Quarters: Pletcher beat Fargo Runner-Up, Bierdumpfel, 4-1. Spencer Lee posted his one of his 5 bonus point victories with an 8-0 win over SPG’s Eil Stickley.
Semi’s: With five seconds left in a scoreless match, Suriano won on a Pletcher locked hands call.
Finals: Lee dominated the first two periods but got called for locked hands twice. With a 3-2 lead and under :10 left, Lee was trying to fend of Suriano’s last ditch attempts when Suriano got in on a deep shot for the winning score.
Placings: 1. Suriano, NJ 2. Lee, PA 3. Pletcher, PA 4. Rodriguez, OH
Starburst: Spencer Lee is legit, folks. He became the first 8th grader ever to reach a final at Super 32. And though he didn’t get his hand raised, he was incredibly dominant.
Notes: Lee made it 4 of the last 5 years in which PA has had an 8th grade S32 placer.
Ranked Non-Placers: #12-Tirso Lara (CA), #14-Ricky Cavallo (PA), #20-Kyle Bierdumpfel (NJ)
Quarters: This is the one weight where things played out about as expected in this round. The favorites were never in much danger in the quarters.
Semi’s: Millhof otherwise dominated Ozias, but there was a moment of trepidation where the title-holder-to-be looked in serious danger. Ozias had a cradle locked up for the better part of a minute, but couldn’t get nearfall.
Finals: In a match between high school teammates that know each other well, Millhof earned the only point with a 3rd period escape.
Placings: 1. Millhof, GA 2. Russell, GA 3. Valencia, CA 4. Fleetwood, DE
Starburst: I’m going with both Millhof. He’s always been hovering around the Top Ten. But on Sunday, he went from ‘good’ to ‘elite’.
Notes: Lee made it 4 of the last 5 years in which PA has had an 8th grade S32 placer.
Ranked Non-Placers: #10-Scotty Parker (PA)
Quarters: Showing how ultra-competitive things were on Sunday morning, 3 of the 4 quarters in this weight were 3-2 decisions.
Semi’s: Krivus scored a late takedown to take out Wert. Cruz looked to have sure ‘2’ early in the first period, but it was inexplicably not called. And it would come back to haunt him as Alber would take the match in OT.
Finals: Krivus used two slickish shots off elbow passes and was never in any real danger in a convincing 5-1 win.
Placings: 1. Sam Krivus, PA 2. Josh Alber, IL 3. Cruz, PA 4. Wert, VA
Starburst: Josh Alber has never lost a match in his two-year run as Illinois State Champ. But he was coming off a rather disappointing Fargo. His performance here makes up for it.
Ranked Non-Placers: #18-Dylan Lucas (FL), #20 (at 113)-David Bavery (OH), #20-Nathan Boston (KY)
Quarters: The match of the round, at any weight class, came when Ems looked to have a sure victory over 2x Fargo Champ, Seth Gross. Up by a two with just :07 left, Ems, well, I don’t know what he did. He kinda just laid down and gave up takedown that forced overtime, where Gross took it.
Semi’s: In a match-up over Fargo Champs, Dance cruised over Gross. But the barnburner here was Diehl going down to Kemerer. Diehl is known for a lot of action and putting points up on the board. But Kemerer slowed him down. He forced OT late, and after a scoreless neutral portion, Diehl dropped to a leg in rideout where Kemerer was able to kick free, sending him back to the finals for the second straight year.
Finals: Dance was simply on another level the whole tournament. The things he was doing were sophisticated, high level stuff. Pay attention to the finer points while watching the video. Impressive to say the least. He was the most advanced kid in the entire tournament.
Placings: 1. Dance, VA 2. Kemerer, PA 3. Diehl, PA 4. Brady, AZ
Starburst: The obvious choice is Kemerer, who reached the finals for the second straight time and up 3 weights from last year.
