Put a hold on batting practice.
Lake Forest High School’s Caleb Durbin, who will play college baseball at Washington University in St. Louis, extended his high school wrestling career by qualifying to this weekend’s Class 3A state meet.
Durbin (37-9) is set to wrestle on the mats at the State Farm Center in Champaign after earning a fourth-place finish in the 160-pound weight class at the Barrington Sectional on Feb. 10.
His key win at the sectional came against Brock Emmerich in a consolation semifinal. Durbin edged the Deerfield standout 6-5.
Beating Emmerich, who finished his season with 43 wins, was sweet revenge for the Lake Forest senior.
On Feb. 3, in the 160-pound championship at the Warren Regional, Durbin dropped a 6-2 decision to Emmerich.
Emmerich, by the way, went into the sectional ranked (honorable mention) by Illinois Matmen.
“We figured that Caleb would run into him again,” said LF head coach Matt Fiordirosa. “Caleb knew what he needed to do.”
Durbin put up a good fight before losing to Fremd’s Adam Kemp 7-1 in the third-place match.
Like Emmerich, Kemp (33-8) is ranked by Illinois Matmen (honorable mention). He also was a state qualifier last year.
And, there’s this. Adam Kemp’s dad, Lee, had an amazing wrestling career. Now 61 years old, Lee Kemp was a star at the University of Wisconsin (losing only three matches during his Division I career) and a three-time world champion. His resume also includes making the U.S. team, which boycotted the 1980 Olympics, and beating the great Dan Gable at the Northern Open in 1975.
“Lee Kemp is a great dude,” said Fiordirosa. “And his son is pretty tough as well. We found that out tonight.”
The bloodlines in the Durbin family also are pretty good. His brother Regis, who currently is a redshirt junior at Northwestern, won a state title (195 pounds) and finished 41-0 during the 2013-14 season. His dad, Regis Sr., also wrestled for NU.
Caleb Durbin has carved out a pretty solid wrestling career with the Scouts. The first-time state qualifier holds five school records: technical falls in a season, two-point near falls in a season, three-point near falls in a season, two-point near falls in a career and three-point near falls in a career.
Meanwhile, Fiordirosa is thrilled to get an LF wrestler back to Champaign. The Scouts have qualified at least one competitor in four of the last five years.
“Going there to coach is a lot more fun than going there to watch,” said the LF coach.
Durbin nearly had company.
Quinn Dailey just missed qualifying to state at 132. The senior dropped a 5-3 decision to Rockford East’s Dontrell Johnson in the consolation semifinals.
Dailey ended up with 37 wins and nine losses.