Most Valuable Wrestler Award

Danny Pucino Most Valuable Wrestler

2018 Most Valuable Wrestling - Danny Pucino

Sophomore Danny Pucino earned All-State honors by finishing 3rd in the State, the first LHS Wrestling sophomore to earn All-State. He finished the season with a 45-3 record winning titles at the Harlem Invite, Lake County, Regionals, and Sectionals. The 3 guys that beat him took 2nd in the 3A 132 weight, 2nd in the 3A 126 weight, and Class A State Champion. On top of his Most Valuable Wrestler honor he was also the Most Exciting Wrestler.

2017 Most Valuable Wrestler - Jack Damenti

2017 Most Valuable Wrestler - Jack Damenti

Jack finished his senior year 38-7. He won the Regional title to earn his second trip to Sectionals. He placed 4th in the Sectionals to qualify for his first trip to State where he finished in the final 8 at 152, one spot shy of earning All-State honors.

Jack earned All-Conference for his second year. He won championships in the Lake County Invite, the Prospect Invite, and the Glenbrook South Invite.

Jack was a three year varsity starter. His final career varsity record was 87-44. He will be attending college at the Colorado School of Mines and will be wrestling for their team.

2016 Most Valuable Wrestler - Alex Mitchell

2016 Most Valuable Wrestler - Alex Mitchell

Alex Mitchell was in his junior year, his second year as the starting 106 pounder. He finished the season at 36-5, qualifying for his first State Tournament where he finished 2-2, one spot from All-State. He won 4 of 5 tournaments including the Prospect Invite, the Palatine Invite, the Conference, and the Sectionals. He took 3rd in the Barrington Invite, 2nd in the Regionals. For his career he finished with an 83-19 record, won 3 Conference Championships, a Regional title, 2 Sectional titles, and took 3 trips to Sectionals. He qualified for the Fargo National Freestyle tournament after his sophomore year and finished in the final 16 at his 106 weight class with a 3-2 record. He will be attending Lincoln Junior College for his freshmen year and will be wrestling for the Lincoln Wrestling team.

2015 Most Valuable Wrestler - Joey Gunther

2015 Most Valuable Wrestler - Joey Gunther

Joey Gunther finished his senior year with a 36-2 record as our 160 pounder. He won the Regionals and Sectionals, reaching the finals of the State Tournament where he lost a 3-2 match and finished 2nd.  He won the Barrington Invite, the Hoffman Estates Invite, and the Conference title. For his career he had a 104-17 record.  He won two Conference titles, two Regional titles, and two Sectional titles. He finished 6th in the State at 152 as a junior earning All-State honors.

He was a three time Fargo Greco-Roman All-American, placing 2nd in Cadets after his freshman year, 3rd in the Juniors after his sophomore year, and 2nd in the Juniors after his junior year. He went on to Iowa University, wrestling for their team. He was the 165 starter his redshirt freshman year reaching the NCAA tournament where he finished 2-2.

2014 Most Valuable Wrestler - Steve Polakowski

2014 Most Valuable Wrestler - Steve Polakowski

Senior Steve Polakowski finished the season with a 44-2 record at 120, his third season as a varsity starter. He won the Regionals and Sectionals. He reached the finals with a 5-3 win over a three time Marist All-Stater, but lost an overtime finals match to finish 2nd. He won the Hoffman Estate Invite title where he was named the tournament’s “Outstanding Wrestler”. He won the Dvorak Invite where he beat the eventual 113 pound champion from Lockport. He won the Conference title at 126.

For his career, Steve went 115-16.  He won 3 Conference and Regional titles. He won two Sectional titles. He qualified for State three times. He earned All-American Freestyle honors when he took 8th at 120 at Fargo in 2013. He won the Fall 2013 Pre-Season Nationals. He is currently wrestling for the University of Minnesota.

2013 Most Valuable Wrestler - Kayne MacCallum

2013 Most Valuable Wrestler - Kayne MacCallum

Kayne MacCallum was in his 3rd year as a varsity starter in his junior year. He was our 160 pounder. He finished the season with a 40-5 record. He won the Barrington Invite, the Hoffman Estates title, placed 4th at Dvorak, won the Conference, won the Regionals, and placed 2nd in the Sectionals for his second trip to state.

For his career Kayne qualified for sectionals and state 3 times, placing 3rd in state his senior year. His career record is 130-27. He is currently wrestling for Eastern Michigan University.

