Athlete of the Week
Sutton came off his fifth-place finish at state last season and started the year strong. He went 7-0 at the Carmel dual team tournament Nov. 29 and 30 in Mundelein with wins against Carmel’s Kenny Barber and Round Lake’s Danny Arteaga. Barber is ranked No. 11 in Class 2A by Illinoismatmen.com and Arteaga is an honorable mention in 3A. Sutton is the No. 1-ranked 126-pounder in 2A. On Saturday, Sutton won the Tom DuBois Classic at R-B and was named the outstanding wrestler for the lighter weights.
Crystal Lake South’s Nick Gil admits this season is a little different, being a senior and placing at state last season. What isn’t different is his commitment to wrestling well.
Gil said his offseason work and the experience of doing well at state put him in a good state of mind.
“My confidence is pretty high from all the stuff I did over the summer,” Gil said. “I know what it’s like placing at state.”
In the season opening Moore/Prettyman Invitational at Barrington, Gil won at 132. In the finals, he defeated Waubonsie Valley’s Jimmy Davis, 7-3. Davis is ranked No. 6 and Gil is the second-ranked wrestler in Class 3A.
Gil said the win at Barrington was a good checkpoint for how he was doing.
“I feel like I can only get better,” Gil said.
Another big checkpoint for Gil will be the Al Dvorak Memorial Invitational at Harlem in Machesney Park, Dec. 27 and 28. Gil did well last year at the tournament widely recognized as the toughest regular season high school tournament in the state.
“Last year I took fifth,” Gil said. “I’m looking forward to going out and winning it.”
Also winning at Barrington for the Gators was senior Brian Pence at 195. South coach Ross Ryan said Pence has battled injuries throughout his high school career and has largely gone unnoticed. That may change this year after a good offseason and being injury free.
“[Pence is] the untold story,” Ryan said. “Everything he did in the offseason really built up his confidence.”
This week’s top meets
Gary Swanson Tournament at Marengo, 9 a.m. Saturday
The Indian host a multiteam event that includes Woodstock and Marian Central.
Cary-Grove at McHenry
6:15 p.m. Thursday
At big early season Fox Valley Conference Valley Division dual.
at Harvard, 4 p.m. Friday
Opening rounds of the Hornets’ annual tournament, which includes Woodstock, Woodstock North, Richmond-Burton, Dundee-Crown, Huntley and Marian Central.
– Rob Smith