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Basketball and Wrestling Programs Continue to Impress

Basketball and Wrestling Programs Continue to Impress

The Knights’ wrestling team has had a successful season under the leadership of the Kopecky Brothers. Though only founded four years ago, NRP Wrestling has been able to establish itself as contenders in their conference. With the help of Steven Kopecky (‘24), the Knights took first place in the heavyweight class in the Sullivan Invitational last week. “Stephen’s agility has proved to be an important component of his success,” said Wrestling Coach Joe Rhee. “It’s impressive what he’s been able to do.”

Team Captain Michael Kopecky went a step further. Last Saturday, Michael Kopecky took first place in the IHSA Wrestling Regionals for the 160 pound weight class. Steven took 3rd in the 195-pound weight class. Senior Porter Jihaad took 2nd in the 182-pound weight class. Overall, the Knights placed 4th out of 11 teams in the Regional Tournament. 

Senior Porter Jihaad took 2nd in the 182-pound weight class to add assurance to the Knights strong performance. “Porter will outwork his opponents,” said Coach Rhee. “He’s hard to compete with.” Wrestling Coach Joe Rhee has raised impressive wrestlers in his program, and the school is proud to recognize the team’s success.

The Northridge wrestling team looks to further their successful season. Four Knights will be representing our wrestling program in the IHSA Sectional Tournament. “I’m excited for them,” said Coach Rhee. “They’re all really competitive players, and they deserve to represent our program.” We wish Porter Jihaad (‘22), Michael Kopecky (‘23), Steven Kopecky (‘24), and Rene Vichique (‘24) the best of luck.

Underneath the wrestling mats is a court that the Knights basketball team continues to win on. With a 20-7 overall record and a leading 10-1 Conference record, the Northridge Basketball team has crushed their competition this season. Seniors James Spingola (averages 14 points a game) and Franco Chapello (12 ppg) have lit up the court with a steady stream of 3-pointers and slam-dunks. 

One of the Varsity Basketball team’s most recent games was against Winnebago Lutheran. With James Spingola’s 25 points and Matt McKenna’s 16, the Knights won 70-60. A particularly well-crafted moment in the game was when McKenna hit a halfcourt shot at the halftime buzzer. “Will Rey, the head coach at Northridge Prep, is a former head coach at St. Mary’s University and Loyola University Chicago,” tweeted sports columnist Mark Miller. “It shows. His team is extremely well coached.”

The Knights prepare to face Conference rivals Latin High School on Friday. “We beat them [Latin] by 22 points on their own turf two weeks ago,” said Superfan Letterio Montalbano (‘22). “We’re hoping to repeat that performance this Friday.” The Knight’s basketball team currently holds first place in the Independent School League Conference. They look to dominate their conference competition as their season starts to wrap up.

Written by Joe Rudolph ’22

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