Pound-for-Pound's Last Losses
Ryan and I have been traveling quite a bit and unable to get in the studio, so in lieu of Who's #1, and in conjunction with the new Pound-for-Pound rankings, we'll take a trip down memory lane and document the losses our fantastic 14 have taken.
It's not only a data point in determining the P4P but a collection of really awesome matches.
We put together a similar project last year.
The criteria is this: the last loss to a high schooler in Freestyle or Folkstyle.
#1 - Mark Hall, Apple Valley, MN - October 27th, 2013 - Freak Show - Anthony Valencia, CA
The Story: Ruben Valencia called me and said that Anthony Valencia was going to 'beat Mark Hall this weekend.' At the time, though Anthony was very, very good, this seemed preposterous. But Anthony did just that. The loss sat in the pit of Hall's stomach for about a year until the rematch was arranged at Who's #1 where Mark made brilliant adjustments, beat Anthony, and claimed the #1 spot he's held ever since. Last month, versus a field of collegians, Hall earned himself a spot in the JR World Team Trials finals.
#2 - Daton Fix, Sand Springs, OK - November 4th, 2014 - Super 32 - Yianni, NY
The Story: On of the most anticipated finals of Super 32, Fix came in as a slight favorite. But Yianni controlled things throughout after winning the scrambles.
#3 - Spencer Lee, Franklin Regional, PA - May 31st, 2015 - Cadet World Team Trials - Daton Fix, OK
The Story: Spencer Lee is perhaps the best wrestler I (and a lot of the country) has ever seen as a high schooler. He dominated everyone for two years, including at the 2014 World Championships. So when Daton Fix blitzed through Junior's in Vegas the previous month, and people started to wonder if he could really challenge Lee, a lot of people shrugged it off.
But Fix, and the hype, delivered in a two-part series of the most dramatic of endings.
#4 - Nick Suriano, Bergen Catholic, NJ - May 25th, 2014 - Cadet World Team Trials - Daton Fix, OK
The Story: Suriano was already a bit of a legend, having already notched a win over Spencer Lee and with an unblemished FR and SO ledger in-season in New Jersey. Fix was a returning Fargo Champion, and in contrast to what we saw a few months later at Who's #1, their showdown in Akron provided almost no serious scoring opportunities for either guy. Fix won 1-1 with each point coming on shot clock violations.
#5 - Yianni Diakomihalis, Hilton, NY - April 4th, 2015 - FloNationals - Daton Fix, OK
The Story: Yianni stymied Fix in a typical Super 32 mega showdown. Daton just couldn't scramble with him. So he came a-huntin' for him at FloNationals. In the finals, Fix was able to (somehow) wiggle out of deep Yianni attacks. Then in overtime, Fix glued himself to a shot even though Yianni's craftiness was ultra impressive. One of the most strong-willed, 'wouldn't-be-denied' takedowns you'll ever see.
#6 - Alex Marinelli, St. Paris, OH - November 4th, 2014 - Super 32 - Fox Baldwin, FL
The Story: Coming into the tournament, both guys were bona fide studs, but Baldwin had been competing with, and beating, college stars already. Marinelli was an Ironman finalist as both a FR and Soph and a month later would shock Mason Manville in his third trip to the Ironman finals. On this day however, Baldwin was just too crafty.
#7 - Isaiah White, Oak Park, IL - October 18th, 2014 - Who's #1 - David McFadden, NJ
The Story: Isaiah White's stock couldn't have been higher; he won a monster Fargo bracket and was emerging as one of the preeminent Juniors in the country. While McFadden was a Fargo Runner-Up and ranked #2 in the country, no one really gave him a chance against White. But the match stayed low scoring and five minutes into overtime, with White frustrated with McFadden playing the edge and being unable to finish, that David passed a leg and countered for the winning score.
#8 - Chad Red, Indianpolis, IN - July 21st, 2014 - Cadet Duals - Taylor LaMont, UT
The Story: This is the first loss by one of our P4P members that wasn't to someone that also wasn't in the P4P. Before Red's epic run of Fargo-Super 32-FloNationals where he beat stud after stud, Red lost to both LaMont and Dresden Simon (MI).
#9 - Mason Manville, Lorton, VA - April 4th, 2015 - FloNationals - Connor Flynn, MO
The Story: Manville returned from to folkstyle for the first time in months and seemed to be the same grind-it-out guy we all know and love. But a four-point flurry by Flynn in the last twenty seconds propelled him to a 6-4 win.
#10 - Nick Reenan, Wyoming Seminary, PA - May 25th, 2014 - Cadet World Team Trials - Beau Breske, WI
The Story: Reenan had beat Breske two days prior in the GR finals. In freestyle, Reenan lost to Mark Hall in the pool, Breske lost in the finals. In the True 2nd match, Breske edged Reenan, 4-3.
#11 - Rudy Yates, Carl Sandberg, IL - April 6th, 2014 - FloNationals - Yianni Diakomihalis, NY
The Story: Yates was a monster as a Freshman, winning Preseason Nationals over Jack Mueller and a state title. As an undersized 113, he finished just 4th in one of the deepest state tournament brackets in the country. So when he rebounded to reach FloNats finals, it sort of signaled "I'm back" for Rudy. He lost to Yianni then and not since. He beat McKee at The Clash to earn his place in the P4P.
#12 - Mitch McKee, Albertville, MN - April 11th, 2015 - NWCA Duals - Austin O'Connor, IL
The Story: Although O'Connor is a flat out stud as a Soph, you might not have guessed he beat McKee recently. McKee has always been a guy that can beat the #1 kid in the country, but then take an unexpected loss.
#13 - Luke Pletcher, Latrobe, PA - May 9, 2015 - UWW Juniors - Mitch McKee, MN
The Story: Pletcher beat McKee 7-3 at Super 32 in November, 2014. But he was new to freestyle in Vegas and McKee is about as FS savvy as they come.
#14 - Gable Steveson, Apple Valley, MN - February 28th, 2014 - State Tournament - Justin Cumberbatch, MN
The Story: Steveson was just an 8th grader then, and entered the state tournament at 39-3. He made the finals where he lost to Cumberbatch. Steveson hasn't lost since in a stretch where he's wrestled several nationally ranked opponents, including the #1 wrestler, and Cadet World Finalist, Jordan Wood.
October 27th, 2013 - Mark Hall to Anthony Valencia in Freak Show Finals
February 28th, 2014 - Gable Steveson to Justin Cumberbatch in State Finals
April 6th, 2014 - Rudy Yates to Yianni Diakomihalis in FloNational Finals
May 25th, 2014 - Nick Suriano to Daton Fix in Cadet WTT Finals
May 25th, 2014 - Nick Reenan to Beau Breske in Cadet FS WTT True 2nd Bout
July 21st, 2014 - Chad Red to Taylor Lamont at Cadet Duals
October 18th, 2014 - Daton Fix to Nick Suriano at Who's #1
October 18th, 2014 - Isaiah White to David McFadden at Who's #1
November 4th, 2014 - Alex Marinelli to Fox Baldwin in Super 32 Finals
April 4th, 2015 - Mason Manville to Connor Flynn in FloNational Semifinals
April 4th, 2015 - Yianni to Daton Fix in FloNational Finals
April 11th, 2015 - Mitchell McKee to Austin O'Connor at NWCA Duals
May 9, 2015 - Luke Pletcher to Mitchell McKee in UWW Junior FS Semifinals
May 31st, 2015 - Spencer Lee to Daton Fix in Cadet WTT Finals