16 articles in this category2403 1 3
Mason Parris wins the Dan Hodge Trophy
NEWTON, Iowa — After injuring his neck in the 2021 World Team Trials, Michigan’s Mason Parris wrestled the entire 2021-22 college season battling through pain and loss of feeling in his left side.
Entering the 2022-23 season, the Wolverine senior — who finished second nationally in 2021 and fifth in 2022 — was finally healthy and recuperated from a long road of recovery. But Michigan head coach Sean Bormet still considered redshirting his star heavyweight.
Parris, meanwhile, felt confidently that this would be the year all his hard work would culminate in a national title.
Parris made Bormet make one promise, though: he would wrestle every single match without sitting out, even the season-opening Michigan State Open that some of the other Wolverine starters often would not attend.
Now, six months later after capturing an NCAA title in dominant fashion and compiling an unblemished 33-0 season record, Parris has officially been named the recipient of the 2023 WIN Magazine/Culture House Dan Hodge Trophy awarded to the nation’s top college wrestler.
Parris will be presented with the Hodge Trophy at the University of Michigan wrestling banquet on Sunday, April 2 in Ann Arbor. For more information on the Dan Hodge Trophy, including a list of all past winners along with the release story and stats from the year they won the Hodge, visit www.WIN-magazine.com.
The third straight heavyweight to win the Hodge — after Minnesota’s Gable Steveson won in 2021 and 2022 — Parris comfortably won the vote as he acquired 38 out of 64 first-place votes. The Hodge Trophy Voting Committee is a retired college coach from each region of the country, a representative from each of the national wrestling organizations, select national media members and past Hodge winners. Second-place Carter Starocci (Penn State, 174 pounds) received 14 first-place votes while four-time NCAA champion Yianni Diakomihalis (Cornell, 149) received six first-place votes.
Parris accumulated the highest portion of the fan votes as well, which accounted for the final five first-place votes. The four-time All-American and two-time NCAA finalist received 11,036 votes out of the total 36,225 fan votes that were cast online March 21-24. Starocci finished second in the fan vote with 6,172 while Andrew Alirez (Northern Colorado, 141) finished third with 5,617.
“This is an unreal feeling,” Parris said. “To even be nominated is such an honor. To win it is such a great way to represent my family and my school.”
Created in 1995 by Mike Chapman, the creator of WIN Magazine, and sponsored by ASICS, the Dan Hodge Trophy is awarded to the most dominant wrestler each year by WIN and Chapman’s company Culture House. It is named after Dan Hodge, the undefeated, three-time NCAA champion at 177 pounds for the University of Oklahoma, and the only wrestler to ever appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated (April 1, 1957).
“As the creator of the Dan Hodge Trophy, I am always delighted to see someone like Mason win,” Chapman said. “He is an excellent representative of the sport and the award and becomes the fifth heavyweight to win; moving alongside such greats as Kerry McCoy (Penn State, 1997), Stephen Neal (Cal State Bakersfield, 1999), Steve Mocco (Oklahoma State, 2005) and Gable Steveson (co-winner with Spencer Lee in 2021). In addition, Mason has made Michigan the 16th different school to have a Dan Hodge Trophy winner.”
Parris believes the future is bright for the heavyweight class.
“Heavyweights are a lot faster and more athletic than they used to be,” Parris said. “It is great to be on the forefront of that. It is awesome for the heavyweight division.”
Bormet was ecstatic to learn Parris had been named the first Hodge recipient in Michigan’s rich wrestling history.
“It is special,” said Bormet, who took the Michigan reins in 2018. “Mason was part of my first recruiting class at Michigan. That makes it a little more special. He has embodied the team mentality. It was great to see him be so dominant. I’ve watched Michigan as a university see a few football players win the Heisman and this is the equivalent. This is the most prestigious award in wrestling. What an accomplishment for Mason and our program.”
Criteria for the Hodge includes a wrestler’s record, dominance/bonus-point percentage, quality of competition and sportsmanship.
Parris was one of six NCAA champions who finished the season undefeated but had the most wins of all of them. He finished with the third-highest bonus-point percentage (63.6 percent) behind only Alirez (71.4 percent) and North Carolina’s Austin O’Connor (69.6 percent). Parris finished off the season with 11 pins, three technical falls and seven major-decision victories.
Other finalists for the Hodge were Princeton’s Pat Glory (125 pounds), Cornell’s Vito Arujau (133), Missouri’s Keegan O’Toole (165), Penn State’s Aaron Brooks (184), and Pitt’s Nino Bonaccorsi (197).
Impressively, Parris wrestled a total of 10 matches this season against the other seven All-Americans in the heavyweight bracket and scored two bonus-point victories in those bouts, both of which came at the NCAA Championships.
In an all-Big Ten quarterfinal, the Wolverine controlled eventual fifth-place finisher Lucas Davison (Northwestern), 10-1, before massively extending his margin of victory over Iowa’s Tony Cassioppi in the semis by scoring a 16-1 technical fall in 5:12, just one month after he beat the Hawkeye 9-7 in dual-meet competition.
Parris was also one point shy of majoring Air Force third-place finisher Wyatt Hendrickson, defeating the Falcon 12-5 during the regular season.
Parris and Bormet both wholeheartedly believe in the Wolverine program’s ability to peak in March when it matters most, and Parris’ dominance in Tulsa attests to that.
“Our coaches at Michigan do a great job of peaking us at the right time,” Parris stated. “My confidence was at its peak and my body felt great out there.”
“From a program standpoint, we want to do our best wrestling at the NCAAs in March,” Bormet added.
“If you look at the course of our season, he got tested a few times and went through some adversity, but he kept his composure. He did a great job staying focused on scoring the next point. All those little tests helped him keep building and feeding into his confidence.”
For Parris, the mentality to not just win but to dominate began with his father and continued by assimilating into the Michigan wrestling program’s philosophies.
“Dominance was engrained in me at a young age,” said Parris, the 23-year-old native of Lawrenceburg, Ind., and the son of Mark and Shay Parris. “My entire career, the goal has always been to score as many points as I can and to dominate my opponent. My dad always told me to dominate, take risks, and never stop scoring.”
Bormet echoed Parris’ unrelenting approach to the sport.
“It is a mindset we look for in recruiting but also that we coach here at Michigan. He was clearly a relentless competitor, and when he got into our program, he would overwhelm guys with his offense. We didn’t want to slow down his offense but just to make it more efficient. He also has a huge team mindset, so he always wants to score bonus for the team. He is an incredible leader.
“This is a really special honor, and it puts an exclamation point on his career as a student-athlete. He is also graduating from one of the top engineering programs in the country, so he is a special human all around.”
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Manchester University Adds Women's Wrestling
Manchester University to add women’s wrestling as varsity sport
NORTH MANCHESTER, Indiana — Manchester University will offer women's wrestling as a varsity intercollegiate sport starting in the 2024-25 academic year, making it the 50th NCAA Division III women’s team in the nation.
“The time is right to launch a women’s wrestling program at Manchester University. Interest in girls wrestling in high school is exploding and we are seeing that in Indiana,” said Director of Athletics Rick Espeset.
“We want to be at the forefront of helping grow the sport, providing the student-athlete experience to even more of our students and offering women the chance to compete at the college level,” he said. “We could not be more excited to add women’s wrestling.”
In addition to noting the DIII milestone, National Wrestling Coaches Association Executive Director Mike Moyer said this announcement represents the 154th new women’s intercollegiate wrestling program to be added across all divisions and governing bodies since 2000.
“I extend a heartfelt thanks to the Manchester University administration for recognizing the educational value and diversity that a new intercollegiate women’s wrestling program will bring to their campus. High school girls wrestling participation numbers are exploding across the nation and these new programs are critically important in providing post-secondary educational opportunities for wrestlers in the region.” Moyer said.
“Needless to say, this is a big win for our sport and Manchester University,” he added.
Josh Hardman, head coach for Manchester’s men’s program, will become director of wrestling. Manchester will hire an associate head coach for the women’s program and another for the men’s program.
“With the growth of women’s wrestling in Indiana and across the country, it is exciting to add women’s wrestling to the Manchester University Athletic Department,” Hardman said.
“To be on the cutting edge and part of the growth of this emerging sport is something to celebrate. Manchester has always been a place that fosters individual growth, and this is just another example of the innovative, bold commitment that MU continues to make toward providing opportunities that transforms the lives of their students,” he said.
