One Step Closer

The varsity wrestling team remains undefeated after the Lake County Invitational tournament.

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Steve Schoenfelder

The varsity wrestling team celebrates their win at the Lake County Invitational.

The Sequoits hosted one of the biggest meets of the season and found nothing but success. The meet began on Friday then continued into Saturday morning with 17 teams all fighting for the same goal. With the ACHS parking lot packed in every possible spot, the bleachers filled with fans and teams from across the county, the Sequoits had to hone in on their abilities.

“Coach has been keeping us in check all year and this tournament was no exception,” senior Niall Schoenfelder said. “He made sure we knew we weren’t the favorites, but if we wrestled the way we have been all year, we would come out on top.”

The wrestlers went into the tournament having a focused mindset and wanted it to simulate the meet as a state tournament to mentally prepare themselves for later this season. There were many 3A teams in the meet, but the Sequoits wanted to stay determined despite the odds.

“We stayed humble by knowing that this meet was only preparation for regionals,” senior Daniel Bemis said. “We were confident in the team’s ability to score, but also nervous about the bigger teams like Lake Zurich and Libertyville.

The team knew there was going to be some tougher competition like Libertyville, but going into the championship, Antioch had a score of 199 over Libertyville’s 154.5 points. The Sequoits ended with a score of 211, making school history and a high score in the Lake Country Invitational tournament. 

“The more teams that came, the more people that came to watch and that meant a louder crowd which builds confidence,” senior Alexander Barbarise said. “This meet helped us build confidence by showing we are the best team in Lake County in a dominant fashion.”

Schoenfelder and Barbarise were each champions of their weight class. Seniors, Danny McPherson and Luke Menzies, as well as freshmen, Anthony Streib and Caleb Nobiling, all contributed to the team win by taking 2nd place in their divisions.

“We’ve only seen every win so far as a small stepping stone on the path of our larger dream: team state,” junior Lucas Bentley said. “We are also looking to have a lot of our guys hopefully qualify for the individual state tournament.”

The varsity wrestlers take on Wauconda this Thursday, January 30 on the Bulldogs home mats. The Sequoits are looking to keep up with their undefeated season and keep hustling along the path to state.