Updated: February 18, 2014 6:28AM
1. The Illini Classic is the place to be. Lincoln-Way East hosts the 16-team tournament Friday and Saturday. Entry requirements? Your coach must be an Illinois wrestling alum. Marist, Lincoln-Way West, St. Rita and Reavis are a few in attendance. Check out the finals around 2:30 p.m. Saturday
2. Who are the fab freshmen? St. Rita’s Austin O’Connor (106), Sandburg’s Patrick Brucki (170) and Lincoln-Way Central’s Jake Dudeck (182) are three area freshman making waves on their varsity teams. O’Connor is one to watch after winning Dvorak and Cheesehead titles. St. Rita coach Dan Manzella said the freshman has “all the talent in the world” and will be dangerous heading into the postseason.
3. There’s a triangular tussle at 170 pounds. There are three 170-pound Class 2A contenders in the Southland — Lincoln-Way West’s Javier Montalvo, Tinley Park’s Eric Schultz and Oak Forest’s Patrick Kristin — and they’re all beating up on one another. Montalvo recently handed Schultz his first loss of the season. Kristin split two matches vs. Montalvo. Schultz topped Kristin. Whoever gets hot could take it all at state.