In what was indisputably the toughest of the four Sectionals, to the point where several knowledgeable observers called it the "Mini-State", the six Bulldog qualifiers locked horns with many of the best wrestlers in the state to secure a trip to Champaign. Jon Wagner (160lbs) was the only wrestler to make it out of the first day unscathed, but after a semi-final loss on Saturday, joined the rest of the team in the wrestlebacks fighting for a spot in the 3rd place match to punch their ticket to State. Freshman Michael Doranski (106lbs) and Sophomore Mitch Krusz (285lbs) exited in the 2nd round of wrestlebacks, but the experience on this big stage will no doubt help them next year and beyond. This left the four Senior Co-Captains; Wagner, Joey Shump (126lbs), Charlie Smorczewski (138lbs) and Mickey Watson (195lbs) as the last men standing. Watson won his next match in sudden death overtime before falling in a closely contested 6-4 decision to end his career. Shump and Smorczewski both put together a pair of consecutive wins, with Shump recording two falls in less than a minute in this stretch, joining Wagner in the semi-final wrestlebacks.
Each of the three remaining wrestlers needed one more win to make it to State, but it was not to be. Shump's storied career ended with an overtime loss, Wagner fell 3-2 in a rematch of the Regional Championship match and Smorczewski also ended up on the wrong end of a regular decision. I have no doubt it will take each of them some time to get over the disappointment, but I was moved by a Facebook post by Mickey Watson last night in which he said "If asked was it worth it, I would say every damn second." It is my hope, that like Mickey, that this special group of Seniors come to appreciate that their wrestling journey that began over a decade ago will not be defined by yesterday's result, but by the strong character it has built in them and the friendships they have made, something far more valuable than any medal. Whether they ever wrestle a competitive match again or not, this experience can be a vital ingredient in achieving any goal they set for themselves in their lives. As a wrestling community we are incredibly proud of each of them, and believe they have set an example for the young wrestlers on the team, that if emulated, will put the Batavia Wrestling program on firm footing for years to come. Thanks again to Joey, Charlie, Jon and Mickey for the great memories and for leaving it all on the mat!!
Numbers don't mean everything, but this group of Seniors have left an indelible mark on the Batavia Wrestling record book:
Joey Shump - 4 year varsity letterman, #3 all time with 133 career wins, 2x 30 match winner and 40 match winner this season, career leader in pins and fastest pin, 2x Conference Champion, State Qualifier
Mickey Watson - 4 year varsity letterman, 76 career wins
Charlie Smorczewski - 3 year varsity letterman, 72 career wins, Regional Champion, won 31 matches this season
Jon Wagner - 2 year varsity letterman, 59 career wins, won 35 matches this year, Conference Champion
2/2/13 - BULLDOGS ADVANCE SIX WRESTLERS TO SECTIONALS
Batavia enjoyed a successful day at the Naperville Central Regional, earning six spots in next week's Sectional, representing the highest number of qualifiers since 2007-08 season. With the top three wrestlers in each weight class advancing, many of the team locked up spots early in the day by making it to the finals. The most impressive of the semi-final wins was arguably Mickey Watson (195lbs) who claimed victory over the #1 seed (ranked #11 in the State) in the fourth overtime period. The championship round was not quite as kind to the Bulldogs, with Charlie Smorczewski (138lbs) emerging as the sole Regional Champion. Michael Doranski (106lbs) fought courageously against the #3 ranked wrestler in the state, but ended up on the short end of the stick. Joey Shump (126lbs) saw his season long undefeated streak come to an end in a closely contested 4-3 finals loss. Joey handled the loss with class, but knowing his competitive drive, I am sure he would love a chance at a re-match next week. Jon Wagner (160lbs) also fell to a ranked wrestler, but continues to show the confidence and determination that has carried him to a great season and there is every reason to believe he will be a wrestler to be reckoned with next week. Mickey Watson (195lbs) was unable to duplicate the magic of his seni-final match, but showed he is peaking at the right time with a 6-3 loss to the #5 ranked wrestler in the state. The final wrestler to make it to Sectionals, Mitch Krusz (285lbs) had to work his way back through the wrestle-backs to win the very last match of the night to take 3rd place.
