2018 Super 32 Challenge

2018 Super 32 Upperweight Preview

2018 Super 32 Upperweight Preview

Analysis of the field and contenders for the big guys at this year's Super 32.

Oct 18, 2018 by Willie Saylor
2018 Super 32 Upperweight Preview
We know. The full Super 32 Preview was biblical in length.

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We know. The full Super 32 Preview was biblical in length.

Such is the task to do a field with so much talent the proper justice.

To make it more digestible, we've broken it down into light-, middle-, and upper-weights.


Oct. 27-28 | 8:00 AM Eastern


2017 Finals: Patrick Kennedy, MN dec. Chris Foca, NJ, 10-6

2012 Finals: Cody Wiercioch, PA dec. Brett Harner, PA, 5-3

2008 Finals: Andrew Clement (VA) dec. Stephen Doty (MO) 1-0

The Ranked (9)

#4 - Dustin Plott (OK) - OK STATE - Returning Runner-Up

#5 - Patrick Kennedy (MN) - IOWA - Returning Champ

#8 - Alex Cramer (IL) - OLD DOMINION - NHSCA Runner-Up

#9 - Christopher Foca (NJ) - CORNELL - Returning Runner-Up

#10 - Kai Bele (FL) - NC STATE - Ironman 6th

#12 @ 182 - Luke Nichter (PA) - State Runner-Up

#12 - Troy Fisher (KS) - NORTHWESTERN - NHSCA 4th

#13 - Edmond Ruth (PA) - LEHIGH - NHSCA 5th

#16 - Greyden Penner (MO) - Fargo 3rd

Other Contenders:

Derek Blubaugh, IN - State 6th

Kolton Clark, AL - State Runner-Up

Adrien Cramer, IL - NHSCA 7th

Jack Darrah, MO

Ashton Habeil, FL - NHSC Runner-Up

Brett McIntosh, OH

Leonard Pinto, PA - NHSCA 3rd

Shane Rietsma, NJ - NHSCA 6th

Matt Rogers, NY - State 4th

Brian Schneider, DE - State Champ

Joseph Walker, IN


It’s not often that we get three returning finalists in an upperweight bracket. 170 seems to be the deepest in the country and the beautiful thing about it is these guys compete very often. 

Plott lost to Ryan Thomas (now at Minnesota) in last year’s finals at 160. Just after, Kennedy beat Foca, 10-6. 

Plott went on to make the finals of the JR Open in April. 

Kennedy took 6th in Akron. But in retrospect, it wasn’t your typical 6th place. He beat Foca and Winston but lost to Starocci, David Key, and Jake Logan. Every one of those guys are Top 10.

Foca was 7th in Fargo with losses to Starocci and Keckeisen. He’s coming off a great showing at JMen with a win over Rietsma and a 14-1 major of Bele. He pinned Ruth at Disney Duals.

A number of these guys were in the same NHSCA JR bracket. Cramer beat Fisher in the semi’s before losing to Jackson Turley. Fisher beat Christian Rodriguez and split matches with FloNationals’ finalist Jared McGill. Ruth was 5th in the bracket, also beating Rodriguez and losing to McGill. 

Cramer also just won a GFC bracket where Bele lost to two unranked wrestlers. And he teched Foca at JR Duals.

I’m interested to see Kolton Clark. He didn’t place at Fargo, but he had two wins this summer over Fargo finalist Robby Kanniard. 

Also interested in Nichter, the state runner-up to Trent Hidlay. 

Willie's Picks:  1. Plott (OK)        2. Kennedy (MN)       3. Foca (NJ)    

4. Ruth (PA)       5. Cramer (IL)       6. Fisher (KS)       7.  Nichter (PA)       8. Bele (FL)

2017 Finals: Cody Mulligan, PA dec. Josh Stillings, PA, 4-3

2012 Finals: Jake Taylor, PA dec. BJ Toal, OH, 3-1

The Ranked (11)

#2 - Abe Assad (IL) - IOWA - Cadet World Bronze

#3 - Carter Starocci (PA) - Fargo 4th

#6 - Jackson Turley (VA) - RUTGERS - NHSCA Champ

#6 @ 170 - Gerrit Nijenhuis (PA) - NHSCA Champ

#9 - Zach Glazier (MN) - IOWA - Cadet Trials 5th

#11 @ 170 - Christian Rodriguez (CA) - FRESNO ST. - NHSCA 6th

#16 - Rocky Elam (MO) - Fargo Champ

#17 - Carson Brewer (IN) - FloNationals 3rd 

#18 - Julian Gorring (PA) - APPALACHIAN ST. - State Runner-Up

#19 - Sammy Deprez, NY - BINGHAMTON - State 3rd 

#20 - Nathan Haas (CA) - Fargo Runner-Up 

Other Contenders:

