Class 1A Regional Roundup

By Curt Herron

For the IWCOA

Here’s a look at the 16 regional championship teams in Class 1A as well as all of the individual champions from those tournaments, including their records going into sectionals.

All of the summaries are grouped together in the individual sectional that they will be competing in this weekend. A special thanks to all of the coaches who sent team pictures.

Princeton Individual Sectional & Rock Falls Dual Team Sectional

Sandwich – Sandwich Regional champions

Tenth-ranked Sandwich finished with nine champions to help it collect 239.5 points and claim top honors at its own regional. Wheaton Academy placed second with 152 points while Plano was third with 125 points.

Top performers for coach Derek Jones’ champion Indians were title winners Ashlyn Strenz (22-12 at 106), Miles Corder (32-13 at 126), Evan Fraser (5-0 at 132), Evan Reilly (29-3 at 138), Nolan Bobee (26-10 at 145), Aidan Linden (40-4 at 152), Bryce Decker (30-14 at 160), Samuel Dale (23-10 at 170) and Alex Alfaro (39-1 at 182). The program won a regional title for the second season in a row and now hopes to qualify for dual team state for the first time since 2012. They had the most qualifiers in the sectional with 11.

Wheaton Academy, which had eight sectional qualifiers, got firsts from Will Hupke (31-4 at 120) and Peter Johanik (31-5 at 220). Plano, who had seven qualifiers, was led by a first-place finish by Carnell Walls (12-4 at 195). Somonauk’s Mason Smith (11-9 at 113) and Mooseheart’s Joshua Gaye (5-0 at 285) also were champions.

Lena-Winslow/Stockton – Dixon Regional champions

Second-ranked Lena-Winslow/Stockton prevailed in a clash of ranked teams at the Dixon Regional, after winning three titles to help it score 202 points while top-ranked Dixon took second with 157 points and eighth-ranked Dakota was third with 146 points and No. 18 Stillman Valley (137.5) and No. 22 Oregon (103) claimed the next two spots.

Coach Kevin Milder’s champion PantherHawks, who had 10 sectional qualifiers, were led by title winners, Garrett Luke (40-3 at 145), Marey Roby (29-6 at 160) and Griffin Luke (41-3 at 170). In 2019, when they concluded a three-year run of regional titles that featured two dual team championships and they finished first in the IWCOA finals in 2021.

Dakota had the most title winners with four, Phoenix Blakely (29-3 at 126), TJ Silva (29-6 at 132), Maddux Blakely (34-1 at 138) and Noah Wenzel (34-3 at 195). Others taking first place were Dixon’s Ayden Rowley (10-3 at 106) and Justin Dallas (19-4 at 220), Stillman Valley’s Henry Hildreth (24-10 at 120) and Jack Seacrist (32-2 at 152), Oregon’s Preston LaBay (17-13 at 113), Winnebago’s Mannix Faworski (32-1 at 182) and Polo’s Daniel Engel (20-2 at 285).

Harvard – Harvard Regional champions

Harvard had four title winners to help it claim top honors at its own regional with 171 points while No. 24 Marian Central Catholic and Marengo tied for second with 156 points. 

Leading the way for coach David Schultz’s first-place Hornets, who had eight sectional qualifiers, were champions Marques Merida (31-10 at 126), Bailey Livdahl (32-8 at 160), Gabe Sanchez (27-10 at 182) and Nathan Rosas (36-3 at 195). The program hopes to once again compete in the IHSA dual team finals, which they qualified for in 2020.

Marian Central Catholic, who took first in 2A in the IWCOA finals in 2021 and qualified for dual team state in 2A from 2018-2020 with a third-place finish in 2019, had eight qualifiers and got first-place finishes from Charlie Fitzgerald (22-3 at 120), Vance Williams (33-9 at 132) and Nik Jimenez (28-4 at 145). Richmond-Burton, who had seven qualifiers, got titles from Clay Madula (25-13 at 106), Emmett Nelson (35-3 at 113) and Brock Wood (11-0 at 220). Marengo had nine qualifiers and two champions, Logan Miller (29-11 at 138) and Michael Macias (36-4 at 285) while Johnsburg’s Logan Kirk (26-4 at 152) and Haden Lucas (23-9 at 170) also won titles.

