Reserves fuel wrestling effort

CHAMPAIGN — During its busiest stretch of the season, Illinois could be forgiven if it wanted to take a break from all things wrestling during some down time.

But after Saturday's 38-6 win against Lock Haven at Huff Hall, Illinois coach Jim Heffernan relayed that on the bus ride to Michigan for his team's third dual in as many days, his team was using its laptops, smartphones and tablets to keep up with the national scene.

"Right now most of them are trying to find the Iowa-Oklahoma State match on the web and some are following it on their phones, so they're doing OK," Heffernan said. "They're interested, so that's good."

Some of the regulars were interested observers during Saturday's win. After beating Purdue on Friday night, Heffernan gave some reserves a shot in an effort to keep his team fresh ahead of today's match against No. 8 Michigan.

Non-regulars Jesse Delgado (125), Monticello product Kyle Dooley (157) and Dan Stelter (174) all picked up wins for the seventh-ranked Illini. Tucker Armstrong (141) and Champaign Central's Adam Acheson (165) also saw action but came away with losses.

"I thought it was a very good thing for those guys. I think it's important for the guys that are in there all the time to see those guys get a chance, too," Heffernan said. "I thought Dooley looked pretty good. Even though Adam Acheson lost, I was really impressed with his effort. He's pretty young, so given time, he'll keep getting better. He's just got a tremendous motor. He works really hard, so I was glad to see him get the opportunity."

Pat Walker (285), B.J. Futrell (133), Eric Terrazas (149), Tony Dallago (184) and Mario Gonzalez also won for the Illini, who are 5-1 in duals.

"There's a lot of big matchups, and on paper it looks really close against Michigan," Heffernan said. "It's going to be a good test."

Categories (3):Illini Sports, Wrestling, Sports

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sinfonian11 wrote on January 08, 2012 at 11:01 am

Nice article, but Delgado is very much a regular for this team.  He's currently ranked in the top ten nationally and has a win over the #1 wrestler at 125 pounds.