Super 32 Middleweight Preview

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It's Super 32 week.

The toughest folkstyle tournament in the country gets started Saturday at 8 AM Eastern time, and we're running through all of the weight classes before this year's event returns to Greensboro, NC.

Super 32 brackets are so big and chock-full of studs that we're breaking our tournament preview into three-part series for lightweights, middleweights, and heavyweights.

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Today's preview covers 132 through 160. For the lightweight preview, CLICK HERE.

We listed out all the ranked guys registered and some unranked names to keep an eye on this weekend. Below each weight, you'll see last year's final result as well as a trip down memory lane from 10 years ago.

Without further ado, check out the full preview below. WATCH LIVE HERE.

132lb

2016 Finals: Vitali Arujau (Syosset, NY) decision Mitch Moore (St. Paris Graham, Ohio) 11-4
2006 Finals: Collin Dozier (Cox, VA) d. Tyler Nauman (Middletown, PA) 1-0

The Contenders

No. 1 - Sr. Joey Silva, FL - 2x Returning Champ
No. 4 - Fr. Carson Manville, VA - Fargo Champ
No. 5 - Jr. Nick Raimo, NJ - Fargo Champ
No. 6 - Jr. Ryan Anderson, PA - Ironman and Beast Runner-Up
No. 7 - So. Jesse Vasquez, CA - Ironman Runner-Up
No. 9 - Jr. Andrew Alirez, CO - Returning Runner-Up
No. 11 - Sr. Alex Cruz, WA - Fargo Runner-Up
No. 12 - Sr. Quinn Kinner, NJ - FloNationals Runner-Up
No. 13 - Jr. Connor McGonagle, NH - Returning 8th
No. 14 - Jr. JoJo Aragona, PA - 2015 S32 Champ
No. 15 - Jr. Colton Yapoujian, CO - Ironman 7th
No. 16 - Sr. Chase Zollman, CA - Fargo 5th
No. 17 - Sr. Sam Stuhl, WI - 3x State Champ
No. 18 - So. Aidan Medora, WI - Fargo Runner-Up
No. 20 - Sr. Andrew Wert, PA - Beast of the East 3rd

Alex Mosconi, IN
Collin Gerardi, VA
Corbyn Munson, MI
Dawson Sihavong, CA
Frankie Tal-Shahar, FL
Jackson Dean, DE
Jackson Henson, WV
Job Greenwood, CO
Joey Otero, NM
John Martin Best, WV
Jordan Ward, Ohio
Josh Breeding, Ohio
Josh Edmond, MI
Lucas Revano, NJ
Luke Martin, WV
Manzona Bryant, IN
Noah Castillo, FL
Peyton Hall, WV
Ryan O'Grady, PA
Zach Glenn, PA

Commentary: A shoe-in for the deepest weight of 2017 Super 32, 132lb has an unfathomable 15 of the top 20-ranked guys.

Let's start with the obvious: Joey Silva is the nation's No. 1 wrestler and looking to become just the seventh wrestler to win three straight belts. It's interesting that the top four guys here are all similar in style. Silva, Carson Manville, Nick Raimo, and Ryan Anderson are all stingy defensively and adept at winning tight, low-scoring matches. Manville is 2-0 over Raimo in this budding rivalry. Anderson's runner-up finishes were to Beau Bartlett (a 6-4 OT loss at Ironman) and to Pat Glory (a 3-0 defeat at Beast).

If you've read previous stuff I've written, you know I'm high on youngster Jesse Vasquez. It will be difficult for him to break through the top four, but if he can limit mistakes (and not make them when it inevitably becomes frustrating that scoring opportunities are limited), he has a chance.

Quinn Kinner caused everyone fits in a FloNationals run that saw him reach the finals only to lose 8-6 to Jacori Teemer.

Willie's Dark Horse: You know a tournament is deep when the dark horse contenders I choose are mid-ranked guys who reached national majors. JoJo Aragona won this tournament in 2015 and just beat Manville at Journeymen a couple weeks ago (match below).



