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The Ultimate Fargo 2017 Cadet Preview

The Ultimate Fargo 2017 Cadet Preview
Photo: Matt Shuck
It's Fargo week. The stars of high school wrestling are making their annual pilgrimage to the Fargodome in North Dakota for the 2017 Cadet and Junior national championships.

If you missed it, here is the complete schedule for the event. Remember, we're starting off with cadet men's freestyle this year, so that's where our previews begin.

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We're going to take a look at the lightweights, from 88 pounds to 120 pounds. Complete entries and brackets can be found on FloArena. Let's see who could be our next potential stars.

PLEASE NOTE. This preview is based on where guys are pre-registered now, as well as some educated guesses on where guys will be going. Wrestlers can change weights, or get hurt, or might not be registered yet. On to the preview.

88 Pounds

The Contenders:
Chance Lamer, OR
Drake Ayala, IA
Blake West, MN
Richard Treanor, NC
Joshua Koderhandt, IL

Commentary: The smallest weight tends to be where future 106 hammers congregate. Last year, No. 7 Cullan Schriever (IA) beat No. 3 Sam Latona (AL) in a great final. This year's 42kg cadet world team member in Cole Skinner was fourth in last year's bracket.

Skinner's opponent in the Akron finals is my pick to win this year, Chance Lamer of Oregon. Draka Ayala of Iowa is another stud who should be on everyone's radar. Lamer beat Ayala (video below) in Akron in what could very well have been a preview of the Fargo finals.



Look for the south to have another high placer the year after Latona made the finals, as Richard Treanor of North Carolina has a very strong resume. Blake West of Minnesota and Joshua Koderhandt of Minnesota have had great summers on the freestyle circuit. With such a small field, bracket placement will have a lot to do with where these young men finish.

Nomad's Picks
  1. Chance Lamer, OR
  2. Drake Ayala, IA
  3. Joshua Koderhandt, IL
  4. Richard Treanor, NC

94 Pounds

The Contenders:
Carter Young, OK
Kase Mauger, ID
Sawyer Nash, IL
Blake Noonan, MI
Laz Maldonado, CA

Commentary: Mauger is the only All American from 88 or 94 returning at this weight. He could be challenged by incoming freshman Carter Young from Oklahoma. Mauger stuck to Greco for Akron, while Young focused on freestyle.



Both are dropping down after spending time at 100lbs this summer. Young took two losses at cadet duals to guys who should be favorites to place, and Mauger was second at the Western regional.

Blake Noonan (MI) and Laz Maldonado (CA) both placed in Akron. Sawyer Nash not only won the Illinois state freestyle tournament, which is kind of a big deal in that state, he also won the Central regional over a game Cael Saxton of Ohio.

Nomad's Picks
  1. Carter Young, OK
  2. Kase Mauger, ID
  3. Blake Noonan, MI
  4. Sawyer Nash, IL

100 Pounds

The Contenders:
No. 6 Jeremiah Reno, MO
Paxton Creese, MN
Yusief Lillie, WA
Brenden Chaowanapibool, WA
Andrew Chambal, MI
Kyle Rowan, OH

Commentary: Our first weight with more than a couple big names in it. I really like two studs from Washington in Yusief Lillie and Brendan Chaowanabipool. A couple guys we should absolutely see in the mix are Jeremiah Reno of Missouri and Andrew Chambal of Michigan. Chambal was third last year at 88lbs but is looking to bounce back from a disappointing Akron.

Paxton Creese of Minnesota may not win this weight, but he is appointment viewing. The tiny tornado from Shakopee has been competing at both the junior and cadet levels, but took some big losses to Ryan Crookham and Jacob Moran. Kyle Rowan (OH) is also an intriguing prospect here after going undefeated at Cadet duals down at 94lbs and winning the Central regional.

For me, I love Reno's high level experience already. He won Fargo last year at 94 (finals match below) and has made the Akron finals two years in a row.



