High school wrestling: 2018-19 season preview capsules

Jacobs' Jake Harrier wrestles Chicago Mount Carmel's Rehan Uribe during their first-round match Feb. 15 at the IHSA Individual Wrestling State Meet in Champaign. Harrier returns for the Golden Eagles this season.
Jacobs' Jake Harrier wrestles Chicago Mount Carmel's Rehan Uribe during their first-round match Feb. 15 at the IHSA Individual Wrestling State Meet in Champaign. Harrier returns for the Golden Eagles this season.



Coach: William Petersen (third season)

Last season: 5-21

Top returners: Colin Suyko, jr., 126/132 pounds; Charlie Gruen, jr., 120; Brad Peters, jr., 160; Isaac Rands, jr., 170; Parker Suyko, 152/160; Caleb Rohrbach, sr., 138/145; Noah San Juan, sr., 126; Tyler Strege, sr., 152; Connor McCratic, sr., 160/170; Evan Hissong, sr., 195/220

Key newcomers: Ryan McNeal, sr., 285; Wade Abrams, fr., 152

Worth noting: Petersen expects Cary-Grove to have a full lineup for dual matches, and he expects his team to be much more competitive in duals than it was last season. Gruen went 22-11 last year and was a sectional qualifier, as was Parker Suyko (7-19). McNeal, a senior newcomer, is a transfer from Woodstock.

Crystal Lake Central

Coach: Justin Lehr (11th season)

Last season: 19-6, 7-1 FVC

Top returners: Caden Ernd, so., 145; Brenden Parks, jr., 152; Stephen Bushy, sr., 170; Brock Montford, sr., 182; Rocco Carone, so., 126; Andrew Hopkins, so., 126

Key newcomers: Dillon Carlson, fr., 113; DC Smith, sr., 195; Andrew Hudec, so., 220; Ramon Fuentes, jr., 285; Brayan Palomino, sr., 138; Mike Locascio, sr., 132; Julian Ryerson, so., 170; Sam Hild, sr., 120

Worth noting: For only the second time since Lehr took over at Central in 2008, the Tigers did not win a Class 2A regional title. Marian Central ended the Tigers’ streak of three consecutive regional titles in February. Crystal Lake Central has qualified for dual team state seven out of the past 10 seasons. Ernd is a returning state qualifier. Bushy and Carone reached sectionals.

Crystal Lake South

Coach: Ross Ryan (12th season)

Last season: 11-20

Top returners: Peyton Timmons, jr., 120; Christian Olsen, so., 106; Alec Natrop, sr., 220; Dom Collado, jr., 285

Key newcomers: KT Sivertsen, so., 152; Shane Moran, fr., 145

Worth noting: Ryan likes the mix of returning wrestlers and newcomers on the Gators’ roster. Olsen took fourth at 106 in Class 2A as a freshman, finishing the year 45-3. He was South’s first freshman to qualify for state. Timmons (39-5) also was a state qualifier a year ago. They became the Gators’ first state qualifiers in three years, and both have high hopes for this season, too.


Coach: Tim Hayes (fourth season)

Last season: 14-12, 4-4 FVC

Top returners: Colin Mays, sr., 145; Gabriel Scales, jr., 132; Wyatt Griggel, jr., 182; Isaac Mayer, so., 106; Ricky Zambrano, sr., 120; Jesus Medellin, sr., 138

Key newcomers: Joahan Cruz, jr., 132/138; Will Finucane, jr., 138; Amaire Jones, so., 126; Giovanni Garcia, so., 220; Luis Ramirez, jr., 285

Worth noting: Dundee-Crown has had a state medalist in six consecutive seasons. Last year, Isiah Ziegler took home a fourth-place medal at 285 in Class 3A. Ziegler, who graduated, was D-C’s only state qualifier in 2018. Hayes believes this team could compete for a regional title, which D-C hosts again this year. Scales and Mays each won 30 matches last year. Scales qualified for nationals in Fargo, North Dakota, over the summer.


Coach: Randy Mitty

Last season: 1-30, 0-8 FVC

Top returners: Christian Rivero, sr., 120; Palmer Larson, so., 126; Nathan Larson, so., 145

Worth noting: Last year’s state medalist Casey Allen (third place at 160 in Class 2A) graduated and joined his brother Wiley wrestling at Cornell College in Iowa. Rivero went 25-12 last season as a junior. The Whips will be young. Mitty said there could be as many as
12 freshmen competing for spots in the varsity lineup. Hampshire will be bumped up to
Class 3A during the postseason.


