Southland news and notes
Former Mount Carmel wrestling standout Tony Davis has been inducted into the 2011 Illinois Wrestling Coaches & Officials Association Hall of Fame.
Davis, a state champ at 125 pounds in 1994 and runner-up in 1995, was enshrined in November. He was 65-1 in his two years at Mount Carmel.
The Caravan alum went on to wrestle at the University of Northern Iowa, where he became a Division I NCAA champion. He finished his collegiate career with a 136-6 record.
Davis later finished fourth at the 2004 Olympic team trials. He got his start in coaching at the University of Nebraska, and later coached at North Carolina State.
It’s been quite a start to the season for Andrew. It began with a week that was about as good as a bowling team could imagine.
The Thunderbolts knocked off perennial power Lockport in their season opener, then topped rival Sandburg, a team loaded with talent. Andrew closed the week by winning the prestigious Plainfield North Strikefest.
“It was nice to know that we can pull it off when we need to,” senior Josh Powell said. “Everyone’s stepping up their game. Everyone’s been working hard over the summer.”
The T-bolts have upped their record in dual meets to 4-0 with wins over Bolingbrook and Joliet Central, and captured third place in Friday’s Plainfield South Invitational.
When Andrew begins its gymnastics season this month, the Thunderbolts will be minus their top performer, but up a coach.
Returning state qualifier Jamie Valla recently suffered a broken thumb while performing on the beam. Her injury required surgery, and Valla will be out until the end of the month.
While Valla misses competing, she has taken on the responsibility of assisting coach Alison Hack, giving advice and support to her younger teammates.
Last season as a sophomore, Valla was one the Southland’s top performers. She finished second on the uneven bars, third in vault and fourth in the all-around at the Hinsdale Sectional.
The junior also qualified for the state meet as a freshman.
With a young squad in 2010-11, Sandburg still turned in a solid season. But senior Ashley Watson said there was something missing.
“We were a little off last year,” she said. “We’ll get back into it this year. I know we can. I have a lot of confidence in us.”
Early in the season, the Eagles have validated Watson’s optimism. In their opening match Nov. 21, they set a school record with a three-game score of 2,963 in a win over Bolingbrook. Nicole Powell (686) and Jessica Colson (679) recorded the second- and third-highest individual series, respectively, in school history.
Watson and Faith Anagnos also have been strong so far. The Eagles added a win over Stagg before falling to a powerful Andrew squad Tuesday night.