Nov. 21, 2012
DEKALB, Ill. – The Northern Illinois wrestling team has signed two wrestlers as part of its 2013 recruiting class, NIU head coach Ryan Ludwig announced Wednesday.
Both of the signees won state titles in Illinois during the 2011-12 season, in addition to claiming multiple conference and sectional titles in their respective careers.
“We are thrilled to announce the signing of two Illinois state champions to the Huskie family,” Ludwig said. “These student-athletes embody the identity of NIU Wrestling. They take care of their studies, train hard and love to compete. They are both the first state champions at their respective schools. I think that says something special about the way these guys operate.”
The two signees both hail from northern Illinois: Austin Culton from Sycamore (Sycamore H.S.) and Sal Annoreno from Hanover Park (Bartlett H.S.).
This year, the Huskies boast a 5-1 dual record. They will return to the mats Saturday, Dec. 1, for the Kaufman-Brand Open in St. Louis.
Class of 2013 Signees
Name Weight Hometown (High School)
Sal Annoreno 132 Hanover Park, Ill. (Bartlett)
Austin Culton 152 Sycamore, Ill. (Sycamore)
Hanover Park, Ill.
High School: Compiled a 91-9 record through his first three seasons at Bartlett High School… Two-time team MVP and team captain… Finished the 2011-12 season with a 39-3 record and 15 pins… Claimed the Class 3A state titles at 132 pounds in 2012, becoming Bartlett’s first state champion… Won the Upstate 8 title at 132, in addition to a sectional title… Placed second at the Preseason Nationals heading into the 2011-12 season… Earned a conference title at 119 as a sophomore with the Hawks… Placed second at sectionals en route to his first state tournament berth in 2011… Went 25-2 as a freshman, but missed the postseason due to injury.
Personal: Born Nov. 7, 1994, in Schaumburg, Ill… Son of John and Anna Annoreno… Plans on majoring in pre-physical therapy… Aspires to become a physical therapist… Enjoys playing the drums… Admires Jordan Burroughs and Walter Payton.
High School: Maintains 106-19 record through his first three seasons at Sycamore High School… Three-time all-conference honoree… Helped the Spartans to team conference and regional championships each of his first three seasons… Went 36-5 with 12 pins in his junior season… Won the state title at 152 pounds in 2012… Took first at regionals and second at sectionals for his second state tournament berth… Named the Daily Chronicle’s Wrestler of the Year in 2011-12, in addition to garnering team MVP honors… Finished with a 37-8 record and 18 pins as a sophomore… Won the regional title in 2011 before getting injured at sectionals and missing the state tournament… Qualified for the state tournament as a freshman at 135… Won the 2012 Illinois Greco-Roman state title at 152 pounds… Placed first at the USA Wrestling Folkstyle Nationals in 2011… Two-time all-area and all-conference honoree with the SHS football team… Named the Football Player of the Year in 2012 by the Daily Chronicle… Led the area in rushing each of the past two seasons.
Personal: Born July 30, 1995, in DeKalb, Ill… Son of Randy and Dana Culton… Plans on majoring in education… Volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters… Named the Grand Marshal of Sycamore’s Pumpkin Parade in 2012.