Wrestling enjoys outstanding season

Trevian wrestlers close their season with a number of successful matches


NT Wrestling Twitter

NT Wrestling sectional qualifiers take a team photo

New Trier’s wrestling team recently wrapped up a successful season and sent six members of their team to sectionals on Feb. 14.

Those six qualifiers were three more than were sent last season, and one player, senior Michael Miralles, also qualified for the Feb. 22 state meet.

“Overall, this season was a tremendous improvement over last year’s,” said sophomore Jack Cummings. “I was very happy with the improvements in the state series.”

The wrestling season began in November with varsity, JV, and freshman double dual meets against Elk Grove, Niles North, and Saint Viator.

Varsity wrestled at New Trier, which, according to Cummings, allowed the team to function effectively and go through their typical pre-match routine.

“To warm up, we go down to the wrestling room, dim the lights, and play music on the speakers,” explained Cummings. “Our captains, Matt McKenna and Michael Miralles, give us a pep talk before we go out and wrestle.”

The next stand-out competition was the team’s Dec. 6 conference dual meet against Evanston, which the Trevians won.

The team went into the last two matches trailing 33-30, but freshmen Wilson Wright and Eli Polacek both won their first-ever conference matches, winning the meet 40-33 overall for New Trier.

“We had a lot of hard wrestling meets, but starting off with our first conference win against Evanston was very exciting,” said Varsity Head Coach Marc Tadelman. “It set the tone for the rest of the season.”

The team practiced from November through March after school for two hours to work on cardiovascular and weight training, while also preparing for in-match situations.

“As a team, we try to train hard to make sure we work in the positions where we aren’t the best,” said McKenna. “We practice how to react if we were in those positions in an actual match.”

Just one week after their breakthrough performance against Evanston, the team was beaten by Glenbrook South in crushing fashion.

“Our worst meet of the year was against [Glenbrook South],” said Cummings. “We started off with a few close losses and the momentum for them didn’t stop. They ended up beating us by quite a lot.”

The team also had inconsistencies in their Jan.16 meet against Maine South and during their Feb. 1 conference meet, and performances like those left some wrestlers with individual regrets about how the season played out.

McKenna said, “I think we had a solid year as a team, but I’m disappointed with how the season ended. I didn’t get to accomplish my goals.”

Tadelman was proud of how his team performed this season.

“This season was very successful and we made big improvements from last year. We had some good senior leadership from Matt McKenna and Michael Miralles—it was good to see those guys both be successful this season.”

Though they will lose senior leaders such as McKenna and Miralles, the team is excited for a chance to improve next season.

“Next year, we are losing a few good seniors so we need some kids to step up and fill their shoes,” explained Cummings. “But I do feel like our team will have the firepower to improve further on this year.”

However, if the team wants to see the improvement they are striving for, internal improvement will also be necessary.

“It’s all a matter of how much work kids want to put in, whether it’s playing another sport or getting in some strength training or even some mat time,” said Tadelman.

“The sky’s the limit, but it’s all up to how the group responds and how much wrestling they want to focus on during the off-season.”