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01-21-2006, 02:46 AM
DuPage Valley Conference (DVC) Preview

The DuPage Valley Conference (DVC) is a perennial wrestling power conference in Illinois, even with only eight teams. This year is no different, with four of the teams in the top twenty ranked schools in the state as determined by Illinois Best Weekly (IBW). They include #5 Glenbard North (GBN), #10 West Aurora (WA), #11 Naperville North (NN) and #18 Wheaton North (WN). Glenbard North was second in the state dual meet tournament last year and was third at the Minnesota Clash dual meet tournament over the Christmas break, the largest and most prestigious dual meet tournament in the country.

Among the individuals who will wrestle in the conference tournament on January 28th, there are ten wrestlers who are ranked nationally by Don Fickel for WrestlingUSA Magazine (WUSA). There are at least 18 wrestlers who have national wrestling experience at the largest wrestling tournament in the world – the individual USA Freestyle and Greco tournament in Fargo, North Dakota. There are thirteen wrestlers currently ranked in the top ten at their weights by the Illinoismatmen (IM) and others who have been ranked previously. Although most of the talent in the DVC is concentrated on the top four teams, there is a lot of talent for a relatively small conference.

The 103 pound weight class features two undefeated wrestlers. Freshman Tony Ramos of Glenbard North(GBN), came into high school with a reputation that preceded him. He easily won the 2005 Illinois Kids Wrestling Federation (IKWF) State Championship at 95 pounds. He has lived up to that reputation with a current 28-0 record. Ramos is currently ranked #1 in the State by IBW and #3 by IM. He is also ranked #5 nationally by WUSA among all freshmen and sophomores and #8 among all high schoolers. The top contender will be a veteran varsity wrestler, junior Eric Concha from West Aurora(WA). Concha also sports an unblemished 20-0 record and, like Ramos, has experience wrestling on national dual meet teams and at Fargo. Concha was not at 103 yet when the Black Hawks wrestled GBN early in the year so the conference match-up would be the first time the two will meet.

As a side note, GBN is probably the only team in the state with a nationally ranked wrestler who may not be able to fit in the line up. Caitlyn Chase is among the top female high school wrestlers in the country, and she is among the top women on the Olympic ladder. She has, perhaps, the best credentials of anyone in the DVC. She is a multiple time national champ. Last year, she was the first girl to qualify for the IHSA state tournament. This year she may not have another chance. Caitlyn has only 6 varsity matches this year. It remains to be seen whether she gets back in to the line up. If she does, the entire line up through about 171 could possibly move up a weight.

The 112 pound weight class is deep in the DVC, and anyone could walk away with the title. The favorite may be sophomore Nathan Fitzenreider of Wheaton North(WN), the 2005 Dvorak Memorial (Illinois toughest tournament) champion. Nathan was also the Outstanding Wrestler at the Batavia Tournament. Fitzenreider is state ranked #5 by IM and #19 among all frosh in the country by WUSA. However, he has already been beaten this year by conference rival, Jimmy Chase, a freshman from GBN, 6-4 in the dual meet. Chase was second in the state last year in the IKWF at 108 pounds. This year he has been hot and cold, with a 19-8 record. Not to be counted out of the potential for a top medal, is the WA freshman, Josh Zinzer. Josh has 23 varsity wins this year and has been in every match he has wrestled, including a 4-3 loss to Ramos and a 6-3 loss to Fitzenreider. Another contender is the seasoned senior, Ricky Krauze from Wheaton-Warrenville South (WWS). When Tony Ramos was at 112, he only beat Krauze 3-2. A former Martinez Elite kids level wrestler, Ricky is no stranger to tough competition. He was named outstanding wrester at the WWS tournament early in the year, where he pinned Zinzer with no time left in the match and losing 12-8.

The 119 pound weight class does not feature the top names in the state, but it will be one of the most contested weights in the DVC with a good deal of parity throughout. Geno Capezio of GBN may be a top contender, having dropped from 125 earlier in the year, along with Jake Denoff from Wheaton North. Capezio defeated Ryan Norkett of Naperville North 5-3 in the dual meet. Norkett won the DeKalb tournament over the holiday break in which WA freshman, Vince Morris, was fourth. However, Morris took Norkett to the final seconds of their dual meet match, losing only when Norkett scored a take down as the seconds ticked off to the end of the match. Morris was an IKWF placer last year and is filling on for the injured Pat Hood who was hurt in a match with Denhoff. Tim Mordini from WWS also may have a chance at this weight, which will likely be won by whoever is hot on the day of the tournament.

