Chicago will continue its season this Saturday in Milwaukee at the 11th annual Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) Invitational.
The Maroons are coming into the invitational with a little momentum off of their success two weekends ago, when the team split up to simultaneously compete in two meets: the Concordia (Wisconsin) Open and the Millikan University Duals. Splitting between two meets allowed every member of the squad to gain experience by competing in different levels of wrestling.
Third-year Paul Papoutsis believes that the development of the first-years early in the season has been paramount to the team’s success. “I think our freshmen have adjusted to college wrestling well. It is much faster paced and higher intensity than high school wrestling. They have been doing a good job incorporating new techniques, taught by coach Kocher, into their own wrestling styles,” he said.
The Maroons’ upcoming opponents, the MSOE Raiders, are coming into this Saturday’s bout with similar results on their season. The Raiders have only competed in one match other than their open, a 29–14 loss to Concordia Wisconsin. The Raiders are starting six rookies in their lineup, but are buoyed by plenty of veteran leadership including fourth-year Captain Russell Carey, and second-years Austin Bellile and Colin Kenyon. Carey was limited by injury last year but won 13 matches as a second-year. Bellile was very successful in his rookie season, winning 31 matches, indicating that he should be a force in the match this Saturday.
However, the South Siders will not be focusing too much on their opponent, and instead will be focusing on what they will need to do to be successful. Papoutsis has found this method of preparation to be successful in his career.
“To be honest I don’t like to do research on my upcoming opponents, I just like to wrestle as hard as I can regardless of who I’m facing. I’m sure there will be several tough guys at the tournament, so I’ll have to work hard this week to prepare,” he said.
Look for the Maroons to be successful in the invitational this weekend and to continue their momentum for the season. This invitational will be the last match for the Maroons until December 29 when they go to Evanston, IL to compete in the Midlands Championships.