#1 Oak Park River Forest is on a different level
There are a lot of great teams in our state, but, after Saturday, I think it’s safe to say that none of them can adequately match up with OPRF through 14 weight classes. There’s no shame in it; OPRF is just THAT good. Against DCC, Davison and St. Johns, they won by a combined score of 124-41, claiming 29/42 individual matches. Additionally, they recorded a 36-18 victory over in-state rival Montini.
What’s makes their performance especially impressive to me is not just that they won handily against 4 teams all ranked top 40 in the country, but that all 14 of their starters recorded at least 1 win in the process.
#2 Dundee is 110% the real deal
As good as the Vikings are, I really didn’t think they could match up with Davison. Man, was I wrong.
Granted, the win came in a dual where the national weight classes were used opposed to the MHSAA’s, but the bottom line is that Dundee’s kids wrestled out of their minds, and now have to be considered clear-cut favorites to repeat as D3 champs.
Oh, and returning state champ Teddy Warren has yet to wrestle for them this year…think his upcoming return might help a bit?
#3 DCC has a lot of options come February
Prior to Saturday DCC’s lineup seemed pretty cemented for the most part, but at the Super Duals they showed some intriguing versatility when O’Brien, Zdebski, Toth, Bennett and Morland all wrestled one weight class lower than expected.
I’m still pretty confident they will hold their usual weights for the individual tournaments, but when/if they get a rematch with Davison in the finals, the Shamrocks will have the option to make several interesting changes to the lineup used in their December loss to the Cardinals.
#4 Justin Oliver is the man
In one of the final regular season tourneys of his storied career, Oliver was as impressive as he has ever been. He looked phenomenal in a 4-3 win over Isaiah White, a Cadet Freestyle national champion, and a consensus top 10 sophomore in the country. Oliver also notched a great W over Cadet Greco national champion and IL runner-up Vince Turk, winning 9-8 after securing a takedown in the final seconds.
#5 Jimmy Russell is a stud
On Saturday Russell made a statement that he is legitimately among the nation’s top 220lbrs. He started with a 3-0 win over Emonte Logan, the #2 ranked wrestler in Illinois’s 3A division. Russell then followed up by dominating Edgar Ruano 7-2, The Open Mat’s #19 ranked wrester in the country at 220lbs, and a double USAW Junior All-American this summer.