High School Wrestling

TOM’s HS Weekend Recap (9/14)


photo courtesy of Richard Immel

On Thursday, we previewed the 2020 IndianaMat Hoosier Preseason Open event in Fort Wayne, Indiana. That wasn’t the only notable high school tournament that occurred this weekend. The Olympic Club Folkstyle Duals were conducted in State College, Pennsylvania. We were set to release national high school rankings today, but those will be put on the backburner for a day or two due to the chaos that occurred in PA. Upsets galore, as some of the top wrestlers in the nation suffered a loss, in some cases, even two. After the dust cleared, we’ve broken down some of the upsets and notable matches that went down in Indiana and Pennsylvania. 

Olympic Club Boys Folkstyle Duals

Buxton Wrestling

Buxton Wrestling dominated the competition, outsourcing opponents 577-6 during their first six matches. Their closest dual came in the semifinals when they downed M2 43-27. One of the stars for Buxton was eighth-grader Vince Bouzakis (Wyoming Seminary, PA). Vince went 8-0 and logged a win over 2020 Pennsylvania state champion Vincent Kilkeary (Greater Latrobe, PA), 8-6 in sudden victory. Older brother Nic also was unbeaten on the weekend. Another notable individual win came in Buxton’s dual with Keystone Outlaws Black, where Jordan Titus defeated Troy Spratley, 5-1. Both were ranked in the top-five nationally in TOM’s June rankings. 


Another significant result from the weekend was when Pennsylvania fifth-place finisher Tyler Kasak (Bethlehem Catholic, PA), knocked off Stevo Poulin (Shenendehowa, NY). Poulin was previously ranked number two in the country. 

Kasak was one of a few M2 wrestlers who pulled off upsets over the two-day event. 2020 state fourth-place finisher, Jude Swisher (Bellefonte, PA), knocked off Nico Nardone (Delbarton, NJ), a two-time New Jersey state third-place finisher and a runner-up at the 2019 Super 32. 

Two-time Pennsylvania AA runner-up Levi Haines (Biglerville, PA) got a win over Alex Almeyda (St. Joseph’s Regional, NJ), a two-time NJ placer that has been in and out of the national rankings. 

A pair of the top 220 lbers in the country squared off at 288 lbs as Kolby Franklin (Wyoming Seminary, PA) got the best of Ben Vanadia (Brecksville, OH), 3-1. 

Keystone Outlaw Black

A second Pennsylvania native scored a win over Nardone, as Jackson Arrington (Forest Hills, PA), of Keystone Outlaw Black, got the win 3-1. Arrington was a AA state champion as a freshman and a third-place finisher in his sophomore year.

Keystone Outlaw Black team member Erik Gibson was also responsible for another slight upset when he defeated Tyler Lillard (Wyoming Seminary, PA), 6-1. Lillard was fourth in 16U Freestyle nationals last summer in Fargo.  

California Top Team

Jacob Christensen (Durham, CA) continued his strong summer by notching a win over Isaiah Vance (Hempfield, PA), 4-2. Vance was a 2020 AAA runner-up and is a two-time state placewinner. 

Quest/Team Nauman Gold

Freshman Maddux Shaw had an excellent showing for Quest/Nauman Team Gold with his most notable win coming over Evan Tallmadge (Brick Memorial, NJ), 3-2. 

Sophomore Grant Mackay (North Allegheny, PA) got a quality win, as well. He outlasted 2020 AA runner-up AJ Corrado (Burrell, PA) 2-1 in tiebreakers. 

Quest/Team Nauman Black

With so many upsets, it’s hard to quantify precisely which one was the most significant, but Quest/Team Nauman Black’s Tommy Dressler (Spring Grove, PA) had an impressive one. He downed 2019 Pennsylvania state champion, Trey Kibe, (Mifflin County, PA), 3-2. Dressler went 8-0 and also earned a victory over 2020 state medalist Isaiah Reinert (Easton, PA). Later in the weekend, Tommy announced that he had verballed committed to Lock Haven.

Bull Trained

Another upset we never saw coming saw Missouri state qualifier Jake Waldron (Hickman, MO) over Paniro Johnson (Cathedral Prep, PA), 3-2. Waldron is a senior that is looking to medal at the Missouri state tournament for the first time, while Johnson is a three-time PA state placewinner that was ranked nationally. 

Apex 1

Johnson was also defeated by Penn-recruit Andrew Troczynski (Delbarton, NJ), 9-6. This wasn’t quite as big of an upset as the Waldron win, considering Troczynski was a New Jersey state finalist last year as a sophomore. 

Two of the nation’s two junior’s clashed at 288 lbs when PJ Casale (Delbarton, NJ) prevailed over Kolby Franklin, 4-1. Casale recently announced his verbal commitment to Lehigh. 

Team Empire

Eight-grade sensation PJ Duke (Minisink Valley, NY) finished undefeated with a five-point win representing his closest match of the event. He made headlines last year after being the first seventh-grader to win a New York state title. 

Kindig-JK Squad

Hunter Mason (Greeneville, TN) had an excellent showing going 7-1. The sophomore pinned National Prep runner-up, Meyer Shapiro (Bullis School, MD) and also logged a 4-2 win over Jude Swisher. 

Olympic Club Girls Folkstyle Duals

The Supreme Women of Wrestling took home the girl’s title with a 68-32 win over the Midwest Black Mambas. 

Esmae Morris (50 lbs), Lyric Hetzer (60 lbs), GiGi Bragg (83 lbs), Makayla Young (90 lbs), Heather Crull (96 lbs), Sophie Anderson (110 lbs), Olivia Messerly (116 lbs), Addison Messerly (123 lbs), Amani Jones (129 lbs), Lauren Walton (135 lbs), Trinity Gottler (175 lbs0), and Riley Dempewolf (225 lbs), all went 3-0 for the Supreme Women of Wrestling.

IndianaMat Hoosier Preseason Open

History was made at the IHPO as Jesse Mendez (Crown Point, IN) became the tournament’s first four-time champion. Only a junior, Mendez has the opportunity to grab a fifth next year. Jesse’s fourth title was no walk-in-the-park as Northern Colorado-recruit Ben Alanis (Valiant Prep, AZ) pushed Mendez to sudden victory in the 141 lb championship bout. 

The finals’ biggest upset came at 223 lbs when Logan Shephard (Massillon Perry, OH), a 2020 Ohio DI state qualifier, edged Evan Bates (Chesterton, IN), 5-4. Bates won this event in 2019 and held a top-five ranking at 220 lbs. 

Michigan freshman Justin Gates emerged as the winner at 109 lbs. In the championship bout, he defeated 2020 Michigan state champion Nolan Wertanen (St. Joseph’s, MI), 7-2. Gates outscored his four opponents on the way to the finals, by a 40-4 margin. 

Three-time Indiana placewinner David Pierson (Warren Central, IN) had a couple huge wins before winning by fall in the 135 lb finals. Pierson downed 2019 Illinois state champ, Joel Mylin (Aurora Christian, IL) in the quarters, before cruising past Fargo AA Ismael Ayoub (Dublin Coffman, OH) in the semis. 

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