Top Contenders Of 2016 NHSCA Nationals

Matt Shuck Kanen Storr

Who’s ready for another beach trip to watch wrestling for three days?

Of course, we all are.

It’s time to pack the Virginia Beach Convention Center with mats and battle it out until we crown some national champs. Like in past years, the stars will make the trip. And as we searched the high school divisions, we took notice of a number of guys that will be tough to beat. 

So let’s start with the young and work our way up to the most experienced group.

Freshmen

These dudes may be young, but they are tough. Especially watch out for the lower weights -- the 106lbs, 113lbs, and 120lbs classes are stacked with real talent. Starting at 106, California state champion Matt Olguin will be looking for a national title. 

When it comes to Olguin's opponents, he's a quick study. In the state finals, he handily avenged his Doc Buchanan finals loss when he dismantled Nic Aguilar. Olguin controlled the center, scored off of his shots, and worked for turns to win. You can expect big things from him, but he will have to get past Bryce Andonian, Asa Garcia and Beau Bayless. They have what it takes to defeat Olguin, but if his offense is rolling, everyone better watch out.

Olguin seals the dual meet win for Buchanan with a decision over Brandon Betancourt.


The four horsemen at 113 -- Ray Kable, Justin Hoyle, Colton Camacho and Connor Alexander -- will have a similar race to the title. Then at 120, we will see Fargo National champion Jordan Decatur out of Ohio, as well as Cal grappler Jaden Abas. 

Sophomores

There's a lot of talent spread out across the sophomore weight classes, with the potential for quite a few intriguing match-ups.

At 126lbs, Wyoming Seminary National Prep Champ Jack Davis will likely be on a collision course for Joey Silva of Florida's Lake Highland Prep. Silva, who started his season with a Super 32 title, took home the freshman national title last year. He's pretty slick, and brings a boatload of speed with his attacks. It would be interesting to see if Davis has what it takes to keep up with him. The 132lbs and 195lbs weight classes also look poised for impressive match-ups. Grant Aranoff and Imran Heard could meet at 132, and at 195, Gavin Hoffman and Max Darrah will be heading for one another in the finals.

Silva got the fall in last year's Freshman National finals.


Other guys to watch in the sophomore division include: 

106
Nic Aguilar, CA
Jon Charles, NY

113
Michael Mcateer, MO

120
Chase Zollmann, CA

138
Aaron Brooks, MD

145
Anthony Artalona, FL

285
Brey Walker, OK

Junior

As we continue to climb the ladder, things become more and more interesting. In this division you should look no further than the 132lbs class where that bad man with curly hair is slated to come. After crushing everyone and capturing a title at FloNationals, Brian Courtney is well-positioned to turn heads again this weekend. Needless to say, it’s going to take a hell of a competitor to slow him down. 

Here is Courtney's FloNational finals win over 3x CA State Champ Justin Mejia.


Quinn Devanny, Breyden Bailey, Zack Donathan and Jimmy Hottman will be among the guys trying to dethrone Courtney, but Jake Reigel and Tanner Litterell look like the best guys for the job. That being said, it definitely won't be easy. 

Here are some other guys to watch:

106
Javier Vasquez, TX
Elijah Verona, FL

120
Drew Mattin, OH
Daniel Planta, MD

126
Sawyer Degen, MT
Dane Heberlein, NY

138
Vincent Dolce, AZ

145
Jake Brindley, FL
Quentin Hovis, AZ

152
Stephan Glasgow, NJ
Brandon Konecny, AZ
Bryce Rogers, FL
Max Wohlabaugh, FL

160
Tanner Hood, VA
Travis Stefanik, PA
Kyle Cochran, NJ

Stefanik's skills will be on display once again this weekend at 160.


170

Andrew Berreyesa, NV
Anthony Falbo, CT
Jacob Hart, WV
Casey Cornett, KY

182
Cade Belshay, CA
Chasen Blair, CA
Khamari Whimper, GA

195
Zane Black, PA
Haydn Maley, OR

220
Jeffrey Allen, VA
Seth Janney, PA

285
Niko Camacho, PA
Levi Seabolt, GA


Senior

We have arrived at the top of the heap: the senior national brackets. 

Right off the bat, I’m drawn to 182lbs which features two-time FloNational champion Dakota Geer and Garrett Hoffman, who defeated Geer at the Pennsylvania state tournament before finishing as the runner-up. You could say there’s some tension between them because of what went down, so be on the lookout for fireworks if they cross paths again.

Geer rattled off 8 straight points and over a minute of riding time in his FloNats final below.


Next let’s say hello to Rudy Yates. It’s been quite some time since we saw Yates at the Who's #1. Since then, he won another Illinois state title. Yates will be joined by Taylor Jeffries, Brett Kulp and Jacob Wasser as the top contenders here. Although Yates has the edge, these guys will certainly put up a fight. 

Now we can go all the way back down to 106, where we’ve got a three-headed monster set for the title hunt. Tommy Cox, Liam Cronin and Tyson Klump are all entered and hungry for the title.

Uh oh, is that Kanen Storr? Yup, it is. The FloNational runner-up isn’t done touring yet. Storr had an impressive showing on the big stage despite his loss to Sammy Sasso. He also put on a nice little show on his way to the final. If he starts to get into a rhythm, he'll be like a snowball rolling down a hill. And you definitely won't want to be at the bottom.

Check out Storr's nice win over Hunter Ladnier in the FloNational semis.


Jarrett Degen, Chris Diaz and Michael Murphy will also make the trip and and try to mount a good defense to slow the Stor(r)m. 

Take a look at some of the competitors in the other classes below:

113
Matteo Devincenzo, NY
Joey Prata, VA
Cody Trybus, MD

120
Anthony Foggia, NJ
Lane Peters, OH
Kyle Trybus, MD
Trey Chalifoux, TN
Theo Powers, NY

145
Kevin Budock, MD
Luke Weber, MT

152
Ben Anderson, UT
Jimm Saylor, PA
Austin Kraisser, MD

160
Daniel Bullard, GA
Elijah Cleary, FL

Logan Moriarity, MO




170

Austin Bell, PA

195
Jay Aiello, VA
Drew Phipps, PA


220
Robert Winters, VA

285
Christian Rebottaro, CA
Edwin Rubio, NY

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