FOUR FOUR-TIME STATE CHAMPIONS EARN FIRST TEAM SELECTION ON THE 2000 ASICS TIGER HIGH SCHOOL ALL-AMERICAN TEAM
Four four-time state champion wrestlers were among the First Team members on the 15th annual Asics Tiger High School All-American Team.
The city of Omaha, Neb. earned back-to-back First Team selections in four-time state champions Brad Metzler (Westside HS, Omaha, NE) at 130 pounds and Kasey Kohl (Skutt Catholic HS, Omaha NE) at 135 pounds.
The other four-time state champions on the First Team were Chris Rodrigues (J.T. Walker School, Marietta, GA) at 125 pounds and Jesse Jantzen (Shoreham-Wading River HS, Shoreham, NY) at 145 pounds.
Rodrigues also won three National Prep Championships titles during his career, and is the only high school wrestler to qualify for the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. Jantzen became the first four-time champion in the 37-year history of the New York state tournament, and also was named Outstanding Wrestler at the National High School Championships.
The Asics Tiger All-American Team is selected by a nationwide panel of wrestling experts, and is considered the top honor in high school wrestling. It is the only national all-star team for which high school wrestlers competing on all four grade levels are eligible. Asics Tiger is the title sponsor of USA Wrestling's Junior National Championships and a major supporter of wrestling at all levels.
"This team represents the best of the best in our high schools today," said Neil Duncan of TW Promotions. "We are proud to recognize the talent and work ethic of these outstanding young men. They are clearly the World and Olympic champions of the future."
Members of the First Team, as well as the Asics Tiger Wrestler of the Year, will be honored prior to the finals of the Asics Tiger National Junior Championships, July 29 at Fargo, N.D.
This year's First Team members combined to post 40 state high school or National Prep championships and three Junior National titles.
Two of the most eagerly anticipated recruiting classes in recent memory, the Classes of 2001 and 2002, contributed a record number of wrestlers to the Asics Tiger All-America Wrestling Team.
How prominent were this year's underclassmen? The elite First Team included more than one for the first time in four years; Steven Mocco (Blair Academy, Blairstown, N.J.) became the first junior ever named to the First Team at heavyweight; and 13 underclassmen were named to the top three teams and 30 overall to the 112-man squad, both records.
Rodrigues and Mocco were 1999 Asics Tiger Junior National freestyle champions, and Rodrigues was named Most Outstanding Wrestler. At 160 pounds, Josh McLay (Hastings HS, Hastings, MN), a three-time state champion, was also a 1999 Asics Tiger Junior National Greco-Roman champion,
Ohio led the way with three First Team selections, junior two-time state champion Kyle Ott (Wayne HS, Huber Heights, OH) at 112 pounds and senior state champions Jake Percival (Steele HS, Amherst, OH) at 140 pounds and Ryan Bertin (St. Edward HS, Lakewood, OH) at 152 pounds.
Washington was the only other state with multiple First Team members, seniors Mike Magnusson (Blaine HS, Blaine WA) at 103 pounds and Michael Christian (Lynnwood HS, Lynnwood, WA) at 215 pounds. Magnussen was a one-time state champion, while Christian claimed two state high school titles.
Pennsylvania had the 1-2 selections at 119 pounds, two-time state champions Chris Fleeger (Williamsport, PA, Loyalsock) and Justin Spates (Mount Pleasant, PA, Mount Pleasant HS). They led a weight class which possibly was the toughest and deepest in the team's 15-year history. The weight class included 10 wrestlers who are or could become four-time state champions.
Also selected to the First Team were three-time state champions Wes Roberts (Westmoore HS, Oklahoma City, OK) at 171 pounds, and Quint Swanberg (Horizon HS, Scottsdale, AZ) at 189 pounds.
The Second and Third Teams are not far behind the First Team. The Second Team, led by four-time champions Matt Nagel (Frazee HS, Frazee, Minn.) at 152 pounds and Ben Connell (Lugoff HS, Lugoff, S.C.) at heavyweight, boasts 38 state or National Prep titles. The Third Team, which includes four-time champions Dustin Spaulding (Emporia HS, Emporia, KS) at 135 pounds and Matt Grice (Harrah HS, Harrah, OK) at 152 pounds, owns 37 state titles.
The Asics Tiger All-America Team includes eight wrestlers at each of the 14 high school weight classes - the First, Second, and Third Teams and five Honorable Mention selections.
