Wrestling stays consistent, looks ahead towards bigger goals

Emma Letzig, Online Editor-in-Chief

As the days tick down in the Prospect boys’ wrestling season, the competitiveness is only ramping up. With just four weeks left until the IHSA state wrestling meet, the team prepares to put out their best performances in their next few meets.

Recently, in an action-packed MSL conference meet on Jan. 21, Prospect fell short to their division rivals, Hersey, but still earned the second place MSL conference trophy. The Knights lost to Hersey by 23 points. 

Prospect senior Will Baysinger won his third straight MSL title at 132 lbs. and continues his dominant season with a current record of 41-1.

Another pivotal meet for Prospect this year was the Mudge-McMorrow invite. This meet, hosted in Jean Walker Field House on Dec. 10, consisted of 15 teams. Prospect won the invite in a landslide, with 253 points and five individual champions. Second place was Joliet Catholic with 186.5 points.

The environment at Prospect during the Mudge-McMorrow invite is electric. Prospect wrestlers enjoy having home ‘mat’ advantage. Freshman Jaxon Penovich wrestles for Prospect’s varsity team and his first Mudge-McMorrow invite was something to remember. 

“Friends, teachers, they are cheering you on and watching you,” Penovich said. “Family is all out there because it’s really close, and I think it was just a really fun tournament for a lot of people too.”

Penovich was runner-up, and helped contribute valuable points to the team’s score. Even though he did not win, he had fun, and according to Penovich, as a freshman, he currently feels no pressure. The upperclassmen on the team have helped Penovich, and are great mentors to the freshman trying to navigate varsity wrestling. 

“We are best friends … I’ve been just following their lead,” Penovich said. “They help me out. They talk to me, make sure I’m at practice, make sure my grades are good and all that.”

Along with Penovich, one other Prospect athlete was runner up, while five were champions. Elijah Garza claimed the 106 lbs. title, Will Baysingar won the 132 lbs. title, Lennon Steinkuhler won the 138 lbs. title, Damien Puma earned 152 lbs. win, and the final win came from Conor Munn at 160 lbs.

“[We are] trying to just accomplish big goals, go out there, and see if we can make some noise.” Penovich said.