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Morton wrestling finishes regular season 17-3

Published: Monday, Feb. 3, 2014 4:41 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Feb. 28, 2014 4:23 p.m. CDT

CICERO – This time of year wrestling teams are looking forward to the postseason, but the Morton wrestling team could take a moment to reflect on its regular season.

The Mustangs went 17-3 in duals, 4-2 in the West Suburban Gold, despite breaking in nine new starters in its typical 14-man lineup.

"We had a very nice, pleasantly surprisingly 17 wins," Morton coach Steve Eckert said.

Adrian Cardenas (170 pounds), Kevion Anderson (220), Jesus Ceja (195), Noel Ibarra (182) and Donny DiNardo (120) were the returning starters for Morton and provided a solid base for the team. The nine new starters all stepped up as well.

"The biggest surprise we have is freshman 113-pounder, Joewan Smith," Eckert said. "He has 23 wins. He was 5-1 in the conference. He was a very pleasant surprise for me.

"We had about seven guys that were all JV wrestlers that took varsity spots and all have winning records. That's how it's supposed to be. Next man up."

While Eckert doesn't believe the Mustangs will contend for the team title at the Lyons Township regional on Saturday, a number of wrestlers should be able to advance, led by Cardenas.

"I never know until we get there, Eckert said. "There's always an upset along the lines."

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