One of our own: OPRF wrestling
coach is running for D200 board
Fred Arkin, a longtime wrestling coach and '74
OPRF graduate, is running for D200 Board of Education · 03/24/2015
(above) or camera (right) to learn more about Fred Arkin.
Fred Arkin, a longtime member of the Oak Park & River Forest Huskie
Wrestling Family, is running to become an upcoming member of the Oak
Park & River Forest District 200 Board of Education.
If you have
not learned much about Fred Arkin, you may click the above flyer to
read more about him and what he intends to bring to the D200 Board
of Education. If you support Fred Arkin, he encourages you to vote
early and spread the word about his candidacy. If you also wish to
obtain yard signs, campaign buttons, or other materials, you can
email him at
Certainly, we respect whomever you may support on your ballot,
but Fred would appreciate your careful consideration.
|Oak Park --> Oak Park
Village Hall | River Forest -->
Elmwood Park Village Hall
Now we're Cook-ing: County board
recognizes state champions
#1 Huskies are honored, humbled by county
recognition · 03/11/2015
company are seriously all smiles.
(photos by Eric Davis; click to enlarge pics)
What an honor! The entire Cook County (or, at least, the esteemed
county board) took time to honor the state champion Orange & Blue
Wrecking Crew. Toni Preckwinkle, President of the Cook County Board
of Commissioners, was among those on hand for this special
engagement. Thank you to all who were a part of this festive
occasion. Congratulations, Huskies!
Click above to enlarge.
Team in full: Huskies dismantle
field en route to 3A championship
OPRF grounds Sandburg 39-16 in the title dual;
Huskies likely to finish season as US #1 · 02/28/2015
The Orange &
Blue Wrecking Crew. (photo by Jonna Borgdorff) |
Your Oak Park & River Forest Huskies have just made history. There
are many, many slices of history pie. The first piece: OPRF has won
their Illinois class championship for the second consecutive year.
This hasn't happened in the history of our program. In fact, this
title is only the third dual title in our school's history. The
second piece: OPRF has finished with the second undefeated season (a
dual record of 28-0) in history. The other undefeated season was in
2008-2009 (28-0 record). Still hungry? The third piece: OPRF is
ranked the #1 Varsity squad in the entire United States of America.
With Saturday's performance, that is unlikely to change. Other
states have wrapped up or will wrap up their high school wrestling
seasons very soon, so the final rankings may take some time.
Certainly, we have a fourth piece, fifth piece -- even sixth and
seventh pieces of history pie to enjoy. Stay tuned as
oprfwrestling.com slowly (but relentlessly) makes its way through
the dessert table line.
Onto Saturday's action: the Huskies, as
noted above, came in as the #1-ranked and odds-on favorite to repeat
as Illinois Class 3A Dual Team Champions. In the morning session,
OPRF took care of Marmion Acadamy in a "repeat defeat" affair. On
January 10, the Huskies secured a 49-14 victory over the Crusaders.
In about the same ending, OPRF took Saturday's quarterfinal by a
tally of 46-18. The quarterfinal win guaranteed a team trophy for
the Orange & Blue Wrecking Crew.
In the semifinals, we had a new face to battle. Lockport entered
the fray, and the Huskies calmly sent a message that this year was
not the Porters'. OPRF met the half-century mark in a 51-21 triumph.
It's always refreshing to meet a different opponent in the
postseason, and we congratulate Lockport on a 4th place finish
(Glenbard North defeated the Porters for 3rd).
Finally came the championship match. OPRF-Sandburg.
Sandburg-OPRF. These two have had some battles -- nay, wars -- over
the past several years. In this confrontation, Huskie trickery and
wit wasn't needed. Good ol' fashioned muscle, talent, and sweat was
all that was needed by the OPRF squad. Head coach Paul Collins
watched on as 10 of his 14 earned victories to notch a 39-16 title
victory. It was wonderful to see Kamal Bey and Adam Lemke-Bell back
this week. Both toed the line and took the win versus a Sandburg
Congratulations, Huskies! Furthermore, congratulations to the
entire Huskie Wrestling Family!! Why stop there?? It has been a
privilege to hear and read about stories from OPRF alumni and
supporters who have been brought back into wrestling because of the
2014-2015 Huskie program. It's fantastic to have your eyes and ears.
