Wrestling: Naperville Central edges Downwers South for title

Story Image Naperville North's Eric Krieger attempts to free his leg from Wheaton Warrenville South's Steven Franke during their 170-pound match during the Naperville North Regional on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012. | Mike Mantucca ~ For Sun-Times Media
Story Image

Updated: February 4, 2012 9:56PM

Naperville Central continued its recent streak of big-meet success with a win in the Class 3A Naperville North Regional Saturday.

“To be honest with you, a second-place finish in the DVC and a regional championship (were) nothing but a dream (early in the season),” Redhawks coach Rob Porter said. “We couldn’t believe that we could be that successful. At one point this year, we were 1-7 (in dual meets).”

The Redhawks, who placed second to Glenbard North last Saturday at the DuPage Valley Conference meet, scored 154.5 points to edge second-place Downers Grove South’s 153.5 score. With the regional win, Naperville Central punched its ticket for a trip to the team sectional at West Aurora later this month. First, though, the Redhawks will send their qualifying individuals on to the individual sectional at Glenbard North.

Steven Splan, a 120-pounder from Naperville Central, Redhawks’ 195-pounder Ryan Berg and Naperville North’s Nick McDonnell (145) all won titles.

Splan won a 6-5 decision, Berg won a 2-1 decision and McDonnell captured a 9-5 victory.

Splan, a senior, is now 27-14 after beating Naperville North’s Juan Ramirez in their crosstown championship match. He won the match with a point in the final 10 seconds.

“When I went out there, I just kept thinking in my mind: I have to win, I have to win, I have to win,” Splan said. “It’s my senior year, so I just went out there, gave it my all, it was a close match – I beat him earlier in the year (5-2) – and I just stuck it out.”

McDonnell, a senior, improved to 29-6 after defeating Wheaton Warrenville South’s Nate Pealstrom.

“Overall, (it’s) a great feeling,” McDonnell said. “I thought I wrestled pretty well. ... Overall, I feel like that was one of my best meets or tournaments.”

Berg earned his win against Downers South’s Mark Clark.

Three notable rematches from the DVC tournament occurred at the Naperville North Regional.

At 170 pounds, Wheaton South’s Steven Franke (32-3) beat Naperville North’s Eric Krieger (32-4) 1-0. Franke beat Krieger 4-3 at the DVC meet.

Then, at 182 pounds, Wheaton South’s Evan Welsh, who beat Naperville Central’s Luke Roth 6-0 at the DVC, won 10-0 in the regional do-over.

And West Aurora’s Austin Beebe avenged an earlier 3-1 loss at 285 pounds to Naperville North’s Colin Goebel by winning 7-4.

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