Division I State Rankings, Analysis, and Preview

February 22, 2013 0 comments

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Division I 106 lbs Rankings and Analysis

1

Austin Assad Brecksville Cleveland State Sophomore

2

Jose Rodriguez Massillon Perry Mentor Sophomore

3

LJ Bentley Lakewood St. Edward Cleveland State Sophomore

4

Luke Nace Teays Valley Darby Junior

5

Josh Heil Brunswick Cleveland State Freshman

6

Tony Decesare Nordonia Cleveland State Freshman

7

Payton Gutierrez Pickerington Central Darby Senior

8

Josh Heidkamp Vandalia Butler Fairfield Senior

9

Noah Baughman Wadsworth Cleveland State Freshman

10

Mario Gullen Perrysburg Cleveland State Freshman

11

Garrett Lambert Strongsville Cleveland State Freshman

12

Jake Donahue Massillon Washington Mentor Freshman

13

Kyle Jenkins Stow Munroe Falls Mentor Freshman

14

Andre Lowery Shaker Heights Mentor Sophomore

15

Jonathan Furnas Olentangy Liberty Darby Sophomore

16

Anthony Jagel Middletown Fairfield Sophomore

17

Patrick Kearney Mason Fairfield Sophomore

18

Hunter Deshon North Canton Hoover Mentor Freshman

19

Kenny Hoberney Eastlake North Mentor Sophomore

20

Devione Edwards Lorain Cleveland State Freshman

21

Daniel Clement Solon Mentor Junior

22

Nico O’Dor Elyria Cleveland State Freshman

23

Tanner Ruiz Sylvania Southview Cleveland State Junior

24

Aaron Henneman Oregon Clay Cleveland State Junior

25

Shakur Laney Groveport Madison Hilliard Darby Sophomore

26

Tyler Corradi Garfield Heights Mentor Sophomore

27

Sam Williams Elder Fairfield Freshman

28

Harry Feuer Mayfield Mentor Freshman

29

Daniel Roth Lakota East Fairfield Sophomore

30

David Brunner North Olmsted Cleveland State Junior

 

There was a time when 103 lbs. was just assumed to be the weakest weight class in wrestling.  The new 106 lb. weight, is not your old 103 weight by any stretch of the imagination. Given that with the weight allowance, 106 is really 108, it would be fair to estimate that probably nearly half of the wrestlers who might have been 112 back in the day will now find their way to 106.  As a result, we have a weight class that is loaded with talent.

The state title race will be a showdown between two of the nation’s best in Jose Rodriguez of Perry and Austin Assad of Brecksville.  Currently, Rodriguez is ranked #5  and Assad is ranked #3 nationally, according to www.intermatwrestle.com.  This one is truly a tossup in my eyes.  In their previous match-up at Beast of the East, Rodriguez stormed out to a 4-1 lead, only to have Assad fight back to a 5-4 win. In that match, Rodriguez looked to be a bit better on his feet, while the tenacious Assad was better on the mat.  It’s also relevant to note that Rodriguez defeated the wrestler at Ironman  (Jack Mueller of Texas) who defeated Assad.  Still, head-to-head must be decisive, so Assad must be the choice.

Bentley of St. Edward is a very solid #3 choice.  I think as the season goes on, he continues to close the gap on Assad and Rodriguez, and an upset of either of the top duo is not impossible.  I can’t see him beating both back-to-back, but knocking one or the other off is very possible.

After the top three, there is a bit of a drop-off, and then  there is a very solid and deep “second tier” that is almost interchangeable between the #4-#10 ranked wrestlers.  Nace, Heil and Decesare have been the most consistent of the group.  It will be interesting to see how the outstanding group of freshman -  namely Heil, Decesare, Guillen, and Baughman- match up with savvy upperclassmen Nace, Guiterrez, and Heidkamp.  When a guy like Guiterrez is ranked lower than he placed at this weight a year ago, you know that’s a tough weight class.

The other big story here is the dominance of the Cleveland State District- seven of the top 11 hail from that District. Mentor is also pretty respectable here, but neither Fairfield nor Darby has as much talent at the Medina Sectional had.

Division I 113 lbs Rankings and Analysis

1

Aaron Assad Brecksville Cleveland State Senior

2

Armando Torres Elyria Cleveland State Junior

3

Dakota Riley Mount Vernon Darby Senior

4

Nick Mancini Boardman Mentor Sophomore

5

Connor Ziegler Cincinnati Moeller Fairfield Sophomore

6

Anthony Milano Lasalle Fairfield Senior

7

Jason Spencer Massillon Perry Mentor Sophomore

8

Justyn Bostic Massillon Jackson Mentor Sophomore

9

Jimmy Ferritto Cleveland St. Ignatius Mentor Senior

10

Jared Davis Oregon Clay Cleveland State Junior

11

Colin Kramer Mentor Mentor Senior

12

Andy Fausnight North Canton Hoover Mentor Senior

13

Sal Corrao Lakewood St. Edward Cleveland State Senior

14

Reginald Lowery Shaker Heights Mentor Senior

15

Brandon Tucker Loveland Fairfield Sophomore

16

Brett Thomas Brunswick Cleveland State Junior

17

Collin Delvalle Kettering Fairmont Fairfield Junior

18

Chris Doyle Green Mentor Junior

19

Evan Collier North Ridgeville Cleveland State Junior

20

Santino Disabito Westerville North Darby Junior

21

Demarco Davis Fairfield Fairfield Junior

22

Alec Logsdon Lebanon Fairfield Sophomore

23

Andre Stowers Maple Heights Mentor Freshman

24

Andre Herron North Royalton Mentor Junior

25

Troy Barclay Centerville Fairfield Junior

26

Marko Vilimonovic Medina Highland Cleveland State Sophomore

27

Nick Broyles Northmont Fairfield Junior

28

Conner Thomas Olentangy Liberty Darby Freshman

29

Kyle Dooley Teays Valley Darby Sophomore

30

Jacob Sharp Sidney Fairfield Senior

 

The theme here might be “long overdue”.  Nationally ranked Assad has three top three state finishes to his credit- but has had the misfortune of being in weight classes with Nathan Tomasello and Brandon Thompson.  An absolutely huge 113 who is extremely consistent, he will be difficult to unseat here.  #2 Armondo Torres has had his last two seasons hi-jacked by injury, including last season when he was the consensus #3 or #4 106 in the state.  This year he has been better than ever.  While his three losses to Assad have all been by a single point, based on the bout that I saw at Ironman, I have a difficult time seeing Torres overcoming him.