Pennsylvania led the nation with 12 representatives on the overall squad. Ohio and New Jersey were second with eight selections, followed by Minnesota and Oklahoma (seven) and Washington (six).
The 112-man team includes wrestlers from 33 states, including 81 seniors, 22 juniors, 8 sophomores and 1 freshman.
2000 Asics Tiger High School All-American Team
103 - Mike Magnusson, senior, Blaine HS, Blaine, WA
112 - Kyle Ott , junior, Wayne HS,Huber Heights, OH*
119 - Chris Fleeger, senior, Loyalsock HS, Williamsport, PA*
125 - Chris Rodrigues, senior, J.T. Walker School, Marietta, GA*
130 - Brad Metzler , senior, Westside HS, Omaha, NE*
135 - Kasey Kohl, senior, Skutt Catholic HS, Omaha, NE*
140 - Jake Percival, senior, Steele HS, Amherst, OH
145 - Jesse Jantzen, senior, Shoreham-Wading River HS, Shoreham, NY*
152 - Ryan Bertin, senior, St. Edward HS, Lakewood, OH
160 - Josh McLay, senior, Hastings HS, Hastings, MN*
171 - Wes Roberts, senior, Westmoore HS, Oklahoma City, OK*
189 - Quint Swanberg, senior, Horizon HS, Scottsdale, AZ
215 - Michael Christian, senior, Lynnwood HS, Lynnwood, WA
HWT - Steven Mocco, junior, Blair Academy, Blairstown, NJ*
103 - Luke Smith, sophomore, Chippewa Falls HS, Chippewa Falls, WI
112 - Cory Cooperman, junior, Blair Academy, Blairstown, NJ*
119 - Justin Spates, senior, Mount Pleasant HS, Mount Pleasant, PA
125 - Mike Simpson, senior, Brethren Christian HS, Cypress, CA
130 - Ritchie Cordova, senior, Wasatch HS, Heber City, UT
135 - Paul Collum, senior, Romeoville HS, Romeoville, IL
140 - Mitch Morgan, senior, Wasatch HS, Heber City, UT
145 - Mike Pirozzola, senior, Neshaminy HS, Langhorne, PA*
152 - Matt Nagel, junior, Frazee HS, Frazee, MN*
160 - Nate Baker, senior, Jackson County Central HS, Jackson, MN*
171 - Jake Rosholt, junior, Sandpoint HS, Sandpoint, ID
189 - Travis Pascoe, senior, Gonzaga Prep HS, Spokane, WA
215 - Mike Faust, senior, Gilman School, Baltimore, MD
HWT - Ben Connell, senior, Lugoff-Elgin HS, Lugoff, SC
103 - Matt Smith, sophomore, Timberlane HS, Plaistow, NH
112 - Darrell Vasquez, sophomore, Bakersfield HS, Bakersfield, CA
119 - Harry Lester, junior, Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy, Cuyahoga Falls, OH*
125 - Mark Jayne, senior, St. Edward HS, Lakewood, OH
130 - Mark Manchio, junior, Sterling HS, Somerdale, NJ
135 - Dustin Spaulding, senior, Emporia HS, Emporia, KS
140 - Matt McCarty, senior, Clarksville HS, Clarksville, TN
145 - Israel Martinez, junior, West Aurora HS, Aurora, IL*
152 - Matt Grice, senior, Harrah HS, Harrah, OK*
160 Greg Jones, senior, Greensburg-Salem HS, Greensburg, PA
171 - Chris Skretkowicz, junior, Wallkill Valley HS, Hamburg, NJ
189 - Trey Clark, senior, LaPorte City Union HS, LaPorte City, IA
215 - Mike Little, senior, El Reno HS, El Reno, OK
HWT - Joe Hennis, junior, Astronaut HS, Titusville, FL
* - Member of 1999 Asics Tiger High School All-American Team
Honorable Mention (listed in alphabetical order)
103: Jermaine Jones, sophomore, Henderson HS, West Chester, PA; Jesreal Keith, senior, Virginia Area HS, Virginia, MN; Max Meltzer, sophomore, Bullis School, Potomac, MD; Eric Stevenson, sophomore, Newberg HS, Newberg, OR; Brandon Tucker, freshman, Broken Arrow HS, Broken Arrow, OK
112: Darian Kess, junior, Archbishop Curley HS, Baltimore, MD; Ethan Kyle, sophomore, Francis Howell HS, St. Charles, MO