High School Wrestling

2019 Walsh Ironman Preview and Predictions


photo courtesy of Richard Immel

With wrestling season having kicked off for most high school teams in the country this week, many of the top teams in the nation now turn their eyes to one of the elite tournaments in the country.

That’s right, it’s already time for Walsh Ironman. The nation’s best will descend on eastern Ohio on Friday and Saturday and battle it out. 

We take you weight by weight for our breakdown of the action to come.


Last year’s tournament was won by an in-state favorite as Perry’s Kyle Rowan took home the top spot. He’s out of the equation this year and ruling the roost when you look at preseeds is a pair of the nation’s best freshman. That’s highlighted by your top seed, Marc-Anthony McGowan of Blair Academy.

McGowan is the No. 1 ranked wrestler in the 2023 class and a reigning Cadet world champion. Expectations for him, as such, are high sky high. He’ll have to fight off the two seed, Waynesburg Central’s (PA) Mac Church, a Young Guns product and another freshman in the top 50 in his class rankings, who had solid showings in both Akron and Super 32. 

Joining them is Fargo champ Daniel Sheen, a sophomore who is making his first tournament appearance since transferring into Wyoming Seminary, adding to the arms race between Sem and Blair. 

Other names to watch are Fargo All-American Joe Fernau of Montini Catholic and Missouri state runner-up Cael Keck of powerhouse Park Hill. A program on the rise, Smyrna (DE) boasts state champ Gabe Giampietro who won 15U Folkstyle Nationals this summer.

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