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Meet the 2012 Grand Marshals

Two Grand Marshals will lead the annual Parade of Champions Saturday night (March 10) before the championship bouts of the 33rd annual Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) State Final Wrestling Tournament.

Named Grand Marshals for 2012 are: Steve Lee, former coach and administrator at Round Lake, Barrington, Huntley, and Prospect Hts. MacArthur & Roger Taylor, former coach at Lake Zurich.

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 2012 Grand Marshals:

Steve Lee

** The IESA wrestling program has grown significantly since it was started in 1980 and Steve Lee has been associated with IESA wrestling since its inception when he was the athletic director at Round Lake Magee. During his tenure at Magee, Steve hosted several regional and sectional meets while serving as head wrestling coach for the school. When the IESA needed a school to host the state wrestling finals in 1988, Steve stepped up and hosted the state finals. In 1990, Steve became the assistant principal and athletic director at Barrington and he once again took on the responsibilities of hosting the state wrestling finals in 1997 and 1998 in addition to hosting other IESA state series activities. A graduate of Niles North High School in Skokie, Steve received his undergraduate degree from Northeastern in 1976 and his graduate degree from Roosevelt University in 1988. He has held a variety of wrestling coaching positions---from 1977-1980 he coached at his former high school, Niles North and from 1980 -1990 he helped the Round Lake High School team while coaching the middle school team. Steve served a term on the IESA wrestling advisory committee and was elected to the IESA Board of Directors in 1998--a position he held until 2005. Steve and his wife Michelle have been married for 34 years and have three children and two grandchildren. A true fan of junior high wrestling and one who has certainly given plenty to the wrestlers at the jr. high school level, Steve currently serves as principal of MacArthur Middle School in Prospect Heights.

Roger Taylor

** If there is one individual who is most responsible for the students in Lake Zurich having the opportunity to wrestle, that individual is Roger Taylor. After three years of trying to convince the Lake Zurich school board that they should start a jr. high school wrestling program, the board finally agreed to do so. Roger went on to a 38 year coaching career with 31 of those years at Lake Zurich. During those years at Lake Zurich, Roger had 45 state qualifiers and seven state placers. His teams won 131 matches in the 17 years he coached jr. high wrestling and his team was the first-ever jr. high team to wrestle an exhibition match before a Northwestern University collegiate match in Evanston. His love of wrestling did not stop when he retired as he has worked as a table official at the Midlands the last six years and the Big 10 conference tournament last year. Roger served on the IESA wrestling advisory committee and has helped judge the IESA Scholar Attitude Award. As a tribute to the man who started the wrestling program in Lake Zurich, the wrestling room is named in his honor at Lake Zurich South. Roger graduated from Waukegan Township high school and in his senior year the school won the IHSA state championship. He received his undergraduate degree from Illinois Wesleyan University and his masters degree from Northern Illinois University. He and his wife Jan have 3 children and five grandchildren. A coach in every sense of the word, Roger's impact on jr. high wrestling in the state is unparalleled.

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
2006 Terry Milton, Clinton, Coach & Rob Porter, Mahomet-Seymour, Former IESA Champion
2007 Wayne Mooney, Joliet Gompers, Coach & Rob Russell, Sandwich, Coach
2008 Scot Kody, Inverness, Official
2009 John Welter, Fox Lake, Coach; Matt Grimm, Chatham Glenwood, Coach, Dave Mathews, Official
2010 Joe Spiezio, Braidwood Reed-Custer, Administrator; Basil Bakakos, Johnsburg, Coach; Bill Honeycutt, Official
2011 Tom Norquist, Niles Gemini, Coach; Renny Garshelis, Charleston, Official

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