Minooka earns another Southwest Prairie title

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The Southwest Prairie Conference wrestling championship is back in Minooka.

The Indians captured their 23rd league title by scoring 221.5 points to win the eight-team meet Saturday in Minooka. Minooka had a string of nine straight league titles snapped by Plainfield Central a year ago. The Wildcats took second with 172.5 points.

Much improved Plainfield East came up with the program’s best finish, scoring 139 points to take third. Plainfield South (116 points), Oswego (110), Oswego East (90), Romeoville (67) and Plainfield North (38) rounded out the field.

“That last round, I think we wrestled well,” first-year Minooka coach Jeff Charlebois said. “It’s nice to win conference, but the ultimate goal is next week and down the road. We still have some things we need to tighten up.”

Minooka won all six of its championship matches. Coming away with SPC titles were Mike McNulty (27-13) at 138, Carson Oughton (28-9) at 145, Corbett Oughton (5-2) at 152, Jeff Klank (28-10) at 160, Nathan Gunn (18-2) at 182 and Eric Velazquez (28-12) at 220.

“It’s nice to finally be healthy again,” Oughton said after batting injuries and illness most of the season to win a third league title. “It’s great to win the conference, again. We see these teams all year and it’s great to come out on top and get it back.”

Plainfield Central posted three SPC titles. Junior Nick Nasenbeny (31-7) won his second SPC crown, beating Oswego East’s Justin Garza 14-4 in the final at 126. Senior Jordan Ellingwood (41-0) had little trouble winning his fourth SPC title at 195.

“I’ve had a lot of good practice partners this year and over the years,” said Ellingwood, who won both of his matches by first-period pins and was named the meet’s outstanding wrestler. “I’m exactly where I want to be, but I can always work harder.”

However, the tussle of the meet might have been the championship match at 132. Ryan Holzrichter (35-8) trailed 5-1 during the match and 5-3 with less than a minute to go in the final period. An escape, then a takedown with 10 seconds left turned the tide in a 6-5 victory over Romeoville’s Caleb Ramos (29-3).

“I’ve had some health issues (influenza) and was a little sluggish,” Holzrichter said. “I looked up and I was losing 5-1. I told myself I had to go. I pulled the trigger and started wrestling better.”

Plainfield South’s Miguel Silva (32-0) remained unbeaten by capturing the 106-pound title. Danny Saracco (25-5) had the other title for the Cougars, winning at 170.

Other champions included Plainfield East’s Cody Hughes (21-10 at 113) Romeoville’s Naquan Hardy (31-1 at 120), Oswego’s Max Larsen (25-3 at 160) and Plainfield North’s Nick Wolf (22-5 at heavyweight).

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