Glenbard North captures 1,000th victory
From 33 conference titles to 15 state trophies, the accomplishments of the Glenbard North wrestling program are already the stuff of legend.
That legend keeps growing.
On Friday night the Panthers entered into truly rare company, capturing the 1,000th dual meet victory in program history with a 69-3 win over Wheaton Warrenville South.
It is believed that Glenbard North, which started wrestling in 1968 and has produced 25 individual state champions, is only the third high school in Illinois to reach that illustrious total, joining Harvard and Granite City.
"It's been five decades coming to get 1,000 wins," said Glenbard North coach Mark Hahn, the IHSA leader in all-time dual meet wins with 712 and one of only two varsity coaches (along with Bob Fulk) that the Panthers have ever had. "It is because of a lot of good wrestlers and a lot of great families and great coaches. It's just a number but it's cool."
The Panthers (19-4) won five of the six matches with the visiting Tigers forfeiting eight weight classes.
Senior Alonzo Smiley notched one of his team's two pins at 182 pounds.
"It's an amazing thing," Smiley said of the special night. "You look at Gold Dot Nation, it's about hard work, it's about dedication. Coach Hahn has done a great job keeping the tradition the same. We are lucky in that we get a lot of kids in our school that buy into the program and are willing to dedicate themselves to keep that tradition going."
Fellow senior Jaylin Garay added a first-period fall at 195.
"It's crazy to be a part of this," Garay said. "When we heard that we had a chance at the 1,000th win, we all wanted to come out with a bang.
"The amount of support we have from all of the coaches is incredible. They are always pushing us in the room and all of them want what is best for us."
Matt Chi notched an 8-6 overtime win at 132, Nolan Allan won 5-0 at 126 and Jack Barracca emerged with a 6-0 victory at 145.
"It's just that tradition that is handed down," said Hahn, whose teams have reached double-digit dual meet losses only once in his 33 years at the helm and that squad finished third in state. "When we graduate a great senior class, that tradition is handed down to the next group and they keep it going. And the consistency in our coaching staff is huge, we've been together for a long time.
"This group has put in a lot of hard work. We work them really hard in the room and they don't complain, they don't push back at all. I'm excited for what is to come (this season), I think their best wrestling is ahead of us."
Will Rising was the lone victor for WW South with a 7-5 decision at 170.