Newman Central Catholic – Sherrard Regional champions

Newman Central Catholic, ranked 16th, prevailed over several quality teams to capture the title in the Sherrard Regional with 167.5 points while Riverdale (134) took second place, Erie/Prophetstown edged No. 14 Princeton 123-122.5 for third and No. 20 Sherrard nipped No. 15 Rockridge 103.5-102.5 for fifth.

Leading the way for coach Daryl Dieterle’s champion Comets, who had eight sectional qualifiers, were first-place finishers Brady Grennan (36-1 at 120) and Will Rude (16-0 at 138). It was the Sterling school’s first regional title since 2012, which was a year after it captured its second IHSA championship.

Teams that had three champions were Erie/Prophetstown, with Wyatt Goosens (26-5 at 113), Jase Grunder (23-5 at 145) and Andrew Bomleny (39-5 at 195) and Riverdale, with Brock Smith (42-0 at 132), Collin Altensey (40-0 at 152) and Alex Watson (41-1 at 160). Other title winners were Allemen’s Dalton Nimrick (30-6 at 106) and Charlie Jagusah (34-0 at 285), Sherrard’s Ryder Roelf (36-5 at 170) and Walker Anderson (35-3 at 220), Princeton’s Matthew Harris (35-5 at 126) and Morrison’s Kayden White (30-3 at 182).

Olympia Individual Sectional & Tremont Dual Team Sectional

Prairie Central – El Paso-Gridley Regional champions

Prairie Central had three champions and seven sectional qualifiers to score 141 points which helped it to prevail in a competitive El Paso-Gridley Regional in El Paso in which the host Titans edged No. 23 Clifton Central 132-127 to claim second place.

Claiming first-place finishes for coach Scott Ziller’s champion Hawks were Donavan Lewis (25-5 at 132), Owen Steidinger (29-10 at 170) and Connor Steidinger (31-3 at 195). The Fairbury school hopes to qualify for the dual team finals for the third season in a row and win their first trophy since 2011.

Also winning titles were Dwight’s Dylan Crouch (19-7 at 113), Dillon Sarff (25-4 at 138) and Samuel Edwards (15-0 at 220), El Paso-Gridley’s Logan Gibson (22-9 at 120), Tyler Roth (31-13 at 126) and Dax Gentes (41-2 at 145) and University High’s Zachary Gross (29-5 at 152) and Hunter Otto (25-1 at 285). Other champions were Pontiac’s Aidan Scholwin (16-2 at 106), Deer Creek-Mackinaw’s Gage Sweckard (34-7 at 160) and Clifton Central’s Auston Miller (27-10 at 182), who was one of eight qualifiers for his team.

Kewanee – Farmington Regional champions

Kewanee had three champions which helped it to capture top honors at the Farmington Regional with 197.5 points while Notre Dame claimed second place with 187 points and host Farmers were third with 137 points..

Claiming first place finishes for coach Charley Eads’ champion Boilermakers, who qualified nine individuals for the sectional, were Will Taylor (18-7 at 145), Kadin Rednour (33-4 at 152) and Nate Lockett (10-3 at 195). The program captured its first regional championship since 2009 and looks to advance to the dual team finals for the first time.

Notre Dame, which also had nine sectional qualifiers, led all teams with five champions, Ian Akers (31-5 at 106), Jac Couri (25-11 at 126), Chase Daugherty (21-10 at 132), Joey Mushinsky (35-1 at 160) and Michael McLaughlin (15-7 at 285). Other title winners were Farmington’s Keygan Jennings (39-1 at 113), Austin Utt (35-9 at 170) and Reese Shymansky (35-2 at 182), Mercer County’s Ethan Monson (23-5 at 120) and Zeke Arnold (17-9 at 138) and Peoria Heights’ Isaac Coleman (13-5 at 220).

