28 for 28
Stories: A 2016-2017 Season Primer (Still Helpful Today!)
Weeks 1-4 (Days 1-28)
*** *** *** *** |
In our lead-up to the big day, we will
post 28 articles (one for each day -- although they may
not be published each day) as a primer for this season.
It is my intention (the webmaster speaking, here) to
educate as many as I can about what I know and what I've
learned so that you can have the richest experience of
the 2016-2017 IHSA Wrestling season. 28 days = 4 weeks.
Orange & Blue Wrestling Crew: Preview this season's
Enjoy a glimpse at the Huskies who are expected to contribute
on the mat and in the room · 11/18/2017
Now, we are mere days away from the opening
competition bell (November 21 at Downers Grove North).
The Huskie Coaching Staff put together a rundown of the
Varsity lineup with predicted weights. If you are
anything like me, you will be thrilled to read about
these student athletes who will aid the squad in this
year (and some in future years). In all,
twenty-five wresters are mentioned. Nine of these are
2017-2018 seniors. The wheels are turning on this year's
roster and mug book pictures, and we'll get them to you
as fast as we can. For now, enjoy this read!
(Written commentary by Huskie
Conor Nagela: Conor is a freshman at OPRF
and is excited to be a part of the high school program.
Conor came up through the Little Huskies youth program.
He was an IKWF State Qualifier last year. Conor should
gain some valuable experience this year working with our
Jake Rundell: Jake is entering his
sophomore year after having a very good spring and summer.
Jake finished 3rd in both the Greco and Freestyle Junior
National Championships in Fargo, ND. Jake has a relentless
style of wrestling and is always looking to score from all
positions. We are excited for Jake to step into this
starting role. Jake is currently ranked #11 in the country
Josh Ogunsanya: Josh enters his sophomore year after
earning All-American honors this summer. Josh finished 4th
and 6th respectively in Greco and Freestyle Cadet National
Championships. Josh will be returning to the starting lineup
after missing the end of his freshman year due to injury.
Josh is a true student of the sport and is constantly
looking to improve his strength and skill. Josh is primed
for an exciting sophomore campaign and is looking to have a
full season of competition.
Nico Bolivar: Nico is our third sophomore looking to start
this season. Nico stepped into the starting lineup last year
and did not disappoint. He ended up qualifying for the IHSA
State Tournament as a freshman and beating some very good
wrestlers along the way. Nico has dedicated himself this
past offseason and is showing tremendous growth as a
Raymond Hernandez: Raymond is a freshman at OPRF. He will
look to crack the lineup at either 120 or 126. Raymond
finished 7th last year in the IKWF State Championships.
Since the summer, Raymond has fully embedded himself in the
Huskie Wrestling Family. He comes into high school with a
lot of ambition; it will be exciting to watch him grow over
the next four years.
Eddie Bolivar: Eddie begins his junior year hungry for
more. Eddie came up short of placing last year at the IHSA
State Championships, but it provided great experience for
him as a first year varsity starter. Eddie will compete at
both 126 and 132 for the Huskies this year. Eddie is looking
forward the start of the season and stepping into his own as
a leader in our program.
Torry Early: Torry is entering his junior year after a
successful summer. He earned All-American honors at the
Cadet Greco National Championships this summer. Torry has
grown, literally he’s about three inches taller, but also with
his training. Torry is extremely knowledgeable in the sport
of wrestling and is disciplined with his game plans.
Anthony Madrigal: Anthony is a senior who is committed to
wrestle at Oklahoma University next year. With that
monumental decision out of the way, Anthony can concentrate
on improving himself as a wrestler and leader in the
program. Anthony is a two-time IHSA State Runner-up and is
looking to capture his first state championship. Anthony has
committed more time to being a better teammate this
offseason and season. His leadership will help push the
younger wrestlers around him and bring them to a higher
level of training. Anthony is currently ranked #5 in the
country by FloWrestling.
Joe Chapman: Joe enters his sophomore year and will compete
at both 145 and 152 this season. Joe has put in countless
hours since the end of last season. Joe’s willingness to put
in the extra work exemplifies the ambition we preach in our
program. Joe will continue building his confidence through
his work and will continue to improve as a wrestler because
Eddie Ordonez: Eddie is another senior we are
looking to as a leader. Eddie was one of three wrestlers
from last year’s team to come up one match short of
qualifying for the IHSA State Tournament. Eddie is looking
to get the most out of his senior year, and his work in the
room is showing it. Eddie is pushing himself harder than
ever before, and his efforts are rubbing off on those around
Kedrick Bryant: Kedrick enters his senior year bigger and
stronger than last year. Kedrick learned a lot during his
junior year when he sporadically filled in for others in the varsity lineup. Kedrick is another great student with a
phenomenal work ethic. Kedrick’s been able to come a long
way in a short amount of time through his efforts in the
practice room and weight room. He is grateful for his
opportunities in our program and is making the most of them.