Nomad's Picks
  1. Jeremiah Reno, MO
  2. Paxton Creese, MN
  3. Yusief Lillie, WA
  4. Andrew Chambal, MI

106 Pounds

The Contenders: 
No. 4 Matthew Ramos, IL
No. 5 Dylan Ragusin, IL
No. 7 Cullan Schriever, IA
No. 9 Ryan Miller, PA
No. 10 (at 113) Isaac Salas, CA
No. 11 Aizayah Yacapin, WA
No. 13 Caleb Rathjen, IA
No. 15 Caden McCrary, GA

Commentary: Our toughest weight so far, and another one with a returning champ. Cullan Schriever was the 88lb champ last year, and was undefeated this year to win large school (3A) in Iowa as a freshman. Although he walks in as the likely favorite, or at least at the most credentialed athlete in the field, he has been battling injuries and could be at less than 100% this weekend.

Outside of Schriever, there are several ranked wrestlers here. They include Matthew Ramos (IL), Dylan Ragusin (IL), Ryan Miller (PA) and Aizayah Yacapin (WA), Caleb Rathejen (IA) and Caden McCrary (GA). Not to mention Akron finalist Isaac Salas of California, ranked 10th at 113lbs.

Miller won a solid Northeast regional bracket, and Yacapin took the Western regional bracket up at 113. Ramos beat Ragusin 22-20 in a ridiculous Illinois freestyle state final. Rathjen was undefeated at Cadet duals, including a pin over Jeremiah Reno, but was also teched twice by Conor Knopick of Nebraska at Northern Plains.

Ramos struggled a little at Akron when he was 50kg, but won the Central regional up at 113. McCrary placed in both Fargo and Akron last year, but has losses to Miller from Cadet duals and Zeke Escalera of Kentucky at the Southeast regional. Karen Kuenzi of Oregon is a returning All American, adding to this bracket's depth.

With Schriever not being 100%, Salas could very well be the favorite and the biggest kid in this bracket. Ragusin has already won a stop sign (although it was in Greco) and wrestles for the state that is the perennial favorite to win Fargo every year. I also like Miller to have a breakout performance.

Nomad's Picks

  1. Isaac Salas, CA
  2. Dylan Ragusin, IL
  3. Cullan Schriever, IA
  4. Ryan Miller, PA

113 Pounds

The Contenders:
No. 13 Dylan Shawver, OH
No. 17 Noah Surtin, IL
No. 19 Anthony Clark, NJ
Nick Masters, GA

Commentary: Shawver has had some up and down freestyle results this summer. He's gone from a second place finish at an Ohio freestyle state qualifier at 126, to a 4th place finish at the Central regional down at 120, before posting an undefeated record at cadet duals at this weight. There, he teched Akron semifinalist Noah Surtin of Illinois, though Shawver himself went 0-2 at the UWW Cadet trials. 

Clark won a New Jersey state title this year at 106lbs and returns as an All American from 100 last year. Nick Masters won the Southeast regional and had an undefeated Cadet duals, but also went 0-2 to Akron. Surtin was the state freestyle champ of Illinois. I was also clued in to Jesse Ybarra (AZ), a schoolboy nationals runner-up last year at 98lbs and an Arizona state champ at 106 earlier this year.

Nomad's Picks
  1. Anthony Clark, NJ
  2. Noah Surtin, IL
  3. Dylan Shawver, OH
  4. Nick Masters, GA

120 Pounds

The Contenders:
No. 14 (at 113) Trevor Mastrogiovanni, NJ
No. 18 Ryan Sokol, MN
No. 19 Jacob Lindsey, IL
Cael Happel, IA
Mick Burnett, OH

Commentary: Incoming freshman Sokol is a breakout star waiting to happen. Already a two-time placer in the power state of Minnesota, Sokol is one of three currently ranked guys registered at this weight.

