National & State High School Rankings

25 Illinois High School Names You Need To Know

25 Illinois High School Names You Need To Know

Illinois produces high-level talent on an annual basis. Here's a look at 25 high school names you need to know this season.

Dec 14, 2021 by Mark Davino
25 Illinois High School Names You Need To Know
Team Illinois earned gold this past summer in freestyle at the  Junior Nationals in Fargo.  Not surprisingly, Illinois boasts an exceptional amount of returning upperclass talent.  The 2022 IHSA state series will showcase several of the top wrestlers in the country as they compete for a state title.  With only 25 spots and such a strong field, it is impossible to introduce all the deserving athletes.  However, here’s a look at 25 Illinois high school wrestlers you need to know this season.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Team Illinois earned gold this past summer in freestyle at the  Junior Nationals in Fargo.  Not surprisingly, Illinois boasts an exceptional amount of returning upperclass talent.  The 2022 IHSA state series will showcase several of the top wrestlers in the country as they compete for a state title.  With only 25 spots and such a strong field, it is impossible to introduce all the deserving athletes.  However, here’s a look at 25 Illinois high school wrestlers you need to know this season. 

Nasir Bailey (Rich Township) – junior, 132 pounds  

Bailey is coming off an Ironman title. The nation’s second-ranked 132-pounder holds the unique distinction of winning state championships in two different states, winning a title in Illinois in 2020 and one in Texas in 2021. He’s also a Fargo national champ. 

Markel Baker (Freeport) – senior, 120 pounds  

The Freeport Pretzel (which is arguably the best team mascot around) was a state finalist as a sophomore and took home the 120 2A Illinois state title last season. Baker was a USA Wrestling National Recruiting Showcase finalist and has committed to George Mason.

William Baysingar (Prospect) – junior, 126 pounds  

Baysingar took third at the state tournament as a freshman before going undefeated as a sophomore on his way to the 120-pound title in 3A. It’s not totally clear yet whether will compete at 126 or 132 this season, but he will be a strong contender to win a second state title at whichever weight he chooses.

Andrew Blackburn-Forst (Lockport) – senior, 220 pounds  

Coming off an undefeated junior season that included the 220-pound title in Class 3A, Blackburn-Forst recently kept his undefeated state championship streak going on the gridiron by winning the Illinois 8A football with his Lockport Porters. He’s ranked 11th nationally at 220. 

Phoenix Blakley (Dakota) – junior, 132 pounds 

Blakley found his way to the top of the Illinois state podium in both his freshman and sophomore seasons. He also earned national recognition last spring placing at the USA Wrestling National Recruiting Showcase.  

Ryan Boersma (Chicago Mount Carmel) – senior, 285 pounds  

Mount Carmel begins and ends it lineup with some of the best talent in the country, including the nation’s seventh-ranked heavyweight. Boersma is the returning 3A heavyweight champ as well as a Fargo Greco-Roman champion. The Missouri recruit is a strong favorite to repeat as the 3A champion at heavyweight and help his Caravan win another team state title.

Kole Brower (Moline) – senior, 138 pounds  

Brower, an Illinois recruit, captured a title last spring at the USA Wrestling National Recruiting Showcase to go with an Illinois state championship. He comes into this season as the top-ranked wrestler in Illinois at 138. 

Tommy Curran (Dekalb) – senior, 145 pounds  

Curran is coming off a state finals appearance in Class 3A at 145 and headlines a strong Dekalb team that features multiple state-ranked wrestlers. The North Carolina State recruit won a title last spring at the USA Wrestling National Recruiting Showcase and also recently captured a title at the Dan Gable Donnybrook. 

Benjamin Davino (Saint Charles East) – sophomore, 120 pounds  

The eighth-ranked sophomore 120-pounder was one of two freshmen to take home Illinois state championships this past season, winning the 113 3A title. He is also a 15U UWW National Champion and Ironman finalist.   

Jamison Garcia (Marmion) – junior, 113 pounds  

The Fargo 16U All-American headlines a solid Marmion team and comes in as the returning 3A state champion at 106.  

Gunnar Garriques (Lake Forest) – senior, 220 pounds  

Garriques is a Tennessee state champ who placed last spring at the USA Wrestling National Recruiting Showcase. This new addition to the Illinois landscape adds more depth to an already strong field. 

Bradley Gillum (Dekalb) – senior, 182 pounds  

A returning Illinois state champ in 3A at 170 and state finalist in 2020. Gillum holds a strong national tournament resume that includes a Preseason Nationals title in 2020 and a finals appearance at the Dan Gable Donnybrook.

