Winter Wrestling Preview 2022

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Now we head to the mats. Patrick Codo will walk you through the wrestling preview. This preview is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank.

Naperville Central

Let’s start off with the area’s wrestling powerhouse, Naperville Central who is looking to continue their success despite the graduation of a strong senior class. Under head coach Noah Fitzenreider, the Redhawks won the 2019 DVC title, along with the Marmion regional title in 2020. In 2021 the red and white went 4-1 in the DVC with that lone conference loss to another wrestling powerhouse, Dekalb. Key wrestlers like Tommy Porter, 152-pound state qualifier Ayden Lutes, and Tristen Hall were seniors that moved on, but Coach Fitzenreider knows it’s next man up on the mats.
“The ones that are ready can come up and get on the mat with some of our best kids and our seniors and our varsity guys do a really good job of not just helping the younger guys but teaching them how to be successful in the sport. Teaching them how to be tough all the techniques what it takes to be successful in this program and it seems like every year a really good group leaves but we’re bringing back even more really tough hard nosed kids that understand what the programs about,” said Naperville Central Head Wrestling Coach Noah Fitzenrieder.
The good news is that three major contributors return for another year in state qualifier at 126 pounds Ethan Olson, as well as Niko Bastorio and Ty Martin. The Hawks will also be starting up a girls team this season after the IHSA hosted its first female wrestling sectional last winter. The first match on the mats will be the Naperville quad on November 26th.

Naperville North

Let’s jump to the North side with Naperville North. It’s been a pair of below average years for the Huskie wrestling team. But last year’s squad saw a large number of underclassmen walk into the wrestling room, so there is much more returning experience for the blue and orange this winter. The Huskies qualified two wrestlers to the sectionals, but each came up just short of the state series. Ben Messier is the only returning qualifier after losing regional champ Cameron Clark at 145 pounds to graduation. Now Messier along with Zach Malley, Tyler Sternstein, Aidan Hinkle, Kai Goodrick and Matt Murphy make their return for what could be an exciting year. The Huskies first match of the season is a dual against Hinsdale Central on November 22nd.

Waubonsie Valley

Moving over to the original valley, Waubonsie Valley will have many new faces on the mats after losing grapplers like 3-time state qualifier Antonio Torres along with sectional qualifiers Ashton Phillips and Jacob Housour. However, many underclassmen like Ethan Woktowich, Bryce Provis, and Ari Ariza return for another season after getting varsity experience a year ago. Those three along with others involved in the wrestling room under Coach Brad Caldwell, hoping to get the Warriors back to their winning ways starting on November 23rd in the Plainfield North Quad.

Neuqua Valley

Down we go to Waubonsie’s District 204 rival, Neuqua Valley. 2019-2020 was the last time the Wildcats had a state qualifier and are hoping they got that opportunity this season. Three sectional qualifiers are back in Arjun Bhardawaj, Silvano Spatafora, and Max Nurudinov. Ryan Mohler, who saw a lot of time at quarterback for the Cats this fall, also returns for another season after injury that ended his 2022 campaign. If the Wildcats want to have a successful run and qualify more grapplers to the state series, that always challenging schedule starts with the Lincoln Way East tri meet on November 23rd.

Metea Valley

Finally, we wrap up with Metea Valley who went through another coaching change with Kevin Garbis taking over the Mustang program as the 4th head coach. With a new leader helping these Mustangs on the mats wrestle their way to success, Garbis will have a new fresh bunch coming into the 2022 campaign. A couple of key returners will be Pat Mullen and Avery Hogsed who will help lead the way for the black and gold. Their first day of competition is at Wheaton Warrenville South on November 23rd.

Check out the other previews here!