2017 FloNationals Preview

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports Trent Hidlay

We've had an incredible season of high school folkstyle, and it wraps up this weekend by determining the "one true champion" at FloNationals. We'll have all hands on deck to give you wall-to-wall coverage of some of the best wrestlers in the country, starting at noon on Friday, March 31st. Every bout will be live, with complete brackets and archived matches on FloArena.

Below is our weight-by-weight preview featuring ranked wrestlers and a few just under the radar. Pre-seeds can be found here.


#11 Dante Mininno, NJ
#14 (at 113) Brandon Kaylor, WA
#15 Dylan Ryder, NY
#16 (at 113) Ben Kamali, MI
#19 Zach Shupp, OH
Sam Latona, AL
Doug Zapf, PA
Beau Bayless, PA
Jacob Moran, IN
Aaron Howell, VA

Commentary: Despite being the lightest weight, this one is likely to be ruled by upperclassmen. Of the five ranked athletes currently registered, all of them are juniors. New Jersey fourth placer Dante Mininno is the highest ranked, though he did not place at Super 32. However, returning FloNats finalist Ben Kamali and Brandon Kaylor both did; Kaylor also had a win over New York champ Dylan Ryder there. The last ranked athlete is Ohio big school runner-up Zach Schupp.

Kaylor was a double Fargo AA who was third at Super 32. Kamali was seventh at Super 32 and his only losses in Michigan this year were up in weight. Also in the mix are double Fargo finalist Sam Latona, and both PA state champs in Doug Zapf and Beau Bayless. Latona just won the sophomore division at NHSCAs and Ryder won the junior bracket. Moran was an Indiana state placer as a freshman who lost to Latona in the NHSCA finals. Howell is a Virginia state champ who placed at Beast of the East. 


#8 Antonio Mininno, NJ
#19 Jaret Lane, PA
Corey Gamet, MI
Keegan O'Toole, WI
Louis Newell, PA
Joey Thomas, MD
Ed Scott, PA
Anthony Sciotto, NY

Commentary: Defending 106lb champ Lane is up a weight and is fresh off a AAA state title. He will be looking for revenge from his second round match at Super 32 against Antonio Mininno, a 7-5 overtime loss to the Jersey state champ. Fargo champ Gamet is the landmine to avoid in the semis.

Those are the only two ranked wrestlers, however there are several other tough competitors. Anthony Sciotto is a scrambling machine who has a win over Ironman runner-up Jesse Vasquez and was nearly able to knock off Fargo champ Nic Aguilar last week at NHSCAs. Keegan O'Toole was a Fargo AA coming down in weight from his 120-pound Wisconsin state title. Ed Scott was third in AAA in Pennsylvania, losing 4-3 in the semis to Newell.

Jaret Lane's 2016 FloNats title


#2 Julian Chlebove, PA
#7 Jakob Camacho, CT
Josh Saunders, MO
Gabriel Hixenbaugh, AL
Peyton Hall, WV
James McClain, TX
Orion Anderson, NY

Commentary: This final has massive potential. Beast of the East champ Julian Chlebove and Eastern States champ Jakob Camacho are your top seeds, which means we could get a rematch of the Super 32 third place match. Chlebove took advantage of Camacho's mistakes and often has success against guys with a grinding style like Camacho's. However, Camacho could be usurped by 126lb freshman NHSCA champ Josh Saunders, who had an 8-2 win over Camacho at Super 32, and finished right behind him in fifth down in Greensboro.

Other young guys riding a hot streak are 120lb freshman NHSCA champ Peyton Hall, a small school West Virginia state champ, and 120lb sophomore NHSCA champ Gabriel Hixenbaugh, Alabama's big school 126 champ. Hixenbaugh beat Texas state champ James McClain in those finals. Orion Anderson was the NY small school champ and lost a tight one to Camacho in the Eastern States finals.


