CLC wrestlers commit to top programs
Trevor Jauch, Joey Kielbasa and Austin Marsden have spent a lot of time together since they were 8 years old.
The Crystal Lake Central senior trio, each of whom won IHSA Class 2A state championships last season, grew up wrestling with the Crystal Lake Wizards program and have helped the Tigers become one of the state’s top teams the past three years. They recently made their college commitments to three of the NCAA’s top programs
Marsden committed Tuesday to wrestle at Oklahoma State, which has won more NCAA team titles (34) than any other school in any sport. Jauch committed to Missouri, which finished last season 10th in the NCAA tournament, and Kielbasa committed to Central Michigan, a rising NCAA power that finished 12th in the final NCAA poll before the 2010 tournament.
Marsden won the Class 2A title at 189 pounds last season, Kielbasa won at 145 and Jauch at 125. They can sign their NCAA letters of intent between Nov. 10 and 17.
“It feels really amazing,” said Marsden, who was 45-2 and selected last season as Northwest Herald Wrestler of the Year. “Sometimes, I can’t believe this has all happened to me. I’m grateful to have a chance to have my school paid for and to go through all these experiences. It’s amazing.”
All three have been told they likely will be redshirted as freshmen, which is customary with many of the top programs.
Marsden had several other programs interested in him, but it came down to Oklahoma State and Missouri.
“The tradition and history [of Oklahoma State] is what I really liked,” Marsden said. “And their coach is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, John Smith.”
Marsden likely will spend his first year focusing on lifting weights, something he has not done extensively in high school, and bulking up to become a heavyweight.
Jauch, who is 120-9 for his high school career
, thought he would wrestle at 141 pounds in college. He considered Northern Iowa, where his brother Ryan is a redshirt sophomore, but liked Missouri better. He was 39-4 as a freshman, 43-2 as a sophomore and 38-3 as a junior.
“I didn’t think I’d get a better offer than Missouri,” Jauch said. “This is awesome. This is what I’ve trained for my whole career. I want to try to win another state title, and after that, I’ll be looking to go win an NCAA title.”
Kielbasa, who is 124-9 in his career, has similar goals and thought Central Michigan could best help him reach those. Kielbasa was 37-6 as a freshman, 42-1 as a sophomore and 45-2 as a junior.
“They have definitely gotten a lot, lot better,” Kielbasa said. “It was a hard decision. Me and my dad [Joe] talked it over about what school made the best offer and where I could best fit in and win a national title. I want to thank my family and my coaches over the years for helping me reach this level.”