Thank you to everyone how has helped us in even the smallest ways.
No act is too small. A heartfelt thanks to all.
More to come |
We will round out our coverage of Saturday and the season in
the next several days plus. Stay tuned, as links are added, pictures
are posted, stories are expanded, and gratitude is effused. In
the meantime, view our Twitter account for links to articles,
videos, and pictures of the culmination of the IHSA Wrestling
season. While you're at it, visit our HWF page on Facebook, as well.
Step checked: Huskies bounce
Wildkits to advance to 3A state
Mix of starters and veterans eliminate
Evanston by a 57-13 final; Marmion is up next · 02/24/2015
OPRF advances to
IHSA Dual Team State for the fourth straight season.
(photos by Jonna Borgdorff)
#1 OPRF had little trouble in continuing the IHSA dual team state
series on Tuesday night. The Huskies (now 25-0 in dual meets on the
season) took down an Honorable Mention ranked Evanston Wildkits
squad that won the team trophy at the Evanston regional. Collins'
Cadets raised hands in 11 of 14 bouts.
In another Tuesday matchup, Marmion defeated Lyons Township by a
38-36 final score. OPRF will open the Saturday team quarterfinal
round against Marmion, a team the Huskies defeated earlier in the
current campaign. To see the entire bracket,
visit IHSA for the 3A dual team bracket.
Read the next article for more information about Saturday's
event. Come out, and go Huskies!
Full throttle: #1 OPRF looks to
repeat as 3A team champions
IHSA team tournament begins on Tuesday at Niles West; OPRF
vs. Evanston at 6 pm · 02/23/2015
OPRF wrestlers are focused
and ready. (photo by Jonna Borgdorff) |
It is an IHSA tradition that after the individual state tournament,
a dual team tournament is held. The classes? 1A, 2A, and 3A. The
entrants? The regional team winners. In each class, there are 16
regionals and thus, 16 entrants in the dual team series.
IHSA's dual team structure is this: on the Tuesday after the
individual state finals, two teams from the same sectional battle
for the right to wrestle downstate, in Bloomington's U.S. Cellular
Coliseum. There will only be one round of wrestling on Tuesday
On Saturday, the 8 dual team sectional winners from each class
will wrestle in Bloomington. Saturday's first dual is vital; the
quarterfinal winners will wrestle in two more Saturday duals. The
first dual is the semifinal round, and the second dual is the medal
round. (Semifinals losers will wrestle for 3rd place.) There are no
"wrestlebacks" in the dual team tournament, other than the 3rd-4th
At the end of the evening on Saturday, Illinois will have 3 team
champions: one each from class 1A, 2A, and 3A. OPRF enters this week
as defending state champions. As you may remember, in 2013-2014 they
downed Niles-Notre Dame in the dual team section before defeating
Conant, Hononegah, and Marist (by a score of 32-22 in the
championship) at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum.
This year's OPRF dual team sectional event will take place in
Skokie at Niles West High School (at 6 pm). On Tuesday night, the
Huskies will face near north suburb's Evanston. The winner of this
matchup will face the winner of Marmion-Lyons Township in Saturday
morning's session. On Tuesday, there will be another dual at Niles
West. Glenbard North and Conant will also battle at 6 pm to
determine the second state final representative from this year's
Like with the individual state finals, the NFHS will broadcast
Saturday's dual team state tournament (with a paid subscription). If
you can come out on Tuesday or Saturday, please do! We love seeing
our Huskie Wrestling Family come out, adorn orange and blue, and
cheer with that impressive Huskie heart! Let's go Huskies!!
