The ultimate high school all-star event is just around the corner. Twenty-two wrestlers from across the nation will converge on Lehigh University's campus in Bethlehem, PA, this Sunday, all to compete in the Snakepit to find out Who's #1.
There will be plenty of action and excitement to satisfy any sports fan, but DI NCAA wrestling fans in particular will be keen to tune in to catch the rising stars of tomorrow. For those college wrestling partisans, we've crafted the guide below so you won't miss your school's potential future hammers this weekend.
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Committed WrestlersAlthough we're still outside the official signing period, 12 WNO participants have already given their verbal commitments to institutions of higher learning. Penn State leads that pack with four commits. Ohio State snagged two more and six other schools have also landed a WNO competitor.
197 Michael Beard: No. 4 Class of 2018A student at Malvern Prep, located just outside of Philadelphia, Beard is the Nittany Lions highest-ranked commit at the event. He's the No. 1-ranked 195-pound high school wrestler in the nation and comes in at No. 5 on the pound-for-pound list.
133/141 Gavin Teasdale: No. 9 Class of 2018Another homegrown Pennsylvanian talent, Teasdale is part of a crop of future PSU lightweights that can't get to campus in State College, PA, soon enough. Teasdale also turned heads this spring when he decommitted from Iowa to instead wrestle for the Nittany Lions. Teasdale is the No. 2-ranked 126-pounder and the No. 3 pound-for-pound high schooler in the country.
133 Roman Bravo-Young: No. 12 Class of 2018RBY committed to the Nittany Lions all the way from Arizona and will be counted on to anchor the lower end of the lineup with future teammate and WNO competitor Gavin Teasdale. Bravo-Young is the No. 1-ranked 132-pounder and No. 2 on the P4P rankings.
157 Joe Lee: No. 20 Class of 2018Lee will head to Penn State next fall to join his brother, Nick, currently a 141-pound true freshman for the Lions. The Lee brothers committed back in 2015 and should provide a steady middle weight presence at PSU. Besides coming in at No. 20 on the Big Board, Joe is ranked second at 160 pounds.
197 Gavin Hoffman: No. 7 Class of 2018A huge Buckeyes recruit and future Kollin Moore replacement, Gavin Hoffman is slated for a titanic match up against PSU recruit Michael Beard. Expect these two to see each other quite a few more times throughout their college careers. Hoffman comes in at No. 2 at 195 in the high school rankings, right behind Beard, naturally, and is ranked 12th on the pound-for-pound list.
125 Malik Heinselman: No. 40 Class of 2018Beyond his folkstyle chops, Heinselmen is also one of the best young freestyle wrestlers in the country, having made three world teams at the cadet and junior levels. He's also the No. 1-ranked 113-pounder in the nation. The Coloradan made a lot of Buckeyes fans smile this spring with his commitment.
149 Jacori Teemer: No. 10 Class of 2018Teemer is the highest-ranked senior at WNO not going to Penn State or Ohio State. The explosive Long Island native is the No. 1-ranked 138-pounder and the No. 6 P4P wrestler in the country. Zeke Jones and the Sun Devils have a tremendous recruit headed their way next fall.
133/141 Joey Silva: No. 14 Class of 2018The Wolverines got a big boost when Lake Highland Prep's Joey Silva decided to "go blue" in college. The Floridian is the No. 2-ranked 132-pound high schooler and No. 7 on the pound-for-pound list.
157 Anthony Artalona: No. 16 Class of 2018Hoister of large trees, Anthony Artalona recently committed to wrestle for Roger Reina and the Penn Quakers. The Tampa Prep student and future Ivy Leaguer comes to Bethlehem as the No. 1-ranked 145-pounder.
141 Mitch Moore: No. 17 Class of 2018Following in the footsteps of his older brother, "Bonesaw" Brent, Mitch will be matriculating at Virginia Tech next fall. The Ohio native is the No. 2-ranked 138-pound high schooler, a status he hopes will change after his match with future Sun Devil Jacori Teemer.
