While ICJA was closed for winter break, some of the wrestling Aces were still in business. Freshman Avi Seruya (285) and Sophomore Moshe Lodkin (132) participated in the DePaul College Prep Tournament. Both dropped their opening matches against solid competiton, but roared back in the consolation brackets. Lodkin earned an 8-2 decision over his opponent from DePaul, while Seruya scored as second period pin over his opponent from Notre Dame. Seruya took fourth place after losing to a heavyweight from Warren H.S. Lodkin, for his part, missed his chance to wrestle for third place when he had to take a forfeit rather than wrestle a female from Joliet Central. All in all, it was a successful tournament for the pair of Academy grapplers.
Prior to winter break, the Aces held their own against squads from Niles West, Northridge Prep, DePaul College Prep, and Rochelle Zell Jewish High School, showing their technical proficiency and their increasing confidence as this season progresses.
Against Niles West, Freshman Amitai Kakon (106) got his first career win with a strong 7-3 decision. Sophmore stalwart Enon Gurvich (120) continued his winning ways with a hard-fought 4-1 decision. Junior Meir Cohen earned a 10-3 decision, and Junior Captain Ray Goltz (145) scored a second period fall. Senior Captain Binyomin Krohn (160) followed Goltz with a first period pin of his opponent. Senior Captain EJ Halpert (170) dominated his opponent with a 11-2 major decision. Freshman Gavriel Engel (145) closed out the match with a victory, as well. The final team score found Niles West holding onto a narrow 37-31 margin over the Aces.
Northside Prep was next on the hit parade. Freshman Gabriel Gordon Burstyn (145) got matters started with a first period fall. Halpert pinned his opponent in the second period. Likewise, Gurvich also earned a second period fall. Next, Cohen pinned his opponent in 1:22. Sophomore Bentzy Osgood (145) finished the evening with a second period pin. ICJA downed Northridge, 30-15.
For their first home match, Ida Crown took on long-time rivals DePaul College Prep. It turned out to be one of the strongest ICJA victories against their traditional rivals. Goltz needed only :42 seconds to beat his opponent. Senior Yitzchak Nadoff pinned his opponent :30 seconds into the second period. Gordon Burstyn, Engel, Osgood, and Krohn followed with more falls in rapid succession. Freshman Avi Seruya (285) won his first career match with a decisive third period fall. In doing so, Seruya brought the crowd and his teammates to their feet. Kakon followed with a second period pin, and Gurvich notched a gritty 7-0 decision. Halpert and Freshman Ezra Jacobs (113) also claimed varsity victories against DePaul. Against DePaul’s underclassmen, Sophomore Ezra Landman Feigelson (160) scored a nifty first period pin, and Freshman Chuck Moscowitz (182) claimed his first career win with second period pin. While the final score saw Ida Crown with a 39-36 win, 24 of DePaul’s point came from forfeits. As such, the match was not nearly as close as the final score indicated.
In the nightcap, Ida Crown took on Rochelle Zell Jewish High School. Gurvich led the way, as he bumped up a weight class and pinned his opponent in the second period. Ida Crown had little trouble down RZ, as the final score was 66-6.