackey (160) and Connor Skryd (195) are other Glenbard West sectional qualifiers.
Lally ready to go:
West Chicago and its regional champion, Trey Lally, are also in the mix at Conant.
The Wildcats' 195-pounder improved to 27-2 with his 10th consecutive victory since losing to WW South's Leonard at the Geneva Invitational in early January.
"He dominated the championship match," West Chicago coach Dragonatti said of Lally ending his West Chicago regional final with a first-period fall. "He is the favorite, in my opinion, at our sectional."
Glenbard North had its 16-year largest-class regional run end against St. Charles East at West Chicago.
But the Panthers' Mark Hahn, who is retiring at the conclusion of the state tournament in Champaign, has a chance to guide Iowa State star Austin Gomez to defending his back-to-back state championships.
"He's not going to get stopped from winning his third straight state championship," Dragonatti said of the second-ranked 138-pounder in the nation. "He works for everything he gets. He is phenomenal on the mat."