A solid #3 choice is Dakota Riley.  Riley was 3rd last year (and often very dominant along the way) and has been just as impressive this year. It’s actually somewhat debatable whether Torres should be ranked above him, but given that Torres owns two narrow wins over Division III favorite Ganger, and Ganger beat Riley (by a point) the order is clear, for now. The dangerous Nick Mancini is #4 in my view.  Very aggressive and unorthodox, Mancini is a “bad draw” for anyone in this bracket and seems to be markedly improved from a year ago.

Very solid depth at this weight, with about a dozen wrestlers who are good enough for placement in my view.  In contrast to the Cleveland State District’s dominance at 106, Mentor steals the show here, with nine of the top 18 wrestlers (although Cleveland State has the top two). To borrow from the legendary Brian Brakeman- “the cupboard is bare” once at Darby, with only one of the top 20 hailing from that District.

Division I 120 lbs Rankings and Analysis

1

Brandon Thompson Solon Mentor Senior

2

David Bavery Massillon Perry Mentor Junior

3

Artem Timchenko Olentangy Orange Darby Senior

4

Taleb Rahmani Marysville Darby Sophomore

5

Richie Screptock Oregon Clay Cleveland State Sophomore

6

Ben Darmstadt Elyria Cleveland State Freshman

7

Josh Wimer Central Crossing Darby Junior

8

Brendon Watson Centerville Fairfield Senior

9

Austin Daly Lakota East Fairfield Senior

10

Greysun Barden Fairfield Fairfield Senior

11

Dan Bartinelli North Royalton Mentor Senior

12

Alec Cotton Uniontown Lake Mentor Junior

13

Drew Dickson North Ridgeville Cleveland State Junior

14

John Clouse Beavercreek Fairfield Senior

15

Sam Valenti Hilliard Darby Darby Senior

16

Giuseppe Penzone Olentangy Liberty Darby Junior

17

Justin Joliff Findlay Cleveland State Sophomore

18

Austin Hiles Lakewood St. Edward Cleveland State Freshman

19

Quinn May Lebanon Fairfield Sophomore

20

Nathan Burns North Canton Hoover Mentor Junior

21

Connor Gray Wadsworth Cleveland State Sophomore

22

Jacoby Ward Cincinnati Moeller Fairfield Freshman

23

Noah Schuab Green Mentor Sophomore

24

Bailey Mezinger Fremont Ross Cleveland State Junior

25

Nick Collica Nordonia Mentor Sophomore

26

Tyler Workman Parma Cleveland State Senior

27

Micah Shorts Shaker Heights Mentor Junior

28

Christian Yates Anthony Wayne Cleveland State Senior

29

Jeremy Rezabek Strongsville Cleveland State Sophomore

30

Matt Topoly Brecksville Cleveland State Junior

 

At the start of the season, we had a three man race, with 2x state champion Brandon Thompson having a slight edge over 2012 State Champ Bavery based on wins over him back in 2011, and 2x state placer Timchenko being a solid #3, yet he was a “wildcard” that was difficult to compare to the top duo, due to missing the 2012 season.  Three months later, we’ve wrestled an entire season but resolved almost nothing. Thompson and Bavery have both performed almost exactly as you would have expected,, and based on their results I still think that Thompson is slightly better than Bavery.  Timchenko is unbeaten with some quality wins (including 7-3 over Screptock) but we haven’t seen him against any competition that could really give us a sense of how he matches up with the top duo.  My gut instinct is that he is right there with them. An interesting side-note is that Bavery and Timchenko were teammates back in 2011.

Although my pick is Thompson- one thing to think about is that back in 2011 Thompson was an absolutely huge 103, whereas Bavery of course was a small 103 who made 106 a year later.  However, this time, they will be on much more equal size footing, as one look at the very tall Bavery indicates he is anything but small for the weight.

The next group of wrestlers  here who will make things interesting are Rahmani, Screptock, Darmstadt, and Wimer.  Rahmani was 4th at 106 a year ago and missed the majority of the season, so it’s difficult to tell how he stacks up (though he has been very dominant against lesser competition since his return). Screptock had a brilliant season a year ago as a freshman, placing 7th in the loaded 113 weight, and after becoming a Cadet All-American in Fargo over the summer he has had another banner season, except for a somewhat surprising loss to Wimer. In the era of the 16-year-old freshmen, Ben Darmstadt has burst onto the scene this year as a 14 year old freshmen, with numerous big wins, including an 11-7 stunner over Division III state champion Sammy Gross.  Darmstadt even pushed Thompson hard in a 10-7 NOC loss. I forsee avery bright future for this wrestler.  #7 Wimer may be underrated here just as everyone had him ranked too low last year (he placed 5th at 106). He has the win over Screptock, but is hurt in my view by a loss to #8 Brendan Watson.2x state qualifier Watson failed to place at Brecksville, losing to Screptock by fall and Mossing (whom Darmstadt defeated).

In contrast to the first two weights which are dominated by the northern Districts, here  we have almost perfect balance  between the Districts- which is good to see, as you always hate to see wrestlers good enough to place unable to get out while far interior wrestlers qualify.

Division I 126 lbs Rankings and Analysis

1

Ivan McClay Massillon Washington Mentor Senior

2

Bobby Smith Hilliard Davidson Darby Senior

3

Josh Parrett Kettering Fairmont Fairfield Junior

4

Tommy Ziegler St. Ignatius Mentor Senior

5

David Sparks Marysville Darby Junior

6

Tim Rooney St. Charles Darby Sophomore

7

Chance Driscoll Lakewood St. Edward Cleveland State Senior

8

Alec Benedetti North Royalton Mentor Junior

9

Austin Phillips Massillon Perry Mentor Sophomore

10

Bryan DeRuchie Amherst Steele Cleveland State Senior

11

Matt Sicurella Glen Este Cincinnati Sophomore

12

Jake Evanich North Canton Hoover Mentor Junior

13

AJ Donigian Beavercreek Fairfield Senior

14

John Williams Bedford Mentor Junior

15

Connor Borton Cincinnati Moeller Fairfield Sophomore

16

Brandon Selmon Princeton Fairfield Junior

17

Peter Ryan Boardman Mentor Senior

18

Brad Kakos Franklin Heights Darby Senior

19

Justin Demicco Brecksville Cleveland State Freshman

20

Brian Henneman Oregon Clay Cleveland State Senior

21

Jarrad Lasko Madison Mentor Sophomore

22

Patrick Allen Colerain Fairfield Senior

23

Jared Ferguson Pickerington North Darby Junior

24

Bryan Crabtree Mason Fairfield Senior

25

Kyle Ramsey Lebanon Fairfield Junior

26

Darion Overall Elyria Cleveland State Sophomore

27

Ryan Gordon St. Xavier Fairfield Junior

28

Max Meddings Fairfield Junior

29

Jake Demio Strongsville Cleveland State Senior

30

Adam Salti Olmsted Falls Cleveland State Junior

 

This is far from the strongest weight class in Division I this year.  Moreover, after a highly predictable #1 choice, it is almost completely unpredictable how the next four or five wrestlers will shake out- as they not only have almost no match history between them, but also no common opponents.  It will be very interesting and I would “expect the unexpected” at this weight.