A member of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, Manchester offers 10 women’s NCAA-sponsored sports teams and 10 for men. Women’s wrestling will be the 11th women’s varsity sport, with a full year to recruit.
Those who are interested in women’s wrestling may apply at https://applyto.manchester.edu/register/MUWWR.
For the media
Rick Espeset, RBEspeset@manchester.edu
Josh Hardman, JAHardman@manchester.edu.
Mike Moyer, National Wrestling Coaches Association, firstname.lastname@example.org
MU Director of Sports Information Erin Hickle, EEHickle@manchester.edu
Learn more about Spartan athletics, https://muspartans.com/index.aspx2137
Parris claims first Big 10 title in last home match
By Dave Melton
Photo: Sam Janicki
Michigan senior Mason Parris kept coming back to phrases like “job’s not done” or “the season’s not over yet.”
But the Wolverines heavyweight also couldn’t downplay what he’d accomplished on Sunday night.
“That’s definitely one of the top memories so far,” he said. “I’ve been wanting that Big Ten title for a really long time and it’s great to finally have one.”
With a 5-3 overtime win against Penn State’s Greg Kerkvliet — a championship match between the top two heavyweights in the country, let alone the conference — Parris captured the first Big Ten championship of his career while wrestling in front of the home crowd at the University of Michigan.
But as soon as he finished that brief reflection on that win, Parris’ mind moved forward.
“Obviously, the job’s not done,” he said. “Two more weeks it’s the NCAA tournament and that’s still the main goal — this is just a stepping stone.”
Parris’ record now sits at 28-0, living up to his No. 1 ranking at heavyweight by both FloWrestling and Intermat with his first-place finish at the Big Ten tournament.
His career accolades were already a mile long, including three high school state titles before graduating from Lawrenceburg in 2018, a freestyle world championship in 2019, and a runner-up finish at the NCAA tournament in 2021. But the Big Ten title had remained elusive, with Parris finishing as runner-up twice and fourth place last season.
Reaching this title included a brief step back, too, as head coach Sean Bormet explained.
“As soon as our season ended, we had to make sure that we shut him down on the mat,” Bormet said. “We had to take some time off and start to rebuild his body so he could bounce back. And he attacked it like he attacks everything.”
Parris struggled with a herniated disc through much of last season and the effects from that injury and its subsequent recovery required some patience.
“When I was lifting in the summer I could barely do any pull-ups,” Parris said. “I struggled a lot. But now I can do 25 pull-ups by myself. I finally got that confidence back in my strength. It’s amazing to be able to feel this good again.”
He needed every ounce of strength to outlast Kerkvliet in the championship match, with a late stalling call against Parris sending the match into overtime — unbeknownst to Parris.
“I had no idea about that stall call until I looked up at the clock and saw it was 3-3,” he said. “Then I just had to take a deep breath. I knew what I had to do.”
About one minute into overtime, Parris stifled a shot attempt from Kerkvliet and then barreled through his opponent for the title-winning two points.
“I felt him shoot in deep on me,” Parris said. “I got my legs back and felt a little bit of pressure let up, so that’s why I drove in on him and took him over at the end.”
As he rose to his feet in victory, Parris pointed directly at his father, Mark, in the crowd.
“He’s the one who got me into wrestling,” Parris said of his father. “It’s been a great journey for both of us. It’s great being able to do that for my hometown and for my family.”
Mark Parris, who was a two-time all-conference linebacker at Ball State, got Mason Parris into wrestling by starting a youth program in Lawrenceburg, thinking it would help his son’s athletic future — just not on the mats.
“I started the youth program because I thought he was going to play college football,” Mark Parris said. “Wrestling helped me out when I was in high school, so I thought we’d start that program because they make the best tacklers.”
During Mason Parris’ multi-sport high school career, though, his plans became solely focused on wrestling. And judging by the wide smile on Mark Parris’ face as he spoke, there was never a doubt that this path was the correct one.
“We’re just so proud of him and who he is,” he said.
But, as Mason Parris was quick to point out: that road still has more miles to be explored.
“I can be happy with tonight and celebrate it,” Mason Parris said. “But then I’ll get back to work tomorrow.”
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Allred's Big Ten Title is just the beginning
By Dave Melton
Photo: Nebraska Athletics
Nebraska redshirt sophomore Silas Allred was certainly never lacking for confidence after a high school career that included a pair of state titles at Shenandoah before graduating in 2020.
But when the coaches at Nebraska told the 197-pounder what he was capable of as a college wrestler, it sent his belief in his own abilities to new heights.
“When you have people who you really respect telling you that the sky’s the limit, you have no choice but to believe it,” he said. “I’d be foolish not to believe it. When your coaching staff tells you that you can be great and you buy into it, good things happen.”
One of those “good things” happened Sunday night at the University of Michigan, when Allred beat Penn State’s Max Dean 6-3 in the championship round, crowning Allred as a Big Ten champion.
Allred’s record now stands at 26-5 this season, heading into the NCAA Wrestling Championships set for St. Patrick Day’s weekend in Tulsa.
Allred’s road from Shenandoah to this Big Ten title for Allred included a slew of twists and turns caused by the pandemic, which limited the number of matches he wrestled during the 2020-21 season. Still, Allred immediately raised eyebrows when he arrived in Nebraska’s wrestling room that fall — especially the ones belonging to Eric Schultz, who was a Big Ten runner-up last year.
“The first time we wrestled at a practice, he threw me to my back and pinned me,” Schultz said of Allred. “I was like, ‘Who is this kid?’”
The only other person who may not have been surprised by Allred’s early displays for Nebraska was head coach Mark Manning.
“When we got him, I knew he was special,” Manning said. “He didn’t get many matches in but some of that adversity drove him to be better and better.”
Allred took a redshirt last season before hitting the mats heavy this season. While he maintained that the mental side of the sport — such as the confidence he gained from conversations with his coaches — has been paramount to success, there are plenty of wrestling lessons he’s conquered along the way to his conference title.
“It’s hard to put into words because so much of wrestling is mental preparation,” he said. “Hand fighting has been a huge factor for me, just shooting only when I win my ties and not taking poor shots. If you take poor shots against big 197-pounders, they’re going to punish you for it. Cleaning things up and only taking good, solid attacks has made a world of difference.”
Schultz couldn’t stop raving about how much Allred had improved at wrestling on top.
“It’s gotten a lot better from that first year on campus,” he said. “He’s probably one of the best riders in his weight class in the whole country.”
Combining those physical traits with a strong mindset is what led Allred to the Big Ten title and has him lined up for more success down the road, as Manning explained.
“He knew he could be where he finished (on Sunday),” Manning said. “We have to reinvent that again in two weeks, but he really enjoyed this moment because he did a super job. Seeing his development this year, starting back in November all the way until now: he’s made a jump of two or three levels. Now it’s going to take a different mindset and maturity, but he’s very mature for his age and that helps a lot.”
Allred was also looking in the direction of that upcoming NCAA tournament, hoping to have similar success on that even bigger stage. But he still took time to savor the victory he won last weekend, posing for countless photos with friends and family between an even longer string of congratulatory hugs and handshakes.
“It’s not just a memory for me but for all of them,” Allred said, pointing in the direction of the red-clad section of fans in his corner. “They’re all a part of this. They’ve all — in some way, shape or form — played a part in my development as a wrestler and to share this moment with them is just awesome.”
Then, a few breaths later, Allred looked ahead.
“Being a Big Ten champ is awesome but it’s not the goal,” he said. “At the end of the day, I want to be the best wrestler I can possibly be. Whether it’s a national champion or Olympic champion or world champion, whatever it may be, I want to be the best that I can be.”
College Rundown – NWCA National Duals Edition
By Blaze Lowery
NWCA National Duals Recap --
The NAIA #7 Marian Knights achieved a historic victory by defeating #5 Indiana Tech for the first time in program history during the NWCA National Duals, with a final score of 21-18. Despite forfeiting at the 149lbs weight class, the Knights were able to secure a win due to Aundre Beatty’s sudden victory at 141lbs over Kyle Kantola. Additionally, the absence of Gimson resulted in Mulkey securing a win over Elijah Anthony which is usually a match the Warriors can count on.
