WHY HE WAS SELECTED:
Pradel won a 9-5 decision over Plainfield North's Evan Smith to win the 170-pound championship at the Class 3A Plainfield North Regional, helping lead the Panthers to the program's first regional title since 1989.
Pradel talked to sports editor Joshua Welge about upcoming sectionals, the season and more. Here is an edited version of the transcript:
Welge: You've probably seen the sectional brackets. What's your thoughts on your draw?
Pradel: I took a short look. I think I have a good chance to make it out of there and downstate. Honestly, other than our regional I'm not too familiar with the guys at sectionals. I wrestled the Yorkville kid before. Other than that not too many.
Welge: What's the closest you've got to state before?
Pradel: Last year was I guess you could say two matches away from state.
Welge: Have you been to state before to watch?
Pradel: I've been there to watch my brothers years ago, and also to watch when I was a freshman. I was down there to watch [former Oswego wrestlers] Gannon Hughes and Allen Swanson.
Welge: So you have older brothers who wrestled?
Pradel: Yes, I have three older brothers who wrestled here. One of them made it to state as a junior and one as a senior. I went down to watch both of them. My brother Jack didn't wrestle in college, Luke is in his junior year at Wisconsin-Platteville and is wrestling.
Welge: What was it like growing up the youngest of brothers who all wrestled?
Pradel: Growing up, we definitely frustrated my mom a little. We would wrestle when we got the chance. She said no wrestling in the house but we would sneak it in a little sometimes. We have a playroom that we would usually wrestle in upstairs.
My brothers taught me a lot. They taught me moves, how to wrestle mostly. And definitely toughness, too.
Welge: What's some of your better wins this year, besides regionals?
Pradel: Probably the Glenbrook South tournament. I beat two kids ranked in Class 2A and a kid ranked in Class 3A, I won the Most Valuable Wrestler there. I gained a lot of confidence form that.
Welge: Between football [Pradel plays quarterback] and wrestling, what are summers like?
Pradel: It's pretty busy. For football summer camp goes the length of the summer. We have a wrestling camp for two weeks in the summer. I do football in the morning, go home, eat and shower and relax and come back for wrestling in the afternoon. It's busy, but it's doing what I like and keeps me occupied.
Welge: What do you think you'll do in college?
Pradel: I'm still kind of figuring things out. I think I want to play football, but I'm not completely sure. I'm still a junior.