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Wrestlers start on postseason paths

Glenbard West, Wheaton North at Glenbard East regional, Wheaton Warrenville South starts postseason at Waubonsie

Published: Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014 10:17 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014 5:22 p.m. CDT
Glenbard South's Younis Dahner (bottom) wrestles at 113 pounds in a dual against Morton earlier this season. The Raiders have a tough regional draw with Montini and Fenwick in the field. Bill Ackerman - backerman@shawmedia.com

After weeks of tracking and cutting weight and months of drilling in practice, high school wrestlers are set to embark on the road to the state finals. This weekend's regional tournaments signal the start of the individual state series, which culminates with the state tournament Feb. 20 to 22 at the State Farm Center in Champaign.

Glenbard South

Class: 2A

Regional: Elmwood Park

Sectional: Lakes

Outlook: Glenbard South is in a regional with powerhouse Montini. Other teams competing will include fellow MSC foe Fenton along with Fenwick and St. Patrick.

"Class 2A has been a much better class for us, but we always get a tough road," Glenbard South coach Derrick Crenshaw said. "There are good kids on most of the teams coming to our regional."

The Raiders' best chances for individual advancement lie with the trio of William Collins (18-5 record at 145 pounds), Mike Scholl (21-6 at 170) and Zak Georgitsis (23-5 at 220).

Glenbard West

Class: 3A

Regional: Glenbard East

Sectional: Leyden

Outlook: With a dual meet record of 18-6, which includes a 3-2 mark in the West Suburban Silver, the Hilltoppers have put together a strong campaign. The squad has plenty of individuals capable of advancing in the state series, though the Glenbard East regional will provide a stiff test.

"The regional is challenging this year," Glenbard West coach Nick Posegay said. "With No. 1 ranked Oak Park in the mix, it will make it tougher to secure one of the three sectional-qualifying spots at each weight class. Glenbard East, Addison Trail and Wheaton North are all having great years. There really isn't a weak program in the tournament, so we'll all be tested."

Pernevlon Sheppard (138 pounds) and Collin Knowlton (170) top the squad with 27 wins apiece, while Paul Selman (132), Andrew Posegay (145),Nik Hollensbe (182), Charles Faber (106) and Adam Samuta (120) have also reached the 20-win plateau. Nate Orrison (195) and Jordan Hassan (220) are also major contributors.

West Chicago

Class: 3A

Regional: South Elgin

Sectional: Leyden

Outlook: The Wildcats will encounter a familiar foe in Glenbard North at the South Elgin regional, with the Panthers the favorite to capture the team crown.

Wheaton North

Class: 3A

Regional: Glenbard East

Sectional: Leyden

Outlook: The Falcons have put together an outstanding season under first-year head coach Travis Cherry, with a dual meet record of 21-3. But the squad will have their hands full in a regional that includes top-ranked Oak Park, Addison Trail, Glenbard West and the host Rams.

"It will be a very difficult tournament," Cherry said, "and this tournament will test our character and our training. I am very excited."

Wheaton North has a lot of individuals who will be vying for a berth in the sectional, including Jacob Bretz (120 pounds), Dylan Thurston (126) and Anthony Yanan (220).

Wheaton Warrenville South

Class: 3A

Regional: Waubonsie Valley

Sectional: Hinsdale Central

Outlook: The Tigers have had a solid winter, and next up is a challenging Waubonsie Valley regional which includes fellow DuPage Valley Conference foes Naperville Central, Naperville North and West Aurora, as well as state-ranked Marmion.

"The regional is extremely tough," WWS coach Matt Janosek said. "Lots of very solid teams with some very good individuals."

Leading the Tigers' charge is Qarin Johnnic, who is 33-3 at 138 pounds Other with shots to advance to the sectional include Andrew Ives (30-6 at 145 and 152), Austin Lingle (25-10 at 145 and 152), Ben Flores (22-15 at 126 and 132) and George Beck (15-7 at 220).

St. Francis

Class: 2A

Regional: Elmwood Park

Sectional: Lakes

Outlook: The Spartans are one of nine teams competing at the Elmwood Park regional, which features six-time defending state champion Montini.

"We have a tough regional," St. Francis coach Jesse Pierce said. "But our guys have been working extremely hard to prepare, and I think we have a few that could have a good day."

Individually, Mike Andelbradt and Cole Cunningham have matching records of 24-2 in their respective 220- and 285-pound weight classes. Thomas Brundage is a combined 26-6 at 145 and 152.

Wheaton Academy

Class: 1A

Regional: Alden-Hebron

Sectional: Byron

Outlook: The Warriors will hit the road for the Alden-Hebron regional, which also features fellow Suburban Christian Conference foe Aurora Central Catholic. Rockford Lutheran could be the favorite for the team championship.

The team's top wrestler is Alex Budzisz, who is 31-3 on the winter with 24 pins at 152 pounds. He placed first at both the Glenbard South and Rockford East invites and was the runner-up at the Plano Reaper Classic. Others who could make a run at a sectional berth include Levi Severson (132), Aidan Naylor (160), Josh Dutton (195) and Chris Williams (220).

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