Tag Archives: Riley Vanik

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A better State

Diddell powers through for lone Knight Champaign berth
KANELAND—Pontiac’s Class 2A Sectional can dampen the dreams of most any wrestler wishing to advance to the individual State tournament this weekend.

Fortunately for Kaneland High School, the wrestling dream remains alive for one.

Heavyweight contender Justin Diddell was the lone Knight to make it through the Pontiac gathering to become the 285-pound runner-up.

“I just knew I had to wrestle my hardest every step of the way,” Diddell said. “I had great friends there backing me up that weren’t even wrestling, which helped a lot with the nervousness and calming me down. Then I had to go through two honorable mention kids to make it into the finals.”

Six other Knights’ seasons were stopped in their tracks after tournament action.

In 2012-13, three Knights made it, including 145-pound State champ Dan Goress.

At 32-9, Diddell, bound for I-AA Indiana State for football, is set to face Taylorville entry Blake Hooper at 36-5, according to brackets released on Sunday.

Hot off capturing a Belvidere Regional title the previous week for the third-place Knights, Diddell got down to business with a quarterfinal win over Pontiac’s Andrew Mays in 2:59. In the semifinals, the Kaneland rep took a pinfall over Peoria Notre Dame’s Dom Tudor with 34 seconds remaining in regulation.

The final brought sectional glory for Diddell, despite the loss in 2-1 fashion to Geneseo’s Nick Verbeck.

At 113 pounds, Adam Mish lost in the consolation second round by 9-3 decision to Lincoln-Way West Larry Cozzo. In the 145-pound consolation bracket, Knight Riley Vanik was defeated by Dixon’s Kylian Lally by 12-4 major decision to see his season end. At 152 pounds, George Strang was ousted by Belvidere’s KC Pavlak by 5-0 count in the consolation second round. In 160-pound action, Knight Austin Parks defeated Morton’s Kartal Bakirdan by 10-0 major decision, but lost in the semi to eventual State-goer Rigo Fraire of Sandwich by 3:45 pinfall. 170-pound transfer Tom Price got a 6-0 win over Scott Schulte, but lost in the consolation semifinal to Crete-Monee’s Brandon Hannigan, 6-3. At 182 pounds, Zach Parker saw his season end by 10-3 decision to Sterling’s William Canales.

While the entire 2A field is, by definition, great, Diddell views everyone on somewhat equal footing.

“This is the first time I’ve qualified, and I’ve been wrestling since my sophomore year. If you just get in, you have an equal shot because everybody can be beat. Nobody is a God,” Diddell said.

The State tournament goes from Thursday to Saturday, Feb. 20-22, at the State Farm Center mats in Champaign, Ill., with tickets either $8 or $10 per session. The action can also be viewed on www.IHSA.tv.

Senior Justin Diddell place first at the Belvidere Regional

In proper position

Photos courtesy of Stefanie Vanik
Third-place at tough sectional paves way for potential state berths
KANELAND—Call them the lucky seven.

After a third-place finish at the Class 2A Belvidere Regional, however, the rest of the field at this weekend’s Pontiac Sectional might see their fortunes run out, once they face the Knights.

Paced by heavyweight regional king Justin Diddell, the Knights’ 124-point total was good for third in the nine-team setup.

Sandwich took the regional with 174 points, followed by rival Sycamore’s 130. Belvidere (122.5) and Marengo (92.5) rounded out the top five. Belvidere North and Boylan Catholic of Rockford tied for sixth with 80. Burlington Central and Joliet Catholic brought up the rear with 34 and 31, respectively.

A year ago at the Sycamore Regional, the Knights finished second and also advanced seven.

While the regional championship mantle was less full this go-around, the Knights still maintain enough to do damage the rest of this postseason.

Besides Diddell, the Knights plan to brandish 160-pound second-placer Austin Parks, 170-pound runner-up Tom Price, and third-place grapplers Adam Mish (113), Riley Vanik (145), George Strang (152) and Zac Parker (182).

