Winter sports commence at Hononegah


Photo: Natalie Fry

Hononegah's winter sports have commenced with a bang! The varsity boys basketball team’s first game was a 52-44 victory over Grayslake Central. The varsity girls basketball team is carrying on their winning title with a 4-0 record at the Dundee-Crown tournament; one victory was a 44-37 win over Huntley, their long-time rivals. Their current season stats are 20-3. The girls’ most impressive victory, so far, ended with 76 points on the board for Hononegah and only 20 for Rockford East.

The varsity boys wrestling team has started this NIC-10 season with a fighting fire—the team features not one, but two Cassioppis, alongside stand-out players T.J. Silva and Brody Sendele. The team as a whole placed second at Barrington and dominated their matches against East and Belvidere. Hononegah wrestlers won the Team Title at the Mid-States Classic Tournament over winter break. Three wrestlers won first place in their respective classes. Contributors to the win at this tournament included Connor Diemel, first in his weight class with 44.0 points, Isaak Smith (31.0), Jackson Olson (27.5), Robert Darling (22.0), Max Haskins (22.0), and Kurt Smith (19.0).

For those who haven’t already heard the Cassioppi family name, the impressive lineage started with Tony Cassioppi, who won two state titles for Hononegah. Then, Rose and Angelina Cassioppi won state titles in IHSA championships. Now, Hononegah has two new Cassioppis—identical twin freshmen wrestlers Rocco and Bruno. They were both Fargo All-Americans, medaled at IKWF state multiple times, and have been members of Team Illinois. Rocco will be representing Team USA in the Pan American Games, and Bruno previously won national runner-up at the USA Nationals. Rocco and Bruno both placed first in their classes at Mid-States in Whitewater, with Rocco scoring 48.0 team points and Bruno scoring 45.5.

Silva is a junior who placed second as a freshman and won a state title his sophomore year at Dakota High School before coming to Hononegah this year. Sendele, a freshman, was named Northern Illinois Wrestling’s “Wrestler of the Week” early in the season and took first place in his weight class at the 32nd Annual Moore-Prettyman Wrestling Invitational after recovering from his ACL injury this past summer. Sendele also recently won a first place title at Mid-States and scored 45.0 team points.

Hononegah’s boys swim team has also kicked off their season strongly. Varsity placed first and JV placed second at the Harlem Invite. Key swimmers at this invite were Owen West, Vito Skominas, Cale Miles, Reeve Franklin, and Bryson Beck in the varsity division. JV swimmers Owen Tyson, Gael Bronson, Jacob Duval, and Andrew Chambers all achieved personal bests. Geoffrey Roth, Harrison West, Ray Grommes, Ian Blankenship, and Josh Solverson all had scoring swims for their first dual meet victories of the season. The varsity team took first place overall, yet again at the Freeport Invite. At the Highland Park Invite, freshmen Duval and Solverson placed second and fourth, respectively, in their division.

Natalie Fry is an honor roll freshman. She is a sports journalist and photographer as well as the social media manager for the Hononegah Highlights. She is also the vice president of the freshman class.

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