Marian Box Scores:
#7 Marian defeated #9 Campbellsville 30-9
#3 Southeastern defeated #7 Marian (IN) 21-13
#7 Marian defeated #16 Baker (Kan.) 46-5
#7 Marian defeated #14 Morningside 34-4
#7 Marian defeated #5 Indiana Tech 21-18
Indiana Tech Box Scores:
#5 Indiana Tech defeated #16 Baker (Kan.) 43-5
#4 Doane defeated #5 Indiana Tech 19-13
#5 Indiana Tech defeated #12 Reinhardt (GA) 30-12
#7 Marian defeated #5 Indiana Tech 21-18
The DII #12 ranked Indianapolis Greyhounds secured a commendable 7th place finish at the NWCA National Duals, with a noteworthy victory over the highly ranked #2 Nebraska-Kearney. The match was decided through criteria, with Logan Bailey delivering a decisive pin to secure the win for the Greyhounds. Additionally, during their dual against Central Oklahoma, #11 Derek Blubaugh was able to exact revenge from his loss at last year's National Finals against #1 Dalton Abney in sudden victory. Even with Breyden Bailey and Jack Eiteljorge getting upsets over the Lucas brothers, it was not enough to make an impact over the Bronchos. Cale Gray also seals a dual with a 24 second pin during the Indianapolis – Gannon dual with a final score of 21 – 19.
Indianapolis Box Score:
#12 Indianapolis defeated #14 Gannon 21-19
#1 Central Oklahoma defeated #12 Indianapolis 25-9
#12 Indianapolis defeated Newberry 23-15
#5 Lander defeated #12 Indianapolis 21-18
#12 Indianapolis defeated #2 Nebraska-Kearney 20-19
Upsets on Upsets
IU pushes themselves to #17 in the country with win over #16 Maryland earlier this week by tie-breaking criteria (17-16) with #33 Graham Rooks securing a nice win over #22 Ethen Miller.
The Hoosiers also get it done with a win over the new #16 Rutgers at home with a final score of 24 – 16. Indiana matched up well against the Scarlet Knights and make it hard for their front three to pick up any bonus. Surprisingly, Nick South was down at 165lbs after wresting 184 earlier this week and ended up finding 6 points with a pin early in the third period. With South, Washington, and Bullock picking up bonus, Rutgers stood no chance in the end.
With their only dual loss being Ohio State, the Hoosiers continue to knock teams out of the rankings.
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New Year College Rundown
By Blaze Lowery
Sicker Than a Hound Dog
The Greyhounds of Indianapolis look to bounce back this weekend In Louisville at the NWCA National Duals after unfortunate turn of events recently at the Midwest Classic. Heading into the 43rd Midwest Classic, Indianapolis was ranked 4th in the nation with five returning national qualifiers, where they have now dropped to #12 as a team after some illness struck the team and kept them from performing at the level they anticipated.
Both #3 Logan Bailey and #11 Derek Blubaugh fall to illness early on, keeping them from wrestling the second day of the tournament. Bailey gave up a fall to #2 Gabe Johnson of Central Oklahoma and forfeited out the rest of the tournament. Likewise, Blubaugh took a tough a loss to Western Colorado’s Porter Fox, which has now pushed him down the rankings from #2 to #11 at his weight.
Cale Gray takes a loss early to #11 Laron Parks of Notre Dame, and another to #7 Zach Ryg of Upper Iowa on the backside which knocked him out of the rankings all together.
Indianapolis had two wrestlers compete on the second day of the tournament, #8 Breyden Bailey and #8 Jack Eiteljorge. Breyden Bailey ended up taking a loss to #7 Elijah Lusk of Lander in the quarterfinals and started his second day on the backside of the bracket. Consi-semis is where Bailey fell to #5 Eric Bartos of Mercyhurst, sending him to earn fifth place over #9 Collin Metzgar of Colorado Mesa.
Eiteljorge defeated #12 Drew Weichers of Ashland, who was ranked third before this tournament, to send himself into the semifinals match against returning national champion, Shane Gantz of UW Parkside. After losing to Gantz by decision, Eiteljorge finds himself on the backside where he ends up finishing 6th at 165 for the Hounds.
Although it was not the best tournament for the Greyhounds, they look to reclaim some ground at the NWCA National Duals in Louisville this weekend with a healthier team and positive outlook.
Other Indiana-Native Place winners:
285 Champion Shawn Streck of Central Oklahoma
157 8th Placewinner Carter Noehre of Colorado Scool of Mines
Duo at the Due
After the Boilermaker’s recent dual losses to both Campbell and Drexel at the Purdue Duals, the team seems to still have some individual talent shine through at the Southern Scuffle in 2023. Placing ninth as a team, Purdue finishes with two finalists, #11 Matt Ramos and #3 Kendall Coleman.
Ramos defeated #21 Stevo Poulin of Northern Colorado in the semifinals in sudden victory. Then in another close match, Ramos defeated #14 Noah Surtin of Missouri in a 4-3 decision to crown himself as the 125lbs Southern Scuffle Champion.
Coleman, coming into the tournament with a recent win over #4 Will Lewan of Michigan, seemed to keep the train rolling. He won a close one against #11 Jarrett Jacques in a sudden victory win to push himself to the finals. Coleman then fell to #2 Jared Franek of North Dakota State in an ultimate tiebreaker match.
It is safe to say that these two wrestlers know how to keep themselves in the dog fight, but will this magic fizzle out by the end of season? The Boilermakers will be put to the test with their dual against Iowa this Sunday at 2:00PM on BTN.
Best Dual Team in the State?
Indiana is proving to be much better in a dual than they are come tournament time. Although they do not have the greatest turnouts in their recent tournements, the Hoosiers are currently undefeated in all their duals thus far. They have a tough schedule ahead, but they have already been knocking on the doors of ranked teams this year.
#17 Derek Gilcher defeated both #18 Anthony Artalona of Penn and #21 Andrew Clark of Rutgers at Midlands. There have been major shifts happening at the 157lbs weight class and this could mean good things for Gilcher when tournament time rolls around. Jacob Moran also has a decent tournament with an 8th place finish at 125lbs.
Let’s see if Indiana can keep their undefeated dual record alive as they take on the Buckeyes of Ohio State on Monday, January 9th at 6:30PM on BTN+.
Other Indiana Wrestling Events:
Indiana Tech, Marian, and Indianapolis at NWCA National Duals on Friday, January 6
Indiana at #22 Maryland on January 9 on BTN+ at 6:30PM
Trine at Olivet on January 12 at 7:00PM
Indiana Little State Recap + More
By Blaze Lowery
Indianapolis continues to dominate the Little State tournament with five champions and eight finalists. Wabash, Marian, and Indiana Tech each having two champions, respectively. Trine continues to show glimmers of success and Manchester remains in rebuild mode. Year after year, this tournament gets stronger, and it is always good to see where Indiana’s universities in the state lineup against each other.
Wabash freshman #7 James Day defeats Aidan Sprague in a close 6-5 decision by a riding point. James Day comes to the Hoosier state from New Jersey and is fitting in well with the Little Giants. Having only a single loss this season, he could be a key component to this Wabash lineup, especially come tournament time.
Indiana Tech’s, #4 Matt Gimson, earned a takedown in sudden victory to defeat #6 Blake Mulkey of Marian. It felt like everyone at the tournament had their eyes on this match with Mulkey’s early takedown earned in the first period. Gimson will see Mulkey again in their dual in January but could see him again even sooner at NWCA National Duals.
UIndy’s Ray Rioux and Brayden Lowery share the Little State title for the greyhounds after both win their sides of the bracket. Being college roommates and wrestling each other in the state finals a few years prior, they decided it would be best to conserve their energy for the infamous Midwest Classic. The two will wrestle-off for the spot in the coming week.
Lowery knocks off the one-seed, #5 Logan Wagner, who has recently been making noise in the NAIA scene, in a 6-4 decision. Rioux defeats Aundre Beatty with an uncontested 12-0 major decision. Both these hounds cannot run away from each other for too much longer with the 141-pound spot up for grabs.
#8 Nick Gates defeats Nathan Conley by 3-1 decision in the Little State finals for the second year in a row. Gates also defeats Asa Garcia in a 7-1 decision in the semis. Gates is a proven guy and is on his way to placement at the NAIA National Championships, after not placing in last year’s tournament.
