RBHS senior wrestler Joey Swallow


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeBTlJT1mjA

Riverside-Brookfield senior Chris Colvin is taking full advantage of his 6-foot-5 frame this wrestling season.

He’s moved up one weight class from 195 pounds to 220.

“Sometimes it’s an advantage (being 6-5). Sometimes it’s not. I decided near the end of the last season because I’m taller I can put on a lot of extra pounds,” Colvin said. “It’s been good. The coaches have helped me gain weight, make gains in the weight room.”  

It’s among the many changes for the Bulldogs, who are poised to continue their recent success under new head coach Nick Curby.

They return their three 2016 Class 3A sectional qualifiers in Colvin, senior Julian Blanco (145 pounds this season) and junior Joey Giurini (113) and seniors Josh Contreras (120), R.J. Martinez (138) and Joey Swallow (160) from their individual regional lineup.

Blanco and Contreras were 2015 individual state qualifiers.

Curby was head coach the past eight seasons at Plainfield East and had a 2015 3A state champion following five seasons as an assistant with Providence Catholic. The 1998 Lyons Township graduate was an all-state fifth at 189 as a senior and wrested at Illinois.

“I do feel for the seniors having to kind of change a little bit. We try to work with them to so we can make them the best wrestlers they can be and achieve their goals. That’s my main thing,” Curby said. “I’ve had success at other programs I’ve been at. I hope to carry that over. They’ve been pretty open to everything we’ve been doing. They’ve really been in the mindset they want to end their senior year on a good note.” 

Curby, a math teacher at RBHS, follows three successful seasons under former head coach Mike Boyd. The Bulldogs also should benefit with their return to 2A after one season in 3A.

“I think regardless if they’re in 2A or 3A, they have the same goals. The mindset hasn’t changed. They want to get on the podium (as an all-stater) and we’re doing everything we can to do that,” Curby said.

“He’s a really good coach, a good technician. He still helps us push the pace,” Colvin said.

The Bulldogs are 6-2 in duals and finished 21st at the Barrington Invitational Nov. 25-26. At Saturday’s home quad, they defeated Vernon Hills and Hubbard and lost to Morris.

At Barrington, Colvin was third at 220 and suffered his only loss so far this season. Blanco was sixth at 145 and Contreras was eighth at 120.

Giurini, who missed the Barrington Invite, came one sectional match victory from qualifying for state at 113 last season after taking second at regionals.

Colvin was second at regionals and Blanco third. It was first season at RBHS for Blanco, who transferred after being an all-state fourth at 2015 3A state at 126 for Brother Rice.

Contreras lost his 2016 third-place regional match with a sectional berth on the line after advancing to 2A state in 2015 at 113, going 0-2. Swallow came one victory from wrestling for third at 2016 regionals.

Other key returnees are seniors Louis Garcia (170) and Amanda Martinez (132), one of a half-dozen girls in the program,

The remainder of the starting lineup probably will consist of varsity newcomers, including sophomores. Curby said Colvin is among numerous senior leaders by example who also are emerging vocally.

“It’s a nice little blend,” Curby said. “The newcomers then feed off the guys that have the experience of what they do and over the years as they transition, they’ve had good role models to show how to do it.”

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