Ridgewood/Lexington – Heyworth Regional champions

Ridgeview/Lexington wasn’t ranked in the top-25 but it had four champions to help it prevail over No. 12 Oakwood/Salt Fork 175-169 for the title at the Heyworth Regional while LeRoy/Tri-Valley took third with 144 points. 

Coach Jeremy Lopshire’s champion Mustangs only had five sectional qualifiers but four of those won titles. Danny Tay (32-5 at 106), Braydon Campbell (27-4 at 120), Evan Antonio (36-3 at 220) and Gage Kelly (25-11 at 285) all placed first to help their school in Colfax, which co-ops with Lexington, to capture its first-ever regional championship.

Oakwood/Salt Fork had seven sectional qualifiers and four champions, Pedro Rangel (28-4 at 126), Reef Pacot (36-4 at 132), Grant Brewer (32-10 at 145) and Joe Lashuay (30-5 at 160). Other title winners were Olympia’s Dylan Eimer (37-4 at 106) and William Winter (31-1 at 138), Clinton’s Trevor Willis (28-9 at 152), LeRoy/Tri-Valley’s Tyson Brent (27-1 at 170), Hoopeston Area’s Abel Colunga (32-3 at 182) and The High School of Saint Thomas More’s Brody Cuppernell (22-2 at 195).

Tremont – Tremont Regional champions

Sixth-ranked Tremont had few difficulties capturing top honors at its own regional after winning six titles and having a sectional-high 12 qualifiers, to help it score 247 points, which was 90 points better than the second-place finisher, 11th-ranked Canton, who scored 157 points and Illini Bluffs was third with 116 points.

Winning titles for coach TJ William’s champion Turks were Bowden Delaney (33-3 at 120), Mason Mark (25-9 at 132), Levi Leitner (29-5 at 152), Logan Stedman (30-4 at 160), Cooper Wendling (27-3 at 195) and John Rathbun (22-4 at 220). The program advanced to the last two dual team finals and seeks its first state trophy.

Canton finished with four title winners, Trevor Hedges (26-5 at 126), Andrew Hedges (15-2 at 145), Joseph Norton (34-0 at 170) and Weston Swise (29-5 at 285). Also winning titles were Illini Bluffs’ Hunter Robbins (25-3 at 106), Paul Ishikawa (32-1 at 138), Camp Point Central’s Jack Thompson (39-6 at 113) and Macomb’s Max Ryner (41-5 at 182).

Vandalia Individual Sectional & Unity Dual Team Sectional

Anna-Jonesboro – Harrisburg Regional champions

Anna-Jonesboro only had two title winners but scored 199.5 points to capture the Harrisburg Regional by 41.5 points over runner-up Fairfield, who finished with 158 points while Murphysboro edged Frankfort 143-141 for third place.

Turning in first-place showings for coach Chase Hargrave’s champion Wildcats, who had nine sectional qualifiers, were Drew Sadler (43-3 at 106) and Caleb Mays (42-4 at 145). The program’s other regional titles were won in 2017 and 2019 and it seeks its initial appearance at the dual team finals.

Fairfield had four title winners, Jerek Keoughan (30-3 at 152), Landon Stewart (11-7 at 182), Konnor Dagg (33-5 at 195) and Payton Allen (37-1 at 220). Murphysboro, which had seven qualifiers, got firsts from Arojae Hart (31-1 at 138) and Dayton Hoffman (33-4 at 160), Other champions were Frankfort’s Eli Klus (25-5 at 120) and Braxton Chance (3-0 at 285), Benton’s Mason Tieffel (41-4 at 126) and Wyatt Upton (21-8 at 170), Harrisburg’s Tony Keene (34-1 at 113) and Herrin’s Blue Bishop (29-2 at 132).

Auburn – Illinois School for the Visually Impaired Regional champions

Auburn captured four titles and qualified seven for the sectional to help it finish with 162 points as it captured top honors at the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired Regional that was held at Routt Catholic in Jacksonville. Mt. Zion scored 152 points to take second and Litchfield scored 145 for third as both finished with eight sectional qualifiers.

