The Addison Trail and Wheaton North wrestling teams experienced another first for 2014 on Friday -- the first dual meet of the year that went down to the wire.
The Falcons won seven of the last eight matches against the Blazers to prevail 30-24. The day began with Addison Trail cruising past Fenton 65-6.
With the score tied at 24, Wheaton North's Ben Wilson prevailed 7-3 at 145 pounds to give the Falcons a 27-24. advantage. It was then up to Micah Volle at 152 to keep his team in the driver's seat for the win.
Volle scored five unanswered points to prevail 5-2 and the Falcons went home winners.
"I wrestled OK. My first takedown was a little sloppy," he said. "Addison Trail is a tough team."
Wheaton North coach Travis Cherry liked what he saw some of the time and saw need for improvement at other moments of the meet.
"There were a couple of matches left unfinished. There were some others we were able to get in the third period," he said.
The meet started at 160 and the Blazers won four of the first six bouts, including a forfeit at 285 to lead 21-9. Ernesto Ramirez won by major decision at 160. Stephen Hayden followed with a fall at 170 with Niko Rocha coming through with a technical fall at 182. Then Wheaton North responded with a decision by Chris Royer (195 pounds) and a fall by Anthony Yanan at 220.
The Falcons definitely dominated the lighter weights. Chase Balosky (106), Jaylin Griffin (113) and Jacob Bretz (120) all won by decision as did teammate Dylan Thurston (126). Thurston, a ranked wrestler like Yanan, got an escape with just seconds left in the third period to win 7-6 and tie the team score at 21.
Addison Trail's Gilberto DeLaPaz won 6-2 at 132 for the Blazers' last team points of the day before the Falcons' Devin Donovan won by decision at 138 to make it a 24-24 contest.
Friday's meets were the first competition for the Blazers in 13 days. Coach Rob Serio believes Addison Trail was affected by that but said the team should still have wrestled better.
"Wheaton North came out to wrestle and we didn't," he said. "A couple of matches on the edge, we lost in the last couple of seconds." Serio praised the efforts of Rocha, Ramirez and DeLaPaz.
Against the Bison the Blazers were helped by five Fenton forfeits. Hayden, Rocha, Danny Tomasello (195) and Bobby Carson (285) all won by fall. Rocha and Carson are ranked in the state.
Ish Rodriguez (220) won by decision with Kris Santiago (106) and Anthony Metallo (138) each earning major decisions.
Winners for Fenton were Jiven Delgado (113) and Alex Cowan (132), both by decision. The state-ranked Cowan improved to 14-3 with his win.
"I fight for everything and I try not to give up easy points," Cowan said. "I could have done a little bit better. But I'm a little tired from cutting weight."
Bison coach Brian Hastings said injuries and illness have depleted the team's lineup, but he has confidence in his team when it's healthy.
"When we have our best lineup, we're pretty tough and competitive," he said.