Pack a punch

The Sequoits’ wrestling team packs up a victory at the annual “pack the place” event.

The Sequoits’ wrestling program hosts one of the most anticipated events of the winter season to spotlight some of the best wrestlers in the state, literally, as a single spotlight hangs from the ceiling providing the only light in the gym. The stands are packed and the competition is high-level. During this year’s “pack the place,” the Antioch Sequoits hosted and overwhelmed the Wauconda Bulldogs in a hard-fought meet with a final score of 31 to 22.

The meet began a little shaky for the Sequoits, losing two out of the first three matches, but they quickly regained their lead with two pins before the front seven were finished. The first pin of the day went to senior Seth Gomez, who had a grueling first two rounds but was able to overpower the opposing 185-pounder in the third and final round. 

“The turnout was better and the gym almost felt electric,” Gomez said. “I was really excited to perform and show off what I’ve been working on all year. Especially after my pin, the crowd felt like it erupted.”

At the midway point of the competition, alumni of the Antioch wrestling program were invited to the center stage and were congratulated and thanked for their participation over the years. The alumna that received the most applause was Antioch Community High School math teacher Ryan Hlinak, as he was a successful high school and college wrestler and has left an impact on students at ACHS.

It was pretty cool to be honored at halftime,” Hlinak said. “The best part was seeing some of the old wrestlers come back and being able to catch up with them. Some of those people I hadn’t seen since they left high school so it was great seeing them again.”

As the second half of the meet began, Antioch once again had a slow start but ramped up quickly, winning three matches in a row to ensure a victory. The middle man of this streak was senior Anthony Streib, the 138-pound wrestler for the Sequoits who has repeatedly made noise at state.

My match went well, I went out and did what I needed to do and kept it simple but made sure to entertain the crowd a little,” Streib said. “I’d say the highlight was definitely when I took the kid off his feet and into the air.”

On Jan. 26, come and encourage your Sequoit wrestlers at home against the Round Lake Panthers as they continue to build their momentum into the postseason.