St. Joseph’s Peoples earns payoff in regional final
Melrose Park, 12/08/12--St. Joseph's Victor Johnson, 195, wrestles Seaholm's Michael Tavi. Walther Lutheran High School hosted the 15th Warren G. Hoger Wrestling Invitational on Saturday. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
Friday and Saturday Wrestling: at Class 1A Plano Sectional, 4:30 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. Saturday
Wrestling: at Class 1A Plano Sectional, 4:30 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. Saturday
Tuesday Girls basketball: St. Joseph vs. either Aurora Central Catholic or Clemente in Class 3A Riverside-Brookfield Regional, 7:30 p.m.
Girls basketball: St. Joseph vs. either Aurora Central Catholic or Clemente in Class 3A Riverside-Brookfield Regional, 7:30 p.m.
Updated: March 8, 2013 7:09AM
He almost gave up on wrestling last year, when the grind of a long season got inside his head.
“I was having my doubts,” St. Joseph junior Joshua Peoples said. “I love the sport but the practices were brutal and they were killing me. But I stayed with it and came into my junior year with a different attitude.”
Peoples committed to the idea that today’s hard work can pay off down the road, and the Westchester resident did more than just survive another year of brutal practices this year.
On Saturday, Peoples became a regional champion at 182 pounds, pinning Westmont’s Brandon Goers on the title mat at the Class 1A Lisle Regional.
“It feels great to finally get a bracket and win a tournament,” Peoples said. “I’ve been working hard to get a championship like this and all the work has paid off so far. Now I’m ready to work hard this week and get my wins at the sectional.”
Peoples and senior teammate Patrick Onofre both earned sectional berths at Lisle for St. Joseph coach Matt Jedrey. Onofre placed third at 126 and both wrestlers will travel to Saturday’s individual sectional at Plano.
Like Peoples, Onofre’s dedication to hard work hasn’t wavered this season, and he points to a role model for helping him stay committed to the sport.
“My mom (Micaela) manages to keep the house together, pay for my education, and she goes to work every day, even when she’s sick,” the senior said. “I take that example and try to put it into the sport and into my schoolwork.”
Jedrey is happy to have them both in his practice room every day.
“They’re both never-miss-practice type guys,” Jedrey said. “They’ve both improved by leaps and bounds over the past two years, and they’re examples of the type of kids we want and the type of men we are building in this program.”
Peoples began wrestling as a freshman and Onofre didn’t join the sport until his sophomore year. Going up against wrestlers with 10 or more years’ experience hasn’t been easy as both wrestlers have had to climb a steep learning curve.
“It was about developing the basics, working my way up and finding what moves I’m good at,” Peoples said. “My chain wrestling is better and I’m finding the technical things that I can do best.
“Most of all I had to get the right mind-set. It’s a brutal sport but you have to believe that there’s always someone out there at practice doing the same thing you are, working even harder than you are, so you’d better get after it.”
Peoples improved to 18-15 with his regional title win while Chicago native Onofre earned a sectional berth with a first-period pin on the third-place mat at Lisle over Garcia’s Andy Ramos.
“That felt good because I really want to finish strong in my last season of wrestling,” Onofre said. “I’ve been working really hard, my conditioning is good, and I’m excited to be wrestling in the sectional.”