Warren Township has two champions, Lincoln-Way East five medal winners at IWCOA Frosh/Soph Championships

By Curt Herron

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association’s 27th Annual Freshman/Sophomore State Championships was again a huge success as freshmen and sophomore boys representing 208 schools competed at the Bank of Springfield Center.

Over 2,300 boys participated in the event which covered three weekends and featured 16 regionals that fed into eight sectionals which then established the final field of state qualifiers that sought the eight medals which would be awarded at each of the 15 weight classes.

When the finals were complete, 14 schools had champions with only one having two title winners, Warren Township.

Winning titles for the Blue Devils were sophomores Justice Humphreys at 152 and Anthony Soto at 220. Warren Township, which is coached by Brad Janecek, made history this season by advancing to the IHSA Class 3A Dual Team Finals for the first time.

Other sophomores who won championships were Mount Carmel’s Kavel Moore at 106, Carl Sandburg’s Madden Parker at 113, Naperville North’s Tyler Sternstein at 120, Schaumburg’s Callen Kirchner at 126, Lincoln-Way East’s Brayden Mortell at 132, Glenbard North’s Rylan Kradle at 138, Hononegah’s Connor Diemel at 145, Plainfield South’s Colin Bickett at 160 and Lincoln-Way West’s Nathan Elstner at 182.

Freshmen who won championships were Normal Community’s Jackson Soney at 101, Joliet Catholic Academy’s Maximus Vela at 170, Marmion Academy’s Joseph Favia at 195 and Quincy Senior’s Todd Smith at 285.

Mortell led the way for Lincoln-Way East, which had the most medal winners with five, which was two more than any other team had. The Griffins qualified seven individuals for the championships. Beside Mortell, other medal winners for coach Kevin Rockett’s team were Jackson Zaeske (second at 160), Kaidge Richardson (fourth at 120), Ryan Stingily (fourth at 285) and Declan Dircks (sixth at 152).

Five teams finished with three medal winners, Crystal Lake Central (coached by Justen Lehr), Hononegah (coached by Tyler Demoss), Jacksonville (coached by Dustin Secrist), Lincoln-Way West (coached by Brian Glynn) and Marmion Academy (coached by Anthony Cirrincione). Jacksonville, which qualified for dual team state for the first time, and Marmion Academy, the runner-up to St. Charles East in Class 3A, both only had three qualifiers in the competition.

Individuals claiming second-place finishes were Washington’s Symon Woods at 101, Lockport Township’s Isaac Zimmerman at 106, Hersey’s Anthony Orozco at 113, Stevenson’s Shawn Kogan at 120, Grant’s Erik Rodriguez at 126, Belleville West’s Aiden Colbert at 132, Crystal Lake Central’s Dominic Vitale at 138 and St. Charles East’s Ryan McGovern at 145.

Others who took second place were Belleville East’s Terence Willis at 152, Lincoln-Way East’s Jackson Zaeske at 160, Lena-Winslow/Stockton’s Eli Larson at 170, Springfield High’s Keyshaun Harris at 182, Highland’s Ashton Zobrist at 195, Crystal Lake Central’s Thomas McNeil at 220 and Jacksonville’s Aiden Surratt at 285.

Finishing in third place were Oswego East’s Nico Harris at 101, Lyons Township’s Griff Powell at 106, Tremont’s Dylan Eimer at 113, Prairie Ridge’s Mikey Meade at 120, Glenbard West’s Ulises Rosas at 126, Marmion Academy’s Ashton Hobson at 132, Wheaton North’s Thomas Fulton at 138 and Yorkville’s Caleb Viscogliosi at 145.

Others who claimed third-place finishes were Mount Carmel’s Kevin Kalchbrenner at 152, Lockport Township’s Durango Valles at 160, Belleville West’s Ethan Hofmeister at 170, Pittsfield’s Tucker Cook at 182, Marmion Academy’s Mateusz Nycz at 195, Oak Park and River Forest’s Eric Harris at 220 and East Peoria’s Jose Deltoro at 285.

Finishing in fourth place were Normal West’s Ruben Rivera at 101, Cary-Grove’s Hunter Lenz at 106, Sterling’s Zyan Westbrook at 113, Lincoln-Way East’s Kaidge Richardson at 120, Granite City’s Brenden Rayl at 126, Highland Park’s Nathan Ferrari at 132, Roxana’s Lyndon Thies at 138 and Quincy Senior’s Gunnar Derhake at 145.

Also claiming fourth-place finishes were Camp Point Central’s Konnor Bush at 152, Rockridge’s Ryan Lower at 160, Clinton’s Kristian Hibbard at 170, Edwardsville’s Simon Schulte at 182, Waukegan’s Lamero Caesar at 195, Neuqua Valley’s Magomed Nurudinov at 220 and Lincoln-Way East’s Ryan Stingily at 285.

Individuals who took fifth place were Morris’ Owen Sater at 101, Crystal Lake Central’s Payton Ramsey at 106, Bolingbrook’s Jared Craig at 113, Moline’s Dominick Diaz at 120, Oswego’s Brayden Swanson at 126, Waubonsie Valley’s Elias Gonzalez at 132, Belvidere’s Dominick Girardin at 138 and Hononegah’s Maximus Haskins at 145.

Others who finished fifth were Wheaton North’s Julian Flores at 152, Lena-Winslow/Stockton’s Oliver McPeek at 160, Lincoln-Way West’s Jimmy Talley at 170, Vandalia’s Kaden Tidwell at 182, Quincy Notre Dame’s Ryan Darnell at 195, Loyola Academy’s Joey Herbert at 220 and Granite City’s Demarco Clark at 285.

Claiming sixth-place finishes were Taft’s Bernardo Roque at 101, Normal West’s Dylan McGrew at 106, Glenbard East’s Ismael Chaidez at 113, Bremen’s Elijiah Wofford at 120, Stillman Valley’s Henry Hildreth at 126, Schaumburg’s Rocco Fontela at 132, Coal City’s Mason Garner at 138 and Belleville East’s Braden Kelly at 145.

Also finishing sixth were Lincoln-Way East’s Declan Dircks at 152, McHenry’s Aiden Fischler at 160, Bloomington’s Kenner Bye at 170, Plano’s Richie Amakiri at 182, Johnsburg’s CJ Ameachi at 195, St. Charles East’s Anthony Lobrillo at 220 and Oregon’s Briggs Sellers at 285.

Finishing in seventh place were Marist’s Joseph Bronske at 101, Grant’s Vince Jasinski at 106, Oswego’s Vincent Manfre at 113, Jacksonville’s Dashawn Armstrong at 120, Deerfield’s Jack Palzet at 126, West Chicago’s Donovan Avila at 132, DeKalb’s Michael Hodge III at 138 and Marist’s Kevin Tomkins at 145.

Also taking seventh place were Civic Memorial’s Luke McCoy at 152, Glenbrook North’s Shane Onixt at 160, Naperville Central’s Henry Rydwelski at 170, Coal City’s Cade Poyner at 182, Andrew’s Joe Zimmer at 195, Wheaton Warrenville South’s Ashton Kibbe at 220 and Evergreen Park’s Jeremy Gagnon at 285.

Claiming eighth place finishes were Lincoln-Way West’s Max Munn at 101, Hononegah’s Jackson Olson at 106, Lane Tech’s Alexander Valentin at 113, Oswego East’s Noah Snow at 120, DeKalb’s Ayden Shuey at 126, Edwardsville’s Logan Hiller at 132, Brother Rice’s Jack O’Connor at 138 and Washington’s Cruise Brolley at 145.

Others who took eighth place were Hampshire’s Michael Brannigan at 152, Yorkville’s Luke Chrisse at 160, Jacksonville’s Abram Davidson at 170, Mt. Zion’s Keller Stocks at 182, Zion-Benton’s Isaiah Tellado at 195, Dundee-Crown’s Teigen Moreno at 220 and Downers Grove North’s Peter Rodriguez at 285.

Here’s a breakdown of the champions of the IWCOA Freshman/Sophomore Championships and their weight classes: 

101 – Jackson Soney, Normal Community

When you’re a freshman and you have a teammate at your weight class who finishes fifth in Class 3A and posts a 51-2 record, you’re not going to get much time on the mat, but practicing against Caden Correll, who won the Frosh/Soph title at 101 last season, provided Jackson Soney with plenty of confidence that he could do just as well at this Frosh/Soph Championships, and he certainly did that.

Normal Community’s Soney, who had to deal with a serious injury last summer, won the title at 101 with a fall in 1:33 over Washington’s Symon Woods. He had three other falls, pinning Taft’s Bernardo Roque in 2:56 in the semifinals, St. Rita’s Jack Hogan in 3:46 in the quarterfinals and Triad’s William Kelly.in 0:28 in his opener and he also captured a 6-2 decision over Morris’ Owen Sater.

“I was behind Caden Correll, who took fifth at state, so I wanted to come here and win and I ended up doing it,” Soney said. “Last year, I got second at state in IESA, so this has really been a journey to get back to the state title. In the summer after the state tournament, I fractured my lower back, it’s called Spondylosis. I just want people to know that if you break your arm or your leg or hurt yourself in any way that you can always come back and achieve your goals and do whatever you want. I was out for three months in the summer and I didn’t let that stop me from being where I am right now.”

Woods, a freshman for Class 2A champion Washington who went 36-16 this season, opened the competition with wins by technical fall over Stagg’s Javier Corral, Sterling’s Cael Lyons and Quincy Senior’s Hugh Sharrow before winning 8-4 in sudden victory over Normal West”s Ruben Rivera in the semifinals.

Oswego East’s Nico Harris won a 3-1 decision over Rivera to finish third, Sater was a 13-8 winner on a tiebreaker over Roque to finish fifth and Marist’s Joseph Bronske won a 7-2 decision over Lincoln-Way West’s Max Munn to claim seventh place. 

106 – Kavel Moore, Mount Carmel

With state qualifier Lukas Tsirtsis at his weight class and 113 state champion Seth Mendoza and 132 state champion Sergio Lemley in the same room along with him at Mount Carmel, which captured the 2022 IHSA Class 3A title, Kavel Moore figured to be one of the contenders for top honors at the IWCOA Freshman/Sophomore Championships at 106 and he proved to be up the challenge.

Moore, a sophomore who was a member of the 2022 title team, won an 8-5 decision over Lockport Township’s Isaac Zimmerman in the 106 finals. He opened with three-straight falls, winning in 2:51 over Naperville Central’s Austin Aguinaldo, in 3:51 over Bolingbrook’s Isaac Harris and in 1:32 over Geneseo’s Tim Sebastian before winning 8-6 in sudden victory over Lyons Township’s Griff Powell.

“I’d like to thank my parents (Robert and Kyesha), because obviously without them I wouldn’t be here,” Moore said. “But especially everyone in that room, with wrestlers like Seth Mendoza and Sergio Lemley, and obviously coach Alex (Tsirtsis), who’s always pushing me to be better and getting me in shape so that I can do stuff like this.”

Zimmerman, who went 34-15 and fell one win shy of a trip to state after getting pinned in the late going at the 3A Normal Community Sectional, helped his team to a third-place finish in the Dual Team Finals. The Porters freshman opened with a 14-2 major decision over Hersey’s Riddick Variano, won by fall in 2:05 over Monmouth-Roseville’s Caleb Dillard, won by technical fall over Glenbard West’s Carson Prunty and got a pin in 2:42 over Cary-Grove’s Hunter Lenz.

Powell took third place with a 7-0 decision over Lenz. Crystal Lake Central’s Payton Ramsey claimed a 13-11 decision over Normal West’s Dylan McGrew to finish fifth and Grant’s Vince Jasinski took seventh place with a 7-6 decision over Hononegah’s Jackson Olson.

113 – Madden Parker, Carl Sandburg

After falling one win shy of a trip to state at the 3A Hinsdale Central Sectional, Madden Parker wanted to close out his season on a more positive note when he competed in the Frosh/Soph Championships and after claiming three decisions, a major decision and a win by fall, he accomplished his goal by capturing first place at 113.

Parker, a sophomore who finished with a 35-12 record and placed seventh at 106 in last year’s Frosh/Soph tournament, captured a 4-0 decision over Hersey’s Anthony Orozco in the 113 title match. After opening with a fall in 4:17 over Deerfield’s Noah Palzet, he won a 7-0 decision over Richwoods’ Gabe Robb, claimed a 4-1 decision over Glenbard East’s Ismael Chaidez and then won an 11-0 major decision in the semifinals over Sterling’s Zyan Westbrook.

“Madden wrestled a very good tournament in my opinion,” Carl Sandburg coach Clinton Polz said. “He cleaned up a lot of the areas he needed to focus on after the regular season, and it really paid off for him these last three weeks. Madden was pretty disappointed not qualifying for the IHSA state tournament this year and felt he should have been down there. I think this last weekend was a great step in the right direction for him to not only qualify next season, but hopefully be standing on the podium, as well. Madden is a great leader in our program by example, and this was just another great example of him doing that.”

Orozco, a sophomore who went 5-5 and was a member of a Huskies team that qualified for their first trip to the IHSA Dual Team Finals since 1997, won several close matches. He claimed a 2-1 win on an ultimate tiebreaker over Tremont’s Dylan Eimer in the semifinals after winning a 7-3 decision over Bolingbrook’s Jared Craig. He also claimed a 7-0 victory over Oregon’s Jackson Messenger and won a 2-0 decision over Quincy Senior’s Wyatt Boeing in his opener.

Eimer took third place after winning 16-1 by technical fall over Westbrook. In the fifth-place match, Craig prevailed 3-2 on a tiebreaker over Chaidez. And Oswego’s Vincent Manfre finished seventh with an 8-5 decision over Lane Tech’s Alexander Valentin.

120 – Tyler Sternstein, Naperville North

Tyler Sternstein was understandably disappointed after seeing a 31-11 season end one win shy of a trip to the IHSA Finals at the Class 3A Hinsdale Central Sectional. Like many others who wanted to end  on a high mark, he followed several big wins with two close decisions to capture first place at 120 at the Frosh/Soph Championships.

Sternstein, a Naperville North sophomore who was at 126 in the IHSA postseason, won 6-4 in the 120 title match over Stevenson’s Shawn Kogan after winning a 3-1 decision over Prairie Ridge’s Mikey Meade in the semifinals. He opened with a fall in 0:43 over Farmington’s Caleb Showalter, won 17-2 by technical fall over Morris’ Carter Skoff and then recorded a fall in 2:26 over Moline’s Dominick Diaz.

“I came up real short in the blood round,” Sternstein said. “So I was just trying to avenge that. Winning this championship is cool but I still want to go to the IHSA and be a champion. In my freshman year, I went 0-2, this year was the blood round, so next year the goal is to make it down and hopefully place. Our program is good and our coaches are good and they always push everyone at practice to make us all better and to keep us in shape, and I couldn’t have done it without them. Every day when we do warmups, running past their records on the wall, I want to get my name up there some day. Hopefully this boosts me for next year.”

Kogan, a freshman who won 25 matches this season, only had one match that wasn’t a decision, his opener, which he won 18-8 over Normal Community’s Carter Mayes. He followed that with a 7-3 victory over Bremen’s Elijiah Wofford, a 5-2 quarterfinals victory over Oswego East’s Noah Snow and a 3-1 win by sudden victory over Lincoln-Way East’s Kaidge Richardson in the semifinals.

Meade won a 3-0 decision over Richardson to claim third place. Diaz won by medical forfeit over Wofford to finish fifth and Jacksonville’s Dashawn Armstrong claimed a 1-0 decision over Snow for seventh.

126 – Callen Kirchner, Schaumburg

After not being to accompany his brother Caden to the IHSA Finals from the Class 3A Conant Sectional due in part to troubles that he experienced to his weight, Callen Kirchner had to settle for the next best thing, which was seeing if he could close on a good note with a title at 126 at the Freshman/Sophomore Championships.

And thanks to three falls, a win by technical fall and a decision in the finals, the Schaumburg sophomore, who went 34-7 this season, did just that, capturing a 10-5 victory over Grant’s Erik Rodriguez in the 126 title match. Kirchner advanced to the finals with a fall in 4:22 over Glenbard West’s Ulises Rosas, which followed a 17-2 victory by technical fall over DeKalb’s Ayden Shuey. After opening the event with a pin in 1:31 over Lockport Township’s Anthony Diorio, Kirchner recorded a fall in 4:35 over Granite City’s Brenden Rayl.

“I decided to go 120 at the beginning of the year and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to,” Kirchner said. “But throughout the season, I just kept gaining weight and it was getting higher and higher and it was just getting tougher to make it and at sectionals, I just couldn’t perform like myself. I didn’t get what I set out for at the beginning of the season but it’s nice to be able to come here and get a title. It’s great to one of the better guys on a team that could have made it down to team state. Me, my brother Caden and Brady Phelps have all been pushing all of our teammates to work harder and to get better. And coach (Mike) LeVanti has put in a lot of work.” 

Rodriguez, a freshman who finished 36-12, earned his spot on the title mat with a 9-3 decision over Stillman Valley’s Henry Hildreth. After opening with a fall in 4:06 over Maine East’s Dulguun Nyamdavaa and then a pin in 2:13 over Naperville Central’s Vincent Bern, Rodriguez won 5-2 over Lincoln-Way West’s Jakob Siwinski.

Rosas defeated Rayl 5-2 to claim third place, Oswego’s Brayden Swanson won by fall in 3:32 over Hildreth to take fifth and Deerfield’s Jack Palzet won a 5-0 decision over Shuey to finish seventh.

132 – Brayden Mortell, Lincoln-Way East

After seeing his hopes for a trip to the IHSA Finals dashed in the Class 3A Normal Community Sectional, Brayden Mortell joined four of his teammates on the awards stand as Lincoln-Way East led all schools with five medal winners at the Frosh/Soph Championships.

The Griffins sophomore, who went 23-17 this season, captured a 5-2 decision over Belleville West’s Aiden Colbert in the 132 title match. All of his five matches were decisions, including a 5-2 win over Highland Park’s Nathan Ferrari in the semifinals and a 4-2 victory just before that over Hersey’s Rodrigo Arceo. Mortell opened with a 6-1 win over Wheaton North’s Ryan Rosch before capturing an 8-4 triumph over Hononegah’s Max Aranki.

“We’re a young team,” Mortell said. ‘We just go hard every day in practice and we have great practice partners, and we just go at it every day. And we all have the same mindset on this team.”

Colbert, a sophomore who went 27-10 and fell 2-1 to Mortell in both individuals’ first match at the Normal Community Sectional, also won all of his matches by decisions. The closest was 1-0 in the semifinals over Waubonsie Valley’s Elias Gonzalez which followed a 6-0 victory over West Chicago’s Donovan Avila. After opening with a 6-0 decision over Glenbrook North’s Ebin Fladeland, Colbert claimed a 7-1 victory over Schaumburg’s Rocco Fontela.

Marmion Academy’s Ashton Hobson claimed third place after capturing an 8-7 decision over Ferrari. Gonzales took fifth place following a 2-1 win in a tiebreaker over Fontela while Avila finished seventh after claiming a 4-3 decision over Edwardsville’s Logan Hiller.

138 – Rylan Kradle, Glenbard North

After coming up one victory shy of advancing to the IHSA Class 3A Finals from the Conant Sectional at 145, Rylan Kradle was able to conclude his season in a more positive fashion after he captured the title at 138 at the Freshman/Sophomore Championships, one year after he finished in third place at 126 in the same competition.

The Glenbard North sophomore, who went 32-17 this season, defeated Crystal Lake Central’s Dominic Vitale 5-0 in the 138 title match. He advanced to the finals with a fall in 5:19 over Roxana’s Lyndon Thies after capturing a 6-2 decision in the quarterfinals over Brother Rice’s Jack O’Connor. Kradle opened with a fall in 0:58 over Glenbrook North’s Henry Hafner and followed that victory with a 10-0 major decision over Lincoln-Way East’s Rory Moran.

Vitale, a sophomore who had a 21-14 record, opened with a fall in 2:33 over Normal West’s Logan Alvarez before winning three decisions. Those were 5-1 over Lena-Winslow/Stockton’s John Mensendike, 3-0 over Plainfield Central’s Aiden Rudman and 5-3 

over Wheaton North’s Thomas Fulton in the semifinals. 

Fulton took third place with a 22-6 win by technical fall over Thies, Belvidere’s Dominick Girardin won a 9-3 decision over Coal City’s Mason Garner to take fifth place and DeKalb’s Michael Hodge III was a 4-2 victor by tiebreaker over O’Connor to claim seventh place.

145 – Connor Diemel, Hononegah

After seeing his dreams of an appearance in the IHSA Finals get dashed following a narrow loss in the consolation semifinals of the Class 3A Barrington Sectional, Connor Diemel sought a better conclusion to his season at the Frosh/Soph Championships.

The Hononegah sophomore, who went 32-15, took first at 145 with a 7-0 decision over St. Charles East’s Ryan McGovern. He won a 9-1 major decision over Yorkville’s Caleb Viscogliosi in the semifinals after getting a 5-1 victory over Marist’s Kevin Tomkins. Diemel opened with two falls, winning in 2:33 over Fenton’s Omar Diaz and in 1:33 over Quincy Senior’s Gunnar Derhake.

McGovern, a sophomore who was on the Saints’ 22-1 team that made their first dual team finals trip since 2001 and won their first state title with a 28-24 victory over Marmion Academy in the Class 3A championship, won 8-3 in the semifinals over Maximus Haskins to deny an all-Hononegah title match. After winning by fall in 2:40 in his opener over McHenry’s Avian Roman and claiming a 17-1 win by technical fall over Bishop McNamara’s Ethan Pfieffer, McGovern was a 10-8 winner by sudden victory over Belleville East’s Braden Kelly.

Viscogliosi edged Derhake 5-3 to claim third place, Haskins got past Kelly 4-3 to capture fifth place and Tomkins won a 9-2 decision over Washington’s Cruise Brolley to finish in seventh place.

152 – Justice Humphreys, Warren Township

After falling one win shy of a trip to the IHSA Finals at the Class 3A Barrington Sectional, Justice Humphreys was fortunate to be able to help his team advance to the Dual Team Finals for the first time, which provided plenty of motivation for him to close out with a big effort when he competed at the Frosh/Soph Championships.

Humphreys, a sophomore who went 32-17 to help Warren Township reach the quarterfinals, where it fell to eventual third-place finisher Lockport, took first place at 152 with a 3-2 win on a tiebreaker over Belleville East’s Terence Willis to become one of the Blue Devils’ two champions, with Anthony Soto later first at 220. Humphreys won a 5-3 decision over Wheaton North’s Julian Flores in the semifinals after capturing a 14-3 major decision over Civic Memorial’s Luke McCoy. He opened the tournament with two decisions, winning 7-0 over Moline’s Deanthony Simpson and 5-3 over Oswego’s Ethan Essick.

“We had a new team and we had a couple of new freshmen,” Humphreys said. “We made school history this year and I’m just excited to see what we do next year. and in years to come. The coaches pushed everybody in the room as hard as possible and I feel like that’s something that was a key factor of our success this year, it was the coaches. I’m excited for next year because the new freshmen that’s going to come up is going to see what the program is about.”

Willis, a sophomore who finished 31-11, also lost a close match in the consolation semifinals at the Class 3A Normal Community Sectional. He earned his spot in the 152 title match with a 4-2 semifinals victory over Mount Carmel’s Kevin Kalchbrenner after capturing a 13-4 win by major decision over Olympia’s Kelton Graden. Willis opened with two major decisions, winning 18-7 over St. Charles East’s Cooper Murray and 20-6 over Crystal Lake Central’s Tommy Tomasello.

Kalchbrenner won by fall in 2:27 over Camp Point Central’s Konnor Bush to claim third place, Flores was a 6-3 winner over Lincoln-Way East’s Declan Dircks in the fifth-place match and McCoy won by fall in 3:12 over Hampshire’s Michael Brannigan to finish in seventh place.

160 – Colin Bickett, Plainfield South

While Plainfield South was able to get a state qualifier, junior Matthew Janiak, who ended up placing sixth at 195, three other individuals who had 25 or more victories couldn’t advance from the Class 3A Normal Community Sectional, with one of those being Colin Bickett.

With Rudy and Rocco Silva also being juniors, Bickett, a sophomore who went 27-13, was the only Cougar who was able to compete in the Freshman/Sophomore Championships and he made the most of the opportunity by capturing the title at 160 with a 14-7 decision over Lincoln-Way East’s Jackson Zaeske. Bickett recorded falls in his first three matches, winning in 2:11 over Maine South’s Jack Staunton, in 0:56 over Curie’s Mylan William and in 4:56 over Rockridge’s Ryan Lower. He earned his spot in the title match with a 6-4 decision over Lockport Township’s Durango Valles in the semifinals.

“The reason I wanted to compete in the Frosh/Soph tournament was I believed I could’ve accomplished more in my season and I still had more to prove to myself,” Bickett said.  “Therefore, I was motivated to keep going. Winning the title felt amazing not just for me but the best part about it was having my family there cheering me on and my dad right by me coaching. From my performance it motivates me to stay on top and keep going with what I am doing. With the way I wrestled I believe I did great but there are always minor adjustments I can change to achieve perfection and I will strive for the best of my potential. My favorite part about Plainfield South wrestling is that it doesn’t feel like a chore to come to practice every day. We have fun in the practice room but we all get a lot out of it.”

Zaeske, a sophomore who finished with a 21-7 record, was unable to advance out of the Normal Community Sectional at 182. But he was able to be one of five Griffins who earned medals, which was the highest total for any team in the competition. Zaeske opened with a fall over Bartlett’s James Smrha in 2:15 and then won a 5-0 decision over Lena-Winslow/Stockton’s Oliver McPeek. After getting a win by fall in 1:21 over Glenbrook North’s Shane Onixt, he earned his spot in the finals with an 11-3 major decision over McHenry’s Aiden Fischler.

Valles won a 6-3 decision over Lower to claim third place, McPeek was a 10-4 victor over Fischler in the fifth-place match and Onixt got a fall in 4:24 over Yorkville’s Luke Chrisse to take seventh place.

170 – Maximus Vela, Joliet Catholic Academy

While his team had a banner day at the Class 2A Hinsdale South Sectional by qualifying 13 individuals for the IHSA Finals, Maximus Vela fell one victory shy of joining his Joliet Catholic Academy teammates at state but the consolation was that the freshman got to help his team contend for a state title for the second year in a row, but they fell 28-27 to Washington in the title dual meet in Bloomington.

Boosted by being on a team with seven All-Staters who placed fourth or better, which included 160 state champion Mason Alessio and 182 runner-up Nico Ronchetti, who coached him in the finals, Vela felt that he could perform well at the Frosh/Soph Championships, and he did, by taking first at 170 after capturing a 6-4 win by sudden victory over Lena-Winslow/Stockton’s Eli Larson. His largest win was a 10-2 major decision over Clinton’s Kristian Hibbard in the semifinals. Vela opened with a 6-2 win over Richwoods’ Gabriel Martinez, captured a 7-0 victory over St. Charles North’s Matthew Plumb and claimed a 9-2 decision over Rolling Meadows’ John Rappa in the quarterfinals.

“I know that a lot of guys have done really well here have also done really well in the IHSA,” Vela said. “I’m just super happy and excited that I won here and this is only one of the accomplishments that I’ll have in my career. I think personally, that we’ve barely scratched the surface as to what Joliet Catholic is going to do. We got put on the radar and now more kids that want to come and join the program. I love competing for all of them (his coaches) and they all believe in me and help out a lot. After tournaments, the coaches help each individual on what they need to work on. All of our coaches are the best. Coach (Ryan) Cumbee, coach Luke (Pascale), coach Ben Gerdes and coach (James) Lancaster, they’re all great coaches.”

Larson, a freshman who had a 38-15 record and helped the 34-6 PantherHawks to a third-place finish in Class 1A, opened with falls of 2:14 over Wheaton Academy’s Caden Smith, 0;56 over Lincoln-Way West’s Chris Yirsa and 2:12 over Trico’s Colin Hughey before winning a 9-0 major decision over Belleville West’s Ethan Hofmeister.

Hofmeister won a 16-10 decision over Hibbard to take third place, Lincoln-Way West’s Jimmy Talley won 7-3 over Bloomington’s Kenner Bye for fifth place and Naperville Central’s Henry Rydwelski won a 5-2 decision over Jacksonville’s Abram Davidson to finish seventh.

182 – Nathan Elstner, Lincoln-Way West

Despite winning close to 30 matches and helping his team to a high ranking throughout the season, Nathan Elstner fell a bit short of his goal of reaching the IHSA Finals in individual and team competitions. But the Lincoln-Way West sophomore who went 29-20 and helped the Warriors to a regional title and the opportunity to host Lockport to determine who would go to team state decided to continue his season a little longer and that paid off in the Frosh/Soph Championships.

Elstner won by fall in 0:57 over Springfield High’s Keyshaun Harris to win the title at 182. Other than a 7-0 decision in the second round over Edwardsville’s Simon Schulte, his other three victories also came by way of falls. After opening with a pin in 1:53 over Geneseo’s Aaron Betcher, he recorded a fall in 2:13 over Mt. Zion’s Keller Stocks before pinning Pittsfield’s Tucker Cook in 0:46 in the semifinals.

“We have a young team and I’m excited for these next couple of years,” Elstner said. “We have big goals for next season about getting to team state. And for individual goals, I think that we’re going to have a lot more placers. We’re starting to come up now.”

Harris, a sophomore who went 32-13 but was unable to advance from the Class 2A Highland Sectional at 170, was the lone Senator to advance to the Frosh/Soph Championships. After opening with a 6-4 decision over Dunlap’s Joe Weeks and following that with an 8-3 victory over Joliet West’s Tai’Vaughn Johnson, Harris won by fall in 4:40 over Plano’s Richie Amakiri before winning an 11-2 major decision over Vandalia’s Kaden Tidwell in the semifinals.

Cook won an 11-3 major decision over Schulte to claim third place, Tidwell edged Amakiri 8-7 for fifth place and Coal City’s Cade Poyner took seventh place after recording a fall in 1:14 over Stocks.

195 – Joseph Favia, Marmion Academy

All in all, it was a very successful freshman season for Marmion Academy’s Joseph Favia, who not only was able to go 22-11 while training with Class 3A 182-pound champion Jack Lesher but he also got to help the 18-2 Cadets advance to the Dual Team Finals where his team battled to the end before falling 28-24 to St. Charles East.

But one thing he wasn’t able to accomplish was to qualify for the IHSA Finals along with 12 of his teammates so Favia took part in the Frosh/Soph Championships and it definitely paid off as he claimed top honors at 195 after edging Highland’s Ashton Zobrist 1-0 in the title match. After opening with a fall in 1:11 over Curie’s Eduardo Seija and getting a pin in 0:31 over Oak Park and River Forest’s Carey Robinson, Favia won 3-0 over Edwardsville’s Roman Janek and then 

claimed a 9-1 major decision over Waukegan’s Lamero Caesar.

“We just have the best coaching staff and the best upperclassmen,” Favia said. “And I have to give a shout out to someone that I look up to on our team, Jack Lesher, he’s a good practice partner. We’ll be back, for sure. We’re all pretty hyped and ready to get back at it. offseason wrestling and getting back into the room with our teammates. It’s going to be good.”

Zobrist, a sophomore who went 40-10 but still fell one win shy of qualifying from the Class 2A Sectional that his school hosted, earned his spot on the Frosh/Soph title mat at 195 after claiming a 4-1 decision over Marmion Academy’s Mateusz Nycz to deny an all-Cadets finals. Zobrist opened with a fall in 2:57 over Curie’s Mark Anthony Nieto, followed with a 9-1 win over Johnsburg’s CJ Ameachi and then claimed a 9-3 decision over Limestone’s Ethan Dixon.

Nycz won by fall in 4:53 over Caesar to give Marmion two of the top three medalists at the weight class. Quincy Notre Dame’s Ryan Darnell recorded a fall in 3:37 over Ameachi to claim fifth place and Andrew’s Joe Zimmer took seventh place after capturing a 4-1 decision over Zion-Benton’s Isaiah Tellado.

220 – Anthony Soto, Warren Township

Anthony Soto put the final touches on a history-making season for Warren Township when he took first place at 220 in the IWCOA Freshman/Sophomore Championships to join teammate Justice Humphreys, who took first at 152, giving their program the most champions of any of the teams in the tournament with two.

Soto, a sophomore who finished 33-12, lost by two points in the consolation semifinals at the Barrington Sectional to miss out on a trip to state. But he was able to help the 15-5 Blue Devils qualify for the first time to Dual Team State, where they fell to Lockport, who took third place. Soto captured the title at 220 with a 5-1 decision over Crystal Lake Central’s Thomas McNeil. Three of his other wins were by fall, winning in 0:44 over Oak Forest’s Andrius Vasilevskas and in 2:52 over Granite City’s Enrique Morales before adding a fall in 1:15 in the semifinals over St. Charles East’s Anthony Lobrillo. Soto, who claimed third place at 220 in the same competition last season, also had an 8-0 victory over Wheaton Warrenville South’s Ashton Kibbe.

“This was a very amazing year,” Soto said. “I didn’t expect it to go the way that it did. Going all the way to team state for the first time in our school was pretty amazing. At regional when we got the plaque, I was so happy for this team. There were a lot more kids this year in our lineup this year that were pretty good. No one really expected what we did this year. I’m very grateful to be here at the Frosh/Soph state tournament since there were a lot of good wrestlers here, especially at 220, but every weight class was good. And there were a lot more people here this year. I can’t wait to see what we do next year.” 

McNeil, a sophomore who had a 19-8 record, was one of two finalists for the Tigers, joining Dominic Vitale, who took second at 138. After getting falls in 0:34 over Joliet West’s Andre De Leon and in 4:49 over Belleville West’s Shamontae Matthews, he won a 10-3 decision over The High School of Saint Thomas More’s James Schmidt before recording a fall in 0:30 over Oak Park and River Forest’s Eric Harris.

Harris edged Neuqua Valley’s Magomed Nurudinov 5-4 to claim third place. Loyola Academy’s Joey Herbert won by fall in 1:29 over Lobrillo to take fifth place. And Kibbe claimed a 4-1 decision over Dundee-Crown’s Teigen Moreno to take seventh place.

