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TEAMS TO WATCH Kaneland Kaneland ret



Kaneland returns a strong haul of seniors that includes 2012 state qualifiers Dan Goress (138 pounds) Stephen Gust (106) and Esai Ponce (126). “Even the young guys, they’re excited to learn to train and be a part of the team,” Goress said. “The older guys, it’s our last year, so we’ve got to go out with a bang. So every practice, we’re putting everything we have into it.”


New coach Ryan Cumbee takes over a team that placed four wrestlers at last season’s 2A state meet. As the Cadets prepare to make the climb to 3A, they’re well-stocked with veterans such as two-time defending state champion Johnny Jimenez (120) and an emerging freshman corps that includes AJ Jaffe (113) and Riley DeMoss (152).

St. Charles East

Two-time St. Charles High state champion Jason Potter happily has grabbed the reins of a veteran team that also will start two freshmen. “It’s great to be back in black and orange and to be a Saint again,” said Potter, who comes to his alma mater from Leyden. “The first two weeks of practice, we’ve all been champing at the bit to get after it.”


Anthony Bosco
Marmion, So., 106

Third at 106 in 2A during his prep debut, Bosco shined during preseason nationals and enters the season with high expectations.

Cameron Carlson
St. Charles East, Sr., 170

After advancing to a sectional consolation quarterfinal that put him on the cusp of the state meet as a junior, Carlson is eager to take the next step.

George Fisher
Marmion, Sr., 132

Fisher, of St. Charles, recently committed to Michigan. He has finished no worse than second in state in the past two seasons.

Alex Fritz
Marmion, Sr., 285

Fritz rounded out the Cadets’ haul of eight state qualifiers last season. As a senior, he’s chiseled himself into top shape again as he eyes a repeat run.

Dan Goress

Kaneland, Sr., 138

One of nine Knights seniors with extensive experience, Goress helps guide a Kaneland team with individual and team aspirations in the 2A state series.

Johnny Jimenez

Marmion, Jr., 120

The St. Charles resident’s pair of state championships are just scratching the surface. Jimenez has not lost to competition from Illinois in his first two high school seasons.

Brad Martens

Geneva, Sr., 120

A returning state qualifier, Martens moved up a weight class and also has embraced a growing leadership role on a deep team.

Wes Pasholk
St. Charles North, Sr., 220

Pasholk brings a unique aggressiveness to the mat, as he also plays both ways in football and competes for club rugby. “He’s a tough nut,” North coach Pete McNamara said. “He’s the real deal.”

Joey Shump

Batavia, Sr., 126

Fully recovered after suffering a broken hand during a January tournament, Shump isn’t at a loss for confidence. “Basically, I came back, and I came back strong,” he said.

Zach Theis

Kaneland, Sr., 285

Theis recently was named an IHSA all-state offensive lineman. He’d be happy to duplicate his football success on the mat.

Isaiah Vela

St. Charles East, Jr., 132

Vela will swing between 132 and 138 during the early season for a team that’s deep in the middle. The goal: returning to the form of his fourth-place state finish as a freshman.

Mickey Watson

Batavia, Sr., 195

Another wrestling-football-rugby triple threat, Watson embraced an arduous offseason training regimen after an early postseason exit last winter.

– Kevin Druley

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