The team as a whole placed 3rd at Regionals, despite being without the services of Connor McKeehan (220lbs) who was sidelined with an injury.
1/25/13 - SENIORS SHINE ON THEIR NIGHT
In the moments before the dual with local rival Kaneland, the entire crowd came to their feet to deservedly recognize the Seniors on the team; Joey Shump, Charlie Smorczewski, Jon Wagner and Mickey Watson for their dedication and contribution to Batavia Wrestling over the past four years. There was also a special round of applause for their parents; Jay and Mishelle Shump, Darek and Sharon Smorczewski, Jim and Jeri Wagner and Doc and Kathy Watson, who have not only supported and guided their sons, but have also given so much of their time and energy over the past decade to the Batavia Pinners, Rotolo Middle School Wrestling and of course to the high school team.
After the conclusion of the ceremonies, the Bulldogs got down to the business of the night and securing a winning dual meet record for the season. The match started off inauspiciously as the Knights won the first two matches decisively to take an early 10-0 lead. It was then Jon Wagner's (160lbs) chance to make a statement in his last match in the Batavia, and he went out in style with a pin early in the 2nd period. Nick Offutt (170lbs) duplicated Jon's effort to give the Bulldogs their first lead at 12-11. Kaneland forfeited the next two weight classes, so Mickey Watson bumped up a weight class to 220lbs for his final home match, and wrestling offensively secured a reversal and a takedown in the last two periods and never let his opponent up off the mat. Connor McKeehan also moved up a weight to face a state ranked heavyweight and stole some of the attention from the Seniors in what was the most exciting match of the night. Despite giving 70lbs, negating his vicious headlock, he fought off multiple pinning attempts as his opponent used his weight advantage to keep him on the mat, and then turned turned the tables on him with a reversal that took his opponent to his back in the waning moments of the 2nd period to earn a quick 5 points. His opponent took top to start the 3rd period, and Connor gutted out the final two minutes, much to the approval of the home crowd, to earn a 1 point win.
Moving back to the lightweights, Michael Doranski (103lbs) made quick work of his match, dispatching his opponent in just over a minute. Matt Patton (113lbs) after a series of injuries, saw his very first match of the season, and displayed his usual tenacity in a loss to a top 10 ranked Senior from Kaneland. The Bulldogs forfeited at 120lbs, leaving the stage to Joey Shump who did not disappoint, adding one more pin to his and Batavia's all time career record and completing his regular season with a perfect 35-0 mark. Another forfeit by Batavia at 132lbs brought us to the last match of the night featuring Charlie Smorczewski (138lbs) against the #3 ranked wrestler in the state from Kaneland. The match was closely contested throughout, and despite falling short of his goal of a win, Charlie displayed the tenacity and wrestling IQ that have translated into so much success throughout his career.
Congratulations to the Seniors and the entire team on a 42-30 victory, finishing the season with a dual meet record of 14-12, the first winning record since the 2008-09 season.
1/19/13 - BATAVIA COMES ON STRONG AT UPSTATE 8 MEGA-CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT
The smaller schools of the Upstate 8 River Division refused to play second fiddle to the larger siblings in the Valley Division at this year's Upstate 8 Mega-Conference Tournament. While regular season champion St. Charles East running away from the field, the Bulldogs, despite having three open weight classes, came within just a half point of third place. In the process Joey Shump (126lbs) and Jon Wagner (160lbs) added their names to the list of Conference Champions, with Shump pinning his way through the field and Wagner showing the determination at mat savvy that has typified his very successful senior year. Mickey Watson (195lbs), returning from injury and illness, served notice that he will be force to reckon with in the state series, with an impressive 2nd place showing. Mitch Krusz also showed his metal in making a championship run, eventually falling to the #2 ranked heavyweight in the state in the last match of the day. Connor McKeehan (220lbs) overcame a semi-final loss to take 3rd place, notching another 4 pins to his ever growing total over the 2 days of the tournament. Mike Doranski (106lbs) also won by fall in his 3rd place match, and Charlie Smorczewski took home 4th.