2012 Most Valuable Wrestler - Pat Fitzgerald

2012 Most Valuable Wrestler - Pat Fitzgerald

Senior Pat Fitzgerald finished his 4th year as a varsity starter, this year at 120. He finished with a 37-11 record. He finished 2nd in the Conference, 2nd in the Regionals, and 3rd in the Sectionals to qualify for State. In invitationals he won the Hoffman Estates title, placed 5th at Barrington, and 6th at Dvorak. For his career Pat finished 115-58, winning two conference titles, qualifying for Sectionals twice, and qualifying for state twice. He wrestled one year at Wisconsin-Whitewater.

2010 Most Valuable Wrestler - Luke Miller

2011 Most Valuable Wrestler - Luke Miller

Senior Luke Miller was in his third season as our 215 varsity starter. He finished the season with a 36-12 record. He took 2nd in the Conference, won the Regionals, took 2nd in the Sectionals, and took 5th in the State. He finished his career with a 97-42 record, earning 3 All-Conference honors, winning his 3rd Regional title, and qualifying for State twice. He had success in Freestyle and Greco-Roman. In the summer between his sophomore and junior year he was a two-time Fargo All-American with a 3rd place in Cadet Greco-Roman, 4th in Freestyle.

2010 Most Valuable Wrestler - Matt Bystol

2010 Most Valuable Wrestler - Matt Bystol

Senior Matt Bystol finished the season with a 43-5 record as our 125 pounder, his 3rd year as a starter. He won the Conference title, the Regional title, the Sectional title, and placed 5th in the State. For his career he finished 135-21, winning 3 Conference titles, 3 Regionals titles, 2 Sectional titles, qualified for State three times, was a two-time All-Staters, placing 3rd as a junior as 112. He qualified for the Fargo Freestyle and Greco-Roman Nationals 3 summers. He wrestled 4 years at Columbia University, qualifying for the 2013 NCAA tournament at 133.

2009 Most Valuable Wrestler - Matt Bystol

2009 Most Valuable Wrestler - Matt Bystol

Junior Matt Bystol finished the season with a 46-5 record at 112. He won the Conference, Regional, and Sectional titles to qualify for his second state trip to state, this time taking 3rd in state, his first All-State finish. He won the title in the Granite City Invitational, beat Cody Brewer of Oak Park (Missouri), at the time the #3 ranked 112 in the nation and an eventual NCAA Champion for Oklahoma.

2008 Most Valuable Wrestler - Trey Ayala

2008 Most Valuable Wrestler - Trey Ayala

Senior Trey Ayala went 41-8 at 135. He won the Regionals to qualify for his 4th Sectional. He won his second Conference title making him a 4 time All-Conference wrestler. He placed 2nd in the Sectional to earn his second trip to the State Tournament. His final career record was 142-38. He wrestled two years for West Virginia.

2007 Most Valuable Wrestler - Trey Ayala

2007 Most Valuable Wrestler - Trey Ayala

Junior Trey Ayala finished the season at 37-11 at 130. He won the Conference and Sectional Tournament, earning his first trip to State. He was our team’s only State Qualifier. In invitationals he took 2nd at Stagg, 3rd at Lake Park, 7th at Dvorak, and 2nd in the Regionals to earn his third trip to Sectionals.

2006 Most Valuable Werstler - Jack Danilkowicz

2006 Most Valuable Wrestler - Jack Danilowicz

Senior Jack Danilkowicz went 40-4 on the season as our 285. He won titles at the Conference, the Regionals, and placed 2nd in the Sectionals to earn his second trip to State. In the State Tournament he pinned the returning state runner-up in the first round. He eventually went 4-1 at state and finished 3rd. He pinned 28 opponents which tied him for the team’s single season all time high. He finished his career with an 81-13 varsity record. What makes this remarkable is that he was a basketball player as a freshman, coming out for wrestling for the first time as a sophomore. He qualified for the Fargo Greco-Roman and Freestyle Nationals twice, placing 3rd in Greco-Roman after his senior year. He wrestled for the University of Virginia and qualified for the NCAA Nationals in 2010 and 2011.