UIndy’s #3 Logan Bailey obliterates the competition with three falls and takes the title by injury default in the finals over Tyson Nisley. After moving up from 149, Bailey has filled into the weight class nicely and rolls into the Midwest Classic with six falls on the season.
Owen Zablocki secures another title for the Greyhounds with a fall by spladle over Sam York of Indiana Tech. #6 Jack Eiteljorge injury defaults out of the tournament and allows Zablocki to win his last wrestling tournament ever, as he graduates at semester.
#4 Elliott Rodgers pins his way to a Little State title after he misses weight for 165lbs. Rodgers pins #11 Raymond Arebalo, who was seeded first this tournament. It is safe to say Rodgers is dangerous no matter what weight he ends up at.
#3 Sam Osho wins Marian’s first Little State title of the day with a 13-6 decision over Aidan Petersen of UIndy. Osho did not give up a single takedown this whole tournament and continues to be a great leader for the Knights.
#2 Derek Blubaugh gets his revenge with a 3-0 decision over Marian’s #7 Jack Servies. After falling to Servies at last season’s Little State tournament, Blubaugh was excited to make up for it. Blubaugh will roll into the Midwest Classic where he will more than likely see Dalton Abney of Central Oklahoma who beat him at the 2022 NCAA DII National Champions.
Wabash’s #3 Jack Heldt makes himself the third wrestler this tournament to pin his way through the tournament with a fall over Mayes-Butler of Indiana Tech, who had all falls as well going into the finals. Heldt stays undefeated on the season for the Little Giants.
D1 Significant Results:
#2 Mason Parris (Michigan) defeats #5 Lucas Davison (Northwestern) at CKLV by 6-4 decision
#18 Silas Allred (Nebraska) wins by 5-2 decision over #15 Gavin Hoffman (Ohio State) at CKLV
Graham Calhoun (Wisconsin) wins Jim Kock Open
Upcoming Events this Weekend:
Dec 10th – Wabash @ Luther College (Triple Dual)
Dec 11th – IU @ Cleveland State Open
Dec 11th – Marian & Indiana Tech @ NAIA Challenge Duals
Thanksgiving D1 Rundown
By Blaze Lowery
Is IU better than we thought?
Unranked Indiana defeats #23 Princeton, pushing the Tigers out of the rankings. Although Princeton was without #2 Pat Glory, the Hoosiers dominate them with a 22 – 13 upset. IU has continued to show improvement since last season’s dissatisfactory finish.
#19 D.J. Washington then goes on to wins Army’s, Black Knight Open at 174lbs, beating #21 Benjamin Pasiuk of Army. Keeping his undefeated record in-tact, the Portage native is proving himself week after week since shifting to a lower weight class this season. Longtime teammate, Jacob Moran was runner-up and the Rooks’ brothers both captured a third place wins for the Hoosiers. Indiana is starting their season off much stronger than they left off last season and could make some sparks as they roll into the Garden State Grapple on December 4th.
Are the Boilermaker Duals a good indication of Purdue’s success?
Coming off a surprising dual loss to Rider University on their home turf, Purdue turned their performance around and defeated Cleveland State, Northern Illinois, and Chattanooga at the Boilermaker Duals. Having a younger squad this season, the Boilermakers are struggling to make the same mark at the start of their season as they have in their previous season. At this point in their schedule, it is too early to say if the Boilermakers are a tough to beat dual team, but it is safe to say that the competition at the Boilermaker Duals tournament means little to none when competing in the Big Ten. We look for the Boilermakers to start ramping up as we get closer to the middle of the season.
With that being said, the future looks bright for Purdue wrestling as this young roster will make for some depth in the coming years and the recruiting class coming in will be one to keep an eye on. It is exciting to see guys like Macartney Parkinson, Jaden Reynolds, and Hayden Filipovich really getting their feet wet with some serious mat time. Time will tell if the Boilermakers can show us what is behind the curtains as they compete in the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational on December 2nd – 3rd.
Recent Out-of-State Wrestler D1 Results:
#3 Mason Parris (Michigan) wins by fall in both duals against UNC and Columbia.
#5 Brayton Lee (Minnesota) clinches Binghamton dual by major decision.
#6 Lucas Davison (Northwestern) with a dominant 6-0 decision in Virginia Dual.
#12 Jesse Mendez (Ohio State) pushes Joey Melendez out of the rankings with a pin.
#19 Silas Allred (Nebraska) wins Navy Classic.
DI Out-of-State Indiana Preview 2 of 2
By: Blaze Lowery
Finally getting to show the nation what he is truly made of, two-time Indiana State Champion, Silas Allred of Shenandoah is ready to scrap. Currently ranked 17th in the nation at 197lbs on FloWrestling, Allred has found his home away from home at Nebraska. Nebraska, also ranked 17th in the nation by the NCAA, is starting to become a home for Indiana-native wrestlers.
Allred’s goal is to go out and compete to the best of his ability. More effort and heart will translate into his wrestling. Letting it fly and knowing he has earned the right to compete at the Big Ten level is what motivates him day by day. “Knowing what you are doing it for is a superpower,” says Allred referring to his reason why he wrestles. A majority of wrestlers look at the wins and losses when at the end of the day it is truly about getting better. Allred highlights how wrestling has so many parallels to life. He finds greater purpose in trying to be the best version of himself he can possibly be, not only for himself, but for God.
Coming into the Nebraska room with multiple All American was an eye-opener for Allred. Figuring out his First and secondary attacks were only the beginning. Being able to hand fight for seven minutes, grinding in ties, and being intentional with his hand placement are traits he had to sharpen in order to take that next step. Allred wants his teammates to be champions on the mat and in life. Being intentional with every move he makes, Silas Allred will be on nation’s radar in the coming months.
Indiana State place-winner, Andrew Wilson of Cathedral, is finding his place at Gardner-Webb. Wilson, excited about the season, is looking to compete at 174lbs for the Bulldogs this season. Wilson, a smaller 174-pounder, believes his technique will outweigh the odds.
Gardner-Webb placed fourth in their conference last season, and are looking to capitalize with the amount of returners they have from last season. Wilson’s goal for the Bulldogs is to be a top three team in the All-Southern Conference. Being on a Christian campus, Wilson incorporates Jesus into everything he and his team do. He recently became a Young Life leader and helps lead his team in bible study before practice.
Training and focusing on getting better each day are what Wilson did to compete at the next level. Wilson continues to represent the Irish and Indiana and impress his fans every season.
Fine-tuning his skills, continuing to perfect his craft, and getting better every day, three-time Indiana State Champion, Brayton Lee of Brownsburg is ready to be a showstopper for the Gophers of Minnesota this season. Bouncing back from a season-ending injury, Lee gained a new perspective for the sport of wrestling and why he does it. Grateful for the opportunity to compete with some of the best in the nation, he cherishes what the sport has done for him and he is hungry to get back to the national tournament once more.
Lee is really focusing on different ways to improve his mind and body. Creating offense and angles in the practice room have helped him find different ways to score. He focuses on being “thoughtful and reflective,” so he does not hold anything back in competition. “If you only live for the seven minutes in a match but hate everything else, it’s not going to work,” says Lee. Finding a love for the sport of wrestling is what makes a champion.
The Gophers, ranked 12th in the nation, are bringing back nearly everyone in their lineup from last season, meaning they could make a run and contend for an NCAA title, no question. Lee intends to push that line, as he is ranked 5th in the nation by FloWrestling. With intentions to wrestle after college, this is just the beginning of the legacy that is…. Brayton Lee.
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DI Out of State Preview Part 1 of 2
By: Blaze Lowery
Jordan Slivka & Carson Brewer
Ohio University is home to a few Indiana State Champions that have been making a name for themselves as Bobcats. Two-time State Champion, Jordan Slivka of Cathedral, is coming off his best collegiate season yet. Finishing his last season with a 25-7 record at 157lbs, He found himself in Detroit for the DI NCAA Championships. Slivka is bumping up to the 165lbs weight class this season and was an honorable mention in FloWrestling’s 2022-2023 NCAA DI rankings. “It’s really cool knowing that I am still believed in and looked at even when moving up a weight class,” states Slivka.
