Belleville West's Al Sears is not only one of the top high school wrestling coaches in Southern Illinois, he's also one of the most honest.
In his opinion, Edwardsville is clearly the team to beat of the nine competing at the Class 3A Granite City Regional on Saturday.
"I don't see anybody with a chance of beating them,'' Sears said of the Tigers. "I'm not sure how many individual champions they'll have, but they just have so much depth. Top to bottom they are just very solid.''
Despite that, Sears hopes to advance several individuals on to the Normal West Sectional on Feb. 14-15.
Pekin and Quincy, along with Southwestern Conference schools Belleville East, Belleville West, Alton, Granite City, O'Fallon and Collinsville, also are in the field.
The top three individuals in all 14 weight classes advance to the Normal West Sectional.
Action at Granite City begins at 9:30 a.m. with the finals set for 2 p.m. Tickets are $4 per session or $6 for an all-day pass.
Following is information on the Class 1A and 2A regionals involving local teams on Saturday.
Class 2A Mascoutah Regional
Site: Mascoutah High School, 9:30 a.m.
Local teams: Civic Memorial, Cahokia, East St. Louis, Jerseyville, Mascoutah, Triad and Waterloo
Overview: Highland senior heavyweight Tanner Farmer begins his bid to repeat as state champion when action begins at Mascoutah High School. Cahokia senior Dameon Adams, third in the state at 113 pounds a year ago, is also a top wrestler. Cahokia, Mississippi Valley Conference champion Triad and East St. Louis, should battle for the team title.
Note: The top three placewinners in all 14 weight classes advance to the Mahomet-Seymour Sectional on Feb. 14-15.
Class 1A Vandalia Regional
Site: Vandalia High School, 9 a.m.
Local teams: Mater Dei and Carlyle
Class 1A Mount Olive Regional
Site: Mount Olive High School, 9 a.m.
Local teams: Althoff, Marquette, Roxana and Wood River
Class 1A Murphysboro Regional
Site: Murphysboro High School, 9:30 a.m.
Local teams: Sparta and Red Bud
Note: The top three placewinners in all 14 weight classes at all three Class 1A regionals advance to the Robinson Sectional, Feb. 14-15.