Diddell’s day began with a :41 second fall over Deon Roby of Belvidere, with the finals going the Knights’ way after a 1-0 edging of Sycamore rival, Devin Knight.

Parks beat Sycamore’s Michael Beaudoin by 12-0 major decision in his semi challenge before falling to capable Sandwich Indian Rigo Fraire by 3:45 pinfall in the final.

Price, who has had a productive first year as a transfer, got past Boylan’s Austin Middleton by 1:01 stick and Marengo’s Brandon Dierkes by 1:34 pinfall. In the finals, Price was upended by Sycamore’s Austin Armstrong in 51 seconds.

In the 113 category, Mish found his way to the consolation bracket, where he pounded Belvidere wrestler Jonathan Sanchez in a 15-2 major decision.

Vanik, getting a taste of the postseason attrition as a freshman, beat Spartan counterpart Andrew Larsen 14-6 in a major decision win. After a semifinal loss to Boylan’s Joey Bartolino and a consolation slot, Vanik recovered by beating BC’s Ray Coklan in 3:05 and beat Hilltopper Cameron Haney in a 17-10 slugfest for the invite to next weekend.

Strang wrote his ticket for this weekend by placing third in the 152-pound category. Beginning with a 13-7 win over Sandwich foe Jesse Brunoehler, Strang was then defeated by Sycamore’s Michael Ernster, 3-0. In the consolation bracket, the Knight recovered with a 3:17 pin of a Marengo opponent before outlasting BC’s Christan Quiles in a 4-3 final.

Parker’s journey began with a 6-2 win over Belvidere’s Gage Brewer, but after a tech fall loss to Sycamore’s Christopher Malone, the KHS sophomore beat BC’s Kyle Blankenburg by 7-3 count before solving Brewer once again in 5-2 fashion.

The Knights’ journey for statehood continues on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 14-15, on the Pontiac High School grounds with the eligible qualifiers from the LaSalle-Peru, Geneseo and East Peoria Individual Regionals.

All cylinders

KHS continues to roll in duals, ends regular season with close win vs. Batavia

BATAVIA—It doesn’t matter the caliber of opponent—Kaneland wrestling makes sure the foe has its mat work cut out for it.

The latest example was a 37-32 win over former conference rival Batavia at the Bulldogs’ refurbished fieldhouse on Friday.

The notch in the Knights’ favor cements their dual record for the 2013-14 season at a stellar 15-7, up from 13-13 last year and 11-12 in 2011-12.

“As a dual team, we’re a little bit better than the last two years,” KHS coach Monty Jahns said. “The frosh/soph guys are doing great, and the upperclassmen are hanging in there.”

The win also bests last year’s 42-30 regular season ender in Maple Park to Batavia. Two years ago saw Kaneland earn a tiebreaker in a 31-31 contest.

There were wins aplenty for KHS, beginning at 106 pounds, with Austin Kedzie pinning Mike Orlow at 1:57. Matthew Redman took a 12-11 decision in the 126-pound battle, followed by an 11-2 major decision for 132-pound entry Hayden Patterson.

At 138 pounds, Dane Goodenough earned a 60-second pinfall over Marc Goodin, while teammate Riley Vanik took the 145-pound mantle in 2:06. George Strang took a 3-2 decision over 152-pound rival Eric Wallerstein, while Austin Parks won the 160 match over Derek Nutley, 11-6 and fellow Knight Tom Price worked to a 3:35 pinfall at 170 to complete the Kaneland run.

“It’s a solid team,” Jahns said. “They are constantly improving, and we have guys like (285-pound) Justin Diddell leading the way with 28 wins. Our goal is to get down to Champaign (Ill., site of dual team finals).”

Up next for the Knights is postseason territory on Saturday, Feb. 8, at the Belvidere Regional. Teams include Belvidere, Belvidere North, Burlington Central, Joliet Catholic, Marengo, Boylan Catholic, Sandwich and Sycamore. Last year’s postseason journey yielded a 145-pound State crown for graduate Dan Goress.

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Diddell wins conference crown

Team places sixth
STERLING, ILL.—Sterling High School housed quite the collection of wrestling talent on Saturday, as Kaneland found out firsthand.

