Pins & Wins: Wrestling team succeeds early


Courtesy of Scott Damge

Senior Ayden Lutes puts his DeKalb opponent on their back with his legs at dual on Dec. 9 at DeKalb.

Joey Rubas, Staff Writer

The Naperville Central wrestling team is off to a strong start, winning eight of their first nine matches this season. Their wins include highly ranked teams, leaving Naperville Central ranked eighth in the state.

Assistant coach Rob Porter attributes the success to a uniquely talented and dedicated cohort of senior students.

“We have a ton of seniors,” he said. “I think we have 21 seniors this year. So we have a lot of senior leadership. We have a lot of experience on our team. This is a big year for us. And we knew it was gonna be a big year because we just have a great group, a great group of kids.”

On the other hand, junior Joseph Thomas, who’s been wrestling since seventh grade, says  the success comes from Naperville Central’s coaching staff.

“The coaching staff is awesome,” he said. “They really push us on when we need to, but they know when to back it off.”

With wrestling being a very physical sport, months of preparation are required in order to perform at a high level.

The Redhawks have been successful so far because of rigorous preparation before the start of the season, senior Yiguang Zhu said.

“The practices have been getting harder progressively,” he said. “It’s hard but, you know, the grind is pretty fun.” 

As the season continues, the team has big ambitions. 

“We have the Naperville North duel coming up this Friday, and that’s always a big matchup with our crosstown rivals,” Porter said. We have a big tournament over break at DeKalb. Our conference tournament and then the postseason regional sectional state is always what we really gear up for.”

Next, The Redhawks will travel to  DeKalb for their next tournament on Dec. 30.