The 125 weight class features the most depth of any weight in the DVC this year. The pack is led by WN senior, James Simpson, a multiple time state qualifier. Simpson was injured in his semi-final 5-0 loss to state ranked #1 Mario Morgan of Mount Carmel at the Dvorak tournament, and it remains to be seen if he is ready for the DVC tournament. If he is ready, he will be the favorite. He is currently ranked #9 in the state by IM. He beat the sophomore star from Glenbard North, Dan Monaco, 17-6 earlier in the year. Monaco is ranked #23 in the nation among all Fr/So. by WUSA and was a DVC champ last year at 112. However, Monaco was beaten last week by Neil Lopez from NN in a 14-13 decision. Lopez is a seasoned varsity veteran already as a junior and has earned a special mention among all juniors in the nation by WUSA. His only loss is to #2 state ranked Kyle Hutter from Providence. Other contenders include seniors Luke Cherep from Naperville Central (NC) and Casey Slager from WWS. Cherep only lost 4-2 to Monaco and has had a very good year. Slager also has had close losses in the conference. Four of the 125 pound DVC wrestlers, Simpson, Cherep, Monaco and Lopez have extensive national wrestling experience.

The 130 pound weight class includes three front runners, any of whom could take home the title. Mark Schultz, a senior at Glenbard North, may by the favorite. He is currently ranked #8 in the State by IM. Schultz has been on a tear this year with 21 pins in 29 matches and a 26-3 record. He has beaten two of the top ranked 135 pounders by fall, Tim Walsh of Providence (#7 IM) and Brian Spangler of Neuqua Valley (#9 IM). However, Schultz lost 5-3 in the recent dual meet with NN by senior Chris Nutt who, in turn, was beaten 5-3 in overtime by WA senior, Brad Troemel. Brad is 25-3 with his only losses coming to two time Class A state champ, Mike Ryan (4-3), 9th ranked Adam Canty (7-1) and Monaco (7-4). The latter two losses were early in the year. Troemel lost time last year with a season ending knee injury and is just hitting his stride again since the holiday break.

The 135 pound weight class may be a two horse race between the sophomore, Vince Ramos (GBN), and the junior Jonathan Drendel(WA). As sophomore, Ramos is already a varsity veteran and a state placer. He was the Cadet National Greco champion at 140 pounds in Fargo last summer. Both wrestlers were Illinois Cadet Freestyle and Greco State champs last spring at 135 pounds (Drendel) and 140 pounds (Ramos) and wrestled as teammates on the the Illinois Cadet National dual meet team. Ramos is currently ranked #5 in the State by IM and #10 among all Fr/So. in the country by WUSA. Drendel is ranked #10 in the state by the IM and #21 among all juniors in the nation by WUSA. Alex Kryzwda from NN may make things interesting and should not be counted out. He has national wrestling experience and beat Drendel at the conference tournament last year. Drendel and Ramos have not faced each other this year, though both of them have beaten Kryzwda.

There may be only a one horse race at 140 pounds in the DVC. Matt Lee is coming off a fourth place finish at state last year and is currently ranked #1 in the State by IM and #2 by IBW. Lee is 25-1 with his one loss coming at 145. Competing for the finals match will be Eric Terrazas (WN), Carlos Lopez (GBN) and Troy Troncin (NN), who just recently came back from a first semester absence. Lopez has lost 7-5 to Terrazas and 3-1 to Troncin. Troncin’s only losses since coming back have been to Lee and Junior Greco All-American Vladymir Rozdolsky from York at 145. Troncin was winning when the Greco AA tossed him for 5 points at the end of the match. Troncin has wrestled at both 140 and 145, but it is assumed he will be at 140.

At 145 pounds, John Malizzio (GBN) is the one to beat, if he is healthy. Malizzio was a state qualifier as a sophomore in 2004, missing out narrowly last year in a sectional weight that featured three of the top four state placers. Malizzio has over 150 career varsity wins, putting him well up the list of the many GBN wrestlers who have hit the century mark in their careers. He is currently ranked #3 in the state by IM. Look for NC senior, Jeremy Edward, to compete for a finals berth along with several others.

The 152 pound weight class is another group deep in talent. Bryan O’Connor, a GBN junior, heads the pack. He is a state qualifier and DVC champ from last year, currently ranked #2 by IBW and #8 by IM and is also ranked #20 in the nation among juniors. O’Connor is 27-2 and went undefeated at the Clash tournament in Minnesota. His main competition will likely come from WA senior, Andy Bowker, a four year varsity wrestler. Bowker was a match away from being a state qualifier last year. He has beaten all other 152 pounders in the conference. When WA wrestled GBN in a dual early in the year, O’Connor was at 160. Bowker led Malizzio the entire match until Malizzio tied it up with a takedown on the edge with less than ten seconds in the match. Bowker had to injury default when his leg cramped up, and he ran out of injury time. Bowker is 22-2 with the other loss coming at 160 to Bill Cascone from St. Rita. Dangles (NN) and Sullivan (WN) are above average wrestlers capable of holding their own at this weight.

