Boys wrestling: McHenry bests Dundee-Crown 54-19, wins Fox Valley Conference title
McHenry's 54-19 win over Dundee-Crown on Thursday night had been a year in the making.
The Warriors fell a dual shy of winning the Fox Valley Conference title last season and worked hard all offseason to make sure they didn't come up short again. McHenry's hard work paid off as the team accomplished its first goal of the season, finishing 9-0 in the FVC and winning the conference title.
"We really wanted this," junior Pedro Jimenez said. "We worked hard to get it and I think we earned it."
McHenry (17-4, 9-0 FVC) knew it would start on the right note Thursday with D-C forfeiting six matches because of injuries and illnesses. The Warriors picked up their first contested-match win of the night at 126 pounds when Wyatt Stewart held on to win 7-2 after scoring five points in the second period.
Aiden Schuldt earned the Warriors' first pin of the night at 138 after running out to a 8-2 lead, and Jimenez secured the team's second win by fall at 145. Luis Anadeto (220) secured a 3-1 win, while Ryan Hanson (106), Jimmy Norris (113), Ruben Malgarejo (152), Chris Moore (170), Peyton Horowicz (182) and Jesse Saavedra (285) all won by forfeit.
McHenry coach Dan Rohman knew his team would be motivated to win a FVC title a week after last season ended. Rohman had 10 Warriors in his study hall class and they went over what each wrestler would have to do to make sure that McHenry would be ready to accomplish one of its goals: winning the FVC.
"The kids bought in, worked hard and they earned it," Rohman said. "The emotions are pretty sweet right now."
D-C coach Tim Hayes knew the Chargers (12-7, 5-4) would have a tough night stopping the Warriors from winning an outright conference title, but he was proud of how hard his healthy wrestlers competed.
Porter Leith secured his team's lone win by fall at 195, while Chris Gerardo (120) won with a 16-2 decision and Jose Gavina (160) won a 8-4 decision. Vinnie Velazquez won at 132 by forfeit.
Hayes said he could've brought back a few wrestlers for Thursday's dual but decided to hold out for one more day to make sure the Chargers are ready for the postseason.
"I think our guys who are ready to compete are moving in the right direction," Hayes said.
D-C ends the regular season Saturday when it hosts Woodstock and Geneva for a triangular before the Chargers compete in their own 3A regional Feb. 4. McHenry will return to action Feb. 4 at the Class 3A Grant Regional.
After accomplishing its first team goal of the season Thursday, the Warriors are ready to tackle their second. McHenry fell short of qualifying for the team sectional after Libertyville beat them out.
Now the Warriors are ready for their year-long plan to go into effect once again.
"That's our focus now," Rohman said. "We've got the trophy, we accomplished that first step, but that's not the last step that we want. We're going to keep working."