NORTHBROOK – Huntley was not about to let its season end at the Class 3A Glenbrook North Dual Team Sectional, especially after last season’s finish.
The Red Raiders fell short of back-to-back dual team state tournament appearances with last year’s 36-33 loss to Prospect at the McHenry Sectional.
Huntley had no problems Tuesday rolling past Libertyville, 57-17, and into Saturday’s 9 a.m. quarterfinal against Barrington at Grossinger Motors Arena in Bloomington. The Broncos beat Prospect, 40-23, in the other Glenbrook North Sectional dual.
“We just wanted to not do what we did last year and get back down to team state,” senior Sam Spencer said. “All of us seniors wanted to end on a strong note. We’re happy with what happened today, we just dominated.”
Huntley's dual started at 195 pounds, where Raiders sophomore Ryder Hunkins pinned Libertyville’s Joseph Ferreira. Seven matches in, Huntley (19-7) was ahead, 33-6, and well on its way to dual team state for the second time in three years.
“It’s good,” Huntley coach B.J. Bertelsman said. “I feel bad for coach Dale [Eggert] at Libertyville. His team was a little roughed up tonight to begin with, kind of like we were last year. I’ve been in his position. It feels good to get out there and get a dominating win and have some young kids wrestle.”
The Wildcats would have had their hands full against the Raiders even with the three starters who were missing.
“We were out of guys,” Eggert said. “It wasn’t going to happen if we didn’t have anybody.”
Hunkins, Matt Burba (285) and Zack Rogala (106) got pins within the first four matches. Spencer (138), Andrew Lira (145) and Rukkus Hunkins (170) also got pins.
Jeremy Jakowitsch, who took third at 138 pounds in the Class 3A Individual State Tournament last weekend, suffered a knee injury in the third-place match Saturday. Bertelsman still hopes Jakowitsch, who is getting an MRI on Thursday, might be able to wrestle Saturday.
With Jakowitsch out and Rukkus Hunkins not making his usual 160 pounds, the Raiders moved several wrestlers up from their normal weights. Spencer and Lira wrestled up two divisions from their normal spots.
Ryder Hunkins was pleased to start the Raiders off right.
“I just came out hard. I wanted to win,” Hunkins said. “It could be our last match, I knew we had to win. Last year, we fell apart against Prospect. Coach (Bertelsman) said, ‘Keep it together and keep fighting.’ ”
Bertelsman thought the Raiders looked strong on the mat even though they had only one practice after individual state, Monday. They did not practice Sunday after having six competitors in the state tournament.
“It feels good,” said sophomore Jake Jensen, who won by major decision at 120 pounds. “I’ve never been down there. We didn’t want to let the season fall off. We still have a little more, we have to keep pushing. I’m excited we get another week of wrestling.”
Spencer was on the 2018 team that took fourth in the Class 3A state tournament.
“We want to beat Barrington and get to top four in the state again,” Spencer said. “That would be cool.”
Class 3A Glenbrook North Team Dual Sectional
Huntley 57, Libertyville 17
106: Zack Rogala (H) p. Ryan Schlitt (L), 1:32.
113: Rafael Sobrepena (H) fft.
120: Jake Jensen (H) md. Cooper Bayliff (L), 14-3.
126: Sam Henkle (H) tf. Scott Wiegold (L), 4:10.
132: Michael Rocco (L) md. Chris Le (H), 11-2.
138: Sam Spencer (H) p. Ryan White (L), 1:04.
145: Andrew Lira (H) p. Andrew Costakis (L), 1:53.
152: Austin Gomez (L) d. Rumyr Sobrepena (H), 6-5.
160: Josh Knudten (L) md. Jason Coleman (H), 10-2.
170: Rukkus Hunkins (H) p. Dane Whitney (L), 1:48.
182: David Ferrante (H) inj. def. Adam Pressley (L).
195: Ryder Hunkins (H) p. Joseph Ferreira (L), 1:03.
220: Jordan Smith (L) p. Tyler Cerny (H), 1:26.
285: Matt Burba (H) p. Caleb Christensen (L), 2:33.