2005 Most Valuable Wrestler - Jeff Keske

2005 Most Valuable Wrestler - Jeff Keske

Senior Jeff Keske finished the season with a 43-3 record as our 140.  He won the Conference, Regional, and Sectional titles to earn a trip to state where he finished 2-2, one spot from an All-State finish. His highlight during the season was giving Albert White (St. Rita), the defending State Champion, his first high school loss in the semifinals of the Dvorak Invitational. He finished 140-25 for his career.  He won his fourth straight Conference title, making him the 5th North Suburban Conference wrestler in the 50 year history of the Conference Tournament to win 4 titles. He won 4 Regional titles. He qualified for 3 State Tournaments.  He wrestled a year at Augustana and at Iowa Central Junior College. He is currently the head coach for Palatine High School.

2004 Most Valuable Wrestler - Mark Friend

2004 Most Valuable Wrestler - Mark Friend

Senior Mark Friend finished the season with a 45-1 record as our 160.  He won the Conference, Regional, and Sectional titles. His only loss was in the state finals where he took 2nd place.  In invitationals he won titles at Stagg, Lyons (where he was named the meet’s “Outstanding Wrestler”), and his second Dvorak title. He finished 151-24 for his career. He won 3 Conference titles, 3 Regional titles, two Sectional titles, and qualified for State 3 times. He is one of the best pinners in our program’s history. He finished with 78 career pins, the second most being 54. He is tied for the program’s season high with 28. He placed 8th in the Fargo Junior Freestyle Tournament after his junior year. He wrestled 4 years for Penn State University.

2003 Most Valuable Wrestler Jim Friend

2003 Most Valuable Wrestler - Jim Friend

Senior Jim Friend finished the season with a 44-2 record as our 160. He won the Conference, Regional, and Sectional titles. He went 3-1 in the State Tournament in taking 3rd, his second All-State finish after taking 5th as a junior. He finished his career with a 164-15 record. He won 4 Conference titles, only the 4th wrestler in North Suburban Conference Wrestling history to win 4 titles. He won 4 Regional tournaments. He won 2 Sectional tournaments, qualifying for the State Tournament 3 times.  He wrestled 4 years for Northwestern University.

2002 Most Valuable Wrestler Jim Friend

2002 Most Valuable Wrestler - Jim Friend

Junior Jim Friend went 44-3 as our 140 pounder.  He won the Conference, Regional, and Sectional titles. He reached the semifinals of the state before settling for 5th place, his first All-State finish. In invitationals he won titles at Stagg and Lyons while finishing 3rd at Dvorak.

2001 Most Valuable Wrestler Jim Friend

2001 Most Valuable Wrestler - Jim Friend

Sophomore Jim Friend finished the season with a 38-4 record at 125. He won the Conference and Regional titles. In invitationals he won the Stagg and Lyons titles. After losing in the first round of the Dvorak invitational he won 6 straight to finish in 3rd.

2000 Most Valuable Wrestler Jim Friend

2000 Most Valuable Wrestler - Jim Friend

Freshmen Jim Friend finished the season with a 38-6 record at 119. He won the Conference and Regional titles along with the Lyons Invitational. He placed 3rd in the Sectionals to qualify for the State Tournament where he won his preliminary match.  He was the first Libertyville freshman wrestler to qualify for the State Tournament as well as being named the team’s “Most Valuable” wrestler.

1999 Most Valuable Wrestler Chad Blomgren

1999 Most Valuable Wrestler - Chad Blomgren

Senior Chad Blomgren went 32-7 at 189. He won the Conference, Regional, and Sectional titles. He finished his career with a 90-32 record. He earned 3 All-Conference honors. He won two Regional titles, qualifying for Sectionals 3 times. He qualified for the State Tournament twice. He wrestled two years for Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.

1998 Most Valuable Wrestler Dan Cysewski

1998 Most Valuable Wrestler - Dan Cyewski

Senior Dan Cysewski finished the season with a 42-2 record at 140. He went into the State Tournament undefeated after winning the Conference, Regional, and Sectional titles. He went 3-2 win the State Tournament and finished 4th. He won Invitational titles at Stagg, Lyons, and the Dvorak, earning the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler Award in each meet, matching his accomplishment from his junior year.  It is hard enough to win one tournament “Outstanding Wrestling” Award. But to go 6 for 6 is amazing, a testament to Dan’s relentless attacking style. He finished his career with a 146-21 record.  He finished 2nd for our team in All-Time career pins with 54. He earned 4 All-Conference honors, winning 3 titles.  He qualified for Sectionals 4 times, winning 3 Regional titles. He went to State three times, winning three Sectional titles.  He placed in State twice, 3rd as a junior, 4th as a senior. He placed 5th in the Fargo Greco-Roman Nationals after his junior year. He finished 8th in the Fargo Freestyle Nationals after his senior year. He wrestled two years at Indiana University before joining the Marines.