Jack Fisher: Jack’s junior year did not finish the way he
wanted. He made a decision in March that he would not be
outworked by anyone else. His determination to better
himself as a wrestler and leader is showing throughout the
program. Jack wrestles “Huskie Style” and is opening up his
offense in all facets of his game. Jack will be looked to as
a leader with a lot of younger middleweights around him.
Danny Lingen: Danny is a sophomore in our program and a
natural born leader. Danny is a vocal young man who pushes
himself in all his endeavors. Danny will look to push his
teammates and himself to get the most out of the time this
year. He is a part of a solid sophomore group from which we are
expecting big things moving forward.
Ronnie is a sophomore who received some varsity experience last
year. Ronnie looks to build off his freshman year and his
solid wrestling foundation. Ronnie’s commitment in the
offseason helped prepare him for this upcoming season.
Ronnie will compete for the spot at 160.
Cameron Bates: Cameron is a senior and one of the best
leaders in our program. His selflessness is second to none.
Cameron always looks to help the younger wrestlers around
him. He is the consummate team player. Cameron had a lot of
success on the lower levels last year. He will look to
finish out his career at OPRF as a leader and be championed
for his efforts in the room.
Jake Cagnina: Jake went all in for the offseason and was
able to see some return on his investment by earning
All-American honors this summer. Jake took 8th place in the
Cadet Freestyle National Championships. Jake heads into his
junior year with a renewed focus. He was able to wrestle 30
varsity matches as a sophomore; he built off that and had a
tremendous offseason. Jake looks to hold down the varsity
spot at 170 while improving his efforts in the room.
Daemyen Middlebrooks: Daemyen is another sophomore who came
up through the Little Huskies WC and is a dual-sport
athlete. Daemyen is a football player and wrestler at OPRF.
Daemyen is an explosive athlete who has built up his
strength and endurance to better himself as an all around
athlete. Daemyen has a new level of focus headed into this
Ibrahim Mohktar: Ibrahim is a senior in our program.
Ibrahim is an unbelievable young man who looks for
challenges and embraces the obstacles in his way. Ibrahim
will look to compete at 170 this season. He is an
inspirational young man; his perseverance as a student
athlete is unmatched.
David Smith: David is a senior and is excited for his senior
campaign. David began his wrestling journey three years ago
as a freshman backup. David has worked his way into having
an opportunity to represent the Huskies in the varsity
lineup. David pushes himself and those around him on a daily
basis. He is an ambitious student and wrestler. He’s worked
tirelessly in all areas while stepping up as a leader.
Elijah Osit: Elijah has gotten the most out of his
experience at OPRF. After moving into Oak Park going into
his sophomore year, Elijah has transformed himself into a
strong, confident young man. Elijah’s junior season had many
ups and downs. With his best efforts, he will look to continue his progress as a
man and wrestler. Elijah has set
himself up to be the leader we know he can be.
Brian Zeich: Brian is a junior who transferred from Fenwick
High School. He was a sectional qualifier for the Friars and
will be looking to break into the lineup at 195 or 220.
Brian is a big strong young man and will be working on
refining his technique to improve as a wrestler. We are
excited to add another experienced big guy to the room. He
brings a lot of positive energy and coachability.
Talvin Gibson: Talvin
enters his senior year after starting on the offensive line
for the OPRF football team. Talvin gained a lot of
experience his junior year and wants to get the most out
of his senior year. Talvin’s toughness allows him to wear
his opponents down. It’ll be crucial for Talvin to improve
on his technique in order to get to the next level. He will
be pushed by the younger guys, and we know he will respond
the right way.
Jaylan Pascasio: Jaylan is in his third
year with the wrestling program. As a sophomore, Jaylan had
a lot of success on the lower levels. Jaylan competes hard
on a daily basis. He is a young man of few words, but his
level of toughness and tenacity shown in his wrestling speak
Ashford Hollis: Ashford is a junior coming off
All-Conference honors as a defensive lineman for the OPRF
football team. Ashford has come on strong since last season
and built himself into a legitimate heavyweight. His
strength and conditioning have improved over the course of
the past half year. Ashford looks to build off a very
impressive football season and solidify the top weight of
Max McDermott: Max is a senior in our program. Max has had
an interesting career at OPRF to say the least. He’s battled
through many things and is working his way to becoming a
self-sufficient young man. Max will help push the other
upper weights in the program, and he is good to have in the
room on a daily basis. We are excited to have him back with
us full time.
