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United States at Cadet Worlds 2014-2017
|42KG||Cole Skinner||OH||5th||Kurt McHenry||VA||Gold|
|46KG||Kurt McHenry||VA||Gold||Malik Heinselman||CO||12th|
|50KG||Julian Tagg||OH||7th||Aaron Cashman||MN||8th|
|54KG||Robert Howard||NJ||13th||Roman Bravo-Young||AZ||10th|
|58KG||Jordan Decatur||OH||17th||Vito Arujau||NY||Silver|
|69KG||Will Lewan||IL||Gold||David Carr||OH||Bronze|
|76KG||Aaron Brooks||MD||Gold||Travis Wittlake||OR||Bronze|
|85KG||Gavin Hoffman||PA||Bronze||Jacob Warner||IL||Bronze|
|100KG||Greg Kerkvliet||MN||Gold||Gable Steveson||MN||Gold|
|Team USA||62pts||Gold||Team USA||67pts||Silver|
|42KG||Malik Heinselman||CO||16th||Gavin Teasdale||PA||5th|
|46KG||Dylan D’Emilio||OH||5th||Cade Olivas||CA||7th|
|50KG||Gavin Teasdale||PA||7th||Spencer Lee||PA||Gold|
|54KG||Daton Fix||OK||Bronze||Daton Fix||OK||10th|
|63KG||Jared Verkleeren||PA||Gold||Jared Verkleeren||PA||16th|
|69KG||Brady Berge||MN||13th||Mason Manville||VA||Gold|
|76KG||Joe Grello*||NJ||14th||Mark Hall||MI||Gold|
|85KG||Owen Webster||MN||Bronze||Hunter Ritter||MD||16th|
|100KG||Gable Steveson||MN||Gold||Jordan Wood||PA||Silver|
|Team USA||55pts||Silver||Team USA||50pts||Bronze|
Alex Almeyda, NJ - Returning 4th
Chance Lamer, OR - Akron Runner-Up
Drake Ayala, IA - Fargo Champ
Eli Griffin, OK
Jordan Williams, OK
Maxximus Martinez, CA - Western Regional Champ
Stevo Poulin, NY - Pan Am Trials Champ
Richard Fedalen, MD - Northeast Regional Champ
Zack Mattin, OH - Western Regional Champ
Commentary: As a freshmen state champ, Eli Griffin is the elder statesman of the class. Ayala was also a freshman and was state runner-up to Cullan Schriever.
Almeyda, who will be a freshman at Bergen Catholic, beat Fargo champ Ayala and lost to eventual world teamer Cole Skinner last year. Ayala then beat Almeyda 9-3 at Folk Nats this spring. In that tournament, Jordan Williams, who doesn't have much of a freestyle resume, beat Ayala 11-6 in a back and forth match in the finals.
Poulin beat Fedalen in the Pan Am Trials finals, and then turned that into a Pan Am title this past weekend. He outscored all four of his opponents 10-0, with no match making it to the second period.
Another incoming stud freshman, Maxximus Martinez also won a Folk title. Martinez and Williams came down to the last second in Tulsa back in January.
Willie's Picks: 1) Griffin 2) Williams 3) Martinez 4) Almeyda
Nomad's Picks: 1) Williams 2) Martinez 3) Ayala 4) Poulin
Brenden Chaowanapibool, WA
Cole Skinner, OH - Returning Champ
Gary Steen, PA - State Champ
Jacob Mann, MO - Central Regional 3rd
Kase Mauger, ID - Fargo 7th
Kyle Rowan, OH - Fargo 4th
Richard Figueroa ll, CA - Fargo 3rd
Vince Cornella, CO - Northwest Champ
Danny Wask, NJ - NE Regional 3rd
Commentary: Skinner won this tournament last year at the opening weight and just missed a world medal, taking 5th.
That's not to say the treading will be easy for Skinner. Figueroa was 3rd at Fargo last year and as a high placer at Ironman, Super 32, and FloNationals, was ranked #2 in the nation.
Rowan's two losses at Fargo last year both came to Sheldon Seymour, the Pan Am rep, and he beat Mauger. Seymour beat Skinner and Danny Wask at Pan Am trials.
Steen and Cornella won state titles; Steen beat Seymour 7-0 at PA states. Wask is a solid incoming freshman to Blair.
