Wrestlers throughout the area have been hard at work getting ready for the winter 2017-18 season. Meets will begin this week for wrestlers from Marian Central Catholic High School, Woodstock High School and Woodstock North High School.

WNHS is the first to hit the mats at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 22, at Rockford Lutheran for a triangular meet. The Thunder come back after the Thanksgiving holiday for a dual meet against Vernon Hills at 8 a.m. Friday, Nov. 24.

Marian will begin at a team dual tournament at Carmel High School at 9 a.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 24 and 25.

Blue Streak wrestlers will face their first competition at the Ted DeRousse Invite in Antioch at 9 a.m. Friday, Nov. 24, and 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 25.

Following is a preview of each Woodstock boys team, compiled from surveys of coaches.

Marian Central Catholic High School

Head coach: David Silva

Assistant coaches: Gus Silva,Tony Randazzo,Wil Gaddy, Jim Herff, Andy Randazzo and Lance Shelton

Varsity roster: 14

Top returning wrestlers: Anthony Randazzo (2nd state), Luke Silva (4th state), Daniel Valeria and Zach Gustafson

Promising varsity newcomers: Elon Rodriguez, Bryce Shelton, Kaden Randazzo, Dylan Connell and Lou Gaddy

Goals this year: regional title

Woodstock High School  

Head Coach: Ches Dougherty

Assistant Coaches:  Tom Donar,  Kevin Zange

Varsity roster:  19

Top returning wrestlers: Javier Villalobos, Tanner Heidtke, Anthony Serpe and Fermin Perez.

Promising varsity newcomers:  Jonathan Simpson, Jerred Grell, Alex Zange, Payton Dougherty, Will Conlon, Harrison Saville, Cooper Adams, Gabi Eaton and Clayton Grisolia.

Goals this year:  We have some big aspirations for the 2017-18 wrestling season.

Filling the weight classes is going to be a huge focus.  We stack up in many weight ranges so competition is tough in the practice room allowing for real opportunities to drop a weight class or bump up to gain a varsity spot. We have taken on several upperclassmen who are hungry to break into the lineup.

We intend to win a lions share of our duals this year as well as have a couple candidates for going to individual State.

I put wrestling at the highest level of being physically, mentally, and emotionally straining as well as rewarding. As most wrestling programs will experience, staying health is a constant hurdle to leap in such a long season.

Woodstock North High School

Head coach: Tim Creighton

Assistant coach: Buck Riedinger

Varsity roster: 30 boys and 1 girl

Top returning wrestlers: Cole Walkington, Chris Flores, Nicco Mazzanti, Eddie Flores, Brian Kline, Carter Miller and Jake Finch

Promising varsity newcomers: Isaiah Vela

Goals this year:  We hope to continue to be competitive in duals, compete for the Kishwaukee River Conference  title and return individuals to the state tournament.

Challenges: Our biggest challenge is lack of experience to fill in on the varsity line up.

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