Thursday, February 29, 2024

For the third time, Batavia’s Aidan Huck takes scrappy style to state. Unorthodox? ‘I like to have that edge.’

Batavia senior Aidan Huck has a knack for going against the grain.

While every wrestler has a favorite style, they like one that’s constantly changing – and hard to define.

“I think I’m a little more scrappy than most guys, and I love that I can go from one move to another,” Huck said. “My style is not remotely good.

“I like being able to grab a guy by the elbows, tie him up and definitely score from there.”

It worked again Saturday as Huck defeated Mount Carmel’s Jairo Acuna 5-3 in the 144-pound championship match at the Class 3A Hinsdale Central Sectional.

Huck (40-5) is one of four Batavia wrestlers who qualified for the state individual competition which begins Thursday at the State Farm Center in Champaign.

Senior Ino Garcia (24-5) won the sectional championship with 120, while senior Ashton Sheldon (40-9) took third place with 215 and senior Ben Brown (31-2) finished fourth with 190.

Huck is now a three-time state qualifier.

“He’s one of the warmest people I know,” Sheldon said. “He doesn’t let the little things get him down. He’s just willing to put in the work, and it’s definitely paying off.

Batavia’s Aidan Huck, behind, works against Mount Carmel’s Jairo Acuna during the Class 3A Hinsdale Central Sectional 144-pound championship match on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. (Steve Johnston/Daily Southtown)

Huck set a new personal record for wins in a season with 40. He is now 97-27 over the last three seasons.

“I worked a lot with my coaches to focus on my weaknesses,” he said. “The big thing I learned is just not being as comfortable in matches as I used to be.

“I like having that edge, and that’s my goal.”

For as long as he can remember, Huck has been naturally competitive.

“I’ve been playing sports my whole life,” he said. “It didn’t matter what sport it was, basketball or football, I had this drive to do well. This mentality has led me to where I am today.

Wrestling, a naturally combative sport, offers no place to hide.

“It all depends on you and the discipline you’re looking for,” he said. “Now I’m clearing things up and perfecting everything down to the bone.”

Nicholas Garcia of Marmion Academy wrestles and defeats Mt.  Carmel's Justin Williamson 6-5 at 113 pounds during the Class 3A Hinsdale Central Sectional on Saturday, February 10, 2024 in Hinsdale, Illinois.  (Steve Johnston/Southtown Daily)
Marmion’s Nicholas Garcia, top, turns the tables against Mount Carmel’s Justin Williamson during the Class 3A Hinsdale Central Sectional 113-pound championship match on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. (Steve Johnston/Daily Southtown)

Go back

Marmion sophomore Nicholas Garcia needed to recalibrate.

Trailing Mount Carmel’s Justin Williamson 3-0 early in the third period, Garcia used a reversal and takedown for a 6-5 decision in the 113-pound championship match at Hinsdale.

Garcia (41-7) finished fourth in the state last season with 106 for the Cadets, who produced four sectional finalists and seven state qualifiers Saturday.

“He had a really good game plan against me,” Garcia said of Williamson. “But I knew I had it in me. I just had to get through my moves.

Survival of the fittest

The consolation semi-final is commonly known as the “blood round”.

Winners are guaranteed a top-four finish and a state berth.

West Aurora senior Aiden Massaro used a five-point run in the first period for an 8-3 decision over regional champion Ty Martin of Naperville Central in the 120-pound consolation semifinals.

Massaro (32-13) finished fourth, one of five qualifying games for the Blackhawks.


St. Charles East had six top individual section champions in Conant.

Seniors Ben Davino (132), Tyler Guerra (138), Jayden Colon (144), Gavin Connolly (150) and Brody Murray (175) finished first. Sophomore Dom Munaretto won the 113-pound title.

Lesson learned

After missing the first part of the season due to collarbone surgery following a dirt bike incident, Yorkville senior Ryder Janeczko is making up for lost time.

Janeczko (20-9) won a 12-1 decision over Terence Willis of Belleville East in the Quincy Section 157-pound championship match.

“I focused on my offense and came in with a clear mind,” Janeczko said. “I’m more of an unorthodox, funky wrestler.”

About this dirt bike?

“It will probably be sold this spring,” he said.

Patrick Z. McGavin is a freelance reporter for The Beacon-News.

Note: The content and images used in this article is rewritten and sourced from



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