1/13/13 - SHUMP LEADS THE WAY AT BATAVIA TOURNAMENT
A year ago at this time, Joey Shump (126lbs) was nursing a broken hand sustained in the championship match at this tournament, an injury that ultimately put an end to a very promising Junior year. This year that same hand has a firm grip on a 1st place medal after a dominating performance that included a semi-final victory over previously undefeated Naquan Hardy of Romeoville, and an equally impressive 7-0 victory over highly regarded Terry Calkins of Maine South in the championship. In the process he not only moved his season record to 31-0, but also passed Jon Escamilla for third all-time in wins at Batavia.
Shump was joined on the championship mat by Charlie Smorczewski (138lbs) and Connor McKeehan (220lbs). Smorczewski upset the #2 seed in the semi-final with a 4-3 victory, before falling to last year's state runner-up in the final. McKeehan earned his way to the championship with a takedown with 13 seconds left in his semi-final match to claim a one point victory, and in the final fell by a similar margin in another closely contested match. Jon Wagner (160lbs) lost a 1 point match in the semi-finals to the eventual champion, but bounced back to take 3rd place. Other place winners were Mitchell Krusz (285lbs) who took 4th and Michael Doranski (106lbs) who took 6th. For full brackets, click the link below:
1/11/13 - BULLDOGS WRAP UP CONFERENCE DUALS IN IMPRESSIVE STYLE
Batavia wrapped up the dual meet portion of its Upstate 8 schedule with a convincing 64-10 victory over Larkin. With the win the team finishes 5-1 in the River Division and moves its overall record to 13-12. A win in their final dual meet against non-conference opponent Kaneland, will secure the team its first winning dual meet record since 2009-10. first-period falls from Michael Doranski (106 pounds), Angel Zepeda (132) and Charlie Smorczewski (138) led the way.
1/5/13 - BATAVIA SPLITS A PAIR IN HOME TRIANGULAR
The Bulldogs returned to action for the third consecutive day hosting long time local rival West Aurora and Schaumburg. The dual with the Blackhawks started at 126lbs where Joey Shump remained undefeated on the season with a 14-1 major decision. This was just the start of good things for the Dogs as they won the next four contested matches with Charlie Smorczewski (138lbs), Marc Goodin (145lbs), Trevor Kilgallen (152lbs) all winning by pin and Jon Wagner (160lbs) picking up the second major decision of the dual. The Bulldogs returned to their headhunting with four consecutive pins started by Noah Frazier (195lbs) who took just 19 seconds to dispatch his opponent. The final score was a convincing 56-21 victory for Batavia.
The Schaumburg match turned in to much more of a back and forth affair with the Saxons taking an early lead before Charlie Smorczewski and Marc Goodin put Batavia ahead for the first time. Schaumburg then went on a run, winning 4 of 5 matches, with the lone bright spot a tech fall by Nick Whitman (170lbs). Down by 10 points, Connor McKeehan and Mitch Kruse delivered back to back pins to put Batavia back on top by 2 points, but the visitors finished with a flourish of their own to secure a 42-32 victory.
1/4/13 - BULLDOGS PICK UP BACK TO BACK WINS
On consecutive nights Batavia won home duals against West Chicago (49-21) and Elgin (44-33). Facing West Chicago, the match started in "old school" fashion at 106lbs where Michael Doranski set the tone with a 6-4 OT victory. Ryan Marsh (120lbs), having filled the gap in the varsity lineup at that weight, took full advantage of his opportunity with a second period fall. Joey Shump bumped up a weight class to face a fellow state ranked wrestler, and in a match that was even closer than the score suggests, secured a 6-2 decision. At this point the Bulldogs started to pull away with four straight wins including pins from Marc Goodin (145lbs) and Jon Wagner (160lbs). After losses at 170lbs and 182lbs which gave the Wildcats a glimmer of hope, Batavia slammed the door with pins from Noah Frazier (195lbs) and Connor McKeehan (220lbs). Mitch Kruse capped the evening with a 1-0 decision at heavyweight.
