ROCKTON - Area wrestlers will vie to advance in postseason play this weekend, with the Hononegah sectional qualifiers headlining the action.
The first two rounds of the IHSA Class 3A Barrington Sectional will take place Friday beginning at 6 p.m.
The Indians feature seven wrestlers who have the opportunity to qualify for the IHSA state meet. The group includes 145-pounder Giovanni Cassioppi, who enters the sectional with a sterling 35-6 record and the experience of two previous state meets.
Cassioppi received a first-round bye courtesy of his outstanding regular season, and will face either Michael Mondus of Palatine Fremd or Jason Bickers of Stevenson, each of whom have at least 12 losses on the season.
Cassioppi was a regional champion, and is ranked fifth in the state in the latest poll by Illinois Matmen.
Wrestlers must place in the top four to qualify for the state meet, which will be held beginning Thursday in Champaign.
126-pound Zach Fausel (30-7) will take on Amaire Jones of Dundee, while freshman Dylan Sayles will try to complete a terrific debut season with a state run beginning with his match against Jaylen Beals of Zion-Benton. Beals is one of the state's top wrestlers at 138 pounds, and carries a 28-4 record entering the meet.
170-pound senior Jarrett Kinney (15-7) missed some time this season due to injury but was healthy enough to record a second-place finish at the regional meet. Kinney will face Connor Prettyman of Barrington, who carries a 16-12 record, Friday night.
James Bowers (195 pounds) has had an outstanding senior season, going 24-6, and Matthew Salcena of Highland Park, who qualified for sectionals despite struggling to a 7-10 mark during the season. The reward for the winning wrestler will be top-seeded Dayven Shinhoster of Barrington, who carries a 27-2 record.
220-pound Kaleb Etnyre (31-8) is the only Indian besides Cassioppi to receive a bye. He will face the winner of Waukegan's Larry Barton and Stevenson's Dan Erdenetsogt.
Rounding out the list of Hononegah sectional qualifiers is heavyweight Paul Fay, who will face Tim Nichols of Barrington. Awaiting the winner of that match will be Jose Ramos, the third-ranked heavyweight wrestler in the state from Prospect High. Although he hasn't beaten him, Fay has given Aydin Guttridge, the state's second-ranked wrestler, a tough battle on several occasions this season. Guttridge is on the other side of the bracket from Fay.
• WIAA: Regional action is taking place across Wisconsin beginning Saturday morning.
Beloit Turner, led by Rock Valley Conference champion Drew Ries, will head to the WIAA Division 2 Evansville sectional, where they will be joined by Clinton and Brodhead-Juda.
The Cougars are led by conference champion Zach Wynstra at 182, while the Cardinals feature one of the state's top wrestlers in Jackson Hauri, currently ranked No. 1 at 152 pounds.
Big Foot will be at the East Troy regional.
In Division 3 action, Parkview will host its own regional. The Vikings are led into action by Korben Brown, who is ranked 11th at 152 pounds, and Chase Carratt, who is listed as honorable mention at 195.
In Division 1, Beloit Memorial will travel to Stoughton for its regional. The Knights boast Big Eight champion Tyler Sireci at 195 pounds.