Scouting Antioch in the IHSA dual team state wrestling tournament
IHSA Dual-Team state wrestling tournament
CLASS 2AWhere: Grossinger Motors Arena, Bloomington
• No. 2 Lemont (24-2) vs. No. 14 Mattoon (17-2), 9 a.m.
• No. 7 Aurora Christian (14-5) vs. No. 1 Marian Central (22-0), 9 a.m.
• No. 3 Washington (14-5) vs. Riverside-Brookfield (15-8), 11 a.m.
• No. 4 Antioch (21-0) vs. No. 17 Mahomet-Seymour (23-1), 11 a.m.
• semifinals, 1:30 p.m.
• third place, 5:30 p.m.
• championship, 5:30 p.m.
Coach: Wilbur Borrero (16th season)
106 -- freshman Caleb Nobiling (41-6, fourth in Class 2A); 113 -- freshman Anthony Streib (35-12, state qualifier); 120 -- senior Alex Barbarise (42-4, four-time state qualifier); 126 -- senior Luke Menzies (33-10, state qualifier), junior Drew Lehn (29-9, 2019 state qualifier); 132 -- senior Danny McPherson (39-7, third in Class 2A, three-time qualifier); 138 -- senior Eli Reyes (29-6, two-time qualifier); 145 -- junior Gavin Calabrese (15-15); 152 -- senior Devin Nobiling (36-13, state qualifier); 160 -- freshman Seth Gomez (5-2); 170 -- senior Dan Bemis (13-24); 182 -- junior Chad Cowart (32-15); 195 -- senior Niall Schoenfelder (43-4, third in Class 2A, two-time qualifier); 220 -- junior Lucas Bentley (10-8), sophomore Briar Russell (17-14); 285 -- junior Max Ness (27-15, state qualifier)
Outlook: After reaching the Elite Eight for the sixth time since 2010 with a 51-19 victory over host Fenton at the team sectional on Tuesday, the Sequoits are poised to bring home their first top-four trophy since taking fourth in 2012 and 2013.
But the road to that elusive hardware could be tough, as the undefeated Sequoits (21-0) will face a perennial power in Mahomet-Seymour, which is making its 18th appearance in the 37-year history of the dual-team state tournament. The Bulldogs have had a much longer drought than Antioch in bringing home a trophy from state, as they placed fourth back in 2002.
A victory in the quarterfinals would assure the Sequoits of bringing home a trophy from state. It looks like Antioch would be on a collision course with No. 3-ranked, four-time defending state champion Washington in the semifinals, before a potential showdown with No. 1 Marian Central for the state title, or No. 2 Lemont in the third-place match.
"It's great to have a group of kids like this, they've worked hard, and they know what's at stake," said Borrero, who guided Waukegan to three state trophies in the early 1990s. "I can't say enough about this group, and this senior group has had the chance to win a state trophy the last three years. Hopefully this year they get recognized for their effort and hard work."
With 10 individuals on their roster with state meet experience, including nine this season, the Sequoits have the potential to pull off the upset against Washington if they can get past Mahomet-Seymour in the first round. The 2019-20 season has been a banner one for Antioch as it pulled off a rare victory over host Grant in a Northern Lake County Conference dual meet before rolling to the championship of the Lake County Invitational for the first time in school history on Jan. 25.
Schoenfelder (third), McPherson (third) and Caleb Nobiling (fourth) all captured medals in the individual IHSA state meet last weekend in Champaign, while Barbarise has two state medals to his credit.
Borrero is cautiously optimistic heading into the state tourney, and he compared his current squad to some of the teams he coached at Waukegan West from the mid-1980s to 1990 as well as the Waukegan teams in the early 1990s.
"We should be able to handle Mahomet-Seymour, but I don't know anything about them, and we're really going to have to be firing on all cylinders to beat Washington," said Borrero. "But our big goal has always been to bring home a trophy from state, they're fired up, and ready to go."