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When: Saturday beginning at 9 a.m., semifinals at 11 a.m., championship and third-place matches at 3:30 p.m. (no earlier)
Advancement: top team advances to team sectional Feb. 25 (site TBA); top three individuals in each weight class advance to Barrington individual sectional (Feb. 14-15)
Teams: Grant, Libertyville, Warren, Mundelein, Round Lake, Highland Park, Lake Forest, Zion-Benton, Waukegan
Top area competitors: 106- Christian Kanzler (Grt), Ray Ceniceros (Mund); 113- Nick Koch (Grt), Charlie Nudelman (Warr), Alec Riportella (Mund); 120- Gage Datlovsky (Grt), Dan Schilling (Lib); 126- Steve Polakowski (Lib), Noah Drabek (Grt), Dan Arteaga (RL); 132- Troy Parent (Grt), Sam Riportella (Mund); 138- Cristian Coronado (Grt), Tyler Brooks (Lib); 145- Mike Kouvelis (Grt), Joey Laurie (Mund), Nick Moore (RL); 152- Joey Gunther (Lib), Tom Kouvelis (Grt); 160- Emery Parker (Warr), Colton Bast (Lib); 170- Kayne MacCallum (Lib), John Loris (Grt); 182- Austin Koziol (Lib), Joey Greenhill (RL); 195- Steve Herrington (Grt), Mark Dunsing (Lib); 220- Kevin Barbian (Lib), Jack Resnick (Grt); 285- Chris McDermand (Lib), Sawyer McCaffery (Warr)
Outlook: After finishing second to Grant last weekend at the North Suburban Conference meet, the host Wildcats are hoping to turn the tables on the Bulldogs in the familiar setting of their own gymnasium. Grant is going for regional title No. 22 in the one-day meet and it has five NSC champions to fall back on led by 2013 state qualifier Koch at 113. The Bulldogs great team depth and balance really showed through last weekend at the NSC meet with individuals finishing in at least the top-six at all 14 weight classes to 11 for Libertyville. Grant coach Ryan Geist is cautiously optimistic about his squad's chances of earning back-to-back regional crowns, as the 24-0 Bulldogs also advanced to the Elite Eight team tournament last winter. "Our kids showed that we were capable of competing with them (Libertyville) and we know we have a chance to win next week," said Geist, who has 312 career victories. "It's going to be fun, it's going to be competitive, and if we fight all the way through we should be OK." The Wildcats have many proven commodities in their lineup to rely on with five NSC champs and five returning state qualifiers ready to lead the way. But Libertyville will need to show that it can compete well with Grant at the lower weights Saturday if it hopes to capture the regional crown. "(Grant) scored at all 14 weight classes and it's hard to contend with that even on a great day," said Libertyville coach Dale Eggert, whose team also had three runner-up finishes at the NSC meet. "They are going to be tougher (at regionals) than this week. But we're going to give it the best we've got. It's regionals."
When: Saturday beginning at 9 a.m., semifinals at 11 a.m., championship and third-place matches at approximately 3:30 p.m.
Advancement: top team advances to team sectional Feb. 25 (site TBA); top three individuals in each weight class advance to Barrington individual sectional (Feb. 14-15).
Teams: Stevenson, Lake Zurich, Barrington, Buffalo Grove, Cary-Grove, Prairie Ridge, Crystal Lake South, Deerfield, McHenry
Top area competitors: 106- Eric Carter (Stev), Travis Nix (LZ); 120- Evan Rodriguez (Stev), Josh Spiwak (LZ); 138- Max Brummel (LZ); 145-Brandon Arteaga (LZ); 152- Ryan Mass (Stev), Tommy Clancy (LZ); 170- Tyler Harrington (Stev); 182- Zach Horwitz (Stev); 195- Alex Zurawski (LZ); 220- Seth Harris (Stev)
Outlook: The Patriots and Bears will have their hands full with the likes of Fox Valley Conference runner-up CLS, Cary-Grove and the host Warriors. But they both hope to get a lot of top-three individual finishers through to the sectional meet next weekend. Arteaga is gunning for state with a current 26-3 record. Stevenson coach Shane Cook was pleased with his team's third-place finish last week at the NSC meet. "It's a highly competitive tournament and some of the wrestlers you see here will be on the podium in Champaign," said Cook. "To finish third behind them (Grant and Libertyville) in a tournament of this caliber was a successful weekend for us."
When: Saturday beginning at 9 a.m., semifinals at 11 a.m., championship and third-place matches approximately 3 to 3:30 p.m.
Advancement: top team advances to Antioch team sectional Feb. 25; top three individuals in each weight class advance to Lakes individual sectional (Feb. 14-15)
Teams: Antioch, Wauconda, Vernon Hills, Lakes, Grayslake Central, Grayslake North, Carmel, St. Viator, North Chicago
Top area competitors: 106- Briley Schultz (Ant); 113- Kurt Radke (GC), Jake Gross (Ant); 120- Jordan Reich (VH), Jeff Morrow (GC), Nathan Dlugopolski (Ant); 126- Levi Smith (Lakes), Kenny Barber (Carm), Jake Wright (GN); 132- Patrick Schoenfelder (Ant), Sam Callahan (Lakes), Larry Augustin (GC), Peter Vanderbloomer (VH); 145- Brandon Suchyta (StV); 152- Jon Makey (GC), Zac Juron (GN), Ricardo Ceja (VH); 160- Dakota Larson (Lakes), Steve Ciolek (Wauc); 170- Jared Smith (Lakes); 182- Alex Schwickrath (Wauc), David Thiel (GC), John Manning (VH); 195- George Bessette (Ant); 220- Nate Magiera (Wauc), James Valentino (StV); 285- Kyle Nichols (Ant), Joe Blitstein (VH), Max Mattialiano (Wauc)
Outlook: After placing fifth in the NSC, Antioch is probably the favorite to win the title. But the Sequoits could definitely be pushed by the host Bulldogs. Antioch reached the Elite Eight team tourney for the third time in four seasons last year, and coach Wilbur Borrero's squad has some key new contributors in the lineup to make some noise. There are some real standouts in this regional with Reich of Vernon Hills and Magiera of Wauconda aiming to finish very high in the state as the 2014 state series unfolds over the next three weekends.
-- John Bumbales