Willie's Picks: 1) Figueroa 2) Rowan 3) Cornella 4) Skinner
Nomad's Picks: 1) Figueroa 2) Steen 3) Seymour 4) Skinner
Andrew Chambal, MI - Fargo Runner-Up
Anthony Ferrari, TX
Carter Young, OK - Fargo Runner-Up
Cooper Flynn, TN - Fargo 4th
Cullan Schriever, IA - Fargo 6th
Hayden Halter, WI - State Champ
Justin Bierdumpfel, NJ
Matthew Ramos, IL - Fargo Runner-Up
Nick Babin, NJ
Ryan Miller, NJ - Fargo 4th
Tristan Lujan, CA - State 4th
Wyatt Yapoujian, CO
Commentary: Three Fargo Runners-Up headline the field. In 2017, Young lost in Fargo finals at 94lbs to Jett Strickenberger, Chambal lost at 100 to Dylan Ragusin, and at 106 Ramos lost to Zeke Escalera. Schriever was a Fargo Champ in 2016 before placing 6th last year.
Despite all the credentials, there aren't many head-to-heads among them as they all sort of converge in weight. Miller over Schriever in Fargo consi's is about it.
Flynn from Tennessee is tough as nails. He made the National Prep finals for McDonogh, MD this year, but does most of his best work from top in folk. Bierdumpfel has been on the scene for a minute now but hasn't quite broken through.
I like Young, who has sort of filled out and matured a lot since a year ago. Along with Ramos, I think the path goes through him.
Willie's Picks: 1) Young 2) Ramos 3) Flynn 4) Miller
Nomad's Picks: 1) Young 2) Ramos 3) Miller 4) Schriever
Caden McCrary, GA
Caleb Henson, GA
Caleb Rathjen, IA - Northern Plains Champ
Dominick Serrano, CO - Fargo Runner-Up
Evan Buchanan, VA
Gavin Brown, OH - Central Regional Champ
Jesse Mendez, IN - FloNats 3rd
Joey Cruz, CA - FloNats Runner-Up
Julian Tagg, OH - Returning Champ
Maximo Renteria, CA - Western Regional Champ
Noah Surtin, IL - Fargo Champ
Robert Howard, NJ - Returning Champ
Ryan Crookham, PA - Returning 6th
Teague Travis, MO
Trevor Mastrogiovanni, NJ - Fargo 5th
Vincent Zerban, MO - Fargo 5th
Aaron Nagao, CA - Western Regional Champ
Nick Masters, GA - Fargo Runner-Up
Commentary: Absolutely loaded bracket with so much young talent. It guarantees the U.S. gets an excellent World Team Rep as no one is getting through this bracket easily. You'll have to be mentally tough and consistent.
Let's start with Robbie Howard, who won what is essentially the same weight class last year when he came through unseeded and beat Teske, former World Team Member Aaron Cashman, and Chris Cannon to win the spot. This year he'll be the top seed and the man to beat. Colorado stud Dominick Serrano should be the 4. Mastrogiovanni, who ended up 3rd at 50kg last year with his only loss coming to Tagg (8-7) will likely be the 5.
The two seed should be Julian Tagg, who was also a WTM last year (at 50KG). His bracket included Mastrogiovanni and Isaac Salas, who beat Surtin in the semi's. I see Surtin, who beat Masters last year in Fargo finals at 113, as the 3 seed.
That's one group. The other distinct group is a bunch of incoming freshmen hammers. Ryan Crookham won a Super 32 title already. Jesse Mendez made Folk Nats finals, and Joey Cruz made the finals of the HS division at FloNationals.
Joey Cruz is gonna be a problem. His pace is ridiculous. And unlike in folk, his opponents won't be saved by the edge or by leg passing to a stalemate. The unfortunate thing for him is that Cadets are 2-minute periods. Still. Gimme him in a 3-match barnburner with Howard.
If there's an angle to Cruz's game in which he might be susceptible it could be in getting countered while converting takedowns. We haven't seen him in such positions and there are numerous guys that are good there including Crookham and Tagg.
A little more on Mastro - he was teched by Sokol at Cadet duals and then took 5th at Fargo getting teched by Sokol again and then Phil Moomey. But I think he's a different guy now, mentally and physically, as could be seen in his win over Kurt McHenry.
Willie's Picks: 1) Mastrogiovanni 2) Howard 3) Tagg 4) Cruz
Nomad's Picks: 1) Mastrogiovanni 2) Tagg 3) Howard 4) Crookham
Caleb Tanner, OK - Fargo 4th
Cody Chittum, TN - NE Regional Champ
Cael Happel, IA
Isaac Riddle, WI - Central Regional Runner-Up
Joshua Saunders, MO - Fargo Champ
Keegan O`Toole, WI - Fargo 4th
Ky Haney, WA - Western Regional Runner-Up
Marckis Branford, PA - Fargo 7th
Phillip Moomey, NE - Fargo 3rd
Reece Witcraft, OK
Reid Ballantyne, MN
Ryan Franco, CA - Fargo Runner-Up
Stockton O`Brien, UT - Western Regional 3rd
Terrell Barraclough, UT
Vince Mannella, GA
Commentary: Saunders beat Franco in Fargo finals last year and is off to a scorching hot freestyle start this summer. He just beat 2016 Cadet World Silver Medalist Vitali Arujau in Vegas, placing 3rd among college competition.
