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Tales From the Mat: Illinois High School Wrestling at 75 (PDF version only)


Since its origins in the late 1920s in the working-class neighborhoods of Chicago, Illinois high school wrestling has produced countless memorable moments. They’re all chronicled here in Tales From the Mat. Read all about the state’s greats from 1937, when the Illinois High School Association hosted the first state tournament underneath Memorial Stadium in Champaign…where University of Illinois football greats such as Red Grange also became legends…to 2012, when the 75th official state tournament convened at the historic Assembly Hall.

In 500 riveting pages, packed with over 200 photos, Tales From the Mat chronicles every one of those 75 state tournaments…and the back stories that led to those historic moments.

You’ll also read about wrestling through the eyes of the sport’s pioneers, legends and luminaries…who built the foundation that made wrestling into the exciting and popular sport that packs the Assembly Hall…and gyms all across the state every season.

Originally published as Mat Madness: 60 Glorious Years of Illinois High School Wrestling, in 1996, this revised and updated edition will transport you to the Assembly Hall in February…any time of year!

Subsequent annual updates will be published each spring.


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