CRYSTAL LAKE – Romeo McKnight, a promising freshman on the Crystal Lake Central wrestling team, heard his orders.
“Coach told me to put my shoes on,’’ McKnight said.
Well that’s no big deal. Except for the part that Mc-Knight was being outweighed by 75 pounds. His opponent Thursday night was 274-pounder Cam Hosimer of Grayslake Central.
“I just knew I had to get a win,’’ McKnight said, “and to stay away from his grasp.”
McKnight did that and more on senior night at Crystal Lake Central. He pinned Hosimer, and the Tigers used the power of the fall to register a 55-17 Fox Valley Conference Fox Division win.
McKnight plays football and wrestles for the Tigers. He usually wrestles at 195 pounds, so this was something new.
“It was a little scary,’’ he said. “But I like the one-on-one in wrestling. It’s a competitive rough sport, and it helps you condition for other sports.”
On a night when seniors were saluted at Central, the Tigers had a pin at 182 from senior Justin Ellman against Grayslake Central’s David Thiel. Fellow senior Max Enxing notched a 9-4 win over Grayslake Central’s Glenn Stearns.
“Our seniors stepped up,’’ Tigers coach Justen Lohr said. “We only have six seniors. As a team, we are pretty good at pinning.”
Another senior registering a pin for the Tigers was Joe Fiala, a four-year wrestler at the high school. He stopped Kurt Radke at 113. Another four-year senior, Brent Pfaff, registered a major decision at 170. He stopped the Rams’ Joe Slusser, 9-1.
For the Rams, Jon Makey registered a pin at 138. Teammate Sid Carbone notched a technical fall at 145.
“We are not at the point where we can beat CLC,’’ Rams coach Dan Catanzaro. “But there were some fun matches.”
Also notching pins for the Tigers were Mike Peterson at 126 and Ian Zeitler at 120. Mike Zelasco also managed a pin over the Rams’ Jourden Swopes at 160.
“We did a nice job when we were on top,’’ Lohr said.
The Tigers’ lead was only 19-17 when the Rams’ Connor Miller pinned senior Darwin Stone at 195. Then the Tigers took control. Connor Hines’ pin of Spencer Hirt at 220 helped the home team’s cause.
In a back-and-forth match at 106, Cameron Pukas edged the Rams’ Ryan Mikes, 12-8. In the final match of the night, the Tigers’ Logan Lundelius pulled out a 3-1 win.