OPRF wrestling had another successful season with a 21-4 record and several notable victories. The Huskies' bid for a fourth straight team state title fell short with a loss in the quarterfinals. | Photo by Jonna Borgdorff

Oak Park and River Forest junior Tony Madrigal finished the wrestling season victorious Saturday, but not the way he envisioned.

When the Huskies met Montini in the quarterfinals of the Class 3A team state tournament in Bloomington, the random draw put Madrigal’s 126-pound match as the last of the 14.

“Right from the get go we knew the match could come down to me,” Madrigal said. “I was just ready to go out and do whatever it takes for my team.”

Madrigal never got the chance.

Before the final match, Montini mathematically won and gave Madrigal the six-point forfeit to make the final score 29-26.

The Huskies (21-4) were seeking their fourth consecutive team state championship. Ranked No. 2 by IllinoisMatmen.com, their only previous losses came to out-of-state competition.

OPRF seniors Jason Renteria (41-2), the 3A individual state champion at 132 Feb. 18, Jaime Hernandez (19-3 at 138), Drew Matticks (33-8 at 170), Tariq Thurman (23-11 at 182) and Christopher Middlebrooks (27-4 at 285) won against No. 5 Montini (22-3).

In college, Renteria will compete for Nebraska and Hernandez for North Carolina. Both were part of all three state championship lineups.

“We kind of hugged each other and cried, knowing that was going to be the last time we were going to be on a team together,” Renteria said.

“It just (stinks) that we couldn’t pull it off, even place, because of the way the drawing was, but the coaches said, ‘We couldn’t ask anything more of you. You led the team the right way and did your job.’ My head was down and I couldn’t have left out of there feeling better than if we’d won it a fourth time.”

No. 1 Lockport (29-0) completed an undefeated season by beating Montini 33-20 in the final after topping No. 3 Marmion 33-22 in the quarters.

OPRF had five individual all-staters – Renteria, state runner-up Madrigal (39-3 at 126), third-place Matticks and fifth-place Hernandez and senior Brian Holloway (33-11 at 160) – among 10 qualifiers.

Montini had six state qualifiers with five all-staters, including state champions Joey Melendez (113), Will Lewan (145) and Real Woods (126), who edged Madrigal 1-0 in that final.

Also in Saturday’s lineup were OPRF senior P.J. Ogunsanya (34-8 at 113), juniors Jack Fisher (11-7 at 152), Talvin Gibson (7-10 at 285), Eddie Ordonez (10-8 at 145) and Elijah Osit (25-17 at 195), sophomore Eddie Bolivar (20-11 at 120) and freshman Nico Bolivar (28-7 at 106).

The Huskies opened with a 9-0 lead. Renteria won by pin in 1:26 and Hernandez prevailed 3-2.

“Being able to start it off and get our team going, I was just happy to be able to do that as a senior,” Renteria said. “Going in, we knew it was going to be close. Whoever won was going to be in the finals.”

Montini took the next three matches, but Matticks won 5-1 and Thurman’s 12-3 major decision put ORPF back ahead 16-13. Middlebrooks’ 13-2 major decision gave the Huskies a 20-16 advantage.

Montini won the next four matches with three straight by one point.

Michael McNicholas topped Gibson 3-2, Nico Bolivar lost 5-4 to Dylan Ragusin, second at individual state, and Melendez edged Ogunsanya on an ultimate tiebreaker 3-2. Woods, moving down to 120, won 10-1 over Eddie Bolivar.

“(Nico) wrestled the No. 2 kid and almost beats him. We couldn’t be more proud the way he went out and gave it his all,” Renteria said. “(Melendez and Ogunsanya) have wrestled a lot, ever since they were younger. We knew it was going to be that type of match. I think if that match happens again, P.J. beats him.”

Also the 120 state champion in 2016 after two second-place finishes, Renteria is OPRF’s only wrestler to reach the championship match all four years.

Returning Huskies hope to continue the winning tradition.

“(The seniors) contributed a lot to us. Most of them were in the varsity lineup and made a big impact,” Madrigal said. “Knowing that I’m coming back being a senior and knowing it’s my team now, I think we’ve got a lot of young guys that are hungry and are ready to win. I’m very excited for it.”

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