Preseason Tournament Sketches
Willie Saylor, Editor
Journeymen Classic – September 30th, Schenectady, NY
Tournament Sketch – A round robin format, Journeymen offers a preseason tune-up for the Northeast/New England region. The pools last year were filled with kids who would go on to win medals at their respective state tournaments.
Ironhorse Invitational – October 7th, South Plainfield, NJ
Tournament Sketch – The IHI has evolved into a round robin of epic proportions. Ironhorse Director, Gary Mezzacapo does a fantastic job at recruiting studs and matching them up. The marquee bout last year was a Randy Cruz-Anthony Ashnault show down. Early word out of Jersey is that IHI will have its deepest field yet this year. Eighteen Floranked individuals are confirmed with more grade-ranked kids in the fold. Josh Llopez, Darian Cruz, Ashnault, BJ Clagon, and Nick Kelley are a few of the marquee names competing at IHI this year.
Michigan Grappler Fall Classic – October 13-14, Battle Creek, MI
Tournament Sketch – The GFC has picked up steam. Just three years old, it takes some of Michigan’s best and adds formidable foes from the Great Lakes region. This year, there’s also a contingent from Florida coming up. Should be an entertaining show.
Blue Chip Fall Brawl – October 20-21, Kansas City, MO
Tournament Sketch – This field is comprised of a Midwest lot. While it doesn’t have the greatest depth, 11 of the 14 weight classes last year had a nationally ranked wrestler in it.
Super 32 – October 20-21, Greensboro, NC
Tournament Sketch – The crème de la crème. Super 32 is a monolith where ranked wrestlers not placing are the norm. One of the most anticipated events of the year, Super 32 is arguably the toughest and deepest folkstyle events; it’s a true national tournament with wrestlers from every nook of the country. Mega stars such as Mark Hall, Nathan Tomasello, JR Wert, TJ Miller, Solomon Chishko, and Matt McCutcheon are already registered.
Southwest Kickoff Classic – November 2-3, Las Vegas, NV
Tournament Sketch – Otherwise known as “The Freak Show,” this event brings in Cali’s best. Last year there were also a smattering of top athletes from Minnesota and Illinois. Expect an even broader field this year.
USAW Preseason Nationals – November 3-4, Cedar Falls, IA
Tournament Sketch – A huge tournament in terms of numbers, PSN is already closing in on 500 entries. Largely a Midwest field, headliners this year include Bo Nickal, Jacob Rubio, Nick Reenan, Jose Champagne, and Ryan Blees.