By Brad Spencer
Unseating defending Class 3A Dual Team State champ Sandburg wasn't meant to be for the OPRF wrestling team as the Huskies lost to the Eagles 33-23 in the quarterfinals on Saturday at U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington.
After an opening match loss at 120 pounds, the Huskies took the lead on three straight victories. Isaiah White dominated to a 21-6 technical fall victory over Jake Vales at 126 pounds. Larry Early also garnered a technical fall win over Ben Schneider, as did Jake O'Mara over his opponent, Brian Krasowski, at 138 pounds.
Despite losses at 145 and 152, OPRF held a 15-10 lead. Davonte Mahomes built the advantage to 18-10 with a 9-3 decision win over CJ Brucki at 160 pounds, but Sandburg won five of the next six matches to grab the win, including Chris Pajak's 2-1 victory over 182-pound individual state champ Joe Ariola. A 22-5 technical fall win by Andre Lee at 195 was the final victory for the Huskies, who finished second to Sandburg at last year's state dual team championship, 30-24.
Sandburg went on to claim its second straight state title with a 38-17 victory over Marmion.
OPRF holds an impressive five-year dual team record of 98-14 under head coach Mike Powell. The team is expected to again vie for the state title next season as six freshmen filled out the roster this season, as did three sophomores and eight juniors. Five of OPRF's freshmen advanced to the Class 3A Individual State Wrestling Meet this season.