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2018 IESA State Wrestling Tournament

A field of 456 wrestlers from 146 schools across the state will compete in the Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) state wrestling finals at the 39th annual Boys State Wrestling Tournament held at the Convocation Center on the campus of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois March 9-10.

There will be a total of 703 bouts over the two days with competition in 19 weight classes. It is the 13th time in IESA history that the state final wrestling field includes 100 or more schools. Last year, 135 schools advanced at least one wrestler to the big stage. Breakdown of the competitors by year in school is: 14 fifth graders, 53 sixth graders, 105 seventh graders and 284 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 2018 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=2018

This year's Grand Marshals are: Earl Brooks, the long-time coach in the Valley View school district at Romeoville Lukancic and Romeoville Martinez; Steve DeNeut, the highly successful coach for the New Lenox wrestling program; and Paul Vittone, a dedicated coach and official from DeKalb who just retired from officiating after 30 years. Vittone officiated the IESA state finals in 2010 and 2011.

There are six state champions returning from a season ago, all possessing the drive to recapture last year's magic. Ethan Spacht, a 7th grader from Bradley Central, won the 65 lb. weight class in 2016 as a 5th grade; he won the 65 lb. class last year as a 6th grader and will be looking to win the 75 lb. class this year as a 7th grader. Should he accomplish that feat, he will be looking to become only the second wrestler to win 4 state titles in 2019 when he will be competing as an 8th grader. Last year's 70 lb. champion, Carson Nishida, an 8th grader from Bloomington JHS, has moved to the 85 lb. class this year. Keegan Roberson won the 90 lb. weight class as a 7th grader last year while wrestling for Homer Glen Homer is returning this year as an 8th grader wrestling in the 112 lb. weight class. Keifer Duncan from Mattoon is in the 119 lb. class this year after capturing 1st place honors in 2017 in the 95 lb. weight class. Kyler Klapprodt captured 1st place last year as a 7th grader in the 119 lb. class and has moved to the 135 lb. weight class this year where he hopes to take home the 1st place medal as an 8th grader. Finally, Maurice Edwards from Grayslake returns to try and win his third individual title. He will be competing in the 155 lb. class this year. Last year as a 7th grader, Edwards won the 135 lb. weight class after winning gold in the 119 lb. weight class in 2016.

Mahomet-Seymour is the all-time leading producer of individual state champions with 43. Sandwich is next at 25 followed by Coal City and Bloomington each with 24 winners. Shorewood Troy is next with 22 champions and New Lenox (Oster-Oakview Liberty, and Martino) and DeKalb Huntley each have had 20 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 DeKalb Huntley. The team championship will probably be a battle between the four schools who have qualified the most individuals for the state finals. Any of the sectional champions could very easily wrestle their way to the team title.

The all-time record for most qualifiers in a single year by a single school is 20---Wheeling Holmes advanced 20 wrestlers to the finals in 1986 and New Lenox also advanced 20 in 2006. Homer Glen Homer qualified the most wrestlers for the state tournament this year with 18. DeKalb Huntley and Grayslake have each qualified 11 wrestlers and Coal City will make a strong showing with their 10 individuals who have qualified for this year's finals.

The Convocation Center is hosting the IESA State Wrestling Tournament for the 16th consecutive year. The NIU campus is site of the event for the 20th consecutive year.



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