The Naperville North wrestling team enjoyed a 39-23 senior night victory Friday night against West Aurora. But more important than the win for the Huskies or the loss for the Blackhawks was the question, are both teams ready for the postseason?
The regular season can be counted in days instead of weeks now. The DuPage Valley Conference meet is just two weeks away on Feb. 1.
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"We had three or four guys out of the lineup, either resting or who were beat up," said Huskies coach Tom Champion. "Right now we're trying to find out the right lineup for regionals. There are three or four weight classes still under consideration. Guys are competing against each other."
The meet started at 113 pounds and the Huskies took the lead at 126 and held it the rest of the meet.
Naperville North won seven matches, three by fall, one by decision and three by forfeit.
Aaron Kruk (126 pounds), Brandon Gilligan (182) and KiJuan Walker (220) all won by fall. Jake Hoffman (120) got the win by decision. If there had been a wrestler of the meet award, Champion said it would have gone to Hoffman.
"Jake Hoffman is one of those kids that gets better every day and every match. He does whatever is asked of him," the Naperville North coach said.
The Huskies are back in action next Friday at Naperville Central in the final DVC dual meet of the regular season for both teams. Champion said it will be a big test right before the postseason.
"Every match against Naperville Central is big. Everything is big against Naperville Central," he said.
As for West Aurora, the Blackhawks countered having to forfeit three weight classes with seven victories of their own.
"If you asked me two weeks ago at Granite City how we were looking for the postseason, we were looking strong at every weight class. Other guys were progressing nicely. But injuries hurt us," coach Mike DiNovo said. "We have some marquee individuals out and no definite time of when they may come back. We won seven matches, but it's hard to come back from forfeits."
But DiNovo stressed that the Blackhawks must not use injuries as an excuse and press on to the postseason.
Key to the West Aurora lineup will be state-ranked wrestlers Isaac Jacquez at 106 and Chache Jacquez at 113. Isaac won by decision and Chache prevailed by technical fall.
Other victories for the Blackhawks were decisions by Matt Beyer (138), Brandon Farias (152), Joe Griffin (160), Dequon Booker (170) and Sam Deisher (285).
West Aurora is getting right back into the action Saturday by hosting Downers Grove South, Waubonsie Valley and Joliet Central.
"They are real good teams to face at this point of the season," DiNovo said.