125 Patrick McKee: No. 56 Class of 2018In keeping with the trend of WNO participants, McKee committed to the same school as his older brother, Golden Gophers starting 133-pounder Mitch. Pat, the No. 4-ranked 120-pounder in the nation, will seek to slide into the Minnesota lineup a weight class below Mitch at 125.
149 Justin McCoy: No. 64 Class of 2018McCoy continues the strong Pennsylvanian pipeline that Cavaliers head coach Steve Garland has established. The No. 6-ranked 145-pounder from Chestnut Ridge, PA, should be a boon for the Virginia squad and their fans.
Uncommitted SeniorsNot all the seniors that will wrestle at WNO have given an early commitment. Five of the competitors have yet to give a verbal, although we do have school lists for all of them.
165 David Carr: No. 5 Class of 2018Carr is one of the highest-ranked talents in the country still up for grabs. A student at the powerhouse public school Perry High in Massillon, Ohio, Carr is the No. 1-ranked 160-pounder and checks in at No. 11 on the P4P board. His final five schools are below.
Cornell, Oklahoma State, Ohio State, Iowa State, Nebraska
157 Brayton Lee: No. 11 Class of 2018Lee (no relation to Joe) would be a top prize for any school in need of middle weights. Coming out of Brownsburg, Indiana, Lee is the No. 2-ranked 152-pounder in the country. He recently narrowed his school choices down to six.
Iowa State, Nebraska, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma State, NC State, Minnesota
149 Sammy Sasso: No. 12 Class of 2018Hailing from nearby Nazareth, PA, Sasso won't have far to travel to get to his highly anticipated rematch with Anthony Artalona. The No. 2-ranked 145-pounder in the country has recently revealed his final five school choices.
Iowa, Ohio State, Virginia Tech, North Carolina State, Nebraska
174 Trent Hidlay: No. 15 Class of 2018Mountain Dew enthusiast Trent "Hoagie" Hidlay makes his way to the Snakepit from Mifflin County, PA. Trent's older brother, Hayden, is currently on the North Carolina State team roster, and while the Wolfpack did make Trent's shortlist, the No. 1-ranked 170-pounder has yet to pull the trigger one way or another.
Iowa, Lehigh, NC State, Purdue
125 Pat Glory: No. 18 Class of 2018Delbarton student and New Jerseyan, Glory has been making headlines as one of the nation's up and coming light weights for years. One of six schools that Glory has identified will benefit from the No. 3-ranked 126-pounder's services as early as next fall.
Princeton, Lehigh, Penn, North Carolina, Virginia, Cornell
Uncommitted UnderclassmenThere are two juniors and one sophomore at WNO. None of them have given a verbal commitment yet, nor have submitted a final list of schools. Which means you can hold out hope no matter what school you may root for!
125 Kurt McHenry: No. 1 Class of 2019One of the most sought after high schoolers, Kurt McNasty is No. 1 on the junior Big Board. The Virginia native goes to St. Paul's School, an elite prep school outside of Baltimore. McHenry is also the No. 2-ranked 113-pounder and has won gold medals at the last two cadet level UWW World Championships.
174 Julian Ramirez: No. 7 Class of 2019Like McHenry, Ramirez also goes to an elite prep school. In Ramirez's case it's wrestling superpower Blair, located in Northwest New Jersey. Originally from Florida, Julian "Big Chalupa" Ramirez comes in as the No. 2-ranked 170-pounder in the country.
125 Robert Howard: No. 2 Class of 2020Though just a sophomore, Howard is already the No. 1-ranked 120-pounder and the second highest-ranked recruit in the class of 2020. Wrestling out of Bergan Catholic in northeast New Jersey, Howard has no shortage of college suitors.
We'd also be remiss if we didn't mention our two female competitors, Macey Kilty and Gracie Figueroa, the first ever at WNO. Kilty had a tremendous summer, winning the 127-pound cadet and junior level brackets at Fargo and picking up a gold medal at the UWW cadet world championships. Figueroa also had a stellar summer, winning her second consecutive Fargo junior bracket at 122 pounds after winning both cadets and juniors the year before. Although no NCAA program sponsors women's wresting at any level right now, that could change, and sooner than you think.