Coach: BJ Bertelsman (eighth season)

Last season: 24-5, 8-0 FVC; FVC champion; 4th place in Class 3A

Top returners: Sam Spencer, jr., 126; Andrew Lira, so., 120; Jeremy Jakowitsch, so., 132; Gannon Kosowski, sr., 145/152; David Ferrante, jr., 160; Rukkus Hunkins, jr., 170; Michael Jernigan, sr., 182; Nik Wise, sr., 220; Matt Burba, jr., 285

Key newcomers: Jake Jensen, fr., 106/113; Sam Henkle, fr., 106/113; Ryder Hunkins, fr., 145/152; Joaquin Miranda, fr., 138/145; Alex Pena, so., 138/145

Worth noting: After finishing fourth in state in Class 3A last year, the Red Raiders will be young, with possibly as many as four freshmen in the lineup. Spencer went 47-6 a year ago and took home a fifth-place medal at 113. Ferrante, who is committed to Northwestern, was a state medalist as a freshman and a state qualifier again last year, going 37-5. Kosowski (37-19) also was a state qualifier.


Coach: Gary Conrad (seventh season)

Last season: 17-6, 7-2 FVC

Top returners: Jake Harrier, jr., 132; John Ridle, sr., 126; Justin Peters, sr., 120; Ryan Golnick, so., 182/195; Dominic Tenayuca, sr., 152

Worth noting: Harrier was Jacobs’ first state medalist since 2004, taking home a fifth-place medal at 120 in Class 3A last season. Ridle and Peters each won 30 matches a year ago. Last season, Jacobs finished third in the FVC behind Huntley and Crystal Lake Central.


Coach: Jake Guardalabene (third season)

Last season: 6-16, 3-5 FVC

Top returners: Zach Seymour, so., 113; Sean Fischler, jr., 152; Nolan Wiese, sr., 195; Zach Wiese, sr., 285; Zach Krzyzak, sr., 170; Paul Zunkel, so., 160

Key newcomers: Brody Hallin, fr., 138; Logan Schultz, jr., 145; Joe Hansen, jr., 152; Vince Talkowski, so., 132; Jorge Perez, jr., 145; Toby Krzyzak, so., 182; Victor Aguilar, sr., 195

Worth noting: McHenry graduated both of its state qualifiers from last season: Jake Leske and Geoff Cagle. Leske was a fifth-place medalist at 182 in Class 3A. Guardalabene said McHenry has “a lot of youth in our lineup,” but he likes how many of his athletes wrestled throughout the offseason. Guardalabene expects a few wrestlers will make big jumps in 2018-19.

Prairie Ridge

Coach: Trey Breeden (second season of second stint, fourth overall)

Last season: 7-7, 3-5 FVC

Top returners: Trey Piotrowski, sr., 138; Drake Regenhardt, sr., 160; Tommy Evans, so., 170

Key newcomers: Kyle Koelblinger, jr., 182

Worth noting: Piotrowski, who is committed to Illinois, went 38-10 last year and finished sixth at 138 in Class 2A. Regenhardt (28-7) and

Evans (23-11) were state qualifiers. Koelblinger isn’t quite a newcomer. He went 8-1 last year in varsity matches, but he was stuck behind Evans and Nick Fetzner – who took second at state – for much of the season. Juniors Nick Mattran (285) and Josh Crandall (195) suffered injuries during football season and could be out until January.



Coach: David Schultz (third season)

Last season: 17-15, 2-4 KRC

Top returners: Uriel Herrera, sr., 113; Bryce Fiegel, so., 106; Brett Lovell, jr., 132

Key newcomers: Chase Bischke, so., 138; Luis Roman, jr., 285; Nik Jimenez, fr., 120; Nathan Rosas, fr., 182

Worth noting: For the first time in 15 years, Harvard didn’t send a wrestler to the state tournament in 2018. The Hornets hadn’t been shut out of Champaign since the 2002-03 season, according to records on IHSA.org. Herrera went 31-14 last season, while Fiegel was 28-12 as a freshman. Schultz said the Hornets are “hoping to improve as a team with one more year of experience under our belts.”


