Oak Park and River Forest wrestling’s lofty victory at its own nine-team tournament on Saturday likely cleared the way for a possible West Suburban (Silver) Conference title.
The Huskies toppled the competition, including Lyons Township, who is currently tied at 5-0 with OPRF in the Silver Division. The rivals square off Friday (6:45 p.m.) in LaGrange for the crown.
The Huskies walked away from Saturday’s match with eight champions, including the much-heralded return of Ellis Coleman at 112-pounds. Coleman had missed two weeks of action for disciplinary reasons. Coleman defeated Argo’s Josh Thompson 5-2, while his brother Lillashawn won the 125-pound weight class. Other OPRF wrestlers that came away with division victories included Weldon Rogers (140), Dan Martin (145), Peter Lovas (152) Max Brooks (215), Peter Kowalczuk (heavyweight), and Jack Dengel, who outwrestled a 24-3 LT wrestler to win the 135-pound weight class.
“Jack simply exemplified what we call ‘Huskie style wrestling,'” said OPRF head coach Mike Powell. “He wore his opponent down.
“I give credit to Lyons. They are a tremendously well-coached team, and they’re a better dual match team than they are a tournament team. So we’re going to have our work cut out for us. We won’t be going into Friday’s match unguarded. If the results of Saturday’s tournament dictate anything, we should be in pretty good shape.”
On Friday, the Huskies trounced Proviso West 72-3, winning every weight class but one.
The team seems to be hitting its stride, and the timing couldn’t be better. After taking on Lyons this Friday, the Huskies host cross-town rival Fenwick on Saturday (9 a.m.). Even with the state playoffs looming, Powell said he’s not going to tweak his lineup too much against the Friars.
“For one thing, it’s a great rivalry and the other thing is we need to do well for the playoff seedings,” he said.