285 – Todd Smith, Quincy Senior

After being an IESA champion, Todd Smith was hoping to qualify for the IHSA Finals in his first attempt, but the Quincy Senior freshman fell a bit short in his quest to qualify from the Class 3A Normal Community Sectional and thus wanted to end his debut campaign on a high note at the Freshman/Sophomore Championships.

Smith, who went 37-13 this season, became the fourth freshman to win a title in this year’s tournament when he captured an 8-3 decision over Jacksonville’s Aiden Surratt to claim top honors at 285. After opening with a 17-2 win by technical fall over Lockport Township’s 

Jake Kratz, Smith won a 6-2 decision over Niles West’s Alex Hernandez and followed with an 11-0 major decision over Downers Grove North’s Peter Rodriguez and earned his spot in the finals with a fall in 3:15 over Oregon’s Briggs Sellers.

“This is important because the Frosh/Soph Tournament kind of determines by the time you’re a junior or senior, that this might be the outcome in the IHSA,” said Smith, whose mother got to hand out the medals at 285. “We had two state qualifiers, Owen Uppinghouse and Bryor Newbold, and a ton of kids went to sectionals and we also performed great in regionals and all our tournaments were good.”

Surratt, a sophomore who went 36-14 this season but didn’t qualify for the Class 2A Highland Sectional, certainly made amends for his early postseason exit by becoming the highest of the three medal winners for the Crimsons, who finished 33-4 and advanced to the Dual Team Finals for the first time in the program’s history. He won close decisions to open the Frosh/Soph competition, winning 6-3 over Metamora’s Ty Dyekes and 1-0 over Niles Notre Dame’s Scott Cook before getting a fall in 4:36 over Waukegan’s Ivan Rogel Martinez and then won a 9-1 major decision over Lincoln-Way East’s Ryan Stingily.

East Peoria’s Jose Deltoro edged Stingily 1-0 to claim third place, Granite City’s Demarco Clark finished fifth after winning an 11-5 decision over Sellers and Evergreen Park’s Jeremy Gagnon took seventh place after recording a fall in 1:48 over Rodriguez.

Hoffman Estates has two champions, Conant gets seven medalists at IWCOA Girls Open Championship

By Curt Herron

SPRINGFIELD – After serving as the unofficial girls state title for several years, the Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association Girls Open Championship has taken on a role similar to the other competition that is held one week after IHSA competition ends, the IWCOA’s Boys Freshman/Sophomore Championships.

But unlike the Frosh/Soph competition which is open only to individuals who are freshmen or sophomores who didn’t qualify for the IHSA Finals, the Girls Open Championship is what its name suggests and state placewinners and qualifiers of any year in school compete along with those who didn’t advance to the state finals.

A total of 141 girls took part in the Open Championship which were held at the Bank of Springfield Center. Of the 14 champions, three won medals at the IHSA Finals, one fell a win shy of that achievement, five competed in that tournament and five others fell one victory short of advancing to the state finals.

Thirteen programs that featured athletes from both large and small schools who represented  the north, central and southern parts of Illinois won championships but only one had two title winners, Hoffman Estates, which got consecutive titles from Sophia Ball at 130 and Abigail Ji at 135, who are both sophomores.

Juniors who won championships were Romeoville’s Josefina Orozco at 100, Minooka’s Bella Cyrkiel at 145, Granite City’s Samir Elliott at 155, Mt. Vernon’s Faith Barrett at 170, District 230 Carl Sandburg’s Janae Vargas at 190 and Curie’s Aaliyah Grandberry at 235.

The other sophomores who captured titles were Lanphier’s Ella Miloncus at 110 and Kaneland’s Brooklyn Sheaffer at 120. Freshmen who won championships were Pekin’s Tessa Donaldson at 105, LeRoy/Tri-Valley’s Jaelyn Brumfield at 115, Erie/Prophetstown’s Michelle Naftzger at 125 and Bloomington’s Alicia Swank at 140. Miloncus also won a title at 105 in last year’s competition.

IHSA medal winners who won titles were Grandberry (second at 235), Ball (fifth at 120) and Sheaffer (sixth at 120) while Ji fell one win shy of a medal at 130.

Individuals who competed in the IHSA Finals who took first were Miloncus, Brumfield, Naftzger, Cyrkiel and Barrett while Orozco, Donaldson, Swank, Elliott and Vargas all won titles after falling one win shy of a trip to Bloomington.

Thornton Fractional South had two second-place finishers, Mia Moore at 100 and A’kayla Coopwood at 135 while District 230’s Carl Sandburg got a second from Sophia Figueroa at 110 and Minooka received a second from Lanie Cecala at 140. Figueroa took first place at 110 in last year’s Open Championships.

Others who claimed second-place finishes were Edwardsville’s Madelyn Allen at 105, Burlington Central’s Victoria Macias at 115, Jacksonville’s Alexis Seymour at 120, Sterling’s SkyeAnn Munz at 125, Seneca’s Samantha Greisen at 130, Proviso West’s Jocelyn Gutierrez at 145, Auburn’s Heather Workman at 155, J. Sterling Morton’s Violet Mayo at 170, United Township’s Afi Koumasse at 190 and Westmont’s Jozie Rosenwinkel at 235.

Second-place finishers who won IHSA medals were Seymour (fourth at 120) and Macias (fifth at 110) while Greisen fell one win short of a medal at 130.

Claiming third-place finishes were Edwardsville’s Alison Kirk at 100, Morris’ Maggie Gordan at 105, Deer Creek-Mackinaw’s Samantha Lauer at 110, University High’s Allison Kroesch at 115, Thornton Fractional South’s Quincy Onyiaorah at 120, Washington’s Ahna Robison at 125 and Glenwood’s Jenna Tuxhorn at 130.

Also finishing in third place were Carlinville’s Samantha Scott at 135, Conant’s Aubrey Mueller at 140, Glenbard West’s Miyalinna DeJesus at 145, Fenton’s Sophia Sosa at 155, Oak Forest’s Riley Ensing at 170, Cary-Grove’s Denver Gier at 190 and Robinson’s Rylee Hammond at 235. 

Finishing in fourth place were Beat the Streets Chicago’s Mya Downs (100), Oswego East’s QianXi Brooks (105), Pontiac’s Samantha Fellers (110), Reed-Custer’s Judith Gamboa (115), Deer Creek-Mackinaw’s Josie Barham (120), Somonauk’s Rylie Donahue (125) and Batavia’s Amelia Howell (130).

Others who took fourth place were Erie/Prophetstown’s Dena Cox (135), Glenbard West’s Nydia Jotzat (140). Plainfield East’s Kaitlyn Bucholz (145), Alton’s Elanna Hickman (155), Conant’s Anaelise Aberman (170) and Natalie Aguirre (190) and United Township’s Kirsten Kpoto (235).

It proved to be a very successful day for Hoffman Estates since another school from that community, Conant, finished with the most medal winners, with seven of the nine individuals that it sent finishing in eighth place or better.

Sterling had five medalists among its five five competitors while Minooka, Mt. Vernon and Thornton Fractional South all had four medal winners among the five individuals who they had competing and Proviso West had all three of its entrants receive medals.

Here’s a rundown of the 14 champions and the medal winners at each weight class for the IWCOA’s Girls Open Championship:

100 – Josefina Orozco, Romeoville

After falling one win shy of earning a state appearance at the rugged Schaumburg Sectional, Josefina Orozco wanted to end her season on a more encouraging note and that’s certainly what she was able to do at the IWCOA’s Girls Open Championship in Springfield.

The Romeoville junior, who was 19-8 this season and her school’s only participant in the event where she was fourth at 100 last season, pinned her way through the competition, capping things with a fall in 2:02 in the 100 title match over Thornton Fractional South’s Mia Moore. She earned her spot in the finals with a pin in 4:33 over Beat the Streets – Chicago Midway’s Mya Downs. After opening with a fall in 2:25 over URWA’s Giselle Arambula, Orozco got a pin in 2:10 in the quarterfinals over Frankfort Community’s Sophia Bechelli.

“It really benefits me,” Orozco said. “My main goal is to go downstate, but this really helps me to know where I am and know how I need to further myself. Now that I’ve placed first, I feel like I have a better chance of making my goal. I just have to push myself so that I can achieve what I haven’t done yet. This gives me a huge boost. It’s so amazing. Hopefully by showing them that I placed here it can make more girls join our team next year.”

Moore also won her first three matches by fall, pinning Conant’s Nallely Zaragoza in 0:47 in the semifinals after winning by fall in 0:50 over Bismarck-Henning-Rossville-Alvin’s Gracie Pattison and getting a fall in 4:49 over Frankfort Community’s Nikolette Ronketto.

In the third-place match, Edwardsville’s Alison Kirk won a 6-5 decision over Downs. Harvest Christian Academy’s Sam Macek took fifth place with a fall in 2:02 over Zaragoza. And Ronketto captured seventh place with a pin in 4:37 over Pattison.

105 – Tessa Donaldson, Pekin

As one of the few girls on Pekin’s team and its lone representative in the IWCOA Girls Open, Tessa Donaldson hoped to finish her season on a high note after falling one win shy of a trip to the IHSA Finals at the Richwoods Sectional. Drawing inspiration and support from her cousin, Shamon Handegan, who became Pekin’s second state finalist since 2000 when he took second place in Class 3A at 182 to Marmion Academy’s Jack Lesher, the freshman claimed top honors at 105.

Donaldson, who had a 19-15 record this season and had won only one title before in a kid’s tournament, received a bye in her opener and then recorded three first-minute falls, wrapping up the 105 title with a pin in 22 seconds over Edwardsville’s Madelyn Allen. The longest amount of time she was on the mat was 50 seconds in a semifinals win over Morris’ Maggie Gordan and she needed just 25 seconds to get a fall over Sterling’s Noelani Ibarra in the quarterfinals.

“I’d only won first place one time and that was in kid’s club,” Donaldson said. “Shamon got second at state and he’s my cousin so he’s helped me out a lot. This is my favorite place to wrestle.”

Allen, who did not compete in the state series, also got a bye in her opener before pinning Glenbard East’s Kandace Dang in 3:32 in the quarterfinals. Allen earned her spot on the 105 title mat by capturing a 4-2 semifinals victory over Oswego East’s QianXi Brooks.

Gordan pinned Brooks in 3:00 to finish in third place. Dang captured fifth place after recording a fall in 2:03 over Ibarra. And Granite City’s Briana Ramirez took seventh place after claiming a 3-1 win over Plainfield Central’s Candice Cameron.

110 – Ella Miloncus, Lanphier

After winning a title at the 2022 Girls Open at 105, Ella Miloncus decided that she’d try to duplicate that feat this season and in order to do that, she’d have to defeat another individual who also won a title at last year’s Girls Open.

The Lanphier sophomore, who lost both of her matches at the IHSA Finals and had 20 wins this season, prevailed over District 230’s Sophia Figueroa by a 4-2 decision in the 110 title match. Following a bye, Miloncus recorded a fall in 2:26 over Mt. Vernon’s Deziare Jones and then advanced to the finals with another close decision, winning by an 11-9 score over Pontiac’s Samatha Fellers in the semifinals.

“When I first started wrestling, it was very difficult, and it still is,” Miloncus said. “I was one or two marches away from state last year and that was sad, so I’m glad that I made it there this year. It didn’t feel real until I got there and once I was there, I loved the experience and I’m shooting for it for next year and for placing. I compete with boys and feel that that’s better because they’re more experienced and are stronger.”

Figueroa, a sophomore from District 230’s Carl Sandburg who went 20-12 and fell one win shy of qualifying for the IHSA finals at the Schaumburg Sectional, had four-straight closes matches. After opening with a 6-4 win in sudden victory over Bartlett’s Angelina Carpintero, Figueroa won a 3-0 decision over J. Sterling Morton’s Nayeli Rodriguez and then prevailed 4-3 in sudden victory over Deer Creek-Mackinaw’s Samantha Lauer.

Lauer took third place with a fall in 4:47 over Fellers. Rodriguez won a 6-4 decision over Carpintero to claim fifth place while Maine East’s Guadalupe Montesinos recorded a fall in 1:39 over Sterling’s Madison Wickham to finish in seventh place.

115 – Jaelyn Brumfield, LeRoy/Tri-Valley

Jaelyn Brumfield capped a successful freshman season by qualifying for the Class 1A IHSA Finals while also being a member of a team in the Class 1A Dual Team Finals on the same weekend as LeRoy/Tri-Valley made its first appearance to state since 2014. And then this past weekend, she took first place at 115 at the IWCOA Girls Open.

Brumfield, who went 12-11 while competing against boys and also a member of a state dual team that went 24-2, won a 6-2 decision over Burlington Central’s Victoria Macias in the title match. She won her other matches by fall, beating Mt. Vernon’s Jai’anna Terry in 4:45 in the semifinals, J. Sterling Morton’s Liliana Garcia in 3:43 in the quarterfinals and Conant’s Jasme’In  McGee in 1:32 in her opener.

“It was very exciting,” Brumfield said of competing on the state dual team. “It was really fun to be able to wrestle with a lot of guys and it kind of prepared more than the girls to move faster and get better setups and to be stronger. So it definitely prepared me a lot for this and this was a lot of fun.”

Macias, a sophomore who went 31-9 and placed fifth at 110 in the the IHSA finals and was her program’s lone entrant both at individual state and in the Girls Open, recorded a fall in 2:03 over Reed-Custer’s Judith Gamboa in the semifinals after getting a pin over University High’s Allison Kroesch in 3:34 in the quarterfinals and a fall in 1:26 over Triad’s Abigail Schaft in her opening match.

In the third-place match, Kroesch got a fall in 2:33 over Gamboa, who took fifth at 105 in the IHSA Finals. Terry won by fall over Schaft in 1:26 to claim fifth place while Lanphier’s Anna Miloncus finished seventh after winning by fall in 0:36 over Neuqua Valley’s Sofia Gold.

120 – Brooklyn Sheaffer, Kaneland (SPAR Wrestling Academy)

After enjoying a successful sophomore season at Kaneland where she went 35-12 and finished in sixth place at 120 in the IHSA Finals, Brooklyn Sheaffer looks to move higher up the awards stand at state during the next two years. And she hopes that the title that she won at 120 in the IWCOA Girls Open provides additional motivation.

Sheaffer, competing in the Girls Open representing SPAR Wrestling Academy in Aurora, won a clash with another IHSA placewinner, Jacksonville’s Alexis Seymour, by a 6-0 score in the 120 title match. She reached the finals with a pin in 0:46 over Deer Creek-Mackinaw’s Josie Barham and also won with a fall in 4:22 in the quarterfinals over Pontiac’s Serenity DeFrees after getting a first-round bye.

“Going into state I had a really weird mindset since last year I qualified but I wasn’t able to go,” Sheaffer said. “I went in really open-minded but started out really shaky because of the nerves of being on a big stage like that. But I ended up placing and that was a big moment for me and my family. Coming into Kaneland, which was my new school, was a lot of pressure after being at Yorkville Christian. I wanted to have fun and work on a couple of things before freestyle starts. I didn’t expect to win it.”

Seymour, a sophomore who went 32-18 and finished fourth at 120 in the IHSA Finals, recorded a fall in 3:32 in the semifinals over Benton’s Mia Balota after winning with a pin in 1:32 in the quarterfinals over Robinson’s Kayden Shook-Wesley after opening with a 4-0 win over Thornton Fractional South’s Quincy Onyiaorah.

Onyiaorah, who finished with a 21-5 record after losing to eventual champion Angelina Cassioppi and Sheaffer at the IHSA Finals after beating Seymour there, claimed third place with a fall in 4:36 over Barham. Balota took fifth with a pin in 3:30 over Alton’s Aryanna Jones. In the seventh-place match featuring Sterling teammates, Gretchyn Dunbar won by fall in 0:45 over Madison Florez.

125 – Michelle Naftzger, Erie/Prophetstown

While winning 25 matches and qualifying for the IHSA Finals as a freshman, Michelle Naftzger would have liked to have won a match at state. But she got the chance to cap her successful season at the IWCOA Girls Open and made the most of it by capturing the title at 125 with a win by fall in 3:51 over Sterling’s SkyeAnn Munz.

The Erie/Prophetstown athlete who goes to Erie, was one of two Girls Open placewinners for her program, with Dena Cox taking fourth place at 135. Naftzger earned her spot in the finals with a fall in 1:26 over Somonauk’s Rylie Donahue. She also recorded first-period falls in her other two matches, winning in 1:59 over De La Salle Institute’s Iliana Heredia in the quarterfinals and getting a pin in 0:28 in her opener against Fenton’s Paula Serpa.

“This is my ninth year of wrestling but this was my first year of doing girls wrestling,” Naftzger said. “I came one match away from placing at boys IESA state, so that was kind of heartbreaking. So coming to this and making it to state were really good. Wrestling against boys was definitely really helpful preparing me for sectionals and state. Hopefully I can win some matches down there and maybe even place in the next few years.”

Munz, the top finisher of the five Golden Warriors who not only competed but all placed at the Girls Open, earned her spot on the title mat with a 9-2 decision over Oswego East’s Brooke Coy. She got a fall in 2:47 over Quincy Senior’s Maggie Quinn in the quarterfinals and a pin in 0:38 in her opener against Maine West’s Ashley Mansell.

Washington’s Ahna Robison recorded a fall in 1:48 over Donahue, who she lost to 13-8 in the quarterfinals, to take third place. Thornton Fractional South’s Jermia Moore got a pin in 0:17 over Coy to finish fifth and Heredia won by fall in 4:39 over Quinn for seventh place.

130 – Sophia Ball, Hoffman Estates

While one school located in Hoffman Estates, Conant, had the most medalists at the IWCOA Girls Open with seven, the community’s other high school, Hoffman Estates, had the most champions with two, and the Hawks teammates, Sophia Ball and Abigail Ji, were able to capture their championships one right after the other.

Ball, a sophomore who went 42-6 and had a fifth-place finish at 120 in the IHSA Finals, won the 130 title at the Girls Open with an 8-2 decision over Seneca’s Samantha Greisen. Ball earned her spot in the finals with a fall in 0:47 in the semifinals over Conant’s Ewa Krupa and also had falls in her first two matches, winning in 2:33 over Maine West’s KC Conrad in the quarterfinals and in 1:41 over Edwardsville’s Madison Aldrich in her opening match. Ji then took first place at 135.

“Our team got a lot bigger this year and we almost had all of the weights this year, I think we were missing two,” Ball said. “I want to place higher next year because I got fifth this year. I want to do a lot of offseason tournaments and stuff like that so next year I can come back and we can get better as a program.”

Greisen, who won 24 matches and fell one victory shy of a medal at 130 in the IHSA Finals, won a 7-2 decision in the semifinals over Westmont’s Mena Serna. She also beat Batavia’s Amelia Howell 18-3 by technical fall in the quarterfinals and recorded a fall in 1:38 over Maine South’s Miriana Pinto in her opening match.

Glenwood’s Jenna Tuxhorn lost 9-4 to Howell in her opener but then won five matches in a row with the last victory a fall in 0:53 over Howell to capture third place. Serna took fifth place with a fall in 0:34 over Krupa and Maine West’s Ava Reyes won by fall in 4:12 over Minooka’s Kira Cailteux to claim seventh place.

135 – Abigail Ji, Hoffman Estates

After falling one win shy of a medal in the IHSA Finals, Abigail Ji wanted to finish on a better note at the IWCOA Girls Open and did just that by following a title effort from her teammate, Sophia Ball, with a championship of her own at 135, resulting in Hoffman Estates being the only school with multiple champions.

Ji, a sophomore who went 33-8 through her close call for a medal at 130 in the IHSA Finals, won her title with a fall in 0:47 over Thornton Fractional South’s A’kayla Coopwood. She won a 7-0 decision in the semifinals over Carlinville’s Samantha Scott and got two falls before that, in 1:49 over Erie/Prophetstown’s 

Dena Cox and in 2:57 over Bremen’s Amelia Quinlan in her opening match.

“Our coach (Leo) coach Clark, is a big help,” Ji said..”He’s really friendly and always nice and when he coaches, he always puts our needs first and does what’s best for us. I was glad that I made it to the second day (at the IHSA Finals) and I made it further than I did last year as a freshman. Getting first today was really great. I’m trying to work harder in the offseason so I can come back next year and place in state.”

Coopwood, one of two finalists and four medal winners for the Red Wolves, reached the title mat following a fall in 0:28 over Minooka’s  Lexie Lakota. After receiving a bye in her first match, she got a pin in 1:32 over Alton’s Phuong Tran in the quarterfinals.

Scott claimed third place with a 16-2 major decision over Cox. Lakota won by fall in 3:47 over Quinlan to take fifth. And Robinson’s Rachel Richey finished in seventh place after recording a pin in 2:50 over Batavia’s Norah Stoodley.

140 – Alicia Swank, Bloomington

Instead of being dejected about falling one win shy of advancing to the IHSA Finals at the Richwoods Sectional, Alicia Swank set her sights on a better showing at the IWCOA Girls Open and the Bloomington freshman’s efforts paid off, resulting in a title at 140.

One of the three champions who had to wrestle five round-robin matches, Swank’s last four victories were falls after winning her opener by a 6-5 decision over the eventual runner-up, Minooka’s Lanie Cecala. She got pins in 3:33 over Glenbard West’s Nydia Jotzat, in 2:42 over Dundee-Crown’s Daniella Ibanez, in 1:59 over Curie’s Ayanna Mathis and in 4:01 over Conant’s Aubrey Mueller.

“This was my first year at the high school and actually doing full girls tournaments was very fun and I’m very excited about it,” Swank said. “There were maybe four of us (girls) at the beginning of the season, but it dropped down to two. But I had wrestled with boys in seventh and eighth grade and it builds a lot more strength wrestling the boys. I came in fifth at my sectional so coming here and winning this, especially when I was so under the weight of these other girls, was great.”

After losing by one point to Swank in her opening match, Cecala, who finished 22-7 this season, recorded four falls, winning in 2:06 over Mathis, in 3:56 over Jotzat, in 2:00 over Mueller and in 2:31 over Ibanez. 

Mueller won three of her five matches to take third place, Jotzat went 2-3 to finish fourth and Mathis defeated Ibanez to claim fifth place.

145 – Bella Cyrkiel, Minooka

Although qualifying for the IHSA Finals for the first time, Bella Cyrkiel was disappointed that she didn’t win any matches there, so the first-year competitor in the sport hoped to end things on better note at the IWCOA Girls Open and then proceeded to do just that by taking top honors at 145.

The Minooka junior, who went 28-9 this season, was the top medalist for a team that had four. She won the 145 title with a 1-0 decision over Proviso West’s 

Jocelyn Gutierrez. After getting a bye in her opener, she recorded a fall in 2:31 over Oswego’s Kaitlynn Valencia and got a pin in 2:42 over Plainfield East’s 

Kaitlyn Bucholz in 2:42 in the semifinals.

“It was a really great year,” Cyrkiel said. “I feel like we had a lot of success and it feels like it’s just starting to take off. We had a lot of opportunities and I felt that coach (Paige) Schoolman was always looking for places to get us mat time and was encouraging us. After our season ended, I still wanted to be involved in wrestling for next year. So this is a big deal for me, especially after not practicing with our team for two weeks. I am so excited for next year and I think that we have big plans.”

Gutierrez, one of three Panthers who competed in the IWCOA Girls Open and all won medals, earned her spot on the title mat with a fall in 0:40 over Glenbard West’s Miyalinna DeJesus. After getting a bye in her opener she won by fall in 3:56 over Maine East’s Alena Oshana.

DeJesus won an 8-2 decision over Bucholz to finish third. Valencia claimed fifth place by medical forfeit over Oshana. Crystal Lake South’s Makayla Miranda took seventh by medical forfeit over Evanston Township’s Natalie Graettinger.

155 – Samir Elliott, Granite City

After coming up a win shy of qualifying for the IHSA Finals from the Richwoods Sectional, Samir Elliott looked for a more satisfying way to end her season by taking part in the Girls Open, where she fell in the 182 finals two years ago when the tournament was viewed as the unofficial state championship.

Falling to Fenton’s Noelia Vazquez in the 182 title match in 2021, her second appearance on the title mat turned out much better for the Granite City junior, who went 23-9 this season. Elliott won the 155 title match by fall in 1:22 over Auburn’s Heaven Workman. After getting a bye in the first round, Elliott recorded two other pins, winning in 1:00 over Oswego East’s Jessica Stover and then in 3:31 over Fenton’s Sophia Sosa in the semifinals to reach the title mat .

“It was kind of overwhelming,” Elliott said of being a two-time finalist in the competition. “I’ve learned more and grown more since then.”

Workman actually had her closest match in her opener when she captured a 2-0 decision over Minooka’s Abbey Boersma. After getting a pin in 4:33 over Metea Valley’s Sanskruti Sangalge, she earned her spot on the title mat with a fall in 3:41 over Alton’s Elanna Hickman.

Sosa edged Hickman 4-2 to claim third place, Olympia’s Jordan Bicknell won by fall in 1:13 over Dundee-Crown’s Itzel Gerardo for fifth place and Mt. Vernon’s Madison Teriet took seventh with a pin in 3:19 over Maine West’s Lillian Garrett.

170 – Faith Barrett, Mt. Vernon

Faith Barrett got to compete in three matches in the IHSA Finals but only got one win after falling to individuals who placed fifth and sixth at 170. So she decided to wrap up her season at the IWCOA Girls Open and that definitely paid off as she recorded five falls in round-robin competition to win the championship at 170.

Barrett, a junior at Mt. Vernon who went 16-7 this season competing with the boys team that enjoyed a successful season, recorded pins against Conant’s Lana Ton in 2:29, Oak Forest’s Riley Ensing in 2:10, Conant’s Anaelise Aberman in 1:50, J. Sterling Morton’s Violet Mayo in 2:54 and Proviso West’s Damiyah Nard in 0:34.

“They all pushed me to my limit, and that was great,” said Barrett of training with the Rams’ boys team. “It makes me have to work harder and be stronger. This feels really good because I put in a lot of work in the past few seasons. I think that we can get more girls and convince them to do this.”

Mayo recorded four falls and lost to Barrett to take second place. Ensing went 3-2 with three falls and placed third. Aberman finished ahead of teammate Ton for fourth while Nard settled for sixth place.

190 – Janae Vargas, District 230 

Janae Vargas was one of the many individuals who saw their  hopes dashed in the rugged Schaumburg Sectional, where she lost in the semifinals and in the semifinal wrestlebacks to fall one win shy of a trip to the IHSA Finals and finish with a 17-7 record.

The junior from the District 230 team, referred to as Andrew, but actually a student at Carl Sandburg, was the third and final individual who had to compete in five round-robin matches to determine the title. Vargas went 5-0 to take top honors at 190 after recording three falls while also getting two forfeit wins. She won in 1:56 over United Township’s Afi Koumasse, in 4:06 over Cary-Grove’s Denver Gier and in 3:33 over Crystal Lake South’s Kayla Hadfield and won by forfeit over Conant’s Natalie Aguirre and Kimberly Barron.

“I think that we accomplished being a big family.” Vargas said of the District 230 team. “This year shows how hard we worked. We worked our butts off and I think that we deserve the championships that we got. I want to thank all of my coaches.”

Koumasse won decisions over Aguirre and Gier and added a fall over Hadfield and a forfeit win to take second. Gier took third place with falls over Barron and Hadfield and a forfeit win while Aguirre placed fourth, Hadfield finished fifth and Barron was sixth.

235 – Aaliyah Grandberry, Curie (URWA)

Aaliyah Grandberry made history at the IHSA Finals by becoming one of just three individuals who finished second twice when she suffered her only loss in 25 matches in the 235 finals to Belleville East’s Kiara Ganey, who also beat her for a state title in at 235 in 2022’s inaugural IHSA championships.

Grandberry, a junior at Curie and the top placing individual thus far from Chicago Public Schools, hopes that with Ganey graduating that the third time could be the charm for her next season. She won the IWCOA Girls Open title at 235 after capturing an 11-2 major decision over Westmont’s Jozie Rosenwinkel in the finals after edging United Township’s Kirsten Kpoto 2-0 in the semifinals and getting a fall in 2:45 over Robinson’s Rylee Hammond in her opener after a bye  .

“My coaches always tell me to win with honor and lose with grace,” Grandberry said. “That was the only loss that I took and I took that with grace because we both agreed that was a good match between us because it was totally different from last year, which was my first year wrestling. So I’m making history year-by-year and day-by-day. You’ll never know what you might be good at unless you try it. So I say try something at least once, even if it’s something different.”

Rosenwinkel won by fall in 2:36 over Evanston Townhip’s Jereni Marshall in the quarterfinals before getting a pin in 0:28 over Proviso West’s Sophia Serrano to earn her spot on the title mat,

Hammond took third place with a 5-0 decision over Kpoto, Serrano won by fall in 1:42 over Marshall to finish in fifth place and Frankfort Community’s Kaitlynn Childers recorded a fall in 1:26 over Mt. Vernon’s Addyson Barret to place seventh.

Stevenson leads qualifiers from Lake Zurich Sectional for IWCOA F/S Championships

By Mike Garofola

LAKE ZURICH – A big crowd inside the Lake Zurich fieldhouse was treated to some terrific wrestling last Sunday afternoon, and when it was all over, 60 men from this sectional are on their way to Springfield and the Freshman/Sophomore State Championships at the Bank of Springfield Center.

“There were some great matches here today and I would guess that several of the wrestlers here will come home with a state medal next weekend,” Lake Zurich head coach Jake Jobst said after the final whistle brought to a close a well-run, smooth-sailing tournament.

Stevenson led the field with six headed downstate, while North Suburban Conference rival Warren Township along with Mid-Suburban League champion Hersey, and Crystal Lake Central were next in line with five state qualifiers.

McHenry was next up with four advancing while Barrington, Fremd, Grant and Zion-Benton are close behind with three headed to state.

Let’s take a look a closer look at the weight divisions:

101- Austin Phelps, Schaumburg

Austin Phelps fell short in his bid to join his brother, Brady Phelps, at the state tournament, but the Schaumburg freshmen did not miss out when another opportunity came his way.

One week after claiming a regional title, Phelps grabbed the top prize in Lake Zurich to advance to the Freshma/Sophomore State Championships in Springfield.

“Austin has quietly, and steadily begun to emerge from the outsized shadow of his big brother, and it’s been pleasant to witness,” sid Schaumburg head coach Mike Levanti, who watched the aforementioned Brady take home his second state medal from Champaign.

“(He’s) avenged several losses from early on and his confidence seems to be growing.

“You can see it in his leg attacks, which, in my opinion, has been his biggest area of improvement this season.”

After Phelps defeated Fremd’s Trentin Odachowski, 6-2 in his semifinal, he would go on to beat Stevenson’s Evan Mishels in the final, 7-3.

“Evan is one of our program’s most improved wrestlers, he shows up every day, and works hard, he’s grown both physically and technically, and it’s all coming together for him heading into Frosh-Soph state,” said Stevenson head coach Shane Cook.

Mishels won 21 during the regular season, Phelps won 20 and third-place finisher Odachowski earned 18 wins. Grant’s Larry Quirk is headed downstate after his fourth-place finish.

106- Hunter Lenz, Cary-Grove

Cary-Grove’s Hunter Lenz avenged his loss to Crystal Lake Central’s Payton Ramsey one week earlier in a regional final to garner the sectional title with a 7-4 decision.

“Adapting to high school wrestling, in addition to varsity wrestling was the most difficult thing for Hunter as a freshmen, the fight was always there for him, but he learned over the course of the season that he could not rely only on moves that worked for him in middle school,” said Cary-Grove head coach Will Petersen.

“Hunter was ready for this weekend after losing twice before to Ramsey, so he was able to keep this match close in the first period, and scoring big on the edge in the second period was the game-changer for him because he knew his opponent was not going to take his foot off the gas pedal.”

Lenz advanced after edging Grant’s Vince Jasinski 3-1 in the semifinals, while Ramsey majored Carmel Catholic’s Matthew Lucansky 14-5 to move on.

“Payton was a state qualifier as a freshmen, but in a loaded sectional at Rochelle, he came up a match short,” said Crystal Lake Central head coach Justen Lehr of Ramsey, who went 28-17 this season.

“He is a dangerous wrestler, that is a threat to win any match at any time because of his aggressive, funky, and sometimes, insanely-crazy style and you can be sure he will put the extra work in during the offseason to make sure he doesn’t fall short next year.”

Jasinski, who was a sectional qualifier this season who won 31 matches, advances to state after claiming an 18-8 major decision for third place over Hersey’s Riddick Variano.

113- Anthony Orozco, Hersey

Anthony Orozco learned plenty as an understudy at 120 pounds to his state qualifier teammate, Esteban Delgado, and the Hersey sophomore put that knowledge to good use during his 9-3 victory over Warren Township’s Evan Glowinski in the 113-pound finals..

“We have a great room, with great teammates, and an unbelievable coaching staff, so each day that I went into the room, I knew how important it was to learn as much as I could, while working with my partners like Esteban, Dan Lehman, Abdulloh (Khakimov) and Max (Mukhamedaliyev) who were all state qualifiers,” said Orozco, who went 5-5 in limited duty for head coach Joe Rupslauk.

“I am going to work even harder during the offseason to help get myself into the starting lineup, but for now, I am really excited about Frosh/Soph state,” continued Orozco, who beat Barrington’s Jimmy Whitaker, who took third, in the semifinals, Glowinski outlasted Crystal Lake Central’s Dylan Ramsey in a see-saw affair that went to the Warren sophomore by a 7-6 score.

Whitaker was a sectional qualifier for the Broncos, going 26-18 overall on the year. Grayslake Central’s Krish Sahu, placed fourth and is also headed to Springfield.

120- Mikey Meade, Prairie Ridge

A heartbreaking loss in the blood round of regionals has stayed with Mikey Meade all throughout his second postseason, leading up until Frosh/Soph regionals, and sectionals where the Prairie Ridge sophomore has recorded a pair of hard-fought decisions to win the top prize at both events to advance into the state tournament.

“Yes, that loss in the blood-round has made me work harder than ever, knowing that I would have a second chance to make it to a state tournament, so winning regionals, then today, means a lot to me,” said Meade, who was 31-17 during the regular season.

