The Marian Central Catholic High School wrestling team holds an 11th-place Illinois Matmen ranking for the IHSA Class 2A division, including three players ranking in the top six of their respective weight classes.

Senior Luke Silva (160 pounds) holds the top spot in his weight class, while senior Anthony Randazzo (132) and sophomore Daniel Valeria (126) have ranked fourth and sixth, respectively.

Key contributors to the team’s early season momentum, their success demonstrates the potential for the Hurricanes (17-2 overall; 1-0 East Suburban Catholic Conference) to compete for a IHSA Class 2A Dual Team State Tournament spot as they turn the corner on the second half of their schedule.

“We’ve pretty much lived up to everything we anticipated before the season started,” said head coach David Silva. “The two losses we’ve had are to really tough teams ,and each time, had things worked out one or two points in our favor, we could easily be 19-0. We battled in all the matches we’ve had.”

In Marian’s closest loss, a 37-33 dual against Glenbard East, freshman Dylan Connell (152) recorded a pin to put Marian in position to win. In the same meet, Luke Silva set a new all-time school record with a 6-second pin. Despite the effort, the ’Canes came up short but learned the importance of battling to the end.

“Even though we lost, it was great for the team,” said David Silva. “We pulled together and battled and, as a coach, I can’t ask for more than that.”

He noted the senior leadership provided by Luke Silva and Randazzo. Alongside the veterans, David Silva pointed to four freshmen in Dylan Connell, Kaden Randazzo, Elon Rodriguez and Bryce Shelton, as key to Marian’s strength this season.

“They’re not ‘freshmen’ in our room,” added Silva. “They are other guys doing what they’re supposed to do and doing their job.”

“We’re off to a great start,” said Luke Silva, who has his eye on wrestling competitively in college. “If we keep our minds into it and don’t let the hype take over, then we should stay on a very good path.”

The Hurricanes look forward to improving through the second half of the season. Schedule highlights include a Dec. 22 matchup against Harvard and Rochelle at Landers Pavilion (after press time). The team’s next home match-up will be against Johnsburg at 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19.

The IHSA individual regionals start Feb. 3 with all three Woodstock schools competing at the Harvard Regional for spots at the Grayslake Central Sectional. Team sectionals start Feb. 20.

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