That highly predictable #1 choice, the excellent Ivan McClay of Massillon Washington, is one of the biggest favorites in all 42
weights this weekend. Already a 4th, 2nd, and 3rd place state finisher, now that long-time nemesis Dicamillo has moved on to excelling in the collegiate ranks, he should be untouchable here.

My #2 choice is Bobby Smith of Hilliard Davidson- not so much on the basis of what he’s done this season at this weight as on total career. There are several intriguing things about Smith- first, his weight class strategy this season has been fascinating to say the least.  Smith competed at 145 (not a typo) through Brecksville, beating two Division I state qualifiers and losing 6-1 to nationally ranked Danishek on his way to a third place finish.  Suddlenly, he appears at 126 lbs, where he recently defeated #5 Rooney in overtime tiebreakers.  One would think that Smith has to be the biggest 126 in history, and if he can hold the weight and make the finals, an upset on the last day may be in the making on the basis of size alone.

The other interesting thing about Smith is that while he has only a 5th place state finish in Division III to his credit currently- he could easily be a state champion and 2x state finalist right now.  As a freshman, he advanced to the semi-finals, where he lost in overtime tiebreakers to Aaron Assad- a wrestler he had previously beaten.  As a sophomore, he was ranked #1 in the state and beat eventual champion McLaughlin at Districts, only to get upset by eventual 3rd place finisher Sandlin by a score of 4-3. He was  then eliminated inexplicably the next round.

I see Josh Parrett as the #3 choice over Ziegler for several reasons.  First, Parrett had a great showing in the preseason Super 32, reaching the semi-finals. Second, Ziegler was absolutely handled twice this year by Division II favorite Tutolo, 12-4 and 5-0. By contrast, Tutolo squeaked by Parrett last year 6-5.

#5 Sparks has an impressive trio of wins over State Placers this year- specifically, Mike Kostandaros, Richie Screptock, and Nate Hagen. He did lose to Ziegler, however.

After the top six or seven guys here, there is a major drop off and the remaining wrestlers are highly interchangeable. Out of the Fairfield District in particular, it is very difficult to make any sense of the results as after Parrett, you have about seven wrestlers that have traded wins back in forth all season without any rhyme or reason.  It’s a virtual certainty that someone out of this “second tier” is going to be a major surprise- the only question is, who will it be?

Division I 132 lbs Rankings and Analysis

1

Dean Heil Lakewood St. Edward Cleveland State Senior

2

Matt Denlinger Kettering Fairmont Fairfield Senior

3

Kasee McDougle Gahanna Lincoln Darby Senior

4

TJ Levitsky Parma Cleveland State Senior

5

Brandon Egnor Elyria Cleveland State Senior

6

Sonny Shump Barberton Mentor Senior

7

Kendall Newell Vandalia Butler Fairfield Senior

8

Andrew Mendel Cincinnati Moeller Fairfield Senior

9

Zac Carson Uniontown Lake Mentor Sophomore

10

Lee Wilson Hilliard Davidson Darby Junior

11

Sonny Lucas Brecksville Cleveland State Sophomore

12

Nick Boggs Painesville Riverside Mentor Junior

13

Shawn Williams Bedford Cleveland State Junior

14

Jamie Norris Massillon Perry Mentor Senior

15

Gavin Nelson Oregon Clay Cleveland State Junior

16

Mario Graziani Boardman Mentor Freshman

17

Taylor Bryant Fairfield Fairfield Senior

18

Neil Roff Kenston Mentor Senior

19

Jake Donatelli Hilliard Darby Darby Senior

20

Marc Heidelman Lodi Cloverleaf Cleveland State Junior

21

Nicholas Bishop Mayfield Mentor Senior

22

Dejon Moss Maple Heights Mentor Junior

23

Lane Hinkel Mount Vernon Darby Freshman

24

Ricky Perez Strongsville Cleveland State Senior

25

Jordan Wakser North Canton Hoover Mentor Senior

26

Josh Scanlon Centerville Fairfield Senior

27

Ben Heyob St. Xavier Fairfield Sophomore

28

Ryan McGrath Hilliard Bradley Darby Junior

29

Noah Messerall Thomas Worthington Darby Junior

30

Xavier Wasco North Royalton Mentor Sophomore

 

If there is one thing that you can be sure of, it’s that Nathan Tomasello, Dean Heil, and Bo Jordan will be crowned 4x State Champions on Saturday.  Heil has not had the season this year that he did a year ago- when he posted one of the best seasons that any Ohio wrestler has in recent years in terms of high-level wins nationally speaking- but there is nobody here that can run with him on his worst day.

In many ways this weight class is much like 126, albeit at a slightly higher level. You have one wrestler who towers over the field, and in this case, about seven more who are all stand a decent chance to make the finals. In a weight like this it’s helpful to think in terms of clusters of wrestlers, #2-8 is the group who can make the finals, #9-14 or maybe 15 is the group that is looking to place, and the others are fighting for qualification.   The clear choice for runner-up has to be Denlinger at this point- a 2011 state placer who failed to place a year ago, he’s passed every test this year, including big wins over #5 Egnor, #4 McDougle, #7 Newell (twice), #10 Wilson and Division III state 3rd Sandlin.

Outside of Denlinger, the rest of the top guys all have some good wins, but at least one loss that hurts their “stock” so to speak.  Levitsky has been brilliant all year, going unbeaten and posting a convincing 7-1 win over Egnor at NOC, but then he lost to Williams at Sectionals which was something of a head-scratcher.  Then again, as with Williams’ brother John we don’t see these guys against enough top competition to really gauge where they fit into the big picture. The highly aggressive McDougle looked tough at Brecksville against Denlinger despite losing, has a pin against Egnor, and a win over Wilson, but recently lost to Dakota Mays (though he also has two dominant wins over Mays). Shump was pinned by Egnor, though he has looked very good since.Egnor has the losses to Levitsky and also to Nelson of Clay.  I feel that the order is definitely correct based on the results so far, but any eventual order between the wrestlers ranked 2-8 would not come as a surprise.

Two of the most difficult wrestlers to rank were Andrew Mendel- because he has no matches against the other top guys, and Sonny Lucas- because he competed all season at 138 (where he had a big win over Zollinge and Steed). Either of these wrestlers may prove to be ranked too low.