“I went back into the room, and put a lot of time in working on cleaning things up, and being a little sharper on my feet, shots, and defense, and it really helped me out these past two weekends,” said Meade, following his 3-1 victory over Stevenson’s Shawn Kogan.

“Shawn is incredibly driven, and is really a student of the sport,” said Stevenson head coach, Shane Cook.

“He is constantly asking questions and is like a sponge, if he’s able to put together a strong offseason then it is a realistic goal for him to compete in Champaign next year.”

Kogan, who won 25 during the season, was a sectional qualifier, as was Drew Fifield from Fremd, who was 30-22 for the Vikings.

Fifield would finish third ahead of Schaumburg’s Iverson Cortes.

126- Erik Rodriguez, Grant

Erik Rodriguez is part of the wrestling revival at Grant that has plenty of lower-weight potential and the Bulldogs freshmen would continue his impressive rookie season by claiming his second consecutive IWCOA title with his win at 126-pounds over league rival, Stevenson’s Val Vihrov.

Rodriguez, who registered a 36-12 overall record, which included 17 pins and a trip to sectionals, overcame a dicey first period to come back and beat Vihrov, 7-5.

“We knew we were going up against an opponent who had some great judo moves and after he got thrown at the start of the match he had to fight off his back for over a minute to stay alive, which was incredibly impressive, said Grant head coach, Mark Jolcover, who starred at Stevenson during his prep career.

“Erik has incredible maturity for being just a freshman, he’s an exceptional athlete with great wrestling skills, a top tier work ethic, and a very strong mental fortitude, which we saw when he really battled in that match and had to dig deep against a very good opponent,” continued Jolcover.

“Having high expectations for himself will only help him moving forward, and all of us are excited to have him in our program, and to see him compete proudly with a G on his chest for the next three years.”

Rodriguez defeat the eventual fourth-place medalist, Mundelein’s Ethan Banda, while Vihrov stunned the top seed and 2022 state qualifier, Schaumburg’s Callen Kirchner (34-7), who later finished third, in his semifinal match.

“Val is a first-year wrestler and new to the sport as well, but he works incredibly hard, and has little fear when taking risks to try to score points,” Cook said. “He is an exciting wrestler to watch and we are looking forward to watch him grow and develop.”

132- Rodrigo Arceo, Hersey

You could have easily substituted quotes from Anthony Orozco at 113 pounds with his teammate from Hersey, Rodrigo Arceo, following the latter’s dominating performance in the 132-pound final.

Orozco could not say enough about his teammates, workout partners, or the great vibe in the Huskies room, and, no more than 15 minutes later, Arceo would double down on how much the room has meant to him.

“There are so many great leaders in our room, seniors like: (James) Shaffer, Aaron Hernandez, Parker Sena, Ben (Erhabor) and Oleg Simakov, who all have been one of the big reasons for the success of the team, and program, and for me, all of those guys, plus the rest of my teammates are the reason that I’ve been able to be a better wrestler,” said Arceo, who won 22 matches on the year.

“I want to get better, and to be someone that can help our team next year as much as I can, so I am going to put the extra work in that needs to be done,” added Arceo after his fall at 4:50 in the finals over Rocco Fontela, who won IHSA, and IWCOA regionals this year.

“Some thrive because of their environment, and some succeed in spite of it, when Rocco selects the right muse, so to speak, his training, and performance reflect just that,” began Levanti.

“So far this spring he’s chosen correctly, and while the talent and the scrambling have always been there, he has begun to eliminate his mistakes, except in this final, and that has made all the differencen and improvement for him.”

Johnsburg’s Landon Johnson and Barrington’s George Voris are on their way to Springfield after finishing third, and fourth respectively.

138- Dominic Vitale, Crystal Lake Central

Dominic Vitale rolled over and through the competition during the past two weekends, recording a 14-0 major decision victory on his way to a regional title and then following up that with another outstanding day at Lake Zurich to capture the top prize, and a spot in the 32-man field at state.

“Dominic was a varsity wrestler last year, and took his lumps at times, but he still did a great job competing as an underclassmen at a big weight,” Lehr said. “This year he has made huge strides in terms of understanding the sport better, learning his own strengths, and realizing he can compete with other good guys.”

“I am glad that he is challenging himself to continue to grow in the sport.”

Vitale, who was a regional champion and one of 14 Tigers who advanced into the Rochelle Sectional, finished with a 21-13 record.

Grayslake Central’s William Nash IIl, who lost to Vitale 10-2 in the finals, moves on, as do Hersey’s Luke Koclanis and Fremd’s Jack Sloan. Koclanis won the third-place match with a fall in 0:57.

145- Kevin Hernandez, Mundelein

Kevin Hernandez is on his way to Frosh/Soph State for a second time after defeating McHenry’s Aiden Schuldt 11-7 to garner the 145-pound sectional prize.

“Kevin was in control of his entire finals match, and was able to finish this sectional tournament very strong,” said Mundelein head coach Craig Stocker. “He put a lot of time in on the mat throughout the offseason, and it has shown.

“Last year as a freshmen, he was not on our varsity roster, but he still managed to get himself to Frosh/Soph State, and this year, he is excited to be going back, where his goal is to get on the podium down there, which I believe he is quite capable of doing.”

The Mustangs sophomore, won 27 matches this past season, finished on the podium in nearly every tournament his club competed in, and was a sectional qualifier at Barrington, where he advanced to the third round of wrestlebacks before falling just short of the blood round.

Zion-Benton’s Tyson Poyer finished third while McHenry’s Avian Roman took fourth place. 

152- Justice Humphreys, Warren Township

Justice Humphreys was thrilled to be moving on in the IWCOA postseason following his 1-0 win over Buffalo Grove’s Chris Chi in a hard-fought 152-pound final.

The Blue Devils sophomore, who wrestled at 170 for the regional champions, and won 31 matches in his first full year with the big club, beat Crystal Lake Central’s Tommy Tomasello 10-5 in the semifinals after recording a pin in his sectional opener.

“After being a part of a team that made it to dual-team state, this feels great to make it downstate,” Humphreys said.

Chi, who did not wrestle this past season for head coach George Beres, and only has competed  in the IWCOA series, lost his regional opener, then caught fire according to Beres.

“Chris has just eight matches this season he does judo outside of school, but after that 13-11 loss at regionals, he’s been nearly untouchable,” said Beres.

“After that loss, he recorded back-to-back tech falls, then a pin in his third-place match, then today, he pinned his way into the semifinal against (George) Ciezak from Stevenson, who he beat in the regional final a week ago,” continued Beres. “He’s a great kid, a natural athlete, so hopefully we can keep him around next year, where he can continue to improve and have success.”

Ciezak finished third over Tomasello, who was a regional champ a week ago.

160- Aiden Fischler, McHenry

With the inspiration of the brilliant Chris Moore to follow,  Aiden Fischler went on to win the 160-pound weight class following his pin over Hersey’s Connor Moga at 3:43.

“Just being around Chris was amazing, his work ethic, and dedication was something that really made a big impression on me and although there will not be another Chris Moore he was someone I looked up to,” said Fischler, who was a sectional qualifier, who went 2-2 at the Barrington Sectional.

“(Chris) brought the work up from everyone in the room so I feel real lucky to have been in the room all season long to watch what it takes to be at the level he was at,” added Fischler, who was near untouchable on his way to earning his sectional crown.

Chris Moore, who will wrestle next season at Illinois, set all sorts of records during his time at McHenry including a 99-1 overall record over his two years for the Warriors, an astounding 608 takedowns, plus 33 pins on his way to a second-place finish in 2022, and state championship recently in Champaign.

Crystal Lake Central’s Tyler Porter took third place with a fall over Bartlett’s James Smrha.

170- John Rappa, Rolling Meadows

John Rappa gave new head coach Joe Puzzo something to celebrate after the Rolling Meadows freshmen beat Jacobs’ Johnny Strauss in the 170-pound final with a 9-1 major decision.

“John has improved immensely, he understands the work ethic and dedication to continue to improve,” says Puzzo, who was head coach at Buffalo Grove in 2022 before moving over to take charge of the Mustangs program.

Rappa survived a 2-1 overtime match in his semifinal over the eventual third-place medalist, Libertyville’s Jack Treutelaar, to book his spot in the final.

“The kid from Libertyville (Treutelaar) was a defensive wrestler, which we exposed at regionals, but John was unable to get off the bottom, and he lost,” continued Puzzo.

“In that semifinal, we asked Jack to push the pace, own the mat, and move the young man, this time, Jack was not held down at all, he was relentless, and kept attacking.”

“I could have been better in my regional, so it was nice to have a second chance at (Treutelaar) and although it was a tough match, I think it really helped my confidence heading into the final,” said Rappa, who after his escape at the start of the second period, grabbed a 3-0 lead, before going on to a 5-0 advantage heading into the third period.

“Jack is resilient, and a model student athlete in the Mustang community,” added Puzzo of his rookie 170-pounder who was 14-14 during the regular season.

Strauss, who had state medal winner teammates: Dominic Ducato, and James Wright in his corner, cruised into the final with a pin at 3:55.

Treutelaar would later record a fall to defeat Palatine’s Esteban Suarez to claim third place.

182- Donald Powyer, Warren Township

Donald Powyer, who was able to get a taste of varsity wrestling for the dual team state qualifiers from Warren Township, used the  experience that he gained to come away with a well-deserved sectional title at 182 pounds.

The sophomore opened tournament play with a pin in 3:00 before easing past Libertyville’s Andrew Langfeldt with a 6-5 decision to gain a berth in the final against Zion-Benton’s Francisco Yilmaz.

Once there, Powyer took the lead for good at 4-3 with a late second period takedown near the edge and would add to his lead at 6-4 with one minute left on the clock, then fought off a determined Yilmaz, whose escape with 17 seconds from time made this match close.

“I am so excited to be heading to Frosh/Soph State,” said Powyer. “I’m really lucky to be in a room at Warren that has so much talent, and one that helps all of us get better each day we go into the room,” continued the Blue Devils sophomore, who was 5-1 with the big club in his limited time with the varsity.

“I’ve got teammates like: Justice (Humphreys), Demetrius Lin, Jeremija Hixson and even our 220-pounder, Anthony Soto, to roll around with each day, so I am bound to get better and ready for next year when I look to be a starter.”

McHenry’s Ariel Montes pinned Langfeldt in the third-place contest.

195- Lamero Caesar, Waukegan

It was a case of deja vu all over again in the 195-pound weight class that was dominated by the same four men that had control in this division last weekend at the Lakes Regional.

This time, however, it was Waukegan sophomore Lamero Caesar who would come out on top following his well-executed pin at 4:50 over Warren Township’s Dylan Soto that led to his sectional title.

Caesar was third at regionals behind champion Soto and Johnsburg’s CJ Ameachi, who was second in there. He beat Ameachi in a 6-2 semifinals decision before going on to dash the hopes of Soto to win back-to-back majors.

Ameachi, who was a 1A sectional qualifier for Johnsburg with a 22-16 overall record, pinned his way into the Lakes Regional final, where he added another fall to his day over Soto.

At that regional, Caesar came back from a semifinal defeat to Soto to pin Zion-Benton’s Isaiah Toledo, who is also going downstate following his fourth place finish.

Caesar, 16-12 during the regular season, saw his season end at the Grant Regional in a blood-round loss to a hometown hero, Cameron Lattimore, who enjoyed a marvelous final year with the Bulldogs with a 35-14 record.

220 – Anthony Soto, Warren Township

It was too much Anthony Soto for the 220-pound weight class at Lake Zurich.

The Warren sophomore rolled into the final, where he recorded a 3-0 victory over Crystal Lake Central’s Thomas McNeil to earn a spot in the IWCOA Frosh/Soph State Tournament, one week after winning his last match of the regular season at the 3A DualTeam state Tournament in Bloomington.

Soto’s pin over his opponent from Lockport was just one of four victories in that state quarterfinal to give him a record of 32-12 on a season in which Soto handled the 220-pound spot for the Blue Devils all throughout, and a place in the Barrington Sectional field after finishing second at both the Lake County Invite and Grant Regional.

“Thomas (McNeil) was not on our varsity roster a year ago, but he stepped into our lineup this year, and did a great  job as an underclassmen at a big weight,” said Lehr.

“H) was in a very difficult weight at the Rochelle Sectional, and I know he was disappointed in how things would shake down for him.”

“He came down to Champaign to watch the rest of his teammates to watch our state qualifiers, and I think a light came on that allowed him to see and understand that he has the ability to compete at the state level next season – and a medal at Frosh/Soph State would be a great stepping stone for him.”

The Tigers sophomore went 19-7 in his rookie year under Lehr, and followed up his elimination at sectionals with a regional title when he beat Dundee-Crown freshmen Teigen Moreno for the top prize.

Moreno was a 3A sectional qualifier, posting an impressive 33-8 record, which included a first-round loss at sectionals to Soto, who lost in the blood round to Fremd senior Casey Bending.

Stevenson’s Anthony Adams finished in fourth place to also earn a trip to Springfield.

285 – Clarence Jackson, Barrington 

There was a time when the heavyweight division was made up of lumbering giants who pushed, and pulled their way to victory.

A look at the division is so much different now as the weight class is filled with the same big men,only now they possess quickness afoot, speed and plenty of agility, making this an exciting group to watch.

It’s a difficult weight class to be sure, especially for an underclassmen, and Barrington freshmen Clarence Jackson is one to watch.

Coming off his first sectional appearance, the rookie Bronco is headed downstate with back-to-back majors,  the last one coming after his hard fought 4-2 decision over Waukegan’s Ivan Rogel Martinez.

“Yeah, it’s not an easy weight class to get started in, I’ve gotten beat up, and battered at times this season, but I am just loving this sport, my teammates, and coaching staff, so it’s been a great year for me,” said the affable Jackson, who is a nose tackle and defensive tackle during the fall football season.

“Clarence has come a long way fast, he’s a terrific athlete, who is like a sponge right now, and to be honest, in just his first year in the sport, he’s shown all of us that he can be a real force down the road,” said Broncos assistant, Ryan Horcher, who was a three-time state qualifier while at Dundee-Crown under Hall of Fame head coach, Al Zinke, and fourth-place state medalist his senior year.

“I feel like I am quicker, and faster than a lot of the guys I wrestle, even though I am really undersized as a heavyweight, but if I continue to put the work in during the offseason, there’s no reason why I cannot be even better next year,” said Jackson, who credit his uncle, Houston Neals, for much of his success thus far.

Jackson, who came in at 245 pounds, was 23-16 during the regular season.

Outside of runner-up Martinez, Stevenson’s Andrew Timmons took third place while Jacobs’ Max Garcia finished fourth..

Lincoln-Way West, Lincoln-Way East lead the way at IWCOA Thornton Township Sectional

By Curt Herron

HARVEY – The Thornton Township Sectional typified the other seven sectionals that the IWCOA held in order to assemble its field for its Freshman Sophomore State Championships, which take place on Saturday and Sunday at the Bank of Springfield Center in Springfield.

There was a mixture of individuals who fell a bit short in the sectionals of advancing to the IHSA Individual Finals in Champaign, some who didn’t get to compete much since they were on a state-ranked teams and a few who had health reasons for not seeing much action.

But whatever the reasons, getting the opportunity to enjoy one more weekend of success has definitely been a winning formula for many competitors throughout the years, and they can thank the IWCOA, which is conducting its 27th-annual tournament this weekend. 

There’s a long list of athletes who just missed out on getting to state one year and then were on the awards stand the next year, thanks in part to getting valuable tournament experience at the IWCOA Finals.

While many of their teammates have turned in the singlets for the season, 480 will compete in Springfield for the chance to get to the awards stand one final time this season or just conclude a campaign where they hoped to accomplish a little more than they did.

Lincoln-Way East and Lincoln-Way West led the way for individuals qualifying for the State Finals with seven apiece while Lockport Township was next with five qualifiers and Bolingbrook, Coal City and Plainfield Central all advanced four individuals to Bloomington.

Teams that had three qualifiers were Joliet Catholic Academy, Joliet West, Minooka and Morris while Bradley-Bourbonnais, Plainfield North, Plainfield South and Seneca all advanced two to state.

Lincoln-Way East had the most champions with four while Lincoln-Way West had three title winners and Plainfield Central had two champions. Andrew, Bolingbrook, JCA, Lockport , Morris and Plainfield North also each had one individual who won a title.

Sectional champions were Lincoln-Way East’s Kaidge Richardson (120), Brayden Mortell (132), Declan Dircks (152) and Jackson Zaeske (160), Lincoln-Way West’s Jakob Siwinski (126), Nathan Elstner (182) and Brandon Bavirsha (220), Plainfield Central’s Aiden Rudman (138) and Antonio Montoya (285), Morris’ Owen Sater (101), Lockport Township’s Isaac Zimmerman (106), Bolingbrook’s Jared Craig (113), Plainfield North’s Jack Tota (145), Joliet Catholic Academy’s Maximus Vela (170) and Andrew’s Joe Zimmer (195).

Finishing in second place were Bolingbrook’s Angel Godinez (101), Isaac Harris (106) and Marcus Poe (152), Lincoln-Way West’s Jack Strezo (113) and Jimmy Talley (170),  Lockport Township’s Anthony Diorio (126) and Malik Salah (220), Morris’ Carter Skoff (120), Homewood-Flossmoor’s Robye Williams (132), Bishop McNamara’s Ethan Pfeiffer (145), Plainfield South’s Colin Bickett (160), Coal City’s Cade Poyner (182) and Bradley-Bourbonnais’ Mark Argyelan (195).

Taking third place were Joliet West’s Adrian Hernandez (126), Tai’Vaughn Johnson (182) and Andre De Leon (220), Minooka’s 

Anthony Frescura (132) and Ben Cyrkiel (145), Rich Township’s Davion Henry (101), Coal City’s Luke Munsterman (106), Morris’ Brandon Anderson (113), Joliet Catholic Academy’s Aurelio Munoz (120), Plainfield Central’s Matthias Hautzinger (138), Plainfield South’s Chase Pierceall (152), Lockport Township’s Durango Valles (160), Lincoln-Way West’s Chris Yirsa (170), Kankakee’s Jacob Vinardi (195) and Romeoville’s Jamir Thomas (285).

And finishing fourth were Coal City’s Rey Gonzalez (120) and Mason Garner (138), Seneca’s Landen Venecia (182) and Sullivan Feldt (195), Lincoln-Way West’s Max Munn (101), Lincoln-Way East’s Noah Ciolkosz (106), Bradley-Bourbonnais’ Cameron Borneman (113), Minooka’s Cole Spivey (126), Plainfield Central’s Jack Bowen (132), Clifton Central’s Giona Panozzo (145), Plainfield North’s Raphael Tovar (152), Lincoln-Way Central’s Aiden Hennings (160), Wilmington’s Logan Van Duyne (170), Joliet Catholic Academy’s Elijah Watt (220) and Lockport Township’s Jake Kratz (285).

Coach Kevin Rockett’s Lincoln-Way East team enjoyed another successful season by being ranked in the top-10 and giving Lockport a run for its money in the Class 3A Lockport Regional, but the Griffins fell short of the title by a 224-214 margin to the Porters. Lockport claimed a third-place finish in Bloomington, just as it did a year ago after Lincoln-Way East beat it to win its first conference title and but then the Porters defeated the Griffins to win the regional title.

Frosh/Soph sectional champions for the Griffins were Kaidge Richardson (120), Brayden Mortell (132), Declan Dircks (152) and Jackson Zaeske (160) while Rory Moran (138) and Ryan Stingily (285) took second and Noah Ciolkosz (106) placed fourth.

Richardson won a 10-1 major decision over Morris’ Carter Skoff at 120 and Mortell claimed the title at 132 by injury default after Homewood-Flossmoor’s Robye Williams didn’t compete in the finals. Dircks won 2-0 in sudden victory over Bolingbrook’s Marcus Poe in the 152 title match while Zaeske captured a 4-2 decision over Plainfield South’s Colin Bickett in the 160 finals.

Coach Brian Glynn’s Lincoln-Way West program was ranked high all season and won a regional title but fell to Lockport in the sectionals to be denied of a third trip to state, which it last qualified for in 2017.

The Warriors’ sectional champions at Thornton Township were Jakob Siwinski (126), Nathan Elstner (182) and Brandon Bavirsha (220). Lincoln-Way West also got second-place finishes from Jack Strezo (113) and Jimmy Talley (170), a third-place showing from Chris Yirsa (170) and a fourth-place effort from Max Munn (101).

“My season got cut short,” Siwinski said. “I was cutting 14 pounds a week and at regionals, I didn’t wrestle in it because I couldn’t get my weight down any more. My brother Luke wanted me to make it, too, so that we both would make it state together. And my dad, Larry, has always been there for me, so I’m happy about that.” 

Lockport Township’s lone Frosh/Soph sectional champion was Isaac Zimmerman (106) while Anthony Diorio (126) and Malik Salah (220) placed second. Durango Valles (160) claimed third place and Jake Kratz (285) finished fourth.

“The thing about this is like redemption for me,” Zimmerman said. “I was winning 6-0 in the blood round (at the Normal Community Sectional) going into the third period and I got cradled and pinned. I should be able to win since I enjoyed seeing everybody on the team do well. And that was a good experience, not only just watching them perform but also to be there with them.”

The Porters took third place in Class 3A for the second straight year and for the third time overall. The program has now won five trophies since 2015 with the highlight coming in 2017 when they won the Class 3A title. Jameson Oster made an excellent debut as head coach, stepping in for his brother Josh, who led the program to its other trophies. In the Dual Team finals in Bloomington, Lockport beat Jake Oster-led Yorkville 45-16 in the first-ever meeting of two brothers in the state finals in the history of the tournament.

Plainfield Central had two champions and two other qualifiers. Aiden Rudman won a 6-2 decision over Moran at 138 and Antonio Montoya took top honors at 285 with a fall in 4:34 over Stingily, Also at 138, Matthias Hautzinger took third while Jack Bowen was fourth at 132.

“This means a lot,” Montoya said. “I just came back from almost a year off due to an injury after I broke my arm, so this was my first tournament back. I was very bummed. I’m a sophomore and I’ve been wrestling since sixth grade. It was very exciting, but I was nervous, as well. But it turned out good since I won. I’m excited about IWCOA state, and then after that, we have the offseason, and I’m going to work a lot during that time and get back to it.”

That highlighted a good debut season for coach Terry Kubski, a Wildcat alumni who’s in the school’s athletics hall of fame for being a member of its best dual team. He was in the corner when Alicia Tucker recently made history by winning the IHSA title at 155, joining Ryan Prater and Chris Traversa as the school’s only state champions.

Coal City had four qualifiers but no champions with Cade Poyner taking second place to Elstner at 182. Others who advanced for the Coalers were Luke Munsterman (106), who placed third, and Rey Gonzalez (120) and Mason Garner (138), who both took fourth.

The Coalers won their first state championship in the sport and third in any sport in school history after beating defending champion Yorkville Christian 32-31 for the Class 1A title in Bloomington. Coach Mark Masters’ Coalers, who were top-ranked all season, have won six trophies for the 2022 IWCOA Hall of Fame inductee since 2015. 

Bolingbrook also had one champion and four qualifiers for first-year coach AJ Knoll, who also had a successful debut season. Winning a title for the Raiders was Jared Craig, who won a 7-3 decision over Strezo at 113. Angel Godinez (101) and Isaac Harris (106) took second prior to Craig’s title and Marcus Poe (152) also was second.

Joliet Catholic Academy had three qualifiers with Maximus Vela winning the title at 170 over Talley with an 11-1 major decision. Also for the Hilltoppers, Aurelio Munoz (120) took third place and Elijah Watt (220) finished fourth.

“I definitely enjoy competing wherever it is,” Vela said. “Every competition is just to make me better. My teammates, like state champ Mason Alessio and state finalist Nico Ronchetti are always there, pushing me to make me better. We had 11 underclassmen this year, so we’re just getting better from here.” 

It was another great season for coach Ryan Cumbee’s Hilltoppers, who were the defending champions and top-ranked in Class 2A for most of the season but they lost a 28-27 heartbreaker to Washington in the state championship dual in a clash of the 2A’s top two teams.

Morris also had a champion and two other qualifiers as coach Lenny Tryner’s squad got a title win from Owen Sater at 101, when he recorded a fall in 2:35 over Godinez. Carter Skoff (120) took second to Richardson and Brandon Anderson (113) finished in third place.

Also having three qualifiers were coach Chuck Rumpf’s Joliet West team that advanced Adrian Hernandez (126), Tai’Vaughn Johnson (182) and Andre De Leon (220), who all took third. Coach Mike Kimberlin’s Minooka squad had third-place finishers Anthony Frescura (132), Ben Cyrkiel (145) and Cole Spivey (126) took fourth.

The other sectional champion was Andrew’s Joe Zimmer (195), who won with a fall in 1:23 over Bradley-Bourbonnais’ Mark Argyelan.

Thornton Township Sectional championship matches

101 – Owen Sater (Morris) F 2:35 Angel Godinez (Bolingbrook)

106 – Isaac Zimmerman (Lockport Township) D 10-4 Isaac Harris (Bolingbrook)

113 – Jared Craig (Bolingbrook) D 7-3 Jack Strezo (Lincoln-Way West)

120 – Kaidge Richardson (Lincoln-Way East) MD 10-1 Carter Skoff (Morris)

126 – Jakob Siwinski (Lincoln-Way West) F 1:52 Anthony Diorio (Lockport Township)

132 – Brayden Mortell (Lincoln-Way East) Inj. Robye Williams (Homewood-Flossmoor)

138 – Aiden Rudman (Plainfield Central) D 6-2 Rory Moran (Lincoln-Way East)

145 – Jack Tota (Plainfield North) D 4-2 Ethan Pfeiffer (Bishop McNamara)

152 – Declan Dircks (Lincoln-Way East) SV 2-0 Marcus Poe (Bolingbrook)

160 – Jackson Zaeske (Lincoln-Way East) D 4-2 Colin Bickett (Plainfield South)

170 – Maximus Vela (Joliet Catholic Academy) MD 11-1 Jimmy Talley (Lincoln-Way West)

182 – Nathan Elstner (Lincoln-Way West) F 1:40 Cade Poyner (Coal City)

195 – Joe Zimmer (Andrew) F 1:23 Marl Argyelan (Bradley-Bourbonnais)

220- Brandon Bavirsha (Lincoln-Way West) F 2:34 Malik Salah (Lockport Township)

285 – Antonio Montoya (Plainfield Central) F 4:34 Ryan Stingily (Lincoln-Way East)

IWCOA Boys Freshman/Sophomore State and Girls Open Championships this weekend in Springfield

By Curt Herron

A total of 480 competitors from 210 schools will compete in this weekend’s 27th annual Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Official Association Freshman Sophomore State Championships, which is on Saturday and Sunday at the Bank of Springfield Center in Springfield.

The top four finishers from eight sectionals that were held last weekend will take part in the tournament, which is for sophomores and freshmen who did not qualify for the IHSA Individual Finals.

Doors open on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. and the opening ceremonies get underway at 10:30 a.m. The round of 16 begins at 2 p.m. and second-round consolation matches start at 6 p.m. A total of 138 girls have signed up for the event that is open to anyone in high school.

On Sunday, doors open at 9 a.m. with the quarterfinals and consolation round three matches at 10 a.m., consolation round four matches at noon and semifinals and quarterfinals consolation matches at 2 p.m. The Finals are scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m.

At the same time the IWCOA Girls Open Tournament will take place.On Sunday, the semifinals begin at 10 a.m. and the Finals are scheduled for 2 p.m.  A total of 138 girls have signed up for the competition which is open to anyone who is in high school. At least six individuals who placed at the IHSA Finals in Bloomington are entered in the competition.

Here’s a list of all of the qualifiers for the Boys Freshman/Sophomore Championships, with their finishes at their respective sectionals listed as well as the results of all of the sectional championship matches.Evanston Sectional – IWCOA F/S State qualifiers

Oak Park and River Forest, Taft and York all had two champions at the Evanston Sectional, which featured qualifiers from the Glenbrook South and Niles Notre Dame Regionals. Oak Park and River Forest qualified six individuals for the IWCOA Frosh/Soph Finals in Springfield while Maine South and York had five qualifiers and Proviso West advanced four individuals.

Sectional champions were Taft’s Bernardo Roque (101) and David Ruiz (106), York’s Jackson Hanselman (120) and Frankie Nitti (132), Oak Park and River Forest’s Carey Robinson (195) and Eric Harris (220), Lane Tech’s Alexander Valentin (113), Deerfield’s Jack Palzet (126), DePaul College Prep’s Matthew Brendel (138), Chicago’s Van Grasser (145), Maine South’s Aidan Swenson (152), Glenbrook North’s Shane Onixt (160), Glenbrook South’s Alan Motoa (170), Evanston’s Brian Henry (182) and Notre Dame’s Scott Cook (285).

Finishing in second place were DePaul College Prep’s Dimitri Dobre (101) and Colin Bosak (106), Notre Dame’s John Greifelt (113), Maine South’s Jack Handley (120), Addison Trail’s Joshua Amorn-Vichet (126), New Trier’s Yassin Aitzemkour (132), York’s Benjamin Gorny (138), Proviso West’s Marquis Deloach (145), Glenbrook South’s Henry Downing (152),Maine West’s Peter Greco (160), Oak Park and River Forest’s Victor Vanek (170), Lane Tech’s Joaqin Gigante (182), Amundsen’s Michael Wojtach (195), Loyola Academy’s Joey Herbert (220) and Niles West’s Alex Hernandez (285).

Taking third place were Oak Park and River Forest’s Gabriel Rojas (113) and Taylor Francis (120), York’s Robert Martinelli (126) and Michael Grazzini (152), Evanston’s Chris Fargo (220) and Jeremy Marshall (285), Proviso West’s Andre Rice (101), Glenbrook South’s James Dravenack (106), Highland Park’s Nathan Ferrari (132), Deerfield’s Charlie Cross (138), New Trier’s Micah Eickbush (145), Maine South’s Jack Staunton (160), Notre Dame’s Sean Adams (170), Morton’s Lenin Conteras (182) and Leyden’s Erick Worwa (195).

Claiming fourth place were Maine South’s George Georgiev (101) and Evan Rioch (170), Proviso West’s Christian Guerrero (106) and Daniel Murillo (152), Glenbrook North’s Ebin Fladeland (132) and Henry Hafner (138), Fenwick’s Myles Moriarty (160) and Gianni Bertacchi (220), Deerfield’s Noah Palzet (113), Maine West’s Logan Battersby (120), Maine East’s Dulguun Nyamdavaa (126), Fenton’s Omar Diaz (145), Oak Park and River Forest’s Benjamin Martin (182), Elk Grove’s John Keigher (195) and Loyola Academy’s Tyler Isaacson (285).

Evanston Sectional championship matches

101 – Bernardo Roque (Taft) MD 12-0 Dimitri Dobre (DePaul College Prep)

106 – David Ruiz (Taft) F 1:18 Colin Bosak (DePaul College Prep)

113 – Alexander Valentin (Lane Tech) MD 15-6 John Greifelt (Notre Dame)

120 – Jackson Hanselman (York) F 1:45 Jack Handley (Maine South)

126 – Jack Palzet (Deerfield) D 6-2 Joshua Amorn–Vichet (Addison Trail)

132 – Frankie Nitti (York) F 2:10 Yassin Aitzemkour (New Trier)

138 – Matthew Brendel (DePaul College Prep) D 4-3 Benjamin Gorny (York)

145 – Van Grasser (Chicago) D 5-0 Marquis Deloach (Proviso West)

152 – Aidan Swenson (Maine South) D 11-7 Henry Downing (Glenbrook South)

160 – Shane Onixt (Glenbrook North) F 1:30 Peter Greco (Maine West)

170 – Alan Motoa (Glenbrook South) F 2:01 Victor Vanek (Oak Park and River Forest)

182 – Brian Henry (Evanston) F 2:23 Joaqin Gigante (Lane Tech)

195 – Carey Robinson (Oak Park and River Forest) MD 9-1 Michael Wojtach (Amundsen)

220 – Eric Harris (Oak Park and River Forest) D 4-1 Joey Herbert (Loyola Academy)

285 – Scott Cook (Notre Dame) F 1:37 Alex Hernandez (Niles West)

Granite City Sectional – IWCOA F/S State qualifiers

Quincy had three title winners while Belleville East, Belleville West and Waterloo all had two champions at the Granite City Sectional, which included qualifiers from the Althoff Catholic and Southeast Regionals. Edwardsville had the most qualifiers for the IWCOA F/S Finals with nine while Quincy had five and Waterloo had four.

Sectional champions were Quincy’s Hugh Sharrow (101), Brody Baker (138) and Todd Smith (285), Waterloo’s Konnor Stephens (106) and Jackson Deutch (160), Belleville West’s Aiden Colbert (132) and Shamontae Matthews (220), Belleville East’s Braden Kelly (145) and Terence Willis (152). Glenwood’s Kayle Blankenship (113), Warrensburg-Latham’s Kaden Roberts (120), Granite City’s Brenden Rayl (126), Jacksonville’s Abram Davidson (170), Vandalia’s Kaden Tidwell (182) and Highland’s Ashton Zobrist (195).

Placing second were Jacksonville’s Dashawn Armstrong (120) and Aiden Surratt (285),.Edwardsville’s Cameron Moerlien (132) and John Cloud (160), Triad’s William Kelly (101), Benton’s Zane Stanley (106), Marion’s Riddick Cook (113), PORTA’s Logan Baker (126), Roxana’s Lyndon Thies (138), Quincy’s Gunnar Derhake (145), Civic Memorial’s Luke McCoy (152), Trico’s Colin Hughey (170), Pittsfield’s Tucker Cook (182), Quincy Notre Dame’s Ryan Darnell (195) and Granite City’s Enrique Morales (220). 

Taking third place were Edwardsville’s Tyler Perry (106), KJ Jamison (126), Logan Hiller (132), Brendan Landau (152), Simon Schulte (182), Roman Janek (195) and Dominic Dykstra (220), Warrensburg-Latham’s Charles Wittmer (101), Waterloo’s Ty Kinzinger (113), Triad’s Brody Smith (120), Marion’s Tate Miller (138), Alton’s Brayden Drew (145), Herrin’s Kolby Coffey (160), Belleville West’s Ethan Hofmeister (170) and Granite City’s Demarco Clark (285).