Notes: Dance got to the finals for the fourth consecutive year, bookending what could be the greatest Super32 career in the tournament’s history with 1-2-2-1 placings.
Ranked Non-Placers: #9-Tate Robinson (TN), #12-Ken Bade (MI), #13-Emilio Saavedra (CA)
Quarters: The hot Day I names kept on rolling. Maruca gave up the opening score, then posted a 9-7 win over #10-Gasca. Gustafson took out #8-Lecount.
Semi’s: Heil and #3-Aaron Pico easily made the finals.
Finals: In what has to be the match of the week, Heil and Pico traded shots in a wild, high-scoring affair. A must watch with action and late drama.
Placings: 1. Heil, OH 2. Pico, CA 3. Nolf, PA 4. Delvecchio, NJ
Starburst: Gotta hand it to Gustafson. He always had potential, but he turned a corner. Not just on the scoreboard, but in talent and ability.
Notes: This is what happens when 1) there is so much depth and 2) it’s bunched up in a certain quadrant of the bracket: after #6-Andrew Atkinson lost to Maruca, he had the misfortune of hitting Nolf in his first consi bout. Result: Atkinson didn’t get out of Day I.
Ranked Non-Placers: #6-Atkinson (VA), #8-LeCount (IN), #17-Nate Rodriguez (MO), #19-Justin Oliver (MI)
Quarters: In a battle of Garden Staters, #16-Heilman beat #7-TJ Miller 7-5. After giving up the first takedown, #9-Dippery beat Baldwin, 4-3.
Semi’s: #4-Molloy used late points to upend Dippery. And in what many people thought would be a battle, #1-Retherford dominated Heilman, 7-0.
Finals: Despite a considerable size difference, Retherford got it done once again with a 3rd period takedown and set of nearfall.
Placings: 1. Retherford, PA 2. Molloy, IN 3. Baldwin, FL 4. Massa, MI
Starburst: There were two notable individuals for this category. One was Otero, who has long been ranked. His performance here was more a ‘confirmation’ than a true starburst. The other was Massa, who had an incredible tournament including a convincing win over Miller. He hit a new level.
Notes: How’s this for an off-season: NHSCA JR Champ, Fila Champ, Fargo Champ, Cadet World Champ, Super 32 Champ. Anything else you want Zain Retherford to win?
Ranked Non-Placers: #6-Anthony Valencia (CA), #7-TJ Miller (NJ), #11-Darick Lapaglia (MO), #17-Tyler Berger (OR), #18-Daniel Lewis (MO), #20-Christian Pagdilao (CA)
Quarters: 2011 Fargo Champ, Grant Leeth (MO) edged 3x Oregon State Champ, Reed Van Anrooy, 3-2. #5-Chishko (PA) and #10-Victor Llopez (CA) rolled.
Semi’s: Chishko looked quick and had Lopez in early trouble but eventually settled for a 5-1 win.
Finals: Just moments into the match, Chishko had his right elbow pop out. It wasn’t pretty.
Placings: 1. Leeth, MO 2. Chishko, PA 3. Cotten, PA 4. Van Anrooy, OR
Starburst: Semifinalists Zack Kelly and Grant Leeth are both JR’s and both rising. Leeth confirmed his previous ranking and ability. Kelly got his name on the national radar.
Notes: Solomon Chishko placed at 112 as an 8th grader. Amazingly, this was his 4th Super 32 medal and he’s only a Junior. I’m not positive, but I would think if he medals next year, it will be some kind of tournament record. It’s a shame that he got hurt in the finals. He looked amazing throughout the tournament. Best I’ve ever seen him.
Ranked Non-Placers: #18-Alex Anciete (NV), #19-Pat Duggan (PA)
Day I: Wayne Stinson (NJ) who beat former #1-Josh Llopez at Ironhorse, kept the momentum going, knocking off Double Fargo AA #20-Eric Hoffman (MD), in the Round of 16.
