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|High school standouts who were willing to take risks land spots on W.I.N. Super Summer Team|
By Rob Sherrill Wrestling International Newsmagazine
This story originally ran in Wrestling International Newsmagazine
With the scholastic offseason now officially over for the Class of 2006, it's now time to sit back and take a look at what they accomplished.
In the Greco-Roman and freestyle arenas, they accomplished a lot.
Just how much? We decided to take a look.
The result is Wrestling International Newsmagazine's inaugural "Super Summer Team."
Actually, it's a reincarnation of one of the annual post-season features of a magazine I once published, Prep Wrestling Coast-To-Coast, about a decade back. The purpose of the team today, as it was then, is to recognize wrestlers for taking risks; for stepping outside their comfort zone. And with the rules of engagement in both international styles changing more drastically this year than in any single year in recent memory, that step was a big one indeed.
Add to that the willingness to lay it on the line against the best competition the rest of the nation has to offer, at unfamiliar venues in unfamiliar parts of the nation, and it's easy to see how much these wrestlers love the sport and their place in it.
There are also more scholastic-style opportunities in the off-season today as well, including several offered up by USA Wrestling. But those aren't being covered here. While success in the scholastic season is what all wrestlers prepare for, and rightfully so, this team is reserved for those who took on new challenges and succeeded against the best of their peers in the international styles.
I've constructed two separate W.I.N. "Super Summer" teams: one in the Cadet Division and one in the Junior Division at each weight class. The Cadet team is comprised of wrestlers of USA Cadet age (15-16), so accomplishments in the FILA Cadet Nationals, which also includes 17-year-olds, will accrue to the resumes of both Cadet and Junior Team members. In most cases, wrestlers will be placed at the lowest weight class at which they competed during the season, though there are some exceptions to that rule.
The two teams are based on quantity, as well as quality, of results and accomplishments. They take into account performances in USA Wrestling national events, including the Cadet and Junior National Duals, and regional events as well.
Please remember that these are not rankings. That is not the purpose. In some cases, head-to-head results were used to break ties between wrestlers with similar overall resumes. However, you will often see a wrestler with a better overall resume placed on a team ahead of someone who mat have beaten him on the mat. The bottom line is that a wrestler who stepped out of his comfort zone on the most occasions - win or lose - is the wrestler who will most often be rewarded.
Led by its trio of Junior National freestyle champions, Adam Hall (152) of Bonners Ferry High, Kirk Smith (171) of Boise Centennial High and Clayton Foster (189) of Kamiah High, Idaho was a huge winner in the Junior Division, placing five on the First Team. Those three were joined by repeat Junior Greco-Roman champion Shawn Jones (125) of Blackfoot Snake River High and repeat Greco-Roman finalist Josh Strait (130) of Arimo Marsh Valley High as First Team selections.
In the Cadet Division, Ohio was the leader with four First Team selections. Two, Cadet National freestyle champions Jamie Clark (91) of Lakewood St. Edward High and Logan Steiber (105) of Monroeville High, have yet to set foot on a high school mat. Double champion David Taylor (98) of St. Paris Graham High and double All- American Eric Cubberly (152) of Pemberville Eastwood High also earned First Team honors.
Led by Idaho's dominance, 11 of the 15 members of the Junior First Team come from states west of the Mississippi River.
Ohio's haul helped tip the balance back in favor of the East - slightly - on the Cadet First Team, with nine of the 17 coming from the east side of the Big Muddy.
Two schools, Blairstown, N.J. Blair Academy and Kansas City, Mo., Oak Park High, led the way among individual programs, each with eight overall selections on the two teams. St. Edward was just a step behind with seven overall selections, while Iowa City, Iowa's West High and Oviedo, Fla., High each placed five on the squad.
The inaugural W.I.N. Super Summer Team follows. Enjoy!
W.I.N.'s Super Summer Cadet Team - 2006
First Team - Ryan Mango, So, St. Louis, Mo. University School. Second Team - Richy Reinoehl, Jr, Lititz, Pa. Warwick. Third Team - Jeff Vesta, So, Manhattan, Kan.
Comment: Mango became the first 84-pounder ever to be voted Outstanding Wrestler in the Cadet Nationals (Greco-Roman). He also went 19-0 at the Cadet Dual. Reinoehl was the only wrestler to push him either in Dual or Fargo competition.
First Team - Jamie Clark, Fr, Lakewood, Ohio, St. Edward. Second Team - Max Nowry, Jr, Wheeling, Ill. Third Team - Alex Kostenborder, So, Salem, Ore., Sprague.
