Leyden senior wrestler Dominick Miro was not happy with his junior season.
He languished around .500 for much of the year and didn’t participate in regionals. But the difficulties did serve an important purpose.
“It was kind of an awakening for me after wrestling at 120 as a sophomore,” Miro said. “Technician-wise I wasn’t the best so I relied on being tough and gutting through matches. But at 126 guys started getting bigger and more fit.”
Miro then dedicated all his time and energy into getting better for his final year as an Eagle. He joined Gomez Wrestling Academy in Carol Stream and said coaches Hector Gomez and Eric Wetzel helped him fix the holes in his game.
“They make you the best you can possibly be,” Miro said. “They’ll break you down back to basics, which is probably the most important thing in this sport.”
One of his biggest improvements is tilting, and he’s doing a better job of turning opponents and collecting pins and back points.
Miro’s hard work was rewarded in the Greco-Roman state championships last summer when he took sixth at 126 in the junior division.
“He had a really successful offseason, it clicked for him,” Leyden head coach Mike Fumagalli said. “He was training with me and a couple other places to get a good variety of techniques and training partners. Wrestling is very time-consuming but he was dedicated.”
Teammate Anthony Lonigro (285) can see a big difference in the 126-pound Eagle.
“Dominick is really committed to this sport and he wants to win more,” Lonigro said. “He’s always going hard in practice and he’s a team leader.”
The high school season is still in its early stages but Miro likes how it started. He’s 5-3 and placed sixth at the 20-team Conant Hruska Classic on Nov. 30 after taking eighth last season.
At the Leyden quad on Saturday, Miro won his first match by forfeit, lost to New Trier’s Alec McKenna by pin and then pinned Crystal Lake South’s Dan Castablanco in the first period.
“There’s still more room for improvement but it’s early,” said Miro, who hopes to wrestle at a small college next year. “I want to be able to get more pins so I can get more points for my team. The goal is to qualify for state and I definitely think I can get to sectionals.”
Miro’s other passion is watching his brother, Russell Klug, develop as a wrestler. Klug is 8 years old and Miro tries to get to as many of his matches as possible.
“It’s the flip side. Coaches are always telling me what to do during matches and now I’m doing it,” Miro said. “I get the frustration (of being a coach) now. I want him to be the best he can and I’ll help him along the way.”
Miro and the Eagles return to action on Thursday when they travel to St. Charles East for a dual meet.