Blue Line Training Academy wrestlers compete in State Championship

Claudia Loucks
Chase Krantz
Zachary Montez

Four wrestlers in Geneseo’s Blue Line Training Academy competed in the Illinois State Freestyle Championships held April 23 at Marmion Academy in Aurora.

Freestyle and Greco Roman wrestling is Olympic-style wrestling (International) with a different scoring system than used in high school and college wrestling (Folk style).

Zachary Montez, at 126 lbs.; Maliki Jackson, 138 lbs.; and Joshua Hock, 160 lbs. competed in the 16U division (Cadets).

Montez placed third and his top 3 finish qualifies him for the prestigious Freestyle National Tournament to be held in Fargo, N.D., where he will represent Team Illinois at Fargo Nationals on July 16-18. His only loss on the day was his match with eventual champion and two-time Illinois High School State Champion Ben Davino.

Montez won his other seven matches in dominant fashion, winning them all by technical fall which is a win by 10 points or more.

Chase Krantz competed in the 14U division. He had a total of eight matches on the day and went 4-4 taking home a sixth place finish. Krantz also competed in the Greco Roman State Tournament on April 30 in DeKalb and took second place.

The Blue Line Training Academy was started by Jesse Montez and his two sons,

In March the Academy (BLTA) in Geneseo sent seven wrestlers to the Illinois Kids Wrestling Federation (KWF) State Championship Tournament held in Rockford.

Montez shared the history of BLTA from its beginning in 2019 and said, “It was based off my two boys, Anthony and Zachary. I had a lot of people inquiring about the training I had my boys do because of their success in wrestling.”

“We currently do wrestling training, weight training, and speed and agility training,” he said.

The BLTA program is open to kids in kindergarten through high school and Montez said there currently are 45 members in wrestling program and 10 members in the personal training (weight training).

“The majority of our kids are from Geneseo with five kids who do not attend Geneseo schools,” Montez said. “Our youth wrestling practices are held at Geneseo High School and our middle school kids practice at Ekim’s Martial Arts in Silvis. We do our personal training/weight training at my house in East Moline.”

For more information about BLTA, visit Blue Line Training Academy on Face Book or email Montez at