SouthtownStar 2013-14 All-Area Wrestling Team
By Logan Malloy For Sun-Times Media March 20, 2014 8:48PM
Updated: April 22, 2014 6:16AM
Pinning down the SouthtownStar’s 2013-14 All-Area Wrestling team is no lightweight task.
The lineup features the top Southland individual at each of the 14 weight classes, with two three-time state champions among those earning top position.
If that seems like an easy takedown, don’t forget the area had 2A and 3A state champs in both the 106- and 113-pound divisions. In fact, with 41 Southland individuals finishing sixth or better at the state tournament, making weight in any slot should be considered a feat.
106: Austin O’Connor, Fr., St. Rita
O’Connor kept the Class 3A 106-pound championship in the Southland for the third straight season. A tactician on the mat, O’Connor finished 43-3 while facing one of the state’s toughest schedules. The freshman edges Rich Central’s Jabari Moody, the undefeated champ in Class 2A, based on strength of schedule.
113: Brian Rossi, Sr., Lockport
The Stanford recruit and Team USA Dapper Dan selection plowed through the state’s toughest bracket en route to the Class 3A 113-pound state title. Rossi finished 48-1, and leaves Lockport with a career 159-17 record, the most wins in program history. He edges Oak Forest’s Danny Swan, a two-time state champ, for the honors. Rossi scored a 33 on the ACT.
120: Kris Williams, Jr. Thornwood
Williams won his first two state titles at Thornton. His third came as a Thunderbird after moving into Thornwood’s district. Williams (31-0) utilized uncanny quickness and balance to triumph in close matches. Next season he’ll look to become just the 15th four-time state champion in Illinois history.
126: Shayne Oster, Soph., Lockport
Oster went 43-7 in finishing third in 3A at 126 pounds. A regional and SouthWest Suburban Conference champ, Oster never was afraid to bump up in weight, taking on competition as high as 138 pounds. He’s the younger brother of Lockport coach Josh Oster.
132: Joey Nelson, Sr., Lincoln-Way Central
Nelson said he “didn’t really set high goals” after failing to qualify for state the previous two seasons. Talk about exceeding expectations. Nelson (45-6) stormed through 3A and took second at 132 pounds, losing an overtime decision to Glenbard North’s Jered Cortez, a four-time state champion. Teammates said Nelson helped keep everyone loose before competition. He’ll wrestle at North Central.
138: Mario Leveille Sr., Marist
One of the toughest calls on the list, Leveille earned the spot over St. Laurence senior Johnny Gahagan, third in 2A, by virtue of Leveille’s state finals appearance in 3A. Leveille finished 33-9 scaling Marist’s loaded schedule. He’s slated to wrestle at Purdue.
145: John Pellegrino, Sr., Sandburg
A major force on Sandburg’s state championship teams in 2012 and ’13, Pellegrino carried the torch in a rebuilding year for the Eagles as a senior. The 145-pounder took fourth in 3A with a 36-6 record, becoming the program’s 17th wrestler earning multiple state medals.
152: Bryce Brill, Sr., Mount Carmel
Want to beat Brill? Try scoring on him first. The 152-pounder earned his third state championship and a 46-0 record — his second straight undefeated season — while not giving up an offensive point. A Northwestern recruit and Team USA Dapper Dan selection, Brill was among the most entertaining to watch.
160: Peter Andreotti, Sr., Marist
The Purdue recruit took third at 160 pounds and helped Marist to a national ranking and runner-up finish in team state, the program’s best run in 17 years. Andreotti (43-5) is one of just six RedHawks to reach the state podium three times. He was a SouthtownStar All-Area special mention as a running back in the fall.
170: Bryce Gorman, Sr., Lincoln-Way Central
In another close call, Gorman earned the 170-pound slot over Tinley Park state runner-up Eric Schultz (2A). Gorman finished fourth in 3A for the second straight year after bringing an undefeated record into the state semifinals. Gorman (44-3) was one of the main reasons the Knights made team state in consecutive seasons.
182: Alex Benoit, Jr., Marist
A dominant force and a linchpin in Marist’s lineup, Benoit finished third in 3A. The junior won Dvorak, Lincoln-Way East, East Suburban Catholic, regional and sectional titles. Benoit (44-3) is on pace to become Marist’s first four-time state medalist.
195: Tyler Johnson, Jr., Lockport
Johnson was a wrecking ball at 195, setting the school record with 33 pins while going 51-1. His only defeat came via ultimate tiebreaker in the state championship. Johnson is a USA Pan Am/Junior Olympic selection. His brother, Brad, wrestles at Oklahoma.
220: Devion May, Sr., Homewood-Flossmoor
May defeated his top competition for this spot, Lincoln-Way North’s Tyler Hill, in a state qualifying eliminator at the Normal West Sectional. May finished 31-8 after winning Wheaton Warrenville South and regional titles.
Heavyweight: Nick Allegretti, Sr., Lincoln-Way East
An All-American football player, Allegretti was just as menacing on the mat, capturing a 45-2 record and third-place medal in 3A. Allegretti upped his arsenal as a senior after being primarily a defensive wrestler last season. He’ll man the offensive line at Illinois next season.