Photo By John Sachs, Tech-Fall.com
There’s no such thing as an easy match in the sport of wrestling. Especially when attending a national-level tournament. From the first whistle, all the way to the last one in the tournament, a minimal mistake can have serious consequences. The 2017 Folkstyle Cadet/Junior Nationals had it all. From studs facing each other in the opening rounds to nationally ranked wrestlers losing close matches to lesser known opponents. Here are the top five moments from the finals of both the Cadet and Junior Division.
5. Team California Was All Business!
Team California was well organized this year as they were successful in bringing some of their top hammers to Folkstyle Nationals. At the end of the two-day tournament, California acquired eight individual titles across the Cadet and Junior divisions while 48 of their grapplers achieved All-American honors.
4. Another Incoming Lower Weight Stud in Southern California?
Middle-school grappler Isaac Salas put the nation on alert as he won the 106-weight class in the Cadet division. What made his accomplishment so exceptional was the fact he defeated two Fargo Cadet champions in back-to-back matches. In the semifinals, he came out triumphant over Cullan Schriever of Team Sebolt Wrestling, IA, 9-2 before disposing of Jeremiah Reno of Victory Wrestling, MO, 4-1. In the past, we have seen some great lower weight wrestlers in Southern California like Jesse Vasquez, Christian Nunez, and Cade Olivas.
3. Back to Back Falls for Team Minnesota
Many outstanding wrestlers from the Land of 1,000 Lakes attended this year’s Folkstyle Nationals. In the Cadet division, Minnesota was triumphant in winning titles at 160 and 170. At 160, Cade King pinned Ryan Neu of The Dodgeland Wrestling Club, WI, in the third period, while Lincoln Shinn pinned fellow Minnesotan Jack Engle in the second. King and Shinn weren’t the only champions for Minnesota in the Cadet division as future Gopher Daniel Kerkvliet major decisioned Illinois state champion Luke Luffman, 16-7.
2. Can Anyone Stop Mantanona?
Anthony Mantanona was the talk of the tournament this weekend as he dominated his way to a Junior national title. Prior to competing in the finals, his closest match was a pin in 2:27. In the finals, Mantanona wrestled three-time Louisiana state champion and Fargo All-American Josh Ramirez of The Gator Wrestling Club. Mantanona was too much for Ramirez as he obtained the tech fall in the second period of their match. This upcoming fall Mantanona will be competing for the University of Oklahoma.
1. Who Said Choosing Bottom Is the Best Option?
Most coaches of our beloved sport would agree that choosing the bottom position is the ideal option to obtained an advantage over one’s opponent. However, don’t tell that to sophomore Dawson Sihavong of Bullard, CA. Sihavong, who entered the third period down 14-4 against defending Cadet Folkstyle champion Beau Bartlett, opted for the top position. It was a decision he wouldn’t regret as he was successful in gaining back-to-back near falls and then pinned Bartlett with a 2-on-1 tilt in 4:28 of their championship match. This was Sihavong’s second consecutive year receiving All-American honors and his first Folkstyle Cadet national title.