Slivka reminisces on his time wrestling at the nationals saying he was unable to hear the whistle when he started his pigtail match. The crowd’s roars fuel him, as he is “dying to compete” for the Bobcats this season. His goal is to do what he needs to do to get his team a MAC Championship title. Individually, his is goal is to compete to the best of his ability every single match. “All to gain and nothing to lose,” Slivka is on his path to find himself back at the NCAA Championships. Being a great wrestler at the next level comes naturally, “if you’re willing to buckle down on work ethic and show yourself how good you could be,” says Slivka.
Indiana State Champion and FloNationals place-winner, Carson Brewer of Avon, is also making waves in the MAC. For the first time in his collegiate career, he is having a healthy, injury-free preseason. Starting the preseason off strong is a huge factor for success at the next level, Brewer believes it is his time to win a MAC Championship title. Wrestling at 184lbs for the Bobcats, there is no one in his conference that he has not beaten already, making this goal much more feasible.
In his transition from high school to collegiate wrestling, Brewer’s biggest adjustment was to not exert himself so quickly into the match. Slowing his wrestling down has only made him more efficient and tactical. Brewer highlights how Ohio is bringing back everyone in their previous lineup, making a MAC Team Championship title a feasible goal for the Bobcats. “Doing the right things off the mat is what will make you successful in collegiate wrestling,” says Brewer.
Slivka and Brewer have big plans for Ohio this season and will continue to put on for Indiana wrestling.
Last season, the nation got to watch Indiana State Champion, Lucas Davison of Chesterton, gain All-American status at the 2022 DI NCAA Championships. Moving up to heavyweight, although a big adjustment, put him at 6th in that nation. Davison states that “establishing pace” in his matches since moving up has led to his success in the post season. Adjusting his style of wrestling to accommodate for the heavyweight transition forced Davison to clean up his attacks.
Davison also acknowledges how remarkable it was to see what it takes to become a National Champion, referring to his teammate Ryan Deakin. “Now it’s a matter of following his footsteps,” stated Davison. Northwestern is bringing back all four of their All-American’s from last season, making Davison’s goal of being a top 3 team in the nation much more achievable.
Competing year round is an essential ingredient Davison attributes his successful career too. With freestyle being a key reason behind his recruitment, wrestling in the offseason propelled him to Big Ten recruitment. Competition is opportunity and coaches love to see guys that are willing to put it all out their year-round. Davison is ready to take advantage of every opportunity that steps on the line this season.
Military Academy Indiana Collegiate Preview
By: Blaze Lowery
Admittance into a military academy is something that every wrestler should be considering. These institutions are adding structure and grit to some of Indiana’s finest talents on and off the mat. Combining passion with real change, these athletes are up from sunup to sundown with zero complaints. To put it in simpler terms, these gentlemen are taking the road less traveled.
Out on the east coast, Christian Hunt of Yorktown is representing Indiana for his 5th season as a mule rider. West Point has been a place for Hunt to really figure it all out. He states how he enjoys the leadership opportunities and military obligations that come with attending the academy. Hunt also forfeits his summers to training and getting out into the field.
Wrestling-wise, Hunt states how he came in ready to go, paying homage to his home state being so tough. The transition from high school to college for him was working on his top and bottom. West Point is not a place for the weak, as Hunt highlights how since he got put on a 6 A.M. to 9 P.M. schedule since arriving at the academy.
Some advice he has for young Indiana athletes thinking about attending a military academy is to expose yourself to national talent as much as you possibly can. Going to large tournaments like Super 32, Fargo, etc. will only increase your chances to compete and compete hard at the next level. “Be ready to serve something bigger than yourself,” states Hunt. Wrestling can only take you so far, but why not do so and make a difference as well.
Recent commitment: Reid Schroeder of Southrdige
Where structure rules all, The Citadel is where a few Indiana finalists now reside. State Champion Hayden Watson of Center Grove talks commitment and what it takes to really be a bulldog. “They break you down to build you up,” Watson says. Upon his arrival, he has come to realize how tough it is to manage wrestling, school, and duties. He likes the idea of taking advantage of opportunity and how structure has really taken him to that next level.
Watson finds himself thriving in the wrestling environment down in Charleston. The training is consistent, and the drilling is much more explosive. His focal point in his shift in wrestling style since coming to the Citadel was having to be a bit more conservative. He advises anyone that is interested in coming to the Citadel to look forward to practicing every day like himself and follow the schedule to succeed.
Others on the roster: Brodie Porter from Eastern
As a top 15 DIII university in the country, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy is making their mark as a place for opportunity. Three-time state qualifier, Brendan Mattingly of Carmel is taking advantage of those opportunities and has already been around the world since arriving at Coast Guard. In addition to the benefits of being an officer, Mattingly gets to pursue his passion for wrestling. With the pandemic throwing a kink in his journey, Mattingly is looking to continue to embrace the grind and becoming the best wrestler he can be.
The wrestling room over at Coast Guard is always packed. The team is forced to have split practices because of how many guys are on the roster. Some would gripe and groan, but Mattingly looks at it as another opportunity to refine his craft with numerous different looks. His coaches push him to hand fight harder and be a selective shot taker. He compares collegiate wrestling with chess in how calculated one must be in every situation. A single mistake could make or break one’s chances to win the dance. Mattingly continues to put in the work, but also puts his career first.
Air Force is home to a few of Indiana state champions and place winners. Two-time state champion, Alec Viduya of Roncalli, advises anyone who is thinking about attending Air Force to never lose sight of their passion. Viduya states, “Just remember what made you come here because you can get lost in the little things.” The transition from high school to a military academy can be treacherous, but well worth the squeeze. Everyone Viduya wrestles is no off-go, which was one of the big eye-openers for him. Even in his practice room, he finds it harder to hand fight, setting up his shots, and finishing those shots with scrambling being much more common.
Grades are important when trying to get into the academy. There is no time for procrastination says state champion Drake Buchanan of Center Grove. Time management is something that is stressed more so than anything. Keeping his head down and grinding each day, Buchanan sheds light on how he had to adjust a bit now that practices are harder, and schedules are more packed. Some tweaks he has made on the mat are mostly from top and bottom with college rules being a bit different, it’s a “different ballgame.”
Three-time state place winner, Aiden Warren of Perry Meridian, also speaks on how tough the transition from high school to military academy can truly be. Fresh off shoulder surgery, Warren looks to get back into the groove and potentially crack the lineup at 184-pound weight class. “Don’t get discouraged, it’s a long process,” states Warren when referring to recruitment. He also advises that there is nothing wrong with reaching out to a coach if you’re interested in a program, even at the collegiate level. The courage to reach out to a coach is one thing but doing what needs to be done in the classroom will solidify one’s case to wrestle at the next level.
Indiana Women’s Collegiate Preview
From a year of experience to Fargo All-Americans, Indiana Tech is a place where women’s wrestling is beginning to thrive. Having a roster of 53 athletes, the Warriors are looking to be a top five team at this year’s National Duals Tournament. Head Coach Paul Rademacher has brought in an underrated freshman class and is on the hunt to have seven All-American’s this season.
Notable Freshman Recruits:
Riley Dempewolf of McCutcheon, 4x Indiana State Champion, 2x Junior Duals All-American
Makayla Young of Bellefontaine Chieftain (OH), World Team Member
Adriana Sanchez of Purdue Polytechnic, State Runner-up
Cydney Bassett of Purdue Polytechnic, State Runner-up
Andrea Hernandez of Bellmont, State Runner-up
Trinity Coyne of Bellmont, State Runner-up
Haley Thompson of Columbia City, State Runner-up
With a recruiting class this stacked, it puts some pressure on the current lineup that Rademacher has been working with for the past few years. One of the biggest impacts in the room has been how large the Warrior’s roster has become. Having 53 athletes on a team with the ability to only take 12 to the NAIA Championships, makes for some great competition internally. Rademacher believes his recruiting class is “under the radar,” due to the pandemic not allowing these women to compete at the national level.
Another goal of Rademacher’s is to finish as a top eight team at the NAIA National Tournament this season, a legitimate goal with these returning starters and captains.
Tehani Soares of Shadow Ridge (NV), 4th place
Sam Snow of Los Alamitos (CA), 4th place
Elly Kuzma of Carlson (MI), 7th place
These few have been setting the example of what it takes to get to that next level that Rademacher is talking about. The Warriors have been putting in time in the offseason to really take advantage of the big strides they took last season. With a big dual win over Campbellsville, a new confidence has lit a fire in the room says Rademacher. With workout plans and some structure this offseason, they will likely exceed their goals.
