St. Charles East qualifies 13 for sectionals
Both the DeKalb and St. Charles East wrestling teams qualified every one of their wrestlers for the sectional round at the Class 3A DeKalb regional on Saturday.
But behind six individual champs, the Barbs claimed the team title to not only advance all 14 wrestlers to next week's Conant individual sectional, but advance as a team to the South Elgin dual team sectional later this month.
"Overall it was a great day," DeKalb coach Sam Hiatt said. "There are some matches we lost we want to get back next week. It wasn't perfect but we wrestled hard and we wrestled good. To come out and dominate the toughest regional in the state -- St. Charles East is good, Batavia is good and some good individuals."
The Barbs finished with 268 points while the Saints put up 224. They qualified all 13 wrestlers and had five champions. Batavia was third with 201.5 points, a wide gap ahead of Geneva in fourth with 97.
Tommy Curran (145), Damien Lopez (152), Luke Schmerbach (170), Bradley Gillum (182), Bryson Buhk (195) and Gavin Engh won titles for the Barbs. Ben Davino (120), Ethan Penzato (126), Tyler Guerra (132), Brody Murray (160) and Austin Barrett (285) were regional champs for the Saints.
"We knew it was going to be a dogfight. DeKalb has a hell of a team," St. Charles East coach Jason Potter said. "Hats off to them, they did a good job today. They wrestled dominant."
The Bulldogs had two champs -- Ino Garcia (106) and Aidan Huck (113) -- while qualifying 10 wrestlers for next week. The top three wrestlers in each weight class advanced to the sectional round.
Huck scored an upset against DeKalb's Rory Burright for the title at 113, getting a pin with just 11 seconds left in the match.
"He's a gritty kid," Batavia coach Scott Bayer said. "I feel like he kept his head in that match. ... He finished hard and took it to him on top. He's dangerous up there. Real proud of the way he closed that one out."
For DeKalb, Engh cruised to the title with two first-period pins to win a regional for the second straight year.
"It gives me a lot of confidence going into next week that I can win the sectional," Engh said. "I think the team feels that way too. We're ready to get going."
Hiatt said he was impressed with heavyweight Nate Sauer's performance in the third-place match against Batavia's Kyle Peyton. Peyton topped Sauer with a first-period pin in the first round, but the two met in the third-place match.
With only the winner going through to the sectional round, Sauer came up with a second-period pin to make sure the Barbs were 14 for 14 in qualifying individuals.
"Everybody was cheering for him," Hiatt said. "He was the 14th kid and we needed that to get the whole team to sectionals. It's good to see the whole team behind him. It was a third-place match and the whole team was going crazy for him."
At 132, the St. Charles East's Guerra got an upset of DeKalb's Danny Curran, 5-0. The sophomore didn't wrestle last year due to injury.
"I think people forgot about him," Potter said. "He's a sophomore and he's got so much offense. We've tried to get him to open up a little. It feels like he can score from anywhere."
Guerra said he just trusted his offensive ability to claim his first postseason championship.
"I was just able to shut him down and get to my offense," Guerra said. "I just wrestled how I normally wrestle. Nothing really special."
Potter said he knew it would be a tall task to knock off DeKalb, so instead the team was focused on getting through each of its wrestlers individually.
"The message was for all 13 guys to take care of themselves," Potter said. "If it was meant to be it will happen, if not the end of the day it's an individual regional also they needed to focus on themselves. The only way our team could have any success is if all 13 guys did their job. And all 13 guys got through. I'm excited."
In addition to its six champions, DeKalb qualified Kaden Klapprodt (third at 106), Burright (second at 113), Danny Aranda (second at 120), Ethan Schultz (second at 126), Danny Curran (second at 132), Austin Martin (second at 138), Caleb Wall (second at 160) and Sauer (third at 285).
Aside from its five champs, St. Charles East qualified Wrigley Schroeder (third at 113), Maddox Stieb (third at 138), Gavin Connolly (third at 145), Lane Robinson (second at 152), Elijah Chiaro (second at 170), Brandon Swartz (third at 182), Anthony Chiaro (third at 195) and Adrian Ramos-Acosta third at 220).
The Bulldogs, in addition to their two champs, qualified Chase Osborne (third at 132), Cael Andrews (second at 145), Noah Ajazi (third at 152), Mason Yanez (third at 160), Asher Sheldon (third at 170), Jason Tonkovich (second at 182) and Christian Allen (second at 220).
"I think we have the personnel to book a lot of hotel rooms downstate," Bayer said of his team's prospects in the sectional.
Geneva qualified Joey Sikorsky (second at 106), Dylan Schlegel (third at120) and John Schmidt (second at 195).
Sirosky, the No. 3 seed, got a first-round upset to get into the championship match. He won 10-7 after trailing early, but a takedown to end the first helped him out, coach Thomas Chernich said.
"It really changed the complexion for the match," Chernich said. "He was able to get another takedown after that then another in the third to secure it."
Allan Liquigan (third at 126) and Adam Lambaz (second at 285) will compete in the sectional for Elgin.
Lambaz lost a tough 1-0 decision in the final match to Barrett.
"He's got a chance to get downstate," Maroons coach Gary Paricack said. "I think we'll see the St. Charles East again. I definitely like (Lambaz's) chances again next week."
Larkin and St. Charles North did not advance any wrestlers.