Don't skirt the shirt: Buy your
Huskie wear today
Huskie gear is ready and waiting, designed to satisfy ·
Support the HWF (Archived from the 2013-2014
Keep your eyes out for 2017-2018 gear! |
What's better than OPRF / Little Huskie apparel? New OPRF /
Little Huskie apparel! To get your hands on Huskie Wrestling Family
gear, attend a home event this year.
Schedule at-a-glance: Preview
Varsity dates and opponents
The Orange & Blue add The Cheesehead, delete The Ironman for
2017-2018 · 11/14/2017
Thank you for your patience as we churn and churn in preparation of
the competition calendar for 2017-2018. "Competition calendar," did
I say? Oh, yes. Here is an overview of the events with commentary
and team/event websites. If anything needs correction, please
You'll notice a few things when scanning below. First, the Huskies
will host a quad on December 9. No need to hold in your
excitement; no need to miss the event either. Also, OPRF traded The
Ironman tournament for The Cheesehead. Both are individual
invitationals. Other than these tidbits, most everything looks the
same as last year.
Enjoy, and mark your calendars!
Quads / Super Duals
@ Downers Grove North* 11/21
@ New Trier 11/25
@ Hinsdale Central
vs. South Elgin
@ Washington 12/02
@ The Clash (MN)
vs. Proviso West* 12/01
vs. Quad 12/09
@ The Cheesehead (WI) 12/05-12/06
@ Lyons Township*
@ Sandburg 01/13
@ Glenbard West* 12/14
@ TBD (IHSA Regional) 02/03
vs. York* 01/11
@ TBD (IHSA State
vs. Hinsdale Central* 01/18
* - conference
(Written commentary by Brian
Tideman, webmaster) | Any updates or fixes with team
@ Downers Grove
North (Tue, Nov. 21) | Conference Dual
Since 2012-2013, the
Huskies have opened their competition
schedule against the intraconference foes
Downers Grove North. Every year, it seems,
the Trojans push to be considered in the top
half contenders of the WSC-Silver. If you
want to see the fresh faces on the year as
they happen, Downers Grove is the place to
Last year, the Huskies
defeated South Elgin 78-0. This year, the
Storm would love to return the favor, but
they'll first aim to earn some bout
victories and go from there. After this
event (the night before Thanksgiving), there
has traditionally been reunions,
conversation, and fun. Keep your ears open.
It's been New Trier, Dakota, and Schaumburg
for the last few years; expect the same.
Dakota has been a Class 1A powerhouse within
the last several years. Some of their
wrestlers have been flat out dynamite. Come
and see for yourself how they fare against a
trio of 3A squads.
If you can remember the
last time that Proviso West defeated OPRF in
a dual, you deserve a prize. Don't sleep on
some of the Panthers; there are a number of
talented athletes that walk the halls in
Hillside. Finding 14 Varsity starters has
been a problem for the Cats.
Last year, the Huskies
defeated Washington in the "Dubtown
Throwdown" event. This is not a one-on-one
dual, but you very well may see the Huskies
take on these Panthers. If so, expect
camaraderie -- along with competition -- to
take center stage.
What can we
say about LT? The Lions and supremely
coached -- hint, hint -- had dreams and
nightmares against us (or is it the other
way around?). Whether it's close or a
distant victory for one side, an OPRF-LT
matchup is always a bona fide marquee
The Huskies added this
home date to their schedule, and I'm not
quite sure who will make the trek to 201 N.
Scoville. That adds to the excitement,
though, doesn't it? There is no excuse not
to come out to OPRF on December 9; we've
brought the party to you!
In Illinois high school
athletics, the football Hilltoppers are
synonymous with football winners. Of late,
Glenbard West's wrestling squad has taken
some steps forward. They are always tough
against non-conference opponents, but they,
like the Trojans, stride to perform
consistently in conference.
Central / Whitlach Individual Tournament (Fri-Sat, Dec
The Orange & Blue
Wrecking Crew dominated last year's Whitlach
tournament, besting 23 other schools to win
the crown. Will it be the same this year?
This is a dandy of a tournament. If you have
time, come out for Friday and/or Saturday.
