ALGONQUIN – Even after having surgery on his nose in July, Jacobs’ Ryan Golnick didn’t want to wrestle with a mask.
His opinion quickly changed after taking a shot to the face in the 220-pound match of Jacobs’ Fox Valley Conference win against Dundee-Crown, 48-26, on Thursday.
“I’m going to grab one probably on my way home today,” Golnick said.
Golnick had a black and blue bruise developing on his nose when he spoke about it after the dual meet. In the moment, however, it was no joke. Golnick knocked heads with D-C’s Carter Fitch and was down on the mat for several minutes.
The Jacobs junior believes he has broken his nose a few times before. Over the summer, he had surgery to repair a deviated septum and had his adenoids removed.
“Eventually, it’s just built up to where it was like, ‘This is really a problem,’ ” Golnick said. “When I had braces, I had to wear the double mouth guard, so I couldn’t breathe out of anything. That was not good.”
He held a 13-1 advantage in the third period of his match when he went down in pain. There was concern from the Jacobs bench for one of its top-ranked wrestlers. Golnick currently is ranked seventh at 220 in Class 3A.
“That lit a fire under his butt,” Jacobs coach Gary Conrad said.
When Golnick rose from the mat, he made quick work of Fitch, finishing him off for a 20-3 victory by technical fall.
“I was super energized,” Golnick said. “I have one of those things where I get injured, and it’s like I’m stunned. Then it’s like, ‘OK, let’s get this ball rolling.’ ”
Golnick is 19-3 on the season. After missing out on state last year, he said he hit the weight room hard during the offseason.
“He’s more aggressive, he’s got a good gas tank and he’s strong,” Conrad said. “He’s very athletic, so we’re hoping to see him down at the state tournament this year and try to get up on the podium.”
Dominic Ducato (106), James Wright (113), Bart Grudek (138), Jake Harrier (145), Vince Ducato (170) and Antonio Carlos (285) all won via pin for Jacobs (7-6, 6-1). Joel Ridle (132) and Jorge Adame (160) won by decision.
D-C’s Matt Impastato (120) won with a pin. Amaire Jones (126) won by technical fall. Gabriel Scales (152) won by decision. Wyatt Griggel (182) and Damian Sandoval (195) won by forfeit.
Scales won his match against Alex Epstein by scoring a takedown in the final seconds to force overtime. Another takedown gave him the win in overtime.
Like many teams this time of year, D-C (12-6, 4-3) has been hit hard by illness lately, even those on the bench.
“We moved around [the lineup] because we had guys that were sick,” D-C coach Tim Hayes said. “It was a lot. I missed two days. First time in my nine years of teaching, first time I’ve taken sick days. Jacobs came out ready to wrestle.”