Batavia’s Aidan Huck keeps focus on state

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Batavia senior Aidan Huck has a knack for going against the grain.

If every wrestler has a preferred style, he likes the ever-changing one — and hard to define.

“I think I’m a little bit more scrappy than most guys, and I just love the flow of being able to go from move to move,” Huck said. “My style is not good from a distance.

“I like to be able to grab a guy by the elbows, tie him up and definitely score from there.”

It worked again Saturday as Huck defeated Mount Carmel’s Jairo Acuna 5-3 in the 144-pound championship match at the Class 3A Hinsdale Central Sectional.

Huck (40-5) is one of four wrestlers from Batavia who qualified for the individual state meet that starts Thursday at the State Farm Center in Champaign.

Senior Ino Garcia (24-5) captured the sectional championship at 120, while senior Ashton Sheldon (40-9) took third at 215 and senior Ben Brown (31-2) was fourth at 190.

Huck is now a three-time state qualifier.

“He is one of the most hearty people I know,” Sheldon said. “He doesn’t let the little stuff get to him. He is just willing to put in the work, and that definitely pays off.”

Batavia's Aidan Huck wrestles and defeats Mt. Carmel's Jairo Acuna 5-3 at 144 pounds during the Class 3A Hinsdale Central Sectional Saturday, February 10, 2024 in Hinsdale, IL. (Steve Johnston/Daily Southtown)
Batavia’s Aidan Huck, behind, works against Mount Carmel’s Jairo Acuna in the 144-pound championship match of the Class 3A Hinsdale Central Sectional on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. (Steve Johnston / Daily Southtown)

Huck established a new personal record for victories in a season with 40. He’s now 97-27 the last three seasons.

“I’ve worked a lot with my coaches about focusing on my weaknesses,” he said. “The big thing I’ve learned is just not getting comfortable in matches as much as I used to.

“I like to have that edge, and that has been my focus.”

As long as he can remember, Huck has been naturally competitive.

“I’ve been doing sports my whole life,” he said. “No matter the sport, basketball or soccer, I had this drive to do well. That mentality just drove me to where I am today.”

Wrestling, a sport that is naturally combative, offers no place to hide.

“Everything’s up to you and the discipline you strive for,” he said. “Now, I’m just clearing things up and perfecting everything down to the bone.”

Marmion Academy's Nicholas Garcia wrestles and defeats Mt. Carmel's Justin Williamson 6-5 at 113 pounds during the Class 3A Hinsdale Central Sectional Saturday, February 10, 2024 in Hinsdale, IL. (Steve Johnston/Daily Southtown)
Marmion’s Nicholas Garcia, top, turns things around against Mount Carmel’s Justin Williamson in the 113-pound championship match of the Class 3A Hinsdale Central Sectional on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. (Steve Johnston / Daily Southtown)

Making a comeback

Marmion sophomore Nicholas Garcia needed to recalibrate.

Trailing Mount Carmel’s Justin Williamson 3-0 at the start of the third period, Garcia used a reversal and a takedown for a 6-5 decision of the 113-pound championship match at Hinsdale.

Garcia (41-7) finished fourth in the state last season at 106 for the Cadets, who produced four sectional finalists and seven state qualifiers Saturday.

“He had a really good game plan against me,” Garcia said of Williamson. “But I knew I had it in me. I just had to get to my moves.”

Survival of fittest

The consolation semifinal is popularly known as the “blood round.”

The winners are assured of a top-four finish and a state berth.

West Aurora senior Aiden Massaro used a five-point run in the first period for an 8-3 decision over Naperville Central’s Ty Martin, a regional champion, in the 120-pound consolation semifinal.

Massaro (32-13) finished fourth, one of five state qualifiers for the Blackhawks.

Super six

St. Charles East had a sectional-best six individual champions at Conant.

Seniors Ben Davino (132), Tyler Guerra (138), Jayden Colon (144), Gavin Connolly (150) and Brody Murray (175) finished first. Sophomore Dom Munaretto won the 113-pound title.

Lesson learned

After missing the first part of the season due to collarbone surgery following a dirt bike incident, Yorkville senior Ryder Janeczko is making up for lost time.

Janeczko (20-9) earned a 12-1 decision over Belleville East’s Terence Willis in the 157-pound championship match of the Quincy Sectional.

“I focused on my offense and went in with a clear mind,” Janeczko said. “I’m more of an unorthodox and funky wrestler.”

About that dirt bike?

“It will probably be getting sold this spring,” he said.

Patrick Z. McGavin is a freelance reporter for The Beacon-News.



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