With the regular season winding down at the high school level for most states, the intensity and importance of each match is ramping up. In fact, some of the results from this weekend will shake up the rankings landscape for this week and the remainder of the season. The nation’s number one ranked team, as well as three other top 10 teams, took dual meet losses last week. Here are some of the biggest upsets as well as matches featuring ranked wrestlers and teams that have occurred since Friday.
The most newsworthy event of the weekend was the MyHouse Melee hosted by fourth ranked Wyoming Seminary in Kingston, Pennsylvania, This event brought together four of the top eight teams in the country as top-ranked Bergen Catholic, New Jersey, fifth-ranked Montini Catholic, Illinois and eighth-ranked St. Edward, Ohio all did battle with the host Blue Knights. These results will be a nightmare for me when trying to compile team rankings this week. Bergen Catholic defeated St. Edward 38-24 and Wyoming Seminary 40-15, yet lost to Montini Catholic 32-30. Montini Catholic, however, fell to Wyoming Seminary 30-23. This is all two weeks after Bergen Catholic unseated Blair Academy, New Jersey, the previous number one.
Individually one of the marquee matchups of the day was second-ranked 120 lber Robert Howard of Bergen Catholic taking out fourth-ranked Joey Melendez of Montini Catholic 5-1. Wyoming Seminary’s 13th ranked 132 lber Jack Davis had a rough day going 0-3. In the opening dual he was majored 14-3 by Montini Catholic’s third-ranked Real Woods. Next, against St. Edward, Davis was pinned by Matt Kazimir. He finished the day losing a 3-1 decision to Bergen Catholic’s Carmen Ferrante. Bergen Catholic has been inserting football star Josh McKenzie in at 182 lbs, along with 10th ranked Jacob Cardenas. The pair rotated matches at 182 and 195 for the Crusaders during their three duals. It will be interesting to follow along and see who gets the spot at 182 in the postseason.
Montini Catholic freshman Nain Vazquez picked up a pair of impressive victories. He knocked off Powerade third-place finisher Tim Levine of Wyoming Seminary and Bergen Catholic’s fifth-ranked Nick Kayal, with the latter coming 3-1 in sudden victory. Vazquez was not the only freshman to upset a top five wrestler, Wyoming Seminary’s Zeke Escalera moved down to 113 lbs and upended fourth ranked Dylan Ragusin of Montini Catholic. A fifth-ranked wrestler that made it through the event unscathed was Bergen Catholic 160 lber Shane Griffith. His 3-0 record included a major decision, a fall and a 4-2 decision over seventh-ranked 152 lber Will Lewan of Montini Catholic in the tiebreakers.
Ninth-ranked Poway, California lapped the field with four individual champions (Jason Miranda at 113 lbs, Chase Zollman at 132 lbs, Josh Tolentino at 145 lbs and Domonic Mata at 152 lbs) and an 88.5 point margin of victory over 12th ranked Tuttle, Oklahoma. 14th ranked Gilroy, California finished in third place. California state champ Nic Aguilar of Gilroy was victorious at 120lbs, the tournament’s deepest weight class. Aside from Aguilar, four of the top eight placewinners from the Doc Buchanan entered, along with three-time Oklahoma state champion Rhett Golowenski.
The final at 132 lbs was the headline match of the tournament pitting ninth ranked Chase Zollman against Gilroy’s Alex Felix. The Gilroy grappler, Felix, was previously ranked in the top 10 at 138 lbs prior to his sixth place finish at the Doc Buchanan. Now down a weight class, Felix gave Zollman all he could handle before falling in the tiebreakers 3-2. Tuttle sophomore Dustin Plott put on one of the best performances of the tournament winning the 160 lb weight class with three first period falls and a 21-8 major decision over Del Oro, California’s Noah Blake in the final.
Host and 37th ranked Southeast Polk, Iowa finished as the runner-up to 17th ranked Fort Dodge, Iowa 243.5 to 196. Two of the best 106 lbers in the state of Iowa and the nation squared off in the tournament’s final. Fourth-ranked Cullan Schriever of Mason City, Iowa handed previously undefeated and 18th ranked Drake Ayala of Fort Dodge his first career loss 8-5. 20th ranked Zach Price of Johnston, Iowa avenged his only loss of the season in the tournament’s 132 lb final, winning a 10-9 decision over Fort Dodge’s Drew Bennett. The loss was Bennett’s first of the year. A week after losing his first bout of the season, West Des Moines Valley’s Grant Stotts earned the title at 152 lbs by defeating Cayd Lara of Fort Dodge, 2-1, in a battle of 2017 Iowa state runner-up’s.
10th ranked Detroit Central Catholic, Michigan took 11 of 14 bouts from 15th ranked LaSalle, Ohio in their 50-13 victory. In a matchup of ranked 138 lbers, 17th ranked Kevon Davenport of Detroit Central Catholic won a 6-4 decision over E’lan Heard of LaSalle.
Rocky Welton Invitational
TOM’s Adidas High School Wrestler of the Week Phillip Moomey of Kearney, Nebraska had a remarkable comeback in the 126 lb final throwing Kansas state champion Jace Koelzer of Olathe South to his back for five points with under 10 seconds remaining in the championship bout to win 8-4. Newton, Kansas junior Wyatt Hendrickson upset 18th ranked Jayden Woodruff of Ponderosa, Colorado in order to reach the finals at 195 lbs. Hendrickson then used a 10-3 decision over El Dorado, Kansas’ Braden Morgan to capture the gold medal. Second ranked Cohlton Schultz of Ponderosa maintained his undefeated season by pinning previously ranked Lee Herrington of Kearney in the tournament’s final bout.
Indiana State Sectional @ Avon HS
14th ranked Asa Garcia of Avon was upset by Brownsburg’s Ty Mills 2-0 in the tournament’s 126 lb final. A week ago the two met at the Hoosier Crossroads Conference in a match won by Garcia with a 3-1 score.
In one of California’s best rivalries, sixth ranked Buchanan won 12 bouts against Clovis for a 48-9 dual triumph. The meet’s first bout saw 18th ranked Maximo Renteria of Buchanan defeat Clovis’ Giano Petrucelli, 10-7. Earlier this month at the Doc Buchanan, Petrucelli pinned Renteria in the tournament’s semifinals.
Shore Conference Individual Championship
Jake Benner, a 2017 New Jersey state champion for Ocean Township at 138 lbs, who is currently ranked 20th at 145 lbs, competed for the first time this season at 138. Benner captured the title at 138 lbs with a 12-0 decision over Howell’s Dan Esposito.
Morris County Championships
Two of New Jersey’s most talented freshman 106 lbers met in the finals. Hanover Park’s Joey Oliveri handed Delbarton’s 12th ranked Nico Nardone a 3-1 loss. Oliveri has placed fifth at the Beast of the East and third at Escape the Rock while competing up at 113 lbs.