NEW LENOX – Things definitely have been progressing very well for Minooka’s wrestling team this season, and they turned in another quality showing Saturday at Lincoln-Way Central’s 12-team mega duals.
In the marquee meet of the day, two of the top teams in the Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association Class 3A poll met in a first-round dual when eighth-ranked Minooka faced 10th-ranked Barrington.
The Indians won all but three of the matches to roll to a 52-15 victory over the Broncos, who hadn’t lost heading into this week.
They had five pins, a win by technical fall, two major decisions and three decisions to set the tone for the rest of the day, where they beat Bolingbrook, 56-13, and then claimed a 60-19 victory over Warren in the finale.
Going 3-0 on the day for Minooka were Elijah Munoz (126 pounds), Dalton Ferguson (138), Jake Mensik (145) and Jake Shipla (285), while Donnie Dorich (170), went 2-0 and Dylan Harder (106), Joe Cecala (113), Nate Berta (120), Michael Ruettiger (132), Anthony Sartori (160) and Drew Gutknecht (220) all posted 2-1 records.
“We’ve been getting better each week,” Indians coach Bernie Ruettiger said. “That has a lot to do with our coaching staff, which is really good, so I’m pretty fortunate that way. I think we’re going to be OK. I told our kids that they need to respect everyone. But by showing respect, that’s why they’re going out and wrestling harder, as far as I’m concerned.”
Bolingbrook, Lincoln-Way East and Lincoln-Way Central all went 2-1 on the day, while Plainfield South lost a close dual meet to Lincoln-Way East and went 1-2.
The Knights beat Buffalo Grove and St. Patrick after losing to Fremd. Some of the hosts’ top performers were Joey Malito, MJ Hollingsworth, Justin Brauer and Nathan Knowlton.
“I’m never satisfied, since there’s always more to be done,” Knights coach Tyrone Byrd said. “But the attitude as a program and as a staff is constantly improving. The kids just need to understand that winning is a byproduct of the work and the mindset.”
The Griffins beat Plainfield South and Warren before falling to Barrington in their last dual meet.
Going 2-0 for Lincoln-Way East were Noah Alsguson and Jake LaMonto, while AJ Lizak and Dominic Adamo posted 2-1 records.
“We don’t wrestle an easy schedule,” Griffins coach Kevin Rockett said. “We try to schedule as tough as we can since our goal is really February. We take some losses and that’s OK since we want to be the better come February.”
The Raiders beat Warren and St. Rita while falling to Minooka. Posting 3-0 records for Bolingbrook were Joe McDermott, Luis Bazan and Cameron Hargrove, while Jack McDermott and Ison Robinson went 2-0.
“The guys have put in a lot of work and committed to the process,” Raiders coach Joe DiGregorio said. “We’re still pretty young, but those guys are stepping up and having a great season. We have good leaders and the kids are buying into a process and a system.”
Coach Jason Acevedo’s Cougars beat Buffalo Grove in their finale after falling to the Griffins and Barrington. Going 3-0 for Plainfield South, which claimed a big Southwest Prairie Conference win over Joliet West on Friday, were Gabe Hinkle and Ethan Hartnell, while Lexi Janiak, Zach Kolb, John Pacewic and Arthur Anthony all went 2-1.