Wrestling: Hinsdale Central claims first regional since 2009

Updated: February 4, 2012 8:38PM

Hinsdale Central’s fourth regional title and its first since 2009 came thanks to 12 individual place-winners who will also move on to next week’s Class 3A individual sectional at De La Salle.

The No. 6 Red Devils earned a 215-185.5 edge over host Lyons for the team crown and had half of the individual regional champions on the day in LaGrange.

“It’s not just the seniors but as a team, I think we knew what was at stake,” Central senior Justin Katzovitz said. “We all came in and wrestled hard and that’s all you can ask for. We only have four seniors and a lot of the younger guys stepped up.”

Joining Katzovitz as regional champions were teammates Marco Del Rosario Rivera (106), George Tolbert (113), Tommy Ward (132), Ernest Battaglia (138), T.J. Salley (170), and Brian Allen (285).

Allen (39-0) and Kevin Moylan (38-0 at 145) of Stagg were the lone wrestlers entered with unbeaten records, and both stayed undefeated in winning titles.

One year after suffering heartbreak on a third-place regional mat, former state qualifier Battaglia won a hard-fought title match, 8-5 over Hinsdale South’s Justin Maslow to secure a sectional spot.

“It’s extremely exciting,” Battaglia said. “He got the first takedown before I got into my groove, and I felt stronger as the match went along.”

Lyons advanced 11 wrestlers to the sectional, led by regional champs Carter Beebe (120), Jaime Jones (182) and Justin Fuller (195), while third-place Reavis had a pair of champions in Josh Arnold (126) and Joe Kennedy (160) to lead a stable of nine regional place-winners.

Arnold and LT’s A.J. Villareal squared off in a wild title match that saw Arnold pull off a 6-4 decision win. The day’s only other title match decided by fewer than three points was Fuller’s 7-5 win over Stagg’s Ehab ReFati.

Marek Kowal (152) rounded out the field of individual regional champs, among Argo’s five sectional qualifiers.

After consecutive seasons as a sectional alternate, Lyons’ Beebe was happy to be headed to a sectional as a regional champion. “It was tough at first to get down to 120 this year but I’m glad I did it and I feel great,” Beebe said. “And I owe it all to our coaches.”

Fourth-place Hinsdale South advanced eight wrestlers, including a pair of runners-up in Maslow and Nick Carlson (113), while Morton sent six wrestlers through, led by runner-up Eddie Rodriguez (220). Second-placer ReFati (195) joined Moylan in Stagg’s field of five sectional qualifiers.

After the individual state meet on Feb. 18, Hinsdale Central will take on No. 4 Oak Park-River Forest in a Class 3A dual team sectional on Feb. 22.

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