NORTH SUBURBAN CONFERENCE
Coach: Dan Strickler (21st season)
Last year's record: fourth in NSC
Top graduated seniors: Jerry Nigro, Gresh Henderson (Harper College), Nick Tuthill, Imran Peters, Tyler Busse
Top returning competitors: seniors Sean Lynch (152, two-time state qualifier, NSC champ), Brandon Arteaga (145, NSC champ), Alex Zurawski (195, NSC champ); juniors Josh Spiwak (120), Ethan Honegger (132)
Key newcomers: seniors Tommy Fales (126), Mike Penny (220); juniors Ishmael Johnson (160), Max Brummel (138), Tommy Clancy (160); sophomores Travis Nix (106), Drew Witt (113), Spencer Close (285), John Strojny (182)
Outlook: With their football team reaching the Class 7A state football title game last weekend, the Bears are starting to get used to starting off the season without their full lineup intact. But once Lake Zurich does have a relatively full roster to work with, expect the Bears to make another big push for one of the top five places in the NSC with Lynch aiming for a third trip to the Class 3A state meet.
Coach: Dale Eggert (27th season)
Last year's record: 20-1 overall, first in NSC, Lake Division champions, second in regionals
Top graduated seniors: Austin Pettinato (state qualifier, Harper College), Sal Ayala, Joey Nield
Top returning competitors: seniors Steve Polakowski (120, two-time state qualifier, two-time NSC champ), Kayne MacCallum (170, two-time state qualifier, NSC champ), Austin Koziol (182, state qualifier), Kevin Barbian (220, state qualifier), Chris McDermand (285, state qualifier, NSC champ), Tyler Brooks (138), Nick Andrews (145), Colton Bast (160), Tim Grote (195); juniors Mark Dunsing (195, sectional qualifier), Joey Gunther (152), Dan Schilling (120); sophomore Joey Locascio (106)
Key newcomers: junior Sal Potts (152); sophomore Will Johnson (132); freshmen Pat Potts (106), Jack Dementi (132)
Outlook: The Wildcats should be very strong in the upper weights again this season and they have the luxury of marching out five senior state qualifiers for every meet. Libertyville should be the team to beat in the NSC this winter based on its experience and past results. But the Wildcats will probably be facing another tough challenge from long-time arch rival Grant when the conference meet and post-season rolls around in February. Eggert was only 10 wins short of an impressive 500th career victory milestone heading into the season.
Coach: Vince Jiuditta (second season)
Last year's record: eighth in NSC
Top graduated seniors: Jake Long (state qualifier), Javier Dominguez
Top returning competitors: seniors Ray Ceniceros (106), Sam Riportella (138), Matt Hutchison (145), Joey Laurie (152), Al Mota (160), Estaban Guzman (195); sophomores Alec Riportella (113), Cesar Obispo (220)
Key newcomers: seniors Jonathan Avila (126), Logan Strandemo (170), Brandon Olayo (182), Jose Jimenez (285); junior William Hernandez (120); sophomore Antonio Argomaniz (132)
Outlook: The Mustangs did lose a key senior in state qualifier Jake Long to graduation. But overall, Mundelein should have much more depth and experience to fall back on this season as it returns six seniors with varsity experience. It's still going to be a challenging road for the Mustangs in the powerful Lake Division, but they hope to move up the standings with some key newcomers inserted into the lineup.
Coach: Shane Cook (eighth season)
Last year's record: sixth in NSC
Top graduated seniors: Justin Weber (third in Class 3A, University of Wisconsin), Ned Valtchev (state qualifier), Ian Burns, Cole Neuman, Paul Marcson
Top returning competitors: seniors Corey Edidin (220), Seth Harris (195/220), Ryan Mass (160), Ben Korol (138); sophomore Evan Rodriguez (120)
Key newcomers: seniors J.J. Aquino (182/195), Jeremy Nilsen (126), Russell Thomashow (132); juniors Tyler Harrington (170, transfer from Nebraska), Juwon Anderson (160, transfer from Round Lake), Connor Brady (145), Zach Horwitz (160); sophomores Alec Nolan (106), Ethan Gunnlaugsson (120), Zach Mappa (182), Nick Grujanac (285); freshmen Eric Carter (106/113),Robert Pavolics (152), Ben Ponto (138)
Outlook: The Patriots' squad will really miss the presence of team leader Justin Weber, who is now a freshman wrestling at Wisconsin. But Stevenson is still hoping to be competitive in the always tough NSC and the Pats are hoping to qualify as many wrestlers to the IHSA state tournament as possible this winter.