Comment: Clark won freestyle gold at the FILA Cadet and Cadet Nationals, adding fourth-place Greco-Roman finishes in both events. Cadet Greco-Roman champion Nowry and Kostenborder also were double All-Americans at both events.
First Team - David Taylor, So, St. Paris, Ohio., Graham. Second Team - Kyle Dake, So, Lansing, N.Y. Third Team - Mark Rappo, Jr, Holland, Pa., Council Rock South.
Comment: One move away from being a two-time double Cadet Nationals champion, Taylor was the freestyle OW. Dake was unbeaten in the Cadet Dual and also placed in the FILA Cadet Greco- Roman tourney.
First Team - Logan Steiber, Fr, Monroeville, Ohio. Second Team - Mac Bailey, So, Kansas City, Mo., Oak Park. Third Team - Nicky Gordon, So, Kingston, Pa., Wyoming Seminary Preparatory.
Comment: Steiber entered just two events, but made a strong bid for Cadet Nationals freestyle OW and also won the FILA Cadet Nationals. Bailey was the Cadet Greco-Roman champion and the only double All-American, while Gordon dominated everyone but Steiber at Fargo and also was 11-0 in the Cadet freestyle Dual.
First Team - Tony Ramos, So, Carol Stream, Ill., Glenbard North. Second Team - Josh Kindig, Fr, Schuylkill Haven, Pa, Blue Mountain. Third Team - Dylan Carew, So, Iowa City, Iowa West.
Comment: Ramos made a huge spring impact with freestyle victories over Eric Grajales in the FILA Cadet Nationals and the West Junior regional. Kindig won his first 19 Cadet Dual matches - finishing 19-1 - and Carew was a double place-winner in the FILA Cadet Nationals and Northern Plains regional in addition to his Cadet Nationals Greco-Roman title.
First Team - Nate Moore, Jr, Iowa City, Iowa, West. Second Team - Matt McDonough, Jr, Marion, Iowa, Linn-Mar. Third Team - Joe Cozart, Fr, Brandon, Fla.
Comment: Only a last-second loss to workout partner McDonough in the Cadet Nationals freestyle final kept Moore from making the off-season a clean sweep. He was the Northern Plains double champion and the Cadet Nationals Greco-Roman champion; beating McDonough in all three finals, won the FILA Cadet Nationals in freestyle and added an 11-0 Cadet Dual record. Cozart won three regional crowns and added a runner-up finish to his Cadet Nationals All-American showing in a very deep weight class.
First Team - Jason Chamberlain, Jr, Springville, Utah. Second Team - Trey Bertram, Jr, Hastings, Minn. Third Team - Bobby Barnhisel, So, Oak Park, Ill., Fenwick.
Comment: Another deep weight from a quantity standpoint.
Chamberlain rallied from a first-round Cadet Nationals freestyle loss to finish third and get the nod. He also was a double FILA Cadet Nationals placewinner and medaled in the West Junior regional in Greco-Roman. Bertram was fourth in Cadet National freestyle and 8-0 in the Cadet freestyle Dual, while Barnhisel advanced to a pair of Junior regional finals along with his Cadet Nationals placing.
First Team - Brock Weatherman, Fr, Ballard, Iowa, Huxley. Second Team - Derek St. John, So, Iowa City, Iowa, West. Third Team - Jeff Bybee, Jr, Chillicothe, Ill., Illinois Valley Central.
Comment: It was a razor-thin call for the top spot. Weatherman was a double third-place finisher in the Northern Plains regional, where St. John won a pair of titles. But a title and two placings in the Central regional and the Cadet Nationals Greco-Roman title put Weatherman over the top. St. John added to his strong case with a 9-0 record in the Cadet freestyle Dual and a third-place Cadet Nationals freestyle finish. A sixth-place showing in the loaded West Junior regional in freestyle bolstered Bybee's credentials.
First Team - Donald Vinson, Jr, Whitney Point, N.Y. Second Team - Eric Jones, Jr, Auburn, Wash., Riverside. Third Team - C.J. Napier, So, Columbus, Kan.
Comment: So did Vinson stick his head in the sand after being reversed and pinned with the Cadet Nationals Greco-Roman title in hand? Hardly. Not only did he come back to win the freestyle title, but he went up a weight class to do it. That's resilience. Double Cadet Nationals All-American Jones also placed in the West Junior regional in freestyle and went 16-1 at the Cadet Dual, while Cadet National freestyle champion Napier was 10-0 in the freestyle Dual.
First Team - Ben Provisor, So, Stevens Point, Wis. Second Team - Tyler Koehn, Jr, Pittsburg, Kan. Third Team - Dallas Bailey, So, Catoosa, Okla.
