By Kevin Cunningham


The Delavan-Darien High School wrestling team competed in one tournament Last week, but head coach Diego Avila SAID the tournament, which spanned two days at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater on Dec. 28 and 29, “definitely separates the boys from the men.”

He said wrestlers making it to the second day of the tournament was an accomplishment, and, of the four wrestlers the Comets brought, three of them placed. Jared Greidanus took 12th place, while Eric Gonzales placed seventh.

The third wrestler to place was Miguel Sanson, who took second. Sanson’s opponent in the finals, who won the match, won pre-season nationals.

Avila said the tournament is one of the hardest in the state.

“Miguel knocked off two ranked kids from Division 1,” Avila said. “He dominated highly respected honorable mention Nolan Krause from Fort Atkinson in the quarterfinals – not giving up a point – and avenged his loss from the week prior to No. 4 Grant Truesdale from Elkhorn in the semi-finals. Once this kid gets moving, it’s really something special. It’s not that he is better than the kids he beats. Matter of fact, I know he’s not. It’s pure work and his willingness to listen.

“I said it before, he didn’t go to some expensive wrestling club, he simply listened to what was taught and trained with his partner who is 35 to 40 pounds heavier than him. Not once complaining about the weight difference but working with what he got. Miguel is a true student of the sport – re-watches film over and over and in slow motion and then drills the position – not only a student but a work-horse. When the other kids are eating, he’s working. When the other kids are sleeping, he’s working.”

Going into the semi-finals, Avila said he knew that Sanson was the less experienced wrestler by a long shot. He said Sanson made up for it because of the work he put in.

“You can see the look on the kids’ faces in the middle of the match as they look to their coaches not knowing how this kid moves so fast for so long and doesn’t stop,” Avila said. “There is nothing like seeing a lifelong wrestler break to the work ethic of a second-year wrestler. It’s amazing and unheard of to hear of a second-year wrestler knock off ranked D-1 wrestlers that have been wrestling their whole life.

“The kid had it tough growing up. Nothing was ever given to him. Doesn’t come from the greatest upbringing but played his cards right. Didn’t want anything to do with the sport growing up. Being ineligible his freshman and sophomore year for all sports to now being a feared opponent for his weight class in all divisions. It’s nice to know that hard work still works. When it comes to wrestling it’s not what you know or who you know … it’s what you do.”

The Comets were scheduled to wrestle Tuesday at home against Westosha Central. After that match, the team won’t compete at home again until Jan. 25.

The match against Westosha Central is alumni and homecoming night, and Avila said he hopes to keep the excitement going against Delavan-Darien’s rival.

“(It’s) a chance for all the guys to come back and see some wrestling,” he said. “It’s definitely something you don’t want to miss. You can literally feel it in the atmosphere.”


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