Coach: Jim Ouimette (fourth season)
Last year's record: third in NSC
Top graduated seniors: Danny Hicks (two-time state qualifier, University of Illinois), Craig Mason (UW-Oshkosh), Martin Martinez, Blake Howard, Mikey Malles, T.J. Kuhn, Jeremy Andrews, Andrew Johnson, Connor Johnson
Top returning competitors: seniors Israel Santiago (145, 2011 state qualifier), Sawyer McCaffery (285), Emery Parker (160), Eric Shurson (170), Quinn Nonnemacher (152); sophomore Zach Khoury (195)
Key newcomers: senior Juan Toledo (132), juniors Rakheem Chapman (182), Bryan Nolan (220), Charlie Nudelman (113), Jakob Martinez (126), Logan Zybinski (138), Brian Shanders (145), Nick Villareal (195); sophomore Chris Pressberg (106)
Outlook: After a very solid third-place finish in the NSC last season, the Blue Devils are facing much more of a rebuilding situation this winter without many of their key wrestlers coming back. Warren should still be very competitive as the new campaign unfolds, but it will be a learning experience for many of its new faces that have been injected into the varsity lineup.
Coach: Wilbur Borrero (10th season)
Last year's record: fourth in Class 2A, ninth in NSC
Top graduated seniors: Mike Gussarson (fifth in Class 2A at 132, three-time state qualifier, two-time NSC champ), Johnny Denikas, Grant Smith, Shannon Mahar, Mark Lyman, Austin Ellis
Top returning competitors: seniors Briley Schultz (106/113, two-time state qualifier), Zac Keller (170/182), Kyle Nichols (285); juniors Ken Strohmen (152/160), Julio Ramirez (195), Austin Prinn (145/152), Justin Miller (160/170); sophomores Nathan Dlugoposki (120/126), Jake Gross (106/113)
Key newcomers: seniors Isaac Reyes (170/182), Matt Birkman (145/152); junior Bradley Green (120/126); sophomore James Tiernen (126/132); freshmen Pat Schoenfelder (132/138, IESA state champ), George Bessette (220, two-time IKWF state champ)
Outlook: After reaching the Elite Eight team tournament for the third time in four seasons last winter, the Sequoits are hoping to maintain their high expectations despite losing three-time state qualifier Mike Gussarson to graduation. Antioch still has some strong leaders returning to fall back on, including two-time state qualifier Schultz. But it will need to develop some depth throughout the lineup in order to make a push for yet another trip downstate as a team. There are still some question marks in the lineup for Borrero to sort out before the post-season eventually rolls around
Coach: Ryan Geist (15th season)
Last year's record: 25-2 overall, Elite Eight team qualifier, regional champions, Prairie Division champions, second in NSC
Top graduated seniors: Tony Cashmore (fourth in Class 3A, two-time state qualifier), Dan Haeffele (2012 state qualifier), Jared Lalanda (NSC champ), Nick Fanella, Ryan Flores
Top returning competitors: seniors Nick Koch (113, sixth in Class 3A at 106), Troy Parent (126, sectional qualifier), Steve Herrington (195); juniors Gage Datlovsky (120, sectional qualifier), Noah Drabek (132, NSC champ, sectional qualifier), Mike Kouvelis (152, sectional qualifier)
Key newcomers: seniors Brian Treacy (160), Andy Priedis (182), Sam Isidro (220), Jeff Braunsdorf (285); juniors Cristian Coronado (138), Quinn Wilson (170); sophomores Christian Kanzler (106, third place in IESA in 2012), Kobe Lear (145)
Outlook: After winning the regional last season in a good battle with rival squad Libertyville and reaching the Elite Eight team tournament, the Bulldogs once again have some pretty high hopes heading into the 2013-14 campaign. Koch is looking to break 100 career wins this season while Geist is only 12 wins shy of his 300th career coaching victory heading into this season.
