2022 Southern Scuffle

Southern Scuffle Lightweight Preview & Predictions

Southern Scuffle Lightweight Preview & Predictions

A breakdown and predictions of 125, 133, and 141 lbs weight classes at the 2022 Southern Scuffle.

Dec 29, 2021 by JD Rader
Southern Scuffle Lightweight Preview & Predictions

The Southern Scuffle is always an exciting way to kickoff the start of the year and it will all start with the lightweights. With 20 ranked wrestlers in the bottom three weights alone, Southern Scuffle will be must watch TV for all college wrestling fans.

Below is a breakdown of each weight with some names to watch as well as my picks.

125 lbs

Title Contenders

Two returning All-Americans, Pat McKee and Killian Cardinale, headline the lightest weightclass. McKee took 3rd while Cardinale finished in 7th. Despite their finishes last season, Cardinale will go into the tournament with the higher ranking. McKee is susceptible to up and down wild performances, but when he’s wrestling his best, he’s lights out. The Gopher’s x-factor is his pinning capabilities. 

Watch Pat McKee take out Iowa’s Drake Ayala earlier this season below.


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With only two matches so far on the year, Cardinale is going into to Chattanooga relatively untested on the season. However, at NCAAs last season, Cardinale netted a 9-4 win over another competitor who will be pushing for the top spot here as well: Noah Surtin. After dropping an early match to Brody Teske, the Missouri sophomore got back on track at the Collegiate Duals last week with big wins over Jakob Camacho and Jaret Lane.

One more returning national qualifier, who could push for the top spot here is Columbia’s Joe Manchio. The Ivy Leagier qualified for NCAAs in 2020 and is currently ranked #17 with a 5-2 record.

Other Contenders

Fabian Gutierrez of Chattanooga and Tristan Daugherty of Buffalo are the only other ranked wrestlers in this weight class. Gutierrez will have the obvious advantage of wrestling on his home turf. 

Oklahoma State isn’t bringing their starters, but most of their backups are pretty darn tough. Exhibit A is Reece Witcraft. The Cowboy was a national qualifier at 133 two seasons ago as a true freshman but has been forced to the bench with the return of Daton Fix and the introduction of Trevor Mastrogiovanni. 

Sleepers and Landmines

Two of the young guys to watch at the weight both come from Virginia Tech: Eddie Ventresca and Cooper Flynn. Both were highly touted recruits out of high school (Ventresca in 2019 and Flynn in 2020) but are currently behind All-American Sam Latona in the Hokie lineup. Ventresca beat Flynn 4-2 in the wrestle-off at the beginning of the season. 

Brett Unger and Spencer Moore are two more true freshmen who could do some damage.

Full Entries

#7 Killian Cardinale, West Virginia

#9 Pat McKee, Minnesota

#13 Noah Surtin, Missouri

#17 Joe Manchio, Columbia

#21 Fabian Gutierrez, Chattanooga

HM Tristan Daugherty, Buffalo

Reece Witcraft, Oklahoma St

Greg Diakomihalis, Cornell

Cooper Flynn, Virginia Tech

Tanner Jordan, South Dakota St

Jace Koelzer, Northern Colorado

Gary Steen, Penn State

Eddie Ventresca, Virginia Tech

Logan Agin, Duke

Logan Ashton, Stanford

Chad Bellis, Appalachian State

Braxton Brown, Maryland

Jayden Carson, UA- Little Rock

Aedyn Concepcion, Gardner-Webb

Sammy Congleton, VMI

Alex Cottey, Chattanooga

Jeremiah Derby, North Carolina

Eddie Flores, CSU-Bakersfield

Malik Hardy, The Citadel

Ryan Henningson, North Dakota St

James Joplin, North Carolina St

Tyler Klinsky, Rider

Tristan Lujan, Michigan State

Nieko Malone, Rider

Antonio Mininno, Drexel

Spencer Moore, North Carolina

Ty Naquin, Duke

Reid  Nelson, UA- Little Rock

Julian Saldana, Michigan State

Josh Sarpy, UA- Little Rock

Jace Schafer, West Virginia

Baylor Shunk, Penn State

Caleb Smith, Appalachian State

Zachary Spence, Maryland

Brett Unger, Spartan Combat RTC

Jordi White, The Citadel

JD’s Predictions

  1. McKee, Minnesota 2) Cardinale, WVU 3) Surtin, Mizz 4) Witcraft, OK State

133 lbs

Title Contenders

Rayvon Foley and Chance Rich are the safe bets to make the finals at 133. The FRL crew was split on Tuesday morning with their predictions as to who would win. Both wrestlers have just one loss on the season. Foley’s came to Anthony Madrigal at the MSU Open and Rich fell to Devan Turner at Reno TOC. A win here would be either's biggest win of the season.

Other Contenders

The tier right below Foley and Rich is a big one that includes Jake Gilva, Jackson Disario, Kellyn March, Jarrett Trombley, Sean Carter, Dom Lajoie, Codi Russell, Kai Orine, Joe Heilman, and more. With wins already this season over Trombley and Connor Brown, I think this could be another great opportunity for Kai Orine to prove he deserves to be in the top-20 at 133 lbs.

Sleepers and Landmines

West Virginia true freshman Jordan Titus was the #25 overall recruit in the class of 2021. He’s got an unreal Jonesy tile and was trained by/with MMA fighter MMA fighter Gregor Gillespie.

Watch Jodan Titus win a prestigious high school Ironman title below.


