LOMBARD – In many other wrestling regionals, Glenbard East might have had a chance to win the team title.
Instead, the host Rams were forced to settle for second to state favorite Oak Park-River Forest at their own regional tournament.
Seven East wrestlers advanced to this weekend’s Leyden sectional, which is down from the nine that advanced to sectionals last year, but all seven should have a good chance to advance to state.
“I think all seven of our sectional qualifiers can advance,” said junior D’Andre Johnson, who won the title at 285 pounds. “If we all put the work in, we should be good.”
One reason for the confidence is that six of the seven sectional qualifiers made it to state last year, and all six of the Rams’ state qualifiers from last year advanced from the regional to the sectional this season.
Johnson and Dayton Olson (126) both won regional titles by defeating OPRF wrestlers in the championship matches and will have a first-round bye at the sectional.
“I expected some tough competition, and it was,” Johnson said. “I feel like people do go to the regional [just looking] to advance, but it was something extra to win. It will help with seeding at the sectional.”
Carlos Fuentez (106), freshman Nick Donovan (113) and Josh Martin (145) made it to championship matches before losing to wrestlers from OPRF. Jake Drew (132) also lost in a final. Anfarnee Rodgers took third at 120 pounds.
Being stuck with OPRF, a school 14 miles from Glenbard East, in a regional meant the Rams had virtually no chance of winning a regional despite having the most successful team in school history. The Huskies have traveled out of the state to face elite competition and are ranked as one of the top teams in the country.
“It would have been nice to win a regional,” Johnson said. “OPRF is just really good. To finish second to them is pretty good.
“We got seven [to the sectional], which isn’t as good as last year. For our team, that’s still really good.”
Glenbard East wrestlers to Leyden sectional
Name, year, weight class, current record
• Carlos Fuentez, sr., 106 pounds, 37-4
• Nick Donovan, fr., 113, 26-9
• Anfarnee Rodgers, sr., 120, 32-8
• Dayton Olson, sr., 126, 35-3
• Jake Drew, jr., 132, 35-4
• Josh Martin, sr., 145, 29-3
• D'Andre Johnson, jr., 285, 40-2