And finishing fourth were PORTA’s Zachary Bryant (106) and Hunter Morris (220), Cahokia’s Ja’marcus Agnew (101), Quincy’s Wyatt Boeing (113), Murphysboro’s Aiston Holt (120), Benton’s Kobe Cali (126), Belleville East’s Dewane Taylor (132), Waterloo’s Bladen Sease (138), East St. Louis’ Pierre Walton (145), Camp Point Central’s Konnor Bush (152), Glenwood’s Matthew Trapani (160), Carterville’s Jonathan Weideman (170), Springfield High’s Keyshaun Harris (182), Southeast’s Christopher Hull (195) and Beardstown’s 

Chunk Dailey (285).

Granite City Sectional championship matches

101 – Hugh Sharrow (Quincy) D 7-0 William Kelly (Triad)

106 – Konnor Stephens (Waterloo) F 2:34 Zane Stanley (Benton)

113 – Kayle Blankenship (Glenwood) D 9-7 Riddick Cook (Marion)

120 – Kaden Roberts (Warrensburg-Latham) TF 5-4 Dashawn

 Armstrong (Jacksonville)

126 – Brenden Rayl (Granite City) F 0:38 Logan Baker (PORTA)

132 – Aiden Colbert (Belleville West) D 2-1 Cameron Moerlien 


138 – Brody Baker (Quincy) D 7-6 Lyndon Thies (Roxana)

145 – Braden Kelly (Belleville East) F 4:37 Gunnar Derhake (Quincy)

152 – Terence Willis (Belleville East) MD 14-5  Luke McCoy (Civic Memorial)

160 – Jackson Deutch (Waterloo) D 4-0 John Cloud (Edwardsville)

170 – Abram Davidson (Jacksonville) D 7-2 Colin Hughey (Trico)

182 – Kaden Tidwell (Vandalia) F 3:00 Tucker Cook (Pittsfield)

195 – Ashton Zobrist (Highland) Inj. Ryan Darnell (Quincy Notre Dame)

220 – Shamontae Matthews (Belleville West) D 7-3 Enrique Morales (Granite City)

285 – Todd Smith (Quincy) D 3-1 Aiden Surratt (Jacksonville) 

Heyworth Sectional – IWCOA F/S State qualifiers

Fifteen different schools had champions at the Heyworth Sectional, which featured qualifiers from theClinton and Normal Regionals. Washington and Richwoods both advanced five individuals to the IWCOA Frosh/Soph State Championship that will take place this weekend at the Bank of Springfield Center in Springfield.

Winning sectional titles were Washington’s Symon Woods (101), Normal West’s Dylan McGrew (106), Tremont’s Dylan Eimer (113), Morton’s Caiden Robison (120), Metamora’s Connor Graham (126), Danville’s Ty Rangel (132), Pontiac’s Boden Brooks (138), Mahomet-Seymour’s AJ Demos (145), Olympia’s Kelton Graden (152), Unity’s Josh Heath (160), Clinton’s Kristian Hibbard (170), Dunlap’s Joe Weeks (182),  Limestone’s Ethan Dixon (195), High School of Saint Thomas More’s James Schmidt (220) and Bloomington’s David Williams (285)

Finishing second were Richwoods’ Gabe Robb (113), Tyler Weiland (120) and Rikyis Doss (132), Bloomington’s KyVeon Chestnut (145) and Kenner Bye (170), Mt. Zion’s Kaden Becker (160) and Keller Stocks (182), East Peoria’s Chase Bancroft (195) and Jose Deltoro (285), Canton’s Dyllan Steele (101), Mahomet-Seymour’s Colton McClure (106), Hoopeston Area’s Aiden Bell (126), Deer Creek-Mackinaw’s Peyton Hixon (138), St. Joseph-Ogden’s Coy Hayes (152) and El Paso-Gridley’s Christopher Blackmore (220).

Placing third were Normal Community’s Jackson Soney (101) and Carter Mayes (120), Westville’s Gabe Kiddoo (160) and Ethan Miller (182), El Paso-Gridley’s Nolan Whitman (106), Richwoods Colton Boyer (113), Prairie Central’s John Traub (126), Monticello’s Drake Weeks (132), Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley’s Corbin Ragle (138), Washington’s Cruise Brolley (145), Morton’s Clay McKee (152), Olympia’s Cole Bauer (170), Rantoul’s Drew Owen (195), Mahomet-Seymour’s Noah Daniels (220) and Metamora’s Ty Dyekes (285).

Taking fourth place were Washington’s Wyatt Leman (182), Jacob Gauf (220) and Sean Thornton (285), Normal West’s Ruben Rivera (101) and Logan Alvarez (138), Metamora’s Zach Bumeter (106), Bismarck-Henning-Rossville-Alvin’s Landon Toellner (113), Farmington’s Caleb Showalter (120), Danville’s Josiah Williams (126), Unity’s Avery McGrew (132), High School of Saint Thomas More’s Philip Christhilf (145), University High’s Joshua Caraballo (152), Normal Community’s Victor Reyes (160), Richwoods’ Gabriel Martinez (170) and Charleston’s Marcellx Boling (195).

Heyworth Sectional championship matches

101 – Symon Woods (Washington) MFF Dyllan Steele (Canton)

106 – Dylan McGraw (Normal West) MD 10-2 Colton McClure (Mahomet-Seymour)

113 – Dylan Eimer (Tremont) D 4-2 Gabe Robb (Richwoods)

120 – Caiden Robison (Morton) D 6-0 Tyler Weiland (Richwoods)

126 – Connor Graham (Metamora) D 5-2 Aiden Bell (Hoopeston Area)

132 – Ty Rangel (Danville) F 2:33 Rikyis Doss (Richwoods)

138 – Boden Brooks (Pontiac) MD 14-6 Peyton Hixon (Deer Creek-Mackinaw)

145 – AJ Demos (Mahomet-Seymour) MD 12-4 KyVeon Chestnut (Bloomington)

152 – Kelton Graden (Olympia) D 8-1 Coy Hayes (St. Joseph-Ogden)

160 – Josh Heath (Unity) F 4:37 Kaden Becker (Mt. Zion)

170 – Kristian Hibbard (Clinton) D 9-2 Kenner Bye (Bloomington)

182 – Joe Weeks (Dunlap) D 5-2 Keller Stocks (Mt. Zion)

195 – Ethan Dixon (Limestone) F 2:27 Chase Bancroft (East Peoria)

220 – James Schmidt (High School of Saint Thomas More) F 2:24 Christopher Blackmore (El Paso-Gridley)

285 – David Williams (Bloomington) F 2:33 Jose Deltoro (East Peoria) 

Lake Zurich Sectional – IWCOA F/S State qualifiers

Warren Township had three champions while Hersey had two title winners at the Lake Zurich Sectional, which included qualifiers from the Lake Zurich and Lakes Regionals. Stevenson qualified six individuals for the IWCOA Frosh/Soph Finals in Springfield while Crystal Lake Central and Hersey had five qualifiers and McHenry, Schaumburg and Warren Township all advanced four to state.

Sectional champion were Warren Township’s Justice Humphreys (152), Donald Powyer (182) and  Anthony Soto (220), Hersey’s Anthony Orozco (113) and Rodrigo Arceo (132), Schaumburg’s Austin Phelps (101), Cary-Grove’s Hunter Lenz (106), Prairie Ridge’s Mikey Meade (120), Grant’s Erik Rodriguez (126), Crystal Lake Central’s Dominic Vitale (138), Mundelein’s Kevin Hernandez (145), McHenry’s Aiden Fischler (160), Rolling Meadows’ John Rappa (170), Waukegan’s Lamero Caesar (195) and Barrington’s Clarence Jackson (285).

Taking second place were Stevenson’s Evan Mishels (101), Shawn Kogan (120) and Val Vihrov (126), Crystal Lake Central’s Payton Ramsey (106) and Thomas McNeil (220), Warren Township’s Evan Glowinski (113) and Dylan Soto (195), Schaumburg’s Rocco Fontela (132), Grayslake Central’s Warren Nash III (138), McHenry’s Aiden Schuldt (145), Buffalo Grove’s Chris Chi (152), Hersey’s Connor Moga (160), Jacobs’ Johnny Strauss (170), Zion-Benton’s Francisco Yilmaz (182) and Waukegan’s Ivan Rogel Martinez (285).

Taking third place were Fremd’s Trentin Odachowski (101) and Drew Fifield (120), Johnsburg’s Landon Johnson (132) and CJ Ameachi (195), Stevenson’s Everett Ciezak (152) and Andrew Timmons (285), Grant’s Vince Jasinski (106), Barrington’s Jimmy Whitaker (113), Schaumburg’s Callen Kirchner (126), Hersey’s Luke Koclanis (138), Zion-Benton’s Tyson Poyer (145), Crystal Lake Central’s Tyler Porter (160), Libertyville’s Jack Treutelaar (170), McHenry’s Ariel Montes (182) and Dundee-Crown’s Teigen Moreno (220).

Finishing fourth were Grant’s Larry Quirk (101), Hersey’s Riddick Variano (106), Grayslake Central’s Krish Sahu (113), Schaumburg’s Iverson Cortes (120), Mundelein’s Ethan Banda (126), Barrington’s George Voris (132), Fremd’s Jack Sloan (138), McHenry’s Avian Roman (145), Crystal Lake Central’s Tommy Tomasello (152), Bartlett’s James Smrha (160), Palatine’s Esteban Suarez (170),

Libertyville’s Andrew Langfeldt (182), Zion-Benton’s Isaiah Tellado (195), Stevenson’s Anthony Adams (220) and Jacobs’ Max Garcia (285).

Lake Zurich Sectional championship matches

101 – Austin Phelps (Schaumburg) D 7-3 Evan Mishels (Stevenson)

106 – Hunter Lenz (Cary-Grove) D 7-4 Payton Ramsey (Crystal Lake Central)

113 – Anthony Orozco (Hersey) D 9-3 Evan Glowinski (Warren Township)

120 – Mikey Meade (Prairie Ridge) D 3-1 Shawn Kogan (Stevenson)

126 – Erik Rodriguez (Grant) D 7-5 Val Vihrov (Stevenson)

132 – Rodrigo Arceo (Hersey) F 4:50 Rocco Fontela (Schaumburg)

138 – Dominic Vitale (Crystal Lake Central) MD 10-2 Warren Nash III (Grayslake Central)

145 – Kevin Hernandez (Mundelein) D 11-7 Aiden Schuldt (McHenry)

152 – Justice Humphreys (Warren Township) D 1-0 Chris Chi (Buffalo Grove)

160 – Aiden Fischler (McHenry) F 3:43 Connor Moga (Hersey)

170 – John Rappa (Rolling Meadows) MD 9-1 Johnny Strauss (Jacobs)

182 – Donald Powyer (Warren Township) D 8-5 Francisco Yilmaz (Zion-Benton)

195 – Lamero Caesar (Waukegan) F 4:59 Dylan Soto (Warren Township)

220 – Anthony Soto (Warren Township) D 3-0 Thomas McNeil (Crystal Lake Central)

285 – Clarence Jackson (Barrington) D 4-2 Ivan Rogel Martinez (Waukegan)

Naperville Central Sectional – IWCOA F/S State qualifiers

St. Charles East had three champions while Glenbard North and Marmion Academy had two apiece at the Naperville Central Sectional, which included teams from the Glenbard South and Oswego East Regionals. Naperville Central had the most qualifiers for the IWCOA Frosh/Soph Finals with five while Glenbard North and St. Charles East advance four each to the finals in Springfield.

Sectional champions were St. Charles East’s Ryan McGovern (145), Anthony Lobrillo (220) and Matthew Medina (285), Marmion Academy’s Ashton Hobson (132) and Mateusz Nycz (195), Glenbard North’s Rylan Kradle (138) and Tyler Ott (182), Oswego East’s Nico Harris (101), Lyons Township’s Griff Powell (106), Glenbard East’s Ismael Chaidez (113), Naperville North’s Tyler Sternstein (120),

Glenbard West’s Ulises Rosas (126), Yorkville Christian’s Robby Nelson (152), Yorkville’s Luke Chrisse (160) and Naperville Central’s Henry Rydwelski (170).

Taking second placer were Oswego’s Vincent Manfre (113) and Brayden Swanson (126), Waubonsie Valley’s Elias Gonzalez (132) and Leonidas Hobson (285), St. Charles North’s Nathan McLoughlin (160) and Matthew Plumb (170), Geneva’s Samuel Sikorsky (101),  Downers Grove North’s Tyler Tiangco (106), Glenbard West’s Alejandro Aranda (120), West Aurora’s Dayne Serio (138), Yorkville’s Caleb Viscogliosi (145), Wheaton North’s Julian Flores (152), Montini Catholic’s Jaxon Lane (182), Marmion Academy’s Joseph Favia (195) and Oswego East’s Joshua Edwards (220).

Finishing third were West Chicago’s Ryan Alvarado (113) and Avila Donovan (132), Naperville Central’s Vincent Bern (126) and William Erbeck (182), Naperville Central’s Vincent Bern (126) and William Erbeck (182), Downers Grove South’s Trevor DiNaso (101), Glenbard West’s Carson Prunty (106), Oswego East’s Noah Snow (120), Wheaton North’s Thomas Fulton (138), Larkin’s David Miranda (145), Oswego’s Ethan Essick (152), Montini Catholic’s Alexander Tack (160), St. Charles East’s Abe Leidig (170), Naperville North’s Tavfik Ibragimov (195), Neuqua Valley’s Magomed Nurudinov (220) and Downers Grove North’s Peter Rodriguez (285).

Taking fourth place were Riverside-Brookfield’s Chase Murrell (101) and Ethan Rivas (145), Naperville Central’s Austin Aguinaldo (106) and Adrian Wadas-Luis (126), Wheaton Academy’s Chasen Kazmierczak (138) and Caden Smith (170), Glenbard North’s Erick Esquivel (160) and Julian Holland (195), Naperville North’s Connor McDonald (113), West Aurora’s Evan Matkovich (120), Wheaton North’s Ryan Rosch (132), St. Charles East’s Cooper Murray (152), Plano’s Richie Amakiri (182), Wheaton Warrenville South’s Ashton Kibbe (220) and Yorkville Christian’s Garrett Tunnell (285).

Naperville Central Sectional championship matches

101 – Nico Harris (Oswego East) F 2:44 Samuel Sikorsky (Geneva)

106 – Griff Powell (Lyons Township) MFF Tyler Tiangco (Downers Grove North)

113 – Ismael Chaidez (Glenbard East) D 8-3 Vincent Manfre (Oswego)

120 – Tyler Sternstein (Naperville North) MD 12-2 Alejandro Aranda (Glenbard West)

126 – Ulises Rosas (Glenbard West) D 4-2 Brayden Swanson (Oswego)

132 – Ashton Hobson (Marmion Academy) D 4-3 Elias Gonzalez (Waubonsie Valley)

138 – Rylan Kradle (Glenbard North) Inj. Dayne Serio (West Aurora)

145 – Ryan McGovern (St. Charles East) D 10-4 Caleb Viscogliosi (Yorkville)

152 – Robby Nelson (Yorkville Christian) D 4-0 Julian Flores (Wheaton North)

160 – Luke Chrisse (Yorkville) SV 10-8 Nathan McLoughlin (St. Charles North)

170 – Henry Rydwelski (Naperville Central) D 1-0 Matthew Plum (St. Charles North)

182 – Tyler Ott (Glenbard North) F 2:46 Jaxon Lane (Montini Catholic)

195 – Mateusz Nycz (Marmion Academy) Inj. Joseph Favia (Marmion Academy)

220 – Anthony Lobrillo (St. Charles East) F 2:06 Joshua Edwards (Oswego East)

285 – Matthew Medina (St. Charles East) D 7-5 Leonidas Hobson (Waubonsie Valley)

Shepard Sectional – IWCOA F/S State qualifiers

Carl Sandburg had four champions while Marist had three title winners at the Shepard Sectional in Palos Heights, which included individuals from schools that competed in the Richards and the Sarah Goode STEM Academy Regionals. Carl Sandburg had a state-best 11 qualifiers while Marist advances eight individuals to the IWCOA Frosh/Soph Championships in Springfield.

Winning sectional titles were Carl Sandburg’s Madden Parker (113), Vince Gutierrez (132), Malic Breish (170) and Ahmad Alomari (195), Marist’s Joseph Bronske (101), Kevin Tomkins (145) and Danzel Newell (220), Mount Carmel’s Kavel Moore (106) and Kevin Kalchbrenner (152), Evergreen Park’s Genesis Ward (182) and Jeremy Gagnon (285), Bremen’s Eliijah Wofford (120), Oak Forest’s Austin Perez (126), Brother Rice’s Jack O’Connor (138) and Curie’s Mylan William (160).

Taking second place were Carl Sandburg’s Tyson Bruce (113), Connor Wholley (120), Alex Accardi (126), Ahmad Abu (138) and Adnan Askar (145), St. Rita’s Jack Hogan (101), Brother Rice’s Danny Tait (106), Perspectives’ Maurice Bush (132), Bremen’s Adrian Esparza (152), Oak Forest’s Blake Bussie (160), De La Salle’s Marquis Mays (170), Tinley Park’s Sebastian Sanderson (182), Kennedy’s Raul Duarte (195), Marist’s Daniel Mahoney (220) and Eisenhower’s Lavar Davis (285).

Finishing third were Brother Rice’s Johnny Vega (120), Kyle Fehsel (126) and Quinn Nelligan (132), Bremen’s Izaiah Gonzalez (113) and Malakai Scott (138), Evergreen Park’s Ashton Gray (145) and David Johnson (152), Chicago Hope Academy’s Ismael Martinez (160) and Roy Phelps (285), Shepard’s Yazen Ashkar (182) and Javier Young (220), Marist’s Dylan Weber (101), Carl Sandburg’s Jake Crotty (106), Mount Carmel’s Leonard Siegal (170) and St. Laurence’s Xavier Bitner (195).

And claiming fourth were Marist’s Logan Mishka (120), Ronin Haran (132) and Kyle Herzog (160), Kennedy’s Josue Tankson (106)  and Christopher De Leon (285), Oak Forest’s Jason Janke (152) and Andrius Vasilevskas (220), Stagg’s Javier Corral (101), Little Village’s Jovanni Harris (113), St. Rita’s Liam Quigley (126), Carl Sandburg’s Jeffery Bellik (138), Corliss’ Deangelo Wilis (145), Universal’s Jeramey Sanders (170), Hyde Park’s Alonta Parker (182) and Curie’s Eduardo Seija (195).

Shepard Sectional championship matches

101 – Joseph Bronske (Marist) D 2-1 Jack Hogan (St. Rita)

106 – Kavel Moore (Mount Carmel) F 1:51 Danny Tait (Brother Rice)

113 – Madden Parker (Carl Sandburg) D 6-4 Tyson Bruce (Carl Sandburg)

120 – Eliijah Wofford (Bremen) MD 12-2 Connor Wholley (Carl Sandburg)

126 – Austin Perez (Oak Forest) F 2:34 Alex Accardi (Carl Sandburg)

132 – Vince Gutierrez (Carl Sandburg) F 3:47 Maurice Bush (Perspectives)

138 – Jack O’Connor (Brother Rice) D 6-2 Ahmad Abu (Carl Sandburg)

145 – Kevin Tomkins (Marist) F 2:11 Adnan Askar (Carl Sandburg)

152 – Kevin Kalchbrenner (Mount Carmel) F 1:27 Adrian Esparza (Bremen)

160 – Mylan William (Curie) D 2-1 Blake Bussie (Oak Forest)

170 – Malic Breish (Carl Sandburg) F 3:18 Marquis Mays (De La Salle)

182 – Genesis Ward (Evergreen Park) F 3:49 Sebastian Sanderson (Tinley Park)

195 – Ahmad Alomari (Carl Sandburg) F 1:16 Raul Duarte (Kennedy)

220 – Danzel Newell (Marist) D 4-2 Daniel  Mahoney (Marist)

285 – Jeremy Gagnon (Evergreen Park) Inj, Lavar Davis (Eisenhower)

Sterling Sectional – IWCOA F/S State qualifiers

DeKalb and Geneseo each had two title winners to lead the way at the Sterling Sectional, which featured qualifiers from the Huntley and Morrison Regionals. DeKalb and Lena-Winslow/Stockton both had seven qualifiers while Geneseo and Hononegah both advanced five and Hampshire and Oregon are sending four individuals to state.

Sectional champions were Geneseo’s Tim Sebastian (106) and Brayden Franzen (220), DeKalb’s Hudson Ikens (132) and Jeremiah Piniera (195), Marian Central Catholic’s Austin Hagevold (101), Sterling’s Zyan Westbrook (113), Burlington Central’s Austin Lee (120), Stillman Valley’s Henry Hildreth (126), Belvidere’s Dominick Girardin (138), Hononegah’s Connor Diemel (145), United Township’s Kayden Marolf (152), Rockridge’s Ryan Lower (160), Lena-Winslow/Stockton’s Eli Larson (170), Morrison’s Donny Reavy (182) and Rock Falls’ Jacob Hosler (285).

Finishing in second place were Oregon’s Jackson Messenger (113), Andrew Young (195) and Briggs Sellers (285), Hampshire’s Aric Abbott (132), Christopher Napiorkowski (145) and Aidan Rowells (170), DeKalb’s Ayden Shuey (126) and Emerson Watson (220), Sterling’s Cael Lyons (101), Hononegah’s Jackson Olson (106), Moline’s Dominick Diaz (120), Lena-Winslow/Stockton’s John Mensendike (138), Princeton’s Casey Etheridge (152), Burlington Central’s Jonah Chavez (160) and Woodstock North’s David Randecker (182).

Taking third were Hononegah’s Trey Anderson (101), Max Aranki (132) and Maximus Haskins (145), Lena-Winslow/Stockton’s Arrison Bauer (120), Oliver McPeek (160) and Jeremiah Luke (182), 

Geneseo’s Grady Hull (113) and Jacob Stahl (285), DeKalb’s Michael Hodge III (138) and Nick Waddle (220), Monmouth-Roseville’s Caleb Dillard (106), Rock Island’s Antonio Parker (126), Hampshire’s Michael Brannigan (152), Sterling’s Gage Tate (170) and Kaneland’s Jack Parker (195).

And finishing fourth were Rock Island’s Merrick Stockwell (106) and Temar Hudson (120), Lena-Winslow/Stockton’s Mauricio Glass (126) and Duncan Nevel (195), Sycamore’s Michael Olson (101), Harvard’s Reymundo Romo (113), Riverdale’s Kolton Kruse (132), Rock Falls’ Korbin Oligney (138), DeKalb’s Cam Matthews (145), Moline’s Deanthony Simpson (152), Stillman Valley’s Brock Needs (160), Woodstock’s Edgar Arana (170), Geneseo’s Aaron Betcher (182), Oregon’s Landen Elder (220) and Orion’s Noah Parr (285).

Sterling Sectional championship matches

101 – Austin Hagevold (Marian Central Catholic) F 4:25 Cael Lyons (Sterling)

106 – Tim Sebastian (Geneseo) D 9-3 Jackson Olson (Hononegah)

113 – Zyan Westbrook (Sterling) D 6-0 Jackson Messenger (Oregon)

120 – Austin Lee (Burlington Central) D 7-6 Dominick Diaz (Moline)

126 – Henry Hildreth (Stillman Valley) F 1:55 Ayden Shuey (DeKalb)

132 – Hudson Ikens (DeKalb) F 2:02 Aric Abbott (Hampshire)

138 – Dominick Girardin (Belvidere) F 1:50 John Mensendike (Lena-Winslow/Stockton)

145 – Connor Diemel (Hononegah) F 2:59 Christopher Napiorkowski (Hampshire)

152 – Kayden Marolf (United Township) D 5-4 Casey Etheridge (Princeton)

160 – Ryan Lower (Rockridge) Inj. Jonah Chavez (Burlington Central)

170 – Eli Larson (Lena-Winslow/Stockton) TF Aidan Rowells (Hampshire)

182 – Donny Reavy (Morrison) F 0:20 David Randecker (Woodstock North)

195 – Jeremiah Piniera (DeKalb) F 2:01 Andrew Young (Oregon)

220 – Brayden Franzen (Geneseo) F 2:35 Emerson Watson (DeKalb)

285 – Jacob Hosler (Rock Falls) F 0:44 Briggs Sellers (Oregon)

Thornton Township Sectional – IWCOA F/S State Qualifiers

Lincoln-Way East had five champions and Lincoln-Way West had three title winners as both qualified seven individuals to teams at the Thornton Township Sectional in Harvey. Plainfield Central had two champions and four qualifiers, Lockport advanced five competitors and Bolingbrook and Coal City also qualified four individuals to the IWCOA Fros/Soph Finals in Springfield.

Sectional champions were Lincoln-Way East’s Kaidge Richardson (120), Brayden Mortell (132), Declan Dircks (152) and Jackson Zaeske (160), Lincoln-Way West’s Jakob Siwinski (126), Nathan Elstner (182) and Brandon Bavirsha (220), Plainfield Central’s Aiden Rudman (138) and Antonio Montoya (285), Morris’ Owen Sater (101), Lockport Township’s Isaac Zimmerman (106), Bolingbrook’s Jared Craig (113), Plainfield North’s Jack Tota (145), Joliet Catholic Academy’s Maximus Vela (170) and Andrew’s Joe Zimmer (195)

Finishing in second place were Bolingbrook’s Angel Godinez (101), Isaac Harris (106) and Marcus Poe (152), Lincoln-Way West’s Jack Strezo (113) and Jimmy Talley (170),  Lockport Township’s Anthony Diorio (126) and Malik Salah (220), Lincoln-Way East’s Rory Moran (138) and Ryan Stingily (285), Morris’ Carter Skoff (120), Homewood-Flossmoor’s Robye Williams (132), Bishop McNamara’s Ethan Pfeiffer (145), Plainfield South’s Colin Bickett (160), Coal City’s Cade Poyner (182) and Bradley-Bourbonnais’ Mark Argyelan (195).

Taking third place were Joliet West’s Adrian Hernandez (126), Tai’Vaughn Johnson (182) and Andre De Leon (220), Minooka’s Anthony Frescura (132) and Ben Cyrkiel (145), Rich Township’s Davion Henry (101), Coal City’s Luke Munsterman (106)

Morris’ Brandon Anderson (113), Joliet Catholic Academy’s Aurelio Munoz (120), Plainfield Central’s Matthias Hautzinger (138), 

Plainfield South’s Chase Pierceall (152), Lockport Township’s 

Durango Valles (160), Lincoln-Way West’s Chris Yirsa (170), Kankakee’s Jacob Vinardi (195) and Romeoville’s Jamir Thomas (285).

Finishing fourth were Coal City’s Rey Gonzalez (120) and Mason Garner (138), Seneca’s Landen Venecia (182) and Sullivan Feldt (195), Lincoln-Way West’s Max Munn (101), Lincoln-Way East’s Noah Ciolkosz (106), Bradley-Bourbonnais’ Cameron Borneman (113),

Minooka’s Cole Spivey (126), Plainfield Central’s Jack Bowen (132),

Clifton Central’s Giona Panozzo (145), Plainfield North’s Raphael Tovar (152), Lincoln-Way Central’s Aiden Hennings (160),

Wilmington’s Logan Van Duyne (170), Joliet Catholic Academy’s 

Elijah Watt (220) and Lockport Township’s Jake Kratz (285).

Thornton Township Sectional championship matches

101 – Owen Sater (Morris) F 2:35 Angel Godinez (Bolingbrook)

106 – Isaac Zimmerman (Lockport Township) D 10-4 Isaac Harris (Bolingbrook)

113 – Jared Craig (Bolingbrook) D 7-3 Jack Strezo (Lincoln-Way West)

120 – Kaidge Richardson (Lincoln-Way East) MD 10-1 Carter Skoff (Morris)

126 – Jakob Siwinski (Lincoln-Way West) F 1:52 Anthony Diorio (Lockport Township)

132 – Brayden Mortell (Lincoln-Way East) Inj. Robye Williams (Homewood-Flossmoor)

138 – Aiden Rudman (Plainfield Central) D 6-2 Rory Moran (Lincoln-Way East)

145 – Jack Tota (Plainfield North) D 4-2 Ethan Pfeiffer (Bishop McNamara)

152 – Declan Dircks (Lincoln-Way East) SV 2-0 Marcus Poe (Bolingbrook)

160 – Jackson Zaeske (Lincoln-Way East) D 4-2 Colin Bickett (Plainfield South)

170 – Maximus Vela (Joliet Catholic Academy) MD 11-1 Jimmy Talley (Lincoln-Way West)

182 – Nathan Elstner (Lincoln-Way West) F 1:40 Cade Poyner (Coal City)

195 – Joe Zimmer (Andrew) F 1:23 Marl Argyelan (Bradley-Bourbonnais)

220- Brandon Bavirsha (Lincoln-Way West) F 2:34 Malik Salah (Lockport Township)

285 – Antonio Montoya (Plainfield Central) F 4:34 Ryan Stingily (Lincoln-Way East)

Six repeat as champions in second IHSA Girls Finals

By Curt Herron

BLOOMINGTON – Last year’s initial IHSA Girls Individual State Finals set an extremely high bar that any longtime competition would be ecstatic to see after 11 of its first 14 champions were nationally-ranked and two second-place finishers also were ranked among the nation’s best.

While the second IHSA Individual Finals didn’t quite achieve those lofty standards, it wasn’t very far off and it definitely still featured a much larger gathering of some of the nation’s best in their sport as compared to almost any other IHSA championship competition.

Nine individuals who were ranked in the top 30 at their weights in the most recent National Wrestling Hall of Fame, USA Wrestling and FloWrestling National Girls High School Rankings captured state championships at Grossinger Motors Arena in Bloomington while three others took second place, with one of those being top-ranked, while one took third, one was fourth and another took sixth.

The top-10 nationally-ranked champions were Freeport”s Cadence Diduch at 125 (No. 1 at 127), Belleville East’s Kiara Ganey at 235 (No. 1 at 225), Batavia’s Sydney Perry at 145 (No. 2 at 144), Glenbard North’s Gabriella Gomez at 115 (No. 4 at 112) and Boylan Catholic’s Netavia Wickson at 135 (No. 8 at 138).

Others who were ranked among the nation’s best who won state titles were Hononegah’s Angelina Cassioppi at 120 (No. 13 at 117), Edwardsville’s Mackenzie Pratt at 140 (No. 19 at 138), Loyola Academy’s Harlee Hiller at 105 (No. 25 at 106) and Homewood-Flossmoor’s Attalia Watson-Castro at 130 (No. 27 at 132).

The other five state champions were Bartlett’s Emma Engels at 100, Grant’s Ayane Jasinski at 110, Plainfield Central’s Alicia Tucker at 155, Highland’s August Rottmann at 170 and Homewood-Flossmoor’s Ini Odumosu at 190.

Individuals who repeated as IHSA champions were Cassioppi, Diduch, Ganey, Gomez, Perry and Watson-Castro. Three of the champions also took first place in the IWCOA Girls State Finals in 2021, Diduch, Ganey and Perry.

Records of the state champions were Perry (34-0, 1.000), Gomez (33-0, 1.000), Diduch (11-0, 1.000), Watson-Castro (38-1, .974), Pratt (30-1, .968), Rottmann (21-1, .955), Ganey (18-1, .947), Tucker (34-2, .944), Odumosu (36-4, .900), Jasinski (21-3, .875), Hiller (32-5, .865), Cassioppi (27-6, .818), Wickson (19-5, .792) and Engels (37-12, .755).

Champions who were second a year ago were Wickson and Pratt. 

Biggest improvements in placements for champions were Tucker from not qualifying, Engels from one win shy of a medal, Odumosu from fifth, Jasinski from fourth, Hiller from third and Rottmann from third.

Homewood-Flossmoor was the only team to have two champions. Schools that captured their first state championships were Bartlett, Boylan Catholic, Edwardsville, Grant, Highland, Loyola Academy and Plainfield Central.

Individuals who were ranked in the top-20 nationally who took second place were El Paso-Gridley’s Valerie Hamilton at 145 (No. 1 at 138), Lockport’s Claudia Heeney at 125 (No. 14 at 127) and West Chicago’s Jayden Huesca-Rodriguez at 190 (No. 20 at 200).

Others who took second place were Oak Forest’s Alexandra Sebek at 100, Anna-Jonesboro’s Zoee Sadler at 105, Lincoln-Way Central’s 

Gracie Guarino at 110, Joliet Township’s Eliana Paramo at 115, Yorkville’s Yamilet Aguirre at 120, El Paso-Gridley’s Savannah Hamilton at 130, Canton’s Kinnley Smith at 135, Goreville’s Alivia Ming at 140, Moline’s Maryam Ndiaye at 155, Joliet Township’s Nydia Martinez at 170 and Curie’s Aaliyah Grandberry at 235.

The marquee championship match between individuals ranked first and second in the country at 145 nearly didn’t happen. At first the IHSA didn’t allow Valerie Hamilton or Perry into the tournament because of other competitions that they participated in. But the Board of Directors allowed both to enter and Perry got a late takedown and nearfall to rally for a 7-4 victory to capture her second state title.

The title matches were very competitive with a win by sudden victory, six other decisions, three major decisions and four falls.

Some of the closest tiles matches were Jasinski 2-0 in sudden victory over Guarino at 110, Tucker 3-1 over Ndiaye at 155, Perry 7-4 over Valerie Hamilton at 145, Engels 4-0 over Sebek at 100 and Ganey 6-1 over Grandberry at 235 in a rematch of last year’s finals at 235.

Champions of the first IHSA finals who weren’t able to repeat were Alton’s Antonia Phillps, who took third at 145, Unity’s Lexi Ritchie, who was fourth at 155 and Huesca-Rodriguez, who was second at 190. Ritchie was ranked 22nd nationally at 152. Second-place finishers from the initial finals who won titles were Pratt and Wickson.

Individuals who claimed second-place finishes for the second year in a row were Guarino (13-1) at 110 and Grandberry (24-1) at 235. Both suffered their first losses of the season in the finals, as did Lockport’s Heeney (42-1), El Paso-Gridley’s Valerie Hamilton (6-1) and West Chicago’s Huesca-Rodriguez (18-1).