Picks
Willie - 1) Silva, FL  2) Aragona, PA  3) Manville, VA  4) Kinner, NJ
Nomad - 1) Silva, FL  2) Vasquez, CA  3) Anderson, PA  4) Aragona, PA
Holmes - 1) Silva, FL  2) Manville, VA  3) Raimo, NJ  4) Aragona, PA
Spey - 1) Raimo, NJ  2) Silva, FL  3) Anderson, PA  4) Manville, VA


138lb

2016 Finals: Sammy Sasso (Nazareth, PA) major decision Jake Bergeland (Centennial, MN) 15-1
2006 Finals: Luke Silver (Bishop Lynch, Texas) d. Chris Diaz (Caesar Rodney, DE) 3-1

The Contenders

No. 2 - Sr. Mitch Moore, Ohio - Returning Runner-Up
No. 5 - Sr. Grant Aronoff, FL - Returning 4th
No. 7 - Jr. Ryan Vulakh, PA - Returning 5th
No. 9 - Sr. Jeremy Schoenherr, WI - Fargo Runner-Up
No. 10 - Sr. Marshall Keller, VA - FloNationals 3rd
No. 12 - Sr. Michael Blockhus, IA - Fargo 6th
No. 14 - Jr. Kevon Davenport, MI - Fargo Runner-up
No. 16 - Jr. Jaden Abas, CA - Fargo Runner-Up
No. 16 (at 145) - Sr. JD Stickley, Ohio - 2x State Champ
No. 19 - Sr. Drew Scharenbrock, WI

Anthony Ulaszek, CO
Cole Handlovic, PA
Curtis LeMair, MN
Gabe Miller, PA
Gable Fox, Iowa
Holden Heller, IL
Imran Heard, MD
Jacob Greenwood, CO
Jarred Papcsy, PA
Job Chishko, PA
Luka Wick, CA
Luke Wymer, Ohio
Nick Freeman, MI
Trent Johnson, KY

Commentary: I think Mitch Moore gets it done. A kid that's always been "right there," he had an Ironman title as a freshmen and then has been coming up just short in majors, as he did in both Ironman (to Zack Donathan) and Super 32 (to Vito Arujau) last year. He wrestled Teemer extremely close at Who's #1, showing excellent top work and mat returns that will be critical this weekend.

You may have missed Ryan Vulakh during the regular season last year as he sat out do to transfer rules. Both of his losses last year came to Corey Shie (Ohio). Aronoff lost to Shie in the third-place match. Both guys are back at the same weight.

Jeremy Schoenherr jumped on the scene this summer by reaching the finals of Fargo, along the way teching Michael Blockhus. I like both kids to factor in heavily here at S32. Blockhus is coming off a win over then-No. 3 Malcolm Robinson at Conflict (match below). He looks really slapped together.



Ask about Kevon Davenport around the Flo office and you'll find a bunch of dudes who gush over his upside. We know, we know -- he was at Cadets for Fargo. So just how "real" is he? We'll find out this weekend.

Willie's Dark Horse: It seems odd to call Jaden Abas a dark horse. He was, at one time, highly ranked. But the summer wasn't kind to him, as he went just 2-2 at Fargo. That being said, he's coming off a win over the talented Matt Olguin. Let's see if Abas keeps it rolling in Greensboro. It would shock no one to see him in the finals.

Picks
Willie - 1) Moore, Ohio  2) Aronoff, FL  3) Vulakh, PA  4) Abas, CA
Nomad - 1) Moore, Ohio  2) Davenport, MI  3) Vulakh, PA  4) Blockhus, Iowa
Holmes - 1) Moore, Ohio  2) Davenport, MI  3) Blockhus, Iowa  4) Vulakh, PA
Spey - 1) Vulakh, PA  2) Moore, Ohio 3) Davenport, MI  4) Aronoff, FL


145lb

2016 Finals: Jarod Verkleeren (Hempfield Area, PA) decision Josiah Rider (Grand Junction, CO) 5-2
2006 Finals: Nick Nelson (Shaler, PA) d. Tommy Abbott (St Mark's, DE) 5-3