OPRF Seniors will lead this
week's charge. (photo by Jonna Borgdorff)
Mining for medals: White and
Rundell claim gold
OPRF scores 7 place-winners; Isaiah repeats as
3A champion · 02/21/2015
(152) and Matthew Rundell (160) stand atop of their
(photos by Jonna Borgdorff)
Ladies and gentlemen, another IHSA Individual State Final Tournament
is in the books. Paul Collins' mantra is, "Improve. Improve.
Improve." My mantra for this coming week is, "Don't go anywhere."
More Orange & Blue Wrecking Crew action is on the slate for the
final week in February. But first things first...
The consensus #1
nationally ranked Huskies finished the individual state final series
with 7 place-winners and 2 state champions. Let's first talk about
Matthew Rundell. The OPRF senior finally gets his bracket board. A
runner-up as a freshman (at 106 pounds) and consolation champ a year
ago (at 152), Matthew was the hands down favorite in the 3A weight
class this season and demonstrated his skills en route to a 3-2
victory over talented senior, Joey Gunther, of Libertyville.
Isaiah White is just a junior, and he became the 4th back-to-back
state champion in OPRF Wrestling history. The other three are Terry
Isaacson, Tim Obrochta, and Nick Dardanes. Next season, Isaiah White
has an opportunity to become the only three time state champion in
program history. During this year, the #1 nationally ranked
152-pounder took on and defeated all comers. Among his accolades is
a bracket board from the prestigious Ironman tournament.
(113), Alex Madrigal (120), and Larry Early (145) during
the Grand March.
(photos by Jonna Borgdorff)
Three other Huskie wrestlers also wrestled for a state championship.
Unfortunately, the opponents came out the victors. Jason Renteria
went head-to-head with fellow sophomore and new rival Austin Gomez
of Glenbard North. In a razor sharp battle, Gomez was awarded a 4-3
victory. Alex Madrigal is a senior but wrestled into overtime with
his opponent, Michael Cullen of Cary-Grove. Cullen was awarded a
takedown and the championship. Larry Early, also a senior, met a foe
whom he had defeated this season. On this occasion, Eric Barone of
Crystal Lake South took the 3-2 decision.
While disappointing, the
team tournament culminates this next week. You can be sure that
these three wrestlers, along with the Huskie legion, will be ready
to toe the line in the IHSA dual team series.
(126) and Jaime Hernandez (132) display their talents.
(photos by Jonna Borgdorff)
Gabe Townsell, a junior, had an impressive tournament. His only loss
was to a 3-time defending state champion, Kris Williams of
Thornwood. Still, Gabe rose to the top of the consolation bracket.
He will be primed for an outstanding senior campaign. Jaime
Hernandez is a sophomore who is making leaps and bounds on the mat.
Despite falling to Marmion's AJ Jaffe in the 3rd place match, Jaime
has put his stamp on the IHSA competition that he will be a supreme
force for the next two seasons.
Let's not also forget the other
five state qualifiers who did not place this weekend. These five
also earned their spot in Champaign: Savonne Bennette (138), a
senior; Max Metzgar (170), a senior; Rolliann Sturkey (182), a
sophomore; Ben Bergen (195), a senior; and Allen Stallings (220), a
junior. Congratulations to these fine gentlemen!
Up next |
The IHSA dual team tournament will begin and end this week.
On Tuesday night, OPRF travels to Skokie (Niles West High
School) to face Evanston. The dual begins at 6 pm. The winner will
advance to the IHSA dual team finals on Saturday, February 28, in
Bloomington (U.S. Cellular Coliseum). As you remember, the Huskies
won the 3A title a year ago. Come out and support our Huskies!!
Following the action: Day end
Day 1: 8 to Qtrs; Day 2: 5 to Semis, 2 in WB;
Day 3 · 02/20/2015
Thursday results: In the round of 16, Huskies won 8 of 12
matches. On Friday, these 8 will wrestle in the quarters (see
below). The other four must wait to see if their opponent wins his
next bout. If so, the OPRF wrestler will get a chance in the
consolation wrestleback tournament (to begin on Friday).
