Wildcats’ Wrestling Takes Down Warren 47-30

With the Blue Devils leading 6-0, junior Will Carney (152) understands the importance of his match as he prepares to face his opponent. Carney gave a terrific performance during the match, despite suffering a leg injury 32 seconds in.

*Disclaimer: In wrestling, there are 14 different weight classes in a game, and one person dominates that weight class for that specific match. You may notice that the weight classes are not in order of smallest to largest, this is purposeful. I am going in order of which fights happened first and when they ended.*


On Dec. 2, 2022, the Libertyville Wildcats prepared to face the Warren Blue Devils in the main gym of LHS. Once the mats were all rolled out and the teams were ready, the game was set, and the bout between the Wildcats and the Blue Devils began.

(145 & 152 weight classes)

The first two matches started with Warren getting the upper hand over the Wildcats. In both games, it was a no-holds barred match with both sides pushing each other away and positioning their attacks with the intent to place them firmly down on the mat. Junior Anthony Kelly (145) was pinned down multiple times and it was too much for him.

Junior Will Carney (152) got the short end of the stick by injuring his leg 32 seconds in and was pinned down a little while after. Both of them gave very powerful fights and continued on even when the fights were low, but in the end, their opponents won the clash, giving Warren a total of 12 points.

(160 weight class)

However, in the third match, junior Charlie Clark (160) amazed everyone. When the whistle blew, it looked like it was going to be a fast game, with his opponent tripping and pinning him down and he couldn’t move. But when everyone thought it was all over, he broke free and attacked with even more firepower to trip his opponent, but ended up getting countered and on the floor again and was held there until the whistle blew, signaling the end of the period. 

When the whistle blew again signaling the next period, they were both on equal ground. After all those attacks, they were both pretty tired which made for a more even playing field. This gave Charlie the opportunity to push back and eventually get out of a leg pin set up by his opponent. The crowd roared out of their seats as Charlie finally pinned down his opponent for good, earning 3 points for his team. 

“I had some nerves,” Clark said. “My opponent was supposed to be pretty good and it was a very close match with me but I ended up coming out on top so I had good nerves, but none of the stuff that would bring me down.”

(170 weight class)

After the whistle blew, signaling match four, junior Matt Kubas (170) took the field along with his opponent. They went at it immediately with Matt pinning his opponent multiple times with precise timing as his opponent mistakenly jumped him and he pulled him down to the mat, giving him the upper hand until the whistle blew, signaling the end of the period. 

Once the game resumed, Matt got the short end of the stick this time, as his opponent pinned him down, but it didn’t last long. Once both of them were back up on their feet, both of them quickly went for their feet and Matt saw the opportunity to pin him down. He quickly went for his legs and pinned him down, almost for good, but his opponent wouldn’t let up. But after a well-placed hit and tackle, he pinned him down for good, earning his team 2 points. 

“I feel like we’ve done a great job just kind of outpacing the guys,” Kubas said, “and I feel like just kind of a weakness as a team is we need to get hyped up more for everyone’s matches, even when it seems like it doesn’t matter as much.”

(182, 195, 220, & 285 weight classes)

After those amazing victories, the Wildcats gained a newfound confidence on their road to victory. Step by step, the Wildcats began to push back. The next four matches exemplified this perfectly as seniors Austin Gomez (182) and Cole Matulenko (195), along with junior Owen McGrory (220), and senior Caleb Christenson (285) intended to carry on that streak. 

Each fight put their skills to the test as they attempted to take down their opponents. Some fights were harder with others, an example being Cole Matulenko’s match, as he had to get out of a very powerful pin, and then there were matches like Caleb Christenson’s, where the Wildcats threw around their opponents as if they were a mere bale of hay. In the end, each and every one of their opponents eventually fell, giving these four a total of 19 points for the Wildcats.

(106 weight class)

Continuing on, the ninth match starred sophomore Brian Furlong (106), and this is where things started to get interesting. The fight began with his opponent pinning him down again and again. Brian struggled to get out while his opponent dragged him all across the floor, painting the entire mat in a mix of blue and orange. 

After some time, Brian finally got his chance, and got back on his feet. Brian tried everything he could, but his shot only lasted a little while. After a hard struggle, he eventually was pinned for good, giving the Blue Devils 6 points. He may have gone down, but he went down like a champion. 

(113 weight class)

Freshman Jack Gershtenson (113) and the tenth match began with an out-of-nowhere bout of unprecedented speed and strength, pinning his opponent and getting the upper hand until his opponent broke out. Jack was pinned immediately and got a bloody nose trying to break free and had to be taken out for a couple of minutes. When the whistle blew again, he got back on even ground again and came back with a pin, but got the reverse treatment as he was pinned down again. 

This time, his opponent made the major mistake of thinking he’d won, and Jack somehow came back out of his pin, slowly but surely, and eventually turned the tables on his opponent. The crowd roared in excitement as Jack Gershtenson pinned his opponent for the final time. 

“I just felt like I couldn’t lose,” Gershtenson said. “I had to do whatever it took and I got a chance back.”

(120, 126, 132, & 138 weight classes)

After that, the last four matches proceeded as follows. First, junior Luke Berktold (120) tripped his opponent to the ground and held him there until the referee called a pin. 

Second, junior Orion Moran (126) threw his opponent across the mat in a matter of seconds, but demonstrated unsportsmanlike behavior and was disqualified. 

Third, junior Hunter Hill (132) and his opponent went crazy on the field before he eventually pinned his opponent down in record timing, getting the win. Now, in the final game, sophomore Jacob Whisenand (138) and his opponent went on fighting for a couple of periods before coming back from multiple pins by his opponent and pinning him down for good. In the end, these four amazing wrestlers got the Wildcats 17 points, sealing their win against the Blue Devils.

The Wildcats had defeated the Blue Devils 47-30. Even though they won the match, the Wildcats knew they had to be more mentally focused on the next game. They now have a plan, and they intend to make it happen. 

“I’m really proud of the guys for being able to be like Charlie Clark,” Head Coach Dale Eggert said. “The way he was losing the whole match, came back and won it right at the end. Just really proud of him. Jack Gershtenson was really proud of himself in his first high school match, and he was down most of the match [but] he made it and he found a way to win. Can’t say enough about those two guys.”