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Meet the 2007 Grand Marshals

Two Grand Marshals will lead the annual Parade of Champions Saturday night (March 10) before the championship bouts of the 28th annual Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) State Final Wrestling Tournament.

Named Grand Marshals for 2007 are:

Terry Milton
Wayne Mooney
Rob Porter
Rob Russell

The IESA started having Grand Marshals in 1996. The Grand Marshals are honored for their contributions to interscholastic wrestling and the young men who participate in the sport. They are nominated by the IESA Wrestling Advisory Committee and approved by the IESA Board of Directors. The marshals will play an integral role of the Parade of Champions as they will lead the 38 individual finalists and their coaches into the Convocation Center, amidst music, applause and cheers from teammates, parents, family, and fans.

Here is a closer look at the 2007 Grand Marshals:

Wayne Mooney has been instrumental in the success of the Joliet Gompers wrestling program. During Wayne's 22 year tenure as the head wrestling coach, his teams captured the runner-up team title in 1987 and 1989. Wayne has coached 101 state qualifiers, 36 state placers and 6 individual champions. He has been an 8th grade social studies teacher at Gompers since 1978. During his 29 year career as a teacher, he has also served as their cross-country coach where his boys and girls teams recorded top four finishes in the IESA state cross-country meet five times from 1985-1988. Wayne currently serves as the Athletic Director for Gompers and was named to "Who's Who Among American Teachers" in 2000. A dedicated educator and a lifelong resident of the Joliet area, Wayne graduated from Joliet East High School, received his bachelor's degree from Chicago State University in 1975 and has two master's degrees---one from Chicago St. and one from Governors State University. A trumpet player in his spare time, Wayne believes that the highest compliment parents can give is to allow him to coach their child. Wayne and his wife of 35 years, Eufemia, are the parents of three children and have three grandchildren as well.

From 1994-2002, Rob Russell had an incredible ride as the head coach of the Sandwich Middle School wrestling team. During that nine year span, Rob coached 100 individual state qualifiers and 51 of those individuals placed in the top six of their weight classes. Fifteen of the 100 qualifiers became IESA individual state champions and his teams won the team championship three times---in 1997, 1999, and 2000. His teams were undefeated in dual meet and tournament competition during the 1999 and 2000 seasons when they were back-to-back IESA team champions. In addition to the team championships, his teams placed 4th in 1995 and captured 3rd place honors in 1998 and 2002. Rob served on the IESA wrestling advisory committee from 1998-2001. He also had a very successful three-year stint as the head coach of the Sandwich High School wrestling team during which time his teams placed third in the dual team state finals in 2003 and 2004. Rob attended DeKalb High School and was on the high school wrestling team that went undefeated in dual meet competition from 1980-1982. A graduate of Northern Illinois University, Rob and his wife Peggy are the proud parents of five children.

Past Grand Marshals
1996 Robert Gatrell, Bloomington, Former Executive Director of the IESA
1997 Bill Marquardt, Bloomington, Official & Arch Richoz, DeKalb, Coach
1998 Mike Manahan, Bloomington, Coach & Mike Pastiak, Burr Ridge, Coach
1999 Ron Karnopp, Quincy, Coach & Dave Ulstad, New Lenox, Coach
2000 Joe Pedersen, Darien, Official, Principal, & Coach
2001 Dan Farinosi, Hoffman Estates, Official & Jim Moxley, Mahomet-Seymour,Coach
2002 Jim Rankin, Clifton, Administrator and Coach & Dave Brost, New Lenox, Official
2003 John Pine, Clinton, Coach; Tony Zens, Ingleside Taveirne, Coach; Mike Wilkey, Oak Park, Official
2004 Ray Cummings, Pesotum, Official & Mike Golimowski, Morris Shabbona, Coach
2005 Bob Jahn, Bolingbrook Humphrey Coach & Dan Fulscher, Lincoln, Official

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