Wrestling: All-Area lineup stocked with state performers
By Logan Malloy For Sun-Times Media March 2, 2013 1:36AM
Miguel Silva, of Plainfield South
Updated: March 2, 2013 4:52PM
This is one assignment you wouldn’t want to wrestle with:
Pick a team — one performer at each weight represented in IHSA competition — of Joliet-area high school wrestlers.
That’s a list 14 athletes long — which isn’t so bad until one considers the area had 42 wrestlers in the state team quarterfinals and 27 finish sixth place or better in the individual state meet.
But, we had to make weight. So we made a few tough choices and put together our Herald-News 2012-13 All-Area Wrestling Team.
Miguel Silva, Jr., Plainfield South: A main attraction at meets for his slick style, Silva finished as Class 3A state runner-up. “Miguel’s got the most incredible work ethic from any individual I’ve ever seen,” Cougars coach Jason Acevado said. Silva (41-1) tops Coal City state finalist Cody Minnick for the honors.
Brian Rossi, Jr., Lockport: One of the smartest and most complete wrestlers in the state, Rossi earned his third state medal with a third-place finish in Class 3A. Porters coach Josh Oster praised Rossi (45-4) for his ability to self-assess and refine his repertoire. The junior beats out Providence state-placer Ronald Triche.
Trayvon Zabala, Sr., Joliet Central: One of the area’s marquee wrestlers, Zabala became the first wrestler in school history to capture four regional crowns. Zabala (48-1) deployed a fleet, aggressive style and finished third in Class 3A to become a three-time All-Stater. “He only knows one speed: 110 percent all the time,” Steelmen coach Pat O’Connell said.
Nick Nasenbeny, Jr., Plainfield Central: Nasenbeny earned the third state medal of his career with a fifth-place finish in Class 3A. Wildcats coach Jim Kappas said Nasenbeny (41-10) possesses the ability to “outsmart, outwork and outwill his opponents to victory.” The junior gets the nod over Lockport standout Dan Radcliffe for his five wins at the state tournament.
Andy Rodawold, Sr., Wilmington: Rodawold graduates as the Class A state champ and one of the top wrestlers in school history. The three-time All-Stater set the school record for career pins (96) and team points (820), and was selected Academic All-State. “Hands down his work ethic is outstanding and his mental toughness is second to none,” Wildcats coach Rob Murphy said. Rodawold (48-2) tops a field featuring state-placers in Plainfield Central’s Ryan Holzrichter and Lincoln-Way West’s Kyle Rodriguez.
Robbie Mikenis, Sr., Lincoln-Way Central: The vocal leader on the area’s top squad, Mikenis plans to wrestle at Wisconsin-La Crosse next season. “I want to coach after college. I can’t get away from wrestling. It’s the best,” he said. The state qualifier went 44-7 and won regional, SouthWest Suburban and Granite City titles.
Carson Oughton, Fr., Minooka: Oughton finished sixth in Class 3A and was one the most consistent wrestlers on a team that made the state quarterfinals. The freshman championed the SouthWest Prairie Conference, Joliet Central Regional and Moline Sectional. This weight class is not an easy one for a freshman, and Oughton (41-12) was one of two first-year wrestlers to state qualify in the 3A weight class.
Kyle Langenderfer, Sr., Lincoln-Way East: Not sure about wrestling? Watch a Langenderfer match and get back to us. The Illinois recruit clobbered opponents in action-packed bouts all season. Langenderfer’s state finals victory — the second title of his career — over fellow four-time All-Stater Brian Murphy was perhaps the most exciting match in the state tournament. Langenderfer (43-0) tops the East record book in career wins (165), takedowns (455) and falls (82).
Matt Schneider, Sr., Lincoln-Way Central: How tough is Schneider? Returning from a torn meniscus suffered as junior, the senior suffered a brutal head-butt that caused his eye to drip blood. He won the match, went to the hospital and returned in time to notch another victory in the Knights’ final contest of the day. Schneider (41-10) was a state qualifier and won titles at Hoffman Estates and Granite City.
Bryce Gorman, Jr., Lincoln-Way Central: One of the strongest 170-pounders in the state, Gorman was a key cog in Central’s fourth-place finish at Dual Team State. Coach Jason DePolo said Gorman is “an unbelievable competitor” and that “winning is programmed into him.” Gorman (40-6) finished fourth in Class 3A.
Sharod Wilson, Sr., Joliet Central: A third-place finisher in Class 3A, Wilson is the rare selection who picked up wrestling in high school. Wilson (45-4) used stellar athleticism and a strong mental approach to combat more seasoned foes. This was the closest call on the All-Area roster with Lemont stud Chris Giatras, a third-place finisher in Class 2A, equally deserving.
Jordan Ellingwood, Sr., Plainfield Central: Ellingwood, an imposing physical force, goes down as the most accomplished wrestler in Plainfield Central history. The senior broke every major school record, finished second in Class 3A and did not give up an offensive point all season. In the state championship bout, Ellingwood (46-1) lost by the slimmest of margins in sudden-death overtime.
Vince Ambrose, Sr., Providence: The headlock master, Ambrose finished sixth in Class 3A to become the school’s heaviest All-Stater. Ambrose (28-12) competed the entire year with a torn meniscus and MCL suffered while manning the Celtics’ football offensive line. “Vince had a great year, leading our team in pins, and was our Leadership Award winner,” Celtics coach Keith Healy said.
Nick Allegretti, Jr., Lincoln-Way East: Exceptionally agile for his size, Allegretti (36-4) was a state qualifier and won Stagg, SouthWest Suburban and regional titles. “He’s a very smart athlete. He’s coachable and eager to win,” Griffins coach Tyrone Byrd said, who also noted Allegretti is taking predominantly advanced courses in the classroom.