Vince Baker, GA - State Champ

Sam Fisher, VA - Fargo 7th

Christian Knop, AL - NC STATE - NHSCA Runner-Up

Mike Misita, NJ - NHSCA Runner-Up

John Poznanski, NJ - Fargo 4th

Trey Sizemore, OH - State 7th

Chase Stegall, MO - NHSCA Runner-Up


Both Iowa commits, Assad (1st) and Glazier (5th) had their arrival party in Akron. Assad beat Starocci in a tight 2-2 match. He teched Nijenhuis 15-4. 

Starocci, that was his only loss and he beat Key, Kennedy, Penner, and Hatcher. Glazier had a similar ledger: his losses were to Ramirez and Key and he beat Hatcher, Logan, and Darrien Roberts. 

Brewer beat Glazier here last year (3-0) but neither placed. 

Elam beat Nathan Haas in Fargo finals. Poznanski was 4th in that bracket. 

Deprez is coming off a breakout Journeymen where he beat Turley, Knop, and Stegall. 

Gorring was the state runner-up to last year’s S32 Champ Cody Mulligan. 

Willie's Picks:  1. Starocci (PA)        2.  Assad (IL)      3. Turley (VA) 

4. Glazier (MN)       5. Nijenhuis (PA)       6. Elam (MO)       7. Gorring (PA)       8. Brewer (IN)

2017 Finals: Jared Ball, OH dec. Lucas Davison, IN, 5-1

2012 Finals: Matt McCutcheon, PA dec. Ray O’Donnell, PA, 4-1

2008 Finals: Derrick Borlie (VA) pinned Nick Mills (OH) 1:30

The Ranked (7)

#3 - Jacob Cardenas (NJ) - CORNELL - Cadet Trials 5th

#5 - Wyatt Hendrickson (KS) - AIR FORCE - Fargo 3rd

#7 - Konner Doucet (OK) - OK STATE - Cadet Trials Runner-Up

#9 - Silas Allred (IN) - Folk Nats Champ

#11 - Santos Cantu (OR) - State Champ

#12 - Matthew Cover (OH) - PRINCETON - Fargo & Akron 8th

#18 - Kolby Franklin (PA) - Fargo Runner-Up

Other Contenders:

Logan Andrew, FL - State Champ

Stephen Buchanan, WI - State Champ

Jacob Good, CA - State 4th

David Harper, GA - Fargo 7th

Brandon Hoselton, IL - NHSCA Runner-Up

Kevin McKosky, MD - NHSCA 6th 

Brent Paulus, OH - Fargo 8th

Hunter Tobiasson, CO - State Runner-Up

Easton Turner, MI - State Champ

Malcolm Wiley, GA - State Champ

Jack Wimmer, PA - NHSCA 4th


Cardenas enters the tournament as a clear favorite after a state title, a FloNationals title, and an Akron where he split matches with returning S32 Champ Amos. Last week he soundly beat Silas Allred to win Journeymen.

Allred should be considered one of the candidates to make the finals opposite Cardenas in a group with Hendrickson and Doucet.

Hendrickson’s only loss at Fargo came to Peter Christensen and he teched Cantu. He also teched Franklin, the Fargo double Cadet finalist, in Akron.

Doucet split matches with Christensen, beating him in Akron where his only losses were to Ferrari in the finals, and losing to Christensen in Fargo.

Cover lost in Fargo to Hendrickson and beat both Franklin and Andrew in Akron.

I’m keeping an eye on the youngsters. Franklin and Harper are both freshmen that had going showings in Fargo. I think they’ll make jumps after getting their feet wet with their first HS major.

