John Dergo

John Dergo is a “Stud” at the University of Illinois Wrestling Program

In his final season as a high school football star, Morris’ John Dergo was the talk of the town and even the state. Dergo rushed for 3010 yards and scored 52 touchdowns in a season that broke numerous state records.

That dedication led to a successful collegiate career with the University of Illinois. During his senior year, Dergo was a four-time All-American and Big Ten champion.

Early Life and Education

In the collegiate wrestling world, John Dergo is a name to remember. He has compiled an impressive list of accomplishments during his storied four-and-a-half years at the University of Illinois. Some of the highlights include winning a Big 10 championship and making the All-American team, but it’s his dedication to training that has earned him the title of “stud” in the program’s book.

It’s no secret that Dergo is a die-hard fan of the U of I’s program, but his dedication to the sport has paid dividends at every level of competition. As the program’s top performer in a number of weight classes, Dergo has become one of the most consistent and productive wrestlers in recent memory.

Professional Career

During his high school career at Morris, Dergo won the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune football player of the year awards and led his team to a 6A state championship. But he decided to pursue a college wrestling career after his senior season.

He started in the 184-pound weight class and has been a steady presence at the helm of an 11th ranked Illini team this season. He and fellow true freshman Jimmy Kennedy (133) have stepped into a starting lineup and have helped Illinois to a perfect 6-0 record, 2-0 in conference competition.

The Illini will travel to East Lansing Friday to face 23rd ranked Michigan State. They will also take on 12th ranked Penn State on Sunday. Dergo and Kennedy will be matched up against top 10 opponents, and Kennedy will have a chance to win his first Big Ten match in the process.

Achievements and Honors

Among the many accolades John Dergo received as a high schooler was winning the Chicago Sun Time and the Chicago Tribune football player of the year award. He was also a prolific runner for the Morris Redskins and was one of only two players in the state to rush for over 300 yards on a single carry during his senior year. But he is probably most proud of his accomplishments in the weight room. Having started in the 184-pound weight class for head coach Mark Johnson, Dergo has already posted a perfect 6-0 record and compiled a 2-0 record in Big Ten competition.

Personal Life

A high school football god, Dergo rushed for 52 touchdowns and 3010 yards as the running back for the Morris Redskins in 2005. He also won the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune football player of the year awards.

Now, Dergo is wrestling in the 184-pound weight class for head coach Mark Johnson and the 11th ranked Illini. He’s stepped into an experienced starting lineup and has a 6-0 record, 2-0 in Big Ten competition. The only conference match he’s lost came against Northwestern’s top-ranked Jake Herbert. Nevertheless, Dergo’s next chance to win his first Big Ten match is this weekend in East Lansing against the 23rd ranked Michigan Spartans. He’s looking forward to it. He’s the best he’s ever been. All that remains are his parents George and Brenda, sisters Mary Chnupa and Linda Miscko and many wonderful friends.

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