Quarters: Stinson planted #15-Shayne Tucker (CA) on his back with a big toss and nearly got the fall. Alabama got a semifinalist when Nick Hall beat Nicosia.
Semi’s: Although they were hot, the runs of both Nick Hall and Stinson hit a wall when they hit national studs Garrett Hammond and Mark Hall, respectively.
Finals: Hammond opened the bout with a deep shot. But in typical Hall fashion, with composure that never seems to waver, Hall fought it off. Later in the first, Hall hit the sweetest inside trip and got back points to go with it.
Placings: 1. Hall, MN 2. Hammond, PA 3. Stinson, NJ 4. Tucker, CA
Starburst: You could choose many from this bracket. Even Mark Hall who’s reputation precedes him. But I have to go with Stinson. He looked great and had people talking. Great tournament. The kid is for real.
Notes: Mark Hall became the heaviest Freshman to ever win a Super 32 belt.
Ranked Non-Placers: #13-Joey Lavalle (NV), #20-Eric Hoffman (MD)
Quarters: Seven of the eight quarterfinalist came in ranked. The most interesting, in my opinion, was New Jersey’s #12-Jordan Schleifer beating multiple Fargo AA, Ryan Blees (ND), 6-3
Semi’s: Both finals are must sees. Although there was little action through the first two periods, both ended with a bang. Schleifer had #2-Isaiah Martinez near decked late in the bout. How he didn’t capitalize on it was amazing, really.
Finals: In a 2 vs 3 match-up that was a repeat of their FloNationals final six months ago, Martinez got out to a quick lead with a takedown and a tilt. Llopez got back in the match with a takedown of his own, but couldn’t get any closer.
Placings: 1. Martinez, CA 2. Llopez, MD 3. Schleifer, NJ 4. Blees, ND
Starburst: Gotta go with Schleifer here. He had Martinez on the ropes. What’s more is the skill he displayed throughout the tournament. He was much more dynamic and offensively diverse than we saw last season. And it was by far his biggest national accomplishment. Consider him ‘arrived.’
Notes: #1-Bo Jordan (OH), #2-Martinez, and #3-Llopez, will all be at Ironman in December.
Quarters: These quarters were great and highlighted by a couple narrow victoies by PA boys of Carolina boys. #17-Renda edged VonEgidy, 1-0. #9-Harner did the same to Kee, 6-5.
Semi’s: #2-Wiercioch (PA) cruised over Renda. Harner used a late score to upset #6-Zach Epperly (VA).
Finals: Wiercioch and Harner have been buddies for a while. But there was no leniency on the part of Wiercioch who finished off a great tournament in capturing his second belt in three years.
Placings: 1. Wiercioch, PA 2. Harner, PA 3. Renda, PA 4. Epperly, VA
Notes: I was utterly impressed with all the top guys here. All were crisp and sharp and wrestling at an extremely high level. Collectively, they might have been the most impressive group. Like I said about his teammate, Chishko, Wiercioch looked the best I’ve ever seen him. Renda, Harner, and Epperly, and Kee were all clicking.
Ranked Non-Placers: #16-Nick Corba (OH)
Quarters: One of the best matches of the entire quarterfinal round came at this weight where #13-Chip Ness (GA) outlasted #3-Dakota DesLauriers (PA) in a thriller OT bout.
Semi’s: All four semifinalists were ranked. #4-Jacob Taylor (PA), a Cornell recruit, beat #18-Jared Haught (WV), while #9-BJ Toal, a Mizzou commit, ended Ness’ run.
Finals: While the scoreboard doesn’t show it, these two were working. Nothing flashy, just gold old fashion battling for position. It looked like a college bout.
Placings: 1. Taylor, PA 2. Toal, OH 3. Haught, WV 4. Ness, GA
Starburst: I’ll take two here. Haught, who I’ve heard a lot of rave reviews about, delivered. And Murtha, who’s been on the verge of recognition, had a great showing.