Comment: It's not often we put a specialist - particularly a Greco-Roman one - at the top of a list such as this.
But Cadet Nationals champion Provisor, a Dennis Hall protege, made a strong case for OW honors and was named the Cadet Greco-Roman Wrestler of the Year. Double Cadet Nationals place-winner Koehn swept the Southern Plains regional and won 13 matches at the Dual. Bailey was unbeaten at the Cadet freestyle Dual and added a third-place Greco-Roman finish at the Cadet Nationals.
First Team - Alex Meade, Jr, Easton, Pa. Second Team - Ethan Lofthouse, So, Hyrum, Utah, Mountain Crest. Third Team - Trent Weatherman, So, Ballard, Iowa, Huxley.
Comment: Meade picked up right where he left off last summer, repeating as Cadet National freestyle champion after going 7-0 in the Cadet freestyle Dual and 7-2 in the Junior Dual. Double Cadet Nationals All-American Lofthouse won three regionals - two Cadet and one Junior - and placed in the rugged West Junior freestyle regional and Weatherman advanced to four Cadet finals.
First Team - Eric Cubberly, Jr, Pemberville, Ohio, Eastwood. Second Team - Cody Brown, So, Casper, Wyo., Natrona County. Third Team - Hunter Meys, Jr, Clifton Park, N.Y., Shenendehowa.
Comment: This was a two-man race for the top spot, with Cubberly getting the nod after winning the Northeast Junior Greco- Roman regional and finishing fourth in freestyle, his lowest of six spring placings. Brown swept the West region, advanced to four finals and joined Cubberly as a Cadet Nationals double All-American.
Freestyle All-American Meys won the Northeast Cadet regional and finished third in the Junior regional.
First Team - Grant Gambrall, Jr, Iowa City, Iowa, West. Second Team - Ryan Kocer, Jr, Wagner, S.D. Third Team - Corey Peltier, Jr, Blairstown, N.J., Blair Academy.
Comment: Gambrall stands alone, almost making his season a clean sweep. After sweeping the Northern Plains regional and winning the Cadet Nationals in Greco-Roman, he had to settle for third place in freestyle. Kocer and Peltier are both two-time state champions, Peltier at Warwick, R.I., Bishop Hendricken High.
First Team - Romero Cotton, Jr, Hutchinson, Kan. Second Team - Wilberto Pica, So, Concord, Calif., DeLaSalle. Third Team - Zac Bennett, So, Westmont, Pa., Hilltop.
Comment: There were only two blemishes on double Cadet Nationals champion Cotton's record this season: he finished second in the FILA Cadet Nationals in freestyle and he didn't quite go unbeaten in the Cadet Dual though his 18-1 mark, the loss coming at 189 pounds, was still outstanding. Pica, twin brother of 189-pounder Nick, swept the West regional and added a pair of third-place Fargo finishes. Another impressive Cadet Dual record: Bennett was 18-1.
First Team - Ryland Geiger, Jr, Blairstown, N.J., Blair Academy. Second Team - Dylan Wrage, Jr, Waverly, Iowa, W.-Shell Rock. Third Team - Zachary Benzio, So, Connellsville, Pa.
Comment: Wrage was as impressive as anyone on this list. He was a double place-winner in three tough events: the FILA Cadet Nationals, the Northern Plains Junior regional and the Cadet Nationals (twice fourth). But Geiger won three titles, including a double Cadet Nationals title, to go with a runner-up finish in the West regional. Benzio was 19-1 at the Cadet Duals.
First Team - Tyrell Fortune, Jr, Portland, Ore., Parkrose. Second Team - Atticus Disney, Jr, Andover, Kan., Central. Third Team - Marcell Dubose, Jr, Highland Park, Mich.
Comment: With his second consecutive double Cadet Nationals title - winning in both finals over Disney - as well as a double West regional crown and a West Junior regional title in Greco- Roman and third in freestyle, Fortune richly earned the top spot. But Disney was the overall national Dual leading winner, going 18-0 in the Cadet Dual and 13-2 in the Junior Dual for a staggering total of
31 dual victories. Dubose was the only wrestler to place at Fargo in both age groups, following up a seventh-place finish in Junior Greco- Roman with third place in Cadet freestyle.
First Team - Stephen Andrus, Jr, Manhattan, Kan. Second Team - Bubba Owens, Jr, Tillamook, Ore. Third Team - Paul Snyder, Jr, Mount Pleasant, Pa.
Comment: Double Cadet Nationals All-American Andrus, the freestyle champion, teamed with Disney to give Kansas a potent finishing Cadet Dual punch, also going 18-0. Cadet Nationals freestyle runner-up Owens was a double place-winner in the FILA Cadet Nationals and the West Regional.