As is so often the case, it will be a dogfight to grab those coveted 3rd and 4th place spots at Cleveland State and Mentor. Fairfield should send a very respectable trio to
Columbus as well in Denlinger, Newell, and Mendel, with the final spot up for grabs.

Division I 138 lbs Rankings and Analysis

1

Noah Forrider Marysville Darby Senior

2

Collin Heffernan St. Edward Cleveland State Senior

3

Casey Sparkman Massillon Perry Mentor Sophomore

4

Drew McDougle Gahanna Lincoln Darby Senior

5

Nick Montgomery Madison Mentor Senior

6

Eli Garcia Lorain Cleveland State Senior

7

Mathias Zollinger Wadsworth Cleveland State Senior

8

Jordan Branham Miamisburg Fairfield Senior

9

Mason Calvert Sidney Fairfield Senior

10

Adam Sams Fairfield Fairfield Senior

11

Anthony Alexander Northland Darby Senior

12

Nick Steed Glen Oak Cleveland State Sophomore

13

Tanner Miller Lancaster Darby Sophomore

14

Evan Morgan Elder Fairfield Junior

15

Mike DeCesare Nordonia Cleveland State Junior

16

Kyle Workman Parma Cleveland State Junior

17

Alex Funderburg Amherst Steele Cleveland State Senior

18

Jordan Collins Mason Fairfield Senior

19

Jimmy Hiller Twinsburg Mentor Senior

20

David Masch Uniontown Lake Mentor Sophomore

21

Grayson Davis Brecksville Cleveland State Junior

22

Jonathan Tallarigo Cincinnati Moeller Fairfield Junior

23

Nick Lawler Hilliard Davidson Darby Junior

24

Dick Kelly North Olmsted Cleveland State Senior

25

Ducan Bauer Kenston Mentor Junior

 

It has never been a secret that this would be the toughest weight class in Division I this year. With Dean Heil at 132 and Edgar Bright at 145, top middleweights were clearly going to be highly motivated to find their way to this weight class in hopes of winning a title, and that’s exactly what has happened. All told, seven state placers have competed here, along with an outstanding quartet of state qualifiers who are every bit as good as the placers- for a total of 11 top echelon competitors at this weight.

Colin Heffernan jumped out to the head of the pack first at Ironman, placing 5th in a loaded weight and earning a national ranking.  Among his wins was a dominant win over state placer Isaac Bast of Perry.  However, if any wrestler in this state has subsequently made a quantum leap forward, it has to be Noah Forrider.  Already a 3x state placer, the Marysville Senior has taken it to an entirely new level. He began the season by pinning Division III state runner-up  Zane Nelson, wrestling up a weight. Since then, he has scored completely dominant wins over state placers McDougle, Bast, and Calvert.  But the “big one” was when he pulled the shocker of the season, moving up to 145 and actually defeating Edgar Bright- something that was considered virtually unthinkable.  For good measure, he also moved up and defeated #2 at 145 Jake Ryan.  All in all there is no denying his status as the favorite at this weight.

A darkhorse contender is  Casey Sparkman of Perry.  The sophomore transfer from California was having a solid season at 145, but since dropping to 138 has been dynamite.  Presumably, he defeated Bast to take the spot, and then beat Heffernan at state duals . Most recently he won 20-7

Two wrestlers who should not be overlooked here are state 4th place finishers McDougle and Montgomery.  McDougle has an aggressive style that could pose problems for any of the top three.  Remember he was 4th a year ago when the top three were Ward, Bright, and Squire. Montgomery would be a 3x state placer right now in all likelihood if not for being slowed by injury last year. His mat wrestling could pose problems for the higher ranked wrestlers if he’s 100%.

Division I 145 lbs. Rankings and Analysis

1

Edgar Bright Lakewood St. Edward Cleveland State Senior

2

Jake Ryan Olentangy Darby Senior

3

Isaac Bast Massillon Perry Mentor Junior

4

Lucas Marcelli Massillon Jackson Mentor Senior

5

Wyatt Music Ashland Cleveland State Senior

6

Ryan Roth Perrysburg Cleveland State Senior

7

AJ Kowal Princeton Fairfield Junior

8

Trey Grine Fremont Ross Cleveland State Junior

9

Tyrone McGuniea Twinsburg Mentor Senior

10

Bo Ransom Madison Mentor Junior

11

Jairod James Bedford Mentor Junior

12

Matt Degroff Uniontown Lake Mentor Sophomore

13

Lucas Staten Mount Vernon Darby Sophomore

14

Dillon Ashton Mentor Mentor Senior

15

Austin Strnad Brecksville Cleveland State Junior

16

Kevin Leonhardt Lakota West Fairfield Senior

17

Melvin Johnson Maple Heights Mentor Senior

18

Emilio Dibennedetto Upper Arlington Darby Junior

19

Cody Pollitt Olentangy Darby Junior

20

Caleb Llaneza Westerville South Darby Junior

21

Brad Huber Sycamore Fairfield Senior

22

Bryce Williams Amherst Steele Cleveland State Senior

23

Kyle Wahl Worthington Kilbourne Darby Senior

24

Abdulhabib Abdulhabib Wadsworth Cleveland State Senior

25

David Docherty Parma Mentor Junior

 

Here we have a battle of two outstanding wrestlers who are due to catch a break after coming up just short in a number of big matches.  Without question, this is the state finals I look forward to the most, should they be in opposite brackets.  Let’s look at each:

First we have Edgar Bright, a 2x State Runner-up with overtime losses to George Dicamillo and Joey Ward, both two time state champions who are actually nationally ranked as true freshmen in college. Last year’s state final with Ward was easily the highlight of the finals.  Bright seemed to outwrestle him all six minutes and was in on numerous great shots, only for Ward to somehow pull off a mind-blowing counters and allow no points, and eventually avenge his earlier loss to Bright. Despite that loss, the list of wrestlers throughout the nation that Bright has beaten over the past two years is just incredible. The list includes Anthony Ashnault (who is about to become New Jersey’s first four-time unbeaten state champ), Zane Retherford (Cadet World Champs and Junior National Freestyle Champ and  considered by some the nation’s best high school wrestler, period), Alex Cisneros (one shocking upset away from becoming California’s first 4x state champ), Joey Ward, Kagan Squire (three times) and we would include Mark Grey of Blair in there as well if not for some shockingly bad officiating.  And yet, this is a wrestler who may be in at least some jeopardy of completing his career without a state title)

So how it is possible that a wrestler who has beaten the best of the best nationally is in danger of losing to a wrestler who placed 7th at state last year  in  Jake Ryan? Three reasons- first, Ryan is no ordinary 7th place state finisher.  A year ago he competed in what was one of the toughest state tournament weight classes in history- there were as many as 6-8 wrestlers who were good enough to be state champions.  In the first round, Ryan outwrestled eventual state champ Mitch Newhouse for the majority of the match, only for Newhouse to score very late and squeak the match out. Newhouse went on to beat Michael Labry in the finals, a wrestler that Ryan  had split with- so it’s not impossible to imagine a scenario where Jake Ryan is your 138 lb. state champ (of course, the same could be said of Labry, Angelo Amenta, Noah Forrider, or Nick Barber).  Dropping into the consolation bracket, Ryan first eliminated 2x state placer Matt Hammer (who had also beaten Newhouse earlier in the year) and then returning state placer Sams (did I mention this weight class was tough?) before losing a close bout to Amenta- a returning 3rd place state finisher who he had beaten twice before.  Hardly your ordinary 7th place state finish.

