New year, new team: Dukes ready to pin and win
January 25, 2019
As the new year begins, the Dukes’ wrestling season begins its long 4-5 month trench. Last year the Dukes had zero wrestlers head down to state. Overall, the Dukes have had only three wrestlers win state since (1955, 1965, and 1976). This year it seems as if the Dukes have better intentions on taking a trip to Champaign, and maybe even come back with another name on “The Wall”.
The Dukes already have a record of 9-12 to start their season, but recently won the Kaneland Tournament this past weekend which they haven’t done since 2010. As of now, they stand proudly in third place in the West Suburban Conference Silver Division, behind OPRF and Hinsdale Central. Currently, the two leaders on the team are senior Antonio Gutierrez (25-6) and junior Josh Mathiasen (29-4), who has 25 pins and is trying to break the all-time season pin record of 29 (set by Harry Noffs in 2001-2002).
After the tournament, junior Josh Mathiasen was able to give some insight on his future expectations and his favorite part about being a wrestler for the Dukes.
“My favorite part of wrestling other than the feeling of getting my hand raised after a match is grinding with brothers in the practice room and just being a family with the team,” Mathiasen said. “Last year I made it to sectionals but didn’t make it out so the plan this year is to take the next step and qualify for state. So I just need to keep working and pray to get there.”
In addition, I was able to get a hold of Antonio Gutierrez and ask him a couple questions on how the tournament went for himself, along with the team as a whole.
“As a team, we walked into the Kaneland Tournament hungry and wanting to win the whole thing,” Gutierrez said. “After the first round, we kinda realized that we’ve got a chance not just to win it but run up the score. As an individual, the sport of wrestling is that we don’t wrestle for ourselves but also for each other.”
It seems that wrestling is more than just a sport, it brings all the kids and coaches together as they begin to create their own family within each other. Nicholas Metcalf, the head coach for the Dukes wrestling team had similar feelings as his athletes about the team.
“The thing I like best is having the chance each day to work with the best coaching staff in the state, and to learn something new each day from my coaching staff,” Metcalf said. “I love watching each individual wrestler not only grow as a wrestler but as an individual in the classroom, in the community, and in their own families. York Dukes Wrestling creates a family and an everlasting bond among each other that will last for a lifetime. I am thankful every day to be a part of this.”