Wrestling: Hubs take second at Interstate 8 Conference meet

Several varsity, JV athletes bring home individual honors

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MAPLE PARK — The Rochelle Hub wrestling team shined at the Interstate 8 Conference Championship meet on Saturday, with several varsity and JV athletes bringing home individual awards during the tournament. Rochelle (19-6. 6-1 Interstate 8) finished second in the varsity competition with 184 total points.

“Wrestling is about pride and honor and the kids need to continue wrestling hard for six minutes,” head coach Alphonso Vruno said. “We talked throughout the day and I thought the kids really started to wrestle well and listen to what we’ve been working on during practice. The kids really turned the tournament around and we took second in a pretty competitive tournament without one of our better wrestlers. The kids need to stay motivated for the regional and we want our whole team to be a part of that experience.”

Freshman Xavier Villalobos won the 113-pound varsity championship, earning a 12-4 major decision over Sycamore’s Jonathan Buckheister before defeating Kaneland’s Kamron Scholl by 7-4 decision in the finals. Freshman Joseph Nadig won the 120-pound varsity championship, scoring a first-period pin against Ottawa’s Landon Marx and a second-period pin over LaSalle-Peru’s Reegan Kellett in the finals.

Freshman Kaiden Morris won the 220-pound varsity championship, recording back-to-back pins against Sandwich’s Kaiden Gustafson in the semifinal round and Sycamore’s Jackson Funderburg in the finals. Sophomore Tommy Tourdot took second in the 106-pound varsity bracket, edging Morris wrestler Brandon Anderson by 4-2 decision before falling against Kaneland’s Cameron Phillips in the final round.

Junior Jaden Cook finished second in the 285-pound varsity bracket, winning by fall over Sandwich’s Jaime Serrano and Morris wrestler Justin Hemmersbach but falling against Sycamore’s Lincoln Cooley in the finals. Junior Weldon Nay placed third in the 126-pound bracket, conceding a 10-2 major decision against Sandwich’s Miles Corder but rebounding with a second-period pin against LaSalle-Peru’s Kaleb Vela. Junior Wesley Brown took third in the 132-pound varsity bracket, dropping one bout against Sandwich’s Sy Smith.

Freshman Brandyn Metzger finished third in the 160-pound varsity bracket, losing against Sandwich’s Bryce Decker in the semifinals but rallying with wins over Morris wrestler CJ Shafeer and Ottawa’s Wyatt Reding. Sophomore Brock Metzger placed third in the 170-pound bracket, falling against Sandwich’s Sammy Dale before recovering with back-to-back pins over LaSalle-Peru’s Jace Wallgren and Morris’ Ethan Morrissy.

Junior Jorge Driggs took third in the 195-pound bracket, pinning Ottawa’s Matt Finley before falling against LaSalle-Peru’s Connor Lorden and outlasting Kaneland’s Max Pietak in a 6-5 decision during his final bout. Freshman Grant Gensler finished fourth in the 138-pound bracket, defeating LaSalle-Peru’s Gunnar Skoog with a 10-1 major decision in between losses to Sycamore’s Trent DuMont and Morris’ Tyler Semlar. Sophomore Leo Stoffel placed fifth in the 182-pound bracket with a pin over Morris’ Andrew Pall.

JV wrestlers

JV

Freshman Weylin Nay won the 113-pound JV championship, pinning Kaneland’s Joey Leonard and LaSalle-Peru’s Zach Pocivasek. Sophomore Riley Damask won the 120-pound JV championship, winning by fall over LaSalle-Peru’s Zach Znaniecki. Sophomore Alex Burke won the 138-pound JV championship, winning by fall over LaSalle-Peru’s Josh Bickford before earning a 9-7 decision over Sycamore’s Greg Degand.

Junior Troy Papke finished second in the 182-pound JV bracket, winning by fall over Kaneland’s Caden Vanik before falling to Ottawa’s Tate Spicer. Sophomore Alexander McBride placed second in the 195-pound JV bracket, defeating Kaneland’s Hudson Giannini by 11-2 major decision and losing by 4-0 decision to LaSalle-Peru’s Gage Starkey. Freshman Damon Cagle took second in the 220-pound JV bracket, beating Kaneland’s JR Warfel by 5-2 decision before falling against Kaneland’s Jacob Nonnemacher in the final round.

Sophomore Jimmy Chavez placed second in the 106-pound JV bracket, losing his lone bout against Kaneland’s Alex Gochis. Freshman Jack Pavlak took third in the 170-pound JV bracket, falling against Sycamore’s Luis Garcia before pinning Ottawa’s Andrew Ristau. Freshman Dempsey Atkinson finished fourth in the 138-pound JV bracket, falling to Sycamore’s Greg Degand and Kaneland’s Kyle Rogers.

Pictured above are JV ribbon winners Riley Damask, Weylin Nay, Alexander McBride, Troy Papke, Jack Pavlak, Damon Cagle, Alex Burke and Jimmy Chavez.