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If Rich Central’s Nkosi Moody has a flaw in his game, the senior didn’t show it on Saturday at the 50th Annual Rich Each Rocket Invitational.
Moody, a returning Class AA state finalist, dominated the 15-team field with a triad of dynamic second-round falls on his way to the 113-pound title.
“I worked on my setups and basically took him down at will,” Moody said of his title-match victory over Hinsdale South’s Nick Perisin. “I finished the match like I wanted to. I think I did really good today.”
Moody’s younger brother, Jabary, also notched a championship for the Olympians with a 15-8 decision over Thornton’s Shaun Ramey at 106.
“The team as a whole stepped up today and performed the best we have all season,” Moody added.
T.F. South senior Blake Tisza was awarded the Most Outstanding Wrestling for his championship at 138. Joe Young (182) and Corinthian McBridge (285) added titles for the Rebels.
“I’ve won an individual title all four years I’ve wrestled here,” Tisza said. “It feels good to win (this award) but you can’t get over confident. You’ve got to stay low and keep working hard every week.”
Richards coach Eric Schultz was pleased with sophomores Ryan Willett and Hasan Muhamad-Rodgers for their individual titles at 126 and 152, respectively.
“This is the first time I’ve ever won a big invitational,” Willett said. “I’m not a big guy, so I have to use my speed to my advantage.”
After falling short at the Rocket Invitational the past two seasons, Rich East senior Kenneth Naylor finally broke through with a 5-1 decision over T.F. South’s Austin Berryhill.
“This was a great experience,” Naylor said. “I had some tough matches early but I had to keep pushing on. This was my last year so I had to make a championship move.”
Merrillville (Ind.) took home its seventh consecutive Rocket championship with 193 points. Hinsdale South was second at 179.5 and Bloom finished third with 166 behind an individual championship from Mr. Clark at 195.
T.F. South (123) and Richards (124) rounded out the top-five with Rich Central (112) not far behind.
Thornton’s reigning state champion Kris Williams was in street clothes while still dealing with a bum ankle. Williams would have likely battled Moody in a highly anticipated 113-pound matchup.