NUIC Wrestling Preview
The NUIC in football with 20 state championships are known as the best small-school football Conference in the state. However, the NUIC is also very strong in wrestling.
The NUIC has won 12 state team wrestling Championships. Savanna (before West Carroll Consolidation) won six, all in the '70s and early '80s. Dakota has five, including four straight 2013-16. Lena-Winslow/Stockton was state champion in 2017 and runner-up in 2012. Dakota was also runner-up in 1994. Third places came from Dakota in 2005 and 07 and Savanna three times.
In 2017 Lena-Winslow/Stockton won it to give the NUIC five straight. The streak was ended last year when Aurora Christian the eventual state champion knocked out LW/S in the Sectional. This year Lena-Winslow is ranked second and Dakota third in 1A. Dakota is off to a 6-2 start this season. At the Washington Super Dual they beat the host the state's top-ranked 2A team. The losses were to 3A powers OPRF and Dekalb.
The 220-pound state champion from Dakota Maverick McPeek has graduated as has Lena-Winslow's Rahveon Valentine who was second and Hunter Luke fourth.
Back this year are defending 285-pound state champion Ian Kuehl of Lena-Winslow. LW/Stockton also has back Tanner Kalkbrenner, Winston McPeek, Jason Hermann, and Jaden Rice. Dakota returns state qualifiers from last year in Connor Elmer and Lucas Sutherland. Evan Riggle a junior was a state qualifier as a freshman. He started the season 3-0 at the large school's duals at New Trier. The Indians also have some good incoming freshman including Maddux Blakely, also Quinton Heilemier, Caleb Alber, Aiden Nardin. Nolan Lentz and Eric Quinett at 285 along with sophomore Andrew Wenzel who had a solid freshman year.
West Carroll has Ethen Doty who finished fifth in the state as a freshman at 120. Also Eli Dertz (195/220) and Trapper Hartman in the lighter weights who both should have great seasons.
Dakota leads the state in 1A with most Individual State champions in state history with 41.
Here is an NUIC list of the top Individual wrestlers.
- Josh Alber. Dakota. 4-time state champion. 2011-14. Only wrestler in Illinois history to never lose, unbeaten at 182-0. A senior now at Division 1 Northern Iowa.
- Seth Milks. Dakota. 4-time state champion. 2006-09.
- Matt Wenger. Dakota. 2003-06. 3-time state champion and second as a freshman.
- Carver James. Dakota. 2012-15. 3-time state champion and third as a freshman.
- Jaime Soria. Ashton. Four-time state medalist. State champion in 1993 and 95. Fourth in 1992 and third in 1994.
- 6 JJ Wolfe. Dakota. Two-time state champion 2014-15. 2nd 2013.
- 7 Ty Harmston. Lena-Winslow/Stockton. Two-time state champion 2013-14. 2nd 2012.
- Greg Krulas. Dakota. Two-time state champion. 2014-16. 2nd 2014.
- Trey Griffin. Lena-Winslow/Stockton. Two-time state champion 2010-11. 3rd 2009.
- Alec Henze. Dakota. Two time state champion 2015-16. 3rd 2014.
- Quincy Kalkbrenner. Lena-Winslow/Stockton. Two-time state champion 2013-14. 3rd 2012.
- Joe Fosdick. Savanna. Two-time state champion. 1974 and 76. 3rd 1975.
- Mitch Alberstett. Durand. Two-time state champion. 2008-09. 4th 2007.
- Nate Olsen. Two-time state champion 2015-16. 6th 2013
- Jerry Raab. Stockton. Two-time state champion 1976-77.
- Matt Jacobs. Dakota. Two-time state champion 1998-99.
- Mark Massery. Savanna. Two-time state champion 1968-69.
- Dave Melhus. Savanna. Two-time state champion 1975 and 77.
Notes. Ian Kuehl a senior at Lena-Winslow is looking to become a three-time state medalist this senior season. He is looking for a second state championship. He won the state title at 285 last year and was third as a sophomore.
Four-time state medalist without a championship include.
Andrew Wenger. Dakota. 2014-17. Three second place finishes his sophomore through senior seasons and third as a freshman.
Rahveon Valentine. Lena-Winslow. 2015-18. Second as a senior, also placed 3rd, 4th, and 5th.
Three-time state medalist.
Tony Alber. Dakota. Josh Alber's father. 1978-80. 1st, 2nd, 3rd.
Jesse Milks. Dakota. 2003-06. State champion 2006. Also 2nd, 4th.
Vinny Alber. Dakota. 2005-07. State champion 2007, also third twice.
Pat Johnson. Savanna. 1977 State champion. 2nd in 75 and 76.
Jared Packer. Dakota. 2014-16. 3rd, 4th, 6th.
Former state champions.
Dakota. Among them, two-time state medalist with a state title were Greg and Pete Alber, Jake Apple, Princtice Walls, Dennis Lizer, Caleb Kraft, and Maverick McPeek. Other state champions were Mike Lizer, Randy Stubbe. Andy Reeter. Scott Nicholas, Wes Folk, Brian Woodley and the first who started it all in 1974 in Steve Webster.
Dakota. A second and a third. Tim Jauch, Luke, and Matt Winterhalter. Dan Zimmerman. Andy Heilemier. 2nd-5th Dillon Swift.
Dakota. Darren Olsen. Three-time state medalist and state champ. 1st, 3nd, 3rd.
Savanna. Brad and Dan Anderson. Ryan Castro. Paul Engaldo. Paul Evans Chuck Haas.Jim and Mike Kurth. Mike Lindeman, Jack Nichols. Lonnie Robinson. David Seward.
Savanna. Two-second places Mark Ernst, Adam Powers, Jeremy Castro. Robbie Bearce.
Polo. Dan Hartman and Cort Lawton were both three-time state medalist with one state championship each. Jake Peterson had one title.
Amboy. Robert McKnight in 1978 lone state champion.
Lena-Winslow/Stockton. Two-time state medalist Logan Staver, champion 2013, 2nd 2012. State champions. Carl Bonvillian 2007, Andy McPeek. 1993. Three-time state medalist Hunter Luke 2016-18. 3rd, 4th, 6th. Two-time state medalist Jered Staver 2nd, 3rd. Gunner Wenger and Austin McPeek two thirds.
Stockton. Two-time state medalist Jeff Eastlick state champion 1978 and third in 79.