Wrestling: Oak Park’s Darius Henry returns to help defeat Hinsdale Central

Story Image Oak Park-River Forest's Matthew Rundell wraps up Hinsdale Central's Marco Del Rosario Rivera in the 106 lb. weight class in a dual team sectional on Feb. 21, 2012, in Oak Park. | Rob Hart~Sun-Times Media
Story Image

Updated: February 21, 2012 11:18PM

Just in time for the team state wrestling tournament, Oak Park-River Forest picked up a little reinforcement.

Darius Henry, a sectional champ last year who had left the team more than a month ago, returned for the Huskies and and gutted out a 5-3 decision over Hinsdale Central’s George Tolbert in Tuesday’s Class 3A sectional match at Oak Park-River Forest.

The points weren’t needed this time, as the Huskies cruised to a 47-19 win over their West Suburban Silver rival. But Henry’s presence could loom large on Saturday when the Huskies head to Bloomington for the state meet.

One of the teams Oak Park could wrestle there is Sandburg, which had 11 pins en route to a 66-14 win over Mount Carmel in Tuesday’s other sectional match.

Henry was just glad to be back and getting a feel for competition again on Tuesday.

“I went through some mental breakdowns,” he said. “My head wasn’t really in it. I was having trouble at home, trouble at school. ... I just wasn’t thinking the right way. I was being selfish. I wasn’t thinking about my team.”

But after some soul-searching, he was ready to help the Huskies go after their second state title in four seasons.

“I talked to my coach, I talked to my team,” Henry said. “I apologized.”

Oak Park coach Mike Powell was glad to have a happy ending to this story.

“It was nice to see him back,” Powell said. “To be totally frank, Darius’ (situation) has been a downer for this team. (Now) guys were hugging him and he’s feeling like he’s part of the team.”

He’s part of a team that widened its margin against Hinsdale Central. In December, the Huskies beat the Red Devils 39-20. This time, it was 47-7 before Oak Park forfeited the last two bouts.

The Huskies had falls from Andre Lee (182), Sam Brooks (195), Matt Rundell (106), Larry Early (120) and Zach Pickering (152).

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