Wrestling: Previewing teams around the Kane County Chronicle coverage area

Marmion’s Jack Lesher works over Libertville’s Josh Knudten in the Class 3A 182lb. semifinals at State Farm Center in Champaign. Friday, Feb. 18, 2022, in Champaign.

Here are previews of teams in the Kane County Chronicle coverage area.


Coach: Ryan Farwell

Top returners: Ino Garcia, sr. (120); Jack Duraski, jr. (126); Aidan Huck, sr. (138); Ben Brown, sr. (190); Asher Sheldon, so. (215); Sydney Perry, jr. (145)

Worth noting: Batavia has a well-rounded team that projects to be among the top teams in the DuKane Conference. The five top returners all are listed in Illinois Matmen’s Rokfin state rankings. Garcia is a two-time All-State wrestler. Huck has crossed the 100-victory mark. Sheldon is one to keep an eye on after a strong freshman season. Perry, a two-time state champion, had a second consecutive unbeaten season last year at the high school level. Perry is among the top Team USA wrestlers in the nation.

Burlington Central

Coach: Jeff Richart (first season)

Last season: 4-10, 2-7 FVC (tied for seventh)

Top returners: Austin Lee, jr. (126); Doug Phillips, sr. (132); Ben Estrada, sr.; Zane Afeef, sr.; Johan Chavez, jr.; Brandon Mancera, sr.; Sammy Winstrom, sr.; Henry Deering, so.

Key newcomers: Eduardo Vences, fr.; Jackson Marlett, fr.

Worth noting: Richart takes over a Rockets program that will have a mix of young and old. The team has 20 freshmen. Phillips and Lee will try to build upon sectional appearances last season. Both earned honorable mention rankings in their respective weights in Class 2A according to Illinois Matmen. Richart is looking for the team to be more competitive in duals now that the Rockets can fill out an entire lineup.

– Michal Dwojak


Coach: Tom Chernich

Top returner: Joe Pettit, sr. (285)

Worth noting: Geneva had three state qualifiers last year and graduated two of them. Petit is the lone returning headliner. Geneva has eight seniors listed on its varsity roster.

Kaneland boys

Coach: Kenneth Paoli (fifth season)

Last season: 23-6

Top returners: Kamron Scholl, sr. (126); Alex Gochis, jr. (132); Kyle Rogers, jr. (150); Jack Gruber, so. (138); Apollo Gochis, so. (175)

Top newcomers: Angelina Gochis, fr. (113); Caden Vanik, jr. (165)

Worth noting: Kaneland is coming off a successful season and looks to build on it. Paoli is thrilled his team has been committed to the grind the past few months. “Building more of a team atmosphere in a sport that can be very individually focused,” Paoli said. “We have had more wrestlers doing offseason wrestling than we have had in the past seven years. We also have had good numbers at offseason workouts and open mats.”

– John Gaillone

Kaneland girls

Coach: Josh West

Top returners: Brooklyn Shaeffer, jr.; Dyani Torres, sr.

Top newcomer: Angelina Gochis, fr.

Worth noting: Shaeffer took sixth at the IHSA girls wrestling tournament and was 35-12 last season. Torres is a 2022 state qualifier. “Last, but certainly not least, freshman Angelina Gochis is a name to look out for. She will make a big splash as a freshman for the Lady Knights,” West said.


Coach: Nathan Fitzenreider

Top returners: Nick Garcia, so. (120); Jack Lesher, sr. (220); Donny Pigoni, sr. (138); Dan Perry, jr. (285)

Worth noting: The Cadets are a top program in the state and were runner-up at the team dual state tournament last season. The program returns a number of headliners. Garcia was a fourth-place state finisher. Lesher was a state champion at 182. Pigoni was eighth at state. Perry also was a state qualifier.

St. Charles East

Coach: Jason Potter

Top returners: Dom Munaretto, so. (113); Ben Davino, sr. (132); Tyler Guerra, sr. (138); Jayden Colon, sr. (145); Gavin Connolly, sr. (157).

Key newcomers: Kaden Potter, fr. (106); Liam Aye, so. (113); Gavin Woodmany, fr. (126)

Worth noting: St. Charles East has eight returning state qualifiers and three state champions in that mix. The Saints boast one of the state’s most impressive lineups from top to bottom. Munaretto is still undefeated at the high school level after a 50-0 freshman season. Davino, a three-time state champion, is the No. 4 pound-for-pound wrestler in the nation and committed to Ohio State. Colon, an Illinois-Champaign commit, is another returning state champion. The Saints are the reigning team dual state champion.

St. Charles North

Coach: David Drews

Top returners: Jack Karsten, sr. (138); Nate McLoughlin, jr. (165); Matthew Plumb, so. (190)

Worth noting: The North Stars still are working toward building the program back to prominence. Drew Surges, who graduated, was their top wrestler last season en route to an eighth-place state finish. It’ll be up to Karsten, McLoughlin and Plumb to build on last season’s success. Those three have high expectations within the program.