Sokol went undefeated at cadet duals, with a 14-0 tech of national prep champ and returning All American Mastrogiovanni. He also won a Northern Plains title, taking out Cael Happel of Iowa in the finals. Happel also went undefeated at Cadet duals. Mastrogiovanni, a rising sophomore for Blair Academy, won the Northeast regional and is the highest ranked athlete in this bracket after coming in third in Akron at 50kg.

Mick Burnett (OH) has an extremely high upside, and is starting to pile up accolades. He placed at Ironman and in Ohio this year, and had an undefeated record at Cadet duals. Both he and Jacob Lindsey of Illinois are good enough to make the finals.

Nomad's Picks
  1. Ryan Sokol, MN
  2. Trevor Mastrogiovanni, NJ
  3. Mick Burnett, OH
  4. Cael Happel, IA


126 Pounds

The Contenders:
No. 5 Carson Manville, MN
Josh Saunders, MO
Jordan Hamdan, MI
Gabriel Hixenbaugh, AL
Travis Mastrogiovanni, NJ
Jose Fernandez, CA

Commentary: Two of the best freshmen in the country figure very prominently into this weight. Carson Manville (MN) will be the highest ranked athlete in the bracket, and already has two wins over multiple-time Fargo champ Nick Raimo. Representing team New Jersey is future Blair Bucaneer Travis Mastrogiovanni. Manville teched Mastrogiovanni at Cadet duals and comes in as the heavy favorite.

Returning All American Josh Saunders (MO) was fourth in Akron, losing to Manville on the championship side (match below). I could very much see Saunders and Mastrogiovanni meeting in the semis, with the winner getting Manville in the finals.



NHSCA sophomore nationals champ Gabriel Hixenbaugh (AL) should find his way onto the podium, as he has a win over Mastrogiovanni from the Northeast regional. Also keep an eye on Western regional champ Jose Fernandez of California and Michigan state champ Jordan Hamdan.

Nomad's Picks
  1. Carson Manville, MN
  2. Josh Saunders, MO
  3. Gabriel Hixenbaugh, AL
  4. Travis Mastrogiovanni, NJ

132 Pounds

The Contenders:
No. 8 (at 138) Frankie Tal-Shahar, FL
No. 12 Dawson Sihavong, CA
No. 20 (at 138) Victor Voinovich, OH
Alex Mosconi, IN
Nick Dunagan, MN
Trevor Chumbley, IL
Scott Fitts, IN
Samson Enos, NV

Commentary: Indiana has a number of potential All Americans, and Alex Mosconi is as good a bet as any. He was undefeated at Cadet duals after dropping down from 138 at his freestyle state tournament, where he lost to another potential AA in Manzona Bryant.

Dawson Sihavong may not have placed last year, but he may enter Fargo as the favorite this year. A rising junior, expect the Cali native to win every match on his feet.

Victor Voinovich is a highly touted freshman from Ohio who appears to have settled in the best weight for him. He loves to attack the right leg on singles and has rarely shown himself to be vulnerable to upsets. Watch him in action at the Ohio Freestyle state duals below.



Franke Tal-Shahar (FL) is ranked at 138 but coming down in weight for Fargo. He has spent most of the summer wrestling up with juniors, and is looking to place after falling short last year at this same weight.

Nick Dunagan has been looking very strong this summer after going up a couple weight classes from the high school. He was undefeated at Cadet duals and second at Northern Plains.

Nomad's Picks
  1. Dawson Sihavong, CA
  2. Victor Voinovich, OH
  3. Frankie Tal-Shahar, FL
  4. Alex Mosconi, IN

138 Pounds

The Contenders:
No. 11 Kevon Davenport, MI
Cade DeVos, IA
Padraic Gallagher, OH
Luka Wick, CA
Manzona Bryant, IN
Ethan Basile, FL
Jacob Dado, IL

Commentary: Once this weight gets to the quarterfinals, it's going to get ugly. Kevon Davenport (MI) was fourth in Akron and is coming off a bronze medal at the Pan Am championships. All of his losses this summer are to guys who won't be in this bracket, and he was fifth here last year.