The second reason that I think Ryan is in this match is that I think he’s improved more over the past year than Bright has.  Two years ago, Jake Ryan was barely on the radar, a quick 0-2 at state who wouldn’t have qualified if not for a weak District.  Fast forward two years, and he was able to move up a weight class and take on 2x state champ and Junior National Freestyle Champion Anthony Collica, and take him into overtime tiebreakers.  Bright, to me, hasn’t looked quite as inspired as he did a year ago, and his loss to Forrider is evidence of that (though it likely serves as a wakeup call).

Finally, I think Bright is a small 145, who would likely be at 138 if the team wasn’t better off with him here. Ryan, by contrast, appears to be a big 145, which could come into play on Saturday Night when the wrestlers have had ample time to fully rehydrate.

At the end of the day, however, you can’t bet against someone with as many high level wins as Bright, and 2x Division III state champ Jacob Danishek is a key common opponent. Bright won narrowly over Danishek in a one takedown match, Ryan lost a heartbreaker on a late takedown (though frankly, he looked as good or better).

Generally a stud like Bright will “clear out” a weight class.  However, with national champ Collica at 152, there is/was nowhere to run and as a  result, you have as good of a field here as at any of the 42 weights. #3-5 in my view is the trio of state placers Isaac Bast, Lucas Marcelli, and Wyatt Music. I am protesting my own rankings here.  Looking at their entire careers, I believe that Music is the best of the three, followed by Marcelli, then Bast (Bast being small for the weight it would seem is part of my reasoning).  However, the results so far have went just the opposite, with Bast beating Marcelli who beat Music (all very close), so that’s how I’ve got to rank them. Music hasn’t been quite as sharp as he was a year ago- but I believe he’s saving his best for last, as his recent 7-2 win over previously unbeaten Trey Grine shows.

#6 Ryan Roth, #7 AJ Kowal, #8 Trey Grine, and #9 Tyrone Mcguinea are not the caliber of kids that you might expect to see  ranked as they are, but in the infinite wisdom of the NFHS, we get weights like this that more talent than 182, 195, 220, and 285 combined- so get used to it. State placer Roth had a nice showing at Ironman and he may be able to unseat one of the above group.  Kowal seems to be able to wrestle a very close match with almost anyone but has not quite figured out how to beat the very top guys- no shame in that.  I think he’s due for a big win.  Grine was something like 44-0 going into the Sectional Finals where he lost to Music as mentioned- including a win over Mossing, ranked #1 in the 138 lb. weight class in Division II. Mcguinea I think is a half-step behind, though it’s difficult to say for sure as the only result I have for him against a top guy this year is getting pinned by Collica.

With 7 of the top 16 coming from Mentor in what is arguably the toughest of all 42 weights, some very good wrestlers will not be attending the state tournament at this weight.

Division I 152  lbs. Rankings and Analysis              

1

Anthony Collica Solon Mentor Senior

2

Markus Scheidel Lakewood St. Edward Cleveland State Senior

3

Tony Dailey Massillon Perry Mentor Junior

4

LaTrell Davis Middletown Fairfield Senior

5

JP Newton Perrysburg Cleveland State Junior

6

Wyatt Wilson Cincinnati Moeller Fairfield

7

Dylan Lauffer Fairfield Fairfield Senior

8

Nick Lancia Watkins Memorial Darby Senior

9

Deshon Johnson Maple Heights Mentor Senior

10

Damen Dominique Oregon Clay Cleveland State Senior

11

David Celinski Garfield Heights Mentor Senior

12

Aaron Yarger Pickerington Central Darby Junior

13

Robert Kersey Miamisburg Fairfield Senior

14

Andrew McNally Uniontown Lake Mentor Freshman

15

Conner Rigsby Painesville Riverside Mentor Junior

16

Aaron Sweeney Madison Mentor Senior

17

Anthony Trocchio Dublin Scioto Darby Senior

18

Jacob Hinz Westerville North Darby Sophomore

19

Danny Pushpak Brecksville Cleveland State Senior

20

Payton Geary Fremont Ross Cleveland State Junior

21

Scott Deluse Lancaster Darby Junior

22

Robbie Bosley Wadsworth Cleveland State Junior

23

Tom Lehman Akron Firestone Mentor Senior

24

Alex Parker Elyria Cleveland State Senior

25

Austin Williams Amherst Steele Cleveland State Junior

 

This is the third weight in a row with great up-top strength- though the depth isn’t quite what we see at 138 and 145.  Without question, we will have one of the marquee matches of the finals should the rematch of Collica and Scheidel come to pass as it certainly expected.  After all, Collica is a junior national champion  and 2x state champion.  A relentless attacker, he maintains great positioning at all times.

#2 Scheidel (ranked #9 in the nation)seems to make a steady improvement every year.  This year, he looks stronger and more confident than he ever has, and his recent win over Alex Marinelli just underscores  how good he is.  That said, I can’t see him winning this match, even though last year’s bout was 1-1 with a minute to go.  Both of these guys are primarily leg attack specialists who maintain great position and beat you with hustle.  Collica is just a little more athletic and has a little more of a motor than Scheidel does in my view. I think if they wrestled ten times all ten bouts would be close, but all ten would be won by Collica.  I expect a bout similar to their match  at Regional Dual Finals, won by Collica on the strength of two takedowns, 5-2.

#3 Tony Dailey without question is one of the year’s most improved wrestlers.  Never a state qualifier before this year, the Perry Junior made the wrestling world take notice on Friday at the Ironman, scoring a 17-2 Technical Fall over 3x Kentucky State Champ and Cadet All-American Kevin Cooper.  Dailey followed that up by beating Jake Bass, a FILA Cadet National Champ ranked in the nation’s top ten. Although he lost his next three to finish 6th on Saturday, all three matches were against opponents ranked in the top 10-15 in the nation, and the losses were by a point, in overtime, and 4-2.  Dailey went on to wrestle Scheidel at M.I.T. and although he lost just 5-4, for some reason I can’t see him beating the St. Edward senior- much as I can’t see Scheidel beating Collica.