@ MINNESOTA / Clash Dual Team
Tournament (Fri-Sat, Dec 29-30)
If you like tournaments,
and you like duals, this is your heaven.
Rochester, Minnesota, hosts a 32-team dual
team tournament that holds a nice mix of
intrastate and interstate talent. OPRF's
best finish here was in the 2014-2015 season
when the Huskies won the tournament title en
route to an undefeated dual slate, a Class
3A team title, and an end-of-season number 1
national ranking. Now, that's a season.
@ WISCONSIN / Cheesehead
Individual Tournament (Fri-Sat, Jan 05-06)
The Huskies waved a magic
wand and replaced The Ironman tournament
with this one. While The Ironman has
national buzz, this is another 32-team
tournament with regional appeal. Wisconsin,
as you'd imagine, is represented here much
like Minnesota is represented at The Clash.
This year will be OPRF's inaugural at The
Cheesehead (Kaukauna, WI).
Our (mostly) North Avenue
neighbors have sputtered recently, at least
in terms of conference standing. The Dukes
are hoping for a return to the form of the
1990's and 2000's when it was not surprising
to see a York team progress well in the IHSA
We gave "ink" to Lyons
Township, but Sandburg is another beast of
an opponent. Wars were waged between the
Eagles and Huskies. This is a "Super Duals"
event, so expect many teams to arrive.
However, due to the logistics of competing
against all others, the Huskies will lock
horns with only a select few.
Central (Thu, Jan 18) | Conference Dual
Understanding Hinsdale Central's
wrestling squad is mired in intrigue. About
a half decade or so ago, the Red Devils were
putting their place on the Illinois map.
They've had some struggles recently, but
they very well may be righting the ship to
put the Illinois population on notice.
I think the expression
is, "The toughest little tournament in the
country." I wrote these words two years
ago in my similar preview, and I'll leave
them here. What is fantastic about this
tournament is that it brings in squads from
all over. It's a really unique collection of
talent and styles. You want to be here.
@ IHSA State
Series: Regional, Sectional, Individual, and Dual Team
(Sat, Feb 03-24)
sectional, and team sectional (for team
qualifiers) sites are yet to be determined.
You can be assured, though, that when it
comes to February, all Class 3A schools do
not look forward to locking arms with the
Orange & Blue. The Huskies will be prepared
to wrestle six grueling minutes (eight and a
half minutes if need be) to get the job
done. The state series
culminates in in Bloomington, Illinois
(shout out to the Fightin' Titans!), at the
US Cellular Coliseum.
Let's dance: The IHSA season has
The Orange & Blue Wrecking Crew is back
in action! · 11/06/2017
Hello, everyone! Welcome to another grand season of IHSA and OPRF
On Monday, November 6, the Huskies (instructors and
pupils) began their quest in what will be a terrific journey within
the halls at 201 N. Scoville, among a number of other secondary
schools in the Chicago area, and inside a few interstate facilities.
Here at OPRFWrestling.com, we will get you ready for the first
whistle -- Tuesday, November 21, at Downers Grove North -- with
loads of information about this year's crop of student athletes.
Prior to the DGN WSC (Silver) Conference tilt, expect to see
2017-2018 coaches, rosters, previews (schedule and wrestler),
wrestler photos, and rankings (likely to be released by then). We have already updated our
Schedule page. As the season progresses, we will update wrestler
statistics on the Varsity level, as well as dual and tournament
results for Varsity.
As I write this, be aware that I am one person. While a (large,
devoted) team works tirelessly and selflessly to make OPRF and Little
Huskie Wrestling the very best they can be, I alone type these words
on this computer, to be uploaded later. If you have any news to
share, any clarifications to point out, or even if you just want to
say, "Hey, cool site!", please
contact us/me. I
appreciate any and everything I get.
I am thrilled to be a part of this website, of this team, of this
greater community, of this sport, and of this time in history. Let's
all share a terrific season together, just as we have for years and
years and years before.
In relentless pursuit and Huskie pride.
| This Monday, November 13, there
is an OPRF Wrestling Parents' Night at
Brewing Company. Come out and support the team/establishment!
Prep for prep: IHSA practices begin
on Monday, Nov. 6
High schools across Illinois ready for the
official kickoff to wrestling season · 11/02/2017
As the leaves change color and the cold winds begin to blow,
Illinois High School Association Wrestling hustles back to the Land
of Lincoln. It was just over nine months ago (in late February) when
the IHSA Wrestling Season concluded for the Huskies and for all of
the high school teams in the state. Monday marks the beginning of a
new chapter, a new journey, a new thrill ride. Some will argue that
these "new" adventures have already begun for some (or for all). In
the Oak Park and River Forest community, pursuit is relentless and
family is omnipresent. It takes a village, and all of us in the
Huskie wrestling program are honored and moved that we have and have
had scores and hundreds (and thousands) of unique, passionate, and
dedicated individuals to make "Those things that are best" even
Which season do you like best? Winter? Spring? Summer?
