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113 Schools Have Qualifiers at 2011 IESA State Wrestling Tournament

A field of 456 wrestlers from 113 of the 135 schools that entered the Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) state wrestling series will compete this weekend in the 32nd 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 113 schools with at least one wrestler advancing to the State Tournament represents 84 percent of the total number of schools that entered the state series. It is the sixth 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. In 2009, 105 schools were represented. In 2010, 107 schools were represented.

Breakdown of the competitors by grade in school is: 10 fifth graders, 54 sixth graders, 104 seventh graders and 288 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 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.

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 for additional information regarding complete pairings by weight class, team rosters, the 2011 Grand Marshals and the sectional place winners by site. Results from the state tournament will be posted continuously throughout the weekend.

Grand Marshals are Tom Norquist, former coach at Niles Gemini; and Renny Garshelis of Charleston, veteran wrestling official who worked the very first IESA finals in 1980 when they were held on the campus of Eastern Illinois University.

Six individual champions from last year return. Nick Tankersley of Monticello won as a sixth grader in 2010 at 65 pounds and comes into the state tournament as the odds on favorite to repeat at the same weight class. Two wrestlers from Shorewood Troy have a chance to repeat as champions---Darvell Flagg captured a championship last year at the 70 lb. weight class and returns this year as the favorite in the 80 lb. class. Cody Grosse was last year's 75 lb. champion and has bumped up to the 90 lb. weight class this year. Brandon Peshek of Johnsburg was last year's 80 lb. champion and will try and repeat this year in the 95 lb. class. Isaac Anderson of Sterling Challand took home first place honors in the 100 lb. class in 2010 and hopes to duplicate the feat this year at 112 lbs. Tristen Finch of Joy Mercer County will wrestle at 126 lbs. this year after capturing the 112 lb. crown last year.

Mahomet-Seymour is the all-time leading producer of individual state champions with 42. Sandwich is next at 25 followed by Bloomington JHS at 23 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. Coal City 18, Fox Lake Stanton 18, DeKalb Huntley 17, Shorewood Troy 17, and Channahon 15, are next in order. Troy won three individual titles in 2010---Flagg, Grosse, and Jayvin Bandy at 135 lbs.

Mahomet-Seymour also leads in team titles with 6, the last coming in 2009 with 152 points. 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.

Bloomington JHS has been the team to beat in recent years. The Knights won their 4th team championship last year with 167 points. It was their 4th championship in the past six years. After finishing second in 2002 and 2004, Bloomington JHS won in 2005 with 182.5 points, in 2007 with 225.5 points and in 2008 with 197 points.

Homer Glen Homer qualified the most wrestlers for the state tournament with 19. 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.

O'Fallon Carriel and DeKalb Clinton Rosette have each qualified 12 wrestlers for the finals. Joy Mercer County will be sending 10 wrestlers to the finals.

The Convocation Center is hosting the IESA State Wrestling Tournament for the eighth straight year. The NIU campus is site of the event for the 12th straight year.

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