Coach: Mark Stave (second season)
Last year's record: 10-8 overall, seventh in NSC
Top graduated seniors: David Gregory (2012 state qualifier)
Top returning competitors: seniors Kavan Mulloy (152), Dakota Larson (160); juniors Levi Smith (126), Sam Callahan (132); sophomore Jared Smith (170)
Key newcomers: sophomore Ryan Relucio (145)
Outlook: The Eagles are hoping to put together another winning season while aiming to compete for the NSC Prairie Division championship with perennial power Grant. Lakes has a solid nucleus of good young wrestlers at the middle weights to help bolster its scoring in key dual meets, but it will need to show some depth to beat many of the top squads.
Coach: Mike Hruska (fifth season)
Last year's record: 16-12 overall, second in Prairie Division (5-1), 12th in NSC
Top graduated seniors: Vidal Arteaga, Mike Casavant, Zack Williamson
Top returning competitors: seniors Nick Moore (145), Juan Mena (160), Ryan McCord (220), Thomas Magallon (285), Chris Washington (170/182), Tomas Rangel (285); juniors Dan Arteaga (120/126), Joey Greenhill (182/195), Danny Hernandez (126/132); sophomores Juan Arteaga (106), Sergei Wawrzyniak (120), Dimitri Zityk (152)
Key newcomers: senior Ivan Trevino (160/170); junior Ivan Guerrero (132); sophomore Henry Cabrera (138); freshman Noah Castillo (113)
Outlook: The Panthers proved they were a very good dual meet team when they placed second to perennial power Grant last season in the very competitive Prairie Division. Now, Round Lake is hoping to improve its standing in the bigger tournaments and in Class 3A postseason competition.
Coach: Jerry Micelli (14th season)
Last year's record: 10th in NSC
Top graduated seniors: David Pierce (two-time state qualifier), Ben Turley, Jake Hallendorf, Zach Eckstrom, Izzy Montolongo, Ben Rappaport, Javier Castillo
Top returning competitors: seniors Jordan Reich (120/126, third in Class 2A, NSC champ), Felipe Vasquez (138); juniors Joe Blistein (285, state qualifier), Peter Vanderbloomer (132), Jack Manning (195); sophomore Max Rickard (120)
Key newcomers: junior Jake Stenson (170); sophomore Ken Dantes (113); freshman Andrew Smith (160)
Outlook: The Cougars were really hit hard by losses to graduation, but they do have elite senior Jordan Reich back to help lead the squad along with fellow 2013 state qualifier Joe Blistein. Vernon Hills will have some holes to fill in its relatively young lineup this season as junior Brae Cruz transferred to Mundelein. Reich will take his best shot at winning an individual state championship next February in Champaign.
Coach: Tom Nance (30th season)
Last year's record: 13-8 overall, 11th in NSC
Top graduated seniors: Devin Tortorice (third in Class 2A, three-time state qualifier), Bruce Pearl (2011 state qualifier), Owen Wolfe, Tyler Holt, Dave Lowe
Top returning competitors: seniors Nate Magiera (220, fifth in Class 2A, three-time state qualifier, NSC champ), Alex Schwickrath (182/195, two-time sectional qualifier), Josh Conour (182/195, two-time sectional qualifier), Max Mattlaino (285, 2012 sectional qualifier), Ross Theel (170), Filberto Diaz (195/220), Connor Ford (138/145), Matt Tometich (170), Dean Schroepfer (132), Matt Kaminsky (145), Colin Christoph (170); juniors Steve Ciolek (160), Quinn Murphy (138/145), Miguel Vargas (138/145), Tom Stolt (182/195); sophomore Jake Conour (195/220)
Key newcomers: sophomores Cameron Nave (106), Alan Ruano (106), Jim Barton (120/126), Nick Rich (126), Erick Tabaka (126), Yael Garcia (126), Paul Stanek (145), Allan Bastea (152), Mike Darnell (220); freshmen Justin Mitchell (106), Mitchell Bastea (106), Jose Munoz (113), Carlos Hernandez (113), Tyler Husko (126), Nick Shomer (126), Dahyron Valenzuela (126), Oved Castenada (132), Saul Argomaniz (132), Robert Aviles (145), Orlando Hernandez (145), Adryan McQuinn (152/160), Tyler Stankiewicz (152/160), Zach Lopez (170/182), Mike Turzynski (195), T.J. Keeton (285)
Outlook: The Bulldogs lost a three-time state qualifier in elite wrestler Tortorice to graduation. But they do have another three-time state qualifier back in key senior Nate Magiera ready to lead their squad. Wauconda hopes to improve on its 3-3 record in the Prairie Division last season, but it will face some tough competition again from teams like division favorite Grant, Round Lake, and Antioch.