Fall? How about Wrestling Season? (Wink, wink.)
Let's take a brief look back. Coming into 2016-2017, the OPRF
Huskies had won three consecutive Class 3A Dual Team Championships.
In 2017 February, the Orange & Blue reached the final day of
competition but fell in the Class 3A Dual Team State Quarterfinals.
For the 2016-2017 season at a glance, visit our corresponding
The Scoville Scurriers come into 2017-2018 with new faces
stepping up, both in leadership and in levels. You can be assured
that the wrestlers and coaches will be "Huskie hungry" to impose
their dominance each and every time they toe the line in
anticipation of the primary whistle. It will also be a season of
growth, where young men and women develop in areas outside of the
statistics of wins and losses. It will be the Orange & Blue Wrecking
Crew as actors in unison to pursue relentlessly and to embody what
it means to live Huskie proud.
We're only a few short days to the
beginning of the 2017-2018 IHSA Wrestling Season. Like a rubber band
cocked back in preparation for flight, so too will be this year's
crop of athletes...in mere days.
We hope that you preview our
upcoming season's Schedule. Clear your calendar; support us at home
and on the road; enjoy the moments, the stories, the individual
efforts, the team successes....
If you're looking for reading
material, may we suggest you take a look at last year's
for 28" series? In it, the Webmaster (charming guy, that one)
offers 28 stories that help you understand a variety of facts and
topics about Oak Park & River Forest's wrestling program or about
high school wrestling in general. We want you to be as prepared as
you can to maximize your enjoyment of the upcoming season. If you
haven't clicked on the page, please do. It's comprehensive,
informative, and dare I say quite helpful. Despite the year turning,
nearly all of the articles continue to apply today.
You may be
asking yourself, "Okay, but when do we get the good stuff about the
season?" Well, we'll get you ready for the site with previews,
roster updates, and more. As the rosters are finalized (remember
that wrestlers report for IHSA practice this coming Monday), we will
begin to pen those exciting trailers or lead-ins to what will
undoubtedly be yet another great season to remember.
As we sign
off for now, let us leave you with a phrase that I used in my "28
for 28" series last year. In the first post in the series, I wrote a
sentence that resonates with me. I hope it resonates with you, too.
"There is nothing more true...than the
Orange & Blue."
We'll see you again soon -- and you'll see us for a thrilling and
fulfilling 2017-2018 season. Go Huskies!
The winds of fall: The IHSA season is
Huskies and fans sense the beginning of
yet another season · 10/03/2017
Field...to...Field House |
photos by BT
It has been a long end of the summer and now beginning to fall. All
around Chicagoland (and all around the world), school life has begun
to take hold on families, students, and staff members alike. We all
know the sequence well: as the summer closes, school and high school
football arise. As football's regular season exhausts, high school
wrestling is waiting directly offstage.
We are six -- SIX -- weeks
into the IHSA football season, and Team Orange & Blue sports a
4-2 record. Let's support them as they aspire to enter and to do
damage in the playoffs. OPRF's final regular season gridiron battle
will take place on October 20. The official IHSA Wrestling season is
allowed to begin on November 6, just two weeks and change after Week
If you haven't yet planned your winter sport work exit routine
on Friday nights or perhaps where you'll stop for a coffee en route
to a Saturday wrestling quad or tournament, don't worry. I have good
news for you; you have time. As of this writing, there are almost 5
full weeks of anticipation until grapplers can roll around at 201 N.
Scoville as official entrants in the 2017-2018 IHSA Wrestling
Season. After November 6, the first contest will take place at
Downers Grove North on Tuesday night, November 21.
The wheels of
wrestling are turning!
Being a Huskie in China
I am happy to be in Qingdao, Shandong, China, but I am unable to
experience one of my most treasured gifts -- being there in the
flesh to witness what I call "The Orange and Blue Wrecking Crew." I
need your help for pictures, results (matchups, dual scores!),
newsworthy items, video finds, anecdotes -- whatever you can send.
Please consider spending a few seconds or minutes of your day to
email me information. Yes, somebody else may send me the same info,
but it's better that I receive two notices than zero.