Boys gymnastics / Previewing the state meet
What: 68th annual boys state gymnastics finals
Where: Hoffman Estates High School
When: Friday: Team finals and all-around finals, 5 p.m. Saturday: Preliminary individual qualifiers, 11:30 a.m. State individual finals, 5:30 p.m.
Sectional winners: Schaumburg, Niles West, Libertyville, Glenbrook North, Deerfield. At large teams: Rolling Meadows, Hersey and Lyons.
Streaking: This is Schaumburg's fifth consecutive trip to the state finals and the Saxons won their second sectional title in a row. Schaumburg was sixth in state last year.
Broken streaks: Hersey is making its first appearance at the state finals since 2001. Rolling Meadows goes back even further, not appearing at the state finals since 1993.
Scouting Schaumburg: The Saxons are used to the big meet pressure and have brushed it aside all season long. They have won their second consecutive sectional title and second consecutive Mid-Suburban League titles this season. All-arounders Brandon Nyborg, Oscar Kulesza and Nathan Frank give Schaumburg some top end scores to work with. But it has also been the Saxons' depth that has helped them along the way with specialists Trever Baynes, Cole Mache, Trent Ramiirez, Rundra Anumala, Dylan Ridenour, Thomas Stephens, Brody Adelman, Giancarlo Sarasti and Bruno Gandra coming up with key points during the season. "We are excited to be going back," Schaumburg coach Erik Bostrom said. "We are coming off our best meet score by three points. It is going to be a tough field. If we can get some things cleaned up, we should be able to have a pretty solid meet."
Scouting Rolling Meadows: It has been an injury-riddled season for the Mustangs. Not only for all-arounders Ben Kowlaski, Justin Kurak and Ryan Rettig but for head coach Michael Costa, who missed part of the season after tearing his ACL. Still the Mustangs were able to run wild to their top score of the year at sectionals. They will also be looking for help in their scoring from Mikael Dukes, David Rasmussen and Shivam Patel. "We trained for this," Costa said. "This group has worked hard for this. We really did not have a complete lineup until sectionals. We knew this was coming. We started to put the pieces together and finally we put the last piece of the puzzle in and this is the result."
Scouting Hersey: The Huskies were a step away from possibly not going to state. But Matt Bednar landed his high bar routine perfectly and Hersey is on its way. The Huskies have a formidable 1-2 punch in Bednar and Garrett Naughton, which makes them a dangerous group at the state finals. They will look to Will Stefaniak, Paul McGuinness, Jonathon Herda, Jack Troyer, Sam Prange and Matthew Pracko to help move up their score. "We made it," Hersey coach Joon Yun said. "We have just missed the last couple of years. I am happy for our kids. We have a strong conference and to be representing the MSL is exciting. "
Local state individual qualifiers: Barrington: Braedon Wever (FX, V). Buffalo Grove: Michael Bucaro (PH), Eric Duenser (PB, Ethan Root (PH), Jesus Vizcarra (PH). Conant: Caleb Savoy (FX, V). Fremd: Dimitar Hristov (SR), Luke Styzcen (PH, HB), Yuto Nakagawa (FX). Hersey: Matt Bednar (AA, FX, PH, SR, V, PB, HB), Garrett Naughton (AA, FX, PH, SR, V, PB, HB). Hoffman Estates: Alex Collier (AA, FX, PH, SR, V, PB, HB), RJ Webster (PH). Palatine: Dominic Filchia (FX, PH, SR, HB), AJ Krambeer (PB), Chris Waller (SR), Trey Wilcox (AA, PH, V, HB). Prospect: Aaron Busiel (FX), Matt Donzelli (PH, V), Joe Kall (PB, HB), Callahn Kraft (PB). Rolling Meadows: Mikael Dukes (FX, V), Ben Kowalski (AA, FX, PH, SR, V, PB, HB), Justin Kurak (AA, FX, PH, PB, HB), David Rasmussen (PB). Schaumburg: Nathan Frank (PH, PB, HB), Oscar Kulesza (AA, FX, PH, SR, PB, HB), Brandon Nyborg (AA, FX, PH, SR, V, PB, HB), Trent Ramirez (PH).
Iron Men: Hoffman Estates' Alex Collier, Rolling Meadows' Ben Kowalski, Schaumburg's Brandon Nyborg and Hersey's Matt Bednar and Garrett Naughton will compete in all six events on Friday night and then come back to compete in all six individual events Saturday. Rolling Meadows' Justin Kurak and Schaumburg's Oscar Kulesza will compete in six events on Friday and five on Saturday.