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The wrestling team has had a busy two weeks, wrestling Luther North, Chicago Hope Academy, Niles West, DePaul College Prep, and Mather over that span. With each match, the team becomes more experienced and better prepared for tournaments later in the season.

In their home opener, the Aces downed Luther North, 48-27, to earn their first dual meet victory of the year. Notable winners included Senior Joey Silverstein (182) who quickly dispatched his opponent with a first period pin. On the other hand, Freshman Nathan Shapiro (113) needed all six minutes of his bout, but won the first match of his career by a score of 13-11.

Chicago Hope Academy proved to be a much tougher opponent for the Academy grapplers. Hope, ranked among the best 1A wrestling programs in Illinois, defeated Ida Crown, 75-3. Silverstein had the first match of the evening and downed his opponent comfortably by a score of 12-5. It was all downhill from there for ICJA, as Hope won the next thirteen matches of the meet. Ida Crown forfeited four weight classes and two varsity starters were unavailable for the match. Still, Hope’s dominance was clear. The evening did end on a high note as Junior rookie Yehudah Carlsen (182) won the first match of his wrestling career with a first period pin of his opponent.

Last Tuesday, the Aces traveled to Niles West to take on their JV/Frosh squad. Shapiro, Senior Ethan Lewis (113), Freshman Ray Goltz (132), Senior Raphi Chernoff (138), Senior Max Gorenstein (170) all won by pins. Senior Sam Bellows (145), Junior Zachary Frank (152), Junior rookie Daniel Karesh (160), and Silverstein all won by decisions. The Aces outlasted the Wolfpack by a score of 43-39.

Last Thursday, ICJA hosted a tri-meet with regional rival DePaul College Prep and former neighbor Mather High School. Ida Crown made a fine showing against DePaul, but the latter capitalized on ICJA’s lack of heavyweight wrestlers to score eighteen points and tip the balance of the final team score in their favor, 40-34. Senior Akiva Goldberger (126) blanked his opponent, 7-0. Bellows pinned his opponent in :16 seconds, the fastest fall of the season thus far. Junior Avi Dobkin (152) won his first match of the season, 7-2. Gorenstein earned a major decision, 10-0, against his opponent, and Silverstein pinned his man in the second period. On the JV mat, Shapiro eked out a 10-9 victory. Freshman Jake Gordon (138) pinned his opponent in the second period. Similarly, Sophomore rookie Binyamin Krohn (145) also scored a second period fall of his opponent.

The match against Mather also proved to be close on the scoreboard, but ICJA prevailed, 38-36. Lewis, Goldberger, Chernoff, Bellows, Frank, Gorenstein, and Silverstein all notched varsity wins. Goldberger, Frank, Gorenstein, and Silverstein all won via pin, while Chernoff scored a technical fall, winning by a score of 15-0. On the JV mat, Senior rookie Tuvia Sokoloff (145) needed only :56 seconds to pin his opponent. Gordon earned his second victory of the evening with a first period fall. Junior Abie Jacobs (145) capped off the night with his first victory of the season, a first period pin.

The Aces are off this week, but will return to action on Sunday morning with as they informally scrimmage wrestlers from Rochelle Zell Jewish High School. The last real match before Winter Break will be next Wednesday, when ICJA hosts a squad from Northshore powerhouse Wheeling High School.

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