1. The South Suburban flexed its postseason muscles. Conference champion Oak Forest seized its regional with six champions. Evergreen Park, which finished 10th in the SSC tournament, withstood East Suburban, Public League and SouthWest Suburban foes for the T.F. North Regional title — the Mustangs’ first since 1996 thanks to Will Jones (25-6) and Josh Harvey (27-6) winning out. In tough 3A action, Reavis’ Sam Almousa and Jesus Vasquez, Oak Lawn’s Joe Robinson and Jeff Burzinski and Argo’s Cosmo Halwix topped their respective podiums.
2. He’s on the move. Some wrestlers drop down in weight for the playoffs. Sandburg’s Hunter Pindel (top, photo at right) went up. After winning the Southwest Suburban tournament at 182, Pindel jumped to 195 for the Shepard Regional. Smart move by the Eagles. Pindel won the title and earned a better sectional draw while Marist’s touted Ethan Benoit (33-2) wreaked havoc at 182. Pindel (36-3) is an easy guy to root for after riding the bench last season. He’s looking like a future state qualifier.
3. Sectional action is Friday and Saturday. The top four individuals from each weight class advance to state, but which Southland program will produce the most sectional champions? Marist seems like the obvious choice after loading up with 10 regional champs, though the 3A Hinsdale Central Sectional might be the toughest in the state. Lockport has a chance bringing six regional champions to Normal West. So does Oak Forest in the 2A De LaSalle Sectional. Regional champs receive first-round byes at sectionals.