Individuals to watch
Tyler Fleetwood, sr., Fulton, 126 pounds: Returning two-time state champ was 40-2 a year ago and ranked No. 1 at 126 by Illinois Best Weekly.
Stone Engle, sr., Mercer County, 126: Finished 43-4 last year. Took fourth at state after winning regional and taking second in the sectional. Currently ranked third by IBW at 126.
James Schnerre, sr., Orion, 145: Third in the state last season, going 44-6. Took fifth as a sophomore. Ranked No. 1 at 145 by IBW.
Lewis Robinson, sr., Kewanee, 145: Finished 40-5 last year while placing second in the state and is ranked fourth by IBW.
Garrett Passmore, sr., Erie-Prophetstown, 160: Bob Mitton Invite champion placed third at 1A state, finished 38-6. Currently ranked No. 2 by IBW.
Logan Lee, jr., Orion, 220: Iowa football commit got off to late start this year because of Orion’s football playoff run and won’t start at 220 early on. Returning state champion at 220 was 41-3 last year. Currently ranked No. 1 by IBW.
Taylor Fleetwood, sr., Fulton, 285: Took third in Class 1A a year ago after barely making it out of sectionals. Currently ranked second at 285 by IBW.
Teams to watch
Orion: Ranked No. 8 in Class 1A by Illinois Best Weekly. Besides Lee, Chargers return James Schnerre, who took third in 1A at 145; Ethan Meisenburg, state qualifier at 106 who will wrestle at 113; Mason Loete, 34-16 at 132 a year ago; and junior Chad Banfield at 182.
Mercer County: Ranked No. 18 in Class 1A by Illinois Best Weekly to start the season. Besides Engle, Golden Eagles also return Camden Whitenack at 113 and Steven Speaker II at 170, both of whom reached sectionals a year ago. But Golden Eagles may have lost senior Kaeden Harmon (19-3 at 132 last year) due to injury for the season.
Fulton: It starts with the Fleetwood twins. Taylor Fleetwood (35-7) took second at state a year ago at 285. Besides state champ Tyler Fleetwood, who goes for a state three-peat, the Steamers return senior Tony Heinitz at 138 and junior Eli Pannell at 182.
Rockridge: Ranked No. 25 by Illinois Best Weekly in Class 1A, the Rockets return Dallas Krueger, so. (35-12 at 113); Nolan Throne (42-7 at 126); and senior Collin Schmidt (33-7 at 220). All three wrestled at state. Five other starters return, too.
Dec. 23 — Muddy Water Duals at Davenport North
Jan. 12-13 — Geneseo Invitational
Jan. 19-20 — Bob Mitton Invitational at Orion
Feb. 3 — IHSA Class 1A-2A-3A regionals.
Feb. 9-10 — IHSA Class 1A-2A-3A sectionals
Feb. 15-17 — IHSA state meet
— Jim Meenan