1. Mount Carmel: Caravan won the Class 3A title at the Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association state finals in June and now hunts for an Illinois High School Association championship. Senior heavyweight Ryan Boersma (Missouri) and freshman 106-pounder Seth Mendoza won national titles this summer in Fargo. Sophomores Damian Resendez and Colin Kelly both finished third at the IWCOA state meet.
2. Lockport: Porters coach Josh Oster considers this his deepest team since the 2017 state champions. Andrew Blackburn-Forst was an IWCOA state champ at 220, while 152-pounder Keegan Roberson was a state runner-up. Senior Paul Kadlec and juniors Brayden Thompson, Ben Markham, Jad Alwawi and Aidan Nolting are all past state qualifiers.
3. Sandburg: Eagles have a state title contender in 120-pound senior Sammie Hayes (Northwestern) and hope to have another if senior heavyweight Kevin Zimmer (Wyoming) can come back from a torn ACL suffered during the spring football season. Senior Yazen Arefeh and junior Mike Rydell are returning state qualifiers.
4. Joliet Catholic: Hilltoppers should challenge for 2A state title. Senior Shay Korhorn (120), junior Gylon Sims (113) and sophomore Dillan Johnson (heavyweight) all won IWCOA state championships. Seniors Owen O’Connor and Logan Kuhel-Trimmer and sophomore Connor Cumbee are returning state qualifiers.
5. Marist: Seniors Owen Dunlap (138), Tommy Boland (160) and Ghee Rachal (195) and junior Jesse Herrera (126) are all past state place winners. Juniors Jacob Liberatore and Peter Marinopoulos add to the depth for the RedHawks.
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6. Homewood-Flossmoor: Senior Justin Thomas (220), juniors Vincent Robinson (126) and Deion Johnson (106) and sophomore Jaydon Robinson (145) all went 12-0 last season but did not compete in the IWCOA state tournament. Vincent Robinson was a state runner-up in 2020 while at Marian Catholic.
7. Lemon: Senior Mohammed Khalil (182) and sophomore Noah O’Connor (126) placed fourth and sixth, respectively, at the IWCOA state meet. Seniors Evan Schiffman, Alex Tagler and Tyler Wilms were all contributors on the 2020 2A state championship team.
8. Lincoln-Way Central: Senior Joey Malito (120) finished third at IWCOA state, while senior Braeden Barrett (heavyweight) and juniors Nathan Knowlton (113) and Mike Olson (145) are returning state qualifiers. Knights won 14-1 in dual meets last season and won the Southwest Suburban Red title.
9. Oak Forest: Junior Caden Musselman (132) and senior Ivan Corral (145) placed fourth and fifth, respectively, at IWCOA state. Senior Tyler Evitts, junior Joe Castaneda and sophomores Max Corral and Hunter Daniel are returning state qualifiers.
10. Providence: Senior Billy Meiszner (126) was an IWCOA state runner-up and senior RJ Schneider (heavyweight) was a state qualifier. Junior Kyle Lindsey and sophomore Geno Papes look to give the Celtics some depth.
Nasir Bailey, Rich Township, junior, 132; Tom Bennett, Brother Rice, senior, 170; Andrew Blackburn-Forst, Lockport, senior, 220; Ryan Boersma, Mount Carmel, senior, heavyweight; Tommy Boland, Marist, senior, 160; Sammie Hayes, Sandburg, senior, 120; Dillan Johnson, Joliet Catholic, senior, heavyweight; Paul Kadlec, Lockport, senior, 160; Colin Kelly, Mount Carmel, sophomore, 160; Mohammed Khalil, Lemont, senior, 182; Shay Korhorn, Joliet Catholic, senior, 120; Joey Malito, Lincoln-Way Central, senior, 120; Billy Meiszner, Providence, senior, 126; Seth Mendoza, Mount Carmel, freshman, 106; Caden Musselman, Oak Forest, junior, 132; Ghee Rachal, Marist, senior, 195; Damian Resendez, Mount Carmel, sophomore, 113; Keegan Roberson, Lockport, senior, 152; Jaydon Robinson, sophomore, Homewood-Flossmoor, 145; Vincent Robinson, Homewood-Flossmoor, junior, 126; Max Siegel, Andrew, sophomore, 106; Trevor Silzer, Andrew, junior, 113; Gylon Sims, Joliet Catholic, junior, 113; Brayden Thompson, Lockport, junior, 170; Kevin Zimmer, Sandburg, senior, heavyweight.
Steve Millar is a freelance reporter for the Daily Southtown.