Wrestling: Bartlett’s Sal Annoreno looks tough at state

Updated: February 16, 2012 10:54PM

CHAMPAIGN — Bartlett senior Sal Annoreno was determined and made it look easy in his first step to a gold medal at Thursday’s Class 3A state wrestling finals.

While a wrestling victory is probably never easy, Annoreno made it look so in the first round.

The 132-pounder made short work of Jimmy Davis of Waubonsie Valley, beating him by a 12-0 major decision.

The triumph was the biggest margin of victory over Davis. With the win, Annoreno improved to 36-3 on the year.

“I have wrestled Jimmy three times this year,” said Annoreno. “I knew quite a bit about him. I am here to win a gold medal. Last year, I was eliminated in the sectional and that was enough motivation for me. I knew I should have been in the competition.”

In the first period, Annoreno piled up seven points, gaining the first two on a fireman’s carry. The second period had Davis riding Annoreno, before the Hawks star escaped in the final 15 seconds to score the only two points of the period.

“Anything can happen in the state tournament,” said Karl Bratland, Bartlett’s coach. “Davis wrestled hard. Davis rolled a little bit. Sal wrestled his match and that is a smart match. He went after him early. He wanted to scored first and went after him very aggressively.”

Annoreno was not the only one who got through the preliminary round easily.

Tim Noverini, a St. Charles North senior, won his match 15-0, beating Plainfield North senior Nick DiNardo. Noverini improved to 36-2.

Elgin senior Jorge Zavala did not wrestle his best match of the year, but it was enough to win as he dumped Deon Rice, a Hersey junior, 10-4 in 195-pound 3A competition.

“That might have been my worst match this year,” said Zavala, 24-7. “I thought I could have won by a bigger margin. I am ready to shock everyone. I worked hard this year and I wanted it more. I deserved it more.”

Zavala’s win earned him a shot at the best 195-pound grappler in the state of Illinois, the undefeated Brad Johnson of Lockport. Johnson is 33-0 and is the defending state champion.

“Jorge moves well for an athlete his size,” said Elgin coach Terry Stroh. “We need to focus on the little things and keep moving. We lost one point for stalling and that can’t happen.”

South Elgin’s Cody Pych lost his 170-pound Class 3A match by an 8-0 major decision to Minooka’s Jake Residori. His younger brother, Cory Pych, lost by pinfall at 3:02 to Machesney Park Harlem’s Jordan Northrup at 113.

In Class 2A, Burlington Central wrestlers Omar Award, a 170-pounder, and Johnny Major, a 145-pounder, both advanced.

Awad defeated his counterpart from Chatham Glenwood, Alex Bee, by pinfall at 3:01. Major won by major decision, beating Niles Notre Dame’s Roark Whittington 8-0. Awad advances to the second round with a 36-4 mark, while Major improved to 29-5.

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