#20 (at 132) KJ Fenstermacher, PA
Cole Manley, PA
Jackson Henson, WV
Sam Stuhl, MN
Victor Voinovich, OH
Zachary Van Alst, AL
Elan Heard, OH

Commentary: We have a potential Dark Knights vs Young Guns final in Manley vs Fenstermacher. They are both coming down in weight from PA states, where they met in the AAA 132 consi semis, won 2-1 by Fenstermacher in overtime. These two could be set up for a long rivalry in college too, as Manley is heading to Virginia Tech and Fenstermacher is committed to Pitt.

Jackson Henson is a bit of a wildcard as he does not wrestle scholastically. Voinovich is an eighth grader with massive potential and has stellar middle school results, so this will be a good test of how ready he is to transition to high school. Van Alst has been dominant in Alabama the past two years and had a third place finish in junior Greco this summer. Heard was third last weekend at NHSCAs.


#9 Jacori Teemer, NY
Jason Kraisser, MD
Quinn Kinner, NJ

Commentary: Teemer is one of the most dangerous wrestlers in the country, and is still uncommitted. We all know how he can scramble, but a few dominating wins this weekend, using riding time and college out of bounds, could cement him as one of the top free agents heading into this crucial summer right before senior year.

The X factor that could prevent that final is Jersey champ Quinn Kinner, who beat Teemer in the consi semis of this event last year. Kinner was a Beast of the East finalist, but was unable to place back at Super 32. Jason Kraisser pinned his way through last year's NHSCA freshman division and should be riding high after his brother became Campbell's first ever All American.

Can Kinner knock off Teemer again?


#3 (at 132) Zack Donathan, OH
#8 Cole Matthews, PA
Lane Stigall, OR
Ryan Vulakh, PA
Cam Amine, MI
Sam Dover, OH

Commentary: Donathan was the top pre-seed at 132, but has moved up. Matthews has gone third, first, second in three years of high school at PA states and was a cadet freestyle All American over the summer. He is the overwhelming favorite to win a FloNats title in his home state, but has a few tough athletes trying to knock him off. Stigall is a three-time state champ heading to Mizzou in the fall. Vulakh was fifth at Super 32 and just last week was second up at 145 in the NHSCA sophomore field. Cam Amine, younger brother of Michigan All American Myles, has a state title and Fargo All American credentials to his name. Dover was third in Division 1 Ohio this year and was just fourth in the sophomore bracket in Virginia Beach.


#2 (at 138) Sammy Sasso, PA
#20 Justin McCoy, PA
Jamar Williams, MD

Commentary: Two PA state champs are registered; McCoy was the AA champ in Pennsylvania this year and came in third in the junior division at NHSCAs. But the overwhelming favorite and returning champ is Sammy Sasso, a still as of yet uncommitted Super 32 and Ironman champ who very well may be the best middle weight in the class of 2018. He can scramble, won this last year on riding time and has impressive grip strength. Williams is an athletic freak who just committed to Ohio State. He wrestled up at 170 during the year for his team, but is down at a more natural weight this weekend. After the top two, however, it is a big group of guys looking to breakout on the national scene.


#16 Jared Franek, ND
Danny Braunagel, IL
Edmond Ruth, PA
Robby Patrick, PA
Josh Stillings, PA
Brock Biddle, PA
Carter Starocci, PA
Hunter Richard, NY
Shane Gantz, WI

Commentary: If the Fargo title wasn't Franek's coming out party, this weekend may be his chance. He lost just one match this year and can go takedowns with anyone in this bracket. However, he will likely have to go through a whole slew of Pennsylvania studs just to the make the finals. This would include AA champ Edmond Ruth, coming off an impressive title run at NHSCAs, as well as Josh Stillings, who is dropping down from 160, where he was the AAA state runner-up and fourth in cadet freestyle in Fargo. Also in this weight are AA fourth placer Brock Biddle, who was seventh in Virginia beach, and Robby Patrick, who lost to Ruth in the state finals.

Carter Starocci, AAA runner-up at 152, is the another PA stud at this weight. After him are a number of out of state hammers, including Fargo cadet All American Danny Braunagel, New York second placer Hunter Richard and Shane Gantz of Wisconsin, a state runner-up who finished ahead of Biddle at NHSCAs.



