1. Time for some big-time tournaments. Southland wrestlers hardly are on break this holiday season as a number of teams trek to different tournaments across the state. Two of the biggest are the Berman Classic at Palatine and the Dvorak, hosted by Harlem in Machesney Park.
2. Top-notch field at Dvorak. Illinois had 10 Dvorak champs last season, nine of whom later advanced to the state finals. Marist, Lockport and Mount Carmel should be in the mix among a field that features two reigning state champs — Dakota (1A) and Montini (2A) — and runner-up Marmion (3A). Marist’s Mark Duda and Peter Andreotti go for their second titles. Mount Carmel’s Bryce Brill aims for his fourth. Watch out for St. Rita freshman Austin O’Connor.
3. Watch the heavyweights at Berman. A heavyweight match-up of undefeated Big Ten football recruits could materialize as Lincoln-Way East’s Nick Allegretti (Illinois) looks to down Hinsdale Central’s reigning state champ Brian Allen (Michigan State). Lincoln-Way West and Oak Forest, a pair of the state’s top 2A teams, are among 31 entrants.