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106 Schools Send Qualifiers To 2007 IESA State Wrestling Tournament

A field of 456 wrestlers from 106 of the 124 schools that entered the Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) state wrestling series will compete this weekend in the 28th annual Boys State Final Wrestling Tournament at the Convocation Center on the campus of Northern Illinois University.

There will be a total of 703 bouts over the two days with competition in 19 weight classes. The 106 schools with at least one wrestler advancing to the State Tournament represents .854 percent of the total number of schools entered the state series at the regional level. It is the second time in IESA history that the state final wrestling field included 100 or more schools, and is the record for schools with qualifiers. In 2006, there were 100 schools represented at the State Tournament.

Doors open at 3:00 p.m. Friday and bouts will begin on eight mats at 4:00. The preliminary round and first round bouts will be conducted Friday. Doors open at 8:30 a.m. Saturday and wrestling resumes at 9:30. Semifinals are set to begin Saturday afternoon at approximately 1:00 p.m. Championship bouts are scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. Championship bouts will be conducted simultaneously on two mats.

Single-day tickets are priced at $9.00 each day for fans in high school and adults. Price of single-day tickets for senior citizens (age 62 and above) and students in grades K-8 are $4.00 each. Children below kindergarten are admitted free.

Five of last year's individual champions return this year. Branden Cater of Sterling Challand won at 65 pounds last year and is at 75 this year. Macomb's Austin Miller is at 90 pounds this year after winning at 80 in 2006. Josh MacKenzie of Johnsburg JHS was the 2006 champion at 105 last year and returns at 126 this year. Camp Point Central's Jacob Smith won at 126 in 2006 and is wrestling at 145 this year. Geraldo Garcia of Plano is at 185 in 2007 after winning at 167 last year. All but Sterling Challand's Branden Cater come into the State Tournament as sectional champions.

Mahomet-Seymour is the all-time leading producer of individual state champions with 37. Sandwich is next at 23. They are the only schools in IESA wrestling history to have 20 or more individual champions. Mahomet-Seymour also leads in team titles with 5, the last coming in 1996. Tied for second in team titles are DeKalb Huntley and New Lenox Martino with four each. DeKalb Huntley last won in 2004 and New Lenox Martino last won in 2002.

Defending team champion DeKalb Clinton Rosette advanced seven wrestlers to the state final meet, including a trio of sectional champions: Jake Jones at 85, Evan Jones at 90 and Dalton Watie at 135.

Bloomington JHS and New Lenox Liberty are the leaders in state final qualifiers. Both have advanced 16 wrestlers. Bloomington JHS advanced at least one wrestler in 13 weight classes and has seven sectional champions: Alex Avis at 85, Kylor Sorensen at 95, Daniel Thul at 100, Alex Bee at 112, Lucas Dinkins at 126, Jeff Drake at 167 and Kyle McAvoy at 275. New Lenox Liberty also advanced at least one wrestler in 13 weight classes and has four sectional champions: Austin Seliga at 75, Tim Ryan at 95, Matt Bishop at 100 and Tom Gross at 135. Seliga and Ryan have been sectional champions the past two years.

Normal Parkside qualified 14 wrestlers from the sectional including seven sectional champions: Eric Gordon at 80, Freddy Mariani at 90, Shane Moore at 105, Will Shelton at 145, Bryton Hussemann at 155, Jeff Jerome at 185 and Guiliano Barlow at 215.

Johnsburg JHS advanced 12 wrestlers to the State Tournament. Sectional champions were Aaron Destefano at 80, last year's 105-pound champion Josh MacKenzie at 126 and Jake Grizely at 275.

Antioch and Petersburg PORTA JHS each advanced 11 wrestlers to the State Tournament. Antioch sectional champions were: Noah Eves at 155, Vinnie Holm at 167 and Tyler Duncan at 215. Petersburg PORTA JHS sectional champions were: Marcus Durrett at 85, Bradley Kolb at 100 and Stormy Hild at 135.

Darien Eisenhower and Lake Zurich South each advanced 10 wrestlers to the State Tournament. Six of the ten for Lake Zurich South are sectional champions. They are: Ted Rosenthal at 80, Scott Hoff at 100, Matt Repplinger at 105, Tim Sayre at 126, Ben Papke at 145 and Mike Schnur at 155.

DeKalb Clinton Rosette took the 2006 team title with 167.5 points. Runner-up was New Lenox Liberty at 128. East Peoria Central was third in 2006 with 125 points, but qualified only five wrestlers this year.

Named Grand Marshals for 2007 are Wayne Mooney, long-time wrestling coach at Joliet Gompers, and Rob Russell, former wrestling coach at Sandwich MS. Complete biographical information for the Grand Marshals is on the IESA Web Site on the Wrestling Page.

The Convocation Center is hosting the IESA State Wrestling Tournament for the fifth straight year. The NIU campus is site of the event for the ninth straight year.

Visit www.iesa.org for additional information regarding complete pairings by weight class, team rosters, and the 2007 Grand Marshals. Results will be posted continuously throughout the weekend.



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