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Showing content with the highest reputation since 08/28/2022 in Articles

  1. 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 Tech: 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. Marian University: 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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  2. Date November 6, 2022 Registration Registration now open Click here to register Brackets and Streaming *Coming soon Location: Mount Vernon High School 8112 N 200 W Fortville, IN 46040 Event Schedule Weigh-ins Saturday November 5th from 5:00-7:00 pm ET Weigh-ins Sunday November 6th from 7:00-8:00 am ET Wrestling Session 1 Sunday November 6th 9:00am-11:00pm ET Weights/Divisions coming after registration Wrestling Session 2 Sunday November 6th 11:00pm-2:00pm ET Weights/Divisions coming after registration Wrestling will begin promptly at 11am. Weigh-In Information Saturday November 5th from 5:00-7:00 pm EST Sunday November 6th from 7:00-8:00 am ET *Note: No weight change fee No Satellite Weigh-ins Weigh-ins will be in a singlet or NFHS approved two-piece uniform Entry Fee $40 Registration by November 3rd at 10:00pm EST or 500 paid entries, whichever comes first. No membership card is required to wrestle You must pay online by credit card ONLY! Per TrackWrestling policy there will be no refunds of paid entries. If the event is canceled due to COVID-19 we will issue refunds to everyone. Online registration ONLY will be accepted this year. Registration will be cut off at the first 500 paid entries or September 29th at 10pm EST whichever comes first. The Tournament Committee will retain the right to add up to an additional 25 wrestlers, at their discretion, via a petition process, after the entry cutoff. Information about the petition process will be posted within a day after registration closes. Once we reach the entry limit registration will be shut down. After that point the ONLY way to enter is through a petition. Tournament Gear and Apparel 3X Gear is the official gear distributor for the IndianaMat Gorilla Melee. They will be on hand with a full selection of tournament apparel and other wrestling apparel and supplies. Spectators $10 per person Age Groups and Weight Classes *Tournament committee reserves the right to combine weight classes with fewer entries Middle School(14 weights) 70, 77, 84, 91, 98, 106, 114, 122, 130, 140, 150, 160, 180, 235 Girls High School(12 weights) 9th-12th grade 100, 107, 114, 120, 126, 132, 138, 145, 152, 165, 185, 235. Girls Middle School(10 weights) 5th-8th grade 75, 85, 95, 105, 115, 125, 135, 150, 170, 200 11U(12 weights) Age as of August 31st, 2022 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, 105, 120, 160 8U(7 weights) Age as of August 31st, 2022 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, 80, 100 Awards Top 4 will receive custom awards Contact Joe Caprino joe@Indianamat.com Wrestling Information -Wrestling will take place on Sunday November 6th, 2022 -Double elimination wrestle-backs to 4th place -Period lengths 2-1-1 Championship 1-1-1 Consolation -Overtime will be 1 minute sudden victory neutral and 30 second rideout -We will seed 4-16 wrestlers so please include your state or national credentials when registering -2021/2022 NFHS rules will be utilized, except the overtime modification -Wrestling will be on full mats -Singlet or approved NFHS uniform is required -Headgear is not required, but recommended -Mouthpieces are required if you have braces
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  3. TysonNisley

    2022 IHPO Preview

    By Tyson Nisley The IndianaMat Hoosier Preseason Open is a tough, tough tournament. I watch as Indiana studs every year go 2-2 or 3-2, and go on to medal at state. I watch our studs go against some of the best wrestlers that the other Midwest states have to offer. It’s one of the best preseason tournaments in the nation, in my opinion. With so many wrestlers from so many different states, and wrestlers bumping up several weight classes, creating never before seen matchups, it’s incredibly hard to predict who will claim the top 4 spots at this tournament. Luckily, I’m incredibly good at making predictions. So, after an estimated 10-15 hours