The Super 32â€™s was once again a fantastic pre-season tournament featuring well over 1,000 wrestlers in the high school portion. There were so many good matches being wrestled on the 20 mats, even in the early rounds, you could stumble onto one.
When going from mat-to-mat you were likely to bump into Rob Eiter, Joe Heskett, Bryan Snyder, Mike Kulczyki, or Yero Washington, among others, as they looked for their next prospect.
From 8 A.M. to 10 P.M., it was a full day of intense action.
Here, weâ€™ll recap the action and give our perspective. Weâ€™ll also revisit our predictions and see how they held up.
1. Fr. Joey Dance, VA
2. So. Freddie Rodriguez, MI
3. So. George Di Camillo, OH
4. Fr. Tyson Dippery, PA
5. Fr. Shayne Tucker, CA
6. Jr. Austin Miller, PA
7. 8th Gr. Zeke Moisey, PA
8. Fr. Zane Retherford, PA
TOMâ€™s Pick: Joey Dance (VA) over Nicky Roberts (PA)
We had the winner right, but Roberts no-showed. The final though, was classic, as Dance, this yearâ€™s Fargo Cadet FS Champion, parlayed two one-point wins in the quarters and semiâ€™s, to face Fila Cadet Champ Rodriguez. Dance once again was impressive on his feet. A questionable takedown during a scramble in the first period made it close before Dance walked away with the belt.
1. Sr. Jerome Robinson, OH
2. Fr. Brandon Jeske, VA
3. Jr. Vince Rodriguez, CA
4. So. Alex Cisneros, CA
5. So. Skylar Wood, MO
6. Jr. Kyle Caselleto, NJ
7. So. Jake Smith, VA
8. 8th Gr. Solomon Chishko, PA
TOMâ€™s Pick: Alex Cisneros (CA) over Jerome Robinson (OH)
Although Jeskeâ€™s success is well documented, (he was a Fargo cadet AA this summer) his win over phenom Cisneros in the quarters was one of the tournamentâ€™s early surprises. Along with Dance, he became the second consecutive Mark Strickland-coached wrestler to reach the finals. Both will transfer to Christiansburg this year.
In the finals, Jeske was certainly game, giving the Sr. Robinson fits and doing well in scramble situations. The ODU-bound Robinson, eventually prevailed on an escape in OT ride-out.
Cisneros battled back to 4th. In the medal match, he defaulted to fellow Californian Vince Rodriguez, who placed 3rd at the state championships last winter, and who lost only to two-time state champion, Jesse Degado.
1. Jr. Chris Mecate, CA
2. Sr. Mike Rhone, PA
3. Sr. Joey DeAngelo, NC
4. Fr. Ben Whitford, MI
5. Jr. Nick Brascetta, OH
6. So. Rossi Bruno, FL
7. Fr. Kevin Norstrem, FL
8. Jr. Greg Fournoy, VA
TOMâ€™s Pick: Sean Dolan (DE) over Joe Orecchio (NJ)
119 may be a great place to look to prove how tough Super 32â€™s are. Sean Dolan (NC St) and Brandon Jones (ISU) were two Division I signees who failed to place, joining at least two others, Tanner Moon (UVA) and Kyle Johnson (Rider).
The finalists here were the most surprising. Never short on talent, California produced a Super 32 Champ in previously unheralded Chris Mecate, who up-ended two state champions on his run to the belt.
Rhone, an under-the-radar type guy, has made great strides the past 6 months. After AAâ€™ing in Junior Greco, he was one match away from medaling in freestyle as well.
Ben Whitford, who won Cadet FS in Fargo, had a fine performance. In his first high school action, he placed 4th ahead of some serious talent.
Joe Orrechio (NJ) and Eric Devos (IA) were late scratches.
1. Sr. Devin Carter, VA
2. Sr. Brandon Wright, IN
3. Sr. Nick Arujau, NY
4. Sr. Mitchell Port, PA
5. Sr. TJ Mitchell, GA
6. Jr. Joe Rendina, MI
7. Sr. Justis Flamio, NY
8. Sr. Brandon Gambucci, OH
TOMâ€™s Pick: Devin Carter (VA) over Sean Boylan (DE)
In contrast to 119, this weight, for the most part, played true to expectations.
Devin Carter was his dominant self; the only match that was remotely close was a 9-6 semiâ€™s win over NHSCA Juniors Champ, Port.
On the other side of the bracket, Brandon Wright erased a 4-0 first period deficit versus Hofstra-bound Nicky Arujau to reach Carter in the finals.
Double Fargo AA, Pat Myers rolled into the quarters before dropping two consecutive matches to DNP.
Sean Boylan (flu) was a late scratch.
