Photo: Dan Goress recovers from a precarious position during Thursday’s 39-26 dual loss to Yorkville High School in a Northern Illinois Big XII battle. Goress came away with a 16-5 major decision over the Foxes’ Brennan Sharp. Photo by Ben Draper
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Against conference rival Yorkville, the Knights (4-9) lost 39-26 to the host school.
In a valiant effort, wins were garnered by personnel like Steven Hlatko at 185 points, in a 14-5 win. 126-pounder Esai Ponce nabbed a 1:11 pin. 220-pound rep Ben Kovalick earned a pin just :52 in his match. 132-pounder Sonny Horn took a 4-2 decision. In the 138-pound clash, Dan Goress won a 16-5 major decision.
106-pound weapon Steve Gust earned a 6-3 overtime win, and knew pressure was on him to perform for a Knights squad closing the points gap in each Northern Illinois Big XII meeting.
“He already had a stalling call, and then it went to overtime and double overtime and just kept wrestling and came out on top,” Gust said. “You just put stuff together and we’re getting better each week.”
On Saturday in Maple Park, the Knights took on Rock Island and lost 42-27, beat Larkin High School 58-18 and edged former conference rival Geneva 39-36.
Against the Rocks, Ponce won over Rock Island’s Chase Wiggins 6-0. Dan Goress won his 138-pound battle 7-2. 189-pounder Matt Price emerged with a 12-5 win.
Encouragingly enough, the heavier weights represented by Hlatko, Kovalick and 285-pounder Zach Theis all earned pinfalls.
The Knights took six forfeit wins over Elgin’s Larkin Royals squad in a 58-18 win, and supplanted that win with pinfalls by 113-pound Connor Williams (1:53), 120-pound Luke Kreiter (3:05) and Price (5:31).
In the win over Geneva, pins were secured by Gust (2:36), Williams (1:38), Ponce (3:51), 132-pound Sonny Horn (3:30), Goress (1:42) and Kovalick (1:24). Price went the distance in a 3-0 win, as well.
The Knights get a break before hitting the mat on Thursday, Dec. 29, and Friday, Dec. 30, as part of DeKalb’s Don Flavin Invite.