Dukes return 26-match winner Gutierrez.

By Mike Miazga


The York wrestling team is young this season, but that’s OK with coach Mike DiNovo.

“We’re a young team, but the guys are ‘coachable’ and they work hard,” the second-year head coach said.

York is coming off a 2016-2017 season where it finished sixth in the West Suburban Conference Silver Division.

Top returning wrestlers for York include junior Antonio Gutierrez, who went 26-12 last year. Also back is senior Ryan Costello, who won 19 matches last season and senior Anthony Cozzi who won 16 matches as a junior.

Key newcomers to the group include seniors Jake Smallwood (160 pounds) and Sam Cozzi (145 pounds), juniors Zach Armstrong (170 pounds) and Jason Lewis (145 pounds), sophomores Grant Scaro (132 pounds) and Josh Matthiason (285 pounds), along with freshman Alex Gutierrez (106 pounds).

“We have to continue to grow throughout the season,” said DiNovo. “We have to not become discouraged. We’re a very young team in terms of experience. As long as we trust the process, success will come. However, we’ll have to collectively see our way through some hard lessons along the way.”

DiNovo elaborated more on the coachability factor he likes about his team. “As I said, they are ‘coachable,’” he reiterated. “By that I mean they listen intently in practice and try to execute the skills we have been practicing.”

DiNovo likes the progress Antonio Gutierrez and Anthony Cozzi have made. “Antonio is a junior and in his third year as starter,” he said. “He’s dedicated himself to wrestling and has done a lot of work since last season. As long as he keeps working to improve through wins and losses, he can make some noise this year. Anthony Cozzi quietly put together a near .500 record last year and this year can build off that.”

DiNovo knows his team will have to continue to work hard within the WSC Silver Division. “We’re a ways from the top spots in the conference, but we’ve steadily been improving,” he said. “Program wide, our numbers are strong. We’ve grown in numbers the last three seasons. The guys are highly coachable. They listen and they work hard. Still, overcoming years of experience that many of our top conference competitors have is tough. I think we’ll put out a dual-meet lineup that can compete with many of our West Suburban competitors on all levels.”


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