Earning some individual glory and having to deal with capable talent in both Northern Illinois Big XII divisions, the Kaneland Knights wrestling squad finished in sixth place with 112.5 team points.

The kings of the conference turned out to be Yorkville with a total of 237 points, followed by Geneseo with 219.5. Rounding out the top five schools were DeKalb at 180, Sycamore at 127.5 and LaSalle-Peru at 120. After Kaneland, Sterling finished seventh with a 110 score, and Ottawa took eighth at 96. Morris, Rochelle and soon-departing Dixon and Streator completed the lineup with 67, 60.5, 37 and 21, respectively.

A year ago, Kaneland finished fifth at the NIB-12 meet in Sycamore.

The Knights saw one of their own get to the first-place promised land, as 285-pound juggernaut Justin Diddell owned his weight class, much like graduate Dan Goress did a year ago at 145.

Austin Parks managed a third-place finish in the 160-pound category, and teammates Matthew Redman (126) and Nick Mish (106) took fourth-places for their afternoon effort.

Other KHS action featured Adam Mish (113) managing a fifth, while Zach Parker (170) and Riley Vanik (145) took sixth places.

For Diddell, action began with a win over L-P foe Jon Hewitt in 31 seconds, and a semifinal win over Geneseo’s Nick Verbeck in 3:49. In the heavyweight final, DeKalb’s Alex Roach fell victim to a Diddell pinfall in 3:21.

In the 160-pound landscape, Parks began with a win over L-P rival Mike Milasuski by 1:02 fall before falling to Yorkville Fox Tyler Wilkinson in 2:51. Parks recovered in the consolation semi by beating Sycamore’s Michael Beaudoin in 2:30 before acing Cole Hunzeker of Geneseo in the third-place match by a final of 7-2.

Redman beat Logan Mathey of Sycamore, 5-2 to kick things off, before losing to Geneseo’s Hunter Grau by 20-5 count. In the consolation semifinal, Redman recovered sufficiently to beat Dixon’s Jake Johnson by 8-0 major decision. In the third-place match, Redman fell to DeKalb foe Izaiah Webb, 15-13.

Nick Mish began the day with a loss to Geneseo’s Tumbo Tumbarello by 8-4 count, and then regained composure by beating Morris’ Tony Menozi in 5:11. Moving on to the consolation semi, Mish beat Sterling host Tyrone Long in :41 before losing to Yorkville’s Hunter Vester by 4-0 count.

Ahead for the Knight roster is the traditional end-of-regular season tussle with former conference rival Batavia in the Bulldogs’ newly refurbished fieldhouse on Friday, Jan. 31.

Photos by Patti Wilk:

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Wrestlers continue to roll

Photo: Riley Vanik throws his opponent to the mat during Saturday’s Tournament at KHS. Vanik took second place in the 145-pound bracket. Zach Parker (below) was Kaneland’s lone tournament champ, winning the 182-pound bracket. Photos by Patti Wilk

KHS takes second at Flott, hands Morris convincing loss
KANELAND—Kaneland High School wrestling is 16-7 in dual competition, which is a decent story in itself.

It’s the convincing way the grapplers have won 16 of 23 duals that has been the main detail.

Before KHS battled its way to a second-place finish at its own Flott Memorial Tournament on Saturday, the Morris Redskins learned firsthand what talent the Knights bring to Northern Illinois Big XII duals, with Kaneland on top 45-15.

At the Flott gathering in Maple Park on Saturday, the Knights’ 170.5 point total was 18.5 points behind Central Suburban Conference mainstay Niles North’s champion-worthy total. At 155 points, Larkin was third, followed by Elgin in fourth at 148 points. NIB-12 rival Rochelle was fifth at 130.5 points, while Plainfield North brought up the rear with 103.5 points.

The Knights had one first-place entry on the afternoon in the form of 182-pound Zach Parker, as well as seven others with a second-place finish.
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Parker defeated Niles North’s Zac Khaya by 4:35 pinfall and stuck Rochelle’s Eli Keating with a 60-second pinfall in the championship final.