Davenport's win over No. 14 Alex Facundo from Akron


Cade DeVos (IA) was a runner-up in big school Iowa this year with a Northern Plains title and undefeated Cadet duals on his resume. Down at 120 for Fargo last year, he was knocked out in one of the craziest matches of the tournament, a 23-22 loss.

One of the guys Davenport beat in Akron was Padraic Gallagher (OH), though Gallagher did pick up a couple good wins over guys like Dawson Sihavong and Andrew Garr. Luka Wick beat DeVos in Akron and is trending upwards as he enters his freshman season in California.

Two guys who might not be known just yet, but likely will be after this weekend, are Manzona Bryant (IN) and Ethan Basile (FL). Jacob Dado (IL) is a returning All American that should very much be considered a strong case to make the podium again.

Nomad's Picks
  1. Kevon Davenport, MI
  2. Padraic Gallagher, OH
  3. Manzona Bryant, IN
  4. Luka Wick, CA

145 Pounds

The Contenders:
No. 14 (at 152) Michael Weber, MT
No. 14 Alex Facundo, MI
No. 20 Fidel Mayora, IL
Christian Hudson, ID
Justus Scott, NV
Jace Luchau, CA
Nicholas Steele, CA
Cole Rees, PA

Commentary: Michael Weber (MT) has been on fire this spring and summer. He is a perfect example of a second year cadet who wins Fargo and validates the college coaches who are already recruiting him.

Rising sophomore Fidel Mayora (IL) comes in ranked and was in the bloodround a year ago down at 138. His two losses were to Sammy Sasso and Cam Amine, both of whom are now wrestling juniors. He was undefeated at Cadet duals and wrestles for Illinois, where the expectation is to win stop signs. Check out Mayora's win over Malcolm Robinson in Akron below.



Alex Facundo (MI) is the other ranked athlete in this weight, and just barely missed placing in Akron. His freestyle resume is very strong, having won the Central regional, along with an undefeated record at Cadet duals and a schoolboy national title at 136 last year.

Justus Scott (NV) and Jace Luchau (CA) are two intriguing second year cadets coming up a few weights. They met at the Western regional and may have to go through each other again on their way to placing.

Cole Rees (PA) is a rising freshman who went undefeated at Cadet duals with a silver at the Northeast regional. He is more so known for his folkstyle prowess, but could cause a lot of problems this weekend.

Nomad's Picks
  1. Michael Weber, MT
  2. Fidel Mayora, IL
  3. Alex Facundo, MI
  4. Jace Luchau, CA

152 Pounds

The Contenders:
Skyler Noftsger, IA
Kiran Srikanth, WA
Daniel Snediker, WA
Cade Lindsey, KS
Josh Otto, WI
Angel Garcia, PA

Commentary: This is a weight not full of stars just yet, but they will emerge as the week goes on. I can see a couple guys from Washington making waves here in Daniel Snediker and Kiran Srikanth.

Cade Lindsey (KS) has won Southern Plains each of the past two years, but is making his first appearance in the FargoDome. Josh Otto (WI) was runner-up at the Northern Plains regional and was in the bloodround last year at 145. Skyler Noftsger (IA) lost a single match at Cadet duals and was an Iowa runner-up this year. Angel Garcia (PA) teched Srikanth at Cadet duals and could wind up on the podium.

Watch Josh Otto take out Mason Reiniche in Akron


Nomad's Picks
  1. Josh Otto, WI
  2. Daniel Snediker, WA
  3. Cade Lindsey, KS
  4. Kiran Srikanth, WA

160

The Contenders:
No. 9 Carter Starocci, PA
No. 19 (at 182) David Key, GA
No. 19 (at 152) Nevan Snodgrass, OH
David Ferrante, IL
Robert Kanniard, NJ
Zach Glazier, MN

Commentary: This weight is going to be TOUGH. Carter Starocci (PA) is an absolute hammer who had a great Akron. While fifth at the UWW Cadet trials may not *seem* impressive, when you look at the list of guys he beat, it becomes clear the Pennsylvania state runner-up can run the gauntlet in Fargo.

