2022 Southern Scuffle

Southern Scuffle Middleweight Preview & Predictions

Southern Scuffle Middleweight Preview & Predictions

Check out a breakdown and predictions of 149-174 at the 2022 Southern Scuffle.

Dec 28, 2021 by Jon Kozak
Southern Scuffle Middleweight Preview & Predictions

The Southern Scuffle will feature some of the best middleweights the country has to offer! Take a look below at a detailed breakdown and prediction of the action that will take place in Chattanooga from 149-174 pounds.

Jan 1-2, 3:00 PM UTC

149 - Millner And Finesilver Headline A DEEP Field

Title Contenders:

Returning All-American Jonathan Millner has had great start to their season and should be considered the main contender to win 149 pounds at the Southern Scuffle. Millner has been a bright spot for App State and has had impressive wins over #11 Josh Finesilver (15-5) and All-American #15 Zach Sherman (5-2). A returning All-American himself, Millner has put together strong seasons the past two years and is capable of climbing on the podium in March. The Southern Scuffle should show us just how high Millner can climb and how far he is from the top contenders in the country at 149 pounds. 

Josh Finesilver is off to a great start to his season and should be considered another contender in this bracket. Finesilver finished in the round of 12 at the NCAA tournament last season and is 16-1 on the year. He's only lost to the aforementioned Millner and has bonus point wins in 9 of his 16 wins. 


Other Contenders

#20 Josh Edmond and HM Zach Price are ranked wrestlers who will also be in the 149-pound field in Chattanooga. Zach Price finished in the round of 12 at the NCAA tournament last season but has had an up and down start to his 2021-2022 season. Price has struggled a bit up from 133 and has compiled a 10-5 record on the season. However, the Southern Scuffle could be the perfect opportunity for Price to get things back on track and start the New Year with some momentum before getting into dual competitions.

Josh Edmond is the wildcard for me in this bracket. Edmond compiled a 10-0 record last season during his time as the backup 141 pounder for Missouri. Now the starter at 149, Edmond has shown flashes of excellence against some of the best in the country. Last week at the Collegiate Duals, Edmond defeated Manzona Bryant 6-4 but fell short in a shoot-out against 2-time All-American Tariq Wilson, 11-8. Edmond has the offensive capabilities to contend with anyone in this bracket and could come away with a Scuffle title if he wrestles his best.

Hear Josh Edmond share his thoughts on how he developed his wrestling style:

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Sleepers and Landmines 

After the ranked wrestlers, high schooler Cody Chittum and Oklahoma State true freshman Travis Mastrogiovanni and Victor Voinovich are notable landmines in this field. Chittum has yet to wrestle any collegiate matches but is the #1 ranked high school wrestler in the country at 145 pounds and is committed to the University of Minnesota. Mastro and Voinovich are both undefeated on the season, and while they are likely to stay in redshirt, the Scuffle will be a great testing ground for them early in their college career. Don’t be surprised to see Voinovich and Mastro make the podium in Chattanooga!


Prediction: 1. Josh Edmond, 2. Jonathan Millner, 3. Josh Finesilver 4. Victor Voinovich


All Entrants:

