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|Taylor Massa and Haley Augello named 2012 ASICS High School Wrestlers of the Year|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
Every year at the ASICS Junior National Championships, the ASICS High School Wrestlers of the Year are announced. This recognizes the top high school athlete in the nation, regardless of age level.
This year’s recipients are Taylor Massa of Michigan for boys and Haley Augello of Illinois for girls.
They are featured on the ASICS All-American posters for this year, which have been unveiled during the ASICS/Vaughan Junior and Cadet Nationals. This poster will be mailed to every high school wrestling team and USA Wrestling club in the fall.
Massa was a four-time state high school champion for St. Johns High School with a 231-0 record. He was a member of the 2011 U.S. FILA Junior World Team, and won the 2011 FILA Junior Nationals. This year, he placed fourth at the 2012 FILA Junior Nationals and was third at the FILA Junior World Team Trials.
He was a two-time USA Wrestling Cadet Triple Crown winner, winning USA Wrestling titles in folkstyle, Greco-Roman and freestyle the same year in two consecutive seasons. Massa is the only person to win two Cadet Triple Crowns.
Massa was named the Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award winner on the national level by the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, based upon athletic and academic achievement and community service.
Massa will attend the University of Michigan in the fall.
Augello won a gold medal at 2011 FILA Cadet World Championships. She was the only high school athlete to qualify to compete at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in any style. Augello also placed seventh in the 2012 U.S. Senior Open.
She is a two-time Junior Nationals champion, winning titles in 2010 and 2011. After winning the 2011 Body Bar FILA Cadet Nationals, Augello won the 2012 Body Bar FILA Junior Nationals, earning a spot on the U.S. FILA Junior World Team which will compete in Thailand in September.
Augello was a junior this year, which makes her eligible for the award again next year. Only two girls have won the award twice, California’s Tatiana Padilla who was honored in 2007 and 2008 and New York’s Jenna Burkert in 2010 and 2011. No boy has ever won this award twice.
The program began in 1986, when California’s Laurence Jackson was named as the first ASICS High School Boys Wrestler of the Year. With the growth of women’s wrestling, the first ASICS Girls High School Wrestler of the Year was recognized in 2001, with Toccara Montgomery of Ohio receiving the award.
Looking back over the history of the program, the winners have gone on to achieve great things at the higher levels of wrestling.
Olympic champion Henry Cejudo of Colorado was the 2006 boys winner. Others who have made Olympic teams for the United States include boys recipients Oscar Wood of Oregon, Cary Kolat of Pennsylvania, Joe Williams of Illinois and Steve Mocco of New Jersey and girls Toccara Montgomery of Ohio and Ali Bernard of Minnesota.
World medalists who are past winners include girls Montgomery, Padilla and Adeline Gray of Colorado, plus boys Kolat and Williams.
Wrestlers who have won multiple NCAA Div. I titles included Kolat, Williams, Mocco and Damion Hahn of New Jersey. Others won an NCAA Div. I title were Alan Fried of Ohio, Jesse Jantzen of New York, Zach Esposito of New Jersey, Dustin Schlatter of Ohio and Troy Nickerson of New York. This year, two other past winners added their first NCAA titles in college, David Taylor of Ohio and Logan Stieber of Ohio.
Future winners of this award may be competing this weekend in Fargo. A large majority of past winners have either won titles here or have been multiple All-Americans on the Junior or Cadet levels.
ASICS High School Wrestler of the Year
1986 - Laurence Jackson, California
1987 - Dan Knight, Iowa
1988 - Alan Fried, Ohio
1989 - Adam Mariano, New York
1990 - Ray Brinzer, Pennsylvania
1991 - Scott Schluchter, Oklahoma
1992 - Cary Kolat, Pennsylvania
1993 - Joe Williams, Illinois
1994 - Oscar Wood, Oregon
1995 - Sean Hage, Georgia
1996 - David Kjeldgaard, Iowa
1997 - Kenny Cox, Oregon
1998 - T.J. Hill, Missouri
1999 - Damion Hahn, New Jersey
2000 - Jesse Jantzen, New York
2001 - Steven Mocco, New Jersey
2002 - Zack Esposito, New Jersey
2003 - Roger Kish, Michigan
2004 - Dustin Schlatter, Ohio
2005 - Troy Nickerson, New York
2006 – Henry Cejudo, Colorado
2007 – Cody Gardner, Virginia
2008 – Jason Chamberlain, Utah
2009 – David Taylor, Ohio
2010 – Logan Stieber, Ohio
2011 – Morgan McIntosh, California
2012 – Taylor Massa, Michigan
TheMat.com/ASICS Girls High School Wrestler of the Year
2001 - Toccara Montgomery, Ohio
2002 - Brandy Rosenbrock, Michigan
2003 - Samantha Lang, Oregon
2004 - Ali Bernard, Minnesota
2005 - Deanna Rix, Maine
2006 – Jackie Cataline. California
2007 – Tatiana Padilla, California
2008 – Tatiana Padilla, California
2009 – Adeline Gray, Colorado
2010 – Jenna Burkert, New York
2011 – Jenna Burkert, New York
2012 – Haley Augello, Illinois