FOX VALLEY CONFERENCE
Coach: Dan Catanzaro (fifth season)
Last year's record: 14-13 overall, third in FVC Fox Division
Top graduated seniors: Sid Carbone (Harper College), Cam Hosimer, Connor Miller, Joe Slusser, Glen Stearns
Top returning competitors: seniors Ben Celeslie (220, sectional qualifier), Kurt Radke (113), Zak Molitor (132), Matt Morrissey (138); juniors Jonathan Makey (145, state qualifier), Shivam Chokshi (170), David Thiel (182); sophomore Larry Augustin (132)
Key newcomers: seniors Jeff Morrow (120, two-time state alternate in Class 3A at Elgin), Jake Sawusch (160); junior Billy Barrett (195); sophomores Kyle Anderson (106), Joey Tarnowski (126)
Outlook: With 14 wrestlers returning with starting experience, the Rams are poised to put together another strong season in the FVC. Grayslake Central has a solid young leader in 2013 state qualifier Jonathan Makey to help set the tone as the Rams will try to be even more competitive this winter in both their conference and regional meets.
Coach: Ryan West (third season)
Last year's record: second in FVC Fox Division (5-1)
Top graduated seniors: Stone Dax (2011 state qualifier), Luke Pritchett, Efrain Rodriguez, Richard Thomsen
Top returning competitors: seniors Zac Juron (152), Colton Deatherage (132/138); juniors Alex Sanchez (120/126), Cody Sawyer (170); sophomore Jake Wright (126/132)
Key newcomers: seniors Eric Brillion (113), Yazan Awaisi (220); junior Austin Cloe (145); sophomore Diego Rodriguez (160); freshmen Chase Deatherage (106), Mitchell Klein (113/120)
Outlook: With only three seniors in the starting lineup, the Knights are probably going to be facing a much tougher road this season in the rugged FVC. Coach West points to Crystal Lake Central as the team to beat in the FVC with rival school Grayslake Central expected to pose a much greater challenge this season for Grayslake North.
EAST SUBURBAN CATHOLIC CONFERENCE
Coach: Bob Kuykendall (sixth season)
Last year's record: 13-8 overall, fourth in ESCC
Top graduated seniors: Jake Cochrane (two-time state place winner in Class 2A, Northern Illinois University), Jimmy Dandino (state qualifier), Mike Falger, Marty Schwartz, Christian Migliarese
Top returning competitors: seniors Brendan Doyle (120), Jake Drennan (145), Joe Salvi (160), Chris Morris (170), Matt Braun (220); juniors Brodie Palm (113, state qualifier), Anthony Swindell (138); sophomores Kenny Barber (126, sectional qualifier), Nathaniel Morris (152, sectional qualifier)
Key newcomers: freshmen Bobby Pryhocki (120), John Sfire (152)
Outlook: Losing Cochrane and Dandino to graduation will certainly have a big impact on the Corsairs' squad this winter after they enjoyed a lot of success under their leadership by example. Unfortunately, Carmel will not be able to field a full varsity squad this season due to low numbers and they will miss 2013 state qualifier Jake Morgan, who transferred. But the wrestlers they do send out to the mat should be competitive and improve as the new campaign progresses.