Ezra ‘the caveman’ Avery lifts Lyons over York

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As nicknames for wrestlers go, Lyons sophomore Ezra Avery has a pretty good one.

“We call him ‘the caveman,’” Lions teammate AJ Villarreal said.

Avery lived up to that moniker Friday, helping to kick-start his team’s eventual52-16 dual meet win over West Suburban Silver rival York. Avery trailed York’s Steven Berg in their 182-pound match when the two got into a wild scramble that ended with Berg on his back.

Avery’s second-period pin gave the Lions (5-1, 2-0) a 10-4 lead, and Lyons never looked back.

“[Berg] was trying to throw me a little bit earlier,” Avery said. “I kind of felt him trying to do it again so I just hipped into him. I’ve been working on that lateral drop for a little while.”

York forfeited two weight classes and Lyons won eight of the 12 matches wrestled. But more to coach Griff Powell’s liking, his Lions also earned bonus points in seven of those eight wins.

“Right away from the first whistle, I thought our guys did a good job of setting the pace of the match and hustling,” Powell said. “When you do that, good things are going to happen. You’re going to score points.”

Also getting pins for the Lions were Zach Villarreal (120), AJ Villarreal (152) and Johnny Howorth (285). Elias Garcia (106) posted a tech fall and Lyons got major decision wins from Nick Spacek (170) and Johnny Mologousis (145). Matt Maldonado (138) won his side’s lone straight decision, 8-3 over York’s Taylor Hoffman.

York got a pin from Joe Helton (220), a major from Jordan Santiago (160) and decision wins from Noah Fleckenstein (195) and Michael Ordonez (132).

Lyons’ Adam Plotke made returning state qualifier Fleckenstein work for his 6-1 win, and Ordonez used an escape at the final buzzer to win 6-5 over Mac Casella.

At 5-1 overall and after a fifth-place finish at Barrington’s 23-team tournament to start the season, the Lions haven’t yet received much notice in the local rankings, but that’s fine with them.

“If they don’t notice us, they don’t,” AJ Villarreal said. “We’ll just go out and try to prove them wrong.”

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