Roadrunners double their state medal output
Nazareth Academy's Pat Vitek grapples with Sycamore High School's Jacob Davis during the 2A 195-pound third place matchup at the IHSA State wrestling tournament at Assembly Hall in Champaign on Saturday, February 16, 2013. | Jeff Cagle~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 22, 2013 10:04AM
CHAMPAIGN — Pat Vitek has known Anthony Ferraro since grade school when the two competed against each other in club meets.
Vitek will have a new memory now. Ferraro was the first wrestler to beat the Nazareth senior this season.
The Montini 195-pounder dropped Vitek 5-2 in Friday’s Class 2A semifinals at Assembly Hall to end Vitek’s 39-match win streak.
Vitek (40-2), a Chicago resident, bounced back Saturday with a win and a loss to finish fourth, while Ferraro went on to capture the state title.
Combined with Dan DeSimone’s sixth place finish at 220, Nazareth claimed multiple medals at the state meet for the first time. Nazareth’s only previous state medalist was Malcolm Watson, who won the 220 state championship in 2012.
All three of Nazareth’s wrestlers at the state meet were senior starters for the football team last fall. Vitek was a defensive lineman and DeSimone and Aeneas White were linebackers. White lost his only match at 182 to finish with a 21-2 record.
“(Playing both sports) is big at our school,” Vitek said. “I’d say it’s toughest being a football player, but there are things that carry over to wrestling; agility, hand strength and toughness.”
DeSimone (26-11), a Rosemont resident, lost his final two matches by pins. He carried in the most losses among 220-pound state qualifiers, but strung together a few wins after losing his first match to eventual state champion Lucas Joseph (41-0) of East Peoria.
“It feels pretty good. All my hard work finally paid off my senior year,” DeSimone said. “I went out on a high note with a state medal.”