Athlete of the Week
Mabry won the 195 pound title in the Sciacca/Holtfreter Tournament on Saturday at Harvard. In the championship match, Mabry decisioned Johnsburg’s Christian Nugent, 3-2, in overtime. Nugent is ranked No. 5 at 195 in Class 2A by illinoismatmen.com. Mabry, who is not ranked, improved to 13-1 on the season, with his only loss coming in the finals of the Steve Weiss Tournament on Dec. 1 at Fenton. A two-time sectional qualifier, Mabry is looking to qualify for state for the first time.
Dvorak preview: The Al Dvorak Memorial Invitational on Saturday and Sunday at Harlem is revered as the toughest in-season tournament in the state. While predominantly a Class 3A tournament, there are a handful of 1A and 2A schools competing.
Locally, Crystal Lake Central and Crystal Lake South will compete. Both have a number of ranked wrestlers who should get a good benchmark of how they will do against other top wrestlers from the state.
The Gators are led by Nick Gil at 126, who is ranked No. 3 in Class 3A. Also ranked on South are Nick Peters (10th at 138), Casey Callahan (12th at 113) and Eric Barone (honorable mention at 132).
In Class 2A for the Tigers, Kyle Fugiel is ranked No. 3 at 145, and Andrew Marsden is No. 4 at 160.
The competition should be fierce with teams ranked No. 2 through No. 11 in 3A all competing. In addition, out-of-state teams include the top-ranked school in Ohio (St. Edward) and Iowa City West, which won the Iowa dual team state championship in 2011 and was third last year.
Individually, there will be 88 ranked wrestlers competing in the invitational, including 15 with a No. 1 ranking.
Gil and Peters could have the deepest brackets. At 126 are No. 1-ranked Jered Cortez of Glenbard North (3A) and Ohio No. 1 Dean Heil from St. Edward. Heil has committed to wrestle at Oklahoma State. At 138 are three No. 1-ranked wrestlers – Dakota’s Carver James (1A), Montini’s Chris Garcia (2A) and St. Edward’s Nick Barber.
This week’s top meets
Harvard Double Dual, 5 p.m. Friday
Class 1A (Harvard), 2A (Wauconda) and 3A (Prairie Ridge) teams compete in a dual format.
Woodstock Quad, 9 a.m. Saturday
Richmond-Burton, Mundelein and Kaneland compete at Woodstock.
– Rob Smith, email@example.com