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Prep Sports

2020 Herald-News All-Area Wrestling Team

Joliet Catholic Academy's Dean Hamiti, Jr., celebrates after defeating Lemont's Grant LaDuke on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020, during the IHSA State Wrestling Championship at the State Farm Center in Champaign, Ill.
Joliet Catholic Academy's Dean Hamiti, Jr., celebrates after defeating Lemont's Grant LaDuke on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020, during the IHSA State Wrestling Championship at the State Farm Center in Champaign, Ill.

Six state champions and seven second-place finishers make up a significant amount of the 2020 Herald-News All-Area wrestling team.

Fourteen individuals who finished between fourth and sixth place are joined by three others who fell only one win shy of earning all-state honors.

Coal City’s Daniel Jezik and Lemont’s Kyle Schickel were recognized for the fourth time, while Joliet Catholic Academy’s Dean Hamiti, Peotone’s Paul Keane, Lemont’s Apollo Gothard, Grant LaDuke and Drew Nash earned all-area honors for a third time.

Others who were selected for the second straight year were Morris’ Robby Bates, Providence Catholic’s Ryan Boersma, Lincoln-Way West’s Javen Estrada, Plainfield North’s Jared Gumila, Plainfield South’s James Pierandozzi, Lockport’s Kaleb Thompson and Plainfield East’s Alex Villar.

Here’s a look at each of the members of the 2020 Herald-News All-Area wresting team:

Zach Barlev

Plainfield East, Jr.: Came back from injury to go 24-7 and earn his first medal by taking sixth place in 3A at 285. He won a title at Prospect, was third in the regional and fourth at the sectional.

Robby Bates

Morris, Sr.: Repeated as an all-area pick and medalist after capping a 38-1 season by winning the Class 2A 195-pound title. Won Buffalo Grove, Metamora and Illini Classic invites and Interstate Eight, regional and sectional titles.

Andrew Blackburn-Forst

Lockport, So.: Went 47-10 and took fifth at 195 in 3A. Won an SWSC title, was second at the regional, placed third at Barrington, the Cheesehead and the sectional and was fourth at the Dvorak and helped Porters qualify for team state.

Ryan Boersma

Providence Catholic, So.: Made team for second time and won first medal after going 45-5 and taking fifth at 285 in 3A. Captured Dvorak, Illini Classic and CCL titles, took second at the regional and was third in the sectional.

Javen Estrada

Lincoln-Way West, Jr.: Made team for the second time after going 41-4 and falling one win shy of a medal at 138 in 3A. Won Illini Classic, SWSC and regional titles, took second at the sectional and third at the Whitlatch.

Payton Geigner

Lincoln-Way West, Sr.: Went 41-9 and took sixth place at 160 in 3A for his first medal after winning a regional title, taking second at the Illini Classic and sectional and placing third at the Whitlatch and SWSC meets.

Apollo Gothard

Lemont, Jr.: Three-time all-area and medalist capped a 49-0 season by winning the 2A title at 220 pounds. Also captured Whitlatch, Quincy Notre Dame, SSC, regional and sectional championships and helped Indians win the 2A dual team title.

Jared Gumila

Plainfield North, So.: Repeat selection went 49-14 and placed fourth at 138 in 3A. Finished second at Antioch and the SPC, was third in the Illini Classic, regional and sectional and placed fifth at Granite City.

Drew Gutknecht

Minooka, Sr.: Finished with a 38-8 record after placing sixth at 220 in 3A for his first medal. Captured championships at Palatine, the Illini Classic and the regional and took second place at the Whitlatch, SPC and the sectional.

Dean Hamiti

Joliet Catholic
Academy, Jr.: Three-time selection won his third straight championship by capping a 46-0 season with the 2A title at 152 pounds. Won Barrington, Whitlatch, Cheesehead, ESCC, regional and sectional titles and was ranked sixth nationally.

Mo Jarad

Lemont, Jr.: Won his first tournament at the 2A finals and first medal when he claimed top honors at 285 to cap a 47-8 season. Was second at Quincy Notre Dame, SSC and the regional and third at the sectional and helped his team to the 2A dual team title.

Daniel Jezik

Coal City, Sr.: Four-time selection won his fourth medal and repeated as a state champion after winning the 195 title in 1A to cap a 54-1 season. Also won Princeton, regional and sectional titles for the second-place Coalers and was ranked 10th nationally.

