Family ties suit DeSales just fine

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Conner Cua, a sophomore, is one of nine players/coaches in the program that are related.

Nine athletes and coaches in the DeSales High School wrestling
program are related to at least one other person on the team, making it
likely that families will tangle in some manner during a practice…


Nine athletes and coaches in the DeSales High School wrestling
program are related to at least one other person on the team, making it
likely that families will tangle in some manner during a practice.

Coach Nick Preston isn’t sure if his wrestlers care who they practice
drills against, but the Cua brothers, senior Reno and sophomore Conner,
aren’t so quick to agree.

“Definitely over the few years he’s been here, we’ve had our share of
practices together where we just drill and go at it and make each other
better,” said Reno, who competes at 138 pounds and took up wrestling as
a sophomore, followed by his brother who was in eighth grade at the
time. “It’s quite a sibling rivalry. It’s definitely happened.”

Have they ever had to be separated in practice?

“Oh yeah,” Reno said. “It’s happened a few times.”

Have they ever forgotten who they’re going against?

“I always feel like I’m going up against him,” said Conner, who
competes at 120. “He goes harder on me than anyone else in the room.”

Reno, chuckling, added, “I know when it’s my brother.”

The Cua brothers aren’t the first Stallions to say that, and, if
trends hold, they will be far from the last. This year’s team features
brothers Jake and Jeff Maynard, a freshman and senior who wrestle at 126
and 152, respectively; cousins Daniel Mulligan (sophomore, 132/138),
Jake Mulligan (junior, 126) and Nick Myers (freshman, 132/138); and the
father-son tandem of assistant coach Nick Slupski and freshman Gabe
Slupski (120).

The Cuas had four uncles who wrestled and they said their father
would have wrestled at St. Charles if the school had a wrestling program
when he attended.

Preston, a 1998 DeSales graduate who wrestled at Ohio State and is in
his first season coaching the Stallions, himself is a legacy in the
program. His father, John, a 1970 DeSales graduate, wrestled for the
Stallions, as did older brothers John III (1989 graduate) and Scott
(1993 graduate). Scott serves as an assistant coach.

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