Naperville Central sweeps West Aurora mega duals
Naperville Central offered compelling evidence for its Class 3A wrestling state ranking Saturday in Aurora.
The Redhawks had five athletes go undefeated at the West Aurora Mega Duals in extending their season-opening winning streak to seven matches with three one-sided victories.
Tyler Driessens, the Redhawks' senior leader at 120 pounds, has had nothing but victories by falls or forfeits this season.
"As a team, our senior class since sophomore year has been the same guys working in the room," said Driessens. "For the last three years it has been the same guys who have guided us to success."
The Redhawks defeated Oswego East 59-15 to begins their morning, before handing West Aurora and Oswego losses by respective scores of 44-16 and 48-22.
Ethan Olson and Tommy Porter also secured three victories apiece for Naperville Central at 106 and 113 pounds.
Ryan Silva has been vanquished just once for the Redhawks at 152 pounds this season.
"I think the team wrestled well," Silva said. "This is just a stepping stone to where we want to be in the future. We have some new kids on varsity. Right now we're just trying to mold them where they need to be."
Sean King, the Redhawks' senior 160-pounder, was also flawless in his three matches.
"They're hard to score points on," Oswego coach Andrew Cook said of Naperville Central. "They know their roles when it comes to duals."
Wheaton Warrenville South eked out a 3-point victory over Rockton Hononegah for its lone triumph.
But the Tigers are on the upswing in improving to 4-7 as Luke Burgess, Aidan Waszak, Josh Dorr, Andrew Janiec and Will Rising combined for 15 wins against nary a loss for the program at 106, 132, 138, 145 and 170 pounds.
"We improved dramatically from last week," WW South Matt Janosek said as the Tigers opened up DuKane Conference action Friday night with wins over Geneva and St. Charles North. "It was good to see the confidence and intensity when they were on the mat."
West Aurora is 5-2 overall after wins over WW South (49-21) and St. Charles East (43-27).
In one of the most anticipated matches of the tournament, West Aurora senior Dzhabrail Khurshidov had a reversal with 18 seconds remaining to augment a first-period takedown and 2-point near-fall against Naperville Central 220-pounder Angelo Eklou.
The Blackhawks' only returning state qualifier captured the collision 8-4.
"I really didn't get to use any of my offense," Khurshidov said. "State was an unbelievable experience (last season). I got to see a lot of great wrestlers. I learned a lot."
"It was just the small things that ended up making all the difference," said Eklou, who dropped his first match of the season.
Both wrestlers are ranked in the coaches poll at 220 pounds.
"I would like to see (Khurshidov) open a little bit more (offensively)," West Aurora coach Andrew Plata said. "We gotta win the close ones."
In the Blackhawks' victory over St. Charles East, freshman Robby Wyland had a fall at the dual-opening class of 106 pounds to jump-start West Aurora.
West Aurora captured a series of close matches to secure the win over the Saints.
"They have a pretty solid team," St. Charles East senior Gavin Tater said of West Aurora. "I give them credit for wrestling tough."
It was a tough weekend for the Saints as Glenbard North won 12 of the 14 matches Friday night in the schools' DuKane Conference dual match.
The Saints (1-5) were able only to best Oswego East to earn their first win of the season.
But Tater, a 170-pounder, and heavyweight Brock Donati combined for 6 pins in an equal number of matches for St. Charles East.
"Today I just came in with the thought of I wanted to win," Donati said. "It seemed to work pretty well. That was the game plan going in."
"I tried to bring back the energy with a pin," said Tater, who opened his season with a fall against Glenbard North. "Team-wise we had to keep the energy going."
"Right now we have been chasing our tail, making the same mistake over and over again," St. Charles East coach Jason Potter said. "We are underperforming. We have a lot of work to do."