Action continued on Friday night with the Elgin Maroons visiting Batavia for an Upstate 8 dual meet. I think to the surprise of some, the Maroons pushed the Bulldogs hard, picking up wins in 4 of the 9 contested matches on the night. Marc Goodin (145lbs) got the Dogs off to a good start with a 3rd period fall in what had been a fairly close match to that point. Noah Frazier (182lbs) looked on several ocassions as if he would duplicate that feat, but ended up with a dominating 10-1 major decision. Connor McKeehan (220lbs) made short work of his opponent with a pin in just under a minute, and Mitch Kruse followed suit, but had to work into the third period to finally get the shoulders to the mat. Elgin bounced back as the meet moved back to the lighter weights winning three straight matches. Despite the 5-1 loss, Michael Doranski's performance against the #11 ranked 106lber in the state may have been the best of the night. Joey Shump (126lbs) stopped the bleeding for Batavia with a 13-5 major decision that closed out the nights action.
12/29/12 - HECTIC WEEKEND AT DON FLAVIN INVITE
For the second consecutive year the Bulldogs spent a busy holiday weekend at the Don Flavin Invite in DeKalb. This dual meet team tournament has proven to be popular with wrestlers and fans, with 3 dual meets wrestled back-to-back on both Friday and Saturday. Despite forfeiting two weight classes, the Dogs were able to earn a split for the weekend with a 3-3 record. The team started with a convincing 57-24 win over Burlington Central before losing handily to the #6 ranked team in 3A Rockton Honenegah. The team finished the night with a 40-34 loss to Mahomet Seymour. Day 2 started with another close loss 33-25 to Pewaukee (WI), but the Dogs then got back on track with wins over Dundee Crown and Stagg to round out the day.
Joey Shump (126lbs), Jon Wagner (160lbs) and Connor McKeehan (220lbs) led the way with 6-0 records. Shump and McKeehan had 6 and 5 pins respectively. Charlie Smorczewski (138lbs) tallied 5 wins, and Michael Doranski (106lbs) and Noah Frazier (182/195lbs) also had winning records going 4-2. Every Bulldog contributed at least one match win to the cause.
12/20/12 - BATAVIA DROPS CONFERENCE DUAL TO SAINTS
The Bulldogs put up a good fight against a 1-loss St. Charles East team, but could not overcome two forfeits as they fell 43-24 in a key conference dual. Key match wins included pins by Jake Brashears in his first varsity match at heavyweight as well as Connor McKeehan (220lbs) and Joey Shump (126lbs). Seniors Jon Wagner (160lbs) and Mickey Watson (195lbs) also notched wins, with Watson winning 9-8 with a takedown in the waning moments of his match.
12/16/12 - BULLDOGS TAKE 6TH AT GLENBROOK SOUTH TOURNAMENT
Joey Shump paced the Bulldogs to a 6th place finish at the Glenbrook South Tournament. Shump rolled to the 126lb championship with two pins and a 19-6 major decision in the championship match, and in the process, moving his season record to 14-0. He was joined on the championship mat by Charlie Smorczewski (138lbs) and Jon Wagner (160lbs) who both finished the day with 2nd place finishes. Trevor Kilgallen also had a strong showing, going 4-2 during the tournament to take 5th place. To see the full tournament brackets, please click below:
The Bulldogs squared off against Waubonsie Valley in an Upstate 8 crossover dual taking a tough 51-15 loss. In a night of few highlights, seniors Jon Wagner (160lbs), Mickey Watson (195lbs) and Joey Shump (126lbs) were joined by junior heavyweight Mitchell Krusz as the only wrestlers to notch a victory.
12/01/12 - RUGGED DAY FOR BULLDOGS AT NAPERVILLE NORTH QUAD
Batavia was winless in its three dual meets at the Naperville North Quad. The team proved no match for nationally ranked Carl Sandburg, falling 62-10. In both of the other duals the Dogs was far more competitive, in each case splitting the contested matches, with a couple of weights that Batavia forfeited and bonus points providing the margin of victory for Naperville North (36-37) and Lyons Township (24-39). Joey Shump (126lbs) was perfect on the day, improving his season record to 10-0. Connor McKeehan (220lbs) also had a clean slate, while Mitchell Krusz (Hwt), Michael Doranski (103lbs), Jon Wagner (160lbs) and Charlie Smorczewski (138lbs) all went 2-1.