W.I.N.'s Super Summer Junior Team - 2006
First Team - Nathan Furches, So, Derby, Kan. Second Team - Ridge Kiley, Jr, Iowa City, Iowa, West. Third Team - Brandon Goodwin, Sr, Lawrence, Kan.
Comment: Furches' Junior Nationals Greco-Roman title was his third of the spring. He also finished third in freestyle. Kiley and Goodwin also swept their regional titles. Furches was 6-0 in the Junior Dual in freestyle, Goodwin racked up a 10-1 mark in the two styles.
First Team - Andrew Long, Jr, Creston, Iowa. Second Team - Justin Forrest, Jr, Peculiar, Mo., Raymore-Peculiar. Third Team - Ben Sergent, Jr, Troy, Ohio, Christian.
Comment: With nine top-four finishes, double placings in the FILA Cadet Nationals and Junior Nationals, Greco-Roman titles in the FILA Cadet Nationals and Northern Plains regional and freestyle titles in the Rocky Mountain and West regionals, Long stands above the rest. Junior Nationals Greco-Roman champion Forrest matched Long with four titles and Junior Nationals freestyle champion Sergent had two.
First Team - Eric Grajales, Jr, Brandon, Fla. Second Team - Marty Eng, Grad, Newberg, Ore. Third Team - Connor McDonald, Sr, Georgetown, Del., Sussex Central.
Comment: All Grajales did was win national Greco-Roman titles in three age groups - FILA Cadet, Junior and FILA Junior - while winning five regional or national titles overall. Eng won the FILA Junior freestyle title and double Junior Nationals All-American McDonald won the freestyle crown at Fargo in dominating fashion. Aura and Davis also were impressive in the FILA Juniors.
First Team - Zach Sanders, Sr, Wabasha, Minn. W.-Kellogg. Second Team - Nikko Triggas, Sr, Moraga, Calif., Campolindo. Third Team - John Trumbetti, Sr, Montvale, N.J., St. Joseph Regional.
Comment: Strictly a two-man race with Sanders (freestyle) and Triggas (Greco-Roman) taking the two Junior Nationals crowns. The two were double Junior All-Americans and successful in region competition as well, Sanders posting 1-3 finishes in the Northern Plains regional and Triggas 2-1 in the West. Triggas won their only head-to-head meeting, in three periods in the seventh Greco-Roman round at Fargo. But Sanders was a perfect 18-0 in the Junior Dual, losing just one period along the way, while Triggas finished just 11-4 at Oklahoma City.
First Team - Shawn Jones, Grad, Blackfoot, Idaho, Snake River. Second Team - Michael Mangrum, Jr, Auburn, Wash., Riverside. Third Team - Joey Martin, Grad., Las Vegas, Nev., Durango.
Comment: A year after becoming a double Cadet Nationals champion, Mangrum again made himself a hot commodity at Fargo, upsetting Graff in the Junior freestyle final. But Jones won the Junior and FILA Junior National Greco-Roman crowns and four titles overall. Martin burst into the top three by becoming one of just two scholastic wrestlers to place in the FILA Juniors in both styles.
First Team - Josh Strait, Grad, Arimo, Idaho, Marsh Valley. Second Team - Kyle Hutter, Grad, New Lenox, Ill., Providence. Third Team - Kellen Russell, Sr, Blairstown, N.J., Blair Academy.
Comment: With three regional titles and a trip to the Junior National Greco-Roman finals for the second consecutive year, Strait is the obvious choice. Beyond that, several wrestlers can stake a claim. Hutter's eighth-place Junior freestyle finish was preceded by a double Northern Plains region crown at 135 and a 10-2 mark in the Junior Dual in freestyle. Russell was only third in the Northeast Junior regional, but won the Junior National freestyle crown.
First Team - P.J. Gillespie, Sr, Long Beach, N.Y. Second Team - Eli Hutchison, Grad, Soldotna, Alaska, Skyview. Third Team - Austin Enoch, Sr, Redmond, Ore.
Comment: Gillespie's record reflects both quantity and quality, with a pair of trips to the Northeast region finals, winning the Greco-Roman title, a third-place finish in the West regional in freestyle, seventh in the Junior Nationals in Greco-Roman and a 15-2 overall mark in the Junior Dual, including 9-0 in Greco-Roman.
Hutchison closed his scholastic career with the Junior National Greco- Roman title over Enoch. Both had two crowns this spring.
First Team - Luke Ashmore, Sr, Dallas, Texas, Bishop Lynch. Second Team - Jake Deitchler, Jr, Anoka, Minn. Third Team - Ryan Cubberly, Grad, Pemberville, Ohio, Eastwood.
