Photo: Esai Ponce won his contest on Thursday with a 6-2 decision in DeKalb. At 119 pounds, Ponce gave Kaneland a fighting chance in a 39-27 loss. Photo by Ben Draper
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It’s unfortunate that the Kaneland wrestling squad ran into DeKalb on Thursday evening in Barb-ville, because lately DeKalb’s been running over everyone.
In a Northern Illinois Big XII matchup, DeKalb subdued Kaneland by a 39-27 score in a dual, dropping the Knights to 2-5.
The opening encounter had 119-pounder Esai Ponce earn a 6-2 decision to put KHS up 3-0, but the 125-through 145-pound encounters resulted in a 27-point run for the host Barbs.
Finally, 152-pound entry Kyle Davidson stopped the bleeding with a 13-2 major decision to close within 27-7. With the score 36-7 in favor of DeKalb, the Knights did begin a run. At 189, Keagan Mattes put a 16-0 technical fall forth in impressive fashion.
The work that Mattes has put forth has got the senior believing good things are in store for the remainder of the 2010-11 campaign.
“I always think of going through my matches non-stop. Last year I didn’t do that. It’s more muscle in this weight class, and they still have their speed, but I just have to keep wrestling continuously,” Mattes said.
KHS coach Monty Jahns highlighted the 189-pound victory as a nice pick-me-up.
“Keagan wrestled well and kept attacking. DeKalb’s tough this year. Give them credit, they’ve got a solid lineup,” Jahns said.
At 215 pounds, Ben Kovalick pulled out an 8-4 decision to close the deficit to 36-15, and teammate Jimmy Boyle earned a pin at 3 minutes, 13 seconds.
Steve Gust took a forfeit at 103 pounds, before 112-pound action went the way of DeKalb for the final 12-point margin.
The Knights try and right the mat on Thursday, Dec. 16, in another NIB-12 clash with Yorkville High School in Maple Park.