Stateline Area Wrestlers Stay Unbeaten On Way To State Titles
By Al Zipsie
Two Stateline wrestlers both finished the season as unbeaten State champions.
Senior Nolan Baker of Byron (46-0) at 145 lbs. in 1A and Anthony Cassioppi of Hononegah (51-0) at 285 lbs. in 3A took IHSA titles Saturday.
Cassioppi, a junior, finished the season with a pin in the title match in 2:36. Baker's encore came with a pin in 58 seconds.
Two other wrestlers finished as state runners-up in Jared Van Fleet of Stillman Valley at 126 lbs. and Andrew Wenger of Dakota at 170 lbs. Both lost in the 1A final.
For Wenger, a senior, the state title remained elusive. He lost a 7-2 decision to Zac Braunagel of Belleville Althoff Catholic.
Wenger finished 47-2, he was a four time state medalist. Wenger finished second the last three years and was third as a freshman.
The Stateline had 16 state medalist, 12 in 1A and two each in 2A and 3A.
Lena-Winslow/Stockton had four state placers. A trio finished third in Hunter Luke at 132 lbs., Rahveon Valentine at 170 lbs. and Ian Kuehl 285lbs. Kyle Kalkbrenner was fifth at 160 lbs.
Lena-Winslow now has a chance to win the team dual championship.
Also finishing third in 1A was Maverick McPeek from Dakota. The junior lost the semi-final in three overtimes, but bounced back with a pin for third.
Nate Schultz of West Carroll won a decision over Brandon Elsburg of Byron for third place at 182 lbs.
Two other third places came in 2A with Major Dedmond, a sophomore from Freeport at 160 lbs., and Tyler Demo from Belvidere North at 132 lbs.
In 3A, Blake Zalapi of Hononegah finished fourth at 220 lbs.