Leading the way for coach Matt Grimm’s champion Trojans were title winners Anthony Ruzic (19-0 at 113), Gage Lopez (27-9 at 120), Dresden Grimm (42-1 at 132) and Cole Edie (36-6 at 285). The program looks to get back to dual team state, where they finished fourth in 2020.

Other champions were Mt. Zion’s Tanner Garrett (23-7 at 126) and Lawrence Trimble (30-9 at 160), Taylorville’s Gage Rusher (36-6 at 138) and William Blue (24-9 at 195), Hillsboro’s Zander Wells (22-10 at 152) and Magnus Wells (31-1 at 220), Litchfield’s Alex Powell (29-5 at 106), Carlinville’s Jake Schwartz (42-2 at 145), Pittsfield’s Mason Davis (27-5 at 170) and Sacred Heart-Griffin’s Cory West (38-2 at 182).

Unity – Richland County Regional champions

Fourth-ranked Unity had no troubles capturing top honors at the Richland County Regional in Olney after claiming five titles and advancing 11 individuals to the sectional as it  collected 243 points while Westville beat out Monticello 125.5-117 for second place.  

Leading the way for coach Logan Patton’s champion Rockets were Tavius Hosley (44-1 at 145), Nat Nosler (27-5 at 160), Nick Nosler (41-2 at 195), Oran Varela (32-4 at 220) and Karson Richardson (43-3 at 285). The program won its second-straight regional and hopes to improve upon its third-place IHSA finish from 2020.

Other title winners were Lawrenceville’s Dylan Aten (23-9 at 113) and Brian Seed (31-0 at 170), Westville’s Hayden Weaver (24-10 at 132) and Rylee Edwards (31-1 at 182), 

Cumberland’s Hank Warfel (31-5 at 106), Shelbyville’s Calvin Miller (44-2 at 120), Richland County’s Carson Bissey (21-1 at 126), Monticello’s Jaxon Trent (37-10 at 138) and 

Effingham’s Jon Perry (35-6 at 152).

Vandalia – Carlyle Regional champions

Fifth-ranked Vandalia captured seven titles and had a sectional-high 12 qualifiers to help it score 218.5 points and it easily captured top honors in the Carlyle Regional by 69 points over Roxana, which claimed second place with 149.5 points while No. 21 Cahokia took third with 106 points.

Finishing first for coach Jason Clay’s champion Vandals were Pierson Wilkerson (26-20 at 120), Owen Miller (37-9 at 132), Cutter Prater (42-3 at 138), Logan Nance (35-11 at 145), Eric McKinney (41-5 at 152), Ryan Kaiser (39-6 at 160) and Wyatt Dothager (29-16 at 182). The program didn’t go to dual team state in 2020, ending a 10-year run of trips where they won trophies in three of their last four visits.

Other title winners were Carlyle’s Tyson Waughtel (45-0 at 106) and Owen Birkner (35-8 at 170), East Alton-Wood River’s Aaron Niemeyer (33-4 at 113) and Jason Shaw (36-2 at 126), Roxana’s Hunter Bailey (16-2 at 195) and James Herring (25-3 at 220) and Cahokia’s Berylonte Shegog (22-3 at 285).

Coal City Individual Sectional & TBA Dual Team Sectional

St. Laurence – Bowen Regional champions

In one of the closest regional results in the state, St. Laurence claimed top honors at the Bowen Regional in Chicago over the hosts by just two points, a 183-181 margin. It’s the school’s first regional championship since 1990, when it won the IHSA Class AA dual team championship while making its first and only finals appearance.

Winning titles for coach Marcel Cook’s champion Vikings, who had nine sectional qualifiers, were Eduardo Arias (6-3 at 126), Gabe Alvarez (17-6 at 145), Henry Coughlin (23-9 at 160), Mike Gentile (24-6 at 170) and Matt Bielski (10-25 at 220).

Bowen had 11 sectional qualifiers and four title winners, Niko Brussard (13-3 at 120), Michael Alade (18-1 at 132), Josiah Jackson (10-0 at 138) and Trevon Smith (13-3 at 152). Perspectives Leadership had eight qualifiers and two champions, Daniel Jones (14-3 at 182) and Jamel Blachmond (18-1 at 195). Also claiming first place were Harlan’s Jonking Williams (17-3 at 106) and Amarion Lee (22-5 at 285) and Hyde Park’s Keshaun Colmen (3-2 at 113).

