Wrestling Team Wins Conference

Brendan Gallian, Sportswriter

OLCHS has never been known for athletic superiority, but the wrestling team is trying to change that. 2020 marks the first time since 1992 that the wrestling team won the South Suburban Red Conference, and many are hoping that this is only the beginning. 


Among those hoping are long-time coach Stephen Long, who set a goal to win conference 10 years ago. “It’s a relief”, said Long, “It’s been a very enjoyable season”. The team, thrice runners-up under Long, was determined to break their 28 year championship drought. “This team was not going to be denied”, Long said. “They were laser-focused on this goal all season long.” 


At the championship meet, 10 wrestlers went 3-0. They include freshman Collin Smith, juniors Marcel Bitner, Mo Eid, and Naseem Barakat, and seniors Mike Kass, Anthony Bitner, Mike Alberts, Chris Czopek, Jamal Ali, and Jordan Sprycha. 


“I honestly don’t know how to feel because it hasn’t sunk in yet”, said Naseem Barakat. “It’s relieving in a sense”, said Jordan Sprycha “You work so hard to accomplish your goal, but it is just the beginning.”   


“It couldn’t have been done without great coaching, along with everyone working together as a complete unit”, said Anthony Bitner, “Being able to make history with my brother and some of my closest friends is an unforgettable moment.”


For the team, this may only be the beginning. “We have a lot to do this offseason”, said Naseem Barakat. “This is where we leave our true mark for this school to change the culture of our program”, said Jordan Sprycha. Here’s to hoping that this championship is the first of many.