Notes: In my preview I wrote this: “Ness is another one that’s ultra talented. But frankly, he gets lazy at times, and you can’t do that in a tournament where one sequence means all the difference in the world.”
Ranked Non-Placers: #12-Immanuel Barber (CA)
Quarters: Defending S32 Champ #4-McCutcheon had a close one with Maryland’s Spencer Neff in a 1-0 win. New Jersey State placer, Matt Moore posted his third consecutive fall.
Semi’s: McCutcheon beat Moore, 4-1, while #9-Ray O’Donnell beat fellow Pennsylvanian, #14-Jake Hart, 1-0.
Finals: O’Donnell had a real good scoring chance to open the bout, but couldn’t convert. McCutcheon used great lateral movement from front head to score two takedowns.
Placings: 1. McCutcheon, PA 2. O’Donnell, PA 3. Neff, MD 4. Stephanos, FL
Starburst: O’Donnell wrestled better than I’ve ever seen him. He’s starting to put it all together. But it was Neff who made due on the potential I’ve seen in him last year that was most encouraging.
Notes: McCutcheon was the only guy in Greensboro that was able to successfully defend his belt from last year.
Ranked Non-Placers: None
Quarters: Returning placers Trent Allen (NC) and Trevor Stevens (GA) guaranteed their second straight S32 medals as they reached the semi’s.
Semi’s: #2-Kyle Snyder (MD) punished Stevens for three periods while #3-Thomas Haines (PA) posted his third fall in four bouts.
Finals: In what was perhaps the most anticipated (and inevitable) final in pre-tournament prognostications, Snyder immediately got in on a deep single and lifted for a big return and takedown. He’d hit the same exact shot later, en route to an 8-4 win.
Placings: 1. Snyder, MD 2. Haines, PA 3. Jenco, NJ 4. Wood, PA
Starburst: It sounds ridiculous to say that one ‘wasn’t sold’ on a kid that is on pace to win four state titles in large school PA. And one that already has a Super 32 belt. But I kinda wasn’t. I wanted to see more Thomas Haines. I learned more about him in his loss to Snyder than I did in all his previous thrashings of others. The kid is special. Sky’s the limit for him.
Ranked Non-Placers: None
Semi’s: Both semi’s ended in falls. The most interesting of which came between #16-Jesse Webb (VT) and HM-Patrick Garren (OH). The two had met in the finals of NHSCA SO Nationals, with Webb winning a narrow decision. And they were tied in the third when Webb tossed Garren to his back.
Finals: Webb impressed with both power and quickness, scoring from out in front with great lateral movement.
Placings: 1. Webb, VT 2. Fleck, PA 3. Coe, MI 4. DeLeon, TX
Starburst: Webb was the only known commodity. But the title here, and the way he did it ‘legitimatized’ him.
Notes: Coe lost in the first round and stormed back through six backside matches to take 3rd.
Young Guns: I named them Top Club in America last month. Their kids medaled up and down the weight classes. And to show who well they're getting kids to progress, it wasn't just the ones that were 'supposed to win.' Their guys were knocking off people they weren't. That's development.
Collins Hill, GA: An All-Eagle final at 113.
Alabama: Yes, it was only one guy. But was nice to see them have a semifinalist. We need more of that. Nick Hall is a very fine wrestler. He was one match from AA-ing in Fargo this year and AA'd as a Cadet two years ago. He ended up 5th here. Very encouraging for a lesser-known wrestling state. Note to colleges: take a look. Hall has great grades as well.
By The Numbers
Champs by State:
Finalists By State:
Placers by State:
# of Ranked Wrestlers That Placed: 63
Successfully Defend Belt: (1) Matt McCutcheon, PA
Reached the Finals Again: (7) Michael Kemerer, PA; Joey Dance, VA; Josh Llopez, MD; Matt McCutcheon, PA; Thomas Haines, PA; Zain Retherford, PA (2010); Cody Wiercioch, PA (2010)