Willie's Picks:  1. Cardenas (NJ)        2.  Hendrickson (KS)      3.  Doucet (OK)     

4.  Allred (IN)      5. Harper (GA)       6. Buchanan (WI)       7.  Franklin (PA)      8. Cover (OH)


2017 Finals: Braxton Amos, WV dec. Peter Acciardi, NJ, 3-1

2012 Finals: Kyle Snyder, MD dec. Thomas Haines, PA, 8-4

2008 Finals: Antonio Giorgio (PA) maj. dec. Christian McLean (NC) 9-0

The Ranked (5)

#1 - Braxton Amos (WV) - Returning Champ

#4* - Yaraslau Slavikouski (MA) - NHSCA Champ

#6 - Joshua Heindselman (OK) - OKLAHOMA - Fargo 5th

#8 - Garrett Kappes (MD) - Fargo 7th

#19 - Nathan Deasey (AZ) - Fargo Champ

Other Contenders:

Kyle Cornwell, IN - State 5th 

Grady Greiss, NE - State Runner-Up

Chase Horne, GA

Jacob McMaster, PA - State 3rd 

KJ Miley, MO - Folk Nats 7th

Tarik Sutkovic, AZ - NHSCA 7th


Name recognition and clout have Amos as a shoe-in repeat champ with this field. And though I’m picking Amos to do so, Slavikouski does have a win over Amos in freestyle.

The asterisk next to Slavikouski is because he’s out of eligibility for both NFHS and National Preps. In short, he’s too old to wrestle high school. He was ranked 4th at the end of the season before he was removed from the rankings. 

He has been the Prep runner-up to Michael Beard the last two years and win NHSCA JR’s in a very solid bracket that featured Jacob Bullock, FloNats Champ Lewis Fernandes, Heindselman, and Sutkovic. 

Garrett Kappes is also an interesting story. He wrestled 170 last season, placing 5th before bulking all the way up to 220 and placing in Fargo.

Something got in to Deasey. After not placing in his state tournament he went 2nd at NHSCA, 2nd at Folk Nats, and 1st at Fargo.

Cornwell majored Miley to win Hoosier Preseason. 

Willie's Picks:  1. Amos (WV)        2.  Slavikouski (MA)      3.  Heindselman (OK)     

4.  Deasey (AZ)      5. Kappes (MD)     6.  Cornwell (IN)     7. McMasters (PA)     8. Sutkovic (AZ)

2017 Finals: Anthony Cassioppi, IL md. Max Darrah, MO, 8-0

2012 Finals: Jesse Webb, VT dec. Luke Fleck, PA, 9-4

2008 Finals: Sam Brownlee (PA) dec. Joe McElhinney (PA) 3-1

The Ranked (6)

#10 - Jorden Pryor (MD) - MARYLAND - Returning 6th

#11 - Thomas Mukai (VA) - Pan Am Trials Champion

#16 - Isaac Righter (MD) - Cadet Trials 6th

#17 - Andy Garcia (CO) - State Champ

#18 - Colby Whitehill (PA) - CLARION - Fargo Runner-Up

#19 - Louden Haga (WV) - LEHIGH - NHSCA Runner-Up

Other Contenders:

Alex Coleman, OH

Aidan Conner, TX - PRINCETON - State Champ.

Michael Kramer, TN - Returning 5th

Noah Koch, OH - State 3rd 

Matuesz Kudra, MA - Journeymen Champ

Jalen Stephens, PA - Fargo 5th


As a whole, this group represents a lot of talent but a lot of inconsistency. In other words, it’s a group of darkhorses. One of them will make a name for himself.

I’d consider Pryor the leader of the pack, but not by much. In fact, Kramer beat him in the ⅚ bout here a year ago. Pryor teched Garcia in Fargo. 

Mukai, a state Champ from Robinson, VA, beat Righter in the finals of the Cadet Pan Am Trials. In the semi’s Righter beat Hunter Catka (PA), who is regarded as )ne of the best big men in the country. 

Righter was also 3rd at NHSCA Soph’s. Haga was 2nd and Kramer 3rd in JR’s though they didn’t hit. Haga was a Runner-Up in Fargo in ‘17 but went just 1-2 in Akron this spring. 

There are couple tough Texas big guys I like and Conner is one of them. He beat one of the others (Sean DelMonte) and went undefeated at Junior Duals. Though he hasn’t faced the toughest competition, I’m really interest to see just how good he is. 

Willie's Picks:  1. Pryor (MD)      2. Whitelhill (PA)       3.  Righter (MD)     

4. Mukai (VA)       5. Kramer (TN)       6. Conner (TX)       7. Kudra (MA)       8. Garcia (CO)