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In his 26th season as Libertyville’s wrestling coach, Dale Eggert knows what he likes to see from his wrestlers.
Junior Kayne MacCallum fits the bill.
“He can get bored pretty easy out there and he makes things happen,” Eggert said. “I like those guys that come out gunning like that, and Kayne has always been that way.”
MacCallum gunned his way to his second individual tournament title of the season Saturday, winning the crown at 160 pounds in the 35th Annual Hoffman Estates Invitational. MacCallum topped the field at Barrington to start the year and improved to 13-0 with his 12-7 title-mat decision win over New Trier’s Paul Papoutsis in Hoffman Estates.
“I’m happy with where I’m at,” MacCallum said. “I worked hard in the offseason and went to a few huge preseason tournaments and was able to place seventh. And those big tournaments help so much when you go into a smaller tournament like this.”
Libertyville placed second behind Lincoln-Way Central in Saturday’s team standings, with Joey Gunther (138 pounds) and Chris McDermand (285) also winning individual titles. The Wildcats also got second-place finishes from Noah Strong (126), Nick Andrews (145), Austin Pettinato (152) and Kevin Barbian (220).
MacCallum went 19-10 and was a state qualifier as a sophomore last season after missing the first half of the year while recovering from a knee injury. He came into this season healthy, and that has made a difference.
“My legs were shot at the beginning of every match when I came back last year,” MacCallum said. “To be able to practice from the start this year, I’ve been keeping my conditioning up, lifting, and making sure I have everything I need to win. It feels great to be on top of things.”
Eggert said that an injured MacCallum qualified for state last year on competitiveness alone.
“He’s more confident, and he has more offense this year,” Eggert said. “And now he can hit you from all angles. He was always willing to shoot at the drop of a hat, but last year he could get shut down, where this year even if you shut him down in one place he can go to Plan B. He’s having a very good season so far.”