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Druley: Marmion wrestling pair leads Team Illinois to title

Published: Monday, June 16, 2014 9:42 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, June 16, 2014 9:51 p.m. CDT

Marmion touted its young athletes throughout another banner wrestling season last winter.

Over the weekend, a few budding Cadets enjoyed some seasoning in the sun.

Anthony Cheloni (145 pounds) and A.J. Jaffe (126) – who will be a sophomore and junior in the fall, respectively – helped Team Illinois to the Cadet National Duals freestyle title in Daytona Beach, Florida.

With Marmion assistant Donny Reynolds looking and shouting on as one of Team Illinois’ co-coaches, Cheloni and Jaffe flourished behind their conditioning and offense, losing one match combined.

“Anthony did a really good job. He’s starting to get his shots going, and he’s getting more comfortable in taking his shots,” Reynolds said. “He’s dangerous from just about every position. If you stop for a split second, he can probably pin you from a lot of different positions that most people aren’t aware of.”

Ditto for Jaffe.

“A.J., he kind of went through a slump probably in early May, but he looks like he’s starting to come on,” Reynolds said. “He’s wrestling real well, finally getting his offensive attacks going.”

Jaffe weighed in at 126 but competed mostly at 132 as Team Illinois shuffled its lineup because of a few lingering injuries.

Neither Cheloni nor Jaffe wrestled in the final dual against Pennsylvania Red – a 49-27 Illinois victory – for that reason, Reynolds said.

Reynolds joined Lockport coach Josh Oster and Naperville-based Overtime School of Wrestling coach Kerry Boumans on the Team Illinois staff.

“We don’t really, per se, call any one of us the head coach,” Reynolds said. “We just share the duties of who’s going to approach the table or talk to the refs if we need to do that.”

Goodbye, Toledo: Kaneland scored an incomplete on its spring break baseball trip to Cincinnati after most of the team’s early April itinerary was rained out.

More than two months later, the Knights returned to “The Buckeye State” over the weekend and came up aces, winning all four games of the 17U division at the Battle of the Bats tournament in Toledo behind three complete games.

“Very encouraging,” Kaneland coach Brian Aversa said. “It was good to see our guys show up and play well as the first time they played together. It’s nice to see the younger guys mix in with the older guys we’re going to be leaning on.”

Junior left-hander Matt O’Sullivan scattered two walks and one strikeout in a complete-game two-hitter in the semifinals, beating a foe from Michigan. The Knights also defeated a Michigan team in the finals, with Nick Stratman throwing five strong innings for the win.

Designated hitter Kevin Fuchs went 6 for 8 in the tournament.

“Kevin Fuchs had one heck of a weekend,” Aversa said.

He wasn’t alone.

Staying put: The IHSA Board of Directors on Monday elected to delay previously discussed changes to IHSA Policy 17 – namely a new multiplier waiver and “success factor” – until the 2015-16 school year.

Among the changes put on hold: elevating Aurora Christian football from Class 3A to 4A.

The IHSA initially voted on the matter in February.

Elsewhere, the board also amended the “success factor” stipulation. The original policy stated a school would be subject to the protocol if it won two state final trophies in four seasons. The change calls for one of the two trophies to be won in the two most recent school years.

• Kevin Druley is a sportswriter for the Kane County Chronicle. He can be reached at 630-845-5347 or kdruley@shawmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @kevindruley.

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