7 Sleepers To Watch At The Journeymen Fall Classic

Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports Hunter Catka

It's fall, and wrestling is back! Our first live event in over four weeks means that we can finally see some of the best kids in the country back on the mat.

Kicking off what is sure to be an incredible month of wrestling is this weekend's 2017 Journeymen Fall Classic, held like always in scenic Schenectady, New York. Frank Popolizio consistently puts together some of the best talent from across the nation, even if you haven't heard of them just yet.

With that in mind, here's a little primer on seven sleepers to watch for this weekend. The first day of action starts Saturday, Sept. 30, at 9 AM ET, with the main event coming Sunday morning at the same time. Be sure to watch every minute LIVE on Flo.

113: Nic Bouzakis, CFWA

This one really isn't so much a sleeper as it is an eighth-grader who you will become aware of in short order. An undefeated state champ from Florida (where you can wrestle varsity in middle school), Bouzakis' credential list is endless: Flo Tulsa Nationals and Flo Reno Worlds champ, undefeated records at VAC and McDonogh duals, he also won the middle school 105lb bracket at this event last year.

Perhaps most impressively though, he nearly placed in the high school division of Super 32 last year… as a seventh-grader. He'll be in the toughest weight this Sunday and is a must watch. Check out his last second wins over Dante Mininno (below) and Wyatt Yapoujian.



225: Hunter Catka, Sun Valley

This weekend represents a massive opportunity for Catka. The No. 44 sophomore in the country, he will be out to prove that his Fargo performance was no fluke. With the 13th- and 14th-ranked 220-pounders in the country in his pool -- not to mention PA state placer Clay Verbanac -- Catka could make a name for himself very quickly.

The thing I like about Catka is that the tape shows he tries to score in many different ways and is pretty strong on top. Though his arsenal is varied, his roll through tilt is probably his most effective turn. It's clear his neutral work was cleaned up between NHSCA nationals and Fargo, so we'll be keeping an eye on how quickly he can turn shots into takedowns this weekend.

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160: Tyler Stoltzfus, Bison Legend

Stoltzfus wrestles in the same club as Trent Hidlay and Gavin Hoffman. Stoltzfus has been on a good ascent the past few years, winning a FloNats middle school title and then putting up 40 wins as he qualified for the Pennsylvania state tournament at 152. An NHSCA freshman nationals champ, he's No. 41 on the Class of 2020 Big Board.

170: Jackson Turley, St. Christopher's

People in Virginia are very high on Turley. The potential they saw in him is starting to come to fruition, making the finals of both National Preps and NHSCA sophomore nationals. How impressive was his NHSCA run? He beat No. 13 Carson Kharchla (below) and No. 14 David Key, putting up 25 total points and nearly majoring both.



135: Jarred Papcsy, Bethlehem Catholic

Journeymen periods are short, which means imposing your will early is crucial. Papcsy, who finished fourth at the Pennsylvania state tournament and placed sixth in Fargo Juniors for Greco, will come out right away and slap a front headlock on you. Bethlehem Catholic is also known as being one of the best teams on top in the country.

120: Anthony Sciotto, Rocky Point

I dare our viewers to find a guy more frustrating to wrestle this weekend. Sciotto can turn any situation into a scramble, including one against Nic Aguilar at NHSCAs that went for over a minute. We're back to folkstyle season, and this kid is about as creative with leg passes as they come. Expect to see him as Navy's 133 pounder in a few years.

152: Aurelius Dunbar, Mercersburg Academy

A borderline Big Board guy, Dunbar placed at both Fargo Cadets and National Preps. He buzzed through to a seventh-place finish at Fargo, with seven techs, six of which were shutouts. But his most notable win was over Alfonso Martinez of Wyoming Seminary at Preps, which you can see below.



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