The plethora of second-place honorees on the Kaneland side began with 113-pound entry Adam Mish, who beat Larkin’s Edgar Trejo by 7-0 count before dropping a 9-5 final to Hub Jeff Board. At 126 pounds, Matthew Redman finished second by beating Niles North’s Maykel Potros 6-1 and losing to Larkin’s Duke Bogicevic in 1:15. 138-pound asset Dane Goodenough took second by beating Larkin’s Joey Rahn in :54 and Plainfield North’s Dan Valenzio in 5:08, before losing to Joe Pazmino of Niles North 5-3.

Riley Vanik of the 145-pound group mowed through Niles North’s Joe Broton by technical fall before dropping a 12-4 major decision to Rochelle’s TC Hager in the final. At 160 pounds, it was Zach Russell finishing as runner-up after a 3:56 solving of Niles North’s Thomas Gaul and 11-8 loss to Elgin rep Devin Syavong. Tom Price of the 170-pound range began with a 1:17 pin of Plainfield North’s Bryan Bott, and beat Larkin’s Victor Cuevas in :38 before losing by DQ to Plainfield North’s Mark DiNardo in the final. In the heavyweight category, Justin Diddell beat Elgin’s Ariel Barraza in :38 and Niles North’s James Edmond by 4-3 count, before losing to Plainfield North’s Nick Wolf in 1:27.

In the dustup with the Redskin rivals, Kaneland got on a roll early with a 7-2 win for Parker over Ryan Kowalczyk and a 195-pound win for Cullen Murray over Morris’ Victor Toissant, 10-3. After a forfeit, Diddell picked up the slack with a 2:45 pinfall over Andrew Faught to begin a five-match win streak for KHS. Nick Mish won a 10-4 decision over Tony Menozi at the 106-pound mark, followed by Adam Mish at 113 pounds taking a 6-1 decision over Morris’ Andrew Smith. KHS teammate Jacob Shearer, at 120 pounds, took a 1:39 pin, followed by Matthew Redman winning his 126-pound match with Dominic Byerly just 34 seconds before regulation ended.

“I don’t really know what to say, we’re just having a really good year and we have a young team,” Redman said. “We’re succeeding with it.”

The Knights ended up with three more victories in the form of Luke Eggenberger at 132 pounds over Morris’ Hunter Herman (2:42 pin), Vanik with a 6-0 win over AJ Vota, and a 1:17 Russell pin over Ryan Olsen.

It was a satisfying win for the group, especially on Senior Night.

“It was nice for the seniors and for the underclassmen to get the pins where they needed them,” KHS coach Monty Jahns. “It was huge and fun. It’s been a really good year so far.”

Ahead for the Knights crew: the Northern Illinois Big XII meet housed by Sterling on Saturday, Jan. 25.

Knights see success in quadrangular

Knights sophomore George Strang tries to gain leverage on Yorkville’s Gunnar Hjorth during Friday night’s meet.					 Photo by Ben Draper
Knights sophomore George Strang tries to gain leverage on Yorkville’s Gunnar Hjorth during Friday night’s meet. Photo by Ben Draper
Kaneland sophomore Zach Parker works against Yorkville’s Mike Kurtz during the meet Friday. Photo by Ben Draper
Kaneland sophomore Zach Parker works against Yorkville’s Mike Kurtz during the meet Friday. Photo by Ben Draper

KHS also steamrolled in
NIB-12 tussle at Yorkville

by Mike Slodki

KANELAND—As the calendar tips to a new year, it was in the Kaneland High School wrestling roster’s best interest to try and continue to end on as high a note as possible.

With a Friday matchup with rival to the south Yorkville and a Saturday quadrangular against three other clubs, KHS achieved its goal, but only partway. On Friday the Knights were rocked by Yorkville 60-6.

Saturday saw a 48-6 win over Belvidere North, a 36-33 close shave over Rock Island and a 34-30 setback at the hands of old conference-mate Geneva.

After the four encounters, the Knights still hold a capable 11-6 dual record through 17 battles.

