JOHNSBURG – After an upsetting loss in the finals of the Sciacca/Holtfreter wrestling tournament Saturday at Harvard, Johnsburg’s Christian Nugent was anxious to get back on the mat.
Nugent needed just 28 seconds to pin Hampshire’s Jeremy Polletta at 195 pounds and help the Skyhawks to a 42-30 Fox Valley Conference Fox Division win Wednesday.
Nugent said getting called for stalling to lose in his overtime championship match against Huntley’s Brandon Mabry was a mental mistake.
“I felt like I should have won that match,” Nugent said. “My head is my own worst enemy.”
He’s using it as a learning experience to toughen up both the mental and physical sides of wrestling.
Nugent’s confidence remains high and he is looking to a successful season.
“That’s motivation to make me keep working,” Nugent said. “I feel like the work I’m putting in is going to help me in the long run.”
With five freshmen and four sophomores in the lineup, Johnsburg coach Lenny Grodoski said his team is benefiting from the experience of the long season and weekend tournaments.
“I think we’re starting to put it together,” Grodoski said. “We’re going to benefit from more mat time.”
Brandon Boyle also bounced back for the Skyhawks after losing in an ultimate tiebreaker in the 285-pound championship match at Harvard, with a 14-0, major decision against Gabriel Reyes.
Boyle said being undersized as a heavyweight makes him quicker and allows him to use his athletic ability.
“That definitely works to my advantage,” Boyle said. “I’m quicker on shots than most big heavyweights.”
After a rigorous offseason training regimen, Boyle, who is ranked No. 2 at 285 by illinoismatmen.com, said the ups and downs are all building towards the most important part of the season.
“I feel like I can be confident. I had a lot of good off-season work,” Boyle said. “It’s all leading up to conference, regionals, sectionals and state.”
Grodoski said Boyle’s confidence is earned from his work ethic.
“Brandon Boyle has been doing great,” Grodoski said. “He’s an athlete. He has a confidence that’s hard to teach.”
Also winning by pin for Johnsburg (2-1 FVC Fox Division) were Brandon Peshek at 120, D.J. Leppien (160) and freshman David Mueller (220). Brian McKay won by technical fall for the Skyhawks at 132.
Hampshire coach Terry Wilkinson said he was impressed with the way his wrestlers competed, even in some losses.
“Anytime our kid can last six minutes with the second ranked wrestler in the state . . .” Wilkinson said of Reyes. “We tried to keep it as close as we could.”
The Whip-Purs (1-1 FVC Fox) got pins from Wylie Allen (113), Nicholas Brown (145), Travis Keeling (170) and Anton Krocko (182).