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105 Schools Have Qualifiers At 2009 IESA State Wrestling Tournament

A field of 456 wrestlers from 105 of the 132 schools that entered the Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) state wrestling series will compete this weekend in the 30th 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 105 schools with at least one wrestler advancing to the State Tournament represents .795 percent of the total number of schools that entered the state series at the regional level. It is the fourth time in IESA history that the state final wrestling field included 100 or more schools. In 2006, there were 100 schools with qualifiers, in 2007 there were 106 represented at the State Tournament. Wrestlers from 109 schools in 2008 competed.

Doors open at 2:30 p.m. Friday and bouts will begin on eight mats at 3:30. The preliminary round and first round bouts will be conducted Friday. Doors open at 8:00 a.m. Saturday and wrestling resumes at 9:00. Semifinals are set to begin Saturday afternoon at approximately 12:30 p.m. Championship bouts are scheduled to begin at 5:00 p.m. Championship bouts will be conducted simultaneously on two mats in the following tandems: 65-275; 70-215; 75-185; 80-167; 85-155; 90-145; 95-135; 100-126; 105-119; 112.

Single-day tickets are priced at $10.00 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 is $5.00 each. Children below kindergarten are admitted free.

Visit www.iesa.org for additional information regarding complete pairings by weight class, team rosters, the 2009 Grand Marshals and the sectional place winners by site. Results from the state tournament will be posted continuously throughout the weekend.

Four individual champions from last year return. Brandon Ireland of Mahomet-Seymour won in 2008 at 65 pounds as a seventh grader and finished second in the sectional this year at 75 pounds behind Nate Joza of Mt. Zion. Seth Newkirk of Litchfield was the 2008 champion at 75 pounds as a sixth grader a year ago and finished second this year in the sectional at 80 pounds to Zechariah Smith of Taylor Ridge Rockridge. Sebastian Pique of Darien Eisenhower won at 80 pounds a year ago as a seventh grader and captured the 90-pound title in the sectional this year. Doug Johnson of DeKalb Huntley took home the title at 90 pounds a year ago and won the sectional this year at 105 pounds. Johnson placed fourth at 80 pounds in 2007.

Mahomet-Seymour is the all-time leading producer of individual state champions with 39. Sandwich is next at 24 followed by Bloomington JHS 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.

Bloomington JHS has had a stranglehold on the team title in recent years. The Knights are after their third straight team championship and fourth in the past five years. After finishing second in 2002, Bloomington JHS won in 2005 with 182.5 points, in 2007 with 225.5 points and in 2008 with 197 points.

With 13 state final qualifiers, but only three sectional champions, Bloomington JHS faces an uphill battle in its quest for another team title. The sectional champions for the Knights are Derrik Watts at 85, Steven Bishop at 100 and Casey Wyatt at 119.

Mahomet-Seymour, Darien Eisenhower and Johnsburg JHS loom as the chief contenders to take the team title from Bloomington JHS. Other contenders are Aledo, Glen Ellyn Hadley, Gurnee Viking, Mattoon, New Lenox Liberty, Sandwich and Sterling Challand.

Mahomet-Seymour's first team title came in 1984. Then the Bulldogs captured the crown in 1992-93-94-96. Of the school's 14 qualifiers for the 2009 state tournament, seven are sectional champions. In addition to 2008 champion Brandon Ireland, sectional runner-up at 75 pounds, Mahomet-Seymour has sectional champions: Troy Hoffman at 65, Cody Hooper at 80, Tyler Moxley at 85, Thomas Bane at 95, Quinton Butsch at 100, Clay Dilks at 112 and Jeremiah Black at 167.

Darien Eisenhower qualified 13 wrestlers to the state tournament including eight sectional champions. They are Nick Perisin at 70, Erick Ditchfield at 75, 2008 returning champion Sebastian Pique at 90, Marc Kosiek at 95, Andrew Lane at 100, Justin Maslow at 105, Joe Lappay at 112 and Kaylon Miller at 135.

Johnsburg JHS has only 10 state tournament qualifiers but seven of them are sectional champions. They are Branden Peshek at 70, Zach Huemann at 75, Nick Lewis at 80, Brian McKay at 85, Brandon Motter at 105, Aaron Destefano at 112 and Christian Nugent at 155.

Glen Ellyn Hadley has 13 qualifiers and four of them come into the state tournament as sectional champions. They are C. J. Sojka at 85, Zak Hassan at 119, Devante Toney at 167 and Bernie Gallegos at 215.

New Lenox Liberty, which is a coop between Liberty and New Lenox Martino, has 10 wrestlers in the state meet including sectional winners Dan Harris at 75, Joe Nelson at 80, Matt Schneider at 145, Nick Bertucci at 155 and Joe Lyman at 167.

Sandwich also has 10 wrestlers in the 2009 state meet including four sectional winners. They are Kyle Bronski at 65, Jesse Wood at 75, Garrett Bennett at 119 and Logan Lee at 275.

Four of the nine state tournament qualifiers for Sterling Challand are sectional champions. They are Isaac Anderson at 85, Bryce Reglin at 95, Salmon Ocampo at 112 and Curtis Lilly at 215. Mattoon also has nine qualifiers and three of them are sectional champions: Cooper Collings at 70, Mitchel Godden at 119 and Ryan Paige at 275. Aledo is sending 9 qualifiers to the state tournament including sectional winners Bryce Skiles at 85, Tristen Finch at 95 and Zach Nelson at 199. Gurnee Viking qualified nine wrestlers for the state meet, including Michael Malles who was sectional champion at 85.

Named Grand Marshals for 2009 are former coaches John Welter of Fox Lake, and Matt Grimm of Chatham Glenwood and Official Dave Mathews of Crown Point, Ind. Complete biographical information for the Grand Marshal is on the IESA Web Site on the Wrestling Page.

The Convocation Center is hosting the IESA State Wrestling Tournament for the seventh straight year. The NIU campus is site of the event for the 11th straight year.



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