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2020 IESA State Wrestling Tournament

A field of 608 wrestlers from 157 schools across the state will compete in the Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) state wrestling finals at the 41st annual Boys State Wrestling Tournament held at the Convocation Center on the campus of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois March 13-14.

This year marks the second year of a 2 class system which is based on a school’s 7-8 enrollment. There were 189 schools that entered the 2020 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 395 and lower are in Class A and those schools with a 7-8 enrollment of 396 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 10:00 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 admission doors open at 8:00 a.m. for the public 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 5:15 p.m. Championship bouts for both classes will be conducted simultaneously on four mats. A complete time schedule is located at this link:

https://www.iesa.org/activities/bwr/IESA-BWR_Schedule.pdf

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 2020 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=2020

This year's Grand Marshals are Bob Bell from Lake Zurich, the long-time IHSA licensed official who was dedicated to the junior high schools in his area; Tim Gipe from Sandwich who has been instrumental in running wrestling tournaments in his area; and Steve Porter retired coach from Marseilles Grade School. Read more about the Grand Marshals at this link:

https://www.iesa.org/activities/bwr/2020/marshals.asp

There are 10 state champions (four in Class A and six in Class AA) returning from a season ago, all possessing the drive to recapture last year's magic and looking to repeat as champions in 2020. In Class A, Brody Widlowski, a 6th grader from Coal City will be looking to take home the 70 lb title this year. Last year as a 5th grade, Widlowski was the 65 lb. champion. Bradley Ruckman a 7th grader from Roxana has moved to the 75 lb. weight class after capturing first place honors a year ago in the 70 lb. class. Joey Ruzic an 8th grader who attends Auburn JHS will be wrestling in the 90 lb. weight class. Last year as a 7th grader, Ruzic took home 1st place in the 80 lb. class. The last returning champion in Class A is Landon Dooley, an 8th grader from Wilmington. Dooley will be participating in the 100 lb. class this year. In 2019, Dooley finished first at 90 lbs. In Class AA, Ivan Munoz an 8th grader from Ottawa Shepherd moves up three weight classes from last year and will try and take home first place in the 80 lb. weight class after capturing first place last year as a 7th grader in the 65 lb. class. Gauge Shipp, an 8th grader from Galesburg Churchill, will be wrestling gin the 105 lb. weight class. Last year, Shipp was the individual champion at 90 lbs. Peyton Cox, a 7th grader from Mahomet-Seymour is entered in the 112 lb. class this year. As a 6th grader, Cox was the 95 lb. champion. Jack McGowean took home 1st place in 2019 as a 7th grader in the 105 lb. class and returns this year in the 119 lb. class. Aidan Blackburn, an 8th grader from Mattoon will be wrestling in the 145 lb. class this year after winning 1st place in 2019 at 135 lbs. Finally, Jramuel Holman and 8th grader from Cahokia Wirth will be looking to claim the 155 lb. individual title for the second consecutive year. Last year as a 7th grader he won the 155 lb. crown.

Mahomet-Seymour is the all-time leading producer of individual state champions with 44. Bloomington is next with 26 individual champions with Sandwich and Coal City have each had 25 individual champions. DeKalb Huntley and Shorewood Troy are 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 in Class A was Coal City and the Class AA team winner was Homer Glen Homer.

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 18th consecutive year. The NIU campus is site of the event for the 22nd consecutive year.

NOTE TO MEDIA: Media wishing to cover the event must send an email from the general manager of the outlet with the name of the person attending the event to Steve Endsley at the IESA Office by 12 noon on Thursday, March 12 to request credentials. Due to space limitations, one media pass per outlet is allowed. 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.



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