2019 Junior High Big Board
Future Stars: Top 100 Junior High Wrestlers
As it turns out, there is no shortage of talented wrestlers in America.
Almost all of the members of last year's Junior High Big Board are now Freshmen. So when starting research on the 2019 edition, I thought it might be difficult to find 50 wrestlers who separated themselves from the pack. Instead, I found many worthy candidates - so much so that I built the list out to 100 - and I still wish I could fit a couple more in.
The number of youth tournaments that both attract top talent and provide reliable results are many. And that's great for our youth and the sport. Here's what I looked at - Reno Worlds, Tulsa Nationals, McDonogh Duals, Schoolboy FS Nationals and Duals, Super 32 MS, USAW Preseason Nationals, the Kickoff Classic, and most recently, VAC Duals. And anything else I could get my hands on.
Of course the first few are easy. A few of the top kids have made their dent in high school events. Robert Paul 'Bobby' Perez was a double Fargo AA, winning Greco. His future teammate at St. John Bosco (CA), Maxximus Martinez reached the finals of Akron and won Fargo FS.
Cody Chittum also AA'd in Fargo. Rocco Welsh was well on his way as he made the quarterfinals before missing weigh ins on Day 2.
Nasir Bailey was the only 8th grader to place in the Super 32 high school division this year.
Meyer Shapiro, who won S32 MS, just beat Maxximus Martinez at VAC.
In some cases the ability to put the wrestlers into correct 'tiers' was easy. In other cases...not so much. Certainly a considerable amount of conflicting head-to-heads.
As always - if there are any recommendations, corrections, or inquiries - my inbox is always open.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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