Inside Wrestling: CL Central's Zelasco player of week

Athlete of the Week


Crystal Lake Central, sr.

Zelasco beat Deerfield’s Colton Emmerich, 13-8, at the Waubonsie Valley Quadrangular on Dec. 11 to help the Tigers to a, 3-1, record. Emmerich is ranked No. 2 in Class 3A by Illinois Matmen and Zelasco is No. 2 in 2A. Zelasco’s two losses this season are against Washington’s Colin Carr (No. 1 in 2A) and Marmion’s Nathan Traxler (No. 3 in 3A) in the quarterfinals of the Dvorak tournament.  


Johnsburg notes: Johnsburg’s win against Crystal Lake Central on Thursday featured some big pins by the Skyhawks but both coaches said the result would have been different with a Tigers’ lineup that wasn’t missing five of their starters.

Even so, Johnsburg coach Jon Murphy sees some positives beyond the thrill of beating one of the top teams in the Fox Valley Conference and his former employer.

Murphy was an assistant under Tigers’ coach Justen Lehr during the Tigers' run of nine individual state champions and placing at dual team state three times including two second place finishes from 2009 to 2011. Murphy came to Johnsburg as an assistant and took over the program this season.

He said the transition from an established program to one he is trying to get established has been both frustrating and fun. He praised his current team for their effort in the practice room and in matches but is looking to increase participation by attracting quality athletes into the program.  

“It’s definitely a grind. It’s a journey of peaks and valleys,” Murphy said. “It’s just a matter of getting a little success.”

Murphy said he knew there were kids in the stands on Thursday that could contribute to the team, both now and in the future. Seeing the Skyhawks’ win he hopes will give some a positive vibe to the wrestling program and entice some participation.

“This win is huge for Johnsburg,” Murphy said.

Brandon Peshek, one of Murphy’s top wrestlers got a new training workout for the fall – play football. Murphy was hoping football would increase Peshek’s intensity on the mat.

“It made [Peshek] more aggressive,” Murphy said. “He’s confident and wrestling well.”

Peshek is also up two weight classes from last season. Wrestling near his walking around weight has made Peshek stronger without the toll on his body of cutting weight.

“Why spend all that time in the weight room and lose all that muscle?” Murphy said.

This week’s top meets

Crystal Lake South at McHenry

Crystal Lake Central at Grayslake Central

6:30 p.m. Thursday

Could be the deciding matches of the FVC division races.

Crystal Lake Central, Marian Central at Harvard

5 p.m. Friday

The Tigers and Hurricanes take on the Hornets in the annual triangular.

--Rob Smith

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