Wrestling Insider: Knights brace for Barbs
Kaneland’s recent slide against longtime rival Sycamore continued with last week’s 55-16 loss in a Northern Illinois Big 12 East dual.
The Knights haven’t defeated the Spartans in a dual in five seasons, but the team’s intense practices won’t change in its bid to erase that trend. Or pursue any other successes.
“We weren’t very fired up against Sycamore,” Kaneland coach Monty Jahns said. “We weren’t as intense as we usually are in the mat room on Tuesday and Wednesday. We were missing a couple of guys in the lineup.
“But it seems like when the intensity is up the day before a dual or tournament, the guys go out fired up. If you host a practice that just goes through the motions, it doesn’t cut it.”
Knights 138-pounder Sonny Horn and 285-pounder Zach Theis each won by fall against Sycamore, while Dan scored a victory at 145.
DeKalb, another conference title contender, is set to visit Maple Park tonight. Both sides expect a battle in the bid to stay close to the Spartans.
“Kaneland is very well-coached,” DeKalb coach Mike Pater said. “They have some elite, standout wrestlers on their roster.”
Pete McNamara spent 34 of his 41 seasons at Beech Grove (Ind.) as head coach before his recent relocation to Chicagoland.
St. Charles North’s first-year coach doesn’t foresee staying at the school beyond this season, but the skill he’s he’s seen so far figures to stay with him.
“This is deep water up here. It’s very, very difficult here, and I can equivocate that from coming from Indianpaolis and a program that was very, very good,” said McNamara, a lower-level North coach under Ken Moromi last season. “The top-level kids there and the top level kids here and pretty much the same, but the depth up here in Chicagoland is phenomenal. There are just so many good kids, and that’s because of the populace.”
“They’re going to have to be dealt with, and I don’t necessarily mean by us. I mean by GBN and some of the other big guns. Potter is going to do a good job there.”
Marmion (fourth, Class 3A) was the top-ranked Chronicle-area team in this week’s various Illinois Matmen Top 25 polls.
In 2A, regional rivals Kaneland (No. 19) and Burlington Central (No. 20) were in close pursuit. The Knights defeated the Rockets by criteria earlier this season.
St. Charles East was an honorable mention team in 3A.
IN THE GROOVE
Geneva, Sr., 195 pounds
What he did: Boser scored falls against opponents from South Elgin (1:13) and Downers Grove North (2:29) in a triangular Saturday. Julian Desens (113), Brad Martens (120) and Tony Castelvechhi (170) also were double-winners for the Vikings.
What the Cadets did: Went 4-0 against top competition at last weekend’s Moeller Super Duals in Cincinnati. Marmion is set to return to Ohio Friday and Saturday for the traditionally daunting Walsh Ironman Tournament.
WHAT WE LEARNED LAST WEEK
Batavia’s Joey Shump keeps rolling. A senior 126-pounder, Shump defeated foes from Sandburg, Naperville North and Lyons Township at Saturday’s Naperville North Quad. Connor McKeehan (220) also was unbeaten on the day, which provided a strong early-season test for the Bulldogs.
WHAT WE’LL LEARN IN THE WEEK AHEAD
How Geneva and St. Charles East stack up. The Vikings, coming off last week’s loss to Batavia, are set to host the Saints Friday. East remains unblemished in UEC River duals after separate routs against St. Charles North and Larkin. The Saints are in its first season under former standout Jason Potter.
COACH SLY SAYS
Batavia-Geneva gave us a good peek into the UEC River race, but the coaches from both those clubs have been telling us not to forget about St. Charles East since the season started.
East visits Geneva Friday. Should be a good one.
Elsewhere, Kaneland still is looking to stay strong in the NI Big 12 East after a recent loss to Sycamore.