ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) It's the biggest wrestling competition in the world and many of our own Stateline grapplers will hit the mats starting this week for the chance to call themselves national champions.
About a dozen of those heading to North Dakota put in one last training session at Alpha Wrestling Academy in Rockford.
Hononegah graduate Anthony Cassioppi is the big name that leads a number of local wrestlers to Fargo, North Dakota for the USA Wrestling Cadet & Junior National Championships. Cassioppi will be the favorite once again in the heavyweight division as the former Indian looks to repeat as a national champion and a Triple Crown winner.
There will be few first-timers heading down there as well, including Harlem junior Kyetin Lindquist and East sophomore Dominic Carlstrom.
One wrestler out for redemption is East's Aydin Guttridge. The senior was one match away from placing at last year's national meet.
"It just haunts me because I could've beat the guy," said Guttridge. "When I lost, I watched the film over and over again and I just got in bad position and I've learned from it. My goal this year is just to place at Fargo."
Team Illinois is coming off a team duals national championship in June and expects to win another national title.