Boys’ team takes third at Regionals


Photo by WEGO Wrestling

WEGO’s boys’ wrestling team takes third place at the Upstate Eight Conference championship.

By Daniel Kuriakose and Chuck Baumgartner

The boys’ wrestling team placed third overall at the regional competition at Wheaton North on February 5. Six wrestlers will move on to the IHSA Sectionals on February 11-12 at Conant High School: seniors Pierre Baldwin, Mason Dupasquier, and Larson Gallian, juniors Connor Zentner and Emiliano Lopez, and freshman Ryan Alvarado. Sophomore Scotty Zentner will act as alternate.

The team wrapped up a successful regular season on January 22 at the Upstate Eight Championship tournament at West Chicago Community High School, where they earned third place.

Connor Zentner and Baldwin placed first in their weight classes at the UEC championship meet. Alvarado, along with fellow freshmen Donavan Avila and Santino Milazzo, and seniors Dupasquier and Gallian, placed second in their weight groups. Baldwin also won the Jeff Mirabella – Outstanding Wrestler of the Year award.  Jeff Mirabella was a three-time Illinois class AA champion. He had a 154-5 record and was named Chicago Tribune Wrestler of the Year, Illinois Coaches and Officials Wrestler of the Year, and the March of Dimes Amateur athlete of the Year in Illinois. 

Preparing to wrestle at the Senior Night match-up against Fenton High School. (Photo by Yearbook Staff)

The fact that WEGO hosted the tournament this year was significant. As senior James Losacco said, “It only happens every nine years because it rotates around.”

Team captain Baldwin said, “This year, I’ve really enjoyed being a good leader/captain, helping my teammates achieve their goals, and the great experience of bonding with my team, coaches, supporters, and teachers.”

Wrestling has encouraged Baldwin to enjoy being a leader while helping out his teammates achieve their goals. The experience he gained along the way has changed him in a good way, as it has so many other athletes on the team.

Alvarado (106 lbs.), placed seventh in the December 5 tournament and the top 10 at the meet on November 26-27. He was also the only team member to place at the JV meet against Bolingbrook on January 8, where he placed second.

I really enjoyed seeing the improvement of the team, from the hard work that we have been putting in from start of [the] season, and continue to do in order to prepare for regionals,” said Alvarado.

Other team members performed well during the regular season, including:

Connor Zentner (120 lbs.) had a second-place finish at the Ewoldt tournament on December 29 and also placed in the top 10 at the Barrington tournament at the end of November.

At the JV Wildcat Wrestling Invite on January 15, Losacco (152 lbs.) took first place. At the Varsity tournament on December 5 at Joliet Central, Losacco placed seventh.

Dupasquier (145 lbs.) took fifth at the Batavia Invitational on January 15. He placed fourth at the Ewoldt tournament on December 29, seventh in his weight class at the December 5 tournament at Joliet Central, and in the top 10 at the two-day tournament in Barrington.

Dupasquier said, “I’ve been doing pretty good. I’ve definitely improved since last year. I hope this year to go to State.”

Dupasquier believes that the team has had a good season. He is also excited for the new freshmen who joined this year and explained that will help continue the program for future years.

Top performers this year included Emiliano Lopez, pictured wrestling a Fenton opponent. (Photo by Yearbook Staff)

The freshmen will have to work hard to compete at the Varsity level. Coach Steve Brown said,” I would describe the team this year as tough and hard-working.”

For now, the team is focused on performing well at Sectionals, and hopefully placing at State. Brown considers the team as tough and hard-working. They have been training daily for the upcoming tournament, in which the athletes have to place in the top 3 to continue to the next section. According to Brown, the team has been watching films and working through situational training scenarios to prepare. The team hopes that they will place in regionals and finish their season off amazingly. 

Some of the strengths of our team are commitment to the sport (showing up every day, sometimes at 5:30 am, giving up Saturdays for tournaments), the will to improve, and strong bonds among the wrestlers,” said Brown.

The team has been working hard, and many of the new freshmen have performed well in their first year of high school wrestling. Students and staff are encouraged to support the team on February 5 at Wheaton North.