Wrestling: Naperville Central springs two major upsets at Mega Duals
The offspring of coaches invariably bring certain intangibles to their specialty sports.
Tommy Porter was a case in point Saturday in Wheaton.
A 138-pound senior wrestler for Naperville Central, Porter was at the epicenter of the Redhawks ending the combined 14-match winning streaks West Aurora and St. Charles East enjoyed at the Wheaton Warrenville South Mega Duals.
In the penultimate match against West Aurora, Porter, whose father Tom has given over the head duties to Noah Fitzenreider, had a come-from-behind 12-9 triumph over highly regarded West Aurora freshman Dom Serio, whose dad Rob once directed the Addison Trail varsity program for several years.
The simple decision mathematically eliminated the Blackhawks' nine-match winning streak as the Redhawks ultimately prevailed 32-27.
In the third and final round, Porter, after St. Charles East scored 17 unanswered points on a Ben Davino technical fall and back-to-back pins by Ethan Penzato and Tyler Guerra at 126 and 132 pounds, restored the Redhawks' lead with a first-period fall.
Naperville Central, the first team to dispatch No. 13 West Aurora, made it a true daily double as the No. 10 Saints fell 33-29.
"Tommy showed today what senior experience means," said Fitzenreider, whose team improved to 7-0 after beginning its morning with a one-sided win over Oswego.
"We make it a point not to look at rankings; it's just opinions on people. I knew coming in that West Aurora and St. Charles East were both tough team -- and they are both tough teams."
"The experience factor definitely helps in those close matches," Porter said. "We proved to ourselves that we could hang and beat those guys (from Aurora and St. Charles). I am sure we will look back at today at those wins and feel confident for the rest of the year."
Following the Porter fall, the Redhawks' Chris Ramirez, like Porter a senior tri-captain, clinched St. Charles East's fate with a hard-fought 5-3 win at 145.
"It more than showed today that we are contenders to be one of the better teams," Ramirez said. "I needed to push through and get the win."
Aiden Lutes, the Redhawks' third senior captain, opened Naperville Central's win over St. Charles East at 152 pounds.
"I tell myself that I am not going to look at (the coaches' rankings) but I do peak at them," Lutes said "We don't think about it, we just wrestle who is in front of us."
"The difference came long before our great run," St. Charles East coach Jason Potter said. "They were batting 1.000 against us in all the close matches."
The Redhawks' David Pirozhnik, Harris Khan and Niko Besteiro all prevailed between 182 and pounds; Naperville Central heavyweight Nick Antonietti, who lost a 4-1 decision against reigning state runner-up Jordan Lishman of West Aurora, had a fall to cement the four-win run.
WW South is 5-4 on the season after securing a 39 -- 22 victory over Rockton Hononegah.
The Tigers, who are led by siblings Seddq and Zeen Al Obaidi at 152 and 160 pounds, took it on the chin against West Aurora in the first match of the day.
WW South did not wrestle in the final round as Oswego East was a last-minute cancellation.
"It's a good day of wrestling; there's a lot of good teams here," WW South coach Matt Janosek said. "Our guys are getting better each day. We learned a little bit more about ourselves today."