The 10th annual Elgin-Bartlett Remembrance Wrestling Meet will be held Friday at Elgin's Chesbrough Field House at 7 p.m.
The Upstate Eight Conference dual meet is held in remembrance of former Elgin wrestlers Jeff Mirabella and Devon Cotie, along with former Elgin teachers and coaches Gary Everett and Irv Johnston. Coach Johnston passed away last winter and this year, Elgin will be dedicating its new varsity mat in his name.
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Johnston was a standout athlete in both football and wrestling. He graduated from Elgin High School in 1959 and received all-area, all-state, and all-American honors in both sports. He attended Southern Illinois University where he again received national honors in both wrestling and football. He is an inductee to the Elgin Sports Hall of Fame.
Johnston was a longtime wrestling coach at Elgin and four of his past wrestlers became the head varsity wrestling coach at Elgin High, including Tom Rauschenberger, Mark Hattendorf, Steve Salisbury and current head coach Tom Stewart. Another of Johnston's wrestlers, Randy Swinford, was inducted into the Illinois Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame after many years of service at Princeton High School. Bob Sisler, another of Johnston's products, is a renowned coach and athletic director outside the state.
Mirabella, an Elgin Sports Hall of Fame inductee, won the Class AA 98-pound state title in 1988, the 112-pound title in 1989, and the 119-pound title in 1990. Mirabella graduated Elgin in 1990 with a 154-5 varsity record. He wrestled in college at Northwestern and after graduating, coached at Bartlett High School before entering the Navy. He was killed in an auto accident in Florida in 2000.
Devon Cotie wrestled at Elgin from 1993-1996. He was the son of Gary Cotie, the former head coach at Bartlett High School. Devon Cotie was killed in a truck accident in southern Illinois in 1998.
Everett coached football, wrestling and track at Elgin High from 1980-1994. He passed away in 1996. Every year, EHS gives out a scholarship in his memory. Everett is also an inductee of the Illinois Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
The match on Friday will consist of dedicating the new varsity mat in Johnston's name, and the recognition of past coaches and wrestlers who passed before their time.
Past coaches and wrestlers from both schools are encouraged to attend the meet and be recognized as part of the alumni portion of the evening.