All-Area wrestling teams from 2016-17

All-Area First Team
Dale Ashby    Hoopeston Area    Jr.    152
Justin Cardani    Centennial    Jr.    106

Cardani adds weight, state title in successful junior season

CHAMPAIGN — Centennial junior Justin Cardani had every reason to be confident as he stepped onto the floor behind the mats about 20 minutes before his Class 2A 106-pound state championship bout in February at State Farm Center.

All-Area Wrestling Coach of the Year: Mahomet-Seymour's Rob Ledin

Why he's Coach of the Year: Ledin guided Mahomet-Seymour to a third straight regional title, and the Bulldogs followed that up with a team sectional win over Chatham Glenwood to earn a trip to state. Four Bulldogs qualified for individual state, with Hunter Crowley taking home a second-place finish at 195 pounds in Class 2A.

2017 all-conference wrestling teams

Big 12


106 — (JUNIOR) x-Justin Cardani, Centennial; (FRESHMEN) Javon Jamison, Bloomington; x-Grant Peterson, Peoria Notre Dame.

113 — (JUNIOR) x-Aaron Shaw, Normal West; (FRESHMAN) x-Tristan Daugherty, Peoria Notre Dame.

Final area prep statistics: 2016-17 wrestling

Class 1A


ATHLETE, School W L Pts

Elliott, Hoopeston Area 36 3 192

Wendling, St. Joseph-Ogden 38 8 175

O'Linc, Monticello 32 12 110

Shellman, St. Thomas More 30 14 94

Maxey. GCMS/Fisher 21 12 54

Griffet, Unity 19 11 45

Deavers, Clinton 18 12 39

Mingee, St. Thomas More 6 3 22

March 23 prep sports chat

Thursday, March 23, 2017 - 12:30pm

Why was Anaya Peoples The News-Gazette's All-Area girls' basketball Player of the Year? When do other All-Area teams from the winter come out? What spring sports teams could contend for a state title this school year? Preps coordinator Anthony Zilis is here to answer your questions at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Zilis: State format needs work, coaches say

When Mahomet-Seymour wrestling coach Rob Ledin talks to coaches from other states about the Illinois High School Association’s “Follow-the-leader” wrestleback format, he’s met with confused looks.

“They don’t understand it at all,” Ledin said. “They just don’t believe that we do that, being a state that’s known for wrestling.”

He’s not alone.

Bulldogs bow out in quarterfinals

BLOOMINGTON — Rob Ledin plans to implement changes in the Mahomet-Seymour wrestling program.

In years past, Ledin has issued preseason goal sheets to his squad members as practice begins in November.

Waiting for their shot

MAHOMET — Rob Ledin was slightly distressed after the Class 2A Urbana Regional on Feb. 4. The Mahomet-Seymour wrestling coach saw his Bulldogs win the meet to move onto dual team sectional meet. But seven athletes didn’t finish in the top three in their weight classes, meaning they wouldn’t wrestle for more than two weeks.

Athletes of the Week: Luffman, Hawkins

Luke Luffman

Urbana wrestling

Why he was chosen: The sophomore shined in the Class 2A 220-pound weight class, beating four opponents — and outscoring them by a combined 15-5 margin — to secure Urbana’s first state title since Cameron Mammen in 2013 and the eighth Urbana wrestler in program history to win a state championship.