Hersey claims MSL East championship

By Mike Garofola
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 1/14/2022 9:16 PM

Hersey is the Mid-Suburban East wrestling champion for the 10th time in program history after overwhelming visiting Buffalo Grove Friday night inside Ken Carter Gymnasium in Arlington Heights.

The Huskies (11-5, 5-0) claimed their first division title since 2011 following a 59-11 victory, much to the delight of head coach Joe Rupslauk and his top wrestler, Manny Mejia.


"We set a number of goals at the start of the season, and this is the first one that we've reached. Although there's much bigger goals we're after, it's only right that we celebrate the terrific accomplishment and occasion before turning our attention to the conference tournament next weekend," said Rupslauk.

"This is a great night for all of us," began Mejia, who leads the Huskies with a 35-5 overall record at 220 pounds.

"Since the start of this week we've been talking about this night when we could officially clinch the division title, and I really feel that one of the reasons for our success thus far is because of our improved nonconference schedule, which has matched all of us against really tough competition."

Mejia and his teammates returned last weekend from the prestigious 'Clash' in Rochester, Minn., where he was named to the all-tournament team.

Mejia is one of five Huskies who have claimed 25 wins or more this season, with another 11 bagging 20-plus victories thus far.

The Bison, who fell behind early (13-0) drew closer to the home side, thanks in part to a Isaac Wilson's major win at 132, followed by Adrian Lopez' 9-2 decision at 138.

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"Obviously we would have liked to be much more competitive tonight, but this is a team that is inexperienced on the varsity level, but despite that, wrestles with a lot of heart and desire and that's something we're very proud of," said Bison coach Joe Puzzo.

After the Lopez victory, the Huskies broke this one wide open with four consecutive pins from Parker Sena (145), Matthew Iliynkh (152), Billy Spassov (160) and Carter Elliot at 170.

Vlad Federchenko would stop the bleeding for the visitors with his 10-0 major at 182 to make it 37-11 before Ben Erhador (195), Mejia and heavyweight Oleg Simakov added 16 points on the scoreboard with a major and two falls.

Danny Lehman (106) would put the icing on the cake for the Huskies with his pin at 5:34 to end the memorable evening for the Huskies' faithful.

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