2017-18 Boys Wrestling Season Preview

By Christina Lappas, Managing Editor

As we enter into winter, the 2017-18 wrestling season at Niles West is just beginning. There have already been two meets, and the team hopes to continuously progress as the season goes on.

One of the three captains, senior Patrick O’Dwyer, is aware of the youthful aspect that the team has and how that allows for great potential in the future.

“We haven’t had the team win results that we would like to have; however, a lot of our wrestlers are improving individually. It’s difficult for our team to win duels because we have a very young team,” O’Dwyer said. “We only have three seniors on the team this year and only a couple of guys who have had experience wrestling at the varsity level. About half of our varsity team is sophomores, so this will be their first year wrestling varsity, and they still have a lot to learn.”

O’Dwyer looks forward to facing off against rival Niles North in order to get the traveling trophy back into West territory.

“I’m looking forward to wrestling Niles North because they are our rivals, and they have held the traveling trophy for the last two years, and it would be nice to bring it back to West,” O’Dwyer said. “I have confidence we will be able to beat them this year because in the past couple of years we haven’t been able to fill out empty weight class spots on the varsity line up, so we would have to forfeit weights. This year we almost have a full line up.”

Junior Omar Alali values the different lessons he has learned from wrestling since his freshman year.

“One of the things I love most about wrestling is the aspect of independence. In a match, it’s you against one other man without a team to back you up, and I find it to be a thrilling challenge to test myself,” Alali said. “This is my first year on varsity, and it has been an adjustment from different levels. I’ve had to work harder in matches against better opponents, but I’ve been able to pick up a few wins so far this season.”

Junior Shayn Szlak has been wrestling for three years and is enthusiastic about this year’s season.

“The season has been going well. We have been working hard and getting what we deserve. I am looking forward to the team expanding their muscle and knowledge, meaning learning more moves and getting stronger. I like wrestling because it expands my strength during the season,” Szlak said.

The next wrestling meet will be Fri. Dec. 1 at 6:00 p.m. at Niles West. Make sure to show your support by coming out and cheering our team on.