High School Wrestling

Illinois Sweeps Men’s Team Titles as Warner Dominates Junior Greco

Peyton Robb, Haydn Maley

Photos by Mark Beshey, TheGullotine and John Sachs, Tech-Fall.com

As the 2017 edition of Fargo wrapped up on Saturday, the song remained the same on the men’s side. Illinois had run through the competition on their way to titles in Junior freestyle, Cadet freestyle, and Cadet Greco. They didn’t slow down at all in Junior Greco, blasting their way to the championship after putting 12 wrestlers in the top three. The final count for the Illinois crew was 19 All-Americans and 106 points. Wisconsin was a distant second with 42 points.

Four wrestlers from Illinois won individual titles starting with Anthony King (100) and continuing with Jack Jessen (182) who beat teammate Cameron Caffey in the finals.

Jacob Warner (195) finished off a dominant run for the team champions during which he was unscored upon. Anthony Cassioppi (285) joined Warner as a double champion this week, though he needed every second of his final match to do so, winning 4-3 on a correct throw as time expired. For beating his longtime rival, Cassioppi was named Outstanding Wrestler.

Just as with the Cadets, coming up short in freestyle proved to be a motivating factor for several Greco champions on Saturday. Brandon Kaylor (Washington, 113) was the first of three champions from his state, bouncing back from a loss in the freestyle finals.

Brendon Garcia (Colorado, 106) was a Junior Greco champion here a year ago before finishing third in freestyle in 2017. He dismissed 2016 Fargo Cadet Greco champion and 2017 Fargo Junior freestyle champion Sam Latona (Alabama), 11-0.

Rayvon Foley (Michigan, 120) fell from the semi-finals to a sixth place finish in freestyle, only to rebound and take the title in Greco.

Alex Thomsen (Iowa, 126) was fifth in freestyle and might have been wondering if he would ever claim a stop sign. He doesn’t have to wonder anymore after his 6-1 win over Austin Macias (Illinois).

Peyton Robb (Minnesota, 152) was another rising senior that had been close but never claimed a crown on the Fargo stage. His victory over freestyle champion Anthony Artalona (Florida) was a long time coming.

Andrew Berreyesa (Nevada, 170) was down to his final shot at a Fargo title and made the most of it, putting away Trent Hidlay (Pennsylvania), 7-2, to complete a dominant tournament and hoist his first stop sign.

Haydn Maley (Oregon, 220) was the only upper weight not from Illinois to win a championship. The 2016 Fargo Greco title winner came up one match short in freestyle, but would not be denied in his favored style.

Dalton Young (Washington, 132) continued to thrive on the Greco side of the house, following his UWW Junior Nationals title by claiming a Fargo crown as well.

Mason Phillips (Washington) looked well prepared to take on the rest of the world at the Cadet World Championships, surviving a wild encounter with Alston Nutter (Wisconsin), 11-9.

Jaden Enriquez (California, 145) clashed with teammate and friend Peyton Omania, who is an excellent Greco athlete, with Enriquez coming away victorious in the second consecutive 11-9 finals bout.

Jaron Chavez (Idaho, 160) joined his brother, Jon Jay Chavez, in the Junior Greco champions club, scoring late to swipe the stop sign, 8-7.

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