of researching much of the out of state talent competing this weekend, and comparing all of these different wrestlers to form my hypotheticals, I have a pretty good idea of the competitors that are going to be challenging for this top spot. The way I’ve formatted my predictions are similar to how FloWrestling has been doing their World Championships predictions. I am going to highlight my title contenders: the ones that I think have a shot to win. Then, I will highlight some of the other wrestlers in the field that I think have a shot to crack the top 4. Then, I will choose one sleeper pick in the weight class: someone that is not on the Stud List but could still potentially make some waves, or even potentially place (which you will see, I have a few wrestlers not on the Stud List that I think will do some MAJOR damage this weekend). Lastly, I will choose my top 4, and proceed to give an analysis on my categorizations and predictions. Before I begin, I’d like to note that all of the national rankings used here go off of the most recent National High School rankings posted by FloWrestling. Additionally, I’d like to say that in an attempt to keep these predictions as unbiased as possible, I may have out-of-state guys winning over some of our guys. I’ve had a couple of people come at me in the past upset about my predictions (mainly those who are actually wrestling, in which if you are competing next weekend and are on this website, get off of it and go train), but I am just trying to be as fair as possible. I can justify every choice that I am making here, and am willing to elaborate if you disagree. Lastly, it’s impossible for me to know the bracketing of this tournament, and I may have guys that I predict to be the #1 and #2 meeting up in the semis. It will most certainly happen, and these predictions may be a little off as a result, but that is partially why I am categorizing the top wrestlers, in order to distinguish the top echelon of wrestlers from the rest, even if the bracketing means a pair of title contenders meet in the semis. 109 Title Contenders: Colyn Limbert- Arsenal- Ohio Revin Dickman- Brownsburg- Indiana Javaan Yarbrough- Copley Highschool- Ohio Placement Contenders: Nathan Rioux- Avon Wrestling Club- Indiana Brady Baker- Michigan West Wrestling Club- Michigan Mason Rohr- Massillon Perry- Ohio Sleeper Pick: Layne Horn Top 4: Colyn Limbert- Arsenal- Ohio Javaan Yarbrough- Copley Highschool- Ohio Revin Dickman- Brownsburg- Indiana Brady Baker- Michigan West Wrestling Club- Michigan There’s a lot of good out-of-state talent looking to grab an IHPO title this weekend at 109 pounds. #18 Colyn Limbert from Ohio looks to be the favorite here, making a deep run last year at IHPO, including an OT win over Indiana stud Jackson Heaston, and having a solid Fargo showing this summer, going out at the bloodround, but having a respectable 7-2 loss against #4 and eventual champ Mack Mauger. Also from Ohio and with many respectable credentials as well is Javaan Yarbrough. A Junior Freestyle Runner-up and Greco Champ at 100 pounds this summer, Yarbrough will be one of many talented wrestlers this weekend who are giving up a little bit of weight, but nonetheless have the resume to be respected by anyone in this bracket. My last contender here is Revin Dickman, who just claimed his second All-American honors this summer at Fargo, and looks to continue his success this tournament. While Dickman is incredibly talented, I see either one of these older Ohio studs sending Dickman to the consolation side, while Limbert ultimately wins the clash between Ohio and Ohio. While I am fairly confident putting these three as my top three, the 4th place spot seems like it could go to a number of wrestlers. Nate Rioux is coming off of a runner-up finish at 94 pounds, but like many, will be giving up weight going into this tournament (given any of these wrestlers have not put on a substantial amount of size since Fargo). Brady Baker did not medal at Michigan last year, but has many quality wins, including a past win over Dickman. I will look for him to repeat this result against Dickman for 3rd, but I have Dickman winning by a slim margin. Middle School Super 32 runner-up Mason Rohr is another stud from Ohio that looks to do some damage in this bracket, but I think out of all the placement contenders, Baker has the best chance to find himself in that third place match. Lastly, my sleeper pick for this bracket is Layne Horn, a Middle School state champ who has some very impressive wins this off season, including an 8-0 major against Nate Rioux. Horn does not have the resume quite yet for me to confidently name him as a placement contender, but this could be his breakout performance. 