original photo courtesy of Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com
Welcome to a new feature that we at TOM are very proud of, the High School regional rankings. For the next couple of weeks, we will release rankings of eight different regions that will cover the entire nation. Why is this needed, you may ask? These rankings will allow us to focus more attention on wrestlers from around the country that could be considered overlooked at this time. With talent clustered in certain areas of the nation, there are plenty of quality wrestlers from outside those “power-states” or regions that may get slighted. And don’t worry, we’ll have rankings for those areas too!
Our fourth installment of the regional rankings will focus on the Deep South Region. This area will include wrestlers from Arkansas, Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas
For these rankings and all others, only wrestlers that competed in the state tournament series (aside from Ohio) will be considered. They will only be ranked at their weight from the state tournament, as well. This will only include high school wrestlers, even if their state allows seventh and eighth graders to compete at the high school level. Also, wrestlers from private schools will be counted in the state of their school, not their home state.
Once all of our rankings have been released, they will be found here.
So, with all of that out of the way, enjoy the Deep South Regional Rankings!
Kapaun Mt. Carmel
Double Fargo 16U finalist Cael Hughes heads up this weight class and is on a tier by himself. Hughes finished the year ranked #11 in the nation and is the only wrestler in the top-20 in the region. Along with an Oklahoma state title, Hughes had wins at the KC Stampede and the Perry Tournament in his freshman season. Kansas has a strong contingent here led by #2 Nick Treaster. Nick’s only loss of the year came at the KC Stampede to Hughes. #5 Bubba Wright spent the majority of the year ranked nationally after winning Mid-American Nationals; however, he fell in the state tournament. #3 Estevan Encinias gets his ranking on the strength of a runner-up finish at the Reno Tournament of Champions in December. Others in this weight with national credentials include #6 Kenneth Hendriksen, a U16 Greco All-American in Fargo, and #10 Tristan Stafford who has broken into the top-eight in U16 freestyle the past two years, as well.
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