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Batavia gives new wrestlers experience
By Gary Larsen | Daily Herald Correspondent
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Published: 1/18/2008 12:20 AM

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Wheaton North's 52-year-old wrestling program saw Nate Fitzenreider set a new program record for career wins on Thursday, with his victory at 125 pounds against Batavia.

Maybe.

"We have a discrepancy on a match from his sophomore year, so he either tied or broke the record tonight," said Falcons' coach Steve Holland.

Either way, former Falcon Matt Redmond's record of 133 wins is on life support, courtesy of Fitzenreider's stellar four-year varsity career. Redmond and Fitzenreider's older brother Jason were seniors when he won his first varsity match as a freshman in the fall of 2004, against Proviso East's Terry Murphy.

"I remember how Redmond and my brother would drill, and how hard they worked in practice," Fitzenreider said. "They showed me the path."

Wheaton North (18-5) won 46-11 over Batavia (15-8), winning 10 of the 13 matches wrestled on the night against a Bulldogs team that forfeited at 152 and wrestled minus five starters.

"We're also missing our 112-pounder, and we have the conference tournament coming up on Saturday, so I figured we'd get a few other guys some experience," said Batavia coach Tom Arlis.

"We had some kids get a good taste of not just a varsity match, but a match against a very good team."

The Batavia forfeit started the night, before the Bulldogs' Danny Watson earned a 3-1 edge in takedowns to win a 7-6 decision over Dominick Schmit at 160 pounds. The Falcons' Harry Myers won 6-1 over Luis Campos at 171, and teammate Mark Hane won 5-0 at 189 over Batavia's Travis Anderson.

The Bulldogs' Ethan Huggins next grinded out a 7-6 win at 215 over Brian Buri. "(Schmit) beat Watson the last time they wrestled, and Huggins did a nice job tonight," Arlis said.

Falcons heavyweight Alex Woltman followed by staying aggressive throughout a 3-0 win over Jake Hilliard. Woltman has been back in the lineup for roughly a month. "Alex had a bad injury at the start of the season. We didn't know if he'd be able to wrestle," Holland said. "He's just now rounding into shape, and he did a nice job."

Batavia's Logan Arlis won by technical fall at 103 to cut the Falcons' lead to 15-11, but Wheaton North ran away with the next seven matches, starting with a pin from Adrian Laskero at 112 and a 12-6 decision at 119 from Jake Dore.

Batavia's Charlie Ryan held Fitzenreider to a 6-1 decision at 125, Jake Denhof won by pin at 130, and Bobby Munro wrestled up a weight and beat a tough wrestler in Rocco Wade by 9-6 decision.

"I knew that (Wade) head-locked Ryan Earley last year, but other than that I didn't know much about him. I just tried to keep it close on my feet," said Munro, who had a takedown in every period of his 9-6 decision win.

Ryan Earley followed with a pin at 140 before Eric Terrazas won a 20-7 major decision at 145 pounds to end the night.