O'Toole was 4th in the same Fargo bracket, losing to Franco 6-0 in the quarters. Both are coming off injuries that prevented them from competing at FloNationals.
After a rough Akron in which he was probably undersized at 58kg, Moomey placed third in Fargo down at 120. The Cornell commit lost in the second round, then ran through the backside with 10 (TEN!) straight victories, posting a pin over Caleb Tanner, and teching both Mastrogiovanni and Terrell Barraclough.
There are several kids that I really think can make a name for themselves. O'Brien and Barraclough have been right on the cusp. Tanner lost early at Fargo and wrestled six consi matches including wins over Witcraft and Branford to place 4th.
Reid Ballantyne has just one loss over the past two years in big school Minnesota, but had to injury default out of Northern Plains. Also keep an eye on Chittum, who won two regionals and tore everyone up doing so.
Willie's Picks: 1) Saunders 2) Tanner 3) Franco 4) O'Toole
Nomad's Picks: 1) Saunders 2) Franco 3) O'Toole 4) Moomey
Aiden Medora, WI - Fargo Runner-Up
Alex Mosconi, IN - Fargo 4th
Brant Whitaker, MO - Northern Plains Champ
Bryce Andonian, OH - Central Regional Champ
Cade DeVos, IA - Fargo 5th
Carson Manville - Fargo Champ
Cael Valencia, CA
Fidel Mayora, IL - Fargo Champ
Isaiah Gonzalez, WA
John Martin Best, WV - Central Region Champ
Joseph Zargo, NJ - NE Regional Champ
Joseph Martin, CA
Kevon Davenport, MI - Fargo Runner-Up
Luka Wick, CA - Fargo 8th
Luke Surber, OK
Matt Lee, IN
Michael Weber, MT - Fargo Runner-Up
Victor Voinovich, OH - Fargo 3rd
Commentary: Three Fargo finalists here, all from three different weights.
A year after losing iin the best-of-three finals to Jordan Decatur, Carson Manville is back looking to make the Cadet team. I'm always dubious of kids doubling up (Carson is wrestling GR as well), but he's good enough to get it done.
Medora, who lost in the finals at Fargo to Manville, is also here. He gave Voinovich his only loss in that bracket. Voinovich beat Mosconi in the 3/4 match.
Andonian just beat Voinovich for the Central Regional title. I love both guys, but man, has Andonian been rising lately.
Perhaps the most dynamic of the group is Davenport who was a runner-up to Fidel Mayora in Fargo last year. And I like him a touch better with the shorter periods.
Weber has had a cranky year. He looked great in Fargo when he was a runner-up, 6-5, to Alex Facundo. But he leveled off in folk. Now, he's posting big freestyle wins again. He's a threat.
I also like Devos as a darkhorse. He's had an excellent spring.
Willie's Picks: 1) Andonian 2) Davenport 3) Manville 4) Devos
Nomad's Picks: 1) Davenport 2) Andonian 3) Manville 4) Mayora
Aaron Gandara, AZ - Fargo Runner-Up
Alex Facundo, MI - Fargo Champ
Bubba Wilson, KS
Connor O'Neil, NJ - NE Regional Champ
Coy Cohenour, MT - Western Regional Champ
Donnell Washington, IN - Central Regional 3rd
Graham Calhoun, IN
Jace Luchau, CA - Fargo 3rd
Jack Darrah, MO - Northern Plains Runner-Up
Joshua Otto, WI - Fargo 4th
Kyle Mosher, NY
Lance Runyon, IA - Fargo 3rd
Luca Frinzi, PA - Fargo 6th
Paddy Gallagher, OH - Fargo 6th
Sonny Santiago, CA
Trey Munoz, CA - Fargo 7th
Tyler Ross, MO
Commentary: A year ago at this tournament, Alex Facundo made his national debut. Very quietly. He lost opening round to Jacori Teemer, who of course, would go on to win the spot on the team and take 3rd in the whole wide world. Facundo rattled off some good wins and then didn't place, losing to Kevon Davenport. Thereafter he promptly put the country on notice that he's the best freshman in the country. He won Fargo, giving Lachau his only loss there, and placed 3rd at Super 32 (losing to seniors Mason Phillips and Alex Lloyd). And he's crushed everyone since.
Along with Facundo, three others were Fargo AA's in the 145lb bracket. Luchau took 3rd beating Frinzi, who beat Munoz in consi semi's. Munoz, the son of OK State NCAA Champion, Mark Munoz, beat Luchau during the folk season and finished as state runner-up.
Gandara was the Runner-Up to Starocci at 152.
