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Libertyville Wrestling Season News

   In the first week of the 2022 season we beat Grant (57-19) but lost to McHenry (35-32).  In the 32 team Barrington Invitational the wrestlers finished 2nd behind Marmion.

   In the second week of the season the varsity wrestlers beat conference rival Stevenson 41-32.  In a Saturday quad at Wheaton Warrenville South the varsity wrestlers beat Oswego (55-19) but lost to St. Charles East (43-25) and West Aurora (38-33).

   In the third week of the season the varsity wrestlers beat conference foe Waukegan 81-0 and non-conference opponent Vernon Hills 68-12.  That Saturday the varsity competed in the Prospect 16 team invitational and finished second behind Prospect (220-200).  Hersey was right behind us in third (197).  3 LHS wrestlers won individual titles, Caelan Riley (120), Josh Knudten (182), and Cole Matulenko (195).  

   In the fourth week the varsity wrestlers beat conference foe Mundelein (58-21), then finished 11th in the Harlem 36 team Invite (Dvorak) on Saturday and Sunday.  Caelan Riley (120) and Josh Knudten (182) finished in 3rd.  Austin Gomez (170) finished 5th.  Cole Matulenko (195) finished 8th.

   In our first action (January 6) coming off a COVID program pause we beat North Suburban Conference opponent Zion-Benton, 57-13.  We then competed in a quad at Fremd and went 2-1, losing to Prospect (41-27), beating Wheaton North (57-21), and beat Fremd (33-31).  Our overall record is 9-4, 4-0 in conference.

   The weekend of January 14/15 we moved our conference record to 5-0 with a 62-12 win over Warren.  We hosted a quad on Saturday with Lyons (state honorable mention), Conant (#21 ranked), and DeKalb (#2 ranked).  We beat Lyons (44-24) and Conant (39-22) but lost to DeKalb (58-9).  Our over record is 12-5.  We are ranked #16 in state.

   We competed in the 14 team Lake County Invitational January 21/22.  Although we were ahead of Stevenson by 10 points heading into the finals, Stevenson caught us and won by 7 points (196-189).  We finished well ahead of third place Antioch (133).  We had two champions, Caelan Riley (120) and Josh Knudten (182).  Caelan knocked off Albino (Antioch, eventual 3rd in AA State) in the finals, 9-1.  Josh beat Jens (Grayslake Central, eventual 2nd in AA State) in the finals 6-3.  We had four other wrestlers in the finals, Matt Kubas (160), Austin Gomez (170), Cole Matulenko (195), and Caleb Christensen (285).  3rd place finishers were Luke Berktold (126) and Trevor Jean (132).  Anthony McClendon (152) took 4th.  Michael Rocco (145) finished 5th.

   The varsity wrestlers wrapped up the Conference Championship in the last week of the regular season with wins over Lake Forest (59-19) and Lake Zurich (47-19).  Our final conference record is 7-0, 14-5 overall, #14 ranked in the 3A State.  This Saturday, Libertyville hosts the Regionals beginning at 9:00.  Two mats will be used the entire tournament.  There will be 10 minute breaks between the four rounds so the hope is the final round will begin at approximately 3:00.  The top contender is McHenry, ranked #10 in the state.  Grant is an honorable mention team (top 40).  Other teams competing are Mundelein, Round Lake, Warren, Waukegan, and Zion-Benton.  The top 3 wrestlers at each weight earn spots in Individual Sectionals the following Friday and Saturday at Barrington.  The top team earns a spot in the Dual Team Sectionals on Tuesday, February 22nd at Stevenson (6:00), taking on the winner of the Fremd Regional (Fremd, Hersey, or Stevenson). 

The Libertyville JVs finished 3rd in the JV Conference Tournament.  3 LHS JVs won individual titles; Tommy Buenik (126), Caleb Baczek (160), and Owen McGrory (170).  Max Butler (138) and Will Carney (145) finished in second.  Orion Moran (113) and Jack Wasser (152) finished in third.

   The varsity wrestlers claimed the Regional title in the Saturday (February 5) Regional hosted at Libertyville.  The final scores were 1. Libertyville (208).  2. McHenry (181).  3. Mundelein (128).  4. Warren (112).  5. Grant (104).  6. Round Lake (91).  7. Zion-Benton (50).  8. Waukegan (0).  11 Libertyville wrestlers qualified for Sectionals.  7 won individual championships: Caelan Riley (120), Trevor Jean (132), Matt Kubas (152), Austin Gomez (170), Josh Knudten (182), Cole Matulenko (195), Caleb Christensen (285).  2nd place finishers were Luke Berktold (126) and Scott Wiegold (138).  3rd place finishers were Michael Rocco (145) and Caleb Baczek (160).  Austin Gomez had the top match of the meet, beating McHenry's Hallin, the #2 ranked 170 pounder in the state.  Freshman Caleb Baczek, in his first varsity competition of the season, went 3-1 in taking 3rd place.

   11 varsity wrestlers competed in the Individual Sectionals on Fri/Sat: February 11/12 at Barrington.  5 Libertyville wrestlers finished in the top 4 at their weights to qualify for the state tournament on Thu/Fri/Sat: February 17/18/19 at the University of Illinois.  Josh Knudten won the 182 title with an :18 pin in the finals.  Caelan Riley (120) and Austin Gomez (170) finished in second.  Matt Kubas (152) finished in third.  Cole Matulenko (195) finished in fourth.  Luke Berktold (126), Trevor Jean (132), and Caleb Christensen (285) each finished one match out of the state tournament.  In the team race, Libertyville finished in second place with 109 behind champion Prospect who had 111.

   In winning the Regional team title the Libertyville wrestlers qualify for the Dual Team Sectionals, hosted by Stevenson (5:30) on Tuesday, February 22.  We meet Huntley for a trip to the Dual Team State Tournament on Fri/Sat: February 25/26 in Bloomington.

   In the individual state tournament, Libertyville got All-State finishes by Josh Knudten (182), Caelan Riley (120), and Austin Gomez (170).  Knudten won the state title, beating the defending state champion from DeKalb in the finals with a 3-1 sudden victory win.  It was our program's first state champion since 1991 (31 years).  Caelan went 5-1 with three pins to take third.  Austin went 4-1 in taking third, the key win being a reversal in the second overtime with three seconds left in the second overtime in the quarterfinals.  With the first place and two third places, our team finished in 6th place in the team standings.

   The following Tuesday (February 22), we met Huntley in the Dual Team Sectionals for a trip to the Dual Team State Tournament.  The meet began at 106.  After the 138 pound bout we were losing 22-12.  But we proceeded to win the next 6 matches to wrap up a 41-31 win to earn a trip to the Dual Team State Tournament.

   The Dual Team State Tournament began on Friday night (February 25) at the Grossinger Motors Arena.  We were to meet Mt. Carmel and their 4 individual state champions.  We lost 46-27 but did win 6 matches, pin by Anthony McClendon (152), 6-3 win by Austin Gomez (170), a pin by Josh Knudten (182), an 8-5 decision by Cole Matulenko (195), a pin by Caelan Riley (120), and a 6-2 win by Luke Berktold (126).

   We finished the season with a 15-6 overall record, a 7-0 record in the conference to win the conference title, Regional Champions, 2nd to Prospect in the Individual Sectionals, 6th in the Individual State Tournament, Elite Eight in the Dual Team State, and #12 in the final state rankings.