Latrell Davis seems to be a solid choice for #4.  A state qualifier a year ago, his main claim to fame this year has been close losses- 2-1 to Cooper and in overtime rideouts against Stephen Myers.  Apart from that he’s unbeaten at 33-2, but his only noteworthy win that I have seen is a 3-2 win over AJ Kowal- ranked #7 at 145. At any rate, either him or #5 Newton is the next best here after the top trio in my view.  Newton hasn’t had quite the season I anticipated- most recently losing in the Sectional Finals to Dominique in a real head-scratcher, but at times he can be brilliant.

Tremendous dropofff after the top five here, especially compared to the incredible depth at 138 and 145.

Division I 160  lbs Rankings and Analysis

1

Quinton Hiles Brecksville Mentor Senior

2

Detuan Smith Colerain Fairfield Junior

3

Dakota Sizemore Cincinnati Moeller Fairfield Junior

4

Jacob Globke Middletown Fairfield Senior

5

Joe Heyob Cincinnati St. Xavier Fairfield Junior

6

Chase Boyd Marysville Darby Junior

7

Mike Wearsch Amherst Steele Cleveland State Senior

8

Nick Stencil Oregon Clay Cleveland State Junior

9

Bruno Millin Massillon Perry Mentor Senior

10

Michael Coleman Hudson Mentor Junior

11

James Caniglia Loveland Fairfield Junior

12

Jesse Palser Mansfield Senior Cleveland State Sophomore

13

Tyler Maloy North Canton Hoover Mentor Junior

14

Markell Wooden Dublin Coffman Darby Senior

15

Robbie Rogers Lakewood St. Edward Cleveland State Senior

16

Jake Denman Painesville Riverside Mentor Senior

17

Shane Mast Wadsworth Cleveland State Sophomore

18

Luther Washington Lorain Cleveland State Junior

19

Taylor Workman Elyria Cleveland State Senior

20

Thoms Gabyak Medina Highland Cleveland State Senior

21

Ethan Bond Lancaster Darby Senior

22

AJ Bondurant Pickerington Central Darby Senior

23

Brian Hawkins Solon Mentor Senior

24

Ja”Von Tolliver Shaker Heights Mentor Senior

25

TJ Smith Brush Mentor Senior

 

Now that Richie Robertson has officially opted for 170, it’s the fab four from Fairfield and Quinton Hiles. Barring a return to 2012 form from Sizemore, I think  Hiles takes it.

If I had to make my “all-improved” team, Quinton Hiles would be right there with guys like Forrider and Tony Dailey. 6th in the state a year ago, the Brecksville Senior put the Ohio wrestling world on notice that he meant business by pinning highly regarded Dakota Sizemore of Moeller at Ironman. From there, he reached the finals at Beast of the East, beating at least one nationally ranked wrestler along the way.  From there, it was on to slaying state champions at the Brecksville Tournament, notably, Mays of Nelsonville York and Moore of Clyde on the strength of two Peterson rolls.  All that was at 170.  There is no reason to believe he won’t be more effective at 160 as he appeared small at 170 to me.

A very impressive 3rd at state a year ago, #3 Sizemore would have been a huge favorite at the start of the season  in this field. This year, he just doesn’t seem to quite have it.  He’s wrestled three major opponents per my information- and lost to all three (Corba, Hiles, and Smith).  At the start of the year, it was almost unthinkable that he’d lose to any of the three, much less all three.

At first I thought that Sizemore’s recent loss to Detuan Smith was just Sizemore slumping, but then I noted that Smith also had a very recent 12-3 win over #4 Globke.  As such, I think he’s hit a new level (Globke had beaten him 10-3 earlier in the year), and will win the loaded Fairfield District as well as providing Hiles’ stiffest challenge.

#5 Heyob may prove to be underrated here. I have to keep him at #5 because he lost to #4 Globke 3-2 back in December, but since then he’s looked very good, including a 5-0 win over Division III Sandlin, who beat #2 Smith here.   Truth be told, I find the Cincinnati quartet to be very interchangeable based on their results.

#6 Chase Boyd is right there with the Cincinnati guys- in fact, he defeated #2 Smith there.  However, many people beat Smith early in the year, and  my belief in ranking him #2 is that he’s come a long way over the course the of the season. Nevertheless, it would hardly be a surprise to see Boyd (8th at 145 a year ago) make the finals opposite Hiles.

All in all, a very deep weight class. #7-11 I would designate as a second tier a half step behind the top six, but unlike at 152, this group is very close to the top group and to see one or more of them place high would not come as a surprise. Seven of the top 11 wrestlers in this weight class are juniors, which ought to make for some great battles here and at 170 a year from now.

Division I 170 lbs Rankings and Analysis

1

Richard Robertson Maple Heights Maple Heights Senior

2

Rocco Caywood Maumee Cleveland State Junior

3

Nick Corba Beavercreek Fairfield Senior

4

Tyler Hughes Brunswick Cleveland State Senior

5

Michael Weber Loveland Fairfield Junior

6

Matt Walker Hilliard Darby Darby Senior

7

Kyle Schmidt Miamisburg Fairfield Junior

8

Tim Knipl Wadsworth Cleveland State Sophomore

9

Ason Sunkle Pickerington Central Darby Senior

10

Anthony McLaughlin St. Ignatius Mentor Junior

11

Troy Lang Brecksille Cleveland State Junior

12

Chris Mattress Elder Fairfield Senior

13

Dean Meyer Cincinnati Moeller Fairfield Junior

14

Joe Howard North Canton Hoover Mentor Senior

15

Blake Reid Upper Arlington Darby Junior

16

Josh Zeck Parma Mentor Senior

17

Alec Gilchrist Centerville Fairfield Senior

18

RJ Funk Lancaster Darby Senior

19

Matt Stencel Oregon Clay Cleveland State Freshman

20

Shelton Evans St. Francis Desales Cleveland State Senior

21

Taylor Opp Findlay Cleveland State Senior

22

Luke Boswell Canton McKinley Mentor Senior

23

Yousef Mustafa Westlake Cleveland State Senior

24

Ray Barr Lakewood St. Edward Cleveland State Senior

25

Jacob Gladwell Green Mentor Senior

 

This weight will be interesting to see how it plays out.  My view is that Caywood and Robertson have established themselves as the class of the weight class- with Corba, Hughes, and maybe Weber not far behind.  What makes comparisons difficult are the fact that Robertson competed at 152 and Caywood 170 last year, and  neither has any common opponents that I can find this year.  Robertson has an impressive 7-2 win over #4 Hughes, but Caywood has two wins over #3 Corba (one by an 8-2 score) so that’s kind of a “wash”.

