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Best Early Round Matchups Of Cadet Freestyle

We are just hours away from the start of Fargo 2017, and the stage is set for another incredible year. The annual Cadet and Junior national championships start today with Cadet men's freestyle.


Since Fargo switched from vertical pairing to line bracketing, USA Wrestling has used separation criteria instead of an informal seeding meeting. Which means we still get a handful of awesome matches to start off the tournament.

Below are seven that got us excited when we were going through the brackets on FloArena, and we hope you'll enjoy them too.

Isaac Salas (CA) vs Cael Happel (IA): Round 1, 120lbs

I'm not even sure how this happened using separation criteria. Salas was in the UWW Cadet finals at 50kg, while Happel was an Iowa state champ as a freshman who went undefeated at Cadet duals. Expect fireworks right away.

Watch Salas beat No. 15 Greg Diakomihalis in Akron.

Coles Rees (PA) vs Justus Scott (NV): Round 2, 145lbs

Rees showed out in some of the most high profile middle school events on the calendar, going undefeated at VAC duals and Cadet duals, but will have to go through Western regional champ Scott to try to get a stop sign.

Cadet Freestyle Previews: Lightweights | Middleweights | Heavyweights

Gabe Hixenbaugh (AL) vs Keegan O'Toole (WI): Round 2, 126lbs

A great early round matchup of two guys who should both place. O'Toole is a returning All American who won a state title in Wisconsin this year and Hixenbaugh was NHSCA sophomore nationals champ.

Patrick Kennedy (MN) vs Jacob Lagoa (OH): Round 3, 170lbs

Two freshman state champs from power states meeting before the round of 16. Kennedy had a lead in the second period over Travis Wittlake and has otherwise generally dominated everyone this summer. He should be favored, but Lagoa is supposed to be the next big thing in Ohio. Check out Kenedy's bronze match from Akron below.

Aidan Medora (WI) vs Trevor Chumbley (IL): Round 3, 132lbs

A couple of second year Cadets hitting early on. Medora dominated his way through the Northern plains regional, and Chumbley teched my pick to win this weight at Cadet duals.

Junior Freestyle Previews: Lightweights | Middleweights | Heavyweights

Victor Voinovich (OH) vs Matt Lee (IN): Round 3, 132lbs

Staying in the same weight as above, in fact, the winners will wrestle each other. Last year, Lee beat Chumbley. Voinovich has high expectations coming in to high school, and will need to exceed them to get through a tough 132 pound field.

Anthony Clark (NJ) vs Zach Redding (NY): Round 3, 113lbs

I picked Clark to win this weight based on his strong resume, a Jersey state title and podium finish last year in Fargo. He'll have his hands full against the NHSCA freshman nationals champ Redding.

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