11/29/12 - BATAVIA CLINCHES VICTORY OVER LOCAL RIVAL GENEVA
The Bulldogs overcame losses in the first two matches to cruise to a 43-21 victory over Geneva in the first conference dual of the season. All the conditioning work the team has put in paid dividends as the team went 3 for 3 in overtime matches. For local media coverage of the meet visit the News Section of the website.
11/24/12 - SHUMP MAKES HISTORY AS BULLDOGS WIN 2 OF 3 DUAL MATCHES
After sluggishly dropping its first dual against a competitive, tough and ready Downers Grove South squad (16-42), the Bulldog Wrestling Team gathered itself and won two duals against Lane Tech (42-36) and 2011-2012 Elite Eight finisher, Naperville Central (34-19) this Saturday (11/24) to improve its season team record to 3-3. Strong performances were turned in by senior, Mickey Watson (195 lbs., 6-0) who recorded three first-period falls, spending a total of 3 minutes and 10 seconds on the mat, Charlie Smorczewski (138 lbs., 4-2), Jon Wagner (160 lbs., 5-1), Trevor Kilgallen (152 lbs., 3-3), Noah Frazier (182 lbs., 4-2) and Mitchell Krusz (285 lbs., 3-3) who went 2-1 on the day. In another notable effort, Freshman 106-pounder MIchael Doranski (2-4) recorded his first two varsity wins to go 2-1 on the day.
With a solid backdrop of dual meet wrestling for the 2012-2013 Bulldog Wrestling squad, the day belonged to senior 126-pound-standout, Joel Shump (6-0) who entered competition with 97 career varsity wins. With a fall over his Naperville Central opponent, Shump walked off the mat in elite company. He joins the ranks of eight previous Bulldog Centurions (wrestlers with 100 career varsity wins: Clint Arlis, Logan Arlis, Jonny Escamilla, Gregg Farnsworth, Chris O'Connell, Danny Watson, Kevin McFarland and Matt Weight) with almost his entire senior season ahead of him. His family, his coaches, his teammates and the Batavia community are very proud of his most recent accomplishment.
The Bulldog Freshmen Squad wrestled at the Willowbrook Team Tournament over the weekend and finished the day 1-2, but competed well head-to-head with Glenbard West, Palatine and St. Laurence.
11/21/12 - BULLDOGS KICK OFF SEASON AT GLENBARD NORTH QUAD
Entering the pre-Thanksgiving quad at Glenbard North, the Bulldogs Varsity Wrestling Team penciled-in a line-up of only 11 of 14 weights. With several veteran wrestlers injured or out-of-town, the Bulldogs spotted each of their opponents 18 forfeit points and competed against some of the State's best wrestling programs.
Batavia began the night of competition against state-powerhouse Glenbard North (3rd in 2012). The Bulldogs got off to a quick start with falls from Noah Frazier (182 lbs.) and Mickey Watson (195 lbs.), but after a forfeit at 220 lbs., a tough overtime loss by Mitchell Krusz, hard fought major decision losses by Michael Doranski (106 lbs.) and Luke Schulz (113 lbs.) and forfeits to Glenbard North standouts Jon Marmolejo (120 lbs.) and Jerad Cortez (126 lbs.), the Bulldogs trailed 12-29 with 6 weights remaining in the dual. Despite wanting to get senior, Joey Shump (126 lbs.), a match versus nationally-ranked Cortez at 126 lbs., Coach Bayer and Coach Arlis opted to move Shump to 132 lbs. to wrestle Glenbard North's Chris Adamatis. Shump notched a fall with one second left in the 1st period adding 6 points to the Bulldogs' team score and was followed by a 4-1 decision by Charlie Smorzcewski closing the gap to 21-29. After a regular decision loss at 145 lbs., Batavia scored two huge falls by Trevor Kilgallen (152 lbs.) and Jon Wagner (160 lbs.) to take a tenuous one-point lead over the Panthers with one match remaining. As the sport of wrestling tends to do, it put the team effort on the shoulders of one teammate, Nate Kearney (170 lbs.). Kearney, in for starter Nick Offutt, rose to the challenge hitting two Peterson rolls to push the match score to 16-9 as the final seconds ticked off the clock for a Bulldog team victory 36-32.