Third-place finishers were Huntley’s Janiah Slaughter at 100, Lake Forest’s Annika Cottam at 105, Mt. Zion’s Sydney Cannon at 110, Red Bud’s Avery Smith at 115, Bowen’s Monica Griffin at 120, Lakes’ Ava Babbs at 125 and Colinsville’s Taylor Dawson at 130.

Also taking third place were District 230’s Alyssa Keane at 135, Schaumburg’s Valeria Rodriguez at 140, Alton’s Phillips at 145, Palatine’s Jasmine Hernandez at 155, Zion-Benton’s ILeen Castrejon at 170, Minooka’s Jaiden Moody at 190 and Urbana’s Jurdan Tyler at 235.

Here’s a look at this year’s IHSA champions and the other medalists at their weight classes: 

130 – Attalia Watson-Castro, Homewood-Flossmoor

With the IHSA Individual Finals beginning its championship matches at 130, Attalia Watson-Castro realized that she had the opportunity to accomplish something that was special by becoming the first two-time IHSA champion, and although a bit apprehensive, she was still determined to cap her career in  style, and she did just that.

The Homewood-Flossmoor senior, who was ranked 27th nationally at 132, became the first two-time IHSA champion when she won the 130 title match with a 9-3 victory over El Paso-Gridley’s Savannah Hamilton, who was also someone that was on a mission since she didn’t want to be first individual in state history to finish second twice.

Watson-Castro (38-1) capped a two-year run where she went 55-2 and added to a 4-0 title win at 135 a year ago over Boylan Catholic’s Netavia Wickson. Her run to become the first of the Vikings’ two champions began with a 5-2 decision over Hoffman Estates’ Abigail Ji, was followed by a 6-0 quarterfinals win over Cumberland’s Natalie Beaumont and her second-straight trip to the title mat was set up by a fall in 2:54 over Kankakee’s Alejandra Cornejo.

“It means a lot,” Watson-Castro said of being the first two-time IHSA champion. “It was actually a lot of time and effort that I didn’t think that I was going to put into it, especially after wanting to quit the sport. I’m kind of happy that I stuck through it and was able to be the first two-time champ. I’m happy that they started off at 130. I was very nervous, because I was like, ‘why 130?’, last year we started at 45 and we could have gone somewhere around there. 

“I’m not really a fan of the high school season because it’s Folkstyle and I really love Freestyle. So I was debating quitting Folkstyle season and just focusing strictly on Freestyle to get ready for after high school. But after coming in and helping out the new girls that wanted to try the sport, it was like, I couldn’t let it go because it was something that I started, especially with being our first state champ last year. I was like, I just have to keep going.”

Hamilton (21-11), along with her sister Valerie, became the second sisters to compete in title matches at the same finals. She hoped to improve on last year’s 6-2 loss to Alton’s Antonia Phillips in the 140 title match. The Titans sophomore got a pin in 1:25 over Bolingbrook’s Katie Ramirez-Quintero in the quarterfinals and won a 10-2 major decision in the semifinals over Collinsville’s Taylor Dawson

Dawson (34-5), a sophomore who was second to Yorkville’s Natasha Markoutsis a year ago at 125, took third place with a fall in 3:03 over Cornejo (18-15), a senior who fell one win shy of a medal last year. One week later, Dawson had another third-place finish, this time at 132 in 16U in the USA Wrestling Girls Folkstyle Nationals in Omaha, Nebraska. In the fifth-place match, Morton sophomore Karen Canchola (26-7) won 2-0 over Glenbard West senior Khatija Ahmed (25-11), who also fell one victory short of a medal a year ago.

135 – Netavia Wickson, Boylan Catholic

Though it might sound like a broken record, as the old sayings go, persistence pays off and also the third time’s the charm and that certainly proved to be the case this season for Netavia Wickson.

The Boylan Catholic junior, who was ranked eighth nationally at 138, finally saw her quest for a state championship come about after turning in an impressive performance by capturing a 9-1 major decision over Canton’s Kinnley Smith to win the championship at 135. Last year in the initial IHSA Finals, she placed second to Homewood-Flossmoor’s Attalia Watson=Castro at 135 and in 2021 in the IWCOA Girls Finals, she finished second to Glenwood’s Maya Davis.

Wickson (19-5) was dominant throughout the two-day event, earning her spot on the title mat with a win by technical fall in 4:33 in the semifinals over District 230’s Alyssa Keane. She only needed 0:40 to record a fall in the quarterfinals over Riverside-Brookfield’s Danely Villagomez and just a bit more than that, 0:43, to get a pin over Auburn’s Jadyn Perry in her opening match.

“It feels great because I worked really hard and I train and train and I’m almost pushing myself to my best,” Wickson said. “I knew that I had to avenge something here today. This season I wrestled all boys, except for sectionals and state. I feel good wrestling the boys this year because it really helps me to motivate myself and it gets me to be prepared for right now. I was just thinking that I had to push myself to always wrestle my best and get as much points as I can on the board. Just push through and fight to the end.

“It feels great to know that they’re finally appreciating and putting us out there and giving us something for our own, instead of having something that’s kind of lower. It feels good to have a name out there for us and that we can work to have a name for ourselves.”

Smith (24-5), a sophomore who was making her initial trip to state, pinned her way to the title mat. She got a fall in 5:49 in the semifinals over Conant’s Mannie Anderson and that followed another pin in 3:31 over Thornton’s Jalah Wilson in the quarterfinals.

Keane (32-5), a sophomore who qualified for state a year ago for the District 230 team that features athletes from Andrew, Carl Sandburg and Stagg, claimed third place with a fall in 2:44 over Vandalia’s  Lauren Dothager (15-8), a junior who was fourth at 125 a year ago and second at 126 to Downers Grove South’s Sharon Leon in the 2021 IWCOA Finals. In the fifth-place match, Anderson (35-6), a senior who placed sixth in both 2022 and 2021, won an 8-6 decision over Macomb sophomore Kelly Ladd (32-8), who also lost to Anderson in her final match last year in her state debut.

140 – Mackenzie Pratt, Edwardsville

After falling to Cadence Diduch in the 120 title match at the first IHSA Finals in 2022, Mackenzie Pratt was determined to not have a similar outcome happen when she met  up with Alivia Ming in the 140 finals.

Edwardsville’s Pratt (30-1), a sophomore who was ranked 19th nationally at 138, recorded a fall in 1:07 over Goreville’s Ming in the 140 title match. A year ago, Pratt pinned her way to the championship match at 120 but dropped an 11-0 major decision to Freeport’s Diduch for her only defeat in 13 matches.

The Tigers’ standout actually had a little drama on her hands in her second run to the title mat, claiming a 5-3 win over Schaumburg’s Valeria Rodriguez in the semifinals after winning by fall in 1:10 over Galesburg’s Annalisa Gibbons in the quarterfinals and opening the competition with a pin in 1:16 over Dundee-Crown’s Perla Lomeli.

“It feels amazing and exciting,” Pratt said. “And it’s like my dream came true because I never would have imagined me being a state champ. I’ve always joked about it, like ‘oh, I’m going to be a state champ one day,’ but I never actually thought that it would happen. There was a lot of good competition this season, especially on the Missouri side. It’s very exciting because when I first started, there weren’t as many girls as there are now.”

Ming (36-13), a junior who took fourth at 135 in the first IHSA Finals, earned her spot on the title mat with a fall in 0:47 over Richmond-Burton’s Jasmine McCaskel in the semifinals. She also had pins in her other two matches, winning with a fall in 5:15 in the quarterfinals over Niles West’s Al Ghala Mariam Al Radi, who she lost to in last year’s third-place match.

Rodriguez (37-2), a junior who took third place at 155 a year ago and was sixth at 160 at the IWCOA in 2021, captured third place with a 2-1 decision over junior McCaskel (16-3). And in the fifth-place match, senior Al Radi (31-3), who placed third at 135 a year ago and fourth at 138 in the IWCOA, won by fall in 2:57 over Oak Forest senior Sabrina Sifuentez (30-10), who also qualified for the first IHSA Finals.

145 – Sydney Perry, Batavia

In an instant classic that will certainly go down as one of the most impressive matchups in the history of the IHSA finals, the clash between two of the nation’s best, juniors, Sydney Perry and Valerie Hamilton, looked like it might not even take place at all.

After El Paso-Gridley’s Hamilton (6-1), top-ranked nationally at 138, and Batavia’s Perry (34-0), ranked second in the nation at 144, were both originally ruled to be out of the tournament by the IHSA, the organization reconsidered and allowed for the two to be back in the competition and the crowd at Grossinger Motors Arena got to see a real thriller in the 145 title match, with Hamilton taking a 4-2 lead into the last minute of the third period before Perry, who was trailing for the first time all season, was able to get a takedown to tie it at 4-4 and then came up with a late nearfall to capture a 7-4 victory.

It was the third state championship for Perry, who captured last year’s first IHSA title at 145 with a fall over West Aurora’s Dyani Rivera to cap a 21-0 season. As a freshman, the Bulldogs standout recorded a pin over Yorkville’s Natasha Markoutsis to claim the IWCOA’s 132 title. Perry reached the title mat with three wins by technical fall, beating Stevenson’s Sajra Sulejmani in 2:10 in the semifinals, winning in 3:37 over Olympia’s Jordan Bicknell in the quarterfinals and in 3:05 in her opener with Oak Forest’s Maya Corea-Funes.

“It’s great,” Perry said. “Illinois has great girls wrestling programs all over, so it’s kind of nice to have girls like Gabby Gomez here, and having all of the top girls here and having some great finals matches. It was definitely tough because I had just come from Sweden. And then I got disqualified and yada yada yada. I just thought out the plan for me and if I’m not supposed to wrestle at state, then I’m not supposed to wrestle at state, but I got in and we wrestled. 

“I was keeping my eye on the prize. I train so much for this stuff, so it just kind of feels great to just go out and wrestle. You have six minutes and it’s like nothing else matters in the world. It’s just a match with you and your opponent. I actually feel pretty comfortable in that position andI kind of just trust myself. So I’m kind of used to it.”

Hamilton earned her spot in the title match after capturing a 4-0 decision in the semifinals over Alton’s Antonia Phillips, who was last year’s first IHSA champion at 140 after she defeated Valerie’s sister Savannah 6-2 in the finals. In the quarterfinals, Hamilton won by technical fall in 3:12 over Barrington’s Kaia Fernandez and she opened with a fall in 2:13 over Charleston’s Mackensie Williams.

“My friend got a video of me coaching her in the semifinals match,” Valerie Hamilton said of her and her sister Savannah in the finals. “It’s pretty cool that me and her made it to the state finals together, so I’m pretty happy about that. For big things like this, I like to take it as a normal tournament, like a little kids club. Even at Worlds, I still put it as a little tournament. It was definitely difficult getting in here and as we were allowed to wrestle, it was like a little breather for us.”

Phillips (34-7), a senior, bounced back from her loss to Hamilton to claim third place with a fall in 1:26 over Sulejmani (23-4), a junior who took fifth at 145 at last year’s first IHSA finals and also placed fifth at 145 in 2021 at the IWCOA. In the fifth-place match, Fernandez (18-5), a senior who competed in last year’s finals, won by fall in 1:33 over Goreville sophomore Mikah Merrill (33-18) who also got to compete in the initial IHSA Finals one year ago.

155 – Alicia Tucker, Plainfield Central

With several veterans of state tournaments in the bracket at 155, it’s unlikely that too many considered that first-time state qualifier Alicia Tucker was a candidate to capture a state championship.

But that was alright with the Plainfield Central sophomore, who was making her initial state tournament after failing to qualify from the Naperville Central Sectional a year ago. While champions at the IHSA and IWCOA finals such as Jasmine Hernandez, Lexi Ritchie and Maria Ferrer were taking their places on the steps of the awards stand, Tucker stood at the top after winning a dramatic 3-1 decision over Moline’s Maryam Ndiaye in the 155 title match. Tucker got a reversal in the final seconds to wrap up her championship.

Tucker (34-2) advanced to the championship mat with a fall in 5:42 in the semifinals over Peotone’s Kiernan Farmer. In the quarterfinals she recorded a fall in 1:15 over Larkin’s Ferrer and in her opening match she won with a pin in 4:22 over Paris’ Gabbie Collins. One week later, she added to her already impressive resume by claiming a fourth-place finish at 164 in 16U at the USA Wrestling Girls Folkstyle Nationals that took place in Omaha, Nebraska.

“As I was getting those points, I looked up at the clock, it went one and then zero,” Tucker said. “It was the most exciting moment of my life. There’s been lots of practices and staying after school and just those long hours. I also have to say that my coaches, Terry Kubski and Kyle Hildebrand, are a really big help. 

“Winning conference was definitely a turning point for me. Going out before the match, I was a little nervous, because I had never wrestled this girl before. But after it ended, I was just really excited. It was such a surreal experience and I almost didn’t know what to do with myself.”

Ndiaye (19-5), a junior who also was a first-time state qualifier, recorded a fall in 1:46 to defeat Palatine’s Hernandez in the semifinals. She opened with a 7-0 decision over Marion’s Haylie Nappier-Feth and then won a 9-1 major decision over Phoenix Military Academy’s AJ Grant in the quarterfinals.

Hernandez (36-2), a senior who won an IWCOA title over J. Sterling Morton’s Hilda Gonzalez at 145 in 2021 and then went 29-1 and lost for the only time ar state last year, took third place after winning a 20-9 major decision over Unity junior Richie (22-3), who won the first IHSA title at 155 over Richwoods’ Jaida Johnson and also placed second at 152 in the IWCOA to Richwoods’ Arei Johnson. Ritchie, who was ranked 22nd nationally at 152, lost a 3-2 decision to Farmer in her opener and then won four matches in the consolation bracket. 

Ferrer (31-7), a senior who won the IWCOA title at 170 in 2021 over Oak Park and River Forest’s Tiffany White and took fourth at 170 a year ago, took fifth place with a fall in 1:38 over junior Farmer (16-12), who dropped a 13-3 major decision to Ritchie when the two met up again in the consolation semifinals.

170 – August Rottmann, Highland

After taking third place at 170 at last year’s inaugural IHSA Finals as a freshman, August Rottmann set her sights on finishing higher up on the awards stand at that weight, and that’s just what she did by winning a state championship at 170. And just one week after that special accomplishment, she continues to make a name for herself.

Rottmann, a sophomore from Highland, capped a 21-1 season by recording a fall in 5:10 over Joliet Township’s Nydia Martinez in the 170 title match. She was one of the seven sophomores who won titles. She followed up on her IHSA championship by taking second place at 164 in 16U at the USA Wrestling Girls Folkstyle Nationals in Omaha, Nebraska. She lost by fall in 2:00 to her Team Illinois teammate Autumne Williams in the championship match.

After opening with a fall in 0:36 over Crystal Lake Central’s Mailei Hudec, Rottmann captured decisions in her next two matches, winning 7-0 over West Aurora’s Ionicca Rivera in the quarterfinals and 6-1 over Oak Park and River Forest’s Trinity White, a two-time medalist who took second in 2021, to advance to the title match.

“It was a big difference,” Rottman said compared to 2022. “And it really gave me an extra push to get it done. I wish I could have said that I was a champion in the first year, but the second year is good. It feels really good right now but it probably hasn’t kicked in fully yet. And it’s nice to say that I’m the first girl from Highland to win a title. I was the only girl last year and I’m bringing more girls in every year. 

Martinez (31-5) joined teammate Eliana Paramo (115) as a finalist and was one of three medalists for a program featuring athletes from Joliet Central and Joliet West. The senior advanced to the 170 title match with a 13-9 decision in the semifinals over Zion-Benton’s ILeen Castrejon, who took second at 170 a year ago, and winning in the quarterfinals by fall in 1:13 over Richwoods’ Jaida Johnson, a state runner-up last year at 155 who finished third at 170 in 2021, who was unable to medal this season.

Castrejon (17-8), a junior who lost to Hononegah’s Rose Cassioppi in last year’s initial IHSA title match at 170, claimed third place with a fall in 1:46 over White, a junior who took fifth last year at 170 in the IHSA Finals and was a runner-up to Alton’s Khaila Hughes at 160 in the IWCOA finals in 2021. In the fifth-place match, District 230 senior Mickaela Keane (33-7), who fell one shy of a medal a year ago, won 6-4 in sudden victory over Rivera (27-7), a junior who also was one victory away from earning a medal at the first IHSA Finals.

190 – Ini Odumosu, Homewood-Flossmoor

With two nationally-ranked competitors at 190, the prognosis for Ini Odumosu advancing to the title mat or winning a championship seemed to be a bit of a longshot, but when you have a teammate like Attalia Watson-Castro pushing you, it makes everyone much better.

Odumosu closed out a 36-4 campaign by handing West Chicago’s Jayden Huesca-Rodriguez, the first-ever IHSA champion at 190 who was ranked 20th nationally at 200, her first defeat in 19 matches when the Homewood-Flossmoor junior recorded a fall in 2:14 to join two-time champ Watson-Castro as title winners, making the Vikings the lone team in the competition with multiple champions.

Odumosu, who lost to Huesca-Rodriguez in the semifinals and then placed fifth at 190 a year ago, earned her spot on the title mat with a fall in 3:54 in the semifinals over West Aurora’s Brittney Moran, who was ranked 28th nationally at 200. After opening with a fall in 1:34 over Joliet Township’s Alexa Latham, Odumosu recorded a pin in 5:10 over Wheeling’s Jasmine Rene in the quarterfinals.

“I’m very excited,” Odumosu said. “After our boys wrestled (at state), I was like, ‘the girls have to bring it home.’ And then Attalia won, it was like. ‘oh, my gosh, it’s up to me, I’m going up there, I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do and I went up there and it felt so surreal. After I heard 

the ref hit the floor, I looked at my coach and I’m like, ‘did that just happen?’ And I was screaming my lungs out and I was like, this is so exciting. It did feel real for a few seconds. 

“I want to say that Attalia is my inspiration in this sport. She actually kind of took over our practices and she had us conditioned, and I can last six minutes, and last year I could not do that. I really thank her for the things she’s done, and not only for me, but for all of the other girls on my team. She’s like the strongest driving force that our team has. She told us that we are here to win, we’re not just going to go on the mat and win once in a while. We call her coach T.”

Huesca-Rodriguez, a junior who won the IHSA title at 190 a year ago by technical fall over J. Sterling Morton’s Diana Rodriguez, advanced to this year’s title mat following a fall in 2:52 over Lakes’ Josie Larson in the semifinals. After opening with a pin in 3:33 in her first match, Huesca-Rodriguez collected another fall, this one in 1:33 in the quarterfinals, over Minooka’s Jaiden Moody.

Moody (24-13), a senior who qualified for state last year at 140, took third place with a 5-4 win on a tiebreaker over Rene (18-10), who’s a freshman. And in the fifth-place match, Larson (15-4), a sophomore who also qualified for state but didn’t place last year, won with a fall in 3:31 over Moran (28-5), a sophomore who also took sixth last year.

235 – Kiara Ganey, Belleville East

As a three-time state champion who won the first two IHSA titles at 235, Kiara Ganey has established a legacy for competitors at the highest weight class that will undoubtedly last for a long time.

The Belleville East senior, who’s also the nation’s top-ranked individual at 225, capped off her career in historic fashion, becoming one of six who’ve captured titles at the first IHSA tournaments. For the second year in a row she faced Curie’s Aaliyah Grandberry on the 235 title mat and the Curie junior was able to keep the final outcome to a decision, which Ganey won by a 6-1 score. Her IWCOA title in 2021 was at 195 and was determined in a round-robin fashion.

Ganey who finished 18-1 this season after going 15-0 a year ago, opened the tournament with a fall in 0:19 over ROWVA’s Patience Riggs and then won another decision, this time 11-5 over Oak Park and River Forest’s Sarah Epshtein in the quarterfinals before advancing to the finals for one last time with a fall in 1:42 over Urbana’s Jurdan Tyler.

“It’s amazing,” Ganey said. “I’ve been wrestling since seventh grade, and you know, it was just me and the boys. So to see what it is now and to be a part of that, it’s awesome to know that me and all of these other girls have helped this new generation of girls wrestling in the the state of Illinois. And to get it approved, is just amazing and hopefully next year there’s regionals and when we get bigger, the classes. 

“It just feels amazing to know that I helped these future little girls’ dreams come true in the future. Especially last year and this year, we have some great leaders. Half of the national dual team is here, and that shows girls that you can take it to the next level, you just need to work hard. We have great leadership here and coaches, too. It’s an amazing environment and an amazing state. “

Grandberry (24-1), a junior who suffered her lone defeat in the finals match, also suffered her only loss in 12 matches a year ago to Ganey in the 235 finals. The highest place winner among athletes from the Chicago Public Schools, Grandberry recorded a fall in 2:15 in the semifinals over Rickover Naval Academy’s Jasmine Mejia, won a 6-1 decision in the quarterfinals over Unity’s Phoenix Molina and opened with a pin in 27 seconds over Conant’s Rye Reyes.

Tyler (14-8), a junior who was making her first state appearance, won by fall in 3:48 in the third-place match over Epshtein (34-6), a junior who placed fifth at 235 a year ago. And Mejia (14-5), a sophomore who made her first trip to state, finished in fifth place after recording a fall in 3:07 over District 230 sophomore Emma Akpan (21-8), who qualified for the second time.

100 – Emma Engels, Bartlett

When someone accomplishes something special for the first time in the largest district in the state outside of Chicago, it’s a big deal. And that’s what Emma Engels did by becoming the first girl to win an IHSA wrestling title from a School District U-46 school when she took top honors at 100 at the IHSA Finals.

The Bartlett sophomore, who finished with a 37-12 record, captured a 4-0 decision over Oak Forest’s Alexandra Sebek in the 100 title match. While the average number of losses by IHSA champs in two years is under three, Engels showed once again that it doesn’t matter how many defeats you have during a season, how well you perform on the final weekend is all that really matters.

Engels performed well throughout the two days at Grossinger Motors Arena, opening with a fall in 3:08 in her opener against LaSalle-Peru’s Kiely Domyanich and then capturing an 8-0 major decision over Rickover Naval Academy’s Mia Vazquez in the quarterfinals. She won another major decision in the semifinals, beating East Aurora’s Kameyah Young 16-5 to earn her spot on the title mat. It was a great finish for an athlete that fell one win shy of a medal a year ago.

“It feels really great,” Engels said. “It’s really cool how much it’s grown over the past two years and also from this year to last year. I wrestled her before so I knew that I had to  watch the arm bar so I knew on the bottom I needed to keep my arms in and just keep moving”

Sebek (41-7) had an impressive debut season and was one of only two freshmen who reached the title mat. She opened with a fall in 2:00 over Mt. Vernon’s Hannah Younger and then won a 9-6 decision over Batavia’s Lily Enos in the quarterfinals. The Bengals freshman earned her spot in the 100 title match by winning a 10-2 major decision over Huntley’s Janiah Slaughter.

Slaughter (27-5), one of three freshmen place winners at the weight class, took third place with a fall in 0:57 over sophomore Young (32-4), who qualified for state last year. And in the fifth-place match, Enos (44-13), another freshman, won by fall in 4:33 over Joliet Township sophomore Chloe Wong (32-8), who also advanced to last year’s first-ever IHSA tournament.

105 – Harlee Hiller, Loyola Academy

Harlee Hiller entered the IHSA Finals with impressive credentials and definitely lived up to those by taking top honors at 105 over Zoee Sadler in an excellent example of athletes who had to compete against boys for most of the season.

The Loyola Academy sophomore, who was ranked 25th nationally at 106, capped off a 32-5 season by capturing an 8-1 decision over Anna-Jonesboro sophomore Sadler. It was Hiller’s second appearance at state and she took third place at the same weight a year ago after losing by sudden victory in the semifinals to the eventual champion, Glenbard North’s Gabriella Gomez.

Hiller, who gets to practice against the Ramblers’ Class 3A state champion at 120, Massey Odiotti, collected falls in her first three matches, winning in 2:33 over East Aurora’s Ixzayana Cruz in her opener, getting a pin in 0:56 in the quarterfinals over Belleville East’s Alexcia Hardin and then earning her spot on the title mat with a fall in 5:38 in the semifinals over East Peoria’s Bailey Lusch.

“I think it was great preparing for the boys, because no one was stronger than them, so I was just completely ready” Hiller said. “I just felt like I wanted to go as hard as I could. I think it’s so fun since every year there’s more girls and you can see how fast the sport is growing, it’s pretty crazy. I really want to have a good girls team and I feel like that’s my goal. 

“This was just so much more exciting and the Grand March was so cool since I’ve never really done anything like that before. I started my freshman year and now I’m a sophomore. But I did judo for 10 years. Judo is not a sport in high school, so it was cool to be part of a team.”

Sadler (41-6), whose brother Drew (51-3) also placed high at state, finishing third in Class 1A at 106, was making her state debut. The pair helped the Wildcats to win a regional title and took part in the dual team sectional.  After winning by fall over Elgin’s Mali Patino in 1:13 in her opening match, Sadler won by technical fall in 5:48 in the quarterfinals over Grant’s Snow Khi and then claimed an 8-5 decision in the semifinals over Lake Forest’s Annika Cottam.

Cottam (20-6), a senior who took second place to Lane Tech’s Natalie Cortes in the IWCOA in 2021, claimed third place with a 7-2 decision over Glenbard North freshman Nadiia Shymkiv (30-3), who had a great debut season after emigrating from Ukraine. In the fifth-place match, Reed-Custer junior Judith Gamboa (27-17), a state qualifier last season, won by fall in 4:29 over junior Lusch (15-7), who finished fifth at 105 a year ago after losing to Hiller in the quarterfinals.

110 – Ayane Jasinski, Grant

After placing fourth a year ago at 100, Ayane Jasinski looked for bigger things this season in the state finals. And the same could be said for Gracie Guarino, who took third at 106 in 2021 at the IWCOA and finished second a year ago at 105. But that said, there were plenty of other competitors at 110 that also had similar motivation.

When the semifinals were concluded, the competitive weight class came down to a matchup of juniors between Grant’s Jasinski and Lincoln-Way Central’s Guarino. Through six minutes that featured no scoring, the outcome went to overtime. In the sudden victory, Jasinski was awarded a takedown, to the delight of the Bulldogs and to the dismay of the Knights, and thus wound up as a 2-0 victor in what is the only championship match that has exceeded regulation time.

Jasinski (21-3) earned her spot in the title match after capturing a 3-2 decision over Morris’ Ella McDonnell. She also had a tight match in  the quarterfinals, winning a 3-1 decision over Richwoods’ Kyley Bair. She got a fall in 3:37 over Bartlett’s Angela Carpintero in her opener.

“This was actually my comeback since last year I took fourth and I really wanted to get higher on the podium,” Jasinski said. “(The Grand March) That was like one of the most amazing feelings ever and it was like all of that work finally showed. She has a really good shot, so I had to look out for that. I may not be the best on my feet but I really hammer on top. It’s been awhile since we’ve had a state champion, and I’m the first-ever girls state champ, so I’m making history at my school. It’s really important since the sport is growing and growing and everyone is getting better.”

Guarino (13-1), who suffered her first loss of the season, was hoping for a different outcome in the finals than she had a year ago, when she fell 5-3 to Glenbard North’s Gabriella Gomez at 105. Guarino advanced to the title match with a fall in 3:30 over Mt. Zion’s Sydney Cannon. She also recorded a pin in the quarterfinals in 3:13 over Evanston Township’s Ariana Flores and she opened the competition with a win by technical fall in 3:26 over Lanphier’s Ella Miloncus.

Cannon (45-3) completed a great debut for a freshman by claiming third place with a 10-0 major decision over junior McDonnell (33-13), who also took fourth place a year ago. For fifth place, Burlington Central sophomore Victoria Macias (31-9), who took fourth a year ago, won with a fall in 0:42 over Homewood-Flossmoor sophomore Nina Hamm (31-14), who also qualified for state last season.

115 – Gabriella Gomez, Glenbard North

Two IHSA Finals in the books and two titles won thus far. Being a four-time state champion is one of the many goals for Gabriella Gomez and she capped a perfect 33-0 season with a title at 115.

The Glenbard North sophomore, who is ranked fourth nationally at 112, captured a 12-3 major decision in the 115 finals over Joliet Townhip’s Eliana Paramo. It was a much-less dramatic title match than she had last year when she beat Lincoln-Way Central’s Gracie Guarino 5-3 for the championship at 105. She joined Cadence Diduch (125) and Sydney Perry (145) as one of three unbeaten champions.

Gomez advanced to the title match following an 11-3 major decision in the semifinals over Sandwich’s Ashlyn Strenz. After opening the competition with a victory by technical fall in 3:55 over Evergreen Park’s Carmela Woods, Gomez got another win by technical fall in the quarterfinals in 4:30 over Beardstown’s Daisy Gil.

“I think that this sport can only get bigger,” Gomez said. “A ton of new girls are going to try it and we have a good class coming in with these freshmen and a lot of freshmen won so I feel that women’s wrestling is going to keep growing and growing so I’m happy to be  part of it and I feel that we can go a long ways with this. I think the tournament definitely should be Freestyle, because I know that a lot of girls want to go on to college and succeed there, and they’re only wrestling Freestyle. So if we stick to Freestyle for this state tournament then women’s wrestling is only going to grow bigger and bigger. 

“You don’t want to make excuses. I can train anywhere, I’ve trained in my basement, I’ve trained in my garage, I’ve trained outside in a parking lot. Having that mindset of being able to do what you want to do and you have to succeed with it. So I feel that if we have coaches that really want to help grow the sport, they should go look at Freestyle tournaments, since there’s nothing much different. I’m happy to be a part of the sport and that I started when I was eight. Now my next goal is to be a four-timer or a three-timer.”

Paramo (37-5), a junior who is one of two Joliet Township athletes to reach the title mat, placed fifth a year ago at the same weight class and was making her third state appearance. After opening with a fall in 3:25 over University High’s Allison Kroesch, Paramo claimed a 5-3 decision over Lockport Township’s Liz Ramirez in the quarterfinals and won by fall in 5:37 in the semifinals over Red Bud’s Avery Smith.

Smith (21-8), a junior who placed fourth at 120 a year ago, took third place this year after claiming a 6-2 decision over junior Strenz (25-16). Maine South senior Angela Lee (28-4), who qualified for state for the first time, claimed fifth place with a fall in 3:33 to over Round Lake sophomore Ireland McCain (23-10), who took fifth at 120 last year.

120 – Angelina Cassioppi, Hononegah

Angelina Cassioppi moved up a few weights from 100, where she won a state title as a freshman. But the new setting was no problem for her as she used two falls, a win by technical fall and a decision to capture her second IHSA championship in two attempts,

The Hononegah sophomore, who finished with a 27-6 record, is ranked 13th nationally at 117. She only needed 1:32 in the 120 championship match to record a fall over Yorkville’s Yamilet Aguirre to cap her successful two-day showing at Grossinger Motors Arena.

After opening the competition with a win by technical fall in 2:10 over Lake Park’s Valeria Malinowski, Cassioppi followed with another victory by technical fall, this time in 3:38 over Thornton Fractional South’s Quincy Onyiaorah in the quarterfinals. She secured another trip to the title mat with a 6-1 win over Hoffman Estates’ Sophia Ball.

“It was great,” Cassioppi said. “I went in fairly confident and I knew that if I just went and worked my offense that I would do pretty good. It is really fun. Last year was great since me and my sister (Rose) both won it, so it was good that I could carry it on. It’s great that each year there’s going to be more and more competition, so that’s really 

exciting. It’s nice to be a part of the start since you get to watch it all develop and really take off.”

Aguirre (37-4), a junior who placed fourth at 115 a year ago, earned her spot in the 120 finals with a fall in 4:33 over Bowen’s Monica Griffin. After winning an 8-0 major decision over Fremd’s Zuri Sarmiento in her opener, Aguirre captured a 3-1 win by sudden victory over Richwoods’ Isabella Motteler in the quarterfinals.

Griffin (26-4), a senior who placed third at 115 a year ago, took third place again, this time recording a fall in 1:51 over Jacksonville sophomore Alexis Seymour (32-18), who fell one win shy of a medal last year. In the fifth-place match, sophomore Ball (42-6), who missed a medal  by one win last year, won with a fall in 5:49 over Kaneland sophomore Brooklyn Sheaffer (35-12), who made her state debut.

125 – Cadence Diduch – Freeport

The second of two clashes of individuals who were both ranked in the country for state championships capped a successful second edition of the IHSA Finals with Cadence Diduch facing Claudia Heeney in a matchup at 125 that like the first one between Sydney Perry and Valerie Hamilton at 145 was between unbeaten competitors.

But unlike the drama of the earlier clash that went down to the wire, this one was more methodical as Freeport junior Diduch, who’s top-ranked nationally at 127, improved to 11-0 after winning her third title and repeating as an IHSA champion following a 12-2 major decision over Lockport Township freshman Heeney, who was ranked 14th in the nation at 127 and suffered her first defeat in 43 matches.

Diduch, who beat Edwardsville’s Mackenzie Pratt 11-0 to win the first IHSA title at 120 a year ago, also took first place in 2021 at the IWCOA when she won 5-2 over Batavia’s Taylin Long at 113. The Pretzels standout advanced to her third state finals with a fall in 3:54 over Charleston’s Alaynia Bryant. After opening with a win by technical fall in 3:12 over Fenton’s Roxanna Patino, Diduch won a 17-3 major decision over Schaumburg’s Madeline Zerafa-Lazarevic.

“It shows how dominant girls wrestling is in our area and I’m glad that my area can be known for having strong girls wrestlers,” Diduch said of the Rockford area having three state champions. “We have a lot of good women’s wrestlers and it’s always nice to have a partner that you know is good and will push you to be a better wrestler. 

“I’m really excited because this year our sectional was way more packed than last year. To me, I’m really excited because that shows that a sport that I put a lot of time and effort is also going to grow and will help me to become a better wrestler because I’ll have more opponents in the area than I can wrestle with. I’m really excited to see where this sport can go from here.”

Heeney won her 42nd-straight match with a fall in 5:07 over Lakes’ Ava Babbs in the semifinals. The Porters standout kicked off her first state visit with a fall in 3:40 over Warren Township’s Justyce Sieber and then won a 14-2 major decision over Sherrard’s Bri Bynum.

