Wrestling

High school wrestling insider: Huntley's Juan Quiroz is athlete of the week; rankings; notes

Huntley's Juan Quiroz
Huntley's Juan Quiroz

Athlete of the Week

Juan Quiroz

Huntley, Sr., 170

Quiroz won the 170-pound bracket at the 43rd annual Sycamore Invitational on Saturday. He helped the Red Raiders finish second as a team, only 3.5 points behind champion Washington.

Quiroz improved his record to 30-4 on the season. He battled an ankle injury early in the season, but is healthy now and has been improving steadily as the year has progressed.

He was a state qualifier last year and Huntley coach B.J. Bertelsman believes he’s good enough to get back this season, and possibly make some noise at the state finals.

“If Juan puts everything together in the last month, he could be on the podium at state,” Bertelsman said. “Juan’s good enough to be up there. He has everything going for him.”

Power rankings

1. Huntley (16-3, 5-0 FVC)

Huntley’s second place finish at Sycamore was ahead of some quality Class 3A opponents in Yorkville, Moline, Downers Grove South and Hononegah. The Red Raiders also picked up an FVC win over McHenry last week.

2. Crystal Lake Central (16-4, 6-0 FVC)

The Tigers had a busy week. They earned FVC wins over Crystal Lake South and Dundee-Crown (the Chargers gave them a battle, 39-35). Central went 3-1 at the Waubonsie Valley Quad, with wins over Lake Park, Deerfield and Lemont, and a loss to Marmion.

3. Marian Central (22-2)

The Hurricanes placed second in the 22-team Geneva Invite, finishing behind only Glenbard East. Dylan Connell (152) picked up an individual title.

4. Jacobs (11-4, 4-2 FVC)

Jacobs earned a 40-23 win over Prairie Ridge last week. Then the Golden Eagles finished second at the Leyden Invite in Franklin Park, finishing behind Stevenson. They placed ahead of Conant, Lakes and Oak Forest, among others.

5. Prairie Ridge (7-4, 3-2 FVC)

The Wolves suffered a setback with a loss to Jacobs in FVC action. Then they turned around and finished first at Glenbard West’s Chris Chappell Invitational, winning titles at five weight classes.

Noteworthy

Return from injury: Crystal Lake Central’s Seamus O’Donnell returned in the new year after missing the first month of the season with a bicep tendon tear.

O’Donnell, who wrestles at 195, suffered the injury in Central’s orange and black football scrimmage back in August. The linebacker hyperextended his arm trying to tackle Tigers quarterback Jake Staples. O’Donnell had surgery on the injury a few weeks later and was cleared to return to wrestling in mid-December.

O’Donnell is off to a 5-0 start to the season. He is aiming for a return to state his senior season.

“It felt really good [to return],” O’Donnell said. “It’s been four months and I was dying to come back.”

Unbeaten no more: Marengo’s Landen Pfeiffer saw his undefeated season come to an end at the Sycamore Invitational on Saturday. Pfeiffer lost semifinal and third-place matches, dropping to 24-2 on the season.

The 106-pound senior, who was battling a cold over the weekend, lost to Sycamore’s Trevor Boryla, 8-2, in the semifinals.

“I haven’t really had that many competitive matches [this season],” Pfeiffer said. “I’ve just got to get back to work. As a team we’re doing pretty good. We only have two dual losses. We’re placing pretty high at all these tournaments.”

Pfeiffer beat Boryla last year in a state quarterfinal match. The two could meet even earlier this season because Marengo and Sycamore are in the same regional.

What to watch

Prairie Ridge at Crystal Lake Central, 6:30 p.m., Thursday

Two of the top squads in the Fox Valley Conference square off on Central’s senior night.

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