#3 Trent Hidlay, PA
#13 (at 170) Hayden Hastings, WY
#19 (at 170) Dale Tiongson, MD
Jackson Turley, VA
Georgio Poullas, OH
Colt Yinger, OH

Commentary: Hidlay is a returning finalist who finally got his state title. Tiongson is headed to Princeton with two silver medals from National Preps and one of the best mat returns in the game. Hastings is dropping down after a seventh place finish at NHSCAs. Jackson Turley is another National Prep runner-up who lost in the sophomore finals last week to Edmond Ruth. A couple of Ohio studs will also be in attendance, with Ironman champ Poullas and 152 small school silver Yinger coming to the party.


#6 (at 182) Ethan Smith, MD
#10 Casey Cornett, KY
#11 Brit Wilson, MO
#17 Tyler Barnes, NY
Michael Battista, VA
Colbey Harlan, CA
Zach Braunagel, IL

Commentary: Another week of 170 being loaded. Cornett is the highest ranked at this weight, coming off a tough fourth place finish in a stacked NHSCA senior bracket. However, recent Ohio State commit Ethan Smith is coming down from 182, where he is ranked sixth. Smith's coming out party of sorts was last year's FloNats, and this will be his folkstyle hurrah before heading to Columbus in a few months. Cornett was third and Wilson was sixth at 160 last March, with them finishing one spot apart last weekend in Virginia Beach.

Barnes is a New York state champ and NHSCA junior champ who has been ranked all year. Harlan and Battista are both dropping down in weight, with Battista the NHSCA senior runner-up and Harlan the silver medalist in California. Braunagel is a Cadet freestyle All American.


#4 Jelani Embree, MI
#10 (at 195) Jacob Raschka, WI
#12 Jared Krattiger, WI
Cole Urbas, PA

Commentary: This is Embree's weight to lose after he was second here a year ago. Embree is one of the most dynamic offensive wrestlers in the country and can take someone down more ways than just about anyone. Krattiger, who was fourth last year, and Raschka should have a fun battle in the bottom half semi to give Wisconsin a finalist. Urbas is coming off a bronze medal at states and runner-up at NHSCA.

Most anticipated matches of FloNats


#5 Gavin Hoffman, PA
#12 Anthony Walters, PA
Ryan Vasbinder, MI

Commentary: It's possible this weight is hurt by spring football the same way Super 32 is hurt by the football regular season. The only two ranked athletes could result in a rematch of the Pennsylvania AA state finals, won by Hoffman. A Bison Legend stud, Hoffman is coming off an NHSCA junior nationals win and was in the Super 32 finals. He is one of the most technically sound big men in the country and is very comfortable scrambling. Vasbinder was third at Super 32 up at 220.


#5 Mason Parris, IN
#10 Brian Kennerly, PA
#17 Josiah Jones, PA
#18 Francis Duggan, PA
Mansur Abdul-Malik, MD
Owen Trephan, SC
Ben Goldin, FL

Commentary: I'll leave this one to Ryan Holmes, however, undefeated PA state and Super 32 champ Brian Kennerly has also registered since then.


#2 Seth Nevills, CA
#7 Brendan Furman, PA
Terrese Aaron, MO
Keaton Kluever, WI

Commentary: Big men are highly coveted in Division 1, as evidenced by the dominance of recent multiple time AAs Nick Gwiazdowski, Kyle Snyder, Ty Walz, Connor Medbery and Michael Kroells. With Gable Steveson verballing to Minnesota, Nevills is the best big man left without a home for now. Even better, it sounds like he will not be playing football and is committed to wrestling full-time.

Furman improved immensely over the summer, going from a seventh place finish at last year's FloNats to a Super 32 crown and Pennsylvania AAA state title. Aaron just won the junior division at NHSCAs, the only of the four winners to be competing this weekend in Indiana. Kluever is a UNC commit who placed fifth at Super 32.

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