Washington likely will move up in the latest Illinois Matmen Power Rankings this week. Matmen ranks the top six teams and individuals across all three classes each week. The Panthers were ranked fourth, behind No. 1 Lombard Montini, No. 2 Oak Park-River Forest and No. 3 Aurora Marmion last week. But Washington (8-1) earned a 37-31 victory over OP-RF on Saturday.
“The best thing that comes out of a win over a team like OP-RF for our team is that they have been, are, and will be for a long time to come a tough physical wrestling team,” Washington coach Nick Miller said. “Our guys had to match their physicality which I thought we did a great job of.”
Oak Park-River Forest was without a few of its top wrestlers, but Washington also was not at full strength.
Among individuals in the Power Rankings, Washington junior Jace Punke is ranked No. 2 at 220 pounds behind only junior Luke Luffman of defending Class 2A state champion Urbana. Washington seniors Blaize Punke and Tyler Delaware are both ranked No. 3, at 132 and 145 respectively. Morton senior Mike Hartnett is ranked No. 4 and Washington senior Dylan Jensen No. 5 at 152 pounds.