Photo: Kaneland Senior Sonny Horn gets the upper hand on his opponent at Sycamore on Nov. 29. Horn went on to win the match. Photo by Patti Wilk
Wrestlers slammed by Sycamore, split Saturday triangular
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Area teams know when they’ve been on a mat with the Sycamore Spartans—the KHS grapplers are no different.
The Knights traveled to Spartan Trail on Thursday for a Northern Illinois Big XII matchup and fell 55-16 in head-to-head action. Kaneland acclimated itself better with a triangular meet that led to a 36-35 slim loss to Plano and a 54-21 handling of the Lemont Indians on Saturday in Maple Park.
Through six dual encounters, the Knights are 4-2.
Against the Spartan program that had a top-tier finish in the IHSA dual meets in February, Kaneland fell victim to an onslaught that began with a 6-1 loss by Adam Mish to Bryce Hansen in the 106-pound match, a 17-1 technical fall win by Kyle Akins over 113-pound Stephen Gust, and a forfeit in the 120-pound match.
David Barnhart lost to Jesus Renteria 10-1 in the 126-pound clash, and George Strang was pinned in the 132-pound match in 2:40.
Kaneland’s first positive development happened with Sonny Horn’s 3:28 pin of Andrew Larsen at 138, followed by Dan Goress’ 12-4 decision over Dylan Foster at 145.
Sycamore went on another roll with an Austin Culton 19-4 tech fall over Knight Austin Parks at 152, an Austin Armstrong pin of Knight Zach Russell in :51 at 160, a major decision by Ren Swick over KHS rep Zach Parker at 182, followed by two forfeits.
The final two matches of the evening had 220-pounder Nick Sharp of Kaneland lose to Martin Malone by 13-5 major decision, but heavyweight Zach Theis pinned Devin Knight in 3:20.
“We weren’t on the attack like we were in the (practice) room the last couple of weeks,” KHS coach Monty Jahns said. “We’ll get it back. They’ve got it, they just didn’t bring it tonight. We wrestled well last Saturday. Sycamore’s a different caliber team, but I expect us to wrestle much better the next time.”
Indicative of Theis’ importance to the squad, the anchor knew he had to come through, regardless of the team score.
“I was in the mindset that I needed to do something good,” Theis said. “I was working on moves all week in practice. I’m just going to keep moving and keep learning.”
Jahns said he hopes the Knights don’t serve up a repeat performance of the Knights-Spartans skirmish anytime soon.
Saturday’s encounter with the capable Plano Reapers contingent began with an 11-2 major decision loss by Mish to give Plano an early edge, but Kaneland went on a roll thanks to a Gust tech fall (15-0), a 15-12 win by 120-pound rep Diego Lobo, a forfeit, a 9-0 major decision by 132-pound Esai Ponce, a 2:56 pin by Horn and a tech fall 20-5 win by Goress.
Plano closed the deficit after a pin of Parks at 152, a 3:10 pin of Zach Russell by state-qualifier Wes Brown, a loss by Zach Parker in 9-6 fashion at 170, two forfeits and a 10-2 win by Derrick Maisonet over Sharp.
Theis had a 5:20 pin of Junior Nunez in heavyweight action, but the tiebreaker edge of decisions went to Plano for the razor-thin win.
Kaneland regained its footing with a win over south suburban fixture Lemont, beginning with a forfeit and a 4:56 pinfall win for Gust.
After a Lemont forfeit win, Barnhart picked up a 5-0 decision to lift Maple Park’s spirits. Ponce acted on a 1:20 pinfall, but Horn fell victim to a 7-2 decision in the next two matches.
Goress earned a quick :30 pinfall at 145, and Parks followed up with a 1:28 pinfall. Russell pinned Mike Fragner in 3:52 to send KHS on its way. Kaneland took a forfeit win followed by two of the same for Lemont, before Sharp won a 5-2 matchup at 220, and Theis won a forfeit.
Kaneland was set to head to Crystal Lake Central on Wednesday, with results unavailable at press time. The Knights will then face host DeKalb on Thursday, Dec. 6.