Stylistically, Caywood  (for those who haven’t seen him) is about 6’3”, so it’s possible that his leverage will present problems for Caywood. At the end of the day , however- I need pretty compelling evidence to pick a guy who went 1-2 at state last year over a state runner-up, up two weight classes or not.  Moreover, I have no doubt that Coach Milkovich will have Robertson ready for the unique challenges presented by Caywood’s leverage and will keep the match on their feet.  Still, it’s a tough call.

#3 Corba is a Greco Specialist in the summer (Fargo All-American at both the Cadet and Junior Level) and placed 4th at state two years ago, but lost two narrow matches in the very deep 160 lb. weight a year ago and didn’t place.  #4 Tyler Hughes is part of that resurgent Brunswick squad which recently won the NOC Conference. Hughes has had a banner season, and he put an exclamation on that season with a win over Quentin Hiles of Brecksville (a task that the two returning state champs at this weight could not accomplish).  I may have him ranked too low. #5 Weber is a returning placer at this weight (7th) but lost to Corba earlier this year.  After the top top four or top five perhaps, there is a significant drop off at this weight.

Division I 182 lbs Rankings and Analysis

1

Domenic Abounader Lakewood St. Edward Cleveland State  Senior

2

Gunner Lay Loveland Fairfield Junior

3

Garrett Connor Kettering Fairmont Fairfield Senior

4

Thomas Danis Mason Fairfield Senior

5

Quinton Rosser Cincinnati Moeller Fairfield Junior

6

Logan Paul Westlake Cleveland State Senior

7

Nate Hall Olentangy Darby Sophomore

8

Alexander Belaia-Martinouk North Olmsted Cleveland State Senior

9

Justin Halaska Parma Mentor Senior

10

Eric Claren Nordonia Cleveland State Junior

11

Hamza Kirresh Avon Cleveland State Senior

12

Andew Shackelford Thomas Worthington Darby Senior

13

Andrew Sierawski Delaware Hayes Darby Junior

14

Gage Finegan Stown Monroe Falls Mentor Senior

15

Danny Tiley Hudson Mentor Senior

16

Joe Cordova Boardman Mentor Senior

17

Charlie Dear Massillon Jackson Mentor Senior

18

Cole Jones St. Xavier Fairfield Sophomore

19

Kevin McGraw Troy Fairfield Junior

20

Ross Lonsway Holland Springfield Cleveland State Junior

21

Trevor Parker Hilliard Darby Darby Junior

22

Drew Schieman Madison Mentor Senior

23

Trevon Austin Glenville Mentor Senior

24

Clay Haverfield North Canton Hoover Mentor Sophomore

25

Michael Plunkett Fairfield Fairfield Senior

 

Twenty years from now if two Ohio Wrestling fans are reminiscing about some of the big match-ups and great weight classes they have seen at the state tournament, I do not anticipate that this weight class will get mentioned.  As dominant as an upperweight as Domenic Abounader would have been without the NFHS’s help- with these current weight classes the majority of what would have been his competition is simply able to opt for 195.  Put Abounader with Tayse and Kluk…now that would have been worth watching.  As it is, he will march through this weight class almost without breaking a sweat.

Just like at 160, the Fairfield quartet should set the tone here. The top challengers, such as it is, are state placers #2 Gunner Lay (in 2011), and #3 Garrett Conner.  Conner is down from 195 a year ago.  These wrestlers both exit the Fairfield District along with #4 Danis and #5 Quinton Rosser.  Rosser has split two close match with Conner this year, winning the most recent bout. However, Rosser lost at Sectionals to #4 Danis in a very close bout.  Lay  defeated Conner 5-3 at Brecksville, but really, to see any of the four emerge would not come as a surprise. State Placer Halaska (8th last year) could also be a factor here, but is currently ranked  9th after having an up amd down season.

Division I  195 lbs Rankings and Analysis

1

JoJo Tayse Massillon Perry Mentor Senior

2

Adam Kluk Medina Highland Cleveland State Senior

3

Gabe Dzuro Lakewood St. Edward Cleveland State Senior

4

Tegrey Scales Cincinnati Elder Fairfield Junior

5

Aaron Tschantz Barberton Mentor Senior

6

Matt Lybarger Mount Vernon Darby Junior

7

Kyle Conel Ashtabula Lakeside Mentor Senior

8

Josh Murphy Brecksville Cleveland State Junior

9

Eddie Silva Oregon Clay Cleveland State

10

Jarrod Hardrick Anthony Wayne Cleveland State Senior

11

Austin Pfarr Marysville Darby Junior

12

Jerry Thornsberry Cincinnati Moeller Fairfield Junior

13

Lenn’s Kamba Olenangy Orange Darby Junior

14

Tinashe Bere Sycamore Fairfield Junior

15

Stephen Ludwig Fairfield Fairfield Senior

16

Joe Repasky Cuyahoga Falls Mentor Senior

17

Jordan Reed Reynoldsburg Darby Senior

18

Tyler Stephens Ashland Cleveland State Junior

19

Shawn Johnson Delaware Hayes Darby Junior

20

Marquise Copeland Bedford Mentor Sophomore

21

Dennis Breeding Amherst Steele Cleveland State Junior

22

Johnny Arroyo Maumee Cleveland State Senior

23

Adam Tonkin Centerville Fairfield Junior

24

Bobby Upshaw Cleveland Heights Mentor Senior

25

Hunter Kidd Hilliard Bradley Darby Junior

 

Not surprisingly, here we have a stronger field than at 195, as wrestlers seek to avoid Abounader.   Defending state champion Jo Jo Tayse has not had the season  he was probably hoping for, but remains the favorite in my view.  His two greatest challengers would seem to be 2x state placer Adam Kluk and Gabe Dzuro of St. Edward.  It’s difficult to say whether either stands a legitimate chance at an upset.  My first inclination is to say that they don’t, but then again, when I look at some of the guys Tayse has been having close matches with that he should be dominating, a repeat may not be inevitable. Most recently, Tayse pinned  state placer of Tschantz of Barberton so that is encouraging.

#2 Kluk has had a few hiccups along the way, but has convincing wins over #3 Dzuro and #5 Tschantz, so he’s a solid choice for the second spot. Dzuro lost to Kluk as mentioned by a score of 9-4, but beat an excellent wrestler named Neff at Ironman who had beaten Kluk, so he may yet emerge as Tayse biggest challenger.  It would be an ironic turn of events if Tayse- who last year upset Suvak after losing to him so many times- would get upset himself by a wrestler who was Suvak’s backup last year. Of course, if anyone knows how to get their wrestlers to peak at the right time, it’s St. Edward.  Then again, just when I think Dzuro may be ready for the prime time (he was an Ironman finalist after all) he goes an wrestles an overtime tiebreaker bout in the Sectional Semifinals with some guy named “Moose” from  North Olmsted.