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Full Entries

#13 Rayvon Foley, Michigan State

#17 Chance Rich, CSU-Bakersfield

#23 Jake Gliva, Minnesota

#24 Jackson Disario, Stanford

HM Kellyn March, North Dakota St

HM Jarrett Trombley, North Carolina St

Connor Brown, Missouri

Sean Carter, Appalachian State

Trey Crawford, Missouri

Joe Heilmann, North Carolina

Richie Koehler, Rider

Dom Lajoie, Cornell

Brandon Meredith, Penn State

Kai Orine, North Carolina St

Angelo Rini, Columbia

Trayton Anderson, South Dakota St

Blake Boarman, Chattanooga

Aidan Campbell, UA- Little Rock

Jaylen Carson, UA- Little Rock

Todd Carter, Gardner-Webb

Mason Clarke, Columbia

Jackson Cockrell, Maryland

Dominic DiTiullio, Gardner-Webb

Drake Doolittle, Duke

David Evans, Penn State

Jayden Gomez, UA- Little Rock

Kyle Gorant, Davidson

Caleb Gross, South Dakota St

Aaron Ibarra, CSU-Bakersfield

Jake Insko, Chattanooga

Dyson Kunz, Northern Colorado

Garett Lautzenheiser, West Virginia

Phillip Moomey, Cornell

Ethan Oakley, Appalachian State

Brayden Palmer, Chattanooga

Jacob Perez-Eli, Rider

Deon Pleasant, Drexel

Michael Rapuano, George Mason

Jake  Rotunda, The Citadel

Codi  Russell, Appalachian State

King Sandoval, Maryland

Derek Spann, Buffalo

Jordan Titus, West Virginia

JD’s Predictions

  1. Rich, CSUB 2) Foley, MSU 3) Orine, NC State 4) Carter, App State

141 lbs

Title Contenders

141 is an interesting weight with five legit wrestlers who could win the title. #6 in the country, Clay Carlson, is the odds-on-favorite to win. The SDSU junior isn’t just undefeated this year. He won CKLV and made his way into thte top 20 of the Dan Hodge Trophy Award Rankings. Although Carlson won by fall in the CKLV finals over Andrew Alirez, he trailed 6-3 going into the 3rd. Don’t count Alirez out just because he lost a couple of weeks ago. He’s capable of winning.

Watch Clay Carlson and Andrew Alirez’s exciting CKLV final below.


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Similar to the Carlson - Alirez situation, Alirez beat Alan Hart in a close one that’s result could be flipped. The match went into OT without a takedown before Alirez was able to prevail.

Back down at 141 for the first time in four seasons, Kizhan Clarke has looked tough this year. The Tar Heel is undefeated on the year with wins over Chad Red, Joey Zargo, and Jordan Decatur.

A bit of wild card at the weight is Real Woods. Last season Woods only competed at the Pac 12 Championships, NCAA Championships, and two extra matches where he 6-3 with a loss to Clay Carlson. However, Stanford announcing they were going to drop the program and everything that surrounded that led to Woods clearly not wrestling his best. The year before Woods only had one loss going into NCAAs before they were canceled. In fact, he won the 141 Southern Scuffle title. If he’s wrestling his best, he’s capable of repeating as champion. 

Other Contenders

Matt Kazimir, Collin Gerardi, and Angelo Martinoni round out the wrestlers currently in the top-33, but the real other name to watch here in my opinion is Lachlan McNei. The North Carolina freshman was the #5 overall recruit in the class of 2020. He’s undefeated on the year with a win over Ryan Jack.

Watch Lachlan McNeil beat Victor Voinovich for the 2019 Ironman title below.


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Sleepers and Landmines

141 is a top-heavy and deep weight, but there are three guys in particular that you don’t want to see close to you on the bracket, and they all go to Cornell. Cole Handolvic has been the starter for the Big Red this season. Despite his rough record at this point in the season, Handolvic is capable of big wins. And speaking of being capable of big wins, say what you want about what Josh Saunders has done in college career, the Junior World Team member is still capable of big wins. The third Cornell guy at this weight was a 4X Colorado state champion and the #28 overall 2021 recruit.

Full Entries

#6 Clay Carlson, South Dakota St

#7 Andrew Alirez, Northern Colorado

#11 Kizhan Clarke, North Carolina

#12 Allan Hart, Missouri

#13 Real Woods, Stanford

#20 Matt Kazimir, Columbia

HM Collin Gerardi, Virginia Tech

HM Angelo Martinoni, CSU-Bakersfield

Dusty Hone, Oklahoma St

Lachlan McNeil, North Carolina

Anthony Brito, Appalachian State

Vince Cornella, Spartan Combat RTC

Dylan Droegemueller, North Dakota St

Wil Guida, North Carolina

Cole Handlovic, Cornell

Quinn Kinner, Rider

Ethen Miller, Maryland

Jason Miranda, Stanford

Marcos Polanco, Minnesota

Caleb Rea, West Virginia

Josh Saunders, Cornell

Franco Valdes, Chattanooga

Conner Ward, UA- Little Rock

Danny Bertoni, Maryland

Matthew Bianchi, UA- Little Rock

Kaden Cassidy, George Mason

Gavin Damasco, Davidson

Jared Donahue, Drexel

Ben Freeman, Buffalo

Jason  Garay, The Citadel

Heath Gonyer, Appalachian State

Jordan Hamdan, Michigan State

Freddy Junko, VMI

Hunter Lewis, North Carolina St

Trevon Majette, Gardner-Webb

Jack Marlow, Buffalo

Caden McCrary, North Carolina

Bryan Miraglia, Rider

Shawn Nonaka, George Mason

Jarred Papcsy, North Carolina St

Kyle Rowan, Stanford

Patrick Rowland, Duke

Matt Santos, Michigan State

Jack  Whitmire, The Citadel

JD’s Predictions

  1. Carlson, SDSU 2) Alirez, UNC 3) Woods, Stanford 4) Hart, Mizz