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For the first time since March I'll be going to an event, in person, to watch live wrestling happen right in front of my eyes. It's a high school dual tournament in Hammond, Indiana, featuring some of the best prospects in the nation.
July 8-12 | Hammond, IN | 9 AM Eastern
As I was getting contacted by several fathers pitching me to come watch this event, which is called King of the Ring Duals and is being put on by the Elite Athletic Club, I knew it was one I had to attend. They inspired me to do something we do often for things of this caliber, to put out a list of the hammers who will be in attendance.
The duals actually start Wednesday the 8th and run through Sunday the 12th, featuring six age levels (7U, 9U, 10U, 12U, 15U, and high school), not to mention the girls division on Sunday that spans K-12 grade levels. I'll be there on Friday, when the entire high school portion goes down.
Right at the top, headliners include Jesse Mendez, Joey Cruz, and Gabe Arnold. Mendez was a Cadet world teamer who wrestled in Who's #1 and has won two state titles in single class Indiana. Cruz is a FloNationals champ that finished last season ranked second at 113 pounds. Arnold was a National Prep champ that is currently our #2 prospect on the 2023 Big Board.
Other guys who finished last season ranked include:
- Braxton Brown, TX: #6 at 113
- Nasir Bailey, IL: #12 at 120
- Caden Horwath, MI: #16 at 106
- Franklin Cruz #16 at 195
- Bennett Tabor, MN: #16 at 220
- Alex Almeyda, NJ #17 at 126
- Nicolar Rivera, WI #19 at 120
Guys you might not know yet but will soon include Minnesota runner-up Gavin Nelson of Simley, #4 on the soon to be sophomore Big Board and Illinois native Seth Mendoza, coming in at #6 on the Junior High Big Board. Mendoza recently signed on to go to Wyoming Seminary for his eighth-grade year and, presumably, all of high school as well.
Also in attendance will be Fargo champ Braeden Davis, Cal Baptist commit Eli Griffin, Minnesota recruit Tagen Jamison, 2021 Big Boarder Vinny Zerban, New Jersey heavyweight champ (as a freshman!) Jim Mullen and more.
Please note all weights are subject to change!
King of the Ring Hammer List
|102||Braeden Davis||Team Shutt Greco|
|108||Caden Horwath||Elite Athletic Club DZ|
|108||Tristan Stafford||Team Shutt|
|117||Braxton Brown||Team Shutt Greco|
|117||Eli Griffin||Team Shutt|
|125||William Baysinger||Elite Athletic Club Liberty|
|125||Joey Cruz||Team Shutt Greco|
|125||Nicolar Rivera||Team Shutt|
|130||Tagen Jamison||Team Shutt|
|130||Timothy Levine||Team Shutt Greco|
|130||Jesse Mendez||Elite Athletic Club DZ|
|138||Alex Almeyda||Team Shutt|
|138||Nasir Bailey||Team Shutt Greco|
|138||Nick Fea||TS Fresh|
|155||Vinny Zerban||King Select Platinum|
|155||Josh Barr||Elite Athletic Club DZ|
|155||Tyler Lillard||Team Shutt|
|167||Gabe Arnold||Team Shutt Greco|
|187||Franklin Cruz||Team Shutt|
|187||Gavin Nelson||Elite Athletic Club DZ|
|220||Jack Darrah||King Select Platinum|
|220||Bennett Tabor||Elite Athletic Club DZ|
|HWT||Jim Mullen||Team Shutt|
|HWT||Ryan Boersma||Elite Athletic Club All-Stars|