Runyon and Gallagher were both AA's at 138. Gallagher beat Runyon in the quarters, but triple dipped and Runyon outplaced him. When they were still in 8th grade, Gallagher and Facundo split, with Facundo taking the first round at Flo Kickoff Classic and Gallagher returning the favor at Flo Tulsa Nationals.
Willie's Picks: 1) Facundo 2) Gallagher 3) Frinzi 4) Munoz
Nomad's Picks: 1) Facundo 2) Gallagher 3) Gandara 4) Otto
Abe Assad, IL - Fargo Runner-Up
Carter Starocci, PA - Fargo Champ
Chris Foca, NJ - Northeast Regional Champ
Darrien Roberts, PA - Fargo 3rd
David Key, GA - Fargo Runner-Up
Gage Hockett, OK
Gerrit Nijenhuis, PA - Fargo 4th
Greyden Penner, MO - Northern Plains Runner-Up
Jacob Logan, NY - Fargo Runner-Up
Jacob Boumans, IL
Jonathon Fagen, ID - Fargo 4th
Julian Ramirez, FL - 2016 Fargo Runner-Up
Kyle Haas, KS - Fargo 8th
Nathan Haas, CA
Patrick Kennedy, MN - Fargo 3rd
Peyton Craft, OH
Rocky Elam, MO - Fargo 6th
Zach Glazier, MN - Fargo 5th
Commentary: I know we're often prisoners of the moment (and sometimes susceptible to hyperbole), but find me a better bracket. There are 11 Fargo AA's, 5 of which reached a final. Incredible!
Let's start with Ramirez. He reached Fargo finals in 2016, losing to Aaron Brooks. He beat Key in the quarters that year.
Ok, now we can get to last year's results. Starocci was champ at 152, Key was runner-up to Robby Kanniard at 160, and Assad was runner-up to AJ Ferrari at 170 where Kennedy beat Nijenhuis for 3rd. Kennedy's only loss was also to Ferrari. Logan was a runner-up at 182 to Devin Winston, in the same bracket where Roberts beat Fagan for 3rd.
Now try to handicap it. With an X factor like Foca, who has little freestyle experience. It's not easy. Even if you could sensibly project seeds, there's so much talent and early round fire, it doesn't even help. It's going to be chaotic.
Willie's Picks: 1) Ramirez 2) Kennedy 3) Starocci 4) Roberts
Nomad's Picks: 1) Kennedy 2) Starocci 3) Ramirez 4) Logan
AJ Ferrari, TX - Fargo Champ
Braxton Amos, WV - Fargo Champ
Gabe Christenson, IA
Gavin Carter, KS
Jacob Cardenas, NJ - FloNationals Champ
Kolby Franklin, PA - Pan Am Trials 3rd
Matthew Cover, OH - Fargo Runner-Up
Santos Cantu, OR - Fargo 4th
Wyatt Hendrickson, KS - Fargo 3rd
Commentary: A year ago, Amos was returning from injury at the time of Akron. This year, there was a blessing in that the new UWW weights offer 92kg which should suit Amos well. The two-time Fargo freestyle champ beat Cantu and Cantu beat Franklin at Pan Am Trials this spring.
Ferrari was the Fargo Champ at 170, beating Kennedy in quarters, Nijenhuis in semi's, and Assad in the finals.
Franklin took 3rd by beating Jacob Kaminski, a nationally ranked wrestler that placed 3rd in Amos' 220 Fargo bracket last year.
Cover, Hendrickson and Cantu were all in the 195lb bracket at Fargo last year that was won by Ashton Sharp. Cover beat Cantu in the semi's. Hendrickson beat Cantu for 3rd.
Willie's Picks: 1) Ferrari 2) Amos 3) Cardenas 4) Cover
Nomad's Picks: 1) Ferrari 2) Amos 3) Cardenas 4) Cover
Andy Garcia, CO
Apollo Gothard, IL
Braxton Mikesell, WA - Western and Northwestern Regionals Champ
Daniel Kerkvliet, MN - Cadet World Champion
Hunter Catka, PA - Fargo 6th
Isaac Righter, MD - Pan Am Trials Runner-Up
Joshua Heindselman, OK
Louden Haga, WV - Fargo Runner-Up
Luke Luffman, IL - Fargo Runner-Up
Commentary: Kerkvliet, who won Cadet World Gold last year when the weight was 100, is heavy favorite to repeat in Akron (and the World). The phenom just made the Junior Team at 97kg among college competition.
Luffman was the runner-up to Amos last year in Fargo.
After winning a state title, Catka beat nationally ranked Eli Pokorney at the Pan Am Trials one round before losing to Righter, 9-2.
Mikesell beat Gothard in the finals of USA Folk Nationals.
Willie's Picks: 1) Kerkvliet 2) Catka 4) Luffman 4) Righter
Nomad's Picks: 1) Kerkvliet 2) Catka 3) Luffman 4) Righter