Matted down

By on December 31, 2013

Kaneland’s lone holiday excursion to Palatine meet yields 21st place
KANELAND—Wrestling talent abounds in the northwest suburbs.

Kaneland High School wrestling found that out at the 59th Annual Berman Holiday Wrestling Classic hosted by Mid Suburban League standout Palatine on Friday and Saturday.

With a team score of 54.5, the Knights grabbed 21st out of 32 squads. Glenbard East (177), Oak Forest (165.5) and Lyons Township (162.5) claimed the top three overall spots.

Kaneland dealt with a load of tough challenges, but managed to get a fifth-, sixth- and seventh-place wrestler through to the end.

Heavyweight senior Justin Diddell captured a fifth-place nod after his Palatine showing. The senior beat Joliet West’s Houston Thomas by 6-3 decision. He then beat St. Patrick’s Rocco Curio in 5:07 before losing to Hinsdale Central’s Brian Allen in 5:21. In the lower half of the bracket, Diddell beat Hinsdale South’s Tommy Konkol in 1:51 and Warren’s Sawyer McCaffery by 8-6 count before losing to Glenbard East’s D’Andre Johnson in 3:24 to close out the weekend.

KHS junior Tom Price captured the lone sixth-place honor for Kaneland, beginning his weekend in the 170 group by 9-0 major decision win over East Moline U-High’s Preston Swanson. Price then lost to Zion-Benton’s Nick Whitehead in 3:01. Price then earned a 5-minute technical fall win over Delware-Hayes member Derrick Sumner, a 3:45 pin over Geneva’s Austin Chaon and a 2:48 pin over Bartlett’s Alex Montibrand before losing to Whitehead once again in 23 seconds.

In the 138-pound group, KHS senior Dane Goodenough earned seventh and started his journey by pinning East Moline U-High’s Jack Copeland in :52, but lost to Geneva’s Jordan Soto in 1-0 fashion. In the lower bracket, Goodenough beat Mundelein’s Yobanni Antunez by 7-2 margin, Lemont’s Jake Kirkman in 4:19 and Glenbard East’s Zach Wehde in a 5-3 overtime bout before losing to Lyons athlete Matt Maldonado in a 14-2 major decision.

Kaneland kicks off 2014 with a trip to a meet at Richmond-Burton High School on Friday, Jan. 3.