Although the Riverside-Brookfield High School boys wrestling team already had lost its IHSA Class 2A state team quarterfinal against Joliet Catholic on Feb. 25, senior Mateo Costello was determined to post a victory in the final match.
“My last high-school match, I went out and gave it my all to get the win,” Costello said. “I wanted to go out there and show everyone what RB is made of.”
Costello and senior four-year varsity wrestler Brock Hoyd recorded victories in the Bulldogs’ 65-7 loss in Bloomington in the Bulldogs’ second downstate trip.
RBHS (17-8) made its first appearance in 2020, losing in the quarterfinals to eventual state runner-up Washington. There was no 2021 state tournament.
Joliet Catholic won this year’s title by beating Deerfield 39-33 on Feb. 26. The Hilltoppers recorded eight pins against the Bulldogs, two technical falls, one major decision and one decision.
Costello (38-7 record at 126 pounds) won with a 12-1 major decision and Hoyd (35-8 at 170) won 7-5 in the fifth of 14 matches.
At the Class 2A individual state finals, Costello was a top-eight finisher, one victory from all-state honors.
“It was definitely a very disappointing ending to my individual journey, one match short,” Costello said. “Luckily I just stayed focused with the rest of the season and taking it to state for the team.”
Also competing Friday were seniors Liam Cote (24-10 at 182), Thurman Givens (17-14 at 195) and Matt Decosola (24-17 at 106), juniors Joe Midona (21-18 at 220), Bill Martin (15-14 at 152) and Quintavius Murrell (22-21 at 120), sophomores Josh Gonzalez (20-18 at 132) and Jacob Noe (18-22 at 145) and freshman Edgar Mosquera (11-10 at 113).
RBHS sent a single-season school-record six wrestlers to the individual state meet in Costello, Hoyd, Cote, Givens, Midona and Mosquera.
“I think we’ve made one of the biggest impacts, not just the wrestling program bur for RB sports in general,” Costello said. “That was kind of the big goal. By the time we leave, people know the team Riverside-Brookfield. We did exactly what we intended and hopefully the next couple of years it’ll help to pursue bigger parts for the program.”
Aphay 0-2 at IHSA state finals
Riverside-Brookfield sophomore Eleanor Aphay already earned praise by qualifying for the first IHSA girls wrestling state meet in Bloomington.
“At school, everyone was pretty excited, this being a big thing and being the first and hopefully that more girls can do the same thing,” Aphay said.
She nearly recorded the Bulldogs’ first state victory.