“I put in a lot of hard work and have high expectations,” Heeney said. “I was ready to go. We had drilled together with each other at Gomez Wrestling. I felt I was mirroring myself out there and it was a lot of fun. I’m proud of the year I’ve had but not satisfied.”

Babbs (22-5), a junior who fell one win shy of a medal a year ago, recorded a fall in 4:49 over Camp Point Central freshman Amber Louderback (30-26) to finish in third place. Sophomore Zerafa-Lazarevic (32-7), who also came up one win short of a medal last season, claimed fifth place due to a disqualification. 

St. Charles East edges Marmion Academy to win first 3A title

By Mike Garofola.

BLOOMINGTON – Whatever the price of admission, it was well worth the cost to enter the doors of the Grossinger Motors Arena in Bloomington last Saturday.

After the IHSA Class 1A Dual Team State Finals between Coal City and Yorkville Christian thrilled the big crowd with a one-point finish, followed by yet another one-point decision from the 2A combatants, Washington, and Joliet Catholic Academy, there was hardly enough oxygen remaining in the building to survive the drama of the Class 3A State Finals.

In a high-energy and emotionally-charged final between rivals and state powers St. Charles East and Marmion Academy, it would be St. Charles East who would lift the championship trophy, much to the delight of its orange shirt crowd, who would rise from their chairs in unicent to to wildly cheer when AJ Marino recorded his decisive 15-5 major decision in the final match to give the Saints a hard-fought 28-24 victory over the Cadets.

“We talked as a team for the past month about how it was going to come down to each and every point counting in the final results, and that’s exactly what happened in our quarterfinal opener on Friday, and again with Marmion Academy in the final,” said Saints head coach Jason Potter.

“Our goal right from the start of this season was to position ourselves in a spot where we could qualify as many of our guys to Champaign, and, of course, advance into dual team state where we felt we could compete for a state title,” said Cadets head coach, Anthony Cirrincione, whose men did just that by sending 12 to the individual state tournament, and overwhelmed Downers Grove South in its dual team sectional to earn a berth into the last eight standing in 3A play.

A look back to 24 hours prior to the Saints’ victory will show perhaps the real story of the tournament for Potters’ club who were in the fight for their lives in a quarterfinal contest with another high-profile opponent, Mount Carmel, who had the eventual champs chasing the Caravan right up until the final two bouts of the match.

“Wow,” was the first response from Potter, who one day later would wipe his brow and then shake his head when asked about the Mount Carmel contest.

“It felt like a final all throughout, (we) actually won just six of 14,” continued Potter. “(Mount Carmel) on paper, was a bad matchup for us, so we knew it would take an entire team effort to get the job done.

“Avoiding bonus points against some of the best guys in the country, much less the state, was an incredible task to ask of our guys but they seized upon the moment, our guys fought to avoid giving bonus points away, and the other guys did well to capture bonus points for the cause.

“We obviously were in trouble, and running out of time, but Brandon (Swartz) came through with a big win at (195) and when (Christian) Wilson kept his loss to just a decision, it set up an opportunity for us to win with Austin (Barrett) and (Dom) Munaretto coming up.”

To set the stage for the Swartz, Barrett, and Munaretto heroics: after the Caravan dynamic duo of Colin Kelly and Rylan Breen added seven points to the scoreboard with their respective 17-7 major over Lane Robinson, and 6-0 win over Brody Murray, it gave the Caravan an 11-point advantage at 27-16.

Swartz would save the day for the Saints with his 11-0 major over Michael Baca to draw his teammates closer at 27-20 and neutralize William Jacobson’s 9-4 decision one match later over Christian Wilson at 220.

“Mount Carmel was a great team, and we all knew we had to be at our best in order to advance, and for me, to have maybe the biggest match of the year in this quarterfinal, I knew that I had to go out and get a bonus point win to help keep us in the match,” said Swartz.

That junior Swartz came through when called upon is a testament to having good health, while feeling your best, both mentally and physically after coming back from an injury.

“I had a sports hernia, which really set me back but during these last few weeks of the season, I’ve been feeling really well and peaking at the right time also,” said Swartz, who finished the year at 23-13.

Austin Barrett (41-10) and 106-pound state champion Dom Munaretto (54-0) got pins in the final two matches to give the Saints a 32-30 victory, which sent them into their semifinal with Yorkville.

“Mount Carmel, Marmion, and us were the top three teams all year in 3A, so when we saw it was Mount Carmel in our quarterfinal on Friday, we all kind of figured it would be a toss-up as to who would move on,” admitted Barrett, who will play football next fall at Indiana University.

“It would come down to bonus points and although we only won six matches, we only gave up one bonus point loss, and that’s how you stay close to great teams, and win in the end,” opined Barrett, whose pin at 2:48 set the stage for his rookie teammate who needed just 1:42 to close out the Caravan.

The smashing success of Marmion Academy, and the Saints in their respective semifinals, made it clear as to who were the rightful participants in-this, the 39th dual-team state tournament.

The Cadets, after their 36-31 win over Hersey in its tournament opener, sent off a stubborn Lockport club, 36-30, scoring the last 17 points to dash the hopes of the Porters of advancing to the championship meet for the second time.

Teddy Perry jump-started the Cadets’ strong finish with a tech fall at 220, followed by back-to-back pins from heavyweight Sean Scheck and freshman Nicholas Garcia at 106.

“We came here to get in the final so all of us knew we had to go all out right from the start of the tournament in order to achieve that goal, and have the chance to become state champions,” said Perry, who finished a marvelous career with a 43-8 record this season, which included majors at the CCL and regional tournaments.

The Cadets senior will attend the University of Chicago in the fall, where he will continue his wrestling career, while also managing the difficult academic life of pre-Med.

While the Cadets were polishing off No. 8 Lockport, the Saints, with a new lease on life, came out of the blocks with the wind in their sails, racing out to a 32-3 advantage over No. 9 Yorkville, en route to an impressive 44-25 victory.

“We were more like ourselves in that semifinal with Yorkville (again) a very good team, but one that we felt if we competed at a level that we know we can, would end up in our favor,” said Potter.

Once the final was set in stone, all it took was the shrill whistle from the referee to start, what would be a classic contest – one that clearly defined wrestling – which many outside of the sport believe is just an individual sport, and not one where tactics play a big role in the eventual outcome, where, particularly in a final between two evenly-balanced clubs are fully aware of what one or two points either way can decide the outcome.

Both sides had one mission, to claim the big trophy for the first time for their storied programs.

The final began at 126 pounds, and while many thought the opener would feature the 126-pound state final from a week ago, Ben Davino vs. Jameson Garcia, tactics proved otherwise.

Davino (54-0) recorded a pin, as expected, however the Saints junior was hit for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after his victory to erase one of the six points that he earned.

Garcia (44-5) answered with an 11-6 decision over Ethan Penzato, an important result that kept the Saints advantage to 5-3.

“Though Penzato lost his match, the fight he showed to avoid bonus points against a nationally-ranked, and three-time state finalist was impressive, and, in the end, helped us win this thing,” said Potter.

The Saints (22-1) were back on its front foot, using a 14-10 victory from state runner-up Tyler Guerra (49-6) over Brody Kelly, followed by a major decision win by 145-pound state champion Jayden Colon (44-5) over Santino Scolaro to increase the lead 13-3.

Cirrincione would correctly point out the valiant efforts from both Kelly and Scolaro to stay away from techical falls and pins would help the cause.

Senior Tegan Chumbley (21-18) recorded an important win over Gavin Connolly, using a nearly two-minute second period ride to insure his 2-1 triumph.

Collin Carrigan (27-8) who fought all throughout the weekend in Champaign, only to come up short in his bid for a state medal in the 152-pound weight class, did all that he could to add extra points to the Cadets side of the scoreboard, only to have Anthony Gutierrez, who placed sixth, concede to a 10-7 result.

This see-saw battle would continue with the Saints’ duo of: Lane Robinson (39-17) and Brody Murray (40-7), both state medal winners a week ago, giving their club six points after their tight, tense decisions over Michael Phillips, and freshmen, Joey Favia at 170, and 182.

“I am beyond proud of Lane, who, from the very start was a young man who we all knew would be special, he was great in the room, got through some early season struggles, and had a tremendous finish to his season,” said Potter.

“We received so many great efforts from guys who were battling state medal winners, which helped us stay close before our upper weight guys could take over,” said Cirrincione.

Jack Lesher (37-6), the state champion at 182, would provide the inspiration for a 12-0 run from the Cadets, with teammates Teddy Perry, and Sean Scheck helping their club to overcome a 19-9 deficit.

“For some of us, this was the very last time to be wrestling, so we were ‘all in’ for this final, with a shot at history for the Marmion Academy program,” said Perry.

When Scheck (38-9), who third at state at 285, used a takedown with 30 seconds left to outlast Austin Barrett 6-1, it marked the second time in a week the senior beat Barrett, with the first coming in the wrestleback semifinals.

“Austin is one of my favorite stories this season because he was a big-time football recruit who fell in love with our sport, and despite people telling him to forgo wrestling to focus on football, he continued to work hard, and took a lot of pride in knowing he is a very good wrestler, who will now have a great collegiate career in football,” Potter said.

The Cadets fans, despite watching their short-lived 21-19 lead disappear after their club gave Dom Munaretto a forfeit win at 106, sensed the chances for their heroes were to rise with freshman Nicholas Garcia (32-6) facing the Saints’ Wrigley Schroeder.

A super quick takedown from Garcia thrilled the Cadets’ faithful, believing a pin would eventually come from the rookie sensation, but Schroeder defended with all his might, conceding a penalty point for stalling, while crafty enough not to allow his opponent to turn him to his back.

The 6-0 victory drew both clubs level at 24, with AJ Marino waiting patiently in the wings against Donny Pigoni.

“Wrigley has been a part of our lineup for years, and is the youngest of three who have wrestled for us,” said Potter. “(Wrigley) did a great job of staying focused when his individual goals were not met for the season to win some big matches to help us get here, and against Nicholas, although not 100 percent healthy, fought hard to avoid bonus points to put us in position to win this final with just a decision.”

Marino (43-10), who was third a week ago in Champaign, and figured this contest would come down to his result – was pacing like a caged lion in anticipation of his match with Pigoni, and when called to the mat, the Saints senior raced to the table as if hurled through the air via catapult.

“I was just awful in my 8-6 loss in our semifinal against Yorkville, it made me so upset, that I went back to the hotel and just screamed while in the shower to let all of my emotions out for good (knowing) that I had one more chance coming to make a difference tonight,” admitted Marino, who moved with his family from Texas during the offseason.

“We didn’t know what to expect from AJ, but I am very proud of the growth he has shown, both on the mat, and as a person,” Potter said.

“He thrived in pressure situations, and there could not have been any more pressure on him when this final came down to his match – likely the biggest pressure cooker he’s ever been involved in, he believed in himself, and took care of business.”

Indeed. Thirty seconds into this 120-pound contest, Marino registered a takedown, then went about adding points through takedowns that brought a chorus of two’s from the Saints faithful, who stayed on their feet all throughout an impressive second period of scoring, right up until the final whistle with a 15-5 score in favor of Marino, who lept into the arms of Potter.

“I had so many tears of joy when I got that big hug from Potter,” admitted Marino, who was nearly crushed by his teammates after his win gave the Saints a 28-24 victory, and its first-ever state title.

“This was an amazing night for St. Charles East wrestling, one that we have pointed towards from the first day we got together,” began Potter.

“We always thought we had a chance, and the turning point in the season for us came when we lost to Joliet Catholic Academy, that loss drove home the point that every point counts in a dual, and everyone needed to do their job, just as they did this weekend.”

“We couldn’t sit back and count on our superstars to bail us out, and from the loss to JCA, the focus, and drive took off, and we began to build confidence as the season went on.

“(Marmion) has so much talent, and an unbelievable coaching staff that put together a game plan that kept us at bay, and after we got our emotions back in check, it became as tight, and intense of a final that everyone expected so hats off to Anthony, his staff, and team, especially a young man like Jameson Garcia, who gave it all that it had tonight.”

“With regards to Jameson, replacing him will be impossible,” began Cirricione.

“He has every quality you want in a young man, and more, he had great success here with us, and will continue to do so when he moves on to Harvard.”

“The program will move forward, and other men will carve out their own paths to becoming the great wrestler like Jameson is, and was.”

Cirrincione will look to replace just a handful of seniors in addition to Garcia, Tyler Aters, Michael Phillips, Scolaro, Chumbley, Perry and Scheck, but the man in charge of the Cadets will have plenty of marvelous men back to lead the way.

“Of the next group of guys, Jack Lesher is our undisputed leader. He was our vocal leader all throughout the season, and is one of the best young men you will ever come in contact with.”

Donny (Pigoni) and Collin Carrigan will continue to lead with their relentless dedication to the sport, they have tunnel vision with regards to their goals of becoming great at wrestling.”

“Nicholas (Garcia) is already carving his own path to glory, and is a different kind of competitor, doubt him, and doubt his will at your own peril. He can rise to the occasion like few I’ve witnessed.”

Cirrincione and his staff would not use the absence of the injured Zach Stewart (32-6) at 120, who may have made a difference if the talented freshman was able to compete.

“Zach is another kid that just loves to wrestle, and he will become a star very soon as well,” Cirrincione said. “Losing him at the end at state was a real disappointment for all of us, especially Zach, and do we believe the dual might have had a different outcome if he competed. well, that is irrelevant.”

“We came out and competed and fought until the very end, we just fell a little short, but man, did our guys compete!”

The Cadets (18-2-0) who would trade the top spot in the IWCOA polls all season long with the Saints, brought home their fifth state trophy in their ninth trip, with the last coming in 2019 when current assistant, Nathan Fitzenreider, led the club to a third place finish with an overall record of 22-3-0.

“The seniors that will graduate made their presence felt, and that presence will remain as our programs continue to improve, it’s a family here, and all these boys will be a part of each others’ lives forever, that’s what makes Marmion wrestling so special,” said Cirrnicione.

The driving force behind much of the success at Lockport Township for several years has come from the Oster Family.

Brothers Jake, Jameson and Shayne Oster collected eight state medals from 2004-2016 at Lockport Township, which included one individual title for each one, so, perhaps it was only fitting it would be an all-Oster meeting when the Porters and Yorkville met in the center circle for the third place match.

Jameson, the new man in charge of his alma mater, defeated Jake, the head coach at Yorkville, 45-16, to claim the Porters’ fifth state trophy, while Yorkville earned its sixth in program history, but first as a 3A team.

It was the first time in state history that teams led by brothers met in the state finals. A year ago, the Porters, who were then coached by older brother Josh, defeated Yorkville in the sectional, in the first time in state history that squads that were led by brothers squared off to see whose team would go to state.

“This wasn’t about an Oster vs. Oster dual, or family bragging rights, it was a match between two programs that had a very successful year, with both having very good rosters who worked hard to earn state trophies,” said Jameson Oster, who won a Class 3A title in 2009 at 119 to finish with a 41-6 record.

“I was really excited to have our guys wrestling Jameson’s team, they were a little better than us to go home third overall, but I am really proud of my team for the season they’ve had, and happy for Lockport as well,” said Jake Oster, who won a Class AA title in 2004 at 112 to finish with a 40-2 record.

Both clubs would easily advance to Bloomington with lopsided sectional victories, Lockport Township won 42-22 over Lincoln-Way West while Yorkville dispatched Edwardsville 35-23.

“It’s been an interesting year for us to say the least, the boys overcame some adversity, but kept their heads down, stayed the course to get themselves here this weekend, so, obviously, I am really proud of the effort put forth by these guys,” said Jameson Oster, who watched Brayden Thompson, No. 1 in the nation at 182, transfer to Stillwater High in Oklahoma just after the new year.

“It was such a hectic season for us, but this was a very good team, that had a great season, and although we did not get into the state final,  I am very proud of our third place finish, and it’s something we should all be happy with,” opined senior, Logan Swaw, who fell short in his bid to win a state title to Conant’s top-ranked Ethan Stiles in the 160-pound final.

The Porters senior finished his brilliant career with a 48-2 overall record, and will continue on to the University of Illinois.

“The fit here at Illinois is with (Michael) Poeta, and the proximity to home, plus knowing the field that I will go in (Kinesiology) is something I will thrive in (here) at Illinois because of the excellent program they have,” said Swaw, who hopes to be a Physical Therapist one day.

“(It) was a great finish to our season,” said Jake Oster. “The guys worked really hard this season, we had a very good start to the year, struggled a little just before the new year, but bounced back to finish strong to get to team state, and it was really fun having our guys go against Jamesons’ at Lockport.”

The Foxes won 14 of their first 15 dual meets and then dropped four straight to state powers Marmion Academy, Lockport Township, DeKalb and St. Charles East, before winning out to advance to state.

“We have a lot of young guys on the team who really stepped up to do well on the varsity this season,” said Hunter Janeczko, who finished 24-6 and was one of just three seniors on the big roster.

All of the lower weights for the Foxes are either freshmen or sophomores, including sophomore Jack Ferguson (43-12), who was one win away from placing in Champaign.

“The goal is always to be on top of the podium in Champaign, and although I fell short, I feel like I helped Ben (Alvarez) as much as I could to win his state title at 220,” said Janeczko, whom Alvarez (42-2) heaped plenty of praise onto the shoulders of his teammate as a big reason for his state title. Janeczko finished fourth at 195 while sophomore Luke Zook (44-8) was third at 170 to give the Foxes three state medal winners.

Despite seeing the end to their seasons come far too soon, the performances of Hersey, Mount Carmel, Warren Township and York during this season hints of a continued bright future for all four clubs.

Perennial state power Mount Carmel, which, as noted, came ‘this close’ to advancing into second-day action. With 10  of its starting lineup back next season, there’s little doubt that head coach Alex Tsirtsis will conjure up another magnificent season, which should include plenty of team, and individual hardware.

“The coaching staff (here) is the absolute best, and with so many guys back, there’s no doubt in my mind that Mount Carmel wrestling will be a power next year,” said four-time state champion Sergio Lemley (37-1), who will wrestle in the fall at the University of Michigan.

The Caravan (10-4-0) who were the No. 3 team before the state series began, will have five returning state medal winners back, beginning with state champ Seth Mendoza (39-2) and followed by a terrific group of teammates.

State runners-up Edmund Enright (21-4), and Colin Kelly (28-3) will challenge for the big prize, as should Damian Resendez (24-12) and Rylan Breen (25-11), who both earned fifth place state medals while freshmen Liam Kelly (26-14) fell one win short of a medal.

As young as Mount Carmel was, so was coach Brad Janeceks’ club from Warren Township.

The Blue Devils (15-5-0) who cruised into their first dual team state appearance in program history, did so with a starting lineup made up of just two seniors, and a pair of ultra-talented freshmen who made their mark during their rookie campaign.

Aaron Stewart (45-2), who at various times in the year was near, or on top of the 152-pound weight class, made a strong push towards winning it all in what was a first class 16-man field, until claiming third overall.

Another freshman, Royce Lopez (39-13), a state qualifier at 160, lost in the quarterfinals of wrestlebacks and was unable to join Stewart on the podium.

Sophomore Jonathan Marquez (106, 34-10) advanced to state as did senior Evan Onstad (32-7) who manned the spot at 138 all season long.

“What a great room to be a part of this year, with the new guys that came in, and the unbelievable coaching staff we have, it was no surprise to me that we had the success this season,” said Onstad.

Mid-Suburban League champion Hersey (12-5) advanced to its first dual team appearance since 1997 when Rick Mann brought the Huskies to the event.

The Huskies needed to get past long-time league rival Prospect in the dual team sectional to book their place, and did so for the second time this season.

Coach Joe Rupslauk’s Huskies will lose a pair of four-year veterans,  Aaron Hernandez and Oleg Simakov, who were both state qualifiers and have been key figures in the revival of a program that when both were freshmen, was unable to field a full starting lineup.

Of the seven who qualified to state, five will return, Daniel Lehman, Abdullaokh Khakimov, Esteban Delgado, Max Mukhamedaliyev and Anthony Cambria, who combined for nearly 200 victories this season.

The future looks bright for the York Dukes (24-10), whose exciting 38-32 win over Schaumburg in sectionals ensured the program’s first ever state dual-team appearance.

In that contest, the upper weight strength of: Evan Grazzini (195), Austin Bagdasarian (220) and Dominic Begora (285) would score the last (15) points to help the coach Nick Metcalf’s Dukes overcome a 32-23 deficit to dash the hopes of the Saxons of their first trip downstate.

Bagdasarian will return for the Dukes, as will Danny Decristofaro (170, 43-9) and the dynamic duo of Zach Parisi (44-6) and Sean Berger (40-4), who finished fourth in state at 132. 

Coal City edges Yorkville Christian in 1A dual team finals to win first state title

By Curt Herron

The quest for a state championship that began in the first IHSA Dual Team Championship in 1984 and that has seen numerous close calls since that inaugural competition has finally been realized.

Coal City, making its 12th appearance in the tournament  and a runner-up on six occasions under four different coaches, finally was able to walk away as state champions on Saturday, but only after surviving a determined effort from the defending champions.

IWCOA Hall of Fame inductee coach Mark Masters had led teams to the finals on three previous occasions and also was an assistant coach on an earlier second-place finisher. To finally capture the elusive state championship, the Coalers would understandably need to wrestle an excellent strategic dual meet in order to deny Yorkville Christian of its second state title during its brief history.

But after the disappointment of second-place finishes in 1984, 1995, and 1998 under coaches George Dare, Sean Poston and Brett Porter, and in 2016, 2019 and 2020 under Masters, the Village of Coal City can now paint its water tower with the proclamation – 2022-23 IHSA Class 1A State Champions – that it achieved with its hard-fought 32-31 victory over the Mustangs, who lost twice against 1A opponents, with a 48-23 loss on December 15 to the Coalers the other setback.

This is the third IHSA championship that has been won by Coal City. The first was coach Ken Miller’s 14-0 football team that won the Class 2A title in 1993 and the other was in 2010 when coach Brad Schmitt led a 40-0 softball team to the Class 2A title.

The acknowledged team to beat in Class 1A all season brought a 40-2 record to Grossinger Motors Arena with its only losses coming to top-ranked Class 2A squad and runner-up Joliet Catholic Academy and a Lincoln-Way East team that was ranked in the top 10 in 3A.

After sending all 14 of its individuals to the IHSA Individual Finals in Champaign, Coal City beat Chicago Hope Academy 75-3 to earn its 12th state appearance and guaranteed its tenth trophy with a 65-6 triumph over LeRoy/Tri-Valley in Friday’s quarterfinals. Another finals spot was assured with a 46-14 victory over Lena-Winslow/Stockton.

From the time that senior Derek Carlson kicked off the final round with an impressive acapella version of the national anthem through freshman Brody Widlowski’s dramatic fall in the next-to-last match that started the celebration for the large contingent of Coalers fans, Coal City put on a near-perfect dual meet exhibition, by getting bonus points, winning close matches and not allowing many big losses.

Coal City received falls in the title dual meet from Mataeo Blessing, Michael Gonzalez and Brody Widlowski, major decisions from Braiden Young and Joey Brenemen and close decisions from Brock Finch and Brant Widlowski. 

Yorkville Christian got falls from Jackson Mehochko and Aiden Larsen, a major decision from Tyler Martinez and close decisions from Noah Dial, Drew Torza and Jackson Gillen while Ty Edwards received a forfeit win since the Coalers were up by seven points.

Masters, whose record in 435-149 in 20 seasons, has taken six teams to state since 2015 and all of them have placed in the top three, with his first team and the 2018 squad both finishing in third place. He is assisted by Jim Looper, Nick O’Bert, Joe Widlowski, Greg Keigher and Zach Berman.

“You know what, taking second four times gets kind of old,” Masters said. “It was a great senior class and I couldn’t be prouder of those guys. They’re high class, high character kids who did a great job of leading our program. All the way from our youth program, we’ve had the right coaches in the right places throughout these kids’ careers. And our freshmen, that’s our very first group of our tots.

“It was great with Brody Widlowski, and if we pin, it’s over. He went out as calm as could be and he executed and put it away. Mike (Gonzalez) doesn’t let anything phase him. He goes out and he fights hard and he’s explosive.

“Especially at 82 and 95, those guys (Braiden Young and Joey Breneman) came up with big bonus points with seconds left on the clock. You know, that was the deciding factor because they had a stud at 120 so we wanted to make sure we were ahead by seven going into that match. Mataeo has been that guy all year, he’s always going, ‘hey coach, I want to wrestle that guy. Give me the tougher match at 52.’ We want to get the matches we want, and that’s exactly what happened. We got the matches that we wanted and our guys did what they had to do to win.

“We had a discussion about how in our society, everybody is always about living a life of comfort, but not these guys. They were built for greatness and I told them, ‘you’ve just got to be you.’ It’s the same circle like you have at practice at home, don’t make it any bigger than what it is, and that’s exactly what they did. They just came like it was a regular match, and obviously they knew the implications would be a little bit heavier, Nobody backed down and we wrestled so well.”

Yorkville Christian’s impressive first two state appearances saw a dominating performance from coach Mike Vester’s 23-6 squad that resulted in a championship in its debut in 2022 and then  just missing out on capturing another state title in its return visit to Bloomington.

After defeating Riverdale 42-28 to earn its second state trip, the Mustangs, who finished 22-6, captured a 49-27 quarterfinals victory over Auburn and earned their spot in a second-straight title meet with a 47-24 win over Oakwood/Salt Fork in the semifinals.

Vester is 58-13 in his third season of leading the program, which hoped to become the third to repeat as state champions in the state’s smallest class since the three class tournament was introduced in 2008-2009, joining Wilmington and Dakota. He is assisted by Brody Vester, Travis Martinez, Michael Esquivel and Nick Loomis. 

“They did a good job of keeping points off of the board,” Vester said. “Some of the guys we thought we were going to dominate, they did a good job. We left a lot of points on the table. I went back in my head and I think we should have won that dual by seven or eight points. 

“We had one real close one that would have been a major decision that would have tied the dual, and we got a major decision against us at the edge of the mat with like three seconds remaining. And they got a reversal and back points and that changed things because literally this came to one point or two points for winning.

“There were a lot of tears today, but not one of them has anything to do with losing the match. It was about losing time with kids that I’ve been around for so long. And a lot of them are walking away from the sport for good. We have a few who are going off to college to wrestle.

“Knowing that this was their last match and knowing that they were part of our family for so long, that’s the stuff that hurts. What I’m blessed for is that I’ve had these kids and I’m blessed I have some of them coming back and I’ve got some guys who’ve been behind them and have been waiting for their chance. There’s a culture that’s been established. They built the program and it’s a tribute to them.”

Lena-Winslow/Stockton returned to state for the first time since 2019, when it won its second state championship in three seasons. IWCOA Hall of Fame coach Kevin Milder is 4-for-4 on winning trophies in state finals appearances after the PantherHawks claimed a 40-31 win over Marian Central Catholic to reach Bloomington and beat Canton 42-23 in the quarterfinals and bounced back from their loss to Coal City by winning third place with a 46-23 win over Oakwood/Salt Fork.

Making its state tournament debut, Oakwood/Salt Fork, a co-op of schools in Fithian and Catlin, followed up on its 46-31 win over Anna-Jonesboro to reach state and then coach Michael Glosser’s Comets defeated IC Catholic Prep 39-31 in the quarterfinals to assure their program of a trophy. While Salt Fork, Catlin and Jamaica had won state trophies before in sports, Oakwood had not.

Canton (28-10) made its first tournament appearance after beating Kewanee 57-24 in the sectional. Coach Zach Crawford’s Little Giants had a banner year qualifying a school-best six individuals for state. This was the third regional that the program had won and first since 2009. Canton lost four duals against 1A teams and three of those were state qualifiers, 1A champion Coal City, 1A third-place finisher Lena-Winslow/Stockton and Auburn, who also fell in the quarterfinals.

Auburn (26-4) was back at state for the second time in three seasons after defeating Cahokia 48-32 in the sectional. Coach Matt Grimm’s Trojans made their third state trip since 2017 with the highlight being the last time that they got to state in 2020, when they took fourth.

LeRoy/Tri-Valley (24-2) earned its first state trip since 2014 and its fifth overall after winning 46-27 over El Paso-Gridley in the sectional. Coach Brady Sant Amour’s Panthers had won 23 dual meets in a row after suffering their only loss, a 46-34 defeat to Normal Community, on December 1, the first day that they competed this season.

IC Catholic Prep only took part in a handful of dual meets but it defeated St. Laurence 51-28 in the sectional to make its second-straight state appearance for coach Jason Renteria and the school’s third overall since 2018. The Knights were one of only two teams who also were at state a year ago, with runner-up Yorkville Christian, the 2022 champions, being the other. 

State Championship Meet

Coal City 32, Yorkville Christian 31

Coal City (43-2) and Yorkville Christian (22-6) were ranked one-two throughout the season so it should come as no great surprise that the two programs met for the IHSA Class 1A Dual Team championship at Grossinger Motors Arena in Bloomington and after settling for second its previous six title meets, the Coalers prevailed 32-31 to win their first title while preventing the Mustangs from repeating as champions.

In the opener at 126, Coal City’s Brock Finch captured a 4-0 decision over Tristan Gleason and at 132, Yorkville Christian’s Noah Dial edged Jake Piatak 4-3 to create an early 3-3 tie.

The Coalers won the next two matches to go up 12-3 as Brant Widlowski got past Grason Johnson 6-4 at 138 and Mataeo Blessing followed with a fall in 0:52 over John Isaac Gray to make it 12-3.

The Mustangs won the next three matches to take their first lead at 13-12 at the midway mark of the meet. Drew Torza was a 3-2 winner on an ultimate tiebreaker over Landin Benson at 152, Tyler Martinez followed with an 8-0 major decision over Jack Poyner and Jackson Gillen captured a 6-2 decision over Derek Carlson at 170.

“Yorkville Christian has a lot of solid guys, so some times a win for us was not giving up a pin or a major, and we did that a lot,” Carlson said. “If we didn’t win the match, we were fighting like hell not to give up bonus points.”

When asked which was more difficult, singing the national anthem or wrestling last year’s state champion who just missed being a two-time title winner, his answer was surprising. 

“The national anthem, for sure, my legs were shaking,” Carlson said. “That’s why I wanted to take this opportunity because I thought it was super cool. 

“We care about each other more than about ourselves. We are a selfless team. We care about how others perform before how we do and that just pushed us further every day in the practice room and on the mat. And we have a great roster of coaches this year.”

Coal City responded with two major decisions that came about due to late points as Braiden Young won 16-8 over Jeremy Loomis and Joey Breneman claimed a 10-0 victory over Christopher Durbin at 195 to give their team a 20-13 advantage with five matches remaining.

“It’s amazing,” Young said. “We have kids that work and we never give up and we always keep fighting and it showed. We have kids that get put to their back, fight it off and keep going. And we have kids who get taken down and then get right back up, they just keep going.

“Bonus points are huge. This is our first state championship in school history for wrestling. It’s amazing, we’ve got the whole town out here, it was a really good experience.We’ve been together a long time and it’s a great thing to see when everything clicks together. I will remember everything. Some times our practices were hard, but you were with your buddies, and especially hanging out with them has been amazing. It’s a great group and I’m going to miss them.”

“There’s nothing like this, it’s just awesome,” Breneman said. “All of the hard work that we’ve put in and all of the hard work that he (Masters) put us through and trained us, it feels awesome. 

“If you looked at the crowd, we had damned near the whole town here and oh my gosh, it got us so pumped.”

After Jackson Mehochko won by fall in 0:43 over Drake Dearth to pull Yorkville Christian to within 20-19, Michael Gonzalez got a pin in 1:11 over Garrett Tunnell to again expand the lead back to seven points.

Aiden Larsen gave the defending champions renewed hopes after he recorded a fall in 3:38 over Culan Lindemuth at 106 to make it 25-24 with two matches remaining.

With Ty Edwards looming as the Mustangs’ competitor at 120, it was important for Brody Widlowski to try to get a fall, if possible, in order to make the final match a moot point, and that’s just what the freshman went out and did.

Brody Widlowski’s fall in 1:36 over Eli Foster made it 32-25 and the Coalers gave a forfeit win to Edwards, making this only the fifth time in state history that a state championship was decided by one point. 

On the next mat over in another case of a defending champion seeing their hopes of repeating doomed by a very determined opponent,  Washington claimed a 28-27 victory over Joliet Catholic Academy in the Class 2A finals.

That became the sixth title dual meet decided by one point and it made history as the first time in the event’s history that two dual meets for titles in the same finals were determined by one point. 

Coal City also happened to be involved in one of the other one-point title duals, which also was the last time that it had happened. That was in 2016 when Dakota edged the Coalers 31-30 for the 1A title.

The Coalers tied an IHSA record for qualifying all 14 individuals for Champaign from its own sectional. Placewinners for Coal City were senior Breneman (third at 195), senior Young (fourth at 182), freshman Brody Widlowski (fourth at 113) and senior Piatak (sixth at 132) while senior Blessing (145) fell one win shy of earning a medal.

Coal City ‘s other state qualifiers were seniors Poyner (160), Carlson (170), Dearth (220) and Gonzalez (285), junior Brant Widlowski (138),

sophomores Lindemuth (106) and Benson (152) and freshmen Kenney (120) and Finch (126).

Yorkville Christian had six state qualifiers, including five who won medals. They were senior Gillen (second at 170), who won a title last season; junior Edwards (second at 120), senior Martinez (third at 160), senior Torza (sixth at 145) and sophomore Larsen (sixth at 106) while senior Durbin (182) also advanced to state.

Third-place Meet

Lena-Winslow/Stockton 46, Oakwood/Salt Fork 23

The third-place dual meet was the story of a program that’s enjoyed some of its biggest moments in recent years that was able to win its fourth trophy in its fourth appearance at the dual team finals,

The other was the tale of another co-op program that was making its state debut in the competition and not only was able to get a trophy in its initial attempt, it claimed the first state trophy for any sport for one of the two schools that it is involved in the cooperative arrangement.

So it’s very easy to see why both Lena-Winslow/Stockton (34-6) and Oakwood/Salt Fork (22-12) were pleased to battle for third place and the chance to finish behind Coal City and Yorkville Christian.