I think that the second tier here is Matt Lybarger, Aaron Tschantz, and Tegray Scales.  At Brecksville, Lybarger was champion, Tschantz 2nd, and Scales slumped to 6th.  However, I am throwing those results out completely.  Having watched the finals match, Tschantz got an easy first takedown and seemed to be in control the entire match.  Quite literally, Lybarger attempted zero wrestling moves for six minutes in that bout, until coming up with a lateral drop at the buzzer against an opponent who seemingly had been lulled to sleep.  I find that result unlikely to repeat itself, and given that Scales beat Lybarger by a more convincing 7-3 earlier in the year, and that Tschantz (6th) and Scales (4th) are returning placers while Lybarger is just a qualifier, I am ranking them in the order you see above.  Kyle Conel of Lakeside brings a highly impressive 43-0 record to Districts, but is untested against the best here.  He does have a win over State 8th Halaska and State Qualifier Repasky.

Division I  220 lbs Rankings and Analysis

1

Chalmer Frueauf Cincinnati Moeller Fairfield Junior

2

Evan Roseborough Painesville Riverside Mentor Senior

3

Vernon Rowe Barberton Mentor Senior

4

Devin Revels Maple Heights Mentor Senior

5

Conan Jennings Centerville Fairview Junior

6

Devin Nye Holland Springfield Cleveland State Junior

7

Nathan Martin Vandalia Butler Fairview Senior

8

Jared Gray Oregon Clay Cleveland State Senior

9

Roy Ware Cuyahoga Falls Mentor Junior

10

Austin Linden Brecksville Cleveland State Senior

11

Morgan Miller Marysville Darby Senior

12

Brett Mowery Dublin Jerome Darby Senior

13

Parker Knapp Lakewood St. Edward Cleveland State Sophomore

14

Kevin Agee Shaker Heights Mentor Senior

15

Nick Isaacs Withrow Fairfield Junior

16

Seth Brennock Loveland Fairfield Junior

17

Alex Woicehovich Nordonia Junior

18

Chris Crumb Olentangy Darby Freshman

19

Max Lacey Canal Winchester Darby Senior

20

Garrett Snyder North Royalton Mentor Junior

21

Granyl Smith Gahanna Lincoln Darby Senior

22

CJ Kinzer Teays Valley Senior

23

Andy Struttman Westerville North Darby Junior

24

Andrew Kostecka Troy Fairfield Junior

25

Kelvin Jordan Colerain Fairfield Junior

 

Chalmer Freauf  vs. Evan Roseborough should be one of the most hotly contested bouts of the state tournament.  Both were 4th at state a year ago (Freauf has been 4th twice) and both look a lot better than they did last year. Freauf is currently ranked #10 in the nation after a great 3rd place showing at Powerade (where he lost only to all-galaxy Kyle Snyder by fall).  Roseborough beat state champion Tayse at Ironman and has shown no signs of letting up.

I believe that Freauf has the edge. Not only is that just my “gut instinct” of observing these two wrestlers over the last few  years, but looking at common  opponents- Freauf beat the wrestler from Canton-Mac (Ironman Finalist Campbell) who beat the wrestler (Garrett Ryan) who beat Roseborough for 3rd at Ironman (by a score of 9-1).  At any rate, I think Freauf is a half step ahead.

A clear #3, however, is Vernon Rowe- 6th in the state a year ago. You always know you are going to get a lot of hustle and heart from Rowe, but he is simply a step behind the top duo here in my view. #4 Revels failed to get out last year in a tough District, but is unbeaten this season including a 7-1 win over state placer Rutherford of Norton.  I except big things from him- in part because Jamie Milkovich has such a great track record with his upperweights.

This is one of those weights where it’s very helpful to think in terms of “groups” or “tiers”. You have the top two, then you have Rowe and Revels, and then #5 through about #14 or #15 are all very close.

Division I  285lbs Rankings and Analysis

1

Travis Gusan Hilliard Davidson Darby Senior

2

Chuck Morgan Ashtabula Lakeside Mentor Senior

3

Truman Gutapfel Harrison Fairfield Senior

4

Ameer Daniels Cincinnati Northwest Fairfield Senior

5

Jacob Burton Lakota East Fairfield Senior

6

Andrew Alten Loveland Fairfield Junior

7

Ralph Nichols St. Edward Cleveland State Junior

8

Stefano Millin Massillon Perry Mentor Junior

9

Marquis Moore Whitmer Cleveland State Senior

10

Yoshi Akutsu Dublin Scioto Darby Senior

11

Corey Sigfried Glen Oak Mentor Senior

12

Aaron Cosby Holland Springfield Fairfield Senior

13

Nathan Lewis Kenston Mentor Senior

14

Jim Hammontree North Canton Hooover Mentor Senior

15

Chandler Evanichko Grove City Darby Senior

16

Alex Dalton Troy Fairfield Junior

17

Darius Walker Marysville Darby Senior

18

Mark Dahlman Green Mentor Senior

19

Daryk Maki Wadsworth Cleveland State Senior

20

Robbie Parker Hamilton Fairfield Senior

21

Sam Burns St. Francis Desales Cleveland State Senior

22

Max Swoboda Cincinnati Moeller Fairfield Senior

23

TJ Halstead Elyria Cleveland State Senior

24

Jalil Dolton Fremont Ross Cleveland State Senior

25

Kevin Johnson Elder Fairfield Senior

 

There have been some great Division I heavyweight classes over the years- 2003, 2004, and 2007 come to mind here.  This is not one of those fields.  Two of the very top contenders are guys that had modest credentials at 195 and 220.  Their high ranking I think is an indictment of the weakness of the field.

Travis Gusan is a clear #1 choice.  A dangerous “thrower”, last year he stormed into the state finals something like 40-0 with a tremendous pin percentage, only to have defending state champion Riley Shaw take him the woodshed, quite frankly.  This year, Gusan has not been nearly as dominant, and was very close to losing to Division II contender Billy Miller at Brecksville.  Perhaps his style has been scouted.  At any rate, he remains unbeaten, and in this weak field he’s the favorite.

The wrestlers ranked #2-#5 above are all pretty close in ability as far as I can tell.  I  went with Morgan for the #2 choice because he has arguably the most high-quality win, over Division II state 3rd place finisher Sharp.

Thanks for taking the time to read this report, and be sure to follow the 8th year of our highly-detailed live updates starting with the quarterfinals Friday morning!

 

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