Cael Andrews is simply enjoying working hard for what lies ahead.
Andrews (33-8), a freshman 113-pounder, is one of seven Batavia wrestlers who will be in action this weekend at the Class 3A Conant Sectional. He's handling the pressure ahead of him seemingly just fine.
"I just take it one match at a time," Andrews said. "At regionals I [thought]: 'I'm going to be really nervous for sectionals', but now that I'm here, [I'm] just thinking I'm ready and it's just a normal tournament."
What's his weekend goal?
"Place high," Andrews said. "Just like at every other tournament. It's nothing new; just another tournament."
Andrews has a first-round bye and will then face the winner of Glenbard North's Lauden Edwards and Willowbrook's Gabe Yu.
Joining Andrews for Batavia at Conant will be Kaden Fetterolf (106), Marc Romero (132), Riley Woods (138), Mike Caliendo (145), Ryan Whitwell (170) and Alex Richards (220).
While not direct practice partners in the Batavia wrestling room, Andrews gets a chance to see how guys like Caliendo – a state qualifier last season – prepares and how he can apply it to his own matches.
"Really just the aggressiveness," Andrews said. "I've been with him up through [the Batavia feeder program]. There was only two years where we were in the same room together, but I just really like his aggressiveness. I just go out there and just try to put it on kids just as hard as he does."
Fetterolf (27-10) and Whitwell (2-1) are the other two freshmen competing for Batavia.
"I think it's really great we have three freshmen in there," Andrews said.
Caliendo is "excited to see" Andrews compete at sectionals.
"He's wrestling really good. I can see he's improved a lot just from wrestling [in] high school," Caliendo said on Andrews. "That big jump you make from the IKWF [Illinois Kids Wrestling Federation] to high school, you can really see that pay off working every day in the high school room."
"He's hard-working; you can definitely tell he wants it," Caliendo continued. "He comes in the room every day...he knows his goals and he's working for it."
Caliendo (34-1), ranked fourth in the state at 145 pounds, is unbeaten since December. This is his third sectional appearance.
Caliendo, who earned his 100th varsity win earlier this season, has a first round bye before facing the winner of Glenbard North's Jack Barracca or Glenbard West's Brennan Skoda. Top-ranked Fidel Mayora (36-4) of Montini is on the opposite end of the bracket.
"I just like to think of it as just another tournament," Caliendo said. "Just go out there and wrestle my best."
Kane County Chronicle area sectional qualifiers, with weight class and record:
Batavia: Kaden Fetterolf (106, 27-9); Cael Andrews (113 pounds, 33-8); Marc Romero (132, 5-11); Riley Woods (138, 25-9); Mikey Caliendo (145, 34-1); Ryan Whitwell (170, 2-1); Alex Richards (220, 21-7)
Burlington Central: Greyson Gardner (160, 21-18); Collin Wrobel (182, 19-15); Noah Ross (195, 21-19);
Geneva: Ian Huck (126, 32-8) and Hank Smith (285, 9-10)
Kaneland: Cameron Phillips (106, 24-10); Caden Grabowski (113, 23-10); Jack Yore (160, 17-15); Miles Ripper (220, 24-9);
Marmion: Jameson Garcia (106, 28-12); Diego Sotelo (37-2, 113); Tegan Chumbley (10-5, 120); Tyler Perry (126, 21-14); Jacob Tinajero (138, 31-5); Walter Green (145, 25-14); Jaden Morga (152, 19-18); Charlie O'Connor (170, 6-3); Brandon Bryan (220, 11-14);
St. Charles East: Alex Hadzima (106, 12-27); Wrigley Schroeder (113, 12-18); Max Sztuk (120, 27-19); Jake Penzato (126, 23-6); Peyton Schroeder (132, 30-13); Charles Fialka (145, 19-24); Michael Wirkus (152, 23-19); Gavin Tatar (160, 25-15); Carter Maggio (170, 34-7); Frank Szymanski (182, 20-17); Diego Sanchez (195, 14-18); Xander Song (285, 18-3)
St. Charles North: Drew Surges (152, 24-12) and Colman Gonnella (195, 19-10)