ALGONQUIN – After going undefeated in duals this season and winning the Fox Valley Conference Valley Division title, McHenry was not going to be denied a second conference championship Saturday.
The Warriors won the FVC Meet with 261.5 points and placed all 14 of their wrestlers in the top five. Cary-Grove was second with 210 followed by Crystal Lake South (168), Crystal Lake Central (146) and Huntley (143).
“Our kids really wanted this,” McHenry coach Will Gaddy said. “Everybody came ready to wrestle.”
It was the third consecutive team championship for the Warriors, who also won the Batavia tournament Jan. 12.
“It’s good to keep that hardware coming in,” Gaddy said.
Wade Lardy won at 152-pounds for the Warriors with a 6-1 decision against Dundee-Crown’s Tim Schanmier. Lardy said the individual win was nice but nothing could match taking home the team championship.
“I just really wanted the team to succeed,” Lardy said.
Cam Pait at 160 followed Lardy and gave McHenry its second individual championship. Pait decisioned Prairie Ridge’s Charley Popp, 9-5, but the match was tied, 3-3, heading into the third period.
Pait got a reversal and two takedowns in the third but had trouble controlling Popp from on top.
“[Popp] was slippery,” Pait said. “He moves a lot on the bottom.”
Pait said Saturday was all about getting the team win.
“It’s a huge deal,” Pait said of winning the FVC Meet. “I’d rather have my team win it than me, if I had to pick.”
Angel Hernandez won McHenry’s third title with a 3-1 decision against Johnsburg’s Brandon Boyle at 285. Boyle entered the third period up 1-0 but Hernandez got the escape to tie the score.
Hernandez got the taken with seconds left in the match to get the win.
“I was pretty tired. [Boyle’s] a strong kid. I was thinking it might go to overtime,” Hernandez said. “I’m glad it didn’t.”
Cary-Grove put some pressure on McHenry with Mike Cullen winning at 113, Logan Hanselmann at 120 and Michael Underwood at 138.
Hanselmann edged Johnsburg’s Branden Peshek, 1-0, with a third period escape with less than 10 seconds left.
“I knew I didn’t want to go to overtime,” Hanselmann said. “[Peshek’s] strong.”
The Trojans finished second in the FVC Valley with a 5-1 record, losing only to McHenry. Hanselmann said his team wanted to erase that loss by winning the FVC Meet.
“We wanted to win this,” Hanselmann said. “We wanted to come out and make a statement.”
Underwood had the longest match of the day, getting an escape in the ultimate tiebreaker to defeat Crystal Lake South’s Nick Peters, 3-2.
Freshman Travis Piotrowski won for Prairie Ridge at 106 with a 4-2 decision against Jacobs’ Austin Ryan. It was a battle of highly ranked wrestlers, as Ryan is ranked No. 5 and Piotrowski No. 8 by illinoismatmen.com.
Piotrowski got a first-period takedown and was able to ride Ryan out in the second period. Ryan got a takedown in the third period but Piotrowski had two escapes to get the win.
“[Ryan’s] a tough kid,” Piotrowski said. “It was a lot of scrambling.”
Crytstal Lake South had three titles from Nick Gil (126) Eric Barone (132) and Brian Pence (182). Crystal Lake Central got two individual championships from Kyle Fugiel at 145 and Andrew Marsden at 170.
Christian Nugent won at 195 for Johnsburg and Ray Griggel won at 220 for Dundee-Crown.