Vince Terrazas had extra motivation when he took the mat for the championship at 145 pounds at the DuPage Valley Conference tournament over the weekend.
In the second of back-to-back all-Wheaton encounters, the Wheaton North senior was trying to pick up more than a teammate.
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"I just saw my best friend lose," said Terrazas, referring to the Falcons' Sean Murray defeat at the hands of Wheaton Warrenville South 138-pounder Ramond King, who secured an overtime takedown to win 3-1. "I knew I needed to get a win for Wheaton North."
Terrazas did just that against WW South junior Camden Johnnic, posting his 31st victory of the season with a combination of takedowns and back points.
"I knew if I could get a takedown, I would be able to get back points," Terrazas said. "I needed to get bonus points to win."
Luke Roth extended his season-long winning streak to 28 matches with his championship effort for Naperville Central at 220 pounds.
Teammate and fellow senior Ryan Berg is also closing in on 30 wins after the 195-pounder dispatched twice-beaten Kellen Cleveland of Wheaton North one match earlier.
"I have just matured as a wrestler since last year," Roth said. "I am quicker, stronger and faster. I'm a lot quicker than my opponents. I can use my quickness to score points."
Roth had six takedowns in the championship match against Glenbard East senior Shane Vincent to win 13-5.
Like Berg, Roth was a conference runner-up last year.
Berg used a penalty point as the difference in his 4-3 hard-fought triumph over Cleveland.
"The difference (in the match) was wrestling until the whistle," Berg said. "It comes down to who wants it more."
Counting the streaks:
Jon Marmolejo is in position to become the seventh person to capture DVC titles all four years.
The Glenbard North junior improved to 37-3 on the season in winning his third straight conference championship with a decisive 12-2 triumph over Glenbard East junior Dayton Olsen Saturday at home.
"I want to win my third (straight) regional championship and my second sectional championship," Marmolejo said.
The Panthers' postseason accomplishment of 12 consecutive regional championships is nearly as impressive as their 15 straight DVC titles.
Much attention has been engendered by the IHSA placing state powers Marist and Sandburg in the same regional.
The west suburban equivalent will undoubtedly unfold Saturday in Carol Stream when the Panthers welcome Upstate Eight Conference champion St. Charles East.
The Saints have lost but one dual meet all season.
"We're going to have our hands full with them," Glenbard North coach Mark Hahn said of the Saints.
Redhawks looking to rebound:
Naperville Central will host eight other programs at Saturday's regional, with the top three qualifiers advancing to the Class 3A Shepherd sectional.
The solid field will include members of the DuPage Valley, Upstate Eight, Suburban Christian and West Suburban Gold.
Naperville Central coach Rob Porter was disappointed with the Redhawks' fourth-place showing at the conference.
"We came out flat as a team today," Porter said on Saturday. "We have our work cut out for us. We have to get a lot better in a short period of time."
Breaking up is good to do:
In what could be a significant development in other specialty sports, the IHSA elected not to have the Aurora and Naperville high schools engage in a war of attrition.
Upstate Eight Valley champion Waubonsie Valley and sister school Neuqua Valley will not be at Naperville Central but will instead head to Bolingbrook.
"I think at this point in the season it's a positive for us," said Waubonsie Valley coach Brad Caldwell, whose program is in search of its first postseason team title since 2000. "We have a good shot at contending for a regional. We need certain things to fall in place for us."
West Chicago is in the mix at Glenbard North.
The Wildcats have the distinction of one family providing three of the 14 starting positions.
Robert and Tyler Svestka, a senior and junior, respectively, are returning state qualifiers for West Chicago.
Tommy, a 126-pound sophomore, was third at the DVC tournament over the weekend.
Tyler Svestka had the misfortune of being the fourth consecutive runner-up to Glenbard North senior Johnny Gosinski.
But Tyler and Tommy Svestka plan to move down a weight for the state series, while Robert is expected to make his season debut this weekend after missing the entire regular season with a leg injury.
"You feed off each other's energy," Tyler Svestka said of having siblings in the practice room.
"My season has been going pretty good. I was giving up a lot of weight (competing at 132). At 126 I am pretty dominant. It's better to have a couple of losses (at higher weights). It's going to help me in the state series."
Going for six:
Since the IHSA expanded wrestling to three classes during the 2008-09 school year, Montini is the only program to win a state championship in the middle-tier division.
The Broncos, who suffered their first dual-meet loss to an in-state school since 2006, losing to Oak Park-River Forest over the weekend, will begin defense of their five consecutive state championships at Fenton on Saturday.
Montini has seven reigning state place-winners dotting its lineup, headlined by 113-pound defending champion Tommy Pawelski, who is bound for Stanford.
Jordan Laster (126 pounds), Chris Garcia (138), Michael Sepke (145), Mike Maduko (170), Jake Turk (182) and Edgar Ruano (220) are the Broncos' other returning state veterans.