Rademacher is more than ecstatic that the IHSAA is recognizing women’s wrestling as an emerging sport. He believes that opportunity to wrestle in college is something that every female wrestler should take advantage of, even if it’s not in Fort Wayne.
The Warriors are getting bigger and better by the year, and it does not look like they are slowing down anytime soon.
Trine University hires on new head coach, Theresa Rankin, to tackle the 2022–2023 season for the Lightning. Rankin, being a seasoned veteran and All-American, came in this June and is already seeing growth in the room. With a small team, they will have more than enough one-on-one time to make something spark. The Lightning brought on three freshman this offseason and are excited to see what the future holds for them.
Charissa Fauber (West Lafayette, IN)
Emma Seiler (Auburn, IN)
Keira Wilson (Elkhart, IN)
Fauber, coming off a shoulder injury, is a firecracker on the mat says Rankin. Placing second in freestyle at the 2021 ISWA State Finals, she will a great asset for Trine in the coming years. Rankin, also excited about Seiler and Wilson, is really trying to get her newcomers to soak in everything about wrestling so they are better prepared when competition begins.
Speaking of competition, Riley Morrison (TX) qualified for nationals as a sophomore last season and is sharpening her skillset for a potential podium finish. Also coming back for their junior season is Michelle Sanchez (IL). Rankin believes Sanchez could potentially make it to nationals this year with the amount of talent she brings to the table. Lastly, Ashton Francis (NY) could also find herself at nationals if she focuses on her craft.
Although this team is young, Rankin is ready to strengthen weaknesses and take the Lightening to the next level.
Being one of, if not, the best female wrestler to ever come out of Indiana, Alara Boyd of Yorktown continues to make history and could see herself with another National Collegiate Women’s Wrestling title this season. Being a three-time National Collegiate Women’s Championships finalist, Boyd has proven time and time again that she is able to compete with the best. Staying at 143lbs this season, Boyd is “staying consistent” with her training and lifestyle to stay at the top. Boyd highlights how important the little things are when trying to compete for national titles. Simple things like eating right and going to bed at a decent hour are sacrifices she is willing to make to win.
Boyd is well known around the state of Indiana, but left to attend McKendree University, ranked #2 in the 2021-2022 NWCA’s women’s coaches’ rankings. When she joined the Bearcats, Boyd was pushed out of her comfort zone a bit. She is a firm believer that people grown when they are uncomfortable, which is why she has enjoyed her time at McKendree. A challenge she has had to face since enrolled is having to prioritize her time. Having to juggle wrestling and school, it is tough to stay on top of everything, especially when wrestling all around the world. Attributing her success to her parents, Boyd is grateful for the support she receives.
“Keep Going,” is Boyd’s ask of all young female wrestlers. She dreams of seeing women’s wrestling sanctioned in Indiana and the only way for that to happen is to keep growing the sport.
Boyd will continue to dominate and will wrestle in the NWCA All-Star Classic on November 22nd on FloWrestling. Be sure to tune in and support Boyd on her journey to greatness.
NCAA DI Preview
By Blaze Lowery
The Hoosiers of Indiana University are stocking up on more talent for the upcoming 2022-2023 season. Signing 11 recruits, this team is beginning to shape itself into a bit of a shock for the Big Ten Conference. Coming off a not-so-great ending to their previous season, the Hoosiers are in search of redemption. As they bring back many starters for this upcoming season, Head Coach Angel Escobedo and the squad will have the opportunity to prove that IU isn’t just a basketball school.
With the majority of the new recruiting class from out of state, one familiar name that rings a bell in southern Indiana is Gabe Sollars from Evansville Mater Dei. Having a great end to his high school career as a two-time state champion, Sollars could be the missing piece to the puzzle in Bloomington. Also joining the Hoosiers is two-time placer, Ben Phillips of Charlestown, who had a record of 142-22 throughout his high school career. Transfer, Clayton Fielden of Garrett, who has seen some mat time for Army, comes back to his home state to compete for the Hoosiers as well. Fielden could potentially crack the Hoosier lineup this season as he takes on Robert Major of Carmel for the 165lbs spot.
Bringing back the bulk of their starters from last season only gives this team more time to grow and compete at a higher level. Returning this season is Donnell Washington of Portage, who was the only wrestler to score for the Hoosiers at the NCAA DI National Championships. Having been ranked as high as #6 in the nation last season, he is someone that is bound to make sparks fly, especially after hearing he is dropping down to 174lbs for the Hoosiers. This spot, currently held by Nick South of Columbus East, is going to make for an interesting curveball in their lineup. Escobedo indicates that although he thinks both men could potentially be All-Americans, championship teams have guys at the same weight class more frequently than not.
The infamous brother duo, Graham and Cayden Rooks of Columbus East, have been more than entertaining throughout their wrestling careers. These guys are both high scoring wrestlers who always seem to pull off some big upsets year after year. The Rooks brothers both fell short of their goals last season, but it only gave them more motivation to grind this offseason. Escobedo has been assisting the brothers’ transition to “approach the sport differently this offseason,” which has made these men hungry and excited for what their future holds.
Happy to bring back Jacob Moran of Portage at 125lbs, the Hoosiers are going to be just fine to start out their duals this season. With multiple wins over ranked opponents, and being ranked the first half of last season, it is Moran’s time to make a statement. Like most of his teammates, this offseason has been a time for him to refine and build on his skills.
Do not sleep on Nick Willham of Greenwood at 195lbs. Although Willham does not have too many collegiate accolades to date, he is a “workhorse in the room,” says Escobedo. Willham has been making himself known around the nation with multiple overtime matches with All-American’s in his weight class. Escobedo also points out how those matches only led to more confidence for Willham to reach All-American status. “The sky is the limit,” states Escobedo.
Returning to Bloomington, as an associate head coach, Mike Dixon 01’. Dixon having a lofty coaching resume will make for an impactful addition to the Hoosier coaching staff. Another coach added is volunteer assistant coach and three-time All-American at Nebraska, C.J. Red. Red, a four-time Indiana state champion, has a vested interest in the future of the Hoosier wrestling program.
This is truly a year for IU to take the next step and possibly make some magic happen.
Purdue University continues to churn talent and develop Indiana recruits into national qualifiers. Bringing on seven newcomers, these recruits are entering a program that could finish top 15 in the country. The Boilermakers bring on a very skilled recruiting class, with an already young team as it is. Being in the room since June, these freshmen who came in as boys, are going to enter their season as men states Assistant Coach Jake Sueflohn.
First recruit up is Brody Baumann of Evansville Mater Dei, who was a two-time Indiana state champion. He is a proven winner and has shown he is ready to compete at the next level. Up next is Ike Ruble of Bellmont, who is likely hungrier after his season did not go as planned. It is likely that Ruble is still growing and could end up at a much higher weight class than intended. Coach Sueflohn also sheds light on Ruble’s “attitude and positive energy” that lifts the room up. Ruble finished his high school career at 133-10 and is likely going to crack lineup in his time as a Boilermaker.
Kade Law of Columbus East was the guy the Olympians could always count on when they needed it most. Being a 2021 IHPO Champion, Law has always been a well-rounded competitor. Brac Hooper of Zionsville is the last recruit of Indiana natives. This guy always knew how to scrap but only started to fill out by the end of his high school career. It would not be a surprise if we saw Hooper become West Lafayette’s secret weapon.
Some of the success from this previous year’s tournaments was from #10 Thomas Penola of Zionsville. Penola, a three-time NCAA national qualifier, is settling into his redshirt senior season nicely. Always willing to do whatever it takes, Penola has been “opening his offensive attacks this offseason,” says Sueflohn. Although his signature underhook is nothing to shy away from, development this offseason will push him to that All-American status at the tournament this year.
Cooper Noehre of Greenfield Central has the chance to solidify himself at 165lbs. After he wrestled in a few varsity duals in the previous season at 157lbs, he has proven himself more than capable of holding his own for the Boilermakers.
