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2019 IESA State Wrestling Tournament

A field of 608 wrestlers from 156 schools across the state will compete in the Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) state wrestling finals at the 40th annual Boys State Wrestling Tournament held at the Convocation Center on the campus of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois March 8-9.

After 39 years of a one class system, 2019 marks the first year of a 2 class system which is based on a school’s 7-8 enrollment. There were 180 schools that entered the 2019 state series and half the schools were assigned to Class A and half were assigned to Class AA. Those schools with a 7-8 enrollment of 401 and lower are in Class A and those schools with a 7-8 enrollment of 402 and higher are in Class AA.

The first round and quarterfinal bouts in the championship bracket will be conducted Friday. Doors open for the public at 10:30 a.m. Friday and the action is set to begin at 11:30 a.m. There will be eight mats in use. All wrestlers will wrestle two matches on Friday and wrestling should conclude about 7:00 p.m. On Saturday, the doors open at 8:00 a.m. 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 for both classes will be conducted simultaneously on four 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 fans 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 2019 Grand Marshals and the sectional place winners by site. Results from the state tournament will be posted continuously throughout the weekend. A listing of individual qualifiers by school is available at the following link:

https://www.iesa.org/activities/bwr/rosters_State.asp?Year=2019

This year's Grand Marshals are Tom Unruh the long-time coach at Erie Middle School and Jim Troemel, the highly successful coach for the Lake Forest Deer Path wrestling program. Read more about the Grand Marshals at this link:

https://www.iesa.org/activities/bwr/2019/marshals.asp

There are four state champions returning from a season ago, all possessing the drive to recapture last year's magic and all will be competing in Class AA. Ethan Spacht, an 8th grader from Bradley Central, will be trying to become just the second wrestler in the history of the IESA to win four individual titles. He won the 65 lb. weight class in 2016 as a 5th grade; he won the 65 lb. class again in 2017 as a 6th grader; he took home first place honors in the 75 lb. class last year as a 7th grader; and this year will be competing in the 80 lb. class. The only other four-time winner was Paul Keane of Peotone. Last year's 65 lb. champion was a 7th grader, Nathan Knowlton from New Lenox Liberty. This year as an 8th grader, he moves up to the 75 lb. class and will be looking for his second individual title. Korbin Bateman, won the 70 lb. weight class as a 6th grader last year while wrestling for Mattoon, is returning this year as a 7th grader wrestling in the 85 lb. weight class. Finally, Kaden Klapprodt a 6th grader from DeKalb Huntley, returns to try and win his second individual title. He will be competing in the 90 lb. class this year. Last year as a 5th grader, Klapprodt won the 80 lb. weight class.

Under the old one class system, Mahomet-Seymour is the all-time leading producer of individual state champions with 43. Bloomington is next with 26 individual champions with Sandwich next at 25. Coal City has had 24 winners. DeKalb Huntley and Shorewood Troy are is next with 22 champions while New Lenox (Oster-Oakview Liberty, and Martino) has had 21 individual champions. 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 and DeKalb Huntley also with five team titles---1991, 1998, 2001, 2004, and 2017. In fourth place is Bloomington JHS with four team titles.

Last year's team champion was Homer Glen Homer. This year, there will be two team champions---one each in Class A and Class AA.

The all-time record for most qualifiers in a single year by one school is 20---Wheeling Holmes advanced 20 wrestlers to the finals in 1986 and New Lenox also advanced 20 in 2006. This year in Class A, Coal City leads the way with 15 individual qualifiers while in Class AA, DeKalb Huntley has qualified the most individuals with 14.

The Convocation Center is hosting the IESA State Wrestling Tournament for the 17th consecutive year. The NIU campus is site of the event for the 21st consecutive year.



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