IHSA Preliminary Round pictures (by Jonna
Friday results: 5 Huskies earned berths
in the 3A state championship match. These 5 are: Jason Renteria
(113), Alex Madrigal (120), Larry Early (145), Isaiah White (152),
and Matthew Rundell (160). Jaime Hernandez (132) is guaranteed a top
6 medal and must win his next bout to enter the 3rd-4th bout. Gabe
Townsell (126) needs a win to medal but is in the hunt for 3rd
place. An additional OPRF 5 have been eliminated: Savonne Bennette
(138), Max Metzgar (170), Rolliann Sturkey (182), Ben Bergen (195),
and Allen Stallings (220). |
IHSA Quarterfinals and Wrestleback Round 1 pictures
(by Jonna Borgdorff)
results: The Huskies finished with 7 place-winners. Gabe
Townsell (126) finished in 3rd place. Jaime Hernandez (132) took
4th. In the finals, runners-up went to Jason Renteria (113), Alex
Madrigal (120), and Larry Early (145). The Huskies took home two
titles: Isaiah White (152) and Matthew Rundell (160)!
IHSA Wrestlebacks and 3rd/4th bouts
(by Jonna Borgdorff)
IHSA State Finals
(by Jonna Borgdorff)
* - Wrestleback match
State of the state: Individual
Top 6 at each class and weight medal; can
also follow on TrackW and NFHS · 02/16/2015
State Farm Center at
University of Illinois
This weekend is the culmination of the individual state series. The
championships will take place in State Farm Center (formerly
Assembly Hall) at Champaign-Urbana.
Individual Wrestling State Tournament Time Schedule
11:00 a.m.—Doors will open for Weigh-ins and Skin Checks (1A-2A-3A)
11:30 a.m.—Class 1A-2A-3A Weigh-ins and Skin Checks including hair,
nails and special equipment
12:15 (approx.)—Open Mats
12:45 p.m.—Close Down Mats
5:00 p.m. (approx.)—Class 3A Preliminaries (6 mats)
6:00 a.m.—Doors open for weigh-ins
7:00 a.m.—Class 1A-2A-3A Weigh-Ins
1:30 p.m. (approx.)—Quarterfinals followed by First Round
6:00 p.m.—Open State Farm Center Doors to the public
7:00 p.m.—Semifinals Championship Round (1A-2A-3A)
6:30 a.m.—Doors open for weigh-ins
7:00 a.m.—All wrestlers in Section B
7:30 a.m.—Class 1A-2A-3A Weigh-Ins
9:00 a.m.—Quarterfinal Wrestlebacks (1A-2A-3A)
11:00 a.m.—Semifinal Wrestlebacks (1A-2A-3A)
1:00 p.m.—3rd-4th-5th-6th matches (1A-2A-3A)
3:30 p.m.—Clear State Farm Center
4:30 p.m.—Open State Farm Center
5:00 p.m.—Line-up Grand March
5:30 p.m.—Grand March followed by Championship matches
(1A-2A-3A) on 3 mats
Starting weight class: 126
Missions accomplished: Huskies to
send 12 to Champaign
OPRF scores a 100% advance rate at Glenbard
North Individual Sectional · 02/14/2015
A Huskie dozen
(photos by Jonna Borgdorff)
The #1 Huskies came into this weekend with a dozen contestants in
the IHSA State Series. The #1 Huskies left this weekend with a dozen
contestants in the IHSA State Series.
OPRF wrestlers each needed
to finish in the top 4 in order to advance to Assembly Hall in
Champaign, IL. On Friday, things started well. All but one of the
wrestlers finished the first session with unblemished records. Max
Metzgar (170) suffered a loss. Saturday brought new challenges as
competitors began to be weeded out of the medal race. The gauntlet
proved not to be an issue for the first four Orange & Blue sectional
entrants. OPRF's began their title charge at 113 with podium
ascensions from Jason Renteria, Alex Madrigal, Gabe Townsell, and
Jaime Hernandez (132). Jason downed #2-ranked Austin Gomez of
Glenbard North in the semis by a 8-6 double OT decision. Alex is the
lone senior of this quartet and leaves it all on the mat. Gabe rolls
into Champaign, and Jaime seems to have solved the Dylan Thurston
puzzle with two consecutive decision wins.
