Class of 2023 High School Big Board
Big Board Update: Top Freshmen Shine In The Postseason
The last update to the Freshman Big Board was right at the beginning of the postseason journey for most of the freshmen. It was a good postseason as over 90% of the board took home medals from their end of season tournaments. The top 10 didn’t have any movement as everyone made the state or National Prep final at their respective weight.
#9 Jim Mullen (NJ) had an impressive run earning a state title in a single class New Jersey at 285lbs.. Normally that would push a wrestler up on the big board, but there really wasn’t a slip in front of him. #8 Rocco Welsh (PA), #5 Meyer Shapiro (MD), #4 Gavin Nelson (MN), and #3 Cody Chittum (NJ) took losses in their postseasons. They faced some outstanding competition and represented themselves well to hold their positions. In order they dropped bouts to: Kurtis Phipps, Nic Bouzakis, Bennett Berge, and Beau Bartlett. Nobody in Mullen’s path presented a challenge of that magnitude for the big guy in New Jersey.
#14 Ben Kueter (IA) continued his ascent toward the top winning the large school Iowa state title at 160lbs. In the title bout he knocked off fellow freshman #27 Tate Naaktgeboren (IA).
#19 Maxximus Martinez (CA) has been all over the board this season. He started at #4 before dropping several mid-season bouts in California. He started the season at 106lbs at Super32, but didn’t recapture his preseason form until he moved up to 120lbs. There he finished third in the single class California state tournament.
As wrestling appears to be on the shelf until next season, this could be the last freshman ranking of the year. It comes just at the right time. We move to 100 on the sophomore board. The talent that has emerged with strong postseason finishes really warrants the expansion as many quality freshmen were left just outside the top 50.
The unfortunate situation is that this class will miss out on a number of quality opportunities to mix it up at NHSCA's and UWW Cadet Trials. They are anxiously awaiting word on the fate of Fargo. Those tournaments are annual measuring sticks, and sometimes the only opportunities some have to mix it up with the best in the country.
Please email any feedback to Brock Hite at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM @RankingsBrock on Twitter.
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