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Wrestling: Metea Valley’s program making strides

Updated: January 21, 2013 3:58PM

In its first season as a varsity wrestling program two years ago, Metea Valley placed 16th at Glenbrook South’s annual Rus Erb Tournament. Last year, the Mustangs placed eighth in the 19-team field.

On Saturday, Metea finished fourth at this year’s Erb. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but Mustangs coach Claudio Torres can’t help but be happy with the progress of his program.

“As a coach I’ve had to be patient but things just keep getting better and better,” Torres said. “You always want to be No. 1, but overall you have to look at baby steps and what it takes to climb that ladder.”

Breon Hoosier (170) won an individual title on Saturday while Devin Kane (120) and Cole Lettieri (132) placed third. Axle Ariza (113), Kenan Carter (126) and Sam Freedlund (220) finished fourth, and Sam Elston (138) took fifth.

The fourth-seeded Hoosier improved to 9-1 on the year and showed maturity on the title mat.

“The seeds don’t matter at all,” Hoosier said. “I just didn’t want to rush anything and mess up today. As the years go on in wrestling, you learn how to be patient and wait for your shots.”

“Breon has a new outlook on wrestling,” Torres said. “He’s going into his matches more relaxed and he’s not forcing things. I just want him to have fun in his senior year and enjoy it.”

The freshman Kane improved to 19-3 on Saturday, with his lone loss coming in overtime to Sycamore’s Kyle Atkins — who is ranked fourth in Class 2A at 120 pounds by Illinois Best Weekly. Kane’s other two losses have been to Joliet’s Travon Zabala and Glenbard North’s Jon Marmolejo, both ranked in the state’s top five in Class 3A.

“Devin Kane is one kid to look out for,” Torres said. “In all three of his losses, he has been in every match to win it. He knows he’s got nothing to lose as a freshman, so at this point he’s training hard and having fun.

“Axle is just a hard-nosed kid, Kenan Carter and Cole (Lettieri) are wrestling well, and Sam Freedlund just got ranked for the first time. So it’s all good right now and we’ll just keep working hard to get better.”

West takes 12th at Hinsdale Central

West Aurora placed 12th at this year’s 25-team Whitlatch tournament, hosted by Hinsdale Central and one of the premier in-season tournaments in Illinois.

Blackhawks freshman Johnathon Doyle improved to 17-2 in placing second at 113 pounds. Tim Young (170) finished third, Trevon Williams (182) was fifth and Brandon Farias (160) placed eighth.

Ranked fifth in Illinois, second-seeded Doyle lost by a 5-2 decision to top-seeded and third-ranked Zac Denny of Harlem.

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