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Sports

Wrestling: Regional champs McDonald, Orosco lead three Kaneland sectional qualifiers

Kaneland's Calvin McDonald pins Ottawa's Brence Smith in the 220 pound championship bout during the regional wrestling tournament at Sandwich High School on Saturday, February 3, 2018. Steven Buyansky - For Shaw Media
Kaneland's Calvin McDonald pins Ottawa's Brence Smith in the 220 pound championship bout during the regional wrestling tournament at Sandwich High School on Saturday, February 3, 2018. Steven Buyansky - For Shaw Media

SANDWICH – Calvin McDonald made a cut, and now he's made the sectional cut.

McDonald, a Kaneland senior, wrestled heavyweight at Marmion last year. He came a win away from qualifying for sectionals, but had never made that cut in three years.

McDonald, though, made the decision to drop to 220 pounds after football season this past fall. He hasn't regretted it.

"It was an easy cut – I was like 230," McDonald said. "It's pretty nice. I'm used to wrestling those big boys. It's a nice change going to a lighter weight. I feel a little bit quicker."

The move continued to pay off Saturday, as McDonald won the 220-pound title at the Class 2A Sycamore Regional to lead three Kaneland sectional qualifiers. Nathan Orosco won the title at 120 and Trevor Jones was third at 170 for Kaneland, seventh in the team finish won by Ottawa. McDonald and Jones are the only two seniors on a Kaneland team loaded with freshmen.

McDonald on Saturday pinned Sandwich's Oryan Lawlor and Ottawa's Brence Smith.

Kaneland coach Joe Orosco liked the aggressiveness.

"He's a big strong kid, this is the time of the season we want him showing what he showed in that last match," Orosco said. "He was opening up his offense. As we progress to next week you have to open up your scoring system."

Nathan Orosco, sixth in the state last year, made a strong first push to return Saturday.

He beat Sandwich's Cael Schindlbeck, then avenged a loss by decision at the conference meet with a 7-0 win over Ottawa's Rafael Munoz for a repeat regional title.

"It means a lot, especially over a kid that just beat me two weeks ago," Orosco said. "This time I was working more on my offense instead of reacting to him."

"He was a little under the weather at conference," coach Orosco said, "but he came back today, focused on some things and wrestled well."

Orosco, third in sectionals last year, is intent on bettering that.

"I'm feeling I can win it," Orosco said. "I'm a lot more positive, just focusing on myself, looking to score points at all times."

Jones pinned Ottawa's Trevor Walsh in the third-place match at 170 pounds. The top three finishers in each weight class qualify for sectionals.

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