Mike Powell is making sure his team takes one match at a time this season.
The OPRF head wrestling coach said he spoke too early last season when his team looked poised for a State run, but then made a hasty exit with a loss in the regional playoffs.
“I was shouting my mouth off about how far we were going, and then like that it was over,” he said. “I know better now.”
The Huskies (5-2) continued to defend their first West Suburban (Silver) Conference title since 1998 when they stomped all over Glenbard West 49-16 on Friday. OPRF won 10 out of 14 matches, five of which came by way of pins.
“The team went out their and wrestled exceptionally well,” said Powell. “I was real impressed.”
Some notable matches included Frank Guenthner’s double overtime victory in the 130-pound weight class. The senior is wrestling at the varsity level for the first time. Freshman Ellis Coleman (103-pound weight class), forced a fall on his opponent, and Brian Blanco won the 112-pound weight class by decision.
OPRF’s momentum carried over to Saturday when the Huskies finished second at Plainfield Central. The team finished with seven finalists and two champs.
Lilishawn Coleman defeated Mark Johnson of Joliet 6-1 to win the 112-pound weight class. Ben Johnson won the 135-pound weight class by pin at 2:42.
Powell said he was impressed with the grappling of Weldon Rogers, his 140-pounder. Rogers was out the week before with an ear injury, but defeated his Joliet Catholic opponent at the invite in double overtime.
“Weldon just expended all his energy in the match prior to the finals, and that was impressive because he had been out with an injury,” said Powell.
The Huskies host York on Thursday, before traveling to Wisconsin for the West Allis 18-team tournament on Friday and Saturday. OPRF finished second at the tourney last season.
“We’re getting better each week,” said Powell.