EPHS Wrestling Spotlight

EPHS Wrestling Spotlight


Rose Craig, Jack Dombeck, Marty Lozano, Jackson Pedersen, and Jacob Zaluska: these are some of the notable wrestlers that have been in EPHS’s wrestling program who have had major success within the last couple years. With many of these wrestlers already gone or graduating soon, Coach Posmer is looking for new wrestlers to carry on the legacy left behind by these talented individuals.
This article features some of these notable wrestlers who are captivating us this season, along with a few rising stars who are already changing the name of the EPHS Wrestling Team.

Rose Craig with her arm lifted by the referee signaling her winning the match at Oak Park River Forest High School against Lyons Township
Rose Craig after she won her match at Oak Park River Forest High School against Lyons Township

Rose Craig:

Senior, Rose Craig, has been a member of the EPHS Wrestling team since her sophomore year. Since then, she has pushed herself, not just in practice but in training during the off-season as well, signing up for as many wrestling camps as she could. With the help of her coaches, she became the first female wrestler in EPHS history to qualify for the State Tournament.

On December 2nd, Craig won the 135 bracket at the Weiss Tournament at Fenton High School. This season, Craig has noted that it’s “her favorite for many reasons. Not only is there another girl on the team but because of all the friends I’ve made.” Her favorite match was against Margie Anders of Westmont, where she accidentally chipped her tooth. Craig has been named one of the Varsity team captains and truly encapsulates what being captain means. She pushes her teammates in practice and is always the first person to congratulate her teammates on wins, while offering inspiration after losses. When she doesn’t wrestle, she still loves to come support her teammates, traveling with the team.

The person who has helped her improve as a wrestler is Shawn Hanton. He always pushes her to be the best wrestler she can be. Craig hopes to leave a legacy, not only as the first female wrestler but also as an inspiration for more girls so they, too, will try out for wrestling.

Six male wrestlers ordered on a podium. Shawn Hanton placed 2nd at the Walther Christian Hoger Tournament on December 9th 2023.
Shawn Hanton (grey shirt) placed 2nd place at the Walther Christian Hoger Tournament on December 9th 2023.

Shawn Hanton:

Junior, Shawn Hanton, is going into his second season as a member of the EPHS Wrestling team. Last season, he competed at the 120 weight class, and, when needed, moved down to 113. During the off-season, Hanton has practiced to prepare for the upcoming season, and it is easy to see that his hard work has paid off.

During the Weiss Tournament at Fenton High School, Hanton placed 6th, with 21 and 33 second pins in the consolation bracket. During this latest tournament, Hanton placed 2nd at the Walther Christian Hoger Invite with many talented wrestlers, including out-of-state schools.

One of the hardest parts of wrestling for Hanton is coming off of a loss, especially when he knows he could’ve won. For Hanton, he takes every loss personally, but he uses that motivation to help him become a better wrestler.

One person that Hanton credits for his success is Rose Craig, his practice partner, because she pushes him to want to be better.

In January and February (when the meets become more competitive), he looks forward to the post-season and having the opportunity to qualify for sectionals. With a record of 5-2, we can certainly see the progress that Hanton has made, and already tell he’s a force to be reckoned with for the rest of the season.

Zach Molina in his wrestling attire with his arms crossed. He has a serious expression on his face as his picture is taken.
Zach Molina posing for Varsity Media Day.

Zach Molina:

Sophomore, Zach Molina, has been in the program for two years, and has showed a lot of progress this season during practices and meets. When talking to the coaches, they have said nothing but great things about Molina. Coach Summerville, one of the assistant coaches explained, “He’s a great kid with a strong work ethic, and he always brings 100%. He is always looking for ways to improve and gain new skills during practice.”

The best part of wrestling for Molina is the conditioning because it helps him prepare for other sports, especially being a three sport athlete. Molina credits teammate Jacob Zaluska with his successes because, even though they aren’t in the same weight class, Zaluska pushes Molina to want to get better. Molina stated, “One day, I am going to be better than Kuba,” which makes him work harder in practice and learn new moves from the coaches.

Even though Molina is the youngest wrestler on this list, he has a bright future with the EPHS Wresting Team and has the potential to become a large threat in his next two years.

Jacob Zaluska (grey) in a match against Ridgewood's Daniel T (green) at Ridgewood High School. The pair are hunched and in wrestling positions.
Jacob Zaluska (grey) in a match against Ridgewood’s Daniel T (green) at Ridgewood High School

Jacob Zaluska:

Senior, Jacob Zaluska, has been in the program for a year and a half and is an integral member of the team.

Last season, Zaluska joined half way through the season after overcoming an intense injury to his collarbone. After learning the ropes, Zaluska placed 4th at the MSC Conference Tournament in his first season.

This season, Zaluska still faces obstacles when he wrestles, especially underlying injuries like his knee and collarbone, but it forces him to work harder.

Zaluska’s favorite match from his wrestling career is Ben Conte of St. Francis High School in Wheaton. Zaluska and Conte faced each other last season in the MSC Conference Tournament. Even though Zaluska lost, he is looking for a rematch later in the season.

One person that has made an impact on Zaluska during practice is Josh Dascola, who was his practice partner before taking a break from the team due to injuries.

Zaluska is pushing himself every practice to qualify for Sectionals, and if possible, State. After talking to Zaluska, he thanks his parents, brother, and girlfriend for his success in wrestling and strives to win each match for them.

Mikey Aiello (grey) in a match against ITW Speer (maroon) at Ridgewood High School. The two are on the floor wrestling. Aiello is on top of his competitor, seemingly winning.
Mikey Aiello (grey) in a match against ITW Speer (maroon) at Ridgewood High School.

Mikey Aiello:

Mikey Aiello is in his first year of the wrestling program and has a lot to show for it with his record. In his first Varsity meet, Aiello won 1-2, and even in the matches where he lost, he showed a lot of promise in the 120 weight class. With a record of 2-4, the coaches think very highly of Aiello, especially Coach T, one of the assistant coaches who says, “If he continues to improve how he is currently progressing, he should have a winning record by the end of the season.”

When recalling his favorite memory from the season so far, Aiello discusses winning his first match and getting to celebrate with his teammates. A person that Aiello credits for helping him improve in practice is his friend, Shawn Hanton, who assists him every practice in gaining new skills. Since his losses at the Weiss Tournament and his 3rd place finish at the Walther Christian Hoger Invite, Aiello has been working harder in practice, pushing himself to learn from his mistakes and improve as a better wrestler.

Works Cited:

  • Rose Craig (Interview) December 12, 2023
  • Shawn Hanton (Interview) December 4, 2023
  • Zachery Molina (Interview) December 4, 2023
  • Jacob Zaluska (Interview) December 4, 2023
  • Michael Aiello (Interview) December 4, 2023
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