McHENRY – Crystal Lake Central’s Mike Petersen, Kyle Fugiel and Andrew Marsden won individual titles Saturday at the Fox Valley Conference Wrestling Tournament to help the Tigers to a team championship.
Central had eight wrestlers place at the meet, including three second-place and two third-place finishes. Crystal Lake South was second with 163.5 points followed by Cary-Grove (163), McHenry (146.5) and Dundee-Crown (143).
Tigers coach Justen Lehr said the tournament is a good challenge before heading into regionals next weekend
“Just look at the talent in our conference this year. We’ve got a lot of good kids,” Lehr said. “It’s a good test.”
Petersen, at 132 pounds, reversed Johnsburg’s Branden Peshek in the third period to tie the score, 2-2, and send the match to overtime. In overtime, Petersen got a takedown to win but had to work out of a situation where either wrestler could have taken the advantage.
“I practice that scramble every single day,” Petersen said. “When I had his leg it’s all about who wanted it more.”
That’s not to say the scramble didn’t catch Petersen off guard.
“[Peshek] almost caught me on my back, and I was scared,” Petersen said.
Petersen and Peshek could meet several times again in the state series. Peshek is ranked No. 6 by Illinoismatmen.com and Petersen is No. 9.
Fugiel (170) came back from some time off with a wrist injury to win with a second-period pin against Dundee-Crown’s Jarrod Raap. The injury still bothers Fugiel, but he said it’s not a major impairment, just something he is going to have to deal with.
The team win was a big mental boost for Fugiel.
“It gets me pumped up and fired up and gets me dialed up for the state series,” Fugiel said. “We really wanted to win [the conference tournament].”
Marsden pinned his way to the 195-pound championship and stuck McHenry’s Ryan Grannemann just before the second period ended in the championship match.
Grannemann had Marsden by the leg a couple of times during the first period but was not able to get takedowns. Marsden said even in that situation he felt in control.
“I get this feeling if [Grannemann] has it at a certain point, I know what to do,” Marsden said. “He didn’t have it so deep.”
Marsden said he was hesitant to take any leg shots on Grannemann because he didn’t think he would be able to control him from that position.
“[Grannemann] was a real muscle guy,” Marsden said. “I figured if I shot he’d just bounce out of it.”
Crystal Lake South went 3-0 in championship matches to edge C-G for second place. Winning for the Gators were Nick Gil (138), Eric Barone (145) and Casey Callahan (152). The Trojans got wins from Mike Cullen (120) and Logan Hanselmann (126).
Also winning individual titles were Dundee-Crown’s Christian Brunner (182) and Jeremy Marshall (285), Prairie Ridge’s Travis Piotrowski (113) and Charlie Popp (160) and Hampshire’s Kyle Szlenk (106).
Mark Mamola won at 220 pounds and was the first Jacobs wrestler to win a title since 2008.
“That was big for us. Finally,” Golden Eagles coach Gary Conrad said. “Mark deserved it.”