Savonne Bennette did very well for himself in the 138-pound
bracket. He lost a close 3-0 loss to #1 Bobby Alexander (Conant) but
otherwise dispatched his opponents to a 3rd place title. Continuing
the title run were the triplets of Larry Early (145), Isaiah White,
and Matthew Rundell (160). Larry had little trouble and won his
final two bouts in pinfall fashion. Isaiah exhibited flawless
defense in his additional victory over #3 Matt Rowland of
Willowbrook. Matthew saw his season record rise to 30-3 with his
third sectional bracket board.
Rounding out the "Downstate Dozen" were Max Metzgar (170),
Rolliann Sturkey, Ben Bergen, and Allen Stallings (220). With his
season on the line, consolation champ Max coolly subdued his
opponent in a major decision victory. Rolliann set the pace and only
fell to a now 44-1 wrestler in the finals. Ben, a senior, thumped
two more pins to a runner-up finish at 195 pounds and will make his
first appearance in Champaign. Allen blitzed the competition and
will make his third state finals tournament in three tries.
It feels great not to leave any Huskie behind in Carol Stream,
but no celebrating shall be had quite yet. This upcoming weekend
(Thu-Sat) is the Individual State Championship tournament. You can
be sure that the OPRF coaches, wrestlers, and Huskie Wrestling
Family will all be focused and ready until the final whistle on
Sectionals weekend: Going West to
go up (Glenbard) North
Huskies to test their might against a quarter
of Class 3A; OPRF has 12 in the tourney · 02/10/2015
The IHSA individual state series shifts to round 2 (of 3). On this
coming weekend, the qualifiers from Oak Park & River Forest will
head to Carol Stream to compete against place-winners from a total
of four regional competitions. Each bracket will have 12 wrestlers
(regional champions receive a first round bye), and the top 4
wrestlers will advance to Champaign for the state finals. Reminder:
OPRF has 12 wrestlers competing at the Glenbard North Individual
The additional three regionals are the Lake Park,
Evanston, and West Chicago regionals. For a complete list of teams
in each regional, go to the
IHSA 3A assignments page. Glenbard North, the #2 ranked 3A
squad, will also compete and should see some head-to-head matches
with the Huskies. According to the
IHSA postseason time schedule, the three sessions will be:
Session I - Friday @ 4:30 pm |
Session II - Saturday @ 10:00 am |
Session III - Saturday @ 3:00 pm
Glenbard North High School is located at 990 Kuhn Road, Carol
Stream, IL 60188. Admission is $5.00 per session. See below for the
IHSA Regional champions.
(photos by Jonna Borgdorff)
Welcome to February! On February's Saturday the first, the Oak Park
& River Forest Huskies secured a spot in the 16-team dual wrestling
IHSA state series. That tournament will come after the conclusion of
the IHSA individual state tournament. You may be asking yourself,
"How did OPRF punch a ticket into the 3A dual team wrestling
bracket?" They won the Leyden Regional, of course! The Orange & Blue
Wrecking Crew steamrolled to the tournament plaque with 11 champions
and 1 runner-up. In all, 12 wrestlers advanced to the individual
sectional tournament, to be held next week at Glenbard North High
The competition at the Leyden Regional (Addison Trail,
York, Leyden, Glenbard West, Glenbard East, Proviso East,
Willowbrook, and Wheaton North) had no chance to stop the Huskie
freight train. As has been usual this season, the Collins Cadets
came out roaring. Starting at 113 pounds, the bracket boards went to
Jason Renteria, Alex Madrigal, Gabe Townsell, Jaime Hernandez,
Savonne Bennette, Larry Early, Isaiah White, and Matthew Rundell
(160). Max Metzgar dropped to 170 pounds and put a scare into a
wrestler with a now 44-2 record. He took second and wrestled very
well. Continuing the victory laps were (182) Rolliann Sturkey, Ben
Bergen, and Allen Stallings (220). At heavyweight, Chris
Middlebrooks stepped in but was unable to gain a top-3 finish. If
you're unfamiliar with Rolliann Sturkey, he's a highly talented
sophomore who is fun to watch.
