Dream Team Classic - Austin O'ConnorDream Team Classic - Austin O'Connor

2017 Dream Team Classic Dual-Meet Preview: USA vs. Illinois

The 20th Annual Dream Team Classic will be held Saturday, April 8, 2017, at Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, Illinois. Year after year, this event attracts a group of some of the top seniors in the country and matches them against an All-Star team from a selected state.

Since its inception in 1997, the Dream Team Classic has featured many top collegiate and Olympic grapplers. Wrestlers like Cael Sanderson, Jordan Burroughs, Teyon Ware, Ryan Bertin, Cole Conrad, Eric Tannenbaum, Steve Mocco, Travis Lee, and Ben Askren have participated in this event.

Division I and II programs who have prospects represented in the event include Missouri, Old Dominion, South Dakota State, Nebraska, Virginia, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Northern Illinois, North Carolina, Rutgers, Cleveland State, Pittsburgh, Michigan, Iowa, Princeton, North Dakota State, and St. Cloud State.

The following lineups are provisional rosters for Team USA and Team Illinois. Team Illinois has yet to confirm a wrestler for the 220-weight class. The event will stream live via Trackwrestling.

113: Jason Holmes of Arizona vs. No. 17 (120) Dack Punke of Washington

Holmes is a two-time Fargo Junior champion and six-time Fargo All-American in freestyle and Greco-Roman. Punke is a former Cadet world team member and has won two consecutive Fargo titles in Greco-Roman. He is also a three-time division 2A state finalist and two-time champion.

120: Esco Walker Jr. of Hopewell (North Carolina) vs. No. 5 Michael McGee of Plainfield East

Even though he never won an individual state championship, Walker is a three-time state medalist and two-time NHSCA All-American. McGee, who is headed to Old Dominion in the fall, won two state titles and was a three-time finalist in division 3A.

126: No. 14 (120) Connor Brown of Oak Grove (Missouri) vs. Zach Villarreal of Lyons

Brown made history this season as he became the 26th wrestler in Missouri to win four state championships. He completed his prep career with a 173-5 record and helped the Panthers win their 17th team championship overall, the most for any team in the Show-Me State. Villarreal advanced to the state tournament for the first time and placed third in division 3A.

132: No. 8 Brian Courtney of Athens (Pennsylvania) vs. No. 7 Jason Renteria of Oak Park River Forest

This matchup could become a seesaw battle with two outstanding wrestlers that will continue their wrestling careers in college. Courtney is a two-time PIAA state champion, four-time medalist, and a former FloNationals champion. Renteria made history this season as he became the first ever four-time state finalist for the Huskies. He is now a two-time state champion and is a two-time Walsh Ironman finalist as well.

138: No. 3 Kaden Gfeller of Heritage Hall (Oklahoma) vs. Nolan Baker of Byron

Kaden Gfeller is a four-time undefeated Oklahoma state champion, coming off a 138-pound 3A state title in February. Gfeller is a multiple-time Fargo All-American, most recently placing third in Junior freestyle back in 2015. An injury ended his tournament in 2016. Baker is a two-time division 1A state champion with a 108-match winning streak. This upcoming fall he will be competing for the University of Northern Illinois.

145: No. 9 Dominick Demas of Dublin Coffman (Ohio) vs. Gavin Sutton of Richard Burton

A University of Oklahoma signee, Dominick Demas was successful in acquiring two division 1 titles in the state of Ohio. He is a Walsh Jesuit Ironman medalist and a multiple time Fargo All-American. Sutton is headed to North Dakota State this fall. He is a three-time division 2A state medalist and was a state champion this season. He is also a three-time Cliff Keen USAW Pre-Season Nationals All-American.

152: No. 3 Stephan Glasgow of Bound Brook (New Jersey) vs. No. 3 (145) Austin O’Connor of St. Rita

This match should be fun for all spectators to see as both wrestlers are ranked top five in the country. Glasgow is a Rutgers recruit that has won two state titles in the Garden State. He is a Super 32 medalist and recently won NHSCA Senior Nationals. O’Connor is coming off of pinning 2015 Cadet world champion Jarod Verkleeren of Pennsylvania at the Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic. This season, he became the 15th wrestler in the state of Illinois to win four consecutive state titles.

160: No. 13 Georgio Poullas of Canfield (Ohio) vs. Trevell Timmons of Lockport

Poullas was triumphant last weekend in placing third at FloNationals and he is a four-time Ohio division II state medalist. After three unproductive attempts at winning a state championship, Timmons was victorious this season in achieving his goal. He will be continuing his collegiate career for Coach Manning and the Huskers.

170: No.1 Mikey Labriola of Bethlehem Catholic (Pennsylvania) vs. David Riojas of Mt. Carmel

Labriola, who is a two-time PIAA state champion, made a clear statement why he is the number one ranked wrestler in the country at the Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic last month as he defeated four-time Ohio state champion Kaleb Romero of Ohio, 3-2. Riojas won a state championship this season after being a state place winner the previous two seasons. Riojas is also a four-time medal winner at such prestigious events as the Cheesehead and Al Dvorak Memorial.

182: No. 3 Nino Bonaccorsi of Bethel Park (Pennsylvania) vs. Cameron Caffey of Carbondale

Pittsburgh signee Bonaccorsi is a three-time PIAA state medalist and multiple-time Super 32 and Powerade tournament medalist. Caffey is a three-time division 2A state medalist and was a state champion this season. He placed fifth last weekend at Junior Folkstyle Nationals.

195: No. 7 Andrew Davison of Chesterton (Indiana) vs. No. 1 Jacob Warner of Washington or No. 6 Patrick Brucki of Carl Sandburg

Davison is a two-time Indiana state champion and a University of Michigan recruit. He is a former Junior Folkstyle national champion and multiple time Fargo All-American. Warner was a bronze medalist at the 2016 Cadet World Championships in Tbilisi, Georgia. He is a three-time state champion and has signed to compete for the University of Iowa. Brucki is a three-time division 3A state medalist and a 2017 state champion. Brucki is also a former Fargo All-American and has signed with Princeton University.

220: No. 4 Jared Campbell of St. Edward (Ohio) vs. Unknown

The University of Missouri signee finally won a state title in Ohio after being a two-time state finalist. This season he placed third at the Walsh Jesuit Ironman and was a member of the Clash XV All-Tournament team.

285: No. 6 Brandon Metz of West Fargo (North Dakota) vs. No. 13 Zach Muller of Westmont

Metz will stay close to home and compete for North Dakota State. He is a three-time Class A champion, five-time Fargo All-American and has gone undefeated the last two seasons. Muller will bring his talent to St. Cloud State University and help them climb back to the top of the mountain in division II. He is a two-time state medalist and multiple-time Fargo and Folkstyle Nationals All-American.

One comment

  1. jonbearg@hotmail.com

    The 152 weight class Glasgow vs. O’Conner looks like a great matchup. I hope it happens (both guys show up)!