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2017 IESA State Wrestling Tournament

A field of 456 wrestlers from 135 schools across the state will compete in the Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) state wrestling finals at the 38th annual Boys State Wrestling Tournament held at the Convocation Center on the campus of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois March 10-11.

There will be a total of 703 bouts over the two days with competition in 19 weight classes. It is the 12th time in IESA history that the state final wrestling field includes 100 or more schools. Last year, 134 schools advanced at least one wrestler to the big stage. Breakdown of the competitors by year in school is: 17 fifth graders, 53 sixth graders, 100 seventh graders and 286 eighth graders.

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 in the championship bracket will be conducted Friday. Doors open at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday and wrestling resumes at 9:00 a.m. 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.

Single-day tickets are priced at $10.00 each day for high school students 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. Advanced ticket sales for the state finals at the NIU Convocation Center are now available through Ticketmaster. Those who purchase their tickets in advance will bypass the ticket purchase line and simply proceed to the admission door. If you want to purchase tickets in advance simply go to www.ticketmaster.com, type in NIU Convocation Center and then find the IESA Wrestling Finals link. The standard Ticketmaster surcharge will be applied.

Visit www.iesa.org for additional information regarding complete pairings by weight class, team rosters, the 2017 Grand Marshal and the sectional place winners by site. Results from the state tournament will be posted continuously throughout the weekend.

This year's Grand Marshal is Phil Esposito the long-time head coach at Darien Eisenhower. During his 20 year coaching career at Eisenhower Esposito had 213 state qualifiers and 14 state champions. He has taught at Eisenhower for 24 years and is now an IHSA licensed wrestling official.

There are six state champions returning from a season ago, all possessing the drive to recapture last year's magic. Ethan Spacht, a 6th grader from Bradley Central, won the 65 lb. weight class in 2016 as a 5th grader and will be looking to win a second consecutive title at the weight class. Last year's 70 lb. champion, Billy Tay, an 8th grader from Colfax Ridgeview, has moved to the 75 lb. class this year. Tay wrestled for Forrest Prairie Central last year. Colton King who won the 75 lb. weight class as a 7th grader last year while also wrestling for Forrest Prairie Central is returning this year as an 8th grader wrestling in the 80 lb. weight class wrestling for Dwight. Ethen Doty from Mt. Carroll West Carroll is in the 105 lb. class this year after capturing 1st place honors in 2016 in the 90 lb. weight class. Finally, two wrestlers from Grayslake return to try and win individual titles again this year. Maurice Edwards is a 7th grader and is in the 135 lb. weight class after winning gold in the 119 lb. wt. class last year. Joseph Jens is an 8th grader who has bumped up to the 155 lb. weight class after winning 1st place at 145 last year.

Mahomet-Seymour is the all-time leading producer of individual state champions with 43. Sandwich is next at 25 followed by Coal City with 24 winners, Bloomington JHS with 23 champions, Shorewood Troy with 22 champions and New Lenox (Oster-Oakview Liberty, and Martino) at 20. They are the only schools in IESA wrestling history to have 20 or more individual champions.

The Mahomet-Seymour Bulldogs lead in team titles with 6, the last coming in 2009. Mahomet-Seymour won its other team titles in 1984-92-93-94-96. Second is the New Lenox program with 5 titles--1986, 87, 89, 2002, and 2003. Tied for third in team titles are DeKalb Huntley and Bloomington JHS with four each.

Last year's team champion was Bradley Central. The team championship appears to be a wide open race this year. Any of the sectional champions or runner-ups is likely to walk away with the team title.

The all-time record for most qualifiers by a single school is 20---Wheeling Holmes advanced 20 wrestlers to the finals in 1986 and New Lenox also advanced 20 in 2006. DeKalb Huntley is a co-op school this year and they have qualified the most wrestlers for the state tournament with 15. Cahokia Wirth and Grayslake are both sending 12 wrestlers to the tournament this year while Homer Glen Homer will be sending 11 wrestlers to the mat.

The Convocation Center is hosting the IESA State Wrestling Tournament for the 15th straight year. The NIU campus is site of the event for the 19th consecutive year.

Media wishing to cover the event must send an email from the general manager of the outlet with the names of the media attending the event to Steve Endsley at the IESA Office by 12 noon on Thursday, March 9 to request credentials. He may be reached via email at steve@iesa.org. After submitting the request, you will receive an email confirming details of receiving the credentials.

For additional information, contact Steve Endsley, 309-829-0114, steve@iesa.org.



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