Against the Blue Thunder of Belvidere North, the Knights saw decisions on behalf of 138-pounder Dane Goodenough and heavyweight Justin Diddell, 132-pound Luke Eggenberger earned a pinfall in 3:57, and the remaining victories came by forfeit.

Facing the Rocks of Rock Island, the Knights were paced by Goodenough’s 54-second pin, followed by Austin Parks’ 13-7 win in the 160-pound match. Down 27-9, Kaneland went on a five-match tear. Diddell won a 4:34 pin, 106-pounder Austin Kedzie won in 1:45, followed by 113-pound teammate Adam Mish’s pin in 1:01, 120-pound rep Jacob Shearer won via pin in 2:23 and Matthew Redman won the 126-pound standoff in 6-2 fashion.

In the lone Saturday loss to Geneva, KHS had victories on points from personnel Nick Mish in the 106 bout, 8-3, and Redman, 3-1. Meanwhile, Kaneland pins were gathered by Diddell in 1:01, Adam Mish in 1:48, and Goodenough in 1:15.

In the setback against conference powerhouse Yorkville, the Knights saw five major decisions on Yorkville’s side, and two technical falls. The lone KHS win came at the skills of 145-pounder Riley Vanik, who took a pinfall win with 10 seconds left.

Friday and Saturday, Dec. 27-28, represents the final 2013 challenge for the Knights in the form of the Palatine Invite, located in the northwest suburbs.

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KHS grapplers can’t grab hold in tough week

Cary-Grove, CLC, DeKalb dish Kaneland losses
KANELAND—Kaneland wrestling had done well so far this season, but they can be sure to run into a wall of tough opponents for days at a time, as was the case this past week.

On Thursday, the 9-4 Knights took it on the headgear against visiting DeKalb in Maple Park by a 44-18 clip, while Dec. 11 saw a trip to Crystal Lake Central end with losses to both the host Tigers and the Trojans of Cary-Grove, 43-30 and 39-24, respectively.

Against DeKalb, wins came courtesy of personnel like Nick Mish at 106 pounds with a pin at 4:46.

Teammate Dane Goodenough stuck a pin in the 138-pound meeting in 3:31, providing a bright spot in the hard-luck conference loss.

“I saw he was slacking a bit so I was able to get inside control and got the fireman’s and kept driving. Once I saw that, I capitalized and pinned him through that,” Goodenough said. “Most of us thought we weren’t going to start as good as we did. Even with our few losses now, we’re still up there.”

The final pin of the night went to 170-pound entry Tom Price, who won his match in 1:42.

“I thought our kids wrestled hard, but we needed a little more fire when we hit the mat. They didn’t give up, they just didn’t come out with a lot of emotion. We wrestled well against Sycamore, but after DeKalb, there’s some work to do,” KHS coach Monty Jahns said.

In the 15-point loss to C-G, 285-pound Justin Diddell earned a 1:24 pin, while Adam Mish won his 113-pound encounter in 1:18. Goodenough won his bout by 9-3 margin, and Riley Vanik emerged victorious in the 145-pound bout by 6-2 tally.

In the 13-point setback against CLC, Diddell earned another pin in 2:44, while Matthew Redman won a 126-pound encounter in 1:42. The final two wins on Kaneland’s side were Vanik’s 8-1 decision and George Strang’s 5-3 win at 152 pounds.

Friday, Dec. 20, sees a trip to Northern Illinois Big XII rival Yorkville in Kendall County.

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

Vanik takes 2nd at USAW Pre-Season Nationals

Iowa—Riley Vanik of Sugar Grove nearly pulled off a championship victory in the USAW Pre-Season Nationals at the University of Northern Iowa inside the UNI-Dome Cedar Falls, Iowa, on Nov. 4.

The tournament drew 2,594 wrestlers from 38 states. Vanik entered the 152-pound weight bracket in the Seventh/Eighth-grade Middle School Division.

Because of Vanik’s performance the previous year, he earned a first-round bye in this year’s tournament. He took a tight match, 3-2, in his second-round opener.