One of the guys he may need to go through is David Key of Georgia, who should be absolutely massive for the weight. The Georgia state champ is a second year Cadet who went undefeated over the course of two years at Cadet duals. The Southeast regional champ didn't place last year, but his losses were to the guys currently ranked 2nd and 10th at 170.

Then we get into Nevan Snodgrass (OH), a stud in waiting from a power state. A 145 during the year, he has bounced around between 152, 160 and 170 during the freestyle season, going undefeated at Cadet duals at the lightest weight but ultimately choosing 160, where he won the Central regional.

David Ferrante (IL) went undefeated at Cadet duals, with big wins over Cade King and Jacob Lagoa. Robert Kanniard (NJ) is another stud on the rise after placing in one class Jersey states and going unblemished at Cadet duals. Zach Glazier (MN) has grown quite a bit the past year or so, going from a 126lb state finalist in 2016 to one of the contenders at 160 here this weekend. A second year cadet who didn't place at 138 last year, Glazier may become a name outside of just the Land of 10,000 lakes.

Nomad's Picks
  1. Carter Starocci, PA
  2. David Key, GA
  3. Nevan Snodgrass, OH
  4. Zach Glazier, MN

170

The Contenders:
No. 7 Patrick Kennedy, MN
No. 11 (at 160) Albert Ferrari, TX
Kyle Haas, KS
Abe Assad, IL
Gerrit Nejenhuis, PA

Commentary: Is it dumb to pick a rising freshman in a field full of guys with legitimate high school credentials? Probably, but I'm going to do it anyway. Kyle Haas (KS) has spent a few years absolutely terrorizing the schoolboy/middle school ranks, and is now going to make his debut on the big stage. He may not win, but he's a name you should become familiar with very soon.

Now, on to the guys that could prove me wrong. Patrick Kennedy (MN) is a certified killer who lost a one point match to Cadet world bronze medalist Travis Wittlake and should be any sane person's pick to win this weight. He sleptwalk his way through Northern Plains and the kids US Open with straight 10-0 techs. His only losses this year as a freshman were to graduating seniors who are both going Division 1.

Chris Foca (NJ) is No. 18 on the junior big board and No. 10 at this weight. He beat the favorite at 182 Devin Winston at Cadet duals, and should be a leader for one of the best teams in the country next year in Bergen Catholic. A returning All American at 160, Foca won the Northeast regional and should absolutely place highly.

Abe Assad (IL) placed at 160 last year and should do so again this year. Gerrit Nejenhuis (PA) is a name that Pennsylvania fans are familiar with, one that many in the Keystone state believe will only improve as his career goes on.

Nomad's Picks
  1. Kyle Haas, KS
  2. Patrick Kennedy, MN
  3. Chris Foca, NJ
  4. Abe Assad, IL

182

The Contenders:
No. 17 (at 170) Devin Winston, MO
Rowan Morgan, MN
Grant Parrish, MN
Gabe Christenson, IA

Commentary: The favorite on paper and only ranked wrestler is Devin Winston, a Missouri state champ who was fifth in Akron. Though not unbeatable in his age level, he could very well cruise to a title.

Rowan Morgan (MN) is a second year cadet and Northern Plains champ at 195 from Minnesota, exactly the kind of guy you want to avoid seeing on day two if you're trying to make the finals. His teammate Grant Parrish was undefeated at Cadet duals and won a Northern Plains title. Parrish is a second year Cadet who only competed in Greco last year, where he placed sixth.

Jonathon Fagen (ID) is a second year Cadet who seems like a good bet to place. A round of 12er last time around, his losses were to eventual champ Ryan Karoly and 6th placer Drew Hennessey. Fagen swept the Western regional and is a two-time state champ.

