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Neuqua Valley seeks strong finish to solid season

01/15/2013, 7:45pm CST
By Gary Larsen

Sporting six wrestlers who have topped the 20-win mark, Nequa Valley is looking to make an impact at the UEC meet Friday and the regional next month.


Waubonsie Valley's Anthony Napolitano slams Neuqua Valley's DJ Warkentheen into the mat on Friday, January 4, 2013, at Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville IL. | Terence Guider-Shaw~For Sun-Times Media

With a dual meet win over Neuqua Valley on Jan. 4, Waubonsie Valley clinched the Upstate Eight Valley title, and a win over Bartlett on Jan. 11 gave the Warriors a perfect 6-0 conference record this year.

“Winning the division was great to see and experience for the first time with these guys,” Warriors coach Brad Caldwell said. “They really have dedicated themselves since last year and it has paid off for them.”

The Warriors dual record sits at 19-8; they’ll take a break from dual action at the two-day Upstate Eight Conference meet, which begins Friday at Batavia.

Jimmy Davis (132) has a 32-3 record heading into Batavia, while five Warriors have put 20-plus matches in the win column this year. Howard Beatty (138) is 27-4, Anthony Napolitano (195) is 26-5, Jake Laws (160) is 23-12, Mitch Kroening (170) is 23-10, and Anthony Touchstone (220) is 22-6 on the year.

“We had some sickness and some injuries change some of our lineup this last week, so we knew some people would have to step up for us against Bartlett, and they did,” Caldwell said. "Kroening, Jack Timberlake (182), and Joey Rodriguez (285) all won big matches for us and Howard [Beatty] lost to Sal Annoreno, a returning state champ, but he wrestled a tough match.”

The Warriors then will compete in a quad at Neuqua Valley on Jan. 24 before regionals begin on Feb. 2, when both Waubonsie and Neuqua will compete at the Class 3A Bolingbrook Regional.

Naperville Central finished second on Saturday at a 22-team tournament hosted by Mahomet-Seymour, with Ryan Berg (24-4 at 195) and Luke Roth (23-0 at 220) winning individual titles. Roth won a 9-3 decision on the title mat over previously-unbeaten Stu Landin (23-1) of Andrew.

Belleville West won the team title, earning a 196-182.5 edge in team points over the Redhawks. Central got a fourth-place finish from Ben Williamson (132) while Shuji Mizoguchi (106), Derek Wilke (113), Louie Giovannetti (170) and Joe Saleh (285) each placed fifth.

Neuqua Valley went 2-1 at the Lockport Mega Dual tournament on Saturday, winning 39-23 over Geneva and 40-31 over Oswego before losing 43-30 to Bolingbrook. Metea Valley also went 2-1 at Lockport, with wins over Bolingbrook and Geneva, and a loss to Glenbard North.

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