At 160, WA junior Shawn Musialek may be a top contender, at 12-2, if he is healthy. But, this is a wide open weight that could be won by sophomore, Chris Graeber (NC) or Luke Gordon (WN). Seniors Justin Tomal (WWS), Sean Hankin (NN) or Travis Moffit (GBN) may also be in the mix. Moffit had extensive varsity experience as an undergrad, but an injury wiped out his junior season completely.

The 171 weight class is also up for grabs. The junior from GBN, Roy Feltsen, has had a good year with a 17-2 record but he will be challenged by freshman, Mario Gonzalez (WA) and James Van Someran from WN. Gonzalez was second in the IKWF State tournament last year and has learned this season that he can wrestle with the big boys. Last week he suffered a tough 3-0 loss to state ranked Robert Bruno (#7 IM) from Joliet Township. Van Someran has lost twice, once while wrestling up.

The 189 weight class will likely be won by undefeated junior phenom, D.J. Bruce from NN. Bruce is currently state ranked #1 by IM and #3 by IBW, nationally ranked #12 among all juniors and #25 among all high school wrestlers at 189. He was a double Cadet All-American in Fargo, and he will not likely be challenged in the DVC. A leading candidate for the finals match will be junior Trovelle Musialek (WA) who only started wrestling as a freshman. Art Bell from Glenbard East (GE) lost in overtime to Musialek and will be looking for revenge. Trevor Adeszko (WN) may also contend.

The 215 pound weight class may also be a one man contest with sophomore, Pat Walker (GE), the likely winner. He will be contested by Rich Guidolin (GBN), who has quietly put together a pretty good season with a 23-6 record, and Charlie Filisko from WN. Walker is currently state ranked #6 by both IM and IBW. He is also listed as #14 in the nation among all Frosh.

The 275 pound weight class will likely be dominated by former 215 pounder, Jordan Johnson from NN. Johnson’s only losses this year came at the hands of 215 pounders, including Walker (6-4 in OT). Johnson is currently ranked #2 in the State at 215 by IBW and #1 in the State at 275 by IM. He is also ranked #7 in the country among all juniors at 215 and #15 overall. His top challenger is Nick Theobald, a senior from WN. Theobald is currently ranked #7 in the state by IM. Alen Smajik (GE), Bombard (WA) and Hansen (GBN) will vie for a top three place finish. Smajik and Bombard have traded wins with each other. Bombard was pinned by Hansen, though he was leading 10-1 at the time.

In the end, the team race will probably be less exciting than some of the individual weights. Although the DVC has four of the top twenty teams in Illinois, Glenbard North is the hands on favorite to win it, even without Malizzio. If he is back, they may be untouchable. In the DVC, dual meets are figured in to the conference tournament equation. Two years ago, West Aurora won the tournament, but lost the onference title because of a dual meet loss to Glenbard North. This year it is not likely that Glenbard North will fall short at the tournament, let alone for the conference championship. The other top teams could easily finish in any order. Wheaton North beat West Aurora (33-27) in a dual this year, but was beaten by Naperville North. The Huskies were beaten by West Aurora (38-27). The Black Hawks have been without three starters recently, but the fill-ins have stepped up nicely. West Aurora has proven to be a tougher tournament team than a dual meet team, winning the Wheaton-Warrenville South Tournament and the Hinsdale Central Tournament this year. Naperville North struggled early on, after high expectations, but they have shown flashes of a return to form (beating Rockton-Hononegah and winning the DeKalb tournament over the holidays in which West Aurora finished third while fighting a bout of flu). Wheaton North does not have the studs they have had in the past, but they have wrestled well when they need to and are always a contender. They need James Simpson(125) back to be in serious contention for conference. Naperville Central will likely take top honors in the bottom half of the conference. Other than Luke Cherep, they are fairly young and should be improving. Wheaton-Warrenville South will challenge Naperville Central for that 5th place spot. Glenbard East should easily beat out the perennial doormat, West Chicago, but will find it difficult to rise above a 7th place finish. For West Chicago, it will be another tough year at the conference – a long way from the glory days in the 1970’s when they had good teams and several state champs crowned.

WSCfan19
01-22-2006, 05:58 PM
Thats impressive. I appreciate the work you guys do, and if you had time a W.S.C breakdown like that one would be interesting...