#9 Jonathan Millner, Appalachian State

#11 Josh Finesilver, Duke

#20 Josh Edmond, Missouri

HM Zach Price, South Dakota St

Cody Chittum, Unattached

Benji Alanis, Northern Colorado

Jeff Boyd, West Virginia

Travis Mastrogiovanni, Oklahoma St

Peyton Omania, Michigan State

Brayden Roberts, West Virginia

Chris Sandoval, Northern Colorado

Victor Voinovich, Oklahoma St

John Arceri, Buffalo

Matt Arciuolo, Columbia

Joey Bianchi, UA- Little Rock

Josh Brown, CSU-Bakersfield

Noah Castillo, Chattanooga

George Coleman, Chattanooga

Mitch Collica, Bellarmine

Zac Cowen, Bellarmine

Jared Dinh, Gardner-Webb

Corbin Dion, Gardner-Webb

Jaden Enriquez, Michigan State

Danny Fongaro, Columbia

Luke Hart, VMI

Lincoln Heck, Chattanooga

Eddie Homrock, Michigan State

Austin Keal, UA- Little Rock

Daniel Kimball, South Dakota St

David Loniewski, Davidson

Rudy Lopez, Northern Colorado

Cade Lucio, CSU-Bakersfield

Grant Lundy, Chattanooga

Alex Madrigal, George Mason

Alek Martin, South Dakota St

Hunter Noland, Chattanooga

Michael North, Maryland

Gabe Onorato, Drexel

Matt Ryan, Buffalo

Joey Sanchez, Oklahoma St

Gaven Sax, North Dakota St

Fillers Seth, VMI

Matthew Williams, Chattanooga

Tyler Williams, Drexel

Ethan  Willis, The Citadel

Lewis Zach, Gardner-Webb


157 - Brayton Lee, Brock Mauller, And MORE

Title Contenders:

Returning All-American Brayton Lee should be considered the favorite at 157 pounds after Austin O'Connor and North Carolina withdrew from the Scuffle due to Covid Protocols. Brayton Lee is 11-0 on the year and has quality wins over #17 Jarrett Jacques (6-3), #11 Wyatt Sheets (15-9), and #8 Jared Franek (6-4, OT). 

Brock Mauller, a two-time All-American at 149 pounds, is red-shirting this season and has yet to wrestle a collegiate match. Last season Mauller finished 5th and lost only to Austin O’Connor (2-1, OT) and Yahya Thomas (7-4) at the NCAA Tournament. Mauller has a number of past wins over All-Americans and is capable of winning this bracket. Mauller and Lee have never met in collegiate competition, but if they do, expect their match to be decided by a takedown or less.

Brayton Lee's win over Jarrett Jacques from earlier this season:

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Other Contenders:

Jared Franek and Jarrett Jacques entered at 157 and are capable of coming away from Chattanooga with a Scuffle title. Franek, who finished a match away from All-American honors last season, has only one loss this year - in overtime against Brayton Lee. Franek also has a 6-4 win over Jacques this season and took out Kendall Coleman, Parker Kropman, and Wyatt Sheets in the 2020-2021 season. 

Jacques finished in the round of 12 last season at NCAAs and has had an up and down season without any wins against ranked competitors. The Scuffle could be a chance for Jacques to get back on track after falling to both Ed Scott and Josh Humphreys at the Collegiate Duals last week. 


Sleepers And Landmines:

Parker Kropman, Dazjon Casto, Chase Saldate, and Colton Yapoujian are all wrestlers who could make some noise in this bracket. All three have notable wins this season and are capable of upsetting some of the higher-ranked wrestlers at the Scuffle. Kropman took out Kendall Coleman in his opening match of the season, Casto defeated Justin Thomas at the CKLV, and Yapoujian beat Joe Lee at the Collegiate duals. Will any of this group win? Probably not, but their presence in this bracket adds the depth and intrigue that makes this bracket a lot of fun.

Parker Kropman's win over Kendall Coleman from earlier this season:

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Predictions: 1. Brayton Lee, 2. Brock Mauller, 3. Jared Franek, 4. Chase Saldate


All Entrants:

#5 Brayton Lee, Minnesota

#8 Jared Franek, North Dakota St

#17 Jarrett Jacques, Missouri

#24 Chase Saldate, Michigan State

HM Parker Kropman, Drexel

HM Kyle Mosher, Columbia

HM Colton Yapoujian, Cornell

HM Dazjon Casto, The Citadel

Joe Lee, Penn State

Brock Mauller, Missouri

Terrell Barraclough, Penn State

Cody Bond, Appalachian State

Jalin Harper, Oklahoma St

AJ Kovacs, North Carolina St

Hunter Richard, Cornell

Adam Santoro, Cornell

RJ Weston, Northern Iowa

Vinny Zerban, Northern Colorado

Tommy Askey, Appalachian State

Avery Bassett, George Mason

Alec Bobchin, Rider

Lucas Cordio, Maryland

Charles Darracott, Stanford

Cody Eaton, Northern Colorado

Derek Fields, North Carolina St

Angel Garcia, Rider

Andy Garr, Columbia

Alex Hornfeck, West Virginia

Jackson Hurst, Chattanooga

Daniel Manibog, Oklahoma St

Michael Martinak, Drexel

Chance McLane, Oklahoma St

Nathan Moore, Northern Colorado

Kamdyn Munro, Unattached

Cole Nance, Bellarmine

Kenny O'Neil, South Dakota St

Taylor Parks, Gardner-Webb

Ty Raines, Buffalo

Loranzo Rajaonarivelo, George Mason

Brock Rogers, CSU-Bakersfield

Bryce Sanderlin, Davidson

Hunter Shaut, Buffalo

Blake Showers, VMI

Grant  Speer, The Citadel

Cael Swensen, South Dakota St

Chase Tebbets, UA- Little Rock

Wade Unger, Duke

Johnathon Viveros, CSU-Bakersfield

Weston Wichman, Chattanooga


165 - Will Facundo Or Kennedy Challenge O'Toole?

Title Contenders:

Keegan O'Toole has been on another level this year and is the big favorite to win a Scuffle title at 165. O'Toole is 8-0 on the year and has seven of his wins by bonus points - including 3 pins. After finishing third at the NCAA tournament last season, O'Toole went on to make the junior world team over the summer and win a Junior World Title in Ufa, Russia. At those junior world team trials, O'Toole and Alex Facundo met in the semi-finals in a match that Facundo couldn't get any offense going with O'Toole winning 7-0. Facundo, currently in redshirt, is in this bracket and will be looking for revenge against O'Toole and to prove he's worthy of manning the starting job at 165 for Penn State. In my opinion, Keegan O'Toole is still a step or two above Facundo and should win a controlling match against Facundo, and any other wrestler he faces in Chatanooga.

Keegan O'Toole and Facundo's match at the 2021 Junior World Team Trials:

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Other Contenders:

Peyton Hall and Luke Weber are legitimate contenders to make the finals of the Southern Scuffle. Both Hall and Weber made the round of 12 last year at the NCAA tournament and have had great starts to their season. Hall is currently 13-0 and has won 7 of his matches by bonus points. Weber has only lost to Keegan O’Toole this year and has won 6 of his last 7 matches by pin. 


Sleepers And Landmines:

There are a handful of wrestlers at 165 who could make some noise at The Scuffle. The top of that list has to be true freshmen Alex Facundo and Patrick Kennedy. Both are in redshirt and while it's highly unlikely Kennedy's is pulled, Penn State could use Facundo's performance in Chatanooga to determine if he’s ready to man the 165-pound slot for the Nittany Lions. Facundo’s only competition this season was at the Clarion Open where he went 6-1 and took 5th place (only losing to Maryland’s John Martin Best). Kennedy has entered 3 open tournaments - winning two and placing second at one. He most notably met fellow Hawkeye Alex Marinelli in the finals of the Luther Open, losing 3-2. Though he took the loss, Kennedy proved he's capable of competing with the best 165 pounders in the country right now.

Alex Marinelli and Patrick Kennedy's match at the 2021 Luther Open:

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After Facundo and Kennedy, Josh Ogunsanya and Matt Lee are dangerous landmines in this 165-pound bracket. Matt Lee took out Julian Ramirez early this season and Ogunsanya secured a tech fall against the always electric Tanner Cook. And even though Cook has had a roller-coaster season, he’ll be in this bracket and is always capable of ending a match with a gator bacon or cement mixer.

Alex Facundo's opening match of his college career at the Clarion Open:

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Predictions: 1. Keegan O'Toole, 2. Patrick Kennedy, 3. Alex Facundo, 4. Peyton Hall


All Entrants:

#3 Keegan O'Toole, Missouri

#7 Luke Weber, North Dakota St

#12 Peyton Hall, West Virginia

#15 William Formato, Appalachian State

#16 Thomas Bullard, North Carolina St

#23 Joshua Ogunsanya, Columbia

HM Evan Barczak, Drexel

HM Tanner Cook, South Dakota St

HM Gabe Dinette, Duke

HM Caleb Fish, Michigan State

HM Selwyn Porter, The Citadel

HM Andrew Sparks, Minnesota

Alex Facundo, Penn State

Patrick Kennedy, Iowa

Michael Caliendo III, North Dakota St

Nick Knutson, Northern Colorado

Matt Lee, Penn State

RJ Mosley, Gardner-Webb

Drew Nicholson, Chattanooga

Clayton Ulrey, Virginia Tech

Benny Baker, Cornell

Gaven Bell, Maryland

Tyler Brennan, UA- Little Rock

Jakob Brindley, Cornell

River Carroll, VMI

Donald Cates, North Carolina St

Drew Dickson, George Mason

Augustine Garcia, CSU-Bakersfield

Noah Grover, Buffalo

Jaden Hardrick, Davidson

Devin Hendrick, Bellarmine

Jack Janda, Drexel

Andaluz Jerry, Rider

Tyler Kocak, George Mason

Will Miller, Appalachian State

Quentin Milliken, Rider

Andrew Mulay, Rider

Jake Null, North Carolina St

Braden Smelser, CSU-Bakersfield

Jack Thomsen, South Dakota St

Caleb Waddell, Chattanooga

Cody Walsh, Drexel

Mke Wilson, Rider


174 - Wide Open At The Scuffle

Title Contenders:

174 is one of the most wide-open weights at The Scuffle with 4 wrestlers ranked between #8 and #17. Matt Finesilver is the highest-ranked wrestler and should be considered the slight favorite in this bracket. Somehow Matt Finesilver has been able to accumulate a 17-0 record already this year and has ranked wins over #14 Mickey O’Malley and #20 Gerritt Nijenhuis. Prior to this season, Finesilver missed the past two years due to a redshirt and an injury. This season, the Duke junior looks primed to contest for All-American honors and challenge the best in the country at 174-pounds.


Other Contenders:

As alluded to, a number of wrestlers seeded outside of the top two or three could win the 174-pound bracket in Chatanooga. #12 Cade DeVos, #14 Mickey O’Malley, and #17 Peyton Mocco are all capable of winning the title and have had flashes of top-level performances throughout the season. The most notable performance of this bunch came from Peyton Mocco taking national champion Mekhi Lewis to double overtime before losing 9-6. Each wrestler in this group has the opportunity to prove they are serious All-American threats and make a major jump up the rankings.

Hear Peyton Mocco talk about the improvements he's made prior to the 2021-2022 season:

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Sleepers And Landmines:

The large list of contenders means the sleepers and landmines are a little smaller. Tyler Eischens, Thomas Flitz, and Triston Wills are all in the honorable mention category of our rankings and could make some noise in this bracket. All are looking for a signature win to put them into the top 24 of our rankings and prove they are All-American contenders this year.

Tyler Eischen's win over Joshua Kim from earlier this season at the 2021 CKLV:

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Predictions: 1. Peyton Mocco, 2. Matt Finesilver, 3. Mickey O'Malley, 4. Cade Devos


All Entrants:

#8 Matt Finesilver, Duke

#12 Cade DeVos, South Dakota St

#14 Mickey O'Malley, Drexel

#17 Peyton Mocco, Missouri

HM Tyler Eischens, Stanford

HM Thomas Flitz, Appalachian State

HM Triston Wills, UA- Little Rock

Payton Craft, Cornell

Adrien Cramer, Maryland

Bailey O'Reilly, Minnesota

Aaron Ayzerov, Columbia

Eric Beck, Bellarmine

Conor Becker, Duke

Austin Brenner, North Dakota St

Cole Burke, The Citadel

Corey Connolly, Rider

Anthony D'Alesio, West Virginia

Alex Faison, North Carolina St

Nick Fine, Columbia

Riley Habisch, North Dakota St

Sean Harman, Missouri

Ben  Haubert, The Citadel

Alex Hernandez, UA- Little Rock

Giuseppe Hoose, Buffalo

Jon Hoover, VMI

Nathan Jimenez, Michigan State

Diaz Joel, VMI

Scott Joll, West Virginia

Jake Lanning, Buffalo

Natty Lapinski, Drexel

Marty Larkin, Michigan State

Logan Messer, George Mason

Brett Mordecai, Appalachian State

Steven Newell, Davidson

Jay Nivison, Buffalo

Damen Pape, Northern Colorado

Joseph Pargoe, Gardner-Webb

Paul Pierce, George Mason

Shane Reitsma, Rider

Dennis Robin, West Virginia

Evan Schenk, Gardner-Webb

Thomas Sell, Chattanooga

Jeremy Seymour, George Mason

Dom Solis, Maryland

Carial Tarter, Chattanooga

Albert Urias, CSU-Bakersfield

Andrew Wilson, Gardner-Webb

Lennox Wolak, Columbia