State wrestling meet
Where: Assembly Hall, Champaign
When: today, 8:30 a.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.; finals 7 p.m.
Outlook: The Lake County area has 13 individuals competing in the three-day tournament, which started Thursday, with many of the top-ranked competitors in the state ready to battle for a much-coveted medal. Libertyville put together a phenomenal performance last weekend at the rugged Barrington sectional. The Wildcats will be very well represented with six wrestlers, including five juniors competing at the 2013 state meet this weekend. Junior Steve Polakowski was a sectional champion for Libertyville at 120, while junior teammate Kayne MacCallum just missed winning a sectional crown after an 11-10 overtime defeat in the finals. Warren senior Danny Hicks (170) and Lake Zurich junior Sean Lynch (152) both brought home sectional titles. Stevenson senior Justin Weber lost 4-3 to McHenry standout Wade Lardy in the 145-pound finals, but Weber is still considered a serious contender to bring home a state championship. Grant qualified for the dual team sectional by winning its own individual regional two weeks ago and 182-pound senior Tony Cashmore is a wrestler to watch for the Bulldogs downstate.
106: Grant junior Nick Koch (36-9)
120: Libertyville junior Steve Polakowski (40-4, two-time qualifier)
145: Stevenson senior Justin Weber (38-3, two-time qualifier), Libertyville senior Austin Pettinato (27-6)
152: Lake Zurich junior Sean Lynch (21-3, two-time qualifier), Mundelein senior Jake Long (31-8)
160: Libertyville junior Kayne MacCallum (40-3, two-time qualifier)
170: Warren senior Danny Hicks (37-3, two-time qualifier), Libertyville junior Austin Koziol (28-11)
182: Grant senior Tony Cashmore (29-1, two-time qualifier), Stevenson senior Ned Valtchev (28-14)
195: Libertyville junior Kevin Barbian (37-8)
285: Libertyville junior Chris McDermand (38-7)
Outlook: Carmel leads the Lake County state qualifiers with four of the 11 individuals heading to the Assembly Hall out of the very powerful Antioch sectional. Top-ranked Corsairs senior Jake Cochrane could be the second straight Daily Herald area wrestler to bring home the 285-pound Class 2A state title after Vernon Hills senior Jeremy Brazil won the 2012 state crown. Cochrane's only loss this season was to a Class 3A wrestler during the regular season. No. 2-ranked Vernon Hills junior Jordan Reich has quietly emerged as a serious title contender at 106 after rolling to the sectional crown last weekend. Wauconda senior Devin Tortorice (132) won regional and sectional championships the past two weekends and he is making his third trip to state along with archrival Mike Gussarson of Antioch. Wauconda junior Nate Magiera is also a three-time qualifier, and he was undefeated until a 4-3 loss in the sectional finals.
106: Vernon Hills junior Jordan Reich (42-5), Antioch junior Briley Schultz (32-14, two-time qualifier), Carmel sophomore Brodie Palm (24-11)
120: Carmel freshman Jake Morgan (27-6)
132: Wauconda senior Devin Tortorice (37-4, three-time qualifier), Antioch senior Mike Gussarson (36-10, three-time qualifier)
138: Grayslake Central sophomore Jon Makey (34-13)
145: Vernon Hills senior David Pierce (39-7, two-time qualifier)
160: Carmel senior Jimmy Dandino (36-14)
220: Wauconda junior Nate Magiera (33-1, three-time qualifier)
285: Carmel senior Jake Cochrane (40-1, two-time qualifier)
-- John Bumbales