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La Salle-Peru 138-pounder Jake Nolan (top) wrestles Lincoln-Way North’s Adam Miller on Saturday during the Cavaliers’ 45-21 victory in La Salle. Nolan won the match by a 16-2 major decision. NewsTribune photo/Scott Anderson
No one really knows for certain why Jake Nolan has been ill this season.
The only thing everyone knows for certain is that he is feeling better.
He proved that on Saturday.
Recovering from an undiagnosed illness, the 138-pound junior on the La Salle-Peru wrestling team earned two wins in Saturday’s triangular to help the Cavaliers to a 45-21 victory over Lincoln-Way North and a 48-33 win over United Township.
“Nobody has really figured it out,” Nolan said of why he was sick. “It’s just something that I’ve been battling. I’m just getting used to it, and I’m pretty close to 100 percent now.”
He showed that Saturday.
In his opening match against a wrestler from LWN, Nolan dominated as he built a 9-2 lead after the first period and a 13-2 cushion after the second period en route to a 16-2 major decision.
In his second match against UT, Nolan had little problems in securing a first-period pin fall at 1:14.
“We weren’t sure if it was pneumonia and then they said he had a chest contusion and then it was something else, so I’m not really sure what it is,” L-P coach Matt Fletcher said of Nolan’s illness. “But he’s just a tough kid. He wouldn’t let me sit him today. He said he wanted to wrestle, and he wrestled a lot better today than he did on Thursday (against Streator).”
All around, the Cavs — who are ranked No. 11 in Class 2A by IllinoisMatmen.com — wrestled well on Saturday as six L-P grapplers went 2-0.
In addition to Nolan, the 2-0 group included 120-pounder Max Kurkowski. The junior cruised in his two matches as he earned a fall in 17 seconds against LWN and a pin at 2:55 against UT.
“Max had a nice day,” Fletcher said. “He’s confident and he’s been wrestling well. He’s made strides by leaps and bounds from last year, and I think today showed it.”
L-P’s 145-pounder Collin Groleau continued his stellar season with a pair of victories. Against LWN, the sophomore recorded a fall at 1:44 and against UT he had a pin at 3:27.
“We’ve come to expect that from Collin,” Fletcher said. “There’s not going to be a whole lot of dual meets that we don’t expect wins out of him.”
The Cavs’ 170-pounder Andres Martinez also went 2-0 despite suffering a knee injury in his second match.
Against LWN, the senior picked up a fall at 3:29. Then, during his match against UT, Martinez injured his knee, causing a stoppage. However, he persevered and rallied for a fall at 5:13.
L-P’s 132-pounder Jacob Wever dominated his two matches. The senior — who is ranked No. 2 in 2A at 132 by IllinoisMatmen.com — recorded a pin at 1:55 against LWN and a fall in 25 seconds against UT.
The Cavs’ 160-pound senior Mike Milasuski also went 2-0 as he earned a fall at 2:53 against LWN and a fall at 4:53 against UT.
L-P’s 126-pound senior Fernando Lucero recorded a fall at 5:06 against LWN, while 152-pound senior Alec Freschi recorded a fall at 2:27 against LWN.
“We’re solid through the middle and we showed that today,” Fletcher said.
Notes: L-P swept the day despite being without senior heavyweight Jon Hewitt, who took the ACT, and senior 126-pounder Blake Billig, who remains out after he has already suffered two concussions this season.
Jared Bell can be reached at 220-6938, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsJared.
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