York wrestling wraps up 2017-2018 season

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York wrestling wraps up 2017-2018 season

All levels of dukes wrestling gather to cheer on their final wrestler for the night.

All levels of dukes wrestling gather to cheer on their final wrestler for the night.

Photo Courtesy of SR Photo.

All levels of dukes wrestling gather to cheer on their final wrestler for the night.

Photo Courtesy of SR Photo.

Photo Courtesy of SR Photo.

All levels of dukes wrestling gather to cheer on their final wrestler for the night.

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The 2017-2018 season for York’s wrestlers was a year focused on improvement. The young athletes proved that a team learning is still an intimidating one. The year started with an incredible win against the Glenbard West Varsity Team, and ended with the team sending five wrestlers to compete at sectionals.

“This was a big learning year for us, especially with the varsity line up being so young,” sophomore Joshua Mathiasen said. “But we adapted quickly and made a bond that was tough to break.”

Wrestlers Jacob Smallwood, Anthony Cozzi, Zachary Armstrong, Jason Lewis, Matthew Cozzi, and Joshua Mathiasen traveled to Elgin for sectionals on Saturday, Feb. 10. Mathiasen went into sectionals with the title of regional champion. The rest of the boys went into the weekend after placing in the top three at regionals.

Photo Courtesy of SR Photo.
Senior George Angelos pins his opponent from Downers Grove North.

“As a varsity manager I get to watch all the wrestlers compete. At regionals me and the other managers noticed a crazy amount of determination,” senior Gianna Marino said. “I will forever remember that weekend as quite possibly the best example of duke pride through all my years here.”

Despite the season ending after sectionals, the athletes, no matter how far they got, focused not on where they placed, but how they improved. Last year, the team sent two wrestlers to sectionals, this year they added three, proving that this team is headed for the top.

“All of our guys wrestled extremely well in a high-pressured elite-filled gym of the best wrestlers in the northern half of the state of Illinois,” coach Nicholas Metcalf said. “Even though this year we did not have anybody make it down state, we have had a lot of our guys transform into great wrestlers, who have the potential in the near future to be all state or state qualifiers for two years in a row.”

Photo Courtesy of SR Photo.
Senior Samuel Cozzi takes opponent down to the ground preparing for a pin.

Throughout the season, head coach Michael Dinovo gave inspiring speeches both before and after meets to remind the boys that they are capable of a pin, a tech and anything they put their minds too. These athletes endure mass amounts of fatigue both mentally and physically. However, they let their love for wrestling carry the team far beyond expected.

“Wrestling is more than a sport, it’s a lifestyle. You have to be tough, relentless, committed, and a little crazy,” senior Jacob Maddalone Smallwood said. “You’re literally stepping into a circle with another human, who is trying to destroy you.”

Next year, both coaches and captains are preparing to take everything learned from this season and implement it into practices and warm ups before meets. The current juniors are ready to take over the roles of this years graduating seniors, and are ready to show the state what it means to be a duke athlete.

“The team is hungry and looking to build off the 2017-2018 season,” junior and returning captain Antonio Gutierrez said. “We want to win more duals and become a true powerhouse in the west suburban conference.”

Photo Courtesy of SR Photo.
Junior, and returning captain for next year Antonio Gutierrez awaits referees directions as the second period starts.

When a wrestler steps onto the mat, and shakes their opponents hand they are committing to do anything and everything in order to push their opponent onto their back. For six minutes they are enduring blood, sweat, tears and even scars. They truly understood the meaning of perseverance this year. They are all true athletes, they are duke wrestlers.

“The sport of wrestling is the hardest sport out there, nothing else compares to it, nothing else requires to do what wrestling does,” Metcalf said. “As coaches we train our guys to be champions on the mat, but we are mainly training them to be champions in life. Life is going to give you mental, emotional, and physical challenges–only the strong will survive”

Photo Courtesy of SR Photo.
Coach James Nudera gives inspiring speech to JV wrestlers.

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