November 18, 2014

North Central too strong for South Siders

This past week, wrestling opened its season with competitions at North Central and Trine University.

Heading into the season, first-year Nick Ferraro had an idea of what to expect from the intensity of college athletics. The 174-pound weight class rookie recently finished up his first season as a special teams player for the football team this past Saturday.

At that point, Ferraro had already won a collegiate wrestling match. He attributed much of his early success to his comfort as a student-athlete at the University of Chicago.

“Being on the football team helped a lot. I was able to get on campus a month in advance, and that helped me learn my way around,” Ferraro said.

Last Thursday, Ferraro defeated Brandon Mattinen of North Central by a 10–6 decision. He then turned around on Saturday and led the Maroons with six wins at the Trine University Open, capped off by a third-place clinching match he won 16–0.

One would think this would be enough to satisfy any first-year. Ferraro, however, has other plans.

“I’m excited about my start. I have great partners in the room who got me ready! As for the rest of the season, I hope to qualify for the national tournament and see what I can do there,” Ferraro said.

Ferraro led a Maroon squad that placed five men in the top four of their respective weight classes at Trine .

To start their season, though, the Maroons hosted North Central. After a slow start that found the team down 19–0 five matches in, the Maroons were struggling to find any bright spots in their performance. However, a pair of veteran performances, by virtue of fourth-year Mario Palmisano and second-year Paul Papoutsis, added some solace to the eventual 16–0 loss.

Palmisano pinned North Central wrestler Filberto Diaz-Duran midway through the second minute of play, while Papoutsis defeated Eric Kirkman in a 10–5 decision. With Ferraro’s victory the Maroon’s ended the night with three wrestlers walking away with a win.

“It felt great. I feel like a lot of the hard work I put in over the summer is showing for something,” Papoutsis said.

The squad turned around on Saturday to compete at the Trine University Open in Indiana. Third-year Steven Franke lead the Maroons with a second-place finish in the 184-pound weight class. Franke ended the day with two wins and one loss.

Three Maroons placed third in their respective divisions. Ferraro, Palmisano and Papoutsis all brought home bronze in the 174, 165, and 197-pound weight classes, respectively. Another impressive rookie showing from first-year Sunny Sharma rounded out the day for the Maroons. Sharma placed fourth in the 125-pound weight class and ended with a 3–2 record on the day.

The Maroons head to Wisconsin to compete in the Concordia University Open on Saturday. Matches will commence at 9 a.m.