Wrestling looks to build off season in regionals

Ruthless Wrestling: Grappling on the mat, junior Hagan Synnestvedt (Left) and junior Jacob Revello (Right) prepare for conference. South took eighth place in this year’s conference tournament.

Rachel Chmielinski, Asst. Sports Editor

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Moving into Regionals, the Titans wrapped up their regular season with the Central Suburban League (CSL) tournament Jan. 18 and 19.

Head coach Tom Mietus said he is happy with the season overall, but he still believes that there is room for improvement in the last few weeks and looking into next year.

“Our technique’s gotten better,” Mietus said. “It’s just the mental side of wrestling that we really need to work on the most.”

Senior captain Jimmy Binder echoes the need to improve the team mentally.

“I think mindset is the whole thing,” Binder said. “They just have to fight off their back, they have to find the will not to get pinned.”

Mietus believes that each individual match matters, and that every point is vital.

“We’ve lost a lot of close [meets] because of [one] match,” Mietus said. “A kid could’ve gotten major instead of tacked, tacked instead of pinned, and they could’ve gotten bonus points when they didn’t.”

According to Binder, one major meet that captures this sentiment was South’s loss to Waukegan, where they lost by one point.

Mietus sees both the positive and the negative in the close losses.

“I think it’s shown the kids could compete,” Mietus said. “It’s good that they see that, but bad that [it] happened, and we didn’t succeed because of it.”

According to Mietus, key wrestlers include Binder as well as seniors Amra Otgonbaatar, Jacob Suter and Sanja Erdenebaatar.

Led by these seniors, Binder believes that the team’s strengths lie primarily in conditioning and sportsmanship.

“I don’t think we’ve ever gone against a team where they were more conditioned against us,” Binder said. “We have good sportsmanship and pride on and off the mat.”

Mietus believes there is also a lot of strength in South’s coaching staff. The coaching staff consists of Mietus, Pat Castillo and Tim Cichowski.

“We’ve got a good coaching staff in general,” Mietus said. “The kids have always gotten a lot out of what we’ve been teaching just from the relationships that we’ve gotten to with the athletes.”

According to Mietus, a major point of the season thus far was the 2013 CSL tournament, where the Titans took eighth place.

In this meet, Suter was voted the Outstanding CSL wrestler. Other successes for the Titans include senior Chris Altonji taking sixth in the 182 pound class, Erdenebaatar taking fifth in the 152 pound class and Otgonbaatar taking third in the 126 pound class.

The Titans will continue to compete in regionals tomorrow, Feb. 2, at Fremd High School.

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