1997 Most Valuable Wrestler Dan Cysewski

1997 Most Valuable Wrestler - Dan Cyewski

Junior Dan Cysewski finished the season with a 38-1 record at 140. He won the Conference, Regional, and Sectional titles to enter the State Tournament undefeated. He lost his only match of the season in the state semifinals and finished the season in 3rd place. In winning all 3 Invitationals during the regular season, Dan was named the tournament’s “Outstanding Wrestler”.

1996 Most Valuable Wrestler Brian Laughlin

1996 Most Valuable Wrestlers - Brian Laughlin

Senior Brian Laughlin shocked the wrestling world the year before by coming from nowhere and placing 3rd in the State at 189. He snuck up on no one his senior year. Although he didn't get back in the top 6 of State, he did win two invitationals, the Regionals, and placing 3rd in the Sectionals to reach State again. He finished the season 36-5, 79-11 on his career, a career that didn’t get started until he was cut from freshmen basketball). He got involved with Freestyle and Greco-Roman after his freshman season. He qualified for the Fargo Nationals after his sophomore and placed 7th in Greco-Roman. He wrestled one year for Northwestern University. He was an All-State Football player as a defensive tackle the previous fall.

Most Valuable Wrestler Tony Carlsen

1995 Most Valuable Wrestler - Tony Carlsen

Senior Tony Carlsen went 37-4 at 130.  He was quite a crowd-pleaser with his aggressive style. He won the Conference and Regional titles along with two invitational titles. He placed second in Sectionals. At State he set a record for fastest technical fall at 130 when he beat a Chicago Senn opponent 16-1 in 2:10 in his preliminary match. For his career he finished 93-47, qualifying for Sectional 3 times, twice coming up one match short in 4th place. He wrestled for two years after high school for the College of Lake County, qualifying for the NJCAA finals his sophomore year.

1994 Most Valuable Wrestler Preston Sellers

1994 Most Valuable Wrestler - Preston Sellers

Senior Preston Sellers went 31-12 at 160.  He placed 2nd in the Conference and Regionals. He was a two year varsity starter going 59-29 for his career with two Conference runner-up finishes and two trips to Sectionals.

1993 Most Valuable Wrestler Scooter Hill

1993 Most Valuable Wrestler - Scooter Hill

Senior Scooter Hill went 37-7 at 160.  He won the Regional and Sectional titles to earn his first trip to State. His career record was 52-16 which included another trip to Sectionals his junior year. He wrestled 4 years for Wheaton College.

1992 Most Valuable Wrestler Dan LaBarbera

1992 Most Valuable Wrestler - Dan LaBarbera

Senior Dan LaBarbera went 34-6 at 145. He won the Conference and Regionals, finishing 2nd in the Sectionals to earn his first trip to State. He went 54-20 on his career with two trips to Sectionals.

1991 Most Valuable Wrestler Mike Baumann

1991 Most Valuable Wrestler - Mike Baumann

Senior Mike Baumann wrapped up a perfect 43-0 season with the State title at 119. Along the way he won Invitationals at Stagg, Lyons, and Waukegan in addition to all the State Series titles. For his career he went 108-20 with 3 Conference titles, 2 Regional titles, 3 trips to Sectionals, and two trips to State. He was named the Class AA “Scholastic Wrestler of the Year.” He wrestled one year for Northwestern University.

1990 Most Valuable Wrestler Mel Heckman

1990 Most Valuable Wrestler - Mel Heckman

Senior Mel Heckman completed an improbably finish to a great season with a 4th place in State and a 39-7 record at 189. He placed 2nd in the Conference while winning the Regionals and Sectionals. Mel didn’t come out for wrestling until his sophomore season. But once he did he became a regular in the Freestyle and Greco-Roman circuit, finishing 6th in the State Freestyle after his junior year. He only wrestling 3 varsity matches as a junior after being behind two State Qualifiers at 171 and 189. But he did go 15-0 with all pins on the JV level. He wrestled 3 years for Northern Illinois University.

