Talented McHenry squad overpowers Jacobs
McHenry wrestlers were happy to flip the script against Jacobs on Thursday night.
The Golden Eagles had bested their conference rival the past few seasons, so when the Warriors came into their dual meet against an inexperienced group, they made sure to take full advantage.
McHenry wrestlers flexed their muscle and showed off their talented roster, winning 69-12 and continuing a perfect start to the season.
"Jacobs has taken it to us the last few years, so it was nice to be on the other side of that," McHenry coach Jake Guardalabene said. "Our boys wrestled well, they came out and knew what the job was and they did it."
McHenry (12-0, 3-0 FVC) got a strong start from Chris Moore at 160 pounds. Moore showed the different weapons he has as a wrestler. He took an early 6-2 lead before running out to a 14-6 advantage after the first period. Moore proved to be too quick for Jacobs' Casey Lechuga, who rattled off points but couldn't keep up with Moore's quickness, losing by technical fall, 25-10.
Moore transferred to the Warriors from Marian Central and has impressed his coach early this season with the different ways that he can win a match no matter what the circumstance he faces.
"He's so versatile," Guardalabene said. "He can take you down 15 different ways in one match. It's fun watching him out there. He's so quick."
Lucas Van Diepen was in a tough battle against Trevor McCraw, leading, 2-0, after the first frame. Diepen created some leverage in the second period going out to a 6-1 lead before securing the match, 12-4.
James Wright (126), Rocky Piehl (138), Ruben Malgarejo (145), Caleb Rezmer (182), Nick Garantziotis (195), Luke Zunkel (220) and Luis Anacleta (285) all won by fall. Ryan Hanson (106), Ryan Nagel (132), Dylan Drumheller (152) and Brody Hallin (170) all won by forfeit.
While Guardalabene would've liked to get his wrestlers more chances to compete in a conference dual, he wasn't upset with having quick wins given the amount of duals his wrestlers already have competed in 2 1/2 weeks into the season.
"Having a couple tonight isn't a big deal," Guardalabene said. "We deal with it. We put the kids through the ringer already. We've wrestled some of the top teams in the state these first weeks. Getting a couple isn't a big deal."
Dominic Ducato defeated Jimmy Norris at 106 by fall to give Jacobs (1-6, 1-1) its first win of the night. James Wright gave the Golden Eagles their second win of the night at 126 when he pinned Pedro Jimenez.
Jacobs coach Gary Conrad was proud of the effort his wrestlers showed tonight. Having lost seven wrestlers to graduation, Conrad has been forced to have freshmen compete at the varsity level early in the season, which is not an easy task against a team like McHenry.
"I'm happy with my kids' effort," Conrad said. "We're just very inexperienced and brand new to the sport. We're trying."
The Golden Eagles will have a week to regroup when they take on Crystal Lake South on Dec. 16. The Warriors will look to continue their hot start to the season in the Prospect tournament, which will feature some of the best wrestlers in the state.
Guardalabene is excited to see how his wrestlers compete against the state's best, while the Warriors are focused on building the bond they've started early in the season. They build off each other's wins and attribute that to their success, but they know they need to reach another level if they want to fulfill their goal.
"We've got a lot of great wrestlers here, and we just have to wrestle as a team, wrestle for each other," Zunkel said. "Good things will happen. Our goal is to win state."