Mike Kaminski

Lockport, Sr.: Advanced to the 3A finals at 126 and took second to conclude a 46-6 season. He won Barrington, SWSC, regional and sectional titles while placing third at the Dvorak and Cheesehead invites and helped his team qualify for state.

Paul Keane

Peotone, Sr.: Competed for a fourth state title and was a runner-up for the third time after settling for second place at 120 in 1A to cap a 44-2 season. Three-time all-area selection won Reed-Custer, regional and sectional titles while taking second at Plano.

Grant LaDuke

Lemont, Sr.: Lost 2A title at 152 by 3-2 score in first finals appearance. Three-time selection and medalist went 41-2 with titles at Quincy Notre Dame, the SSC, regional and sectional, was third at the Whitlatch and helped his team to the 2A dual title.

Gage Leake

Coal City, Sr.: Capped a 41-4 season by finishing in fourth place at 220 in 1A to capture his first state medal. Beside winning regional and sectional titles, he helped the Coalers to second place at dual team state.

Jacob Macatangay

Plainfield North, So.: Went 47-7 and placed sixth at 113 in 3A to win his first medal. Won SPC and regional titles, placed second at Granite City and the Illini Classic, was third in the sectional and fifth at Antioch.

Jack McDermott

Bolingbrook, Sr.: Capped his career by placing sixth at 132 in 3A to earn his first medal and finished with a 33-12 record. Placed second in the sectional and third at the SWSC and the regional.

Nick Minnito

Plainfield Central, Sr.: Won his first medal by finishing in sixth place at 126 in 3A to cap a 40-7 season. Won Geneva, SPC and regional titles, took second at the sectional and was fifth at Barrington.

Drew Nash

Lemont, Sr.: Overcame injuries to win the title at 126 in 2A and finished with a 21-0 record in first finals appearance. Three-time selection won titles at Quincy Notre Dame, the SSC, regional and sectional and helped the Indians win the 2A dual team title.

David Papach

Coal City, Sr.: Reached 1A final at 160 and claimed second place to collect his first state medal and conclude a 34-6 season. Captured regional and sectional titles and also helped the Coalers to finish second in 1A at dual team state.

Jayden Perez

Joliet Central, Sr.: Came up one win shy of a medal at 182 in 3A and finished with a 41-6 record. Won titles at Pontiac and the sectional, was second at the SPC and regional and took third at Geneva.

James Pierandozzi

Plainfield South, Sr.: Advanced to the state finals at 152 in 3A and took second place to finish 32-4 for his second medal. Repeat selection won SPC, regional and sectional titles and took fourth place at the Dvorak.

Jeremy Pullen

Joliet West, Sr.: Fell one win shy in the quarterfinals and wrestlebacks at 160 in 3A in a 41-6 season. Captured Hoffman Estates, Niles West, SPC and regional titles, was third at the sectional and fourth at Barrington.

Kyle Schickel

Lemont, Sr.: Four-time state runner-up and four-time all-area pick lost 4-3 in finals to place second at 145 in 2A with and posted a 40-4 record. Won Whitlatch, SSC and regional and was second at sectional and helped the Indians win the 2A dual team title.

Gylon Sims

Joliet Catholic Academy, Fr.: Took second place at 106 pounds in 2A to finish with a 41-8 record. Won the ESCC and regional titles, took second at the Whitlatch and the sectional, was fourth at Barrington and fifth at the Cheesehead.

Terrance Snapp

Joliet Catholic Academy, Jr.: Finished fifth at 160 in 2A in his first season at a new school. Went 39-13 and captured ESCC, regional and sectional titles, was second at Barrington, fifth at the Cheesehead and sixth at the Whitlatch.

Barry Stevenson

Plainfield East, Sr.: Earned his first state medal after placing sixth at 145 in 3A to conclude a 35-6 season. Captured Geneseo, SPC and regional titles and finished claimed second place at the sectional.

Kaleb Thompson

Lockport, Sr.: Repeated as all-area and a medalist after placing fifth at 113 in 3A. Went 25-4 and captured SWSC, regional and sectional titles and took second at Dvorak while helping the Porters to a state dual team appearance.

Alex Villar

Plainfield East, Sr.: Earned all-area honors for second time while getting his first medal after taking fourth at 132 in 3A to cap a 31-5 season. Won SPC and regional titles, was second in the sectional, third at Geneseo and sixth at Prospect.

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