George Strang

Wrestlers battle through tough stops

Photo: 152-pound George Strang won 6-4 in overtime over Andrew Ives of Wheaton-Warrenville South Saturday. Photo by Stephanie Vanik

KANELAND—It could have been a rude awakening to the start of the 2013-14 season for Kaneland Knights wrestling, but the KHS lads acclimated themselves serviceably.

Saturday in Maple Park saw a quad with Burlington Central, Freeport and Wheaton-Warrenville South, while Nov. 26 had a trip to the Quad Cities area.

In their home digs, Kaneland beat BC by a 55-21 margin, while handing WWS a 49-21 drubbing before solving Freeport 58-18

Things got off to a nice start against the rival Rockets, with Jacob Shearer winning a 15-0 technical fall in the 120-pound bout. Following that, 132-pound entry Matthew Redman won a 5-2 matchup to pad the Kaneland lead to 14-3. At 160, Austin Parks won by technical fall, 20-5, while 170-pounder Zach Parker won by pin over Kyle Coffland in 1:37. To cap the initial tussles, heavyweight Justin Diddell earned a pin in 1:34. KHS also took away five forfeits.

In the sizable win over the NIC-10 representative Pretzels, seven forfeits paved the way for wins by: Luke Eggenberger in the 132-pound match (10-0 major decision), Riley Vanik in the 145-pound match (1:58 pin) and Tom Price in the 170-pound match (1:59 pin).

Facing the DuPage Valley Conference stalwart Tigers, the Knights went out to an early 15-0 lead, thanks to a win by 106-pounder Nick Mish in 1:57, 113-pound Adam Mish’s 8-7 win and Shearer’s 1:19 pin.

Vanik would later earn a win by 3:13 pinfall. At 152 pounds, George Strang needed overtime, but earned a 6-4 win.

When any mistake could mean your downfall, Strang kept his cool.

“I definitely was cautious when I was wrestling, but I put everything on the line, and I had the mentality of really wanting to go out there and beat him,” Strang said. “The first couple of moments I felt him out and wanted to know how he wrestled. I knew when he got onto my leg I had to do something. I could hear the crowd going ‘spin, spin, spin,’ and that’s exactly what I did.”

Parks won a 17-8 major decision at 160 points, while Price won his bout in 1:57 and Diddell closed out the win with a 1-0 triumph.

In the opening gathering at East Moline U-High, Kaneland lost to Moline by a final of 57-16, with Vanik (6-4), Parks (4:51 pin) and Redman (4-3) earning the lone wins.

Ahead for KHS wrestling is a Thursday, Dec. 5, meeting with Sycamore out at Northern Illinois University’s Convocation Center.

Photos courtesy of Stephanie Vanik