Nomad's Picks
  1. Devin Winston, MO
  2. Grant Parrish, MN
  3. Jon Fagen, ID
  4. Rowan Morgan, MN

195

The Contenders:
No. 18 Ashton Sharp, MO
Peter Christensen, IL
Santos Cantu, OR
Avery Jaramillo, OR
Konnor Doucet, OK

Commentary: Ashton Sharp (MO) is the lone ranked wrestler in the weight. He won the 85kg Greco world team spot in Akron, but then did not end up competing in freestyle. Sharp was 2-2 in freestyle last year at 182, and the only person to beat him at Cadet duals this year is in his weight. That would be Peter Christensen (IL), a preseason nationals champ who did not place last year down at 160.

Oregon has a pair of studs in returning All American Santos Cantu and Avery Jaramillo, both of whom are strong podium threats. Konnor Doucet (OK) was the Southern Plains champ, and knocked Jaramillo out last year in Fargo; Sharp beat Doucet at Cadet duals.

Nomad's Picks
  1. Santos Cantu, OR
  2. Ashton Sharp, MO
  3. Konnor Doucet, OK
  4. Avery Jaramillo, OR

220

The Contenders
No. 3 Braxton Amos, WV
No. 4 Luke Luffman, IL
No. 15 Josh Heindselman, OK
No. 20 Cabe Dickerson, OK
Hunter Catka, PA
Tarik Sutkovic, AZ

Commentary: Hard to believe there's a weight with four kinds ranked in which one is such a heavy favorite. Braxton Amos (WV) could very well end up being No. 1 on the Class of 2020 big board when it gets released after Fargo, and he will be going for his third stop sign after doubling up last year.

Amos was part of one of the most interesting stories last year, when he had to switch states midway through the tournament. After wrestling for Ohio during Cadet duals, he was forced to switch from his home state of West Virginia after a coach from New Jersey informed USA Wrestling that a wrestler must compete for the state they wrestle for at the duals.

Although he is a big favorite, this is Amos' first competition back after he injure his knee in the preseason last year. He'll also face stiff competition from three other ranked guys in Luke Luffman (IL) and a pair of Oklahomans named Josh Heindselman and Cade Dickerson. Tarik Sutkovic (AZ) could also be in the mix after an Arizona state title this year and going undefeated at Cadet duals. He won the Western regional and actually wrestled juniors for men's freestyle last year.

Heindselman was an Oklahoma state runner-up who has traded wins with Dickerson and won the Southern Plains regional. Dickerson, one of two returning AAs from this weight, was likewise a state runner-up, but he has a loss to Northeast regional champ Hunter Catka (PA). Luffman is the other guy who was an All American at 220 last year, and was in the finals of both preseason and folkstyle nationals this season. He was third at 100kg in Akron.

Nomad's Picks
  1. Braxton Amos, WV
  2. Luke Luffman, IL
  3. Hunter Catka, PA
  4. No. 20 Cabe Dickerson, OK

285

The Contenders
No. 8 Ronald Tucker, IL
No. 12 Nash Hutmacher, SD
No. 15 Eli Pokorney, IN
Donovan King, MI
Nick Pierce, MN
George Marsh, TX

Commentary: It's not often you get a returning silver medalist at heavyweight. Ronald Tucker (IL) is a rising junior and one of the top big men in the country. Tucker was in the Powerade finals this past season and should be the favorite to win Monday night's finals.

Nash Hutmacher (SD) and Eli Pokorney (IN) are the other ranked guys in this field. Hutmacher has a win over Pokorney from Junior duals, where he went undefeated, and may have to beat him again to get to Tucker. Pokorney was 4th last year at 195lbs.

A trio of regional winners in Donovan King (MI), Nick Pierce (MN) and George Marsh (TX) should feature in the mix, with Pierce emerging as the strongest candidate to place. Iowa is sending four heavyweights, so odds are one just may break through and land on the podium.

Nomad's Picks
  1. Nash Hutmacher, SD
  2. Ronald Tucker, IL
  3. Eli Pokorney, IN
  4. Nick Pierce, MN

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