Scouting the 2022 boys gymnastics season in the NW suburbs and Lake County

  • Mundelein's Braeden Kratz returns for the Mustangs this season.

      Mundelein's Braeden Kratz returns for the Mustangs this season. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Prospect's Joe Kall is a top returning gymnast for the Knights this season.

      Prospect's Joe Kall is a top returning gymnast for the Knights this season. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Trey Wilcox of Palatine finished in eighth place at the state meet in the all-around last season.

      Trey Wilcox of Palatine finished in eighth place at the state meet in the all-around last season. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
By Dick Quagliano
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 3/15/2022 3:48 PM

The Northwest suburbs and Lake County should continue to have a huge impact on boys gymnastics this season.

Last year, three area teams made their way to the state final meet with Palatine finishing third, Mundelein fourth and Prospect sixth. Those three teams are in the running again this season and could be challenged by Buffalo Grove, Hersey and Hoffman Estates.

 

There should also be a plethora of all-arounders that could make it to the state meet as well.

Buffalo Grove's Ben Valak, who was third in the state last year, leads the way. Palatine has a trio of all-arounders in Trey Wilcox, Dominic Filchia and John Pirone. Prospect and Mundelein counter each with Braeden Kratz and Holden Allsbury from Mundelein and Joe Kall and Callahan Kraft from Prospect. Hoffman Estates returns Alex Serwatkiewicz.

The 70th annual state meet will be at Hoffman Estates again this year, on May 13th and 14th.

Barrington could make significant progress under second-year head coach Ryan Trostrud. Henry Stevens has already broken the school record on the pommel horse with a 9.20 while Krish Patel and Nathan Roasado also look solid.

Conant is looking to make strides forward again this season. The Cougars will be led by junior all-arounder Jaiden Delimba, and seniors Brenna Sohn, Karl Heintz-Megger, Steven Rodriguez and Blake Simon.

Fremd has a young team this season. But the Vikings are hoping to take a leap forward thanks to sophomore all-arounder Joseph Ferlita and specialist Deagan Stoner.

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Hoffman Estates would like nothing better than to qualify for the state finals and be able to compete at home. The Hawks could be on track with senior Alex Serwatkiewicz. Owen Carlson and Teddy Prasopoulos, who are also all-arounders.

Schaumburg is looking to rebuild behind a group of all-arounders. Senior Sam Mazeikis and sophomore Micheal Gbenyo return. They will have help from juniors James Monroe, Cole Radley and Adrian Le.

Buffalo Grove will be leaning heavily on Valak, who was third in the state last year in the all-around and is already off to a great start. He won the all-around title and five individual events at the Niles West invite last Saturday. Specialists John Shimanski, James Newman and Erik Maldonado, who are all seniors, should also give the Bison a lift.

Elk Grove will be building behind Michael Henske, who was a state qualifier on the floor and the vault. The Grenadiers will also rely on Flynn Behnke, JR Sanden, Alex Chamala and Martin Gonzalez.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Hersey may have the tallest team in the state, with at least half its gymnasts cracking the 6-foot mark. That growth typifies the Huskies this season as they expect to improve significantly from last year. Sergii Demianchuk, Ailton Hernandez and Brandon Dudas should get help from freshmen Nate Mabry, Drew Netolicky and Ethan Trevino.

Palatine was third at state a year ago. With seniors Wilcox, who was eighth at the state in the all-around, and Dominic Filchia, who was ninth, along with specialist Jack Hamman as the main cogs, the Pirates should be a force to be reckoned with this year. The Pirates have their sights set on challenging for a state title thanks to the addition of junior all-arounder John Pirone, who could help push them over the top.

Prospect is coming off a sixth-place finish at the state meet. The Knights are hoping to improve on that with Joe Kall chief to their success. Kall, who was seventh at state in the all-around, also qualified for the finals in five individual events last year. He will get tremendous help from all-arounder Callahan Kraft, who was 14th at state last year in the all-around. Owen Kowalczyk, Andrew Litman and Michael Maggio will also be key contributors.

Rolling Meadows will be looking to rebuild this season. The Mustangs feature Daniel Marciniak, Kenny Sakurada and Jaiden Montgomery.

Leyden is in repeat mode. The Eagles won the West Suburban Gold title last season and have their eyes on that prize again this year. All-arounder Patrick Gadocha, who the conference champ in the event, returns. He will be joined by Fares Harb along with Joseph Palomo, Rodolfo Bahena, and specialists Leo Dragotta and Kamil Bak.

Maine East has been moving up the charts in recent years. The Blue Demons are led by all-arounders Henry Morrison, Sean Urban and Aayan Hussain.

Maine West does not have a team this season. But Jesse Listopda, who is a sophomore, will be competing in the all-around and representing the Warriors this season.

In Lake County, teams there will again be making a huge push toward state.

Libertyville will be counting on a quartet of senior all-arounders. The Wildcats will be looking to Grady Georgia, Carlos Cabrera, Christian Rittner and Chris Gianis to carry much of the load this season.

Mundelein just missed a trophy last season, finishing fourth in the state. The Mustangs have a solid core to build off again this season. Kratz, who is a sophomore and was fourth in the state last year in the pommel horse and 19th in the all-around, is back. Holden Allsbury, who is a junior, was seventh last year in the vault and 23rd in the all-around, also returns.

Stevenson is working its way back. The Patriots are led by sophomore all-arounders Thor Mace and Finley Oyston. Specialists Mauricio Ibarra, Santiago Gonzalez and Daniel Castro should also help the Patriots' scoring.

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