Vanik found himself in another hard-fought battle in the next round, taking his Iowa opponent into overtime. He secured the 5-3 victory with just 19 seconds remaining in the overtime period.

He battled the eventual tournament champion into the second period, where he lost by pin, securing second place in the tournament.

Vanik’s IKWF trip worth it


Photo: Riley Vanik of Sugar Grove is recognized at the IKWF championships in Rockford, Ill. for finishing second in his 138-pound novice class on Saturday. Courtesy Photo

Vanik Places second in State
ROCKFORD, Ill.—This past weekend 840 wrestlers met at the BMO Harris Bank Centre in Rockford for the Illinois Kids Wrestling Federation (IKWF) State Championships.

The championships were to crown a State Champion in each of 35 weight classes in two age divisions. Riley Vanik of Sugar Grove placed second in the Novice 138-pound weight class. He was joined by teammate John McCaffrey in the Novice 70-pound class, also of Sugar Grove, who finished in the top 12, falling one win short of placing.

Both are members of the Martinez Fox Valley Elite Wrestling Club who won the team championship for the Novice Division (11 and 12-year-olds). Zach Parker (Senior, 177pounds), the third wrestler from Sugar Grove and member of the Knights Wrestling Club also participated in the event.

Young Kaneland-area wrestlers excel

KANELAND—This past weekend a number of students from the Kaneland School District participated in the IKWF (Illinois Kids Wrestling Federation) Regional Championships held in Wheaton and Sycamore.

The top six finishers at each weight class advance to Sectional Meets in Elgin, Ill. and Rochelle, Ill. Ten of the wrestlers are members of the Martinez Fox Valley Elite Wrestling Club, and all qualified for this weekend’s Sectional Meet in Elgin, Ill. Those who qualified were: Nathan Orosco (3rd place – Novice), John McCaffrey (2nd place – Novice), Zack Farris (5th place – Novice), Jacob Shear (3rd place – Senior), Matthew Redman (5th place – Senior), Hayden Patterson (4th place – Senior), Trevor Jones (4th place – Novice), Luke Eggenberger (5th place – Novice). Riley Vanik (2nd place – Novice), and Mitchell Jones (3rd place – Senior).

The Knights Wrestling Club had 12 wrestlers advance to their Sectionals in Rochelle. Those who qualified were: Jace Black (4th place – Intermediate), Brenden Parks (3rd Place – Intermediate), Jack Certa (6th place – Intermediate), Brandon Bryan (6th place – Intermediate), Colin Gussman (5th place – Senior), Diego Lobo (5th place – Senior), George Strang (4th place – Senior), Tommy Kumar (2nd place – Novice), Austin Parks (4th place – Senior), Ben Long (5th Place – Senior), Connor Hoeft (4th place – Novice), and Zach Parker (1st place – Senior).

The Sectional meets have 12 wrestlers at each weight, and the top three finishers will move on to the State Championships in Rockford, Ill., on Friday and Saturday, March 9-10.

Knights Wrestling Club headed to Rockford

KANELAND—Zach Parker and Tom Price had a productive enough sectional on Saturday to move on to the State Tournament this weekend.

Zach Parker placed second at 177 pounds, while Tom Price placed third at 166 pounds.

On Saturday, the Knights Wrestling Club wrestlers competed in the IKWF Sectional Wrestling Tournament in Rochelle. The following Knights wrestlers participated in the Sectionals: Zack Farris, Trevor Jones, Nathan Westmaas, John McCaffrey (fourth place at 66 pounds, Nevin Thielk, Hayden Patterson, George Strang, Riley Vanik, Mitchell Jones, Zach Parker, Jake Helfers, Mike Silfugarian, Austin Parks, and Tom Price.The State Championships are Friday and Saturday, March 11-12, at the Rockford MetroCentre.

Knights wrestling club in the “2nd season”

The Knights Wrestling Club (ages 5-14) will complete in the IKWF (Illinois Kids Wrestling Federation) Regional Meet on Saturday , Feb. 26, at Sycamore High School.
The team began practicing in early November and this is the first step in the State Series. Thirty of the club’s members will participate and try to advance to the Sectional Meet on March 5 in Rochelle, Ill.