Potentially cracking lineup at 149lbs is Jaden Reynolds of Avon. Reynolds being a three-time place winner for the Orioles has proven himself as a viable option for the Boilermakers. Having a few solid wins under his belt his redshirt season, Reynolds is continuing to build on his already solid foundation. Someone else really filling out is Indiana state champion, Tristan Ruhlman of Bloomington South, who is likely to see time at heavyweight this season.
This team understand how to put its nose to the grindstone and really make it count. Excited is an understatement when talking about Purdue wrestling.
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NCAA DII Season Preview
By Blaze Lowery
Having only a single DII university in the state of Indiana, I was more than willing to reach out to a few familiar faces from the Hoosier state that have found success around the nation.
University of Indianapolis
The Greyhounds roll into this season off one the best seasons the team has ever had in program history. Bringing back six National Qualifiers, four of which were All-Americans, the University of Indianapolis is looking to compete for a trophy at the NCAA DII National Championships. Coach Jason Warthan is excited to have “a good mix of experience and youth” in the room but is even more excited to “watch the greyhounds grow and compete.”
Returning National Qualifiers:
Derek Blubaugh of Bloomington South, National Runner-Up
Logan Bailey of Cathedral, All-American (6th)
Dawson Combest of Columbus East, 3x All-American (7th)
Jack Eiteljorge of Carmel, All-American (2020)
Breyden Bailey of Cathedral, National Qualifier
Cale Gray of Norwell, National Qualifier
Losing only a single national qualifier from last year, Andrew Sams (OH), this team is stacking up nicely once again. Finishing sixth at the NCAA DII National Championships this past season, the talent in this room does not end there. Senior, Chase Wilkerson of Mt. Vernon – Fortville, and redshirt sophomore, Ray Rioux of Avon, were Super Regional placers in these past few seasons for the Greyhounds.
Other Notable Returners:
Noah Cantu (MI), returning starter at 125
Jay Thompson (OH), returning starter from 2021
Brayden Lowery of Roncalli, potential starter at 133lbs or 141lbs
Nathan Conley of Avon, potential starter at 149lbs
Jake Lone of Northwood, potential starter at 184lbs
Aidan Petersen (MI), potential starter at 184lbs
Shane Bates of Zionsville, potential starter at 174lbs
Owen Butler (MD), potential starter at 174lbs
So much talent and not enough weight classes; the Greyhounds run deeper than what meets the eye. Warthan having a next-man-up approach is something that only the best in the nation can handle, making this team ready for anything in its path. Speaking of the next man up, this incoming freshman class should be on everyone’s radar.
Aidan Sprague of East Noble, potentially starting at 125lbs
Nathan Smith of Southport, Fargo Runner-Up, Preseason Nationals Champion
Gavin Garcia of Brownsburg
Mason Cantu of Hart (MI)
Jacob Johnson of Franklin Community
Bryce Crump of Center Grove
Maleec Griffin of Pike
Zach Haughton of Mt. Vernon – Fortville
Carson Johnson of Mt. Vernon – Fortville
Tyler Jones of Warren
Porter Keevers of New Palestine
Jakobe Leavell of Pike
Tabor Lock of Edwardsburg (MI)
Noah Salary of LaPorte
Sam Strouse of Center Grove
This recruiting class is only going to keep business steady in Indianapolis. Tackling this preseason is going to be what sets the Greyhounds apart from its competition, complementing the foundation built this offseason. Being detail oriented and making ever rep count comes natural to this team, setting them up for another great year. To put it simply, Warthan is playing chess, not checkers.
Drake Kendrex of Mt. Vernon – Fortville
West Liberty’s starting 197-pounder, Drake Kendrex, enters his senior season with his eyes on the prize. Originally from Indiana, he found great success and experiences with his time in West Virginia. Going to school in another state can me be “nerve-wracking,” says Kendrex, but “getting out and traveling” has been a focal point for his growth on and off the mat.
His personal goal this year is to qualify for the national tournament. Selflessly, he says he owes a lot of his previous success to his coaches and practice partners. Danny Erwin, Head Coach at West Liberty, and previous Head assistant at Wabash College, brings in Kyle Hatch of Wabash College as a graduate assistant.
Kendrex reiterates that the end goal for the team is to be national champions, but claims that his pre-season workouts, even the ones at six in the morning, make these goals comes to life. Bonding with his team more and more has prepared him to go to war and Kendrex invites the challenge.
Carter Noehre of Greenfield Central
Colorado School of Mines’ starting 157-pounder, Carter Noehre, is set on placing at the NCAA DII National Championships. As if studying mechanical engineering wasn’t enough, Noehre continues to impress as he appears in the NWCA’s 2021-2022 preseasons rankings as 12th in the nation. Placing fifth at the Super Regional Vi Championships last season, the bitter taste of defeat burns like fuel as he makes his way into his senior season.
The Orediggers sent three to nationals last season, but Noehre sets the bar at five wrestlers for this upcoming national tournament. Although Noehre is far away from home, he has found his second family within his time in Golden.
Ready to grind for the podium finish, Noehre is bound to make sparks fly.
Christian Mejia of Elkhart Memorial
McKendree University’s starting 125-pounder, Christian Mejia, looks to bounce back onto the podium as he enters into his fifth year. After winning the 42nd Midwest Classic tournament, held in Indianapolis, Mejia fell short of his goals of being a national champion. Although last season did not go as planned, he comes back for another year with redemption on his mind. Grinding day in and day out, Mejia and the Bearcats are looking to keep their 15-win dual record rolling.
Mejia’s goal this upcoming season is to not only win the NCAA DII National Championships, but to dominate the weight class as well. Mejia has found his home away from home in Illinois. Exploring all options and keeping an open mind was how he found himself at McKendree and hopes that every Indiana high school wrestler does the same.
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NCAA DIII Season Preview
By Blaze Lowery
Trine looks to have a breakout year in its future with a couple leadership shifts that are only improving the culture for the Thunder. Coach Thomas Hall is more than ecstatic to bring on some extra hands, as Trine will bring out more than 40 wrestlers to its room this season. The Thunder are continuously bringing more and more capital to the division and is becoming a place for the love of wrestling to thrive. Adding 17 incoming freshmen, 15 of which are Indiana natives, there is no question they have a highly competitive room of guys who want to compete.
Coach Hall highlights how his team, unlike most, gained from the time away from competition during the pandemic to really focus on his team’s craft and technique. Building this team since he was 23 years old, passion for the sport is what keeps him going. Development, learning, and growing are Hall’s big three this upcoming season.
Key Returning Wrestlers:
Jett Boots of Angola, Conference Runner-Up, Regional Placer
Isaac Hawkins of Fremont, Conference Placer (4th)
Phil Burney, Conference Runner-Up
Ethan Nash of Franklin Community, Conference Placer (3rd)
These wrestlers have tough competition, as this upcoming class is massive and talented. With only one senior graduating, and no seniors on their roster now, the staff will have some time to cater toward technique and complimenting styles.
Jacob Behm of Fremont
Colin Corbin of Jeffersonville
Ben Edwards of Yorktown
Sean Gaston of Monrovia
Quentin Keesee of Franklin Central
Bradie Porter of Eastern Greentown
Shaun Pratt of Winamac
Dalton Robinson of Bellmont
Baily Rucker of Delphi
Chase Seifert of Peru
Jacob Simpson of Hobart
Jake Stall of McCutcheon
Trey Tobias of Northwood
Lakin Webb of Rensselaer Central
Carson Wools of Center Grove
Tommy Miller of Mt. Prospect (IL)
Kyle Smith of Dundee (MI)
Hall states this incoming class has, “…high goals and are holding each other accountable.” His additions at the leadership level are what will drive these goals and accountability home.
Coaching changes that Trine is making for this upcoming season: Zach Rieger of Adrian College ‘18, 3x NWCA Academic All-American, 2017 National Qualifier; Josh Stephenson of Manchester College ’22, NWCA Academic All-American, 4x Varsity Letter Winner; Luke Carver of Trine University ’21, 2x Regional Placer
Building reputation and culture seems to be the focal point of this program and the proof should be in the pudding as we enter this 2022-2023 season.
The Little Giants have reigned over Division 3 for some time now and it does not look like this dynasty is ending anytime soon. Coming off a National Runner-up finish this past season; these men are ready to get another shot at taking the title. Recruiting fare and wide, their recruiting class is only getting more and more impressive as the years go by. Falling to Wartburg by a single point at the 2022 NCAA national tournament, the taste of defeat is only fuel to the fire for what this team is going to do in the coming season.