Comment: He may lose a match here and not look particularly good there, but when the smoke cleared, Ashmore had his second consecutive Fargo freestyle title - a Junior crown this time - and four titles this off-season. His round-robin pin of Ohio's Lance Palmer was the talk of the tournament and the message boards.
Deitchler ripped off four top-three finishes, a lofty accomplishment for a sophomore.
First Team - Trevor Hall, Sr, Battle Ground, Wash. Second Team - Kevin LeValley, Sr, Limon, Colo. Third Team - Chris Hacker, Sr, El Reno, Okla.
Comment: Whether he competed at 145 or 152 pounds, Hall was a presence, picking up four titles this season, including the Junior National Greco-Roman title. LeValley posted five top-four finishes and Hacker's best came out at Fargo, earning double All- America status for the second consecutive year.
First Team - Adam Hall, Grad, Bonners Ferry, Idaho. Second Team - Robert Kellogg, Sr, Sioux City, Iowa, North. Third Team - Eren Civan, Sr, Bethesda, Md., Walt Whitman.
Comment: Maybe the most mentally tough wrestler of our time, double Fargo All-American Hall followed up a double West Region title with a Junior National freestyle title that closed out his career. Kellogg's double placings in the FILA Cadet Nationals and the Northern Plains regional and the Junior National Greco-Roman title is breathtaking for a wrestler with just an eighth-place showing as a sophomore in his state meet. Civan won the FILA Cadet Nationals and the Northeast Regional in freestyle, then finished sixth in the Junior Nationals in Greco-Roman.
First Team - Jonathan Reader, Grad, Davison, Mich. Second Team - Michael Chaires, Sr, Albany, N.Y.. Christian Brothers Academy. Third Team - Luke Manuel, Grad, Grass Valley, Calif., Nevada Union.
Comment: Chaires' season was outstanding. He won the FILA Cadet Nationals and Northeast Regionals in Greco-Roman (and third in freestyle) and placed fourth in both styles at Fargo. But Reader - the only Junior Nationals double champion this year and the freestyle OW - gets the nod … and double West Regionals crowns for a total of four didn't hurt, either.
First Team - Kirk Smith, Sr, Boise, Idaho, Centennial. Second Team - Jesse Robbins, Sr, Oviedo, Fla. Third Team - Lucas Munkelwitz, Sr, Forest Lake, Minn.
Comment: How good was Smith? How about seven trips to tournament finals, a national best? So were his five titles: a double Northwest Regional and freestyle titles in the FILA Cadets, West Regional and the Junior Nationals. Robbins retained his status as a feared Greco-Roman presence with his second Junior Nationals title.
First Team - Clayton Foster, Sr, Kamiah, Idaho. Second Team - Deron Winn, Sr, Liberty, Mo. Third Team - John Weakley, Sr, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, Valley Christian Academy.
Comment: Putting Foster's controversial win over Sonny Yohn in the Junior Nationals freestyle finals aside, the Idaho wrestler earned the top spot fair and square with six top-three finishes, adding a double Northwest Regional title to his Junior crown. Junior Nationals Greco-Roman champ Winn and Weakley, both double Fargo All-Americans, headline one of the best 197-pound college recruiting classes in years. Winn won three crowns and was 16-1 at the Junior Duals.
First Team - Eric Thompson, Jr, Waverly, Iowa, W.-Shell Rock. Second Team - Jared Platt, Sr, Blairstown, N.J., Blair Academy. Third Team - Cody Gardner, Sr, Christiansburg, Va.
Comment: With three titles - the FILA Cadet Nationals in freestyle and a double Northern Plains regional crown - and double All-America status at Fargo, Thompson's record reflects quality and quantity. Platt nearly had a perfect spring, sweeping the Northeast Regional, going 10-0 at the Junior Dual in freestyle and giving Gardner all he wanted before falling in the Junior National freestyle final.
First Team - Dom Bradley, Sr, Blue Springs, Mo. Second Team - Kenny Lester, Grad, Oviedo, Fla. Third Team (tie) - John Hiles, Jr, Columbus, Ohio, St. Francis de Sales; Elijah Madison, Jr, Kansas City, Mo., Oak Park.
Comment: Another wrestler who sneaked up on the field, Bradley won the West Regional in freestyle after finishing third in Greco-Roman, then stunned FILA Junior place-winner Lester en route to the Junior Nationals freestyle title. Hiles and Madison posted virtually identical records, both earning double place-winner status in the FILA Cadets and West Regional prior to their Fargo placings.