1. Sr. Frank Cagnina, NJ
2. So. Jason Tsirtsis, IN
3. Sr. AJ Schopp, PA
4. Sr. Keith Surber, IL
5. Jr. Nik Pena, CA
6. So. Quniton Murphy, NY
7. Sr. Tyler Small, PA
8. So. Devon Gobbo, NJ
TOMâ€™s Pick: Terrel Wilbourn (MO) over Frank Cagnina (NJ)
There were great matches all day at 130. In the first round, PA 8th grader, Chance Marsteller took out State and NHSCA Sophomore Champ, Rusty Mannes, of West Virginia. Marsteller would reach the quarters where he would be defeated by California 3rd placer, Nik Pena, who had previously beaten Fargo Cadet Champ, Terrel Wilbourn of Missouri. In the semiâ€™s Pena would be taken out by Lehigh-bound Cagnina, the eventual champ.
In the top bracket, Jason Tsirtsis prevailed via a 1-point victory over PA State Runner-Up, AJ Schopp. Just a sophomore, Tsirtsis, the runner-up to Wilbourn in Fargo, also defeated NJ state 3rd placer, Scott Festejo in quarters.
1. Sr. Josh Dziewa, PA
2. Sr. Jordan Beverly, NJ
3. Sr. Alex Pelliciotti, PA
4. Jr. Travis Schaffer, PA
5. So. Cody Ross, FL
6. Sr. Marcus Cain, NC
7. So. Matt Cimato, PA
8. So. Brent Fickel, OH
TOMâ€™s Pick: Josh Dziewa (PA) over Ryen Nieman (MI)
Talking with college coaches throughout the day, there were guys who we watched wrestle and agreed that they were â€˜on another level.â€™ Dziewa, who went the entire tournament without giving up a point, was one of those guys.
In the opposite bracket, PAâ€™s Alex Pelliccioti, a Bucknell verbal, and NJ state finalist Jordan Beverly were on a collision course. Prior to meeting in the semiâ€™s, Pelliccioti and Beverly combined for 6 first period falls, a tech, and two majors. Beverly prevailed 4-2 and Pelliciotti went on to take third.
To give an idea of the talent here, there was at least five state champions that didnâ€™t even place.
Ryen Nieman (recruiting trip) was a scratch.
1. Sr. Josh Kindig, PA
2. Sr. Steve Dutton, NY
3. Sr. Mark Hartenstine, PA
4. Sr. Joel Smith, GA
5. Sr. Kaleb Freidley, MO
6. So. Robert Shepherd, OH
7. Jr. Ryne Cokeley, KS
8. Jr. Roger Wildmo, MI
TOMâ€™s Pick: Josh Kindig (PA) over Ryne Cokeley (KS)
In an event like this so much talent, you would expect there to be some dissention on who the best overall. But Kindig was so incredibly dominant, it was a virtual consensus. In the finals, he was dominant against an otherwise stellar Steve Dutton, who walked through his side of the bracket with little trouble.
Kaleb Freidley battled back from a first round loss winning 8 straight matches to place.
Mark Hartenstine went unscored upon in wrestlebacks and eventually avenged his quarterfinals loss to Josh Smith in the 3rd place match.
Smith, of Georgia, was a pleasant surprise. He went on quite a run before losing to Kindig in the semiâ€™s and displayed an impressive double. His only other loss was to Maryland-bound Hartenstine.
Among the notables not to place were nationally ranked Henry Carlson (AL), New York State Champ, Andrew Lenzi, and Fargo AA Zac Brunson (OR).
1. Sr. Colin Shober, PA
2. Sr. Greg Amos, MO
3. Sr. Ben Dorsay, VA
4. Jr. Matt Stephens, OH
5. Sr. Alex Smith, NH
6. Jr. Codey Combs, DE
7. Sr. Gabe Bird, FL
8. Jr. Jayshon Wilson, PA
TOMâ€™s Pick: Colin Shober (PA) over Greg Amos (MO)
The final of the night. Perhaps no other final featured two guys who were as college-ready as these two. Both guys wrestled at an extremely high level throughout the tournament. The Northwestern-bound Shober and future Husker, Greg Amos, scrapped and scrambled for the duration of the bout. Weâ€™re probably looking at two future NCAA All-Americans here.
Thatâ€™s not to say they werenâ€™t pushed. Both Amos and Shober had to fend off game opponents in earlier rounds. Amos, with VAâ€™s Ben Dorsay, whom he outlasted in an OT match. Shober, in a 1-point win over NHâ€™s Alex Smith.
One kid who I found particularly impressive was Delaware junior, Codey Combs, who had several solid wins. He lost only to Shober in the semiâ€™s before defaulting to 6th. Keep an eye on him in the future.
Brian Brille, a workout partner with PAâ€™s Alton brothers, also had a solid tournament. Brille, who will begin his freshman season this year, finished one match away from placing, losing to Amos in the quarters and to Floridaâ€™s Fargo AA, Gabe Bird, in the round of 12.
Upper Weights: Thursday
By Willie Saylor, Editor