Despite strong performances by seniors Joey Shump (3-0), Mickey Watson (3-0), Jon Wagner (3-0) and Charlie Smorczewski (2-1) and sophomore Noah Frazier (2-1), the Bulldogs ran out of firepower in its next two duals vs. Minooka and Lincoln Way Central.
11/21/12 - TEAM CAPTAINS NAMED
Congratulations to Joey Shump, Charlie Smorczewski, Jon Wagner and Mickey Watson on being named team captains for the 2012-13 season. This group of Seniors have shown a strong work ethic and positive attitude throoughout their careers, and will be excellent role models for the rest of the team. We wish them and the team all the best for the coming season.
7/17/12 - JOEY SHUMP RUNNER UP AT JUNIOR NATIONALS
Congratulations to Senior Joey Shump who earned All-American honors taking 2nd place at 126lbs at the Greco-Roman Junior Nationals in Fargo, ND. This is the highest a Batavia wrestler has ever placed at Nationals and his second time as an All-American.
7/10/12 - BATAVIA TAKES 1ST PLACE AT UNIVERSITY OF IOWA TEAM CAMP
Congratulations to the Bulldog wrestlers for winning duals against Stevenson (IL), Billings West (MT), Bozeman (MT), Neuqua Valley (IL), Creighton (NE), Quincy (IL) and Cozad (NE) en route to an Iowa Team Camp 1st place finish. On Tuesday night, Batavia dropped a tough dual 30-14 to a solid Cozad, NE squad. Wednesday afternoon, the Bulldogs capitalized on a rematch opportunity with the Haymakers. This time, with few major changes to either line-up, the Dogs won an impressive 22-21 thriller that earned Batavia the team championship. It was a great team effort over the four days of competition, but the most dominating performance was turned in by senior, Mickey Watson ('13) who went undefeated over the four-day camp including a second period fall over Cozad's Alex Boryca, a 5th place medalist in Nabraska's Class B State Championship Tournament.
A big thanks to Iowa Coaches Tom and Terry Brands, two-time NCAA Champion, Matt McDonough, and the University of Iowa squad for running great technique sessions and workouts. A special thanks to NCAA Qualifier Mike Evans for being guest coach of the Bulldogs for the duration of the camp. He made a huge impact on and personal investment in our guys.
Also, good luck to Batavia Bulldog standout Joel Shump ('13) as he competes at the Greco Roman Fargo Junior Nationals this weekend! You can view results at http://www.trackwrestling.com/tw/Login.jsp. Good luck Joey! You've already made us very proud!
7/6/12 - SCOTT BAYER NAMED HEAD COACH
We are very pleased to announce that Scott Bayer has been named as the new head wrestling coach at Batavia High School. Coach Bayer has served the past 7 years as an assistant head coach at Batavia and previously had coaching stints at Lane Tech and collegiately at North Central College in Naperville. Competitively, Coach Bayer was a state qualifier at Hoffman Estates High School, and was a two-time NCAA Division III national qualifier and achieved All-American status in 1998 while attending Monmouth College. He currently teaches History at Batavia High School and lives in Naperville with his wife Julie.
Coach Bayer's familiarity with the program, passion for and knowledge of the sport, collaborative and personable style, and genuine concern for each of his wrestlers, make him particuarly well suited for, and deserving of, this position. The entire Batavia wrestling community offer our support and congratulations.
On a somewhat related note, Assistant Coach and Batavia All-Stater Greg Schroeder recently was hired as a PE/Health teacher at the high school and we are hopeful that he will be a big part of the future success of the program.