Donnie Hidden (Washington) – senior, 195 pounds  

Hidden and 126-pound teammate Kannon Webster headline a very strong Washington team.  Coming off state title at 195 in 2A, Hidden is looking to repeat.  He is currently the top-ranked wrestler in Illinois at 195.

Dillan Johnson (Joliet Catholic) – sophomore, 285 pounds  

Johnson hasn’t yet popped into the national rankings, but it seems as if it’s only a matter of time before he becomes one of the top names in the national conversation at heavyweight. He’s coming off an undefeated season last year as a freshman at heavyweight. Johnson also recently played on the Joliet Catholic squad that won the Class 4A Illinois state title. 

Collin Kelly (Chicago Mount Carmel) – sophomore, 160 pounds 

Coming off a strong freshman campaign that ended with a third-place finish 3A at 152, Kelly will look to improve on that finish as Mount Carmel looks towards a team state title as well.  He currently holds the top stop in the Illinois rankings at 160. 

Sergio Lemley (Chicago Mount Carmel) – junior, 126 pounds 

The Mount Carmel junior holds the unique distinction of being both an Illinois and Indiana state champion. Lemley is also a Fargo freestyle finalist and Super 32 placewinner and he placed third at the Ironman.  He’s currently ranked #2 in Class 3A and sixth nationally. 

Jacob Macatangay (Plainfield North) – senior, 132 pounds  

Macatangay has moved up to 132 after winning an Illinois state title last season at 126. 

He earned national recognition last spring for placing at the USA Wrestling National Recruiting Showcase. 

Seth Mendoza (Chicago Mount Carmel) – freshman, 106 pounds 

Mendoza entered high school already boasting an exceptional list of accomplishments. In addition to his seven Illinois state youth titles, he also won a Fargo 16U national title and placed fourth in October at the Super 32.

Chris Moore (McHenry) – junior, 160 pounds 

Moore was a 2A champ at 113 as a freshman and a state runner-up last season at 138. Now he’s looking to add a 3A title to his already-impressive resume.                                                                  

Damari Reed (Shepard) – senior, 152 pounds  

Reed leads a very strong 152-pound field that features several returning state finalists. Reed solidified his top spot with a dominant performance at the Illinois ‘Test of The Best’ event this past October.

Vincent Robinson (Homewood-Flossmoor) – junior, 126 pounds 

Robinson added an Ironman title to his resume, which already included Fargo freestyle All-America honors and a fourth-place finish at the Super 32. The talented junior is ranked fifth nationally at 126. 

Ethan Stiles (Conant) – junior, 145 pounds  

Stiles won the 145-pound title in Class 3A, defeating Tommy Curran in the championship match.  After strong showings at multiple national offseason events, Stils is coming in as the top-ranked wrestler in Illinois at 145.  

Brayden Thompson (Lockport) – junior, 170 pounds  

Thompson didn’t compete last season in the Illinois state series, but the nation’s sixth-ranked 170-pounder placed third as a freshman and has put together an impressive national resume. He placed third at the Super 32, competed at Who’s #1 and reached the Fargo Junior finals in freestyle. 

Kannon Webster (Washington) – junior, 126 pounds  

The Illinois recruit headlines the deepest weight class in the state with several nationally-ranked wrestlers. Webster is coming off a Fargo title in freestyle and a third-place finish in Greco last summer.  The fourth-ranked junior also has a third-place finish at Super 32 this past fall.  In addition to his impressive national accolades, Webster won the IHSA 2A state championship as a freshman.

Kevin Zimmer (Sandburg) – senior, 220 pounds  

Zimmer did not compete in last year’s Illinois state tournament, but he was a state finalist in 2020. He is a Wyoming recruit. 


Others to watch: Gylon Sims (113, 2A), Damian Resendez (113, 3A), Carson Nishida (120, 2A), Joseph Malito (120, 3A), Massey Odiotti (120, 3A), Caelen Riley (120, 3A), Joe Fernau (126, 2A), Samuel Hayes (126, 3A), Lorenzo Frezza, (126, 3A), Billy Meiszner (126, 3A), Colby Crouch (126, 2A), Cole Rhemrev (138, 3A), Noah Tapia (145, 3A), Braden Stauffenberg (152, 2A), Ben Shvartsman (152, 2A), Brayden Peet (152, 2A), Phillip Dozier (3A, 195), Paulie Robertson (3A, 285).