After all was said and done, perhaps Class 2A was the one out of all of the 3 boys classes that may have been affected the most. There were some schools that were moved up to 3A. Some schools that moved up to 2A. The dynamics have changed dramatically the most in this class.
But saying all of that, one thing remains constant: Cahokia remains the favorite for the team title going into the 2012 season. There are some schools that will challenge the Commaches, but do they have the depth that this Southern Illinois school has?
Here is a look at the top teams in Class 2A heading into this season:
2011 Finish: 1st
Top Returnees: Trey Story SR (Sprints), Marlin Brady SO (Sprints), Darren Payton JR (400-800), Antonio Pierce JR (HJ, Sprints),
Gary Hickman SO (Hurdles), Chriss Moore JR (Hurdles, Jumps), Daniel McCall SO (Jumps), Kenny Ball SR (400-800),
Jalon Monigan SO (Mid Distances), Michael Monigan SO (Mid Distances).
Outlook: Vernon Carter and Laderrick Ward were the two leaders of last year’s squad that dominated the Class 2A state meet. They accounted individually for 42 out of the Comanches 62 points with Ward a member of their winning 4 x 400 meter relay. Still, this school will not spend a year rebuilding. They will be reloading.
Coach Leroy Millsap has a squad that is young and talented. He is also deep which will free him up to do different things with athletes this season. Last year, Cahokia did not get to the finals in the 4x1 and the 4x2. With the depth he has this year, count on them being in the mix. They return the core of their winning 4x4 relay and could possibly go for a time in the low 3:16’s. Chris Moore has been jumping well so far this winter in both the Long and Triple Jumps. He could be in the mix in both of those events in May. Trey Story could score points in either of the dashes. Look for big things from either Marlon Brady or Darren Payton also in the 400.
Glen Ellyn Glenbard South
2011 Finish: 3rd
Top Returnees: Wesley Sanders SR (Sprints), John Wold SO (Distances), Joe Singleton SO (Distances), Elven Walker SR (Sprints/Hurdles), Nick Boesso SR (Weights), Tim Maggit SO (Sprints).
Outlook: In Andy Preuss’ last campaign as the Raiders head coach, this team will look to improve on last year’s 3rd place finish. John Wold has emerged as one of the elite runners in Class 2A and could score points in either the 800 or 1600 or perhaps both. Fellow distance runner Joe Singleton had a good fall campaign in cross country and will look to build off of that this spring. Nick Boesso will among the top athletes in both the Shot Put and the Discus.
Sprinter Wesley Sanders has been sprinting in the shadows of graduated Garrett Payne. Watch for him in both the 100 and 200. Sanders will also be a plus in both of South's sprint relays.
2011 Finish: 19th
Top Returnees: Michael Clevenger SR (Distances), Jonathan Boey JR (Sprints), Nathan Allyn JR (Distances), Carlos Harris SR (Jumps), Aquintis Williams JR (Sprints), Jeff Auton SR (Weights), Tony Harris SR (Distances).
Outlook: This school could surprise in 2A in Charleston. Michael Clevenger is the defending champion in the 3200 and will look to defend that this year. He will also be one of the favorites in the 1600. Coach Micah Sheppard has a good sprint squad led by Juniors Jonathan Boey and Aquintis Williams. Both of these sprinters could score in either of the short races as well as the 4x1 and 4x2 relays. Nathan Allyn made the 800 finals last year as a sophomore. Look for him to challenge for the top spot this season. Carlos Harris returns as one of the top Triple Jumpers in 2A and could score in both or the horizontal jumps
2011 Finish: 10th
Top Returnees: Anthony Moore SR (Sprints), Spencer Allen SR (Hurdles), Karson Hahn JR (Distances), David Modert SO (Distances), Trace Turner SR (Pole Vault), Diamond Hodge JR (Triple Jump).
Outlook: Another school that could be in the top 5 in Charleston. Anthony Moore leads the way as being one of the top runners in the 400. Look for Spencer Allen to score points for the Rams in both hurdle races. Trace Turner will also provide points in the Pole Vault along with David Modert in the 1600.
2011 Finish: 2nd
Top Returnees: Joey Giovanelli SR (Sprints), Marc Maton JR (Distances), Luke Perko JR (Hurdles), Whitt Kinley SR (Distances), Tyler Brinkman JR (Sprints), Michael Giovanelli SO (Sprints).
Outlook: Can the Titans repeat their second place finish of last season? Coach Len Onken did lose some runners to graduation in the sprints. Joey Giovanelli however returns. The senior is forecasted to be one of the top sprinters in the state and could score points in the sprint races along with helping out in the relays. Marc Maton did not have a great state meet in Cross Country. Look for him to rebound this spring in both the 1600 and the 3200.
2011 Finish: 14th
Top Returnees: Dion Starnes SR (Sprints, Hurdles), Torian Parks JR (Sprints, Hurdles, Long Jump), Charles Jideonwo SR (Sprints), Demetrius Shelton JR (Sprints), Robert Fielding SR (Sprints).
Outlook: There are teams that revolve around one superior athlete. This is the case with the Braves. Senior Dion Starnes will be one of the favorites in the High Hurdles and the 200 along with being a force on a good 4x2 relay. So goes Starnes, so goes this team. They do have good speed with Torian Parks in the sprints and hurdles. Also watch for points from Charles Jideonwo in the 400 Meter Dash.
2011 Finish: 16th
Top Returnees: Marshall Graham SR (Sprints), Eli Johnson SR (Distances), Lucas Prather SR (Distances), Jonathan Schaap JR (Distances), Matthew Schaap SR (Hurdles), Austin Armetta SR (Pole Vault), Garrett Risley SR (Pole Vault), Derek Bunch SR (Weights), Luke Roush SR (Weights).
Outlook: Coach Keith Pogue continues to build a great tradition at this school. This is another team that could surprise and be in the top 5 in Charleston. You can expect big points from Derek Bunch and Luke Roush in the weight events. Bunch will be among the elite as will Roush in the Discus.The distance squad had a great fall in Cross Country and will look to build off of that in 2012. They will have a good 4x8 led by Eli Johnson and Lucas Prather and Jonathan Schaap could score points in the distance races. The Bulldogs will have a good sprint squad led by Marshall Graham. Watch also for points in the Pole Vault from either Austin Armetta or Garrett Risley.
2011 Finish: 14th
Top Returnees: Brent Emmerson SR (Sprints), Wesley Ward JR (Distances), Brendan Hoskins JR (Distances), Ivan Sykes SR (Jumps), Kyle Morris SR (Jumps), Chiko Zimtambila SR (Jumps), Carson Schumacher JR (Weights).
Outlook: This school could be in the hunt for a top 5 finish this spring. Coach Lester Hampton traditionally has a strong distance squad and 2012 will be no exception. Juniors Wesley Ward and Brendan Hoskins lead a group that could score points here and in the 4 x 8 relay. The horizontal jumps could be strong with Kyle Morris, Ivan Sykes, and Chiko Zimtambila all with the capability of scoring points at the state level.