The Contenders

No. 2 - Sr. Anthony Artalona, FL - 3x Fargo Champ
No. 3 - Sr. Alex Lloyd, MN - Fargo 4th
No. 6  - Sr. Brock Mauller, MO - 3x State Champ
No. 7 - Sr. Jake Silverstein, NY - Returning 7th
No. 8 - Sr. Mason Phillips, WA - Fargo Runner-Up
No. 12 - Fr. Alex Facundo, MI - Fargo Champ
No. 13 - Sr. Tyler Eischens, MN - Fargo 8th
No. 17 - Sr. Kendall Coleman, IL - State Runner-Up
No. 18 - Sr. Kasper McIntosh, IN - FloNationals 7th

Alex Hart, WV
Alfonso Martinez, PA
Chris Hisey, PA
Jacob Mariakis, GA
Kai Bele, FL
Kollin Myers, PA
Luke Pipa, PA
Quincy Monday, NC
Sam Webster, MN

Commentary: Anthony Artalona vs. Alex Lloyd would be a dream matchup. What makes it even more compelling is that both guys have chips on their shoulders. Artalona, who won a mind-boggling 21 straight Fargo freestyle matches, wants to rebound off a Who's #1 loss. Lloyd, who was fourth in Fargo, feels like he got snubbed from WNO. A win over the field, and Artalona, would help his case.

There are two guys that I feel could shut the above done. Brock Mauller competed well at Junior Trials and no doubt has the ability to go with Artalona and Lloyd.

Alex Facundo is the X-factor. The incoming freshman is one of our favorite prospects -- winning Fargo and beating Kendall Coleman at Agony in Ames (match below).



Willie's Dark Horse: Let's talk about Jake Silverstein who doesn't get the shine a lot of other top guys do. His two New York state finals losses were to Arujau and Teemer. And though Silverstein has shown some inconsistency, he has knocked off ranked opponents, as he did here last year over Cam Amine.

Picks
Willie - 1) Facundo, MI  2) Artalona, FL  3) Lloyd, MN  4) Mauller, MO
Nomad - 1) Lloyd, MN  2) Mauller, MO  3) Facundo, MI  4) Artalona, FL
Holmes - 1) Lloyd, MN  2) Artalona, FL  3) Mauller, MO  4) Facundo, MI
Spey - 1) Artalona, FL  2) Mauller, MO  3) Facundo, MI  4) Lloyd, MN


152lb

2016 Finals: Brady Berge (Kasson-Mantorville, MN) decision Quentin Hovis (Poway, CA) 5-3
2006 Finals:  Eric Cubberly (Eastwood, Ohio) d. John Koepp (Bishop Lynch, Texas) 3-2

The Contenders

No. 1 - Sr. Brayton Lee, IN - Returning 3rd
No. 3 - Sr. Josiah Rider, CO - Returning Runner Up
No. 4 - Jr. Connor Brady, Ohio - Returning 5th
No. 6 - Sr. Justin Ruffin, GA - Returning 4th
No. 11 - Jr. Cameron Amine, MI - FloNationals 3rd
No. 13 - Sr. Josh Kim, CA - Fargo 5th
No. 17 - Jr. Brevin Balmeceda, FL - NHSCA Champ
No. 18 - Jr. Jace Luchau, CA - Fargo 3rd

Aaron Gandara, AZ
Aurileus Dunbar, PA
Cole Corrigan, NJ
Farouq Muhammed, Ohio
Jake Marsh, Ohio
Joey Sanchez, Ohio
Josh Humphreys, WV
Matt Grippi, NY

Commentary: The four top dogs here were all in last year's 145 bracket.

Brayton Lee is among the most well-rounded wrestlers in the country -- neutral offense, scrambling, ability to ride. He's clearly a favorite. His only loss last year was to Jarod Verkleeren, and Lee posted wins over both Connor Brady and Justin Ruffin.