Oakwood/Salt Fork started fast, getting two quick falls to grab an early 12-0 advantage. Pedro Rangel got a pin in 1:20 over Mauricio Glass in the opener at 126 and Carter Chambliss added a fall in 0:58 over Mark Detwiler.

Lena-Winslow/Stockton got its first victory from Carson McPeek, who recorded a fall in 1:30 over Taylor Owens but the Comets answered with a 17-7 major decision from Reef Pacot over Karl Hubb at 145 to claim a 16-6 lead.

“The first-time ever,” Pacot said of his team making its state debut. “So getting that fourth is awesome. We were the underdog in the tournament, for sure, so to come out with fourth is awesome.And the next few years are going to be awesome.”

However, the PantherHawks started to take control following four-straight falls, receiving the first in 3:07 from Garrett Luke over Bryson Capansky, the next from Jared Dvorak in 1:58 over Saul Carrillo, another one from Eli Larson in 5:17 over Dalton Brown and the last from 182-pound state champion Griffin Luke in 0:23 over Ezekiel Smith to put Lena-Winslow/Stockton in front for good at 30-16.

“Everyone had something to prove,” Dvorak said. “We lost our semifinals match and we felt down, but they all fought back and I was impressed with everyone. Everyone fought to the end and they all gave it their all out there. We were ready for this moment, especially me. I was disappointed at state and didn’t finish how I wanted to, and lost two overtime matches. 

“I pinned, won a major decision and I pinned. I’m glad with how I did after not placing at state.And I’m proud of my whole team. We have a bunch of young kids so hopefully we can be back here next year.”

Jace Phillips captured an 8-3 decision over Harley Grimm, Mike Haas won a 12-0 major decision over Doug Myers and Henry Engel got a fall in 1:32 over Kade Fleming at 285 to extend the PantherHawks’ advantage to 43-16.

The Comets won the next two matches, with Brayden Edwards claiming a 7-0 decision over Reece Demeter and Tyler Huchel adding a 15-6 major decision over David Prater at 113 before Lena-Winslow/Stockton’s Arrison Bauer closed out the meet with a 6-2 decision over Jack Aister.

2020 IWCOA Hall of Fame inductee coach Kevin Milder has now led his PantherHawks to four trophies in four state finals appearances since 2012, when they took second place. The highlights for the program came in 2017 and 2019 when they won their two state titles.

Lena-Winslow/Stockton had five state qualifiers and two medal winners, senior Griffin Luke (first at 182), who took second last year, and his brother, senior Garrett Luke (third at 152), who was a state champion last season. Other qualifiers were senior Engel (285) and juniors Dvorak (160) and Haas (220).

Milder has a 547-148-2 record in 29 years at Lena-Winslow/Stockton. He’s assisted by Jared Hermann, Seth Milks and Josh Oates.

“We really closed the season out strong,” Milder said. “I guess some of our kids that you’d say were lesser-known have really stepped up. Going back to Tuesday when we beat Marian Central, Jared Dvorak had a huge win to kick start us and Arrison Bauer has been on a tear and Jared had  a great weekend.

“Garrett Luke is wrestling with an injured elbow and he’s been grinding out some big wins for us. It was just a complete total team effort. Even our guys that lost, they were fighting hard to limit team points. Just a total team effort this week and I’m proud of the guys. Even in our Coal City match that we lost, I felt like we competed, we just weren’t winning matches.

“Just being able to come out of our regional, number one, was huge because there was a lot of power and heavy hitters there. And beating Marian Central was no easy task and then Canton in our first round, they came to wrestle and we had a really good match against them. Our kids stepped up and I’m just super happy for our seniors to go out that way. We had four and all four were able to win in their last match. Bringing home a state trophy in any year is great.”

Another highlight for coach Michael Glosser’s Comets in their historic season is that they qualified five individuals for state and had one medalist and two others who fell one win shy of being All-Staters. Senior Pacot (second at 145) was the team’s lone medalist while sophomore Rangel (126) and freshman Huchel (113) both fell one win shy of claiming a medal. Junior Capansky (152) and sophomore Chambliss (132) were their team’s other state qualifiers. 

Glosser, who has led his teams to 19 or more dual meets in the last five full seasons, is one win away from 200 victories with a 199-106 record in his 12 seasons at Oakwood. He is assisted by Vince Chambliss and Brendan Watson.

“It’s pretty special. “Glosser said. “I’ve got a group full of competitors and it’s been awhile in the making. We’ve had to beef up our schedule a little bit to try to get some tougher competition to get the guys a feeling of what it’s like to get to this level against teams like this. About five or six years ago we ended up beginning this co-op and they have a great feeder program with Vince Chambliss and his brother (Darin) is their school’s principal. So it’s all worked out and you saw this weekend how it helps.

“The guys trust me and they’ve bought in. It’s a hard-nosed room where there’s battles every day and they compete for everything, and that’s what we preach. Of course we want to win, but forget about the winning and losing, if I can build a room full of competitors, guys who are buying into our philosophy and what we’re trying to preach, then this is the kind of stuff that happens.

“You know that they had to feel the pressure since they’re high school kids. But with the kind of mentality that we’ve had all year, we treat the first match of the year like it’s a state championship, so we don’t try to place a huge importance on our conference and county, on regionals and sectionals, we’re wrestling from the beginning of the year like these are state championship matches. 

“So when you get here, we preach to be a competitor and to have fun, because if you’re not having fun, you’re not going to go out there and wrestle the way that you want to wrestle. Our kids came here and had fun and they competed and special things happened for them.”

Semifinals Meets

Yorkville Christian 47, Oakwood/Salt Fork 24

The Mustangs won three of the first four matches to take an 18-3 lead and after the Comets pulled to within 18-9 in the next match, Yorkville Christian won the following five to build up a 41-9 advantage that helped it to capture a 47-24 victory, which assured it of its second-straight visit to the state championship dual meet.

Edwards opened with a fall in 2:21 over Aister at 120 before Rangel won a 7-1 decision over Gleason. Dial followed with a fall in 2:46 over Chambliss and Johnson got a pin in 1:02 over Owens to build the Mustangs’ lead to 15 points.

After Pacot got a fall in 1:33 over Gray at 145 to make it 18-9, Torza won a 13-3 major decision over Capansky, Martinez pinned Carrillo in 1:06, Gillen was a 9-3 winner over Brown, Durbin won a 15-6 major decision over Grimm and Mehochko got a fall in 0:34 over Smith . 

The Comets won three of the final four matches as Myers got a fall in 0:59 over Xander Oliver at 220 before Yorkville Christian got its last victory at 285 when Tunnell won with a pin in 1:37 over Fleming. Edwards won the last contested match with a 4-0 decision over Foster before Huchel received a forfeit victory in the finale.

Coal City 46, Lena-Winslow/Stockton 14

Lena-Winslow/Stockton opened its semifinals dual with Coal City with a win and it strung together three more victories a bit later, but other than that it was all Coalers, who had five-consecutive victories after the opener and concluded the meet with another run of five wins.

After Bauer prevailed with a 1-0 decision over Kenney in the opener at 120, the Coalers took over with Finch recording a fall in 3:11 over Glass and Piatak following with a pin in 0:43 over Detwiler. Brant Widlowski won an 8-5 decision over McPeek at 138 and then Blessing was a winner by technical fall over Hubb and Benson completed the early run with a pin in 5:38 over Jimmy Goebel

The PantherHawks tried to turn the tide with three-straight victories as Dvorak won an 11-3 major decision over Poyner, Larson prevailed 3-1 over Carlson and Griffin Luke captured a 14-3 major decision over Young at 182 to pull their team to within 26-14.

Coal City countered with three-straight decisions as Breneman won 7-1 over Phillips, Dearth captured a 5-2 victory over Haas and Gonzalez won 3-0 over Engel. Lindemuth added a fall in 0:42 over Demeter and Luke Munsterman got a win by technical fall over Prater.

Quarterfinals Meets

Oakwood/Salt Fork 39, IC Catholic Prep 31

In a matchup of two programs who were hoping to assure themselves of their first trophy, it was the newcomer who prevailed over a squad that was back at state for the second year in a row and left dejected as the third time at state wasn’t the charm for them.

Coach Jason Renteria’s Knights took a 19-15 lead midway through the dual but Oakwood/Salt Fork got pins in the next two matches and a forfeit win a bit later to go up 33-19 and although IC Catholic Prep won all of the rest of the contested matches, it forfeited at two more weights and that helped the Comets to capture a 39-31 victory.

As a result, Oakwood, which is in Fithian, assured itself of its initial trophy in any sport, not just wrestling. According to IHSA records, Fithian was playing basketball in 1916-17, so this is the first trophy won by the school in over a century of competition. Its co-op partner Salt Fork, which is in Catlin, won state titles in both boys and girls track and field while Catlin won a boys basketball title and a former school in that district, Jamaica in Sidell, had also won trophies.

Huchel started the meet at 113 with a fall in 1:01 over Clara Samayoa before Saul Trejo won by technical fall over Aister and Omar Samayoa captured a 9-6 decision over Rangel to make it 8-6. Chambliss briefly put the Comets back in front at 9-8 when he won a 4-1 decision over KC Kekstadt at 132.

Following a pin by Bryson Spaulding over Owens in 0:39 and Pacot pinning Justin Grace in 0:57, Joseph Gliatta won by technical fall over Blake Barney at 152 to put IC Catholic Prep up 19-15 at the midpoint.

Capansky followed with a fall over Will Bryk in 0:43 and Dalton Brown added a pin in 2:22 over Nate Brown to give Oakwood/Salt Fork the upper hand again. Foley Calcagno followed with a win by technical fall over Grimm and Smith received a forfeit win at 195.

IC Catholic Prep got a 4-0 decision from Vinnie Gonzalez over Myers and Isaiah Gonzalez followed with a win by technical fall over Flemming at 285 but that wasn’t enough as Edwards received a forfeit win in the finale to wrap up an historic moment for the Comets.

“I’m very excited,” Capansky said. “It was a good experience overall, and I loved it. I think that our schools do very well and we’re very close. Team family is what we preach all of the time. 

“It was a fun weekend and I’m very proud of my team. I think that we did very well.”

It capped a special season for IC Catholic Prep where several members of a state championship football team also got to qualify for team state in wrestling. Also the team had three state placewinners, just missed getting another one and two other qualifiers.

Senior Isaiah Gonzalez was the state champion at 285 after taking second place the past two years. Senior Trejo, a state champion in 2020 and 2021, took third place at 120 after not competing last season due to injury. Freshman Calcagno finished sixth at 182 while junior Gliatta fell one win shy of getting a medal at 152. Juniors Omar Samayoa (126) and Spaulding (138) were the team’s other qualifiers.

Coach Jason Renteria has taken both of his Knights teams to state and this was their third appearance in the dual team finals. He is assisted by Joe Calcagno and Randy Spaulding.

Yorkville Christian 49, Auburn 27

Yorkville Christian kicked off its quest to repeat as state champions when it met Auburn in Friday’s quarterfinals. While the Trojans (26-4), who were making their third state appearance and first since 2020 when they placed fourth, only trailed 18-15 through the first six matches, the Mustangs broke things open by winning all of the next six matches as they claimed a 49-27 win that advanced them to the semifinals against Oakwood/Salt Fork.

Auburn’s Drayven Hamm started things off with a 9-2 decision over Foster at 113 and Edwards got the Mustangs’ first victory with a fall in 0:39 over Jasmine Brown. Two-time state champion Joey Ruzic responded with a fall in 3:56 over Gleason before Dial answered with a pin in 0:48 over Walker Britz and Gray followed with a fall in 0:27 over Jayden Brown. Grimm continued the run of falls with a pin in 1:15 over Johnson  to pull the Trojans to within three points at 145.

But the Mustangs started to break things open as Torza won a 9-0 major decision over Quinten Chizmar, Martinez followed with a fall in 2:54 over Colby Willhite and Gillen received a forfeit victory. 

Yorkville Christian expanded on its lead as Loomis pinned Joey Barrow in 2:51 at 182, Durbin pulled out a 6-4 decision over Skylar Fay and Mehochko followed with a pin in 0:40 over Clinton Lovens before Cole Edie and Ryer Parker received forfeit wins. 

Coach Matt Grimm’s Trojans had six qualifiers and three medalists. Junior Ruzic (first at 120) won his second-straight title while seniors Edie (second at 285) and Grimm (third at 138) also placed at state. Other state qualifiers for the team were senior Fay (182), junior Barrow (170) and freshman Hamm (106).

Grimm, who collected his 300th win in his 16th season as a coach, is 294-119 in 15 years at Auburn, which co-ops with both Franklin and New Berlin, with all three state teams and the fourth place finish in 2020 are the program’s highlights. He’s assisted by Gary Wilmarth. 

Coal City 65, LeRoy/Tri-Valley 6

Coal City only lost one match in a dual meet that was its second-biggest victory in its 12 appearances in the competition, behind only a 75-4 win over Walther Christian in the quarterfinals in 2016, the year of its fourth second-place finish, and the first of those for Masters.

LeRoy/Tri-Valley (24-2), which had won 23-straight dual meets since suffering its lone loss by a 46-34 score to Normal Community on its first day of competition, which was December 1. Making their sixth state appearance and first since 2014, the Panthers were only able to win one match, and that was in the finale and was a forfeit victory after the Coalers had won the first 13 matches.

Brody Widlowski started things at 113 with a 3-2 decision over Kobe Brent before Kenney won by forfeit and Finch followed with a 2-0 win by sudden victory over Brock Owens and Piatak collected a 3-0 decision over Colton Prosser at 132 to quickly make it 15-0.

In its next nine victories, the Coalers recorded seven falls, a win by technical fall and a decision. Brant Widlowski won by fall in 2:16 over Jack Green at 138 before Blessing claimed an 8-3 decision over Connor Lyons, The next four matches were pins with Benson over Bo Zeleznik in 1:13, Poyner over Ethan Conaty in 3:28, Carlson over Jackson Ritchie in 1:57 and Young over Adam Moore in 1:14.

After Breneman won by technical fall over Drendon Stickling, Dearth got a fall in 4:23 over Jacob Bischoff and Gonzalez won by fall over Tate Sigler in 1:15 before Brady Mouser got a forfeit victory.

Coach Brady Sant Amour’s Panthers had three state qualifiers and one placewinner, junior Bischoff, who took sixth place at 220. Sophomore Mouser (106) fell one win shy of getting a medal while sophomore Brent (113) also qualified. Sant Amour, who’s led the program since 2019-20 and has posted a 62-16 record at the school, is assisted by Brian Roberts, Sean Kennedy and Josh Sexton.

“Our kids did an incredible job competing all season,” Sant Amour said. “Coal City has a great program and really not a weak spot in their lineup. We had a few injuries the past couple weeks that I don’t think really would have changed the outcome but definitely had an effect on our ability to compete. 

“Most of our starters are sophomores and juniors so we’ll get to work this offseason and hopefully come back next year with a better final result.”

Lena-Winslow/Stockton 42, Canton 23

Lena-Winslow/Stockton assured itself of its fourth trophy in its fourth dual team appearances after falling behind 10-3 following the first three matches and then claiming wins in eight of the next nine.

Canton (28-10), which made its first appearance in the dual team tournament, only lost three other duals to Class 1A teams during the season, to eventual champion Coal City, to fellow quarterfinalist, Auburn, and to Oregon, which was one of the five top-10 teams in the Polo Regional, which was won by Lena-Winslow/Stockton.

The Little Giants’ Jack Joachums won a 19-8 major decision over

Prater in the opener at 113 before Bauer captured a 3-1 decision over John Davis and Trevor Hedges increased Canton’s lead to 10-3 after he recorded a fall in 1:29 over Glass.

Detwiler started the PantherHawk’s run of five-straight wins with a 3-2 decision over Brandon Eaton before McPeek won by fall over Will Phillips in 2:44 and Hubb captured a 6-3 decision over Wesley Chaney. Garrett Luke followed with a fall in 1:42 over Wyatt Sego and Dvorak won with a pin in 1:27 over Danny Murphy.

Canton’s state champion at 170, Joseph Norton, won a 12-0 major decision over Larson to cap his 54-1 season. Phillips followed that with a 6-2 decision over Aden Greene before Griffin Luke won by fall in 0:50 over Rob Mayall and Haas got a pin in 3:12 over Grant Kessler. The Little Giants won the last two matches as Asa Reed got a pin in 4:59 over Engel and Maddux Steele won 6-0 over Demeter.

“It was a pretty tough season,” Bauer said. “We were all just trying really hard to get here.

“We worked real hard for this. And the future looks very bright. I’ll remember our seniors. They’re really funny and they’re really good wrestlers.”

Canton had a program-best six state qualifiers and tied its mark for most medalists with three and just missed getting one more. Beside senior state champion Norton (first at 170), senior Hedges (fourth at 126) and freshman Steele (fifth at 106) were All-Staters while senior Davis (120) fell one win shy of earning a medal. Senior Reed (285) and junior Murphy (160) were the team’s other two state qualifiers.

Zach Crawford has posted a 120-61 record in his seven seasons as the Little Giants head coach and his team improved significantly on last year’s 21-11 record. He is assisted by Andy Mulholland.

Washington tops Joliet Catholic Academy for Class 2A crown

By Patrick Z. McGavin

BLOOMINGTON – The greatest moment for any wrestler is the joyous ritual of having his hand raised at the end. Few things are so emotionally satisfying.

Throughout the season, Noah Woods had an enviable success rate. He enjoyed his moment of exultation on nearly 40 different occasions.

In the most consequential match of his life, the Washington sophomore won by losing.

Woods stayed tight against Joliet Catholic Academy’s Aurelio Munoz, nullifying his desperation and his constant pressure that provided the necessary margin of victory for his team.

Woods’ loss by a 6-2 decision preserved the Panthers’ narrow margin and helped secure a riveting 28-27 victory over the defending state champions in the Class 2A Dual Team State Championship Saturday at Grossinger Motors Arena.

With Washington holding a four-point lead heading into the last match, Woods had direct, unambiguous directions. Losing was fine. Just keep the score within seven points.

“Before the match, everybody was hyping me up and saying don’t give up the major, and I was just pumped up with a lot of adrenaline,” Woods said.

“I got into the middle, and I kept looking at the score and the clock, and I just did whatever I had to in order to hold off. I did, and we won.”

Washington captured its fifth state dual championship in the last seven years.

By dethroning the favored Hilltoppers, Washington gained a measure of revenge. The teams met last year in the dual sectional in what amounted to the de facto state championship.

The score ended in a tie, though Joliet Catholic Academy won for an unsportsmanlike-like infraction and tiebreaker against the Panthers.

JCA was not seriously challenged at the subsequent state series, essentially flattening the field.

This was the third-straight year the teams met in the postseason.

That sectional defeat snapped a string of six-consecutive state championship appearances. The Panthers won four-straight titles from 2016 to 2019 before losing by four points against Lemont three years ago. The pandemic disrupted the state series in 2021.

“That was really tough drawing them in the team sectional last year,” Washington’s Cael Miller said. “We took that, and we built off of that and I feel like that’s a big part of what got us here tonight.”

This year’s state final felt preordained from the moment the dual brackets were issued, and the two powerhouse teams were put on opposite sides.

The individual state championships at State Farm Center in Champaign also largely predicted this outcome.

The two programs dominated with a combined nine finalists. Joliet Catholic Academy had three individual state champions out of its five finalists. Washington had two state champions and two runner-up finishers.

Washington (25-8) defeated Mahomet-Seymour 50-23 in the quarterfinals on Friday night and dominated third-place Wauconda 52-20 in the semifinals earlier Saturday.

In the win over Wauconda, the Panthers only lost two contested matches. The other two losses were forfeits to preserve their wrestlers for the state championship match.

Joliet Catholic Academy (15-8) had no troubles in the lower bracket. The Hilltoppers shut out first-time state qualifiers Jacksonville 69-0 and dominated Geneseo 50-15 in the semifinals, giving the luxury of even working in several secondary and back-up wrestlers in anticipation of the Washington matchup.

Duals have their own logic, style and meaning. Strategy and individual matchups are subject to optimizing strengths and mitigating weaknesses.

It is also to some extent the luck of the draw, in this case, the weight class at which the meet begins. The championship and third-place matches began at 126 pounds.

That was the strength of the Panthers’ order, leading into their elite middleweight performers. Washington seized the early advantage by winning four of the first five matches.

With the exception of the win by technical fall of three-time state champion Kannon Webster over Luke Hamiti at 145 pounds, Washington developed the early lead by winning highly-contested matches.

By contrast, Joliet Catholic Academy was constantly forced to chase from behind.

On both sides the stars did what was expected of them. The two teams brilliantly and tactically moved their best wrestlers around. That became a scintillating turn of events.

Webster (54-0), the 145-pound champion, and 220-pound state champion Justin Hoffer posted dominant performances. Hoffer defeated Hunter Powell 16-6 by major decision.

Peyton Cox, who finished second at 132 pounds, punched up to 138 pounds, and produced one of the best matches of the finals.

Going up against the state runner-up at 138, Jake Hamiti, Cox broke the scoreless tie with a second-period escape. He used a brilliant turning action in the closing moments for a riveting 4-0 decision.

Washington’s Blake Hinrichsen, who finished second in the state at 170 pounds, defeated Zach Pomatto by major decision, 21-8, at 182.

“It’s great,” Hinrichsen said. “As a senior, we were really motivated from last year after the loss, it was driving us all season. I really didn’t want to lose and I know that our team really didn’t want to lose again because there were a lot of us that never lost that type of a dual.

“We had two state champs, Justin Hoffer and Kannon Webster, I took second and Peyton Cox took second also and we had three other placers. We’re all one team, we’re all one family, we have it on our shirts, hashtag family and we try to bring that out. It’s not just a team, it’s a family and we’re fighting for each other, and not just ourselves.”

Five of the Panthers’ eight victories were decisions, beginning with a 3-0 win by Eli Gonzalez over George Hollendoner in the opener at 126 pounds. Those decisions were the difference in the finals.

Cael Miller, the son of coach Nick Miller, made the most of his second chance. After losing both of his state matches in Champaign, Miller proved to be another unsung hero for the Panthers.

In a great back and forth match involving sons of the head coaches, he used a second-period takedown for a grueling 3-2 victory at 152 pounds over Connor Cumbee, who was fourth at state and is the son of JCA coach Ryan Cumbee

“For the individual state tournament, I didn’t have the outcome I wanted,” Cael Miller said.”When I got back to the room, I just kept after it, and I got the results I wanted. Last year, that loss to JCA in team sectionals was really a bummer. It was tough drawing a team that good in the sectional. But we took that one to heart and got back in the room right away.

“We were hungry. We came off of a great weekend at individual state with seven placers, that’s really something that we’re proud of. But that’s just one step in the goal. Growing up around this program and watching the teams from the past winning the titles was really something special to watch and made me want to be a part of that.”

Joliet Catholic Academy had its own actions and maneuvers.

Three-time state champion Gylon Sims closed out his extraordinary career with steely and mesmerizing performance jumping two weight classes to 132 pounds in a showdown with third-place state finisher Wyatt Medlin.

The two responded with a match of the ages, a classic back and forth clash that showcased Sims’ speed and athleticism against the power and range of Medlin.

It featured four ties and three lead changes with Medlin seemingly having the edge with a late third period reversal for a 7-6 lead.

Just as he did in the 120-pound state championship final against Aurora Christian’s Josh Vazquez, Sims engineered a late escape that occasioned overtime. Sims then pulled out the incredible 8-7 tiebreaker.

“There were a lot of swing matches, and that is pretty much what it came down to with the winners or losers of that,” Sims said. “I think tonight just showed it could come down to chance if you have two really good teams.”

Joliet Catholic Academy had its own magic up its sleeve. State finalist Nico Ronchetti, who was second at 182 pounds, leapt up a weight class and edged Josh Hoffer, who finished sixth at 195, with a 5-3 decision at 195 pounds.

“They matched up well against us, and they did a good job,” Sims said. “In a state championship dual, it’s as much about tactics and strategy as results.

“What matches are you going to keep close, and what matches are you going to keep down. Are you wrestling not to give up points, or are you wrestling to score as many points as possible? They were very smart. At the end of the day, they come out as champions.”

By winning four of the first five matches, Washington jumped out to the 14-3 lead.

Joliet Catholic Academy state champion Mason Alessio posted the first finals fall with his 33-second masterpiece against Braden Baker, securing a cradle that converted into a dominant final performance.

“They had the early momentum, and that helped them a little bit,” Alessio said. “It probably doesn’t get talked about enough, but just starting the meet at an odd weight, at 126 pounds, and that was just a subtle difference.

“It’s all another step in the process, and getting ready for the next level and wrestling in college,” said Alessio, who finished with a 47-3 record.. “Tonight, we knew it was going to come down to one or two swing matches, and unfortunately they didn’t go our way. It was still a great season.”

Alessio defeated Washington’s Zane Hulet in the state quarterfinals en route to his championship at 160 pounds.

On Saturday, Hulet moved up to 170 pounds, and he defeated Maximus Vela 8-1 and that, combined with Hinrichsen’s major decision, extended the Panthers’ lead to 21-9.

“I had to go out there and wrestle and really try to help rescue my team,” Hulet said. “I was wrestling a new kid. This was a great experience, especially for the younger wrestlers, the juniors like myself.

“We grew up watching all of the state championship teams, and this was a lifelong goal for us. We looked up to those teams from 2018 or 2019, and we wanted to be just like them.”

Washington conceded the heavyweight bout, where two-time IHSA champion and 2021 IWCOA title winner Dillan Johnson won by forfeit.

Family connections ran deep on both sides, especially with head coaches being able to work with their own sons.

The night also proved a deeply special one for the Woods’ family. Noah Woods was the unorthodox headliner.

His younger brother, freshman Symon Woods, also stepped up when called upon. His 8-5 victory over Noah Avina at 106 pounds gave the Panthers what turned out to be an insurmountable 10-point cushion leading into the final two matches.

Symon Woods ended up with a virtually identical record as his older brother. Noah Woods (37-17) qualified for state at 113 pounds. Symon (36-16) came up just short.

Like Cael Miller, he made the most of his final chance.

“I just tried to wrestle my best, and work out of good positions,” Symon Woods said. “At the end, we got kind of tired, but I just kept wrestling, and kept the pressure up.”

Of course, anything is possible. Class 3A state champion St. Charles East utilized back-to-back falls to clip defending state champion Mount Carmel by two points in the quarterfinals.

Freshman Jason Hampton, who took fourth place at 113,  gave the Hilltoppers a final chance with the fastest work of the night, a 28-second fall of Logan Makiney.

That narrowed the score to 28-24 in favor of Washington, with one final match left at 120 pounds.

Munoz was the rare JCA wrestler with more losses than victories leading into the final match. He showed tremendous grit, resilience and toughness.

He gave the Hilltoppers a chance. On several occasions, he nearly caught Noah Woods for a dangerous moment.

“I couldn’t have done it without my brother,” Noah Woods said. “He went up against that crazy good kid, and he got me so hyped before the match.

“I knew I had to wrestle, and not do anything dangerous or sloppy, and not get majored. I knew it might come down to me, and I was ready.”

Nick Miller pointed out the clear fact that Joliet Catholic Academy was a wholly different type of opponent than their first two state teams.

“We were the better wrestling team in both of those matches from top to bottom,” Nick Miller said. “We knew that it was going to be a fight.

“I said to just keep taking your time, even in matches that we lost.Just as we predicted, we knew there were going to be matches where it was just a dogfight, and we had to win those matches.”

By any standard, Joliet Catholic Academy had an extraordinary season. The Hilltoppers were the only team to beat 3A state champion St. Charles East. At both the individual and team level, they were a cut above.

“Everybody on our team just wrestled so hard,” Sims said. “Obviously we could have gotten better results than we did, but we are so proud of this season. We are never going to forget all the work that we put into this.”

Third Place Match

Wauconda 37, Geneseo 36 (criteria)

Wauconda not only added to its 2017 trophy for finishing second to Washington in Class 2A in its initial state finals appearance by claiming third place but it also made history in its second trip to the state finals by becoming the first team to win two dual meets on criteria at one dual team state finals. 

In the third-place match, there was a 36-36 tie between the Bulldogs and Geneseo and the outcome was determined by tiebreaker D, the greater number of matches. On that account, Wauconda won 37-36.

In Friday’s quarterfinals, Wauconda and Deerfield, who took second to Joliet Catholic Academy last season, wound up tied at 39-39 and tiebreaker I, the most first match points scored, gave the Bulldogs the victory 40-39 and assured the program of its second trophy. In the semifinals, Wauconda lost 52-20 to eventual champion Washington.

Since the dual team tournament began in 1984, there had only been five dual meets that had been determined by criteria, with the last of those in 2008 in Class A when Oregon beat Lisle for third place in the final year of the two-class tournament.

There actually had been two wins by criteria in one year, in 1989, when Dakota beat Riverdale in the quarterfinals in Class A and Providence Catholic defeated Marist in the Class AA semifinals.

The Bulldogs also become just the second team to win two one-point dual meets at state, with Wilmington also accomplishing that feat in 2007 in Class A when it beat Harvard by a point in the quarterfinals and Vandalia by one point for the championship. And it’s just the third team to be involved in two one-point dual meets. In 1997 in Class AA, Waubonsie Valley beat Granite City by a point in the quarterfinals and lost to St. Charles by one point for third place.  

It was a great debut season for coach Trevor Jauch, who won three Class 2A titles for Crystal Lake Central from 2009-2011 when he competed for coach Justen Lehr and was on a third-place team as a sophomore and second-place squads as a junior and senior.

The Bulldogs (9-5) shattered their old mark for state qualifiers by having nine individuals who advanced to Champaign this season.

“I’m very pleased with a third place finish,” said Jauch, who’s been an assistant for the Bulldogs for five years. “This is the second medal in history that Wauconda has earned. My coaching staff has put a tremendous amount of time, effort, and energy into getting these guys ready. Ryan Jauch, Chris Prostka and Bob Kenison bring so much to the table when it comes to preparation for our athletes. 

“These guys were prepared and excited to compete. Our guys continue to buy into the program and do the small things right. We talk all the time about attitude and effort and it is important that our guys wrestle a full six minutes every match. Some guys went out and did their job which is incredibly important when it comes to dual team series. I hope this third place trophy becomes the expectation and our guys should expect to be down in Bloomington every year.

“We rostered 21 and the majority of them got a match there and everyone has a job. Ideally this will grow our numbers and get more interest out for the sport of wrestling. I run our youth program, as well, and I know that those numbers are growing, which is awesome.”

The Bulldogs’ top state performers were second-place finishers Gavin Rockey (106) and Nate Randle (113) and Nick Cheshier (152), who fell one win shy of winning a medal. Other qualifiers were Lucas Galdine (120), Cooper Daun (132), Logan Andrews (138), Cole Porten (145), Sean Christensen (182) and Michael Merevick (195). 

“It was really fun and a great experience,” Rockey said. “I like the bonds that we have. We’ve all been wrestling for a lot of years together growing up and doing club. So we’re all friends. And this year it all just kind of worked out and everyone came together.

“It came down to the wire twice. It came down to me for Deerfield and then it went all the way down to (tiebreaker) I and then it came down to Nate for Geneseo.”

Only seven teams in the state in all classes had more qualifiers than did the Bulldogs, and just JCA and Washington in Class 2A. And the good news for Wauconda is that Christensen is the only one of the qualifiers who is graduating and the team only had a couple of other seniors. Of the 21 individuals on the state dual team roster, 11 of them are freshmen and sophomores.

“It felt really good and it was really exciting for all of us to be able to do all of that,” Cheshier said. “It was a really fun season. We got new coaches who are really great and we were really working hard and we accomplished a lot as a team.

“Most of our guys should be returning, so I’m looking forward to next year. We all just have a great connection and we all worked really hard this year together. It’s just a great bond that we’ve built. We just have to keep doing what we’re doing already, just work hard and follow our goals.”

Geneseo (22-3) also enjoyed one of its best-ever seasons, only losing one dual meet during the regular season, and it didn’t suffer its initial loss to an Illinois opponent until the final day of the season.

This was the fifth time that coach Jon Murray has led one of his Maple Leafs teams to 20 or more wins in a season

This was the fourth state tournament appearance for Murray’s program and the first since 2015. That completed a run of three-straight trips to the state finals and the Maple Leafs were the state runner-up to Montini Catholic in both 2013 and 2014 in Class 2A.

At the IHSA Individual Finals the Maple Leafs were recognized with two special honors. Murray, who’s 339-102 in 21 years leading the program, was announced as one of this year’s inductees for the IWCOA Hall of Fame. And Larry Kanke, the Maple Leafs’ coach for 32 years and a longtime official who was a class of 2002 IWCOA Hall of Fame inductee, was honored as one of four Grand Marshals, along with Roy Snyder, Randall Konstans and Mike Garland.

“We have two pictures on our wall, one from the 2013 team and one from the 2014 team and challenged them to put 2023 next to them, because those were the only trophies we’ve had,” Murray said.

“This is a completely different group of kids, so I’m proud that they seemed motivated to get it done. We ask them one thing, to just give yourself, your team and your community your best effort, and that’s all that we can ask. If you give your best effort, then the wins take care of themselves.  

“Their heart is what does it. Making the weight, doing the workouts, and then during the six minutes out there, just represents the effort that they’ve already put into the practice.” 

Geneseo qualified 13 individuals for the rugged Rochelle Sectional but was able to advance only three of those to Champaign, Zachary Montez (132), Malaki Jackson (138) and Kye Weinzierl (145) and Montez was its lone medal winner, taking third at 132 after losing in the quarterfinals to the eventual champion, Mascoutah’s Santino Robinson, and then closing the competition with four-straight wins.

“The last time was 2015 so getting it this year is awesome,” Montez said. “No one really expected us this year but we just kind of came together and started doing our thing and getting pins and everything. 

“Everyone comes into the room every day and is working hard and is pushing themselves. That’s what I really like about this team.”

The Maple Leafs only had five seniors on their dual team state roster, Bryce Bealer, Aiden Damewood, Landon Shoemaker, Jack Snyder and Tim Stohl. So with 15 individuals back from a team that claimed one of the four Class 2A trophies, Geneseo may be in line to enjoy another run of success, like the teams from 2013-2015 enjoyed. 

