The Lake Park wrestling team won its first DuPage Valley Conference battle against Wheaton Warrenville South 47-22 on Thursday night in Roselle.
But both Lancers coach Todd Raymond and Tigers coach Matt Janosek each said that at this point of the season it's not about the numbers. It's about making enough progress to get to the postseason when it's the most important to do the math.
"According to our wins and losses, we look really solid. But we are a young team with little varsity experience. But it's a team that is working hard to get better, gain confidence and control matches," Raymond said. "We've made great improvement the last three weeks, but we still have to make big steps to get where we want to in February."
WW South had to forfeit four weight classes because of injuries, so the Lancers started essentially with a 24-0 lead and then split the remaining 10 bouts with the Tigers.
The meet started at 152 pounds, and the first non-forfeit win for Lake Park came at 182 with a decision by Kenny Jones. He was followed by consecutive falls by Kameran Hardwick (285 pounds) and Mark Badger (106).
Later, Tristan Zabinski (126) and Jackson Schoen (132) each won by major decisions.
"I thought Matt wrestled tough and stayed with the match and Tristan really wrestled tough and focused," Raymond said.
Like all areas teams, the Lancers are now into the heart of their schedule, and Thursday's meet was the first of three straight days of competition.
Perennial DVC and state power Glenbard North comes to Lake Park's East Campus for a 7 p.m. battle Friday. And then the Lancers compete at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Neuqua Valley Mega Duals.
"Glenbard North is a huge test, an opportunity to go against a great team. I told (the Lancers) that no matter what the outcome, it's a building process to where we want to go," Raymond said.
As for WW South, its wins came from a major decision by Andrew Ives (152), an overtime decision by George Beck (220), a fall by Aaron Schliesmann (113). Later, a fall by Qarin Johnnic (138) and a decision by Austin Lingle (145) wrapped up the meet on a positive for Tigers.
Janosek was glad to go .500 in the matches that took place against what he called a tough Lake Park team. But he said the WW South intensity level needed to be higher.
"Regardless of the injuries, we still need to get it done. We're just trying to get better for the end of the season, correct our mistakes and work hard. The guys that won tonight did a nice job," he said.
WW South also has a busy weekend with a 5:30 p.m. meet at West Aurora on Friday followed by the Downers Grove South Varsity Invitational that starts at 9 a.m. Saturday.