Wrestling: Central, North to lock horns in dual meet
BY GARY LARSEN For Sun-Times Media January 8, 2013 6:40PM
Updated: February 10, 2013 6:14PM
Naperville North and Naperville Central will square off on Thursday for their annual DuPage Valley Conference dual, which in recent years has given fans all they can handle.
“It should be pretty evenly matched again,” Central coach Rob Porter said. “The last three or four years it has come down to the last match and it wouldn’t surprise me if it happens again this year. I hope the fans turn out for it because it should be a really exciting dual.”
The dual will begin at 7 p.m. at Naperville North.
One Redhawk on a roll has been sophomore Ben Williamson. After winning 30 matches last year, Williamson is now 21-6 at 132 pounds and went a perfect 9-0 in competition over winter break.
“He’s heating up and showing a lot of improvement over the year,” Porter said. “Our team in general has gotten much more aggressive on our feet, taking more shots and finishing on them, and Ben has certainly been doing that.”
With unbeaten Luke Roth (20-0 at 220) and Ryan Berg (21-4 at 195) winning steadily, the Redhawks are also getting solid contributions from sophomore Derek Wilke (18-11 at 113) and John Needham (16-13 at 152).
“Wilke just works so hard and Needham has really come on lately,” Porter said. “He has jumped a notch and we’re hoping that he continues to show us more as the year goes on.”
Metea Valley is now 10-8 in duals and 5-1 in Upstate Eight Valley action, in its third season of varsity wrestling under coach Claudio Torres.
Torres has kept his team’s schedule loaded with top competition since its first season, and the Mustangs have improved in each of the last three years.
“Our first year we handed out T-shirts and the logo said ‘Better to fail with honor than to succeed by fraud’,” Torres said. “The kids bought into the idea that we need to wrestle a tough schedule in order for us to get better and compete at that next level.”
One of the state’s best in junior Eddie Gonzalez (160) recently returned to Metea’s lineup after missing much of the season with an injury. Gonzalez went 33-3 last year and he went 4-0 in his first action this year at Saturday’s Lincoln-Way West Mega Dual tournament. “Eddie has been wrestling since he was a little kid and he’s as talented as they come. He’s very good in the neutral position,” Torres said. “Now he just has to get back in mat shape.”
In a dual against Buffalo Grove on Saturday, Mustangs senior Cole Lettieri (132) wrestled well in a close decision loss to the Bison’s Brian Egan, ranked ninth in the state by Illinois Matmen. “Keenan Carter at 138 also looked very good and Breon Hoosier (170) looked untouchable over the weekend.”
Metea wrestles South Elgin in a dual Thursday before heading to another mega-dual tournament at Lockport on Saturday.