Boys wrestling: Hersey notches huge win over Prospect
There was not a single person on the Hersey bench who could answer when the Huskies had last beaten perennial Mid-Suburban East wrestling power Prospect, but those on hand Friday night in Mount Prospect will know the answer next time they are asked.
The visiting Huskies came out with the wind in their sails, opening up a 32-0 advantage, weathering a brief comeback, then crushing the Knights 45-21 to improve their divisional record to 3-0-0 (5-2-0 overall).
"I guess I would have never expected us to be on the end of a result like this one tonight against a program that has had so much success, and one that we have the utmost respect for, so it's a terrific night for Hersey wrestling. But it's not the most important result we're looking to achieve this year," said Huskies coach Joe Rupslauk, who along with his two assistants, former head coach Jim Wormsley and 2013 state runner-up Hunter Rollins, were unable to dig into their collective memory bank to recount when a Huskies club beat the Knights.
The Huskies' first six wrestlers helped their club race out to would be an insurmountable lead, but it was an Oleg Simakov pin over rival Sean Mitchel at 285 pounds that Rupslauk and senior Billy Spassov pointed to as the key to victory.
"Oleg was pinned by Mitchel in his last two matches, including last week in the quarters of the Mudge-McMorrow Invite, so for him to turn the tables and get a big pin for us was huge," said Rupslauk.
"(Mann) Mejia got us started with his pin in the opening match at 220 but Oleg's pin really inspired all of us to go out and wrestle hard and at our best," added Spassov, whose pin at 2:28 at 170 insured victory.
"This win is great, and we want to go after the MSL East title, then conference title, but we all know we're capable of so much more."
Danny Lehman (106), Max Mukhamedaliyev (113), Esteban Delgado (120), James Shaffter (126) and Jake Hanson at 132, would follow the Mejia-Simakov heroics to stake the visitors to their big lead inside Jean Walker Field House before the Knights' trio of Will Baysingar (138), Lennon Steinkuehler (145) and Conner Munn (152) would breathe some life into their team's attack to draw coach Tom Whalen's club closer at 32-15.
"(Hersey) came out ready to go, outwrestled us, and were so much more tougher than us. Credit Joe and his guys who wanted it more than us, and have been terrific all year long thus far," said a disappointed Whalen.
Elliot Carter slowed the Knights with an impressive 16-2 major decision at 162 in advance of the Spassov pin.