By Matt Nestor
The Hononegah Indians came up with a second week of strong performances, easily topping the field at the IHSA Class 3A regional at Harlem, cruising to the team title and moving onto the next week’s sectional match-up.
The Indians were led again by senior Matt Dwyer, who won his weight class at 215 pounds. Dwyer is one of the top-ranked wrestlers in the state and finished fifth at the state tournament last year.
In total, Hononegah scored four regional champions and sent nine wrestlers on to the sectionals. Colin Dodd (119 pounds), Manny Silva (125) and Max Geyer (285) all won their weight class, while Zach Phillip (171), Chad Wolfgram (152), Kevin Westrom (135), Matt Hardyman (130) and Thomas Hunt (103) all placed in the top three to move on to sectionals.
The ultimate goal for the Indians is to win the state tournament. Many consider them one of the top teams in the state, and winning the regional gets them a step closer to their goal.
While the Harlem Huskies weren’t able to use the home crowd to win the regional, they did have a very good performance themselves. They were able to place three winners of their own in the regional and advance six wrestlers overall to the sectional.
Junior Derek Elmore once again cruised in the tournament. Harlem’s top 112-pound wrestler, who is also the top one in the state, picked up an easy 9-3 win over Crystal Lake South’s Nick Peters to pick up the win.
Sterling Hecox, who finished fourth at 171 pounds at the state tournament last year, picked up a 25-10 win in the final to pick up the title at 189 pounds. Josh Anthony also picked up a title at 160 pounds for Harlem, while J o r d a n Northrup (103), Jake Papke (119) and Kane Cunningham (130) all moved on for the Huskies. B o y l a n ‘ s Blaise Butler, who is ranked third in the state for his weight class, also moved on to the sectional, picking up the title at 135 pounds. Jake Armellani (285), Austin Smith (140) and Lucas Schumacher (145) also advanced for Boylan.
Zane Gilfillan for Guilford was the only other NIC-10 wrestler to advance to the sectional, finishing second to Hecox at 189 pounds. The wrestlers who advanced will next compete in Barrington Feb. 12 and 13. Action will start at 4:30 p.m., Friday, and continue at 11 a.m., Saturday.
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From the Feb. 10-16, 2010 issue