Jack Heldt of Carmel, 2022 NCAA National Runner-Up
Chase Baczek, 2022 NCAA All American (6th)
Daniel Uribe, 2022 NCAA National Qualifier
Blake McGee, 4th at NCAA Central Regional
Ray Arebalo, 6th at NCAA Central Regional
Tyson Nisley of LaPorte, 7th at NCAA Central Regional
It takes more than hard work to crown five All Americans and three national finalists, it takes a plan. Coach Brian Anderson, going into his 19th season, is very strategic what he turns his attention too. Although Anderson is excited about what this season may bring, he and his coaching staff believe that pre-season is the time to make big strides in comparison to the competition. This upcoming recruiting class, similar to their new teammates, have some significant accolades themselves.
Incoming Indiana Freshmen:
Eli Johnson of Norwell
Sammy Saunders of Terre Haute North
Brandon Hammer of Tippecanoe Valley
Dylan Barron of North Newton
Dominic Litchfield of Bellmont
Jesse Herrera of Highland
Top National Recruits include: James Day, 3X New Jersey State Qualifier; David Gelman, 4X State Qualifier, 2X Placer; Arlie Benson, 2X Ohio State Placer; Justin Hood, Rhode Island State Champion; Aidan Lutes, 2X Illinois State Qualifier; Tim Smith, 3X Ohio State Qualifier, 2X Placer; Austin Morris, New Hampshire State Champion
Anderson states ,“The team will have a mix of veterans and a nice group of newcomers to keep the program chasing down NCAA team trophies.” An excited coaching staff and a loaded roster secures Wabash College in for yet another amazing year.
Manchester University acquires third coach in the last three seasons, officially finding the one. Hiring on Josh Hardman, Manchester University ‘00, the Spartans could find that spark they have been searching for. Hardman thrilled for what’s yet to come, is truthful is saying that it is going to “take some time” for the Spartans to really build out a solid foundation. After 5 seasons with Wabash College, Coach Hardman returns to make Manchester wrestling what it used to be. Indiana wrestlers that are willing to put in the work and are excited to be coached should be looking at Manchester as a potential spot for greatness.
Devontay Moore of North Central
Justin Brantley of Western
Ellisston Ross of Bloomington South
With a smaller roster, these Spartans could make exponential growth in a short time and possibly shock the Central Regional. Even with a new coaching hire, Manchester seemed to rake in a couple of recruits that could break lineup in its first year.
Keagan Mabie of Mishawaka
Jason Orr of Muncie Central
Small rosters mean big opportunities, meaning any spot goes to the hungriest in the room. Hardman, having vested interest with the university’s future, this team is going to compete and compete they will.
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NAIA Collegiate Season Preview
By Blaze Lowery
Indiana consistently produces quality wrestlers that elicit remarkable feats in their collegiate careers. Whether its Division I or NAIA, Indiana is becoming a beacon for successful wrestling programs, especially at the next level. So much of the time, these accomplishments are not recognized: which is why I am here to do so: Without further or due, you NAIA Collegiate 2022-2023 Season Preview.
Indiana Teach has nine incoming freshmen from Indiana’s 2022 graduating class, the most of any college in Indiana, and not even accounting for the out-of-state recruits. There are eight of 11 national qualifiers returning for another season, and of which are national champions. The Warriors are looking to secure yet another top five finish at the NAIA Championships this season, in addition to winning another WHAC title.
2022 NAIA National Champions:
Conner Gimson (133) of Jimtown – NAIA National Champion
Gimson won his second national title this past season, making him the first two-time national champion for the Warriors wrestling program. He also secured a 2nd team COSIDA Award for his academic and athletic accomplishments. There are talks of Gimson possibly coming back for his COVID year, but its looking like he will not be continuing his time on the mat.
Eric Vermillion (184) – NAIA National Champion (Returning)
Vermillion also won his second national title this past season for Tech, becoming the second wrestler in program history to have repeat championships under his belt. As if that was not enough, he also secured the 1st team COSIDA Award, the most prestigious award earned in the NAIA.
2022 NAIA National Qualifiers:
Kyle Kantola (141) – 8th Place (Returning)
Nathan Orum (125) – National Qualifier (Returning)
Matt Gimson (133) of Jimtown– National Qualifier (Returning)
Nick Gates (149) – National Qualifier (Returning)
Corey Cavanaugh (149) – National Qualifier (Returning)
Nate Wheeler (157) – National Qualifier (Returning)
Hunter Gasper (174) – National Qualifier
Vernon Willis (285) – National Qualifier
Braydon Erb (285) of Western– National Qualifier (Returning)
Although the numbers did not translate into placement for many of the Warriors at Nationals, I am certain that it will this upcoming season with such a large recruiting class. In other words, Indiana Tech is not rebuilding, it is reloading for an even better post season in 2023.
Incoming Freshmen: Braxton Vest (125) of Westfield, Michael Tharpe (125) of Center Grove, Zimani Malomboza (125) of Fort Wayne Northrop, Elijah Anthony (133) of Frankfort, Corbin Walston (149) of Lawrenceburg, Landon Buchanan (165) of Jimtown, Nathan Critchfield (285) of Evansville Mater Dei, Ian Clifford (285) of Columbia City, Ryan Lattimore (285) of Purdue Polytechnic.
Out of these nine incoming freshmen, I’m highest on Elijah Anthony. I think Indiana Tech will be a great fit for Anthony with the Gimson brothers departing in the coming year. Another guy to look forward to is Braxton Vest; with a showstopping performance at the state tournament this past season, this kid is a proven gamer.
Coach Thomas Pompei is locked in for yet another season of greatness.
The Knights took advantage of the portal this offseason. Not even mentioning the eight recruits they acquired in the 2022 recruiting class, this team is stacked to say the least. After placing 10th at the NAIA Championship last season, Marian is taking strides to gain a top five finish at this year’s tournament.
Recent Transfer List:
Alex Cottey of Perry Meridian, Chattanooga University
Cottey transfers after a season-ending leg injury that kept him from showing his true potential for the Mocs. He is a two-time Indiana state champion, and two-time runner-up for the falcons of Perry Meridian. His homecoming is a great chance for him to showcase the skills he picked up in Tennessee.
Asa Garcia of Avon, Indiana University
Garcia was in and out of the lineup for the Hoosiers, but never solidified himself as the guy down in Bloomington. With his little brother, Blaze Garcia of Brownsburg, joining the Knights this offseason, this was an awesome place for him to land coming out of the portal. Garcia was a three-time Indiana state champion and was ranked 9th in the nation his senior year.
Head Coach Steven Bradley will have his hands full with these transfers, as he already has eight returning qualifiers from last year’s tournament.
2022 NAIA Nationals Results:
Sam Osho (184) of Avon – 3rd place (Returning)
Elliot Rodgers (165) of Cathedral – 6th place (Returning)
Jack Servies (197) of Perry Meridian– 6th place (Returning)
Anthony Hughes (125) of Lawrence North– Qualifier (Returning)
Aundre Beatty (141) of Warren Central– Qualifier (Returning)
Logan Wagner (141) of Zionsville– Qualifier (Returning)
Seth Johnson (149) of North Montgomery- Qualifier (Returning)
Bailey Moore (157) of Beech Grove– Qualifier (Returning)
Honorable mention goes to Blake Mulkey of Brownsburg, Gardner-Webb transfer, who placed 4th at nationals the year prior, but suffered a season-ending injury that kept him from wrestling last season.
In addition to the national qualifiers and incoming transfers, this 2022 freshmen class is also full of hammers.
Incoming Freshmen: Landon Bertsch (133,141) of Bluffton, Braden Haines (141) of Brownsburg, Drew Willis (141) of Roncalli, Jude Barger (149) of Franklin Community, Blaze Garcia (149) of Brownsburg, Zach Wilson (149) of Roncalli, Dylan McKelvey (149) of Brownsburg, Liam Begley (285) of Crown Point.
I do not see any of these freshmen making a significant impact in the coming season, but I feel like a large majority of them have potential to start in their later years for the Knights.
Marian is one of Indiana’s newer collegiate teams in the state and its lineup has only gotten deeper. It is safe to say that the Marian Knights are not only here to stay but are here to play as they enter their 7th season as a program.
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