Coach: Mike Miller (second season)

Last season: 10-16, 4-2 KRC

Top returners: Brad Wizceb, so., 132; Dan Calhoun, jr., 145; Ethan Shedbalker, jr., 152; Jack Clauson, sr., 160; Justin Peake, jr., 182

Worth noting: Miller believes a number of freshmen could contribute to the starting lineup. He said Johnsburg returns “a solid core” of wrestlers who had successful individual seasons. Wizceb (26-16) was a sectional qualifier in 2018 who fell one win short of qualifying for state. Johnsburg drops into Class 1A for the postseason, which could help more Skyhawks find postseason success.


Coach: Tim Keefer (eighth season)

Last season: 15-5, 6-0 KRC; KRC champions

Top returners: Joe Resendez, jr. 120/126; Cameron Miller, sr., 152; Jake Doyle, jr., 138; Connor Ray, so., 138; Stan Dawiec, sr., 160; Aaron Shepard, sr., 152; Dan Chicoine, so., 195/220; Anthony Greco, sr., 120/126; Sebastian Palka, so. 160

Key newcomers: Ricardo Cazares, jr., 106; Michael Macias, fr., 182; Stuart Money, 152, so.; Landon Oine, so., 195; Nolan Hopper, jr., 220

Worth noting: Marengo lost nine seniors from last year’s team. Keefer is excited about the wrestlers moving up from JV. Like Cary-Grove and Richmond-Burton, the Indians had a few athletes transition into wrestling late after a deep football playoff run.


Coach: Tony Nelson (fourth season)

Last season: 8-20

Top returners: Josh Dumont, sr., 195; Chase Duncan, sr., 138; Mike Drdla, sr., 152

Key newcomers: Connor Lucas, jr., 126; Dalton Wood, jr., 160/170; Jonah Braden, so., 145; Brock Wood, fr., 160/170

Worth noting: Last year’s Class 2A third-place medalist at 182, Jaden Glauser, is not wrestling this season. Nelson thinks if the Rockets stay healthy, this could be their best dual team lineup in a number of years. Nelson said there is some “uncertainty” surrounding R-B. A few starters still are not in the lineup after the long football playoff run. Dumont and Duncan were sectional qualifiers last season.


Coach: Ches Dougherty (second season)

Top returners: Gabriel Eaton, jr., 132; Cooper Adams, so., 145; Jerred Grell, jr., 182; Israel Arellano, sr., 182

Worth noting: The Blue Streaks return a number of experienced varsity wrestlers, although they do not have any returning sectional qualifiers. Adams went 23-12 last season as a freshman. Woodstock will feature a number of freshmen in the starting lineup this season.

Woodstock North

Coach: Tim Creighton (fourth season)

Last season: 24-7; KRC runner-up

Top returners: Carter Miller, jr., 120; Isaiah Vela, so., 138; Eddie Flores, sr., 152; Sean Jaco, sr., 285

Key newcomers: Henry Goetz, fr., 145

Worth noting: North has seen steady improvement each season since Creighton took over as head coach. The Thunder might be a bit younger this season, with only three seniors listed on the varsity roster. Miller was a state qualifier last season as a sophomore. Creighton is excited about the 11 freshmen entering the Thunder program this year, including Goetz.


Marian Central

Coach: David Silva (third season)

Last season: 27-3; ESCC champions; Class 2A dual state qualifier

Top returners: Jack Harman, jr., 113; Elon Rodriguez, so., 113; Bryce Shelton, so., 126; Daniel Valeria, jr., 132; Kaden Randazzo, so., 170; Dylan Connell, so., 160; Cade Bokowy, sr., 180; Joey Fitzgerald, sr., 170; Lou Gaddy, so., 182/195; Thor Paglialong, sr., 285

Key newcomers: Josh Glover, fr., 106; Joey Pawlak, jr., 195

Worth noting: Connell (47-3) was the McHenry County area’s only state champion last year (at 152 in Class 2A). He is returning from offseason labrum surgery. Harman (28-13), Shelton (37-9) and Valeria (42-7) are returning state qualifiers. Rodriguez (35-10) and Paglialong (26-22) each fell one win short of state. Marian qualified for dual state for the first time in school history. The Hurricanes believe they have a deep enough team to return to state again.



Worth noting: The Giants will not have a wrestling team this season. Justin Strand, a returning senior wrestler, tore his ACL and MCL during football season. That left the Giants with two wrestlers, one freshman and one sophomore. Athletic director John Lalor said the school decided to shut down the program this season, with hopes of returning next year with a large class of eighth-grade wrestlers set to enter the high school.

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