RB's Mateo Castello takes a break on Feb. 7, 2022, during practice in the wrestling room at Riverside Brookfield High School. | Alex Rogals/Staff Photographer

Senior Thurman Givens has made quite an improvement in his second season with the Riverside-Brookfield High School wrestling team.

Givens also made quite an impression through his matches.

“We’ve even given him the nickname ‘Showtime’ because they’re so entertaining to watch,” RBHS senior Liam Cote said. “It’s never a boring match when Thurman’s wrestling.”

Givens’ final match at the IHSA Class 2A Hinsdale South Sectional on Feb. 12 was typical of the success the Bulldogs enjoyed as they advanced a school-record six individuals to the IHSA individual state meet with top-four finishes.

Senior Mateo Costello (34-5 record at 126 pounds) was the sectional champion.  

Givens (16-11 at 195) and Cote (23-7 at 182) finished third. Senior Brock Hoyd (33-6 at 170), junior Joe Midona (20-15 at 220) and freshman Edgar Mosquera (10-7 at 113) were fourth.

RBHS, which advanced wrestlers to sectionals in all 14 weight classes, topped the previous single-season best of five. 

Only Costello and Hoyd previously have qualified for the state meet, which was canceled in 2021.

“Looking at the brackets, I knew we had a lot of guys that had a shot,” coach Nick Curby said. “It’s just a matter of wrestling how they can, and we had a lot of guys step up and do that.”

Such as Givens. Down 5-1 early in the second period of his third-place match, Givens pulled a reversal and pin to win at 2:36.

“Most of my pins are first-round pins, but this one surprised me,” Givens said. “He had a lot of fight in him. Down 5-1, I turned the tables real quick. Usually it’s always something exciting.” 

Costello is ranked No. 6 at 126 in the Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association rankings. He beat Marian Catholic’s Joey Baranski 5-4 in the sectional final. 

 “As accomplished as I feel, I know my journey still hasn’t come to an end,” Costello said. “After winning regionals, after winning right now, the job’s not done until I get a [state] medal.

Mosquera lost his first match but then won three straight matches to advance, including a reversal-and-pin after trailing 4-0. Mosquera follows in the footsteps of his brother, 2016 RBHS graduate Ernesto Bobe, who was a senior team captain.

Midona came out for the first time this season at the suggestion of football line coach Brad Vojcak. 

“I didn’t want to do it at first, but after the first week, I loved it and then I just worked my way up all the way,” Midona said.