116 Title Contenders: Jake Hockaday- Brownsburg- Indiana Gavin Jendreas- Region Wrestling Academy- Indiana Placement Contenders: Clinton Shepherd- Midwest RTC- Indiana Joseph Curry- Team Miron- Ohio Vernon Riggins- Lakeshore High School- Michigan Logan Bickel- Cascade- Indiana Charlie LaRocca- Center Grove WC- Indiana Sleeper Pick: Charlie LaRocca Top 4: Jake Hockaday- Brownsburg- Indiana Gavin Jendreas- Region Wrestling Academy- Indiana Clinton Shepherd- Midwest RTC- Indiana Joseph Curry- Team Miron- Ohio Indiana fans will be happy about the finals of this bracket. Jake Hockaday and Gavin Jendreas are looking to battle once again in the finals, and I’m not confident that anyone else in this bracket will be able to stop this rematch from happening. I think that Gavin’s time will come to overthrow Hockaday and make this rivalry more interesting, but I’m choosing Hockaday to win this rematch. Clinton Shepherd is an incoming freshman that has already beaten several notable Indiana wrestlers including tech fall freestyle victories over Evan Seng and Eason Doster, and is looking to make a big impression this weekend. I see him winning for 3rd over Joseph Curry, who is a Middle School Super 32 placer, as the last time they met, Shepherd walked away with a 5-0 victory. There are a couple other wrestlers that I would not be surprised if they found themselves in the 3rd place match, such as Vernon Riggins, a Michigan 4th placer; Logan Bickel, a ticket rounder and Junior Greco All-American; and my sleeper pick: Charlie LaRocca, who has been the victim of very unfortunate ticket round draws the past two years, but is most certainly an elite level wrestler that could spoil anyone’s bracket. I think Shepherd or Curry can edge it out against LaRocca, but he certainly has the potential to get the job done. 123 Title Contenders: Marcello Milani- SAW- Michigan Toby Billerman- Perry Meridian WC - Indiana Placement Contenders: Zach Stewart- FWA- Illinois Kade Kluce- Dundee- Michigan Tanner Tishner- Red Cobra Wrestling Academy- Indiana Anthony Isek- Black Fox Wrestling Academy- Colorado Sleeper Pick: Kaptur Nowaczyk- Crown Point- Indiana Top 4: Marcello Milani- SAW- Michigan Toby Billerman- Perry Meridian WC - Indiana Kade Kluce- Dundee- Michigan Tanner Tishner- Red Cobra Wrestling Academy- Indiana With so many state placers in this bracket (14), I had to narrow the field down as much as I could, and arrived with a pair of title contenders, and four guys I believe will be fighting for 3rd and 4th. Marcello Milani is the clear favorite, as the returning IHPO champ, and having multiple significant wins during his season, if you can call it that (he was wrestling college tournaments last season). Toby Billerman has impressive enough of a resume for me to call him a title contender, but it most certainly will be an uphill battle against this Michigan stud. For 3rd and 4th, I have Michigan state champ Kade Kluce taking out Tanner Tishner for 4th, who was also the 4th place winner last year. Tishner’s run last year was highlighted by a 6-3 win over Isaiah Schaefer and a 5-3 over the aforementioned Joseph Curry, but I don’t think it will be enough to take out Kluce, although Kluce’s experience against Indiana wrestlers is limited, with his most notable performance against an Indiana wrestler being a respectable 3-0 loss to two time state champ Ashton Jackson, so we will have to see if Kluce’s resume holds up to the best Indiana has to offer. Zach Stewart is a Middle School Super 32 runner-up, and despite being young, will look to challenge some of the older and more credentialed wrestlers in this field right away. I also think Anthony Isek is worth mentioning, as a Colorado state placer, as well as having a solid run last IHPO, losing to Evan Stanley 2-0 and Kade Kluce 3-0, but snagging an OT win over Evan Dickey. Lastly, I’ve chosen Kaptur Nowaczyk as my sleeper pick, as another talented wrestler that has yet to see the state finals but most certainly has the resume to threaten state placers, as seen by his win last year in the Crown Point sectional over eventual 4th placer Johnny Cortez. While I don’t think Nowaczyk is quite ready to beat Kluce or Tishner, I think he will make a deep run and possibly challenge either of these guys in the bloodround. 