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Meet the 2013 Grand Marshals

Two Grand Marshals will lead the annual Parade of Champions Saturday night (March 9) before the championship bouts of the 34th annual Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) State Final Wrestling Tournament.

Named Grand Marshals for 2013 are: Bill Stonitsch, Coach, Channahon JHS & Frank Filippi, Official, Glen Ellyn

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 2013 Grand Marshals:

Bill Stonitsch Bill Stonitsch has been involved with the sport of wrestling since he started wrestling at the age of 7 for the Joliet Boys Club under the coaching of his uncle, Larry Stonitsch. Bill continued his wrestling career when he wrestled for both Minooka Jr. High and Minooka High School and started his coaching career when he volunteered to coach the Minooka JHS wrestling team his senior year in high school. A graduate of Aurora University, Bill started his teaching and coaching career at Minooka in 1986 where he served as both the assistant and head wrestling coach for the Indians. In 1995, Bill moved to the Channahon district, where he has served three different stints as the wrestling head coach--from 1996 to 2000; from 2002 to 2004; and from 2007 to the present. During his time at Channahon, Bill has built the Channahon Invitational Wrestling Tournament into one of the premier junior high wrestling invitational tournaments in the state. Bill has coached over 100 state qualifiers, several place winners, and eight state champions. In addition to his teaching duties, Bill was the athletic director for the school and head baseball coach. He is a former member of the IESA wrestling advisory committee and has been a host for many state series activities during his tenure as the school athletic director.  Bill and his wife of 25 years, Judy, are the proud parents of two children, Laura (23) and Matt (22).  Bill sums up his coaching and teaching responsibilities this way: "I consider it a privilege to be able to teach young men the importance of dedication, responsibility, and the leadership traits that are learned from wrestling."  

Frank Filippi For over 50 years, Frank Filippi has either been a participant or an official in the sport of wrestling. Frank ventured into the competitive side of wrestling at the age of seven as a second grader in the Glen Ellyn school system and continued on to Hadley Junior High School. He attended Glenbard West High School and was named to the all-conference team while wrestling for the legendary Coach John Beisne, who Frank credits as having a major influence on his life. After graduating from Glenbard West, Frank wrestled for two seasons at Northern Illinois University for National Hall of Fame Coach Don Flavin. When an injury ended his competitive career after 13 years in the sport, he officiated for the first time at the Northern Illinois University Intramural Tournament and with that experience found a new way to stay involved in the sport---Frank became a registered wrestling official for the Illinois High School Association and the NCAA in 1973. This year marks the 40th year Frank has been a licensed official.  To date, he has officiated 37 IHSA Regional Tournaments, 18 IHSA Individual Sectional Tournaments, 12 IHSA Dual Team Regionals and Sectionals, 7 IHSA Individual State Finals including the 2013 IHSA finals 3 weeks ago, and 8 Dual Team State Finals. Frank officiates numerous regular season jr. high meets throughout the state and has officiated 17 IESA State Finals tournaments. He also served a term on the IESA Wrestling Advisory Committee and was the IESA State Finals Head Official from 2009 through 2011. He has worked the Dvorak Invitational for 25 consecutive years and as the DuPage Valley Conference Wrestling Assignment Chairman in 1997, 1998, and 1999.  Frank has officiated for the NCAA in three Division III Wrestling Regional Tournaments five IWCOA Illinois vs. Indiana All-Star Classic Dual meets.   Currently residing in Glen Ellyn, Frank has made a professional career in the Travel & Tourism industry. He has a son, Frankie, who wants to follow in his father's footsteps as an official. Frank continues to devote his energy to sports and the sport of wrestling, which has encompassed the largest portion of his life and has enabled him to participate with some of the most outstanding competitors and coaches in the state of Illinois.

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
2012 Steve Lee, Prospect Heights MacArthur, Principal; Roger Taylor, Lake Zurich, Coach

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