BLOOMINGTON – Huntley senior Luke Loprieno thought Friday’s practice was one of the hardest workouts he and junior practice partner Gannon Kosowski had all season.
The Red Raiders were amped for Saturday’s dual team state meet at Grossinger Motors Arena.
“It was one of the hardest days we’ve worked,” Loprieno said. “I don’t know why. We were really fired up.”
Huntley showed that fire Saturday, earning the wrestling program its first trophy at the IHSA dual team state meet with a fourth-place finish in Class 3A. It was Huntley’s first trip to state in the program’s 18-year history.
The Red Raiders (24-5) started the day with a state quarterfinal win over Glenbard North, 35-31, before suffering a semifinal loss to Oak Park-River Forest, 43-30. Huntley lost the third-place match, 37-25, to Providence. OPRF finished second after losing to Montini in the final, 43-29.
The quarterfinal win over Glenbard North avenged a 42-21 loss Huntley suffered Dec. 2 against the Panthers.
Senior Zach Spencer (132) started the quarterfinal with a pin that set the tone for Huntley.
“On my last takedown, I caught his leg,” Spencer said. “I knew I was going to able to get him pinned. After that, we were kind of lights out the rest of the way.”
Kosowski (138) scored a takedown with eight seconds on the clock for a 3-1 win. Matt Burba (220) and Jimmy Pellegrino (106) recorded pins in the victory.
“We wrestled really good in the semifinal match,” Huntley coach B.J. Bertelsman said. “It was really nice to get a winnable match in the quarterfinal. … With Glenbard North, I thought all we had to do was turn a couple matches around (from the December loss), and we did. We did what we had to do, some big wins.”
Huntley led, 35-19, before forfeiting the final two matches.
In the semifinal, Huntley drew
No. 2-ranked OPRF, winner of three of the past four Class 3A dual team state titles. The Huskies jumped ahead, 43-6, before forfeiting the final four matches.
Huntley’s David Ferrante (160) and Juan Quiroz (170) recorded wins by decision for Huntley.
In the third-place match against Providence, Ferrante, Zach Spencer and younger brother Sammy Spencer (113) recorded Huntley’s three pins. Zach Spencer ended his high school career with a pin over Providence’s Matt Pirc.
For seniors such as Zach Spencer and Loprieno, taking home a state trophy was no small feat.
“For the first team in Huntley history, it’s a lot of fun,” Loprieno said. “It’s super cool to bring home the first trophy ever for Huntley wrestling. I’m glad it’s my senior year, a good way to end.”
The Spencer brothers each earned fifth-place medals in Class 3A at last weekend’s individual state meet (Sammy at 113, Zach at 126). They were Huntley’s only medalists out of seven state qualifiers. But this weekend in Bloomington, every wrestler on the team took home a medal.
Zach Spencer noted that he and his teammates would be “immortalized forever” with a banner in the Huntley gym.
“For those of us who didn’t get a medal at state, or those of us who didn’t make it down, it means a lot,” Zach Spencer said. “Even for us who did get medals, we did something special. The fact that we were able to accomplish something so big this year, I think it’s a testament to how hard we’ve worked all these years.”
IHSA Class 3A
Huntley 35, Glenbard North 31
106: Pellegrino (Hunt) p. Schuelke (GN), 4:24
113: S. Spencer (Hunt) tech. fall Pagal (GN), 23-8
120: Moranchal (GN) by fft.
126: Esquival (GN) by fft.
132: Z. Spencer (Hunt) p. Kradel (GN), 4:40
138: Kosowski (Hunt) dec. Rivera (GN), 3-1
145: Marre (GN) dec. Loprieno (Hunt), 8-6, OT
152: Kohout (GN) dec. Hunkins (Hunt), 10-4
160: Ferrante (Hunt) tech. fall Marre (GN), 16-1
170: Quiroz (Hunt) maj. dec. Pennington (GN), 12-4
182: Assad (GN) by fft.
195: Bashang (GN) dec. Jernigan (Hunt), 18-12
220: Burba p. Ostryznick (GN), 4:52
285: Terry (GN) maj. dec. Wise (Hunt), 14-5
Oak Park-River Forest 43, Huntley 30
106: Rundell (OPRF) p. Pellegrino (Hunt), 1:17
113: S. Spencer (Hunt) by fft.
120: Jakowitsch (Hunt) by fft.
126: Lira (Hunt) by fft.
132: Z. Spencer (Hunt) by fft.
138: Early (OPRF) p. Kosowski (Hunt), 1:54
145: Ordonez (OPRF) p. Loprieno (Hunt), 1:45
152: Chapman (OPRF) maj. dec. Hunkins (Hunt), 13-1
160: Ferrante (Hunt) dec. Fisher (OPRF), 5-1
170: Quiroz (Hunt) dec. Middlebrooks (OPRF), 4-2
182: Cagnina (OPRF) by fft.
195: Ziech (OPRF) maj. dec. Jernigan (Hunt), 10-2
220: Osit (OPRF) tech. fall Wise (Hunt), 24-9
285: Hills (OPRF) p. Burba (Hunt), 0:55
106: Pellegrino (Hunt) dec. Matthias (Prov), 4-0
113: S. Spencer (Hunt) p. Akre (Prov), 2:44
120: Lindsey (Prov) maj. dec. Lira (Hunt), 8-0
126: Serrano (Prov) dec. Jakowitsch (Hunt), 11-5
132: Z. Spencer (Hunt) p. Pirc (Prov), 0:59
138: Ambrose (Prov) maj. dec. Kosowski (Hunt), 8-0
145: Ramos (Prov) dec. Loprieno (Hunt), 8-4
152: Countryman (Prov) dec. Hunkins (Hunt), 10-5
160: Ferrante (Hunt) p. Murphy (Prov), 1:15
170: Smith (Prov) by fft.
182: Quiroz (Hunt) maj. dec. Tuminello (Prov), 10-1
195: Geers (Prov) maj. dec. Jernigan (Hunt), 17-4
220: Anderson (Prov) maj. dec. Wise (Hunt), 11-3
285: Farley (Prov) p. Burba (Hunt), 0:17