DG North, Bolingbrook in a barnburner
By Ed Muniz
22nd-ranked Downers Grove North played host on Saturday to Joliet, Bolingbrook and Oak Forest When it was over, the Trojans improved their dual record to 9-2 after defeating all three visitors.
Bolingbrook was finally at full strength after some early season injuries and other issues. Returning to the lineup was third-ranked junior heavyweight Robbie Bain, finally ready for the mats after recovering from the football season.
Also highly-ranked is Frankie Campos, Illinois’ second-ranked 3A wrestler at 119 per Illinois Best Weekly, who has yet to lose this season.
Bolingbrook jumped out to an early 15-0 lead against the host Trojans after pins from Jordan Laster at 103 and Campos, while winning by decision at 112 thanks to Milan Patel.
The Trojans countered the scoring with two consecutive falls of their own at 125 and 130 from Cullen Cummings and unbeaten Jimmy Nehls.
The Trojans swept the next four matches starting with a 6-4 win by Maxx Lozano at 135. A 10-2 major decision by Dave Tessiatore followed at 140, before a 6-5 win for Mario Lozano at 145 and a first period fall by Cody Pooler at 152 gave the Trojans a 28-15 team lead.
The Raiders stopped the bleeding four when Dan Korabik outlasted Mike Gastadello 4-1 at 160. Malik Snapp at 171 added another victory for the Raiders, winning an 11-10 decision and closing the Trojan lead to 28-21.
The Trojans’ Zach Lommatzch won a 4-2 decision at 189 over Taylor Baird that gave North a 31-21 lead with two matches left to wrestle.
The match at 215 was close but the Raiders’ much-needed bonus points eluded the Raiders Sean Raymundo, as Trojan Jake Styve battled throughout Raymundo’s 3-2 win.
Ending the dual in his initial appearance of the year was Bain. Although not 100%, Bain looked deserving of his high ranking, dominating Trojans Justin Novotny from the get go and securing a 19-7 major decision.
“I definitely need to get into better wrestling shape because I am getting a little tired out there but that is something I’ll get better at with each day,” said Bain who has set his sights on an undefeated season. Bain won a 2009 Dvorak championship and looks to repeat this year.
The Trojans’ 31-28 win over the Raiders was the biggest battle they’d face on Saturday, as they went on to defeat Joliet 56-16 and Oak Forest 47-21.
“Our kids battled real hard all day today,” said Trojan Coach Chris McGrath. “That Bolingbrook team is a very good squad and we knew that would be a tough one for us but we worked hard and won the match.
“We’re getting there. We’ve had a lot of injuries and we have a couple seniors that are out and we’re trying to figure out where they fit in to make us a better squad.”
When asked about his team’s ranking McGrath added; “At this point we’re happy. Our conference is such a grind and I think we’re ranked between 15 and 25 and at this point that’s probably where we belong.”
Summer wrestling paid off for a Trojans team that can utilize some depth this season.
“We have some guys we can put into the line up and bump guys up and still have a very competitive, strong team,” McGrath said. “I am very proud of the guys because we’re wining the close matches and getting better each week.”
Leading the Trojans is senior Jimmy Nehls who added three more victories on Saturday to his unbeaten season. At 17-0, Nehls is staying humble about his ranking and realizes there is much left to do.
“It’s not that important to me right now. The two guys ahead of me have beaten me before but we’ll see who worked the hardest in the off season this year. I put in about 70 matches this summer and went to Fargo, National team so I think I worked pretty hard this year,” Nehls said.
Nehls added that he runs every night because he feels that those ranked ahead of him are putting in the effort, so he just can’t go to bed without doing all the things he can to make himself better.
For Bolingbrook, finally having a full squad is welcomed by Coach Rob Kichka. The 4-4 Raiders have been competing and have done well already this year in tournaments but have done that with key wrestlers missing. Now at full strength, Kichka feels his squad will be much improved.
“We were excited coming in with a full line-up for the first time all year,” Kichka said.
“We wrestled tough in some weight classes with a few of our younger guys stepping up. We have seniors in the middle weights and it’s their last go ‘round so we’re looking for them to step up. We’re really strong at the front and the back but we have to work harder in the middle where good teams are always strong.”
The Raiders did bounce back defeating Oak Forest 37-28. Kichka was impressed with 103-pounder Jordan Laster and his overall performance on the year.
Last edited by admin; 12-21-2010 at 09:09 PM.