While OPRF more than doubled the second place team output (262.5
to 117), it wrestled without 3 starters. Freshman Anthony Madrigal,
Junior Kamal Bey, and Senior Adam Lemke-Bell were unable to compete.
Needless to say, all three of these would have been in the hunt for
state hardware. As we mentioned above, the team tournament will take
place after the individual state series, and any roster members
(Frosh-Varsity) are eligible to participate. So, all wrestlers --
regional competitors or not -- will be available to wrestle in the
dual team sectional or dual team finals competitions, provided they
are chosen by the coaches.
Anyway, the team discussion is for another day. For now, Huskie
Nation congratulate the efforts of all 13 of today's competitors,
and we all look forward to Friday and Saturday in Carol Stream
Doing her tireless duty, Jonna Borgdorff once again captured
images from the action. See below for a link.
A new journey awaits: OPRF
Wrestling turns to February
On Saturday, Varsity begins the IHSA State
Series at Leyden; four weekends remain · 02/04/2015
dates are circled.
In this year's IHSA season, OPRF Wrestling Head Coach Paul Collins'
mantra has been "improve, improve, improve." Despite the Huskies
consensus #1 national ranking, the Huskie coaching staff knows not
to take anything for granted as the team turns its individual and
team aspirations to the IHSA Regional competition this Saturday at
Leyden High School. The Orange & Blue Wrecking Crew are heavily
favored to win the regional team title, but each of the 14 entrants
must finish in the top three in order to advance to the second round
of the postseason tournament: Individual Sectionals, on February 13
and 14. For the qualifying wrestlers, Individual Sectionals will be
hosted by Glenbard North (Carol Stream, IL).
Saturday's field is an exact replica of last year's regional
tournament, save the location. A year ago, the Huskies traveled to
Glenbard East High School in Lombard. This year's nine, once again,
are Addison Trail, York, Leyden, Glenbard West, Glenbard East,
Proviso East, OPRF, Willowbrook, and Wheaton North. For some
perspective on team rankings, Illinois Matmen has Wheaton North as
the 16th-ranked 3A squad in Illinois. In addition, IM puts Glenbard
East and Willowbrook as honorable mention groups. These are
according to the latest (Feb. 4) rankings.
The first round is set for 9:00 am, with session two
slated for 2:00 pm. This is the championship and third place
matches. Be aware that that 2:00 time is a best guess estimate.
Timing wrestling can be difficult with bout uncertainties such as
extra stoppage, overtime matches, etc. Spectator admission is $4.00
per session, or $6.00 all day pass (savings of $2).
In addition to the individual
drama, the top tournament scoring team will advance to the 16 team
dual team tournament. OPRF has reached this tournament in the last
Leyden address |
3400 Rose Street, Franklin Park, IL 60131 (Rose and 25th Street
are the same road.)
Leyden brackets may be posted soon. Stay tuned.
Come out and support the squad! Go Huskies!
Don't skirt the shirt: Buy your
Huskie wear today
Huskie gear is here · 12/15/2013
Support the HWF: Click on each image for a
Keep your eyes out for 2014-2015 gear! |
The information below is posted for the 2013-2014 campaign. Attend
home events for OPRF Wrestling gear, or contact Jonna Borgdorff with
Support the Huskie Wrestling Family! Available at home events or by
email order, you can wear OPRF gear to show your support for the #1
ranked OPRF Huskie Wrestling team.
The sweatshirt is $45. The t-shirt is $25. Shirts are available at
home wrestling events. If you'd rather have them shipped to you,
there is an $8 shipping fee. SIZES available: M - 2XL
Payment and shipping
| Shirts are available at home wrestling events. If you
want them shipped to you, there is an $8 shipping fee.
| Jonna Borgdorff will handle shipping orders. Her email
She can accept checks. Unfortunately, credit cards cannot be
accepted at this time.
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.