Josiah Rider is the highest returning placer -- he reached the finals, losing to Verkleeren. He also beat Ruffin and Joe Lee (match below). Brady is another wrestler that isn't celebrated in proportion to how good he is at the moment. He'll be No. 1 material before it's all said and done. Last year here he split with Joe Lee. At Ironman he beat both Anthony Artalona and Julian Ramirez.



Ruffin's only two losses a year ago came to Rider (frontside) and Brayton Lee in the third-place match. Ruffin too had a win over Joe Lee.

Willie's Dark Horse: There are several here -- Matt Grippi, Jake Marsh, and Josh Humphreys (who beat Grant Aronoff here last year) have all been ranked. Also watch for Joey Sanchez to make a jump.

Picks
Willie -  1) Lee, IN  2) Brady, OH  3) Ruffin, GA  4) Rider, CO
Nomad - 1) Lee, IN  2) Rider, CO  3) Brady, OH  4) Amine, MI
Holmes - 1) Lee, IN  2) Rider, CO  3) Ruffin, GA  4) Brady, OH
Spey - 1) Lee, IN  2) Rider, CO  3) Brady, OH  4) Balmeceda, FL


160lb

2016 Finals: Kyle Cochran (Paramus, NJ) decision Emille Shannon (Christian Brothers, MO) 2-2 TB
2006 Finals: Scott Winston (Jackson Memorial, NJ) d. Kameron Zitelli (Greater Latrobe, PA) 8-3

The Contenders

No. 6 - Sr. Phil Conigliaro, MA - Beast of the East Champ
No. 10  (at 170) - Sr. Erich Byelick, FL - Returning 7th
No. 12 - Sr. Ryan Thomas, Ohio - Ironman 4th
No. 14 - Jr. Robert Kanniard, NJ - Fargo Champ
No. 15 - Jr. Mason Reiniche, TN - National Prep Runner-Up
No. 16 - Jr. Carson Kharchla, Ohio - Akron 6th
No. 18 - Jr. Dustin Plott, OK - State Runner-up

Cody Cochran, GA
Danny Braunagel, IL
Drew Hoselton, IL
Edmond Ruth, PA
Gerrit Nijenhuis, PA
Hayden Krein, WI
James Limongi, Ohio
Kenny O'Neil, MN
Matt King, AL
Nick Giantonio, VA
Zach Lee, WI

Commentary: I've been a big fan of Phil Conigliaro for years. Now he's the leader of the pack. He's not an offensive juggernaut, but he wrestles in all positions and is gritty. 

Ryan Thomas just beat Byelick at Grappler Fall Classic.

Mason Reiniche was a stud coming up through the youth ranks and broke through the high school level at National Preps this year when he beat Julian Ramirez in a controversial quarter. Highlighting Reiniche's inconsistency, he'd go on to lose to unranked Bailey Thomas in the finals. Reiniche is a scrambling nightmare, and when he's confident on top, he's a problem there as well.

Finally, I'm picking Robby Kanniard to make the finals. This dude teched everyone (except Zach Glazier, 9-4, who just beat a top three-ranked Peyton Robb) on his way to a Fargo title. He also destroyed everyone at Cadet Duals.

Kanniard's Fargo finals win


Willie's Dark Horse: Picking Edmond Ruth would be low-hanging fruit as a dark horse pick. Everyone knows him -- he's a state champ, Fargo winner, and FloNats AA. So let's go with two youngsters: James Limongi, a state champ as a freshman in Ohio, and Gerrit Nijenhuis, who placed third in Fargo.

Picks
Willie - 1) Conigliaro, MA  2) Kanniard, NJ  3) Thomas, Ohio  4) Kharchla, Ohio
Nomad - 1) Conigliaro, MA  2) Kanniard, NJ  3) Thomas, Ohio  4) Reiniche, TN
Holmes - 1) Conigliaro, MA 2) Ruth, PA 3) Thomas, OH 4)Kanniard, NJ
Spey - 1) Kanniard, NJ 2) Conigliaro, MA 3) Reiniche, TN 4) Ruth, PA


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