ROCHELLE — While Tuesday’s Senior Night wrestling match against the Freeport Pretzels may not have been as competitive as he had hoped it would be, Rochelle head coach Alphonso Vruno was still excited to see the Hubs score one more home victory for their two seniors.
With the Pretzels missing three standout varsity starters, Rochelle received seven forfeits and scored two fall victories to take down Freeport 54-27 in nonconference action. The Hubs (18-6, 5-1 Interstate 8) recognized seniors Caleb Nadig and Matt Eyster before Tuesday’s matchup.
“Caleb has put together a pretty darn good career throughout his three years at Rochelle,” Vruno said. “It’s been awesome to see him grow into a leader, not only by example, but through his interactions with his teammates and how he gets them ready to compete… Matt is a good-hearted kid who came in as a junior and has learned a lot about the sport. He does the right things in the mat room. Matt does a lot of good things and he adds a lot to our team.”
Freshman Joseph Nadig received a forfeit in the 120-pound bout to open the match Tuesday. Freeport scored its first win during the 126-pound bout, where Adam McDanel bounced back from a 7-0 deficit to edge junior Weldon Nay with a 13-9 decision. Junior Wesley Brown took a forfeit for the Hubs in the 132-pound bout, but the Pretzels recovered when Tyler Calam took down and pinned sophomore Alex Burke in the first period to win the 138-pound bout.
Rochelle and Freeport exchanged forfeits over the next two bouts, with freshman Grant Gensler winning the 145-pound bout and Jaylon Hail claiming the 152-pound bout for the Pretzels. Tarrone Jackson gave Freeport its first lead of the dual, scoring several takedowns before pinning freshman Brandyn Metzger to win the 160-pound bout for the Pretzels.
Sophomore Brock Metzger brought Rochelle back in the 170-pound bout, pinning Donavyn Hernandez with only two seconds remaining in the third period. Junior Troy Papke received a forfeit for the Hubs in the 182-pound bout before Freeport’s Braxton Castle reversed and pinned junior Jorge Driggs during the second period to win the 195-pound bout.
After freshman Kaiden Morris took a forfeit for Rochelle in the 220-pound bout, the Hubs extended their lead when junior Jaden Cook took down and pinned Landon Stewart in the 285-pound bout. Sophomore Tommy Tourdot and freshman Xavier Villalobos each took forfeits to win the 106-pound and 113-pound bouts and seal the dual victory for the Hubs on Tuesday.