2022 Defense Soap Super 32 Challenge

Five Potential Battles For #1 At Super 32

Five Potential Battles For #1 At Super 32

This year's Super 32 Challenge could see five different weights where the top two contenders throw down for the Nation's #1 spot!

Oct 12, 2022 by Mason Lindenmuth
Five Potential Battles For #1 At Super 32

Every fall we see some of the best high schoolers in the country travel to Greensboro, N.C. to battle it out for a Super 32 belt. It seems every season that the brackets at Super 32 become deeper and deeper, with many ranked guys entered into each weight class. This weekend will be no different. Currently, there are over 160 guys ranked in the top 20 in their weight class entered for the 2022 Super 32. 

Amongst those athletes, we have five weight classes where we could see the #1 vs. the #2 ranked guys in the country go head-to-head. Keep in mind, with a field this incredibly deep, none of these matches are guaranteed to happen. Let’s take a look at the five weight classes where we could possibly see the top two ranked guys in the country square off for national supremacy. 

106 lbs: #1 Christian Castillo vs. #3 Seth Mendoza

The first thing you may notice when you see this matchup is that this is not exactly a #1 vs. #2 matchup. Currently, the #2 ranked wrestler in the country at 106 pounds, Jayden Raney, will be making the move up to 113 pounds at Super 32. Raney defeated #3, Seth Mendoza, in a very tightly contested Fargo final this summer at 106 pounds, a win that really put Raney on the map and earned him the #2 ranking in the country. With Raney making that move up to 113 pounds, Mendoza will take over as the #2 ranked guy at 106 pounds. 

Christian Castillo earned his #1 ranking after taking out Mendoza in the U17 World Team Trials finals in two straight matches to make the U.S. team where he would go on to finish as a U17 World Silver Medalist at 48 kg. As a freshman last season, Seth Mendoza earned titles at Fargo with a win over Castillo in the finals and an Illinois State Championships along with podium finishes at Ironman and Super 32, before falling to Castillo at the trials and Raney in Fargo. 

Watch Mendoza defeat Castillo in the 2021 Fargo Finals

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We saw Castillo make the jump up to 113 pounds a little over a month ago to take on a challenge against fellow #1 Anthony Knox at Who’s Number One in a match he was clearly giving up some size. Now with these two back at 106 pounds, we could potentially see a folkstyle matchup against these two for the first time with the #1 ranking on the line in a weight class where there are 11 total ranked guys in the field. 

113 lbs: #1 Anthony Knox vs. #2 Bo Bassett

We saw this matchup almost exactly one year ago in the 106-pound Super 32 final. Bassett had just dominated his way to a U17 World Title and Knox similarly was dominant in Fargo. Heading into Super 32 last year, Anthony Knox was initially entered at 113 pounds but made the decision to drop to 106 pounds just to get the opportunity to wrestle Bassett and this quickly became one of the most anticipated matchups in the entire country. 

Watch the 2021 Super 32 Final between Knox and Bassett

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Bo Bassett took out current #3 Seth Mendoza on his way to the finals while Knox was dominant over Pennsylvania state champions Louie Gill and Nathan Desmond. After a 2-2 first period, Knox showed his top-game ability to blow this match open, using a modified suckback to earn three back points along with a tilt late in the period to take a 9-3 lead on his way to a 10-4 win. Although there are 13 nationally ranked guys in the 113-pound field, these two will definitely be the favorites to hit once again in the finals. 

Heading into a potential second meeting between these two this weekend, it will be interesting to see if Bassett has made the necessary adjustments underneath to avoid giving up the turns against Knox, along with if Bassett will be able to better use his pressure and snaps more effectively this time around in the neutral position. 

120 lbs: #1 Jax Forrest vs. #2 Luke Lilledahl

Jax Forrest and Luke Lilledahl were both in the 113-pound Super 32 field one year ago but did not meet. Lilledahl won the bracket, and Forrest finished third. Forrest and Lilledahl were teammates on the U17 World Team this summer after Lilledahl took out Bo Bassett in two-straight matches to make the team at 51 kg and Forrest took out Nate Jesuroga in three matches to make the team at 55 kg. 

Lilledahl went on to dominate his way to a World Championship while Forrest had a crazy run to the finals before finishing as the silver medalist at 55 kg. Forrest beat Jesuroga once again last month at Who’s Number One in a wild bout to maintain his #1 ranking in the country at 120 pounds. 

These two hit just a few weeks ago up at 125 pounds in the finals of the Journeyman Fall Classic in an action-packed matchup that saw Forrest come out on top 9-6. In a field with 13 guys ranked in the country, we may not get to see this matchup happen this weekend. If these two defending World medalists were to hit again at Super 32, Lilledahl will need to be able to limit the number of scrambles and control the chaos that Forrest seems to thrive in during big matchups. 

Watch Forrest take out Lilledahl in the Journey Fall Classic final

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132 lbs: #1 Nasir Bailey vs. #2 Sergio Lemley

Nasir Bailey has made huge jumps in the last 12 months. The recent Little Rock commit won Fargo, Ironman, and Illinois State titles last season and was able to avenge two previous losses to Ryder Block last month at Who’s Number One to earn the #1 ranking in the country at 138 pounds. 

Watch Nasir Bailey get revenge over Ryder Block at Who’s Number One

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Sergio Lemley had podium finishes at Super 32 and Ironman last season and won his third Illinois State Championship along with making the finals at Fargo. The Michigan commit earned the #1 ranking at 132 pounds himself at Who’s Number One by taking out previous #1 Kannon Webster with a couple of really gritty rides and reversals. 

Watch Sergio Lemley take out Kannon Webster at Who’s Number One

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With Bailey making the decision to drop down to 132 pounds, he takes over the #1 ranking with Lemley moving to #2 for the time being. This match is certainly not guaranteed to happen as there are currently 20 nationally ranked guys registered to compete in the 132-pound field, but it could be a very interesting bout between two Illinois hammers. If these two were to hit at Super 32, I could see the mat coming into play as both of these guys put on ultra-impressive rides to win their bouts at Who’s Number One. 

138 lbs: #1 Ryder Block vs. #2 PJ Duke

Ryder Block had an outstanding Fargo performance this summer where he was able to take out three-straight ranked wrestling on his way to winning a stop sign at 138 pounds in the Junior Division. PJ Duke cruised his way to a Fargo title as well at 138 pounds in the 16U Division. Block, an Iowa Hawkeye commit, squared off with Nasir Bailey just over a month ago with the #1 ranking on the line at 138 pounds that Bailey went on to win to temporarily move Block down to the #2 ranking. With Bailey dropping down to 132 pounds for Super 32, Block takes over the #1 ranking with PJ Duke moving into the #2 spot at 138 pounds. 

Watch Ryder Block take out Ismael Ayoub in the Fargo Finals

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Along with winning a Fargo title this summer, Duke also took out Sergio Lemley and Cory Land last year on his way to a Super 32 title at 126 pounds as just a freshman, and followed that up by making the Ironman finals just over a month later up at 138 pounds before suffering an injury against Tyler Kasak. These two are favored to make the finals against one another in a loaded 138 pound field with 12 nationally ranked wrestlers. Although these two have never squared off against one another, if they were to hit this weekend, expect a very high paced and physical matchup that will most likely be decided in the neutral position. 

Watch PJ Duke defeat Cory Land in the 2021 Super 32 Finals

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