Phoenix Military Academy – Chicago Hope Academy Regional champions

Phoenix Military Academy had five title winners to help it capture the championship of the Chicago Hope Academy Regional with 249 points, which was 10 points better than second-place DePaul College Prep, who had 239 points while the host Eagles took third with 165.5 points.

Leading the way for coach Daniel Curin’s champion Firebirds, who had 13 sectional qualifiers, were title winners Vin Moreno (25-1 at 120), Omar Ramirez (20-4 at 132), Rafael Soto (24-4 at 138), Diego Mendez (22-5 at 145) and Kaleb Abney 7-6 at 220). It was the first regional championship won by the Chicago school.

DePaul College Prep, which had 11 sectional qualifiers, got titles from Johnny Cunningham (16-9 at 106), Max Rosen (24-5 at 113), Mikekal McClarin (19-2 at 126), Luke Walters (15-9 at 182) and Emmett Jeske (19-9 at 285). Taking first place for Chicago Hope Academy, who had nine sectional qualifiers, were Franky Saez (26-3 at 152), Esteban Aleman (16-6 at 170) and Uriah Martin-Valez (18-12 at 195). The other regional champion was Golder College Prep’s Christian Villasenor (6-1 at 160).

IC Catholic Prep – Walther Christian Regional champions

IC Catholic Prep, which is ranked 13th, had nine champions and 10 sectional qualifiers to help it to an easy win for the team title at the Walther Christian Regional in Melrose Park with 226 points while Lisle claimed second place with 141 points and Nazareth Academy was third with 103 points.

Coach Jason Renteria’s champion Knights received first-place finishes from Andrew Alvarado (17-10 at 113), Nick Renteria (21-1 at 120), Bryson Spaulding (11-6 at 126), Omar Samayoa (15-5 at 132), Joseph Gilatta (19-5 at 145), Brandon Navarro (17-5 at 170), Michael Calcagno (14-1 at 182), Jadon Mims (19-3 at 220) and Isaiah Gonzalez (24-1 at 285). The program hopes to return to the dual team finals for the first time since 2018, when it made its debut there. The Knights also placed third at the IWCOA finals in 2021.

Lisle, who had eight sectional qualifiers, got first- place finishes from Ryan Hsu (24-5 at 106), Abe Payne (12-10 at 152) and Joe Raineri (23-10 at 195). The other two champions were Nazareth Academy’s Zach Milos (21-5 at 138) and Northridge Prep’s Michael Kopecky (5-3 at 160).

Yorkville Christian – Seneca Regional champions 

Seventh-ranked Yorkville Christian prevailed over a group of ranked squads to capture top honors in the Seneca Regional with 200 points while third-ranked Coal City took second with 175 points. Ninth-ranked Reed-Custer (122.5) and No. 17 Seneca (102) were next in line. For more on this regional, see Curt Herron’s story.

Coach Mike Vester’s champion Mustangs, who had nine sectional qualifiers, got titles from Aiden Larsen (35-6 at 106), Isaac Bourge (25-9 at 120), Grason Johnson (14-16 at 126), Noah Dial (32-8 at 132), Tyler Martinez (33-10 at 160), Jackson Gillen (39-5 at 170) and Michael Esquivel (30-12 at 285). This was the program’s first regional title.

Coal City, which had 10 sectional qualifiers, got first-place finishes from John Housman (26-6 at 113), Braiden Young (31-7 at 182) and Ashton Harvey (6-1 at 195). The Coalers had advanced to state in five of the last six seasons and had three seconds and two thirds during those state trips, including second in 2020. Other champions were Reed-Custer’s Landon Markle (31-8 at 145) and Kody Marschner (33-0 at 220), Peotone’s Marco Spinazzola (36-2 at 138) and Bishop McNamara’s Luke Christie (22-2 at 152).

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