“I’ve always looked up to those teams,” Stohl said of the second-place state squads. “No matter how tired I’d be, I’d look up at the board and see all of the state champs and state placers and then on the other side of the room, the second-place teams in 2013 and 2014. When we faced Sycamore earlier in the season, they weren’t this team, they were still good but they were missing a lot of people.

“I didn’t have the best season this year but this is like icing on the cake. Hey, if we can get up on the board, then kids over the next few years are going to be looking up to us, too.”

In the third-place meet, the Bulldogs got a fall from Galdine in 2:42 over Bealer in the opener at 126 but the Maple Leafs won the next three matches to go up 14-6 as Jackson won by technical fall over Kaden Hebert, Montez followed with a fall in 1:38 over Ty Curran and Weinzierl won a 3-0 decision over Andrews at 145.

Three Wauconda wins worth15 points put it back on top at 21-14 midway through the meet at 170. Porten edged Josh Hock 4-3 before Cheshier won by fall in 3:46 over Damewood and Zac Johnson followed with a pin in 5:15 over Logan Palmer.

After Shoemaker pulled Geneseo to within 21-18 with a 9-1 major decision over Christian Cendejaz, the Bulldogs took their biggest lead of the meet at 27-18 with a fall from Christensen over Aaron Betcher in 3:49 at 195.

The Maple Leafs moved in front at 30-27 following a fall from Stohl over Merevick in 4:38 and another pin, this one in 3:09, by Levi Neumann over Joe Scianna. But Wauconda tied it at 30-30 when Rockey won a 10-7 decision over Tim Sebastian at 106.

The Bulldogs moved in front at 36-30 on a pin by Nate Randle over Grady Hull in 1:36 at 113 before Devan Hornback tied things again at 36-36 when he won by fall in 1:07 over Nick Ruiz.

Semifinals dual meets 

Washington 52, Wauconda 20

The Panthers won the first three matches to take a 17-0 lead and eight of the first nine as the Bulldogs only won two matches that were contested and collected two late forfeit wins.

Recording falls for Washington were Noah Woods (120), Gonzalez (126), Webster (152), Hinrichsen (182), Justin Hoffer (220) and Sean Thornton (285) while Medlin (132) and Hulet (170) got wins by technical fall and Cox (145) won 10-6 over Porten and Miller (160) claimed an 8-7 decision over Johnson. 

Wauconda received a fall from Merevick (195) and a 10-5 decision from Andrews (138) over Timmy Smith while Rockey (106) and Randle (113) received forfeit wins to conclude the match.

Joliet Catholic Academy 50, Geneseo 15

The Hilltoppers won the first three matches to go up 13-0 and also nine of the first 10 matches before the Maple Leafs won the next three and then JCA closed the meet with another victory.

Recording falls for JCA were Sims (126), Luke Hamiti (145), Alessio (160), Rochetti (182) and Pomatto (195) while Issac Clauson (170) won by technical fall, Nolan Vogel (132), Cumbee (152) and Hampton (113) won major decisions and Hollendoner (120) claimed a 15-8 decision over Hornback. 

Geneseo got a fall from Stohl (220) while Montez (138) won 5-2 over Jake Hamiti, Neumann (285) beat Alex Dalach 9-3 and Sebastian (106) claimed a 6-0 decision over Avina.

Quarterfinals dual meets

Washington 50, Mahomet-Seymour 23

Mahomet-Seymour (32-8) got a fall in the opener to grab an early 6-0 lead but Washington (23-8) rattled off eight-consecutive wins to assure the Panthers of their seventh state trophy since 2015.

Recording falls for Washington were Gonzalez (126), Cox (138), Webster (145), Miller (152) and Hinrichsen (170) while Noah Woods (120) got a win by technical fall. Medlin (132), Hulet (160) and Justin Hoffer (220) captured major decisions and Symon Woods (106) closed out the meet with an 8-1 decision over Colton McClure.

Getting falls for Mahomet-Seymour were Caden Hatton (113), Mateo Casillas (195) and Camden Harms (285) while Brennan Houser (182) collected a win by technical fall.

Casillas, who finished with a 54-1 record, won the state title at 195 and Houser took fifth at 182 while Donovan Lewis (138) and Colton Crowley (220) both fell one win shy of All-State honors. Other state qualifiers for Mahomet-Seymour were Hatton (113) and Harms (285).

It was an historic season for the Bulldogs, who have been coached since 2006-07 by 2011 IWCOA Hall of Famer Rob Ledin. This was the 20th state appearance for the Bulldogs, who took third place last season and have gone to state five times under Ledin, with this being their fourth trip since 2017.

“We had a great year,” Ledin said. “We had many all-time records that we captured: 32 wins for our team was a team-best; Mateo Casillas had 175 career wins, which ties Brett Camden for the all-time best; And he also had the most career falls, with 85, And Brennan Houser set the record for most career technical falls with 49 and most career near fall points with 655.  

“As a team we placed first as a team at the Neuqua Valley Scuffle, second at Granite City, first at our own Marty Williams Invitational, first in the Apollo Conference; Regional dhampions and Sectional Dual victory to qualify for the Final 8 Dual Team Tournament. I’m very proud of our Bulldogs!”  

Wauconda 40, Deerfield 39 (criteria)

Deerfield (17-6) saw its hopes of claiming a second-straight state trophy get dashed when Wauconda captured the first of its historic two dual meets that were won by criteria. The Bulldogs got the extra point to break a 39-39 deadlock based on tiebreaker I, which is the most first match points that were scored

After Wauconda opened the meet with a win by technical fall from Randle (113), Deerfield got pins from Luke Reddy (120) and Jordan Rasof (126) and a major decision from Jackson Palzet (132) to go up 16-5. But the Bulldogs responded with four-straight wins, getting pins from Andrews (138), Porten (145) and Johnson (160) while Cheshier (152) won a major decision to give their team a 27-16 lead.

Chris Mauer (170) got a pin and Aiden Cohen (182) won by technical fall to pull Deerfield even at 27-27 before Christensen recorded a fall at 195 to put the Bulldogs up by six. But the Warriors responded with falls from Garvin Crews (220) and Jordan Meyers (285) to go up 39-33 with one match left and after Rockey got a fall in 4:26 in the finale, the Bulldogs prevailed on criteria to assure themselves of the second trophy, with the other one in their previous trip to state, in 2017, when coach Michael Buhr led them to the state championship dual meet, which they lost to Washington.

Deerfield had three state qualifiers and two of them earned All-State honors while the other fell just short. Cohen took third at 170, Rasof was sixth at 126 and Reddy fell one win shy of a medal at 120.

Like many of the teams in the field, much of Deerfield’s state team featured individuals who could make another run at the state finals next season. The Warriors only had five seniors, Renzo Morgan, Jordan Meyers, Will Holtz, Grant Goldsmith and Cohen.

This was the fourth state finals trip for coach Marc Pechter’s Warriors, who also won a trophy in 2017 after claiming a fourth-place finish.

Half of Deerfield’s defeats came over the course of two days at DeKalb’s Flavin Invite, where it lost to Class 3A programs Hinsdale Central and Moline and also fell to Father Ryan of Tennessee. It also lost a dual at the early-season Antioch Tournament to Class 3A Mundelein. The Warriors’ only loss to a Class 2A team prior to the state finals was against Crystal Lake Central. 

Joliet Catholic Academy 69, Jacksonville 0

Jacksonville (33-4) ran into a buzzsaw in its initial appearance in the IHSA Dual Team Finals as it dropped all of its matches against Joliet Catholic Academy in the quarterfinals, suffering a 69-0 defeat.

Coach Dustin Secrist’s Crimsons had gone 15-1 since falling to Class 1A quarterfinalist LeRoy/Tri-Valley at the High School of Saint Thomas More New Year’s Challenge. Their only loss against a Class 2A team came late in the regular season when they fell to Glenwood.

Jacksonville had two state qualifiers, Collin Reif (152), who took sixth place, and James Cotton (160). The Crimsons are another team who had only five seniors on their state roster, Ian Willner, Keaton Wilhelm, Luca Thies, Mason Meyer and Reif. 

JCA got falls from Avina, Hampton, Vogel, Jake Hamiti, Ronchetti and Johnson, a forfeit victory from Powell, wins by technical fall from Sims, Alessio and Vela and decisions from Munoz, Cumbee, Luke Hamiti and Pomatto. 

The Crimsons’ best efforts were Meyer losing 8-6 in sudden victory to Pomatto at 195, Reif falling to Luke Hamiti 2-1 at 152 and Deshawn Armstrong dropping a 6-4 decision to Munoz at 120.

Geneseo 50, Brother Rice 17

The Maple Leafs opened with three wins and built up a 26-3 lead over the Crusaders (9-7) midway through the meet as they assured themselves of their third state trophy and first since 2014, the year they repeated as a state runner-up to Montini Catholic. It also was the program’s fourth trip to the dual team finals, with its last one in 2015. 

Geneseo got falls from Hull and Bealer and a 4-1 decision by  Hornback over Oliver DAais in between to get off to the fast start. After Bobby Conway won a 13-9 decision over Jackson for the Crusaders’ first win at 132, Montez and Weinzierl captured major decisions and Jack Snyder claimed an 8-5 win over John Fitzpatrick..

Brother Rice got a fall in 1:59 from James Crane (160), a win by technical fall from Charles Connolly (182) and an 8-4 decision from Gambino Perez (195) over Shoemaker while Geneseo received falls from Damewood, Stohl, Neumann and Sebastian during the final half of the dual meet.

Conway, who finished with a 26-1 record, claimed first place at 126 to lead the Crusaders’ four state qualifiers. Perez placed fourth at 195, Connolly fell one win shy of getting a medal at 182 and Fitzpatrick was the team’s other qualifier.

It was the second year in a row that coach Jan Murzyn’s Crusaders advanced to dual team state and for the second time, they fell in the quarterfinals and saw their season end on the first day of the event.

All of the Crusaders’ defeats came against quality opponents, which includes three who teams who competed for titles, Coal City, Marmion Academy and Yorkville Christian, and another squad that lost in the quarterfinals to the eventual champion, Mount Carmel. 

IWCOA Frosh/Soph Regional Finalists

Granite City Sectional (Saturday)

Belleville Althoff Catholic Regional

101 – William Kelly (Triad) D 8-1 Gavin Merkle (Highland)

106 – Tyler Perry (Edwardsville) MD 11-3 Zane Stanley (Benton)

113 – Riddick Cook (Marion) F 3:03 Kaiden Stewart (Effingham)

120 – Aiston Holt (Murphysboro) D 7-6 Brody Smith (Triad)

126 – Brenden Rayl (Granite City) MD 12-1 KJ Jamison (Edwardsville)

132 – Aiden Colbert (Belleville West) D 7-0 Cameron Moerlien (Edwardsville)

138 – Lyndon Thies (Roxana) D 12-7 Tate Miller (Marion)

145 – Braden Kelly (Belleville East) F 3:15 Caden Frey (Marion)

152 – Terence Willis (Belleville East) F 2:30 Luke McCoy (Civic Memorial)

160 – Thomas Imboden (Carbondale) F 1:39 John Cloud (Edwardsville)

170 – Ethan Hofmeister (Belleville West) MD 13-5 Colin Hughey (Trico)

182 – Kaden Tidwell (Vandalia) SV 4-2 Gavin Gentille (O’Fallon)

195 – Ashton Zobrist (Highland) D 6-3 Tristan Staggs (Litchfield)

220 – Shamontae Matthews (Belleville West) F 1:32 Enrique Morales (Granite City)

285 – William Rose (East St. Louis) F 2:51 Demarco Clark (Granite City)

Springfield Southeast Regional

101 – Hugh Sharrow (Quincy) D 4-1 Charles Wittmer (Warrensburg-Latham)

106 – Zachary Bryant (PORTA) MD 13-4 Joel Noble (Pittsfield)

113 – Kayle Blankenship (Glenwood) D 10-4 Augustus Williams (Glenwood)

120 – Kaden Roberts (Warrensburg-Latham) MD 11-2 Hunter King (PORTA)

126 – Logan Baker (PORTA) D 4-3 Ronald Laplante (Carlinville)

132 – Eli Roberts (Quincy) F 2:00 Luis De La Cruz (Beardstown)

138 – Brody Baker (Quincy) F 2:52 Chris Howell (Warrensburg-Latham)

145 – Gunnar Derhake (Quincy) F 1:57 Kanye Mitchell (Camp Point Central)

152 – Jonah Broughman (Glenwood) F 2:18 Maizon Milestone (Glenwood)

160 – Matthew Trapani (Glenwood) F 1:26 Kenny Smith-McClain (Lanphier)

170 – Jaylen Crowder (Lanphier) F 2:29 Wyatt Rapacz (Sacred Heart-Griffin)

182 – Tucker Cook (Pittsfield) MD 15-6 Shamar Brownlee (Springfield High)

195 – Ryan Darnell (Quincy Notre Dame) D 5-1 Christopher Hull (Southeast)

220 – Hunter Morris (PORTA) F 4:13 Kyler Cannon (PORTA)

285 – Todd Smith (Quincy) MD 14-1 Chunk Dailey (Beardstown)

Heyworth Sectional (Sunday)

Normal Regional title matches

101 – Jackson Soney (Normal Community) D 12-6 Elijah Conda (Normal Community)

106 – Dylan McGrew (Normal West) F 0:49 Drake Caldwell (Metamora)

113 – Dylan Eimer (Tremont) MD 12-3 Gabe Robb (Richwoods)

120 – Caiden Robison (Morton) F 0:55 Tyler Weiland (Richwoods)

126 – Connor Graham (Metamora) F 2:51 M’khi Hollins (Bloomington)

132 – Rikyis Doss (Richwoods) D 12-6 Don Patrick (Galesburg)

138 – Peyton Hixon (Deer Creek-Mackinaw) D 9-3 Logan Alvarez (Normal West)

145 – Gerard Tegbede (East Peoria) MD 11-2 Caleb Johnson (Galesburg)

152 – Clay McKee (Morton) D 7-2 Joshua Caraballo (University High)

160 – Dawson McConnell (Lincoln) F 2:21 Daniel Aguas (Bloomington)

170 – Tyus Almasy (Morton) D 5-1 Kenner Bye (Bloomington)

182 – Joe Weeks (Dunlap) F 1:00 Kelvin Harris (Bloomington)

195 – Ethan Dixon (Limestone) MD 19-6 Chase Bancroft (East Peoria)

220 – Christopher Blackmore (El Paso-Gridley) D 1-0 Caleb Zirkelbach (Lincoln)

285 – Jose Del Toro (East Peoria) MD 10-2 David Williams (Bloomington)

Clinton Regional

101 – Jordan Eveland (Mattoon) F 4:02 Charlie Flores (Hoopeston Area) 

106 – Gage Martin (Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley) F 1:34 Carter Knoblach (Olympia)

113 – Drayden Ramsey (Pontiac) F 6:27 Landen Toellner (Bismarck-Henning-Rossville-Alvin)

120 – Cale Seitzinger (Lawrenceville) F 0:42 Aiden Dalby (Mt. Zion)

126 – Aiden Bell (Hoopeston Area) D 9-2 John Traub (Prairie Central)

132 – Ty Rangel (Danville) SV 4-2 Avery McGraw (Unity)

138 – Logan Mahaffey (Westville) F 1:59 Corbiin Ragle (Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley)

145 – Philip Christhilf (High School of Saint Thomas More) D 8-5 Ceasar Espinoza (Hoopeston Area)

152 – Kelton Graden (Olympia) D 10-3 Darius Williams (Rantoul)

160 – Josh Heath (Unity) MD 19-6 Ethan Bina (Westville)

170 – Kristian Hibbard (Clinton) F 2:02 Hunter Romano (Monticello)

182 – Keller Stocks (Mt. Zion) F 4:19 Malik Mosley (Urbana)

195 – Marcellx Boling (Charleston) SV 6-1 Drew Owen (Rantoul)

220 – James Schmidt (High School of Saint Thomas More) MD 18-8 Cohen Kean (Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley)

285 – Stormy Hughes (Charleston) F 1:32 Iziah Wright (Pontiac)  

Sterling Sectional (Sunday)

Morrison Regional 

101 – Cael Lyons (Sterling) F 0:22 Trenton Edens (Kewanee)

106 – Merrick Stockwell (Rock Island) D 6-4 Caleb Dillard (Monmouth-Roseville)

113 – Zyan Westbrook (Sterling) F 3:24 Zhyler Hansen (Newman Central Catholic)

120 – Dominick Diaz (Moline) F 2:15 Temar Hudson (Rock Island)

126 – Antonio Parker (Rock Island) F 2:59 Alejandro Morales (Monmouth-Roseville)

132 – Kolton Kruse (Riverdale) MD 8-0 Josh McKendry (Amboy)

138 – Jayden Weidman (Dixon) F 2:05 Alex Espinoza (Rock Falls)

145 – Tatum Allen (Sterling) F 3:49 Aidan Jepson (Erie/Prophetstown)

152 – Kayden Marolf (United Township) D 8-1 Casey Etheridge (Princeton)

160 – Ryan Lower (Rockridge) D 8-2 Brady Anderson (Morrison)

170 – Gage Tate (Sterling) F 1:16 Brady Whitcomb (Orion)

182 – Donny Reavy (Morrison) F 0:56 Eli Berlin (Princeton)

195 – Nehemiah Lenzen (Moline) F 1:18 Pablo Cid (Rock Falls)

220 – Alex Reubin (Dixon) F 1:50 Douglas Swearingen (Kewanee)

285 – Jacob Hosler (Rock Falls) F 0:31 Noah Parr (Orion)

Huntley Regional

101 – Austin Hagevold (Marian Central Catholic) TF Trey Anderson (Hononegah)

106 – Jackson Olson (Hononegah) F 1:33 Kyan Gunderson (Richmond-Burton)

113 – Jackson Messenger (Oregon) D 5-1 Taqi Baker (Woodstock)

120 – Austin Lee (Burlington Central) TF Tyler Lockhart (Sycamore)

126 – Henry Hildreth (Stillman Valley) F 0:43 Robert Darling (Hononegah)

132 – Hudson Ikens (DeKalb) D 6-0 Aric Abbott (Hampshire)

138 – Dominick Girardin (Belvidere) F 2:42 Kyle Rogers (Kaneland)

145 – Connor Diemel (Hononegah) F 1:09 Christopher Napiorkowski (Hampshire)

152 – Michael Brannigan (Hampshire) F 1:16 Preston Fadness (Harlem)

160 – Jonah Chavez (Burlington Central) TF Connor Cassels (Marian Central Catholic)

170 – Chandler Jack (Harlem) F 3:17 Edgar Arana (Woodstock)

182 – Erick Rivas (DeKalb) MD 10-2 Landyn Windham (Oregon)

195 – Jack Parker (Kaneland) D 5-3 Andrew Young (Oregon)

220 – Emerson Watson (DeKalb) F 1:00 JR Warfel (Kaneland)

285 – Briggs Sellers (Oregon) F 3:38 Julian Gomez (DeKalb)

Lake Zurich Sectional (Sunday)

Lake Zurich Regional

101 – Austin Phelps (Schaumburg) D 10-8 Bryce Mensik (Lake Park)

106 – Payton Ramsey (Crystal Lake Central) F 4:24 Hunter Lenz (Cary-Grove)

113 – Jimmy Whitaker (Barrington) MD 11-0 Caden Spizzirri (Conant)

120 – Mikey Meade (Prairie Ridge) D 2-0 Iverson Cortes (Schaumburg)

126 – Callen Kirchner (Schaumburg) TF Justin Cortes (Schaumburg)

132 – Rocco Fontela (Schaumburg) F 2:40 Devyn Carrillo (Crystal Lake South)

138 – Dominic Vitale (Crystal Lake Central) MD 14-0 Joe Quirk (Prospect)

145 – Aiden Schuldt (McHenry) SV 6-4 Avian Roman (McHenry)

152 – Tommy Tomasello (Crystal Lake Central) F 0:35 Cooper Floden (McHenry)

160 – Aiden Fischler (McHenry) MD 15-2 Chase Vargo (Fremd)

170 – Johnny Strauss (Jacobs) F 2:57 Esteban Suarez (Palatine)

182 – Calvin Jackson (Barrington) SV 5-3 Wyatt Theobald (Huntley)

195 – Lucas Retzler (Jacobs) D 7-4 Yazan Aburmishan (Bartlett)

220 – Thomas McNeil (Crystal Lake Central) D 3-0 Teigen Moreno (Dundee-Crown)

285 – Clarence Jackson (Barrington) MD 17-3 Raphael Abano (Barrington)

Lakes Regional

101 – Evan Mishels (Stevenson) D 13-6 Larry Quirk (Grant)

106 – Vince Jasinski (Grant) D 7-2 Matthew Lucansky (Carmel)

113 – Ilan Guzman (Stevenson) D 4-1 Krish Sahu (Grayslake Central)

120 – Shawn Kogan (Stevenson) MD 15-2 Aidan Eisenberg (Grayslake Central)

126 – Erik Rodriguez (Grant) F 2:14 Val Vihrov (Stevenson)

132 – Luis Medina (Zion-Benton) D 9-2 Landon Johnson (Johnsburg)

138 – David Brown (Waukegan) D 10-4 Kian Riahi (Grayslake Central)

145 – Kevin Hernandez (Mundelein) TF Owen Anderson (Grayslake North)

152 – Everett Ciezak (Stevenson) D 6-4 Gael Diaz (Mundelein)

160 – Philip Boyko (Stevenson) F 1:40 Alexander Bustamante (Antioch)

170 – Jack Treutelaar (Libertyville) D 5-4 Julian Ramos (Lakes)

182 – Francisco Yilmaz (Zion-Benton) F 0:27 Andrew Langfeldt (Libertyville)

195 – CJ Ameachi (Johnsburg) F 4:10 Dylan Soto (Warren)

220 – Anthony Adams (Stevenson) SV 3-1 Celso Cabrera (Mundelein) 

285 – Ivan Rogel Martinez (Waukegan) F 4:44 Jesus Castaneda (Grayslake Central)

Thornton Sectional (Saturday)

Joliet West Regional

101 – Owen Sater (Morris) MD 13-2 Angel Godinez (Bolingbrook)

106 – Isaac Harris (Bolingbrook) F 2:22 Brody Rangel (Plainfield Central)

113 – Brandon Anderson (Morris) F 2:00 Taejon White (Romeoville)

120 – Carter Skoff (Morris) D 4-2 Evan Cox (Clifton Central)

126 – Cole Spivey (Minooka) MD 14-5 Julian Vallianatos (Lemont)

132 – Luke Grindstaff (Plainfield North) D 7-1 Anthony Frescura (Minooka)

138 – Aiden Rudman (Plainfield Central) D 5-4 Devin Aguirre (Plainfield South)

145 – Jack Tota (Plainfield North) F 1:12 Ian Wills (Morris)

152 – Marcus Poe (Bolingbrook) F 2:02 Raphael Tovar (Plainfield North)

160 – Colin Bickett (Plainfield South) TF Aiden Hennings (Lincoln-Way Central)

170 – Logan Van Duyne (Wilmington D 7-0 Jack Nowicki (Plainfield North)

182 – Tai’Vaughn Johnson (Joliet West) D 6-0 Landen Venecia (Seneca)

195 – Ty Sabin (Plainfield Central) F 1:12 Sullivan Feldt (Seneca)

220 – Brody O’Connor (Clifton Central) D 5-0 Andre De Leon (Joliet West)

285 – Antonio Montoya (Plainfield Central) F 1:18 Jamir Thomas (Romeoville)

Joliet Central Regional

101 – Davion Henry (Rich Township) TF Max Munn (Lincoln-Way West)

106 – Tate McCord (Bradley-Bourbonnais) D 4-2 Liam Walsh (Joliet Central)

113 – Jack Strezo (Lincoln-Way West) D 3-1 Haden Anderson (Lincoln-Way West)

120 – Kaidge Richardson (Lincoln-Way East) MD 12-1 Caiden Selof (Lincoln-Way West)

126 – Jakob Siwinski (Lincoln-Way West) MD 14-3 James Tverdek (Lincoln-Way East)

132 – Brayden Mortell (Lincoln-Way East) F 3:59 Robye Williams (Homewood-Flossmoor)

138 – Rory Moran (Lincoln-Way East) MD 13-3 Kiaven Sullivan (Hillcrest)

145 – Nicholas Ketcham, Jr. (Bradley-Bourbonnais) F 3:00 Brody Gish (Lincoln-Way East)

152 – Declan Dircks (Lincoln-Way East) F 4:06 Christian Darnell (Lincoln-Way East)

160 – Jackson Zaeske (Lincoln-Way East) MD 18-4 Thomas Leyden (Lincoln-Way East)

170 – Chris Yirsa (Lincoln-Way West) D 4-2 Jimmy Talley (Lincoln-Way West)

182 – Nathan Elstner (Lincoln-Way West) F 0:48 Jadin Billingsley (Rich Township)

195 – Joe Zimmer (Andrew) F 4:12 Mark Argyelan (Bradley-Bourbonnais)

220 – Brandon Bavirsha (Lincoln-Way West) F 1:50 Joe’L Washington (Rich Township)

285 – Ryan Stingily (Lincoln-Way East) F 1:44 Gavin Robles (Bloom Township)

Shepard Sectional (Sunday)

Richards Regional

101 – Joseph Bronske (Marist) D 7-0 Dylan Weber (Marist)

106 – Jake Crotty (Carl Sandburg) TF Ryan Bisonaya (Oak Lawn)

113 – Madden Parker (Carl Sandburg) MD 12-0 Tyson Bruce (Carl Sandburg)

120 – Elijiah Wofford (Bremen) MD 11-0 Nick Nicosia (Carl Sandburg)

126 – Austin Perez (Oak Forest) F 2:58 Jorden McCall (Shepard)

132 – Vince Gutierrez (Carl Sandburg) F 0:34 Leo Flores (Richards)

138 – Jeffery Bellik (Carl Sandburg) D 8-6 Malakai Scott (Bremen)

145 – Kevin Tomkins (Marist) F 3:18 Adnan Askar (Carl Sandburg)

152 – Jason Janke (Oak Forest) D 5-4 Kevin Bartolotta (Marist)

160 – Luke Amelio (Marist) F 1:52 Kyle Herzog (Marist)

170 – Malic Breish (Carl Sandburg) F 0:55 Huthaifa Issa (Richards)

182 – Yazen Ashkar (Shepard) D 4-3 Ilyas Yassin (Carl Sandburg)

195 – Ahmad Alomari (Carl Sandburg) F 0:16 Nathan Pinski-Izguerra (Oak Forest)

220 – Daniel Mahoney (Marist) D 5-3 Danzel Newell (Marist)

285 – Angelo Arellano (St. Laurence) F 1:47 Jeremy Gagnon (Evergreen Park)

Sara E. Goode STEM Academy Regional

101 – Jack Hogan (St. Rita) F Kenye Flanagan (Perspectives)

106 – Luke Pappalas (St. Rita) D 6-5 Josue Tankson (Kennedy)

113 – Jovanni Harris (Little Village) F Monte Bourke (St. Rita)

120 – Polo Sawyers (Harlan) D 1-0 Donald Bunton (Perspectives)

126 – Daniel Cervantes (Hubbard) MD 11-2 Nicario Bella (Perspectives)

132 – Maurice Bush (Perspectives) F Joshua Thorton (De La Salle)

138 – Anthony Westbrook (Hyde Park) D 8-3 Isaiah Diaz (Sara E.  Goode STEM Academy)

145 – Tremayne Cheers (De La Salle) F Deangelo Wilis (Corliss)

152 – Nolan Keenan (St. Rita) F Nicolas Junsman (Kennedy)

160 – Isaiah Baron (De La Salle) D 2-1 Ismael Martinez (Chicago Hope Academy)

170 – Marquis Mays (De La Salle) Inj, Israel Reed (Harlan)

182 – Dylan Wilbon (Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy) F Alonta Parker (Hyde Park)

195 – Raul Duarte (Kennedy) D 2-0 Eduardo Seija (Curie)

220 – Mark Kelleher (St. Rita) SV 2-1 Elijah Jamison (Perspectives)

285 – Roy Phelps (Chicago Hope Academy) Inj. Teddy Agilera (St. Rita)

Naperville Central Sectional (Sunday)

Oswego East Regional

101 – Nico Harris (Oswego East) D 4-2 Chase Murrell (Riverside-Brookfield)

106 – Griff Powell (Lyons Township) D 9-3 Tyler Tiangco (Downers Grove North)

113 – Ismael Chaidez (Glenbard East) D 4-0 Connor McDonald (Naperville North)

120 – Tyler Sternstein (Naperville North) F 1:56 Noah Snow (Oswego East)

126 – Brayden Swanson (Oswego) F 2:29 Adrian Wadas-Luis (Naperville Central)

132 – Ryan Rosch (Wheaton North) D 4-1 Braeden Grisham (Oswego East)

138 – Thomas Fulton (Wheaton North) SV 6-5 Chasen Kazmierczak (Wheaton Academy)

145 – Mission Hatchell (Westmont) MD 8-0 Ethan Rivas (Riverside-Brookfield)

152 – Ethan Essick (Oswego) F 2:10 Jovan Cerny (Oswego East)

160 – Alexander Tack (Montini Catholic) F 1:55 Mickey Ahrens (Lyons Township)

170 – Henry Rydwelski (Naperville Central) D 4-0 Nate Woods (Downers Grove North)

182 – Jaxon Lane (Montini Catholic) D 5-2 William Erbeck (Naperville Central)

195 – Tavfik Ibragimov (Naperville North) D 6-4 Justin Davis (Downers Grove North)

220 – Joshua Edwards (Oswego East) F 0:41 Brodie Slou (Oswego)

285 – Peter Rodriguez (Downers Grove North) F 2:09 Jake Kedziora (Naperville North)

Glenbard South Regional

101 – Samuel Sikorsky (Geneva) F 3:18 Brady Podracky (Neuqua Valley)

106 – Carson Prunty (Glenbard West) D 2-0 Advin Murtic (Glenbard West)

113 – Ryan Alvarado (West Chicago) MD 12-0 Trey Thompson (Glenbard North)

120 – Evan Matkovich (West Aurora) F 2:29 Kyle Pasco (Batavia)

126 – Ulises Rosas (Glenbard West) MD 9-0 Jake Cassie (Sandwich)

132 – Elias Gonzalez (Waubonsie Valley) TB 3-2 Alwa Donovan (West Chicago)

138 – Rylan Kradle (Glenbard North) F 0:43 Jondelle Malunay (Glenbard West)

145 – Enzo Fajardo (Batavia) D 5-0 Edvin Murtic (Glenbard West)

152 – Robby Nelson (Yorkville Christian) D 11-5 Treshon Williams (Glenbard North)

160 – Nathan McLoughlin (St. Charles North) F 2:18 Jason Stoffels (Batavia)

170 – Matthew Plumb (St. Charles North) TF Tharun Anand (Metea Valley)

182 – Richie Amakiri (Plano) F 1:12 Kaden Clevenger (Sandwich)

195 – Julian Holland (Glenbard North) D 3-1 Dylan Hendee (Glenbard North)

220 – Asher Sheldon (Batavia) F 3:08 Evan Rector (Neuqua Valley)

285 – Matthew Medina (St. Charles East) F 2:29 Leonidas Hobson (Waubonsie Valley)

Evanston Sectional (Sunday)

Niles Notre Dame Regional

101 – Bernardo Roque (Taft) F Justin Chogllo (Rickover Naval Academy)

106 – David Ruiz (Taft) F 2:06 Mohamad Khater (Ridgewood)

113 – John Greifelt (Notre Dame) F 4:41 Brady Krueger (Notre Dame)

120 – Taylor Francis (Oak Park and River Forest) D 9-3 Isaiah Gibson (Oak Park and River Forest)

126 – Joshua Amorn-Vichet (Addison Trail) F 0:44 Lonnie Daley (Fenwick)

132 – Justin Hernandez (Rickover Naval Academy) F 2:12 Leo Resendez (York)

138 – Andrew Rieger (Walther Christian) F 0:40 Sebastian Gordon (Niles West)

145 – Marquis Deloach (Proviso West) F 4:11 Van Grasser (Chicago)

152 – Emmanuel Leal (Addison Trail) Inj. Daniel Murillo (Proviso West)

160 – Nicholas Ohanion (Fenton) D 9-7 Myles Moriarty (Fenwick)

170 – Victor Vanek (Oak Park and River Forest) F 2:02 Quinn Kovac (Notre Dame)

182 – Lenin Contreras (Morton) D 1-0 Benjamin Martin (Oak Park and River Forest)

195 – John Keigher (Elk Grove) F 4:00 Carey Robinson (Oak Park and River Forest)

220 – Eric Harris (Oak Park and River Forest) D 5-0 Daniel Martinez (Fenton)

285 – Scott Cook (Notre Dame) D 4-1 Alex Hernandez (Niles West)

Glenbrook South Regional

101 – Dimitri Dobre (DePaul College Prep) UTB 0-0 Quentin Williams (Loyola Academy)

106 – Colin Bosak (DePaul College Prep) D 6-3 Benjamin Malmberg (Maine West)

113 – Alexander Valentin (Lane Tech) F 2:04 Jaiden Casillas (Highland Park)

120 – Jack Handley (Maine South) MD 8-0 Hafid Alicea (Maine West)

126 – Dulguun Nyamdavaa (Maine East) D 6-2 Majid Alavi (Maine South)

132 – Nathan Ferrari (Highland Park) F 1:34 Yassin Aitzemkour (New Trier) 

138 – Matthew Brendel (DePaul College Prep) F 1:36 Henry Hafner (Glenbrook North)

145 – Ilan Ruderman (Glenbrook North) D 7-6 Micah Eickbush (New Trier)

152 – Henry Downing (Glenbrook South) F 4:40 Aidan Swenson (Maine South)

160 – Shane Onixt (Glenbrook North) TF Chris Kumiga (Maine South)

170 – Alan Motoa (Glenbrook South) F 0:36 Evan Rioch (Maine South)

182 – Brian Henry (Evanston) F 3:56 Joaqin Gigante (Lane Tech)

195 – Lucas Masek (Maine West) F 1:59 Marcel Debski (Maine West)

220 – Joey Herbert (Loyola Academy) F 1:24 Ian McKnedrick (DePaul College Prep)

285 – Jeremy Marshall (Evanston) D 1-0 Ian Sims (Evanston)