The Lincoln-Way Cup is changing addresses. After an exhausting quad wrestling meet between all four of the Lincoln-Way high school teams, the Cup found its way to Lincoln Way Central, as the Knights pinned their way to victory against their district rivals Saturday in Frankfort.
As the Knights took on the Warriors, Griffins and Phoenix, their aggressive, hard-charging style quickly propelled early leads against their competition and led to a sweep in the quad.
“That's the style we've had at Lincoln-Way for just a long time, over at Central, and I just kind of continued when I took over,” Knights coach Jason DePolo said. “That's exactly where we want to be, just pushing the pace the entire time."
Leading the charge for the Knights was sophomore Bryce Gorman, who went 3-0 on the day at 170-pounds.
“This is really great,” Gorman said. “We've wanted to beat these teams since the beginning of the year. Last year, we fell a little short, it feels really good (to win). We're doing really good this year, hopefully we can make it downstate and do really good there (too).”
For the other Lincoln-Way schools, topping the Knights proved to be a difficult task on the day, but all of the coaches found positives from the quad. Central defeated Lincoln-Way East 39-20; Central defeated Lincoln-Way North 52-15; and Central defeated Lincoln-Way West 30-21.
Lincoln-Way East downed Lincoln-Way North 47-21 and Lincoln-Way West topped Lincoln-Way North 57-12.
East coach Tyrone Byrd said that while his team had an up-and-down day, he was mostly pleased with his wrestlers' performance, and improvement, on the mat.
“We had some guys that showed up and competed and we had some guys that did not,” Byrd said. “We don't focus on wins and losses, we just want to go out there and perform.”
Brian Glynn, coach at West, called the quad and his team's match the night before against Joliet West the toughest part of the Warriors' dual-meet schedule. He added that he challenged his team to rebound after a decisive loss to Joliet West.
“I'm pretty pleased with how we competed,” Glynn said. “We were out there battling with them all day. We wrestled well, we responded to a tough loss last night.”
For Lincoln-Way North, the quad was a chance to step up to the competition and prove that while the Phoenix may not have as much experience as their sister-school counterparts, they're certainly not slouches either.
“I thought we competed well today, we forfeited some matches so the scores were lopsided, but we've just got to keep improving every day and trying to get better as a team,” North coach Jack Young said. “The kids know that without a full lineup, it's difficult to win those duels, but when we get to individual tournament time, we have some kids who can do some good things for us.”
East, West and North all hit the road next. The Griffins travel to Palatine for the Palatine Invite on Dec. 27-28. The Warriors will head to the Granite City Invite on Dec. 28, and the Phoenix lock up with Reavis and Homewood-Flossmoor in a triangular on Dec. 29.
Central will host Wilmington on Dec. 22.