Those scheduled to wrestle are Austin Parks, Brenden Parks, Mike Silfugarian, Jace Black, Sam Girolamo, Austin Callahan, Collin Callahan, Evan Callahan, Tom Price, Riley Vanik, Hayden Patterson, Zac Parker, Colin Gussman, George Strang, Nick Sowers, John McCaffrey, Trevor Jones, Mitchell Jones, Zach Farris, CJ Wehrmann, Zane Pozen, Zoey Pozen, Jack Certa, Logan Piercy, Sam Gagne, Max Gagne, Tyler Binge, Alex Binge, Jacob Shearer and Brock Zimmerman.

Knights Wrestling club a late-season force

Twenty-two wrestlers represented the Knights Wrestling Club at the IKWF Sectional wrestling tournament in Rochelle on Saturday, coming away with eight place winners and advancing three to this weekend’s state tournament in Rockford.

The championship round was a thriller in the Senior (13-14) division, even in the matches where the Knights came up short on the scoreboard. Dan Goress (108) was :01 late on a takedown that would have forced overtime in a 6-4 loss. Esai Ponce (89) also fell just shy in the finals, losing 2-0. Zach Theis (177) pinned his way back to third place, also qualifying for state. Joe Brasfield (156) and Nick Sharp (215) earned fourth-place medals.

Nathan Sowers (115) was the lone place winner for the Knights in the Novice (11-12) division, wrestling to a fourth-place finish.

In the Intermediate (8-10) division, Riley Vanik (95) earned three wins and a technical fall to win the 30-team tournament and be crowned Sectional Champion. Zack Bosek (89) won two matches with pins, and finished in fourth place.

Goress, Ponce and Theis will try to bring home state place medals this weekend.

Knights wrestling club sees success at Sycamore

Nine Senior (ages 13-14) wrestlers entered the IKWF Regional Tournament in Sycamore on Saturday for the Knights Wrestling Club, and all nine advanced to Sectionals in this year’s state tournament series, finishing in fourth place as a tem with 114 points. The Crystal Lake Wizards beat the host Sycamore Spartans 289.5 to 200 to win the Regional, and the Cary Matmen finished just ahead of the Knights in third place.

Dan Goress (108) and Esai Ponce (89) led the way by winning their respective weight classes and running their season win totals to 27 each for the season. Three Knights, Joe Brasfield (156) Zach Theis (177) and Nick Sharp (215) were runners up in their respective weight classes.

Four wrestlers continued after wrestlebacks. Matt Osteland placed 4th to Theis at 177; Luke Kreiter (95) and Jordan Wolf (130) placed fifth in two of the tournament’s most competitive brackets, and Greg Harvey fought hard for his sixth place finish at 122.

In the Novice (ages 11-12) division, three out of four wrestlers advanced into next Saturday’s Sectional at Rochelle High School. Nathan Sowers led the way placing third at 115, Gabe Flowers was fourth at 122, and Drew Franklin placed sixth at 101. Austin Parks won two matches at 89 but did not place.

Riley Vanik led the Knights in Intermediate (ages 8-10), winning the 95-pound weight class with two major victories, while teammate Mitchell Jones placed fourth in the same weight class. Jacob Shearer (74) and Tim Richmond (84) placed third; Matthew Redman (66), Colin Gussman (74), and Zach Bosek (89) placed fifth; Nevin Thielk (66) and Noel Maysonet (89) both finished in sixth bringing the Knights to a fifth place finish in team scoring.

The Knights Wrestling Club had record turnout in the Bantam (8-under) age group this year. Logan Piercy, Zach Farris and Nolan Matthys were all crowned Regional Champions this year while Mason Herst, Orosco, Zane Pozen and Trevor Jones were runners up. Jace Black, Tyler Johnson, Spencer Matia and Brennan Kiefer all placed 3rd with Brenden Parks, Alex Binge, Jeff and Greg Larsen each finished in 4th place.