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124 Schools Have Qualifiers at 2012 IESA State Wrestling Tournament

A field of 456 wrestlers from 124 of the 139 schools that entered the Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) state wrestling series will compete this weekend in the 33rd 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 124 schools with at least one wrestler advancing to the State Tournament represents 89 percent of the total number of schools that entered the state series. It is the seventh 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 and last year 113 schools had at least one wrestler in the finals.

Breakdown of the competitors by grade in school is: 10 fifth graders, 46 sixth graders, 101 seventh graders and 299 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 www.iesa.org for additional information regarding complete pairings by weight class, team rosters, the 2012 Grand Marshals and the sectional place winners by site. Results from the state tournament will be posted continuously throughout the weekend.

Grand Marshals are Steve Lee, principal at Prospect Heights MacArthur, former wrestling coach at Round Lake, and a former member of the IESA Board of Directors; and Roger Taylor of Cary who was the long-time junior high wrestling coach at Lake Zurich.

There are just two returning champions this year and both have a chance to make IESA wrestling history should they finish the weekend as their respective weight class champion. Nick Tankersley of Monticello won the 65 lb. as a sixth grader in 2010 and repeated as champion in the same weight class in 2011. He has moved to the 70 lb. class this year and will be tough to beat this weekend. Darvell Flagg captured the championship at the 70 lb. weight class in 2010 and won the 80 lb. weight class in 2011. He returns this year as the odds on favorite to win the 95 lb. class. If Tankersley and Flagg each win, they will join an elite group of IESA wrestlers who have won three individual weight class championships. In the 33 year history of the IESA, only four other individuals have ever won three individual championships. Those four individuals are Kirk Bedinger, Channahon; Ed Michniewicz, Fox Lake Stanton; Erik Murry, New Lenox Oster-Oakview; and Seth Heim, Rock Falls.

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 19, Shorewood Troy 19, Fox Lake Stanton 18, DeKalb Huntley 17, and Channahon 15, are next in order.

Glen Ellyn Hadley qualified the most wrestlers for the state tournament with 14. 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 Clinton Rosette and Homer Glen Homer have each qualified 13 wrestlers for the finals while Deerfield Caruso has qualified 11 wrestlers for the finals this year.

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.

While Glen Ellyn Hadley with its 14 individual qualifiers will certainly be a contender for the team title this year, DeKalb Clinton Rosette may be the team to beat. They won last year's team title with 160 points and were also team champions in 2006. Homer Glen Homer will also be looking to make some noise for the team title. The Mustangs finished 2nd in 2010 and took home 4th place honors in 2008.

The Convocation Center is hosting the IESA State Wrestling Tournament for the ninth straight year. The NIU campus is site of the event for the 13th straight year.



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