Athlete of the Week
Lardy won the Sycamore Invitational on Saturday at 145 pounds and helped the Warriors to a Fox Valley Conference Valley Division dual win against Cary-Grove on Thursday. Lardy went 5-0 at Sycamore and beat Minooka’s Carson Oughton, ranked No. 9 in Class 3A by Ilinoismatmen.com, in the quarterfinals by an 8-0 major decision. In the finals, Lardy defeated Kaneland’s Dan Goress, ranked No. 4 in 2A. It was redemption for Lardy, who lost to Goress in the third-place match last year. Lardy, 25-2, is ranked No. 7 in Class 3A.
Sycamore: Cary-Grove’s Mike Cullen repeated as champion at the Sycamore Invitational on Saturday and won the outstanding wrestler award. Cullen defeated previously unbeaten Kyle Akins of Sycamore, 2-1 in the finals. Akins is ranked No. 5 in 2A and Cullen (29-0) is No. 4 at 113 in 3A. Cullen also won tournaments at Barrington and Palatine this season.
McHenry’s Mike Infelise took second at Sycamore, a significant improvement over last season when he was 17th. Also taking second were the Warriors’ Mike Sikula (120) and Cary-Grove’s Mike Underwood (138).
Polo: Alden-Hebron brought only two wrestlers to the Polo Invitational on Saturday but both earned top-6 places. Justin Gricar took second at 126 and Colten Cashmore was sixth at 132.
Princeton: Harvard took seventh as a team and placed five wrestlers. Anthony Luis (106), Chance Shelton (126) and Adam Freimund (285) led the Hornets with third place finishes.
All three had wins against ranked wrestlers, but perhaps the most impressive match was a loss by Freimund. In the quarterfinals, Freimund lost to No. 1-ranked Josh Wallick of Gibson City, 3-1, in overtime.
Rankings: It’s a good year for local Class 3A teams, which have the most ranked wrestlers from the area with 19. Class 2A has 15 and 1A has four. In team rankings, Crystal Lake Central is the top-ranked local team at No. 7 in 2A. Harvard is 11th in 1A and Cary-Grove is 17th in 3A ahead of No. 21 McHenry, but that should change after the Warriors’ dual win against the Trojans.
With the FVC Meet coming up Jan. 25 and 26, here are some of the ranked wrestlers to watch:
106: Jacobs’ Austin Ryan (No. 2), Prairie Ridge’s Travis Piotrowski (No. 9), McHenry’s Britches Sikula (honorable mention), Cary-Grove’s John Cullen (HM)
113: Mike Cullen (No. 4), Crystal Lake South’s Casey Callahan (HM), Huntley’s Zach Stenger (HM), Jacob’s Chris Dranka (HM), Marengo’s Corey Graham (No. 7 2A).
120: Johnsburg’s Brandon Peshek (No. 9), Mike Sikula (HM), Cary-Grove’s Logan Hanselmann (HM).
126: Crystal Lake South’s Nick Gil (No. 5), Infelise (HM), Cary-Grove’s Nick Atkins (HM), Johnsburg’s Brian McKay (HM).
145: Crystal Lake Central’s Kyle Fugiel (No. 2), Lardy (No. 7).
160: Crystal Lake Central’s Mike Zelasco (No. 4), McHenry’s Cam Pait (HM), Hampshire’s Travis Keeling (HM).
This week’s top meets
CL South at Jacobs
6:30 p.m. Thursday
Looks to be a tough FVC Valley Division matchup.
Burlington Central at Harvard
7 p.m. Friday
The Hornets host the Rockets in a Big Northern Conference East Division dual.
– Rob Smith