1989 Most Valuable Wreslter Mike Geib

1989 Most Valuable Wrestler - Mike Geib

Senior Mike Geib went 36-11 at 125.  He won the Conference and Regionals, placing 3rd in the State for his first trip to State where he won his first two matches. On his career he finished 86-42. He was three time All-Conference and qualified for Sectionals three times.

1988 Most Valuable Wrestler Brian Paramski

1988 Most Valuable Wrestler - Brian Paramski

Senior Brian Paramski finished the season 40-3 at 155. He won the Conference and Regionals. He took his first loss of the season in the finals of Sectionals. At State he went 4-2 and finished 4th. During the season he won invitationals at Conant, Glenbrook South, and Sycamore. He was named the tournament’s “Outstanding Wrestler” at Glenbrook South and Sycamore. He finished 88-14 for his career winning 3 Conference and Regionals titles. He won 2 Sectional titles. He qualified for the Fargo Greco-Roman Nationals twice, finishing 3rd after his senior year. He wrestled one year for Illinois State.

1987 Most Valuable Wrestler Brian Paramski

1987 Most Valuable Wrestler - Brian Paramski

Junior Brian Paramski finished the season 34-6 at 145. He won the Conference, Regional, and Sectional titles. He won his first match at state.

1986 Most Valuable Wrestler Glen Nyquist

1986 Most Valuable Wrestler - Glen Nyquist

Senior Glen Nyquist finished the season with a 37-2 record at 98. He won the Conference, Regional, and Sectional tournaments to advance to state. He won invitational titles in the Lake County and Glenbrook South. He was named the tournament’s “Outstanding Wrestler” at Glenbrook South. He was our team’s only Individual State Qualifier for the first Libertyville Wrestling team to qualify for the Dual Team State Tournament. For his career Glen finished 75-25 with two Regional titles and two All-Conference finishes. He qualified for the Fargo Greco-Roman and Freestyle Nationals twice. His senior year he took 5th in Greco-Roman, 2nd in Freestyle. No Libertyville wrestler has placed higher in Freestyle since Glen’s accomplishment. He wrestled a year for Northern Illinois University.

1985 Most Valuable Wrestler Glen Nyquist

1985 Most Valuable Wrestler - Glen Nyquist

Junior Glen Nyquist finished 27-9 at 98. He took 2nd in the Conference and won the Regional title. He got stopped in his quest for state by taking 4th in the Sectionals.

1984 Most Valuable Wrestler Ross Pelz

1984 Most Valuable Wrestler - Ross Pelz

Senior Ross Pelz finished 23-7 at 138. He took 3rd in the Conference and the Regionals, qualifying for Sectionals where he won his first match. He took 3rd at the Glenbrook South and Racine Case Invitationals.

1983 Most Valuable Wrestler Ed Nevins

1983 Most Valuable Wrestler - Ed Nevins

Senior Ed Nevins finished 27-7 at 126. He won the Conference and the Regionals. He finished 3rd in the Sectionals to qualify for State.

1982 Most Valuable Wrestler Jim Fiesterer

1982 Most Valuable Wrestler - Jim Riesterer

Senior Jim Riesterer finished 26-4 at 105. He won the Conference and Regionals.

1981 Most Valuable Wrestler Karl Kopp

1981 Most Valuable Wrestler - Karl Kopp

Senior Karl Kopp finished 26-5 at 155.  He won the Conference title. He wrestled two years for the College of Lake County and two years for Northern Illinois University.

1980 Most Valuable Wrestler Mike Juarez

1980 Most Valuable Wrestler - Mike Juarez

Senior Mike Juarez finished 29-6 at 119. He finished 4th in the Conference and won the Regionals. He missed state by one match in taking 4th place. For his career he was a three time All-Conference wrestler winning the title as a sophomore. He qualified for Sectionals 3 times. He placed 2nd in the Sectionals as a junior 112.

1979 Most Valuable Wrestler Dan Shannon

1979 Most Valuable Wrestler - Dan Shannon

Senior Dan Shannon was not the top wrestler on the team. But because he was a great competitor, a great team man, and a great person he got chosen for this honor. He took 4th in the Conference. In the Regionals he upset a Mundelein wrestler that had beaten him in the Conference to finish in 3rd place at 119.