Another day, another in-depth look at our competitors coming to Super 32. Today, we take a look at our guys at 160-182. There will be no shortage of excitement in these weight classes, which feature a lot of guys who can do a lot of damage.
So let's take a look at our welterweights.
No. 3 Jake Allar
No. 7 Hunter Bolen
No. 9 Mekhi Lewis
No. 10 Trent Hidlay
No. 11 Kyle Cochran
No. 16 Nick Kiussis
No. 18 Sammy Cokeley
Commentary: I like Jake Allar and Hunter Bolen to make the finals here. Allar beat Trent Hidlay in both styles in Fargo (pinning him in freestyle) and Hidlay recently defeated Kyle Cochran at Journeymen, so there will probably be a lot of revenge seeking in the later rounds. Bolen is certainly a handful and will give anyone fits. Mekhi Lewis is another guy who can finish high and is a potential contender to make the finals. The one thing that all these competitors should beware of his Hidlay's underhook. It's no secret that it's his offense generator and he is deadly with it. Expect Nick Kiussis to be in the mix too. He's another tough addition to this weight class. Looking down the line though, there are a few guys who I'm very interested in seeing compete, including Chris Foca, Josh Stillings, and Dale Tiongson. Foca won the Beast of the East last year but hasn't been up for the challenge much since. Stillings is another talented guy who ended up with double AA finishes in Fargo this year, so this will be another great test for him. Tiongson impressed me a lot at National Preps last year, where he took a tough 4-3 loss to Fargo champion Ryan Karoly after knocking off Wyoming Sem's Will Verallis, 1-0. So Tiongson can get the job done when called upon. Keep and eye out for these guys.
Holmes' picks: 1. Allar 2. Bolen 3. Hidlay 4. Lewis
Willie's picks: 1. Hidlay 2. Allar 3. Bolen 4. Bolen
No. 6 Anthony Mantanona
No. 9 Ethan Smith
No. 14 Bryce Rogers
No. 15 Myles Wilson
No. 20 George Walton
Commentary: Ladies and gentlemen, get your popcorn ready, because Anthony Mantanona is coming and is always a delight to watch. The FloNational and Fargo Greco champion is extremely unpredictable, and he's got a little something to prove after he did not place in freestyle at Fargo. I don't see him having much of an issue getting the belt here, IF he wrestles the way we all know he can. Even though Mantanona is a favorite here, I can see Bryce Rogers being a downright pain if they meet in the finals. Rogers was one of the nine state champions under last year's FloWrestling Coach of the year Mike Palazzo and can scrap with the best of 'em.
Holmes' picks: 1. Mantanona 2. Rogers 3. E. Smith 4. Wilson
Willie's picks: 1. Mantanona 2. Smith 3. Rogers 4. Walton
No. 2 Jelani Embree
No. 3 Nino Bonaccorsi
No. 4 Louie Deprez
No. 9 Anthony Falbo
No. 11 Kordell Norfleet
No. 12 (at 170) Jackson Hemauer
No. 17 Matt Waddell
No. 18 (at 195) Kamari Whimper
Commentary: I am very excited to see Louie Deprez. To put it simply, he's really good. And he's a hammer on top. We don't get a chance to see him much, so I'm pretty happy he will be in this bracket. Jelani Embree is coming off a bad loss to No. 1 Michael Beard at WNO, so you know he will be in the hunt for the belt. I actually think this weight class will be electric. Kamari Whimper and Nino Bonnacorsi can bring it. I consider Lucas Davison to be a guy who develops throughout every match and it shows. He's still got some work to do, but I think his offense is headed in the right direction. Also watch out for Drew Peck. A very tough kid that is pretty good on his feet.
Holmes' picks: 1. Embree 2. Deprez 3. Whimper 4. Hemauer
Willie's picks: 1. DePrez 2. Bonnacorsi 3. Embree 4. Falbo