HARVARD – After falling by more than 50 points to Cary-Grove on Thursday, Huntley wrestling coach B.J. Bertelsman told his team to put that day behind it and refocus.
Two days later, the Red Raiders came together, winning the 46th annual Sciacca/Holtfreter Tournament. Huntley placed in the top six in 10 of 14 weight classes and won at least one match in all but two weight classes.
“Everybody contributed,” Bertelsman said. “This is a pretty prestigious tournament and the highest we’ve ever got was fourth or fifth. To win it is pretty surprising.”
Huntley was led by championships by seniors Zach Stenger and Brandon Mabry. After recording falls in his previous two matches, Stenger earned a 13-3 major decision in the 113-pound championship. Mabry’s route to the top of the podium was a bit harder.
Mabry earned the 195-pound championship on a 3-2 decision in overtime against Christian Nugent of Johnsburg. Tied at 2 heading into overtime, Nugent was warned for stalling and Mabry kept working underhooks and backing up Nugent to earn the stalling point to win the match.
“It was just a grind of a match,” Mabry said. “Our mentality this season is keep pushing, keep pushing, and that’s what I did. He was backing up the entire time, so I just kept pushing and pushing and eventually got the call.”
Harvard tied Richmond-Burton with three individual champions each, with the Hornets taking fourth with 138.5 points. Adam Freimund took the 285-pound title for Harvard, winning a 3-2 decision in sudden-death overtime over Brandon Boyle of Johnsburg.
Freimund chose bottom in sudden death, and Boyle attempted to ride him out. But Freimund hit a stand-up and was able to escape. Freimund said he was confident being down.
“I knew that it was going to come down to the nitty gritty,” Freimund said. “I knew it was going to come down to me getting out.”
After placing third twice and second once in the tournament, Chance Shelton was happy to finally break through to the top of the podium at 126 for the Hornets. Shelton controlled the final, winning a 7-5 decision over Brian McKay of Johnsburg in the final.
“I was just trying to wrestle smart and not give up any easy points,” Shelton said.
Anthony Luis (106) was Harvard’s other champion.
The Rockets’ three champions all were repeat champions from last year’s tournament. Grant Sutton took the 120-pound title with a fall, Cameron Kennedy won a 6-5 decision in the 132-pound final against a ranked opponent, and Garrett Sutton won by technical fall in the
152-pound final. The Rockets took 10th place with 86.5 points despite only having five wrestlers. Kennedy took the lower weight outstanding wrestler and Garrett Sutton won the upper weight outstanding wrestler.
Johnsburg had no champions, but had four fourth-place finishes and a third-place finish to finish in seventh place with 103 points. David Mueller took second at 220 for the Skyhawks, and Branden Peshek picked up a third-place finish with a 2-0 decision.
Nick Remke captured Marian Central’s lone championship, taking the 138-pound title with a 4-3 decision. As a team, the Hurricanes finished in 13th place with 65 points, and also added a second-place finish by Charlie Forman at 145.
Dundee-Crown took ninth place with 88 points, led by fourth-place finishes by Elijah Velez (145) and Jeremy Marshull (285).
Woodstock’s Ryan Plourde finished second at 170 as the Blue Streaks took 15th place with 39 points.