Gannon Hughes and Allen Swanson are synonymous with recent Oswego wrestling.
Hughes has already won over 100 matches, with Swanson two wins away from that milestone. Returning state qualifiers, they were a big part of Oswego's first conference championship in 25 years last winter.
"I will be willing to bet once the season is said and done they will be No. 1 and No. 2 in our program's history for matches won," Oswego coach Andrew Cook said. "They have won a lot of matches for our program. They're seasoned veterans."
They're the leaders of a new-look Panthers' team.
Oswego, 20-2 in duals last year, has eight guys new to varsity wrestling. So far, so good. The Panthers took fifth place at the Conant Invitational, and are 2-2 in duals. In conference Oswego has beaten Plainfield North 39-36 and lost to Minooka 42-23.
"We lost our first conference dual to Minooka, who is good," Cook said, "but to be in the hunt we'll have to win out and hope somebody knocks them off."
Hughes, wrestling at 145, was 43-8 last year. Swanson, who has moved up from 145 to 160 and could wrestle at 170 on occasion, went 38-15. Also returning is junior Sam Saravia (27-16 at 126) and sophomore Aric Nieves (27-11 at 120).
"I thought it would take the new guys a lot longer than it has to get acclimated to wrestling at this level," Cook said. "Last week we wrestled the No. 9, the No. 18 and the No. 22-ranked teams. We went through the ringer. Two of those matches we were a match away from winning."
Winners against Plainfield North included Nieves (120), Saravia (126), Derek Torza (132), Dylan LaVigne (145), Hughes (152), Swanson (170) and Jake Duncan (182). Winners against Minooka were Luke Barron (113), Saravia (126), Hughes (152), Swanson (160) and Duncan (182).
After facing Joliet West, Oswego travels to Glenbard East on Saturday, then has a dual with Plainfield East. Tournaments follow at Glenbrook South and the Dvorak Invitational.
"We're not out of any duals that we go into," Cook said. "There are no teams in the state that I see that we don't have a chance against."
Oswego East: The Wolves lost a 52-22 dual to Joliet West on Dec. 1. Oswego East's Caleb Skurr won a major decision at 106 and Nicholas Patch picked up a pin at 145. Austin Holpuch won by forfeit at 160 and Trevor Borden won by forfeit at 182.