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Senior wrestlers are ready to take down the 2017 through 2018 season

Varsity+Wrestling+stands+during+the+national+anthem+as+they+prepare+for+the+meet+to+start.+
Varsity Wrestling stands during the national anthem as they prepare for the meet to start.

Varsity Wrestling stands during the national anthem as they prepare for the meet to start.

Photo Courtesy of Stuart Rodgers Photo

Photo Courtesy of Stuart Rodgers Photo

Varsity Wrestling stands during the national anthem as they prepare for the meet to start.

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After Halloween most look forward to the holiday season soon to come, but a select group of athletes are more focused on their sport than holiday festivities. They devote their life for the next four months to wrestling, a sport which demands their blood, sweat, and tears. Whether it is cutting weight or practicing take-downs, these boys will do anything and everything in order to give it their all each and every day.

“I chose to wrestle because my older brother did when he was at York,” senior Ryan Costello said. “It’s a great way to stay in shape.”

Photo Courtesy of Stuart Rodgers Photo
Seniors Ryan Costello and Aidan Gawne run in their warm ups back in 2014 during their first year of York wrestling

For the 2017-2018 season, varsity wrestling is led by six seniors who have all found a love for this sport. Some have devoted the past four years to it, and to the rest, it is their new found love. Whether they are wrestling 120 pounds or 160, they all share the same passion.

The group of six seniors consists of Ryan Costello, Jacob Smallwood, Anthony Cozzi, Giovanni Rodriguez, Sam Cozzi, Aidan Gawne and George Angelos. These boys all belong to different levels, either junior varsity 1 or varsity, and lead the whole team during practices and meets.

Costello, who is known for taking this sport seriously, is no stranger to cutting weight and giving his all in practice. Due to his six years on the mat, he isn’t afraid to take risks in order to give himself the best possibility of success for each season. With an even record of wins and losses last season, Costello is determined to make his senior year his best, proving to people that dedication to a sport pays off.

“Ryan has been a great mentor and friend to me,” junior Antonio Gutierrez said. “Since freshman year, Ryan has always been somebody I could go to if I needed help. I’m very excited to see what he and I can get done together on the wrestling team this year.”

Photo Courtesy of Stuart Rodgers Photo.
Senior Ryan Costello uses strength and technique to force opponent into possible position for a pin.

Twins Anthony and Sam Cozzi have taken on wrestling for the past couple of years, bouncing off of each other for advice on how to escape a takedown or pin their opponent. They finished off last season with a combined total of 11 pins and 32 wins for the family.

“The Cozzi boys have been wrestling a long time and their passion for this sport is priceless,” Coach Terry Clarke said. “I look forward to this season and the Cozzi boys helping the Dukes to great success. It is a pleasure to work with Anthony, Sam, and Matt.”

Photo Courtesy of Stuart Rodgers Photo
Senior Anthony Cozzi turns near fall into a pin as he wrestles opponent from Addison Trail

Photo Courtesy of Stuart Rodgers Photo
Senior Sam Cozzi intimidates opponent from Addison Trail hoping to win this match with a pin.

From JV1 last season, seniors Aidan Gawne and George Angelos are ready to dominate pushing for spots on varsity. During pre-season, we have seen that many wrestlers are going to have to fight for their desired weight class due to the increase in wrestlers. Both Gawne and Angelos are willing fight one last time.

“There is a common saying in the community that wrestlers have: ‘Once you wrestle everything becomes easier.’ It is because of that mentality that a wrestler keeps striving for more,” Gawne said.

From JV1 last season, seniors Aidan Gawne and George Angelos are ready to dominate pushing for spots on varsity. During pre-season, we have seen that many wrestlers are going to have to fight for their desired weight class due to the increase in wrestlers. Both Gawne and Angelos are willing fight one last time.

Photo Courtesy of Stuart Rodgers Photo
Senior Aidan Gawne wrestles opponent back in his freshman year of 2014.

The Elmhurst community offers both girls and boys the opportunity to wrestle at a young age through Jr. Duke Wrestling, and the coaches are excited to see what freshman are preparing to step onto the mat this year for JV 1 and 2.

“In short, the Jr. Dukes are doing a great job promoting and teaching the sport of wrestling to the Elmhurst youth,” Coach Michael Dinovo said.

After 9 years of wrestling for the Dukes both in high school and through Jr. Dukes, senior Jacob Smallwood, known to the team as “Smalley” prepares to say goodbye to that title after this upcoming season. “Smalley” prepares to take down future opponents with not only his strength but his technique as well.

Photo Courtesy of Stuart Rodgers Photo
Senior Jacob Smallwood cradles opponent into a pin to take the win for his match.

“Considering York is in one of the top conferences in Illinois, it will be a good fight this year,” Smallwood said.

Senior Giovanni Rodriguez is ready to defeat his past seasons records and make his last season his best. Rodriguez prepares to fight with the rest of the team and hopes to make sure that York, as a whole, leaves their mark on the mat.

To some people wrestling doesn’t provoke them, it doesn’t grab their attention. Those who feel that way would feel differently if they came to a meet and watched as a group of boys and girls put their all into a sport they love, while the families in the stands bite their nails as they are locked into each match and watch the wrestlers take down, escape and pin their way through this year’s season.

“Family, Academics, Wrestling; is how it goes,” Head Coach Dinovo said .

Photo Courtesy of Stuart Rodgers Photo
Seniors Jacob Smallwood, Ryan Costello, Aidan Gawne and Sam Cozzi sit has they watched the seniors in 2014 wrestle for Varsity.

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