129 Title Contenders: Logan Frazier- Region Wrestling Academy- Indiana Placement Contenders: Landon Hawkins- Region Wrestling Academy- Indiana Jameson Garcia- Marmion Academy- Illinois Holden Huhn- La Salle High School- Ohio Collin Twigg- Tomahawk Wrestling Club- Ohio Marco Cartella- Western Reserve Academy- Ohio Sleeper Pick: Tye Linser- Western- Indiana Top 4: Logan Frazier- Region Wrestling Academy- Indiana Jameson Garcia- Marmion Academy- Illinois Landon Hawkins- Region Wrestling Academy- Indiana Holden Huhn- La Salle High School- Ohio In my opinion, this bracket is #17 Logan Frazier and everyone else. Last year’s 126 state champ, he will be tested by a number of potential threats that will be looking to spoil his run. First, we have Illinois state champ Jameson Garcia, who I think will meet Frazier in the finals. It’s hard for me to be super confident in Garcia’s ability to challenge Frazier, especially since his 2022 state title was won at 113, but I think it will be a solid match between the two nonetheless. Rising freshman Landon Hawkins has high expectations from everybody in Indiana, and was extremely impressive at last year’s IHPO, taking 3rd place in a run that included two wins (OT and 3-0) over Kade Kluce, and a 2-0 win over Collin Twigg, who is also a placement contender here with a solid IHPO performance of his own last year and a 6th place finish in the Ohio state tournament. Holden Huhn is another Ohio stud that will be looking to mess up brackets, as an Ohio state runner-up in a solid bracket, and I think that he will edge out Collin Twigg as Ohio’s representative in the top 4. Western Reserve’s Marco Cartella is a prep stud that had an impressive performance at last year’s National Prep Championships, in which he saw himself in the bloodround to place, and could also very easily threaten for top 4. My sleeper pick in this weight class is Tye Linser, and while I don’t expect him to make the top 4 with so many placement contenders, he has shown lots of state-level potential this off season, notably in his Frosh/Soph state run where he defeated state qualifiers Dylan Bennett and Christopher Bohn, and expect more upsets from him this weekend. 135 Title Contenders: Joey Buttler- Whiteland Warriors- Indiana Jak Keller- Rockford- Michigan Brady Ison- Brownsburg- Indiana Placement Contenders: Grayson Woodcock- Beastmode - Ohio Aaron Lucio- Michigan West Wrestling Club- Michigan Jackson Tucker- TWA- Missouri Elijah Bunn- Rockford- Michigan Sleeper Pick: Silas Foster- Legends of Gold- Indiana Top 4: Brady Ison- Brownsburg- Indiana Joey Buttler- Whiteland Warriors- Indiana Jak Keller- Rockford- Michigan Jackson Tucker- TWA- Missouri Two Indiana studs and a Michigan 3rd placer highlight the top tier in this bracket. Joey Buttler was the state runner down at 126 last year, while Ison was on the wrong side of a Friday night upset, but was the favorite for many to face off against Zeke Seltzer in the finals. Buttler has made substantial improvements over the years, and has many good wins in his pocket, such as a greco win over Kyrel Leavell and freestyle win over #20 Billy Greenwood. However, I think Ison, despite not being as involved in off season competition this year, was very impressive last season and has what it takes to beat Buttler. Jak Keller returns to IHPO after a 4th place finish last year, which included a 2-1 victory over Hayden Brady and a 7-0 victory over Toby Billerman, has a solid enough resume for me to confidently add him in the list of title contenders. Aaron Lucio is a Michigan state champion, and actually owns a 10-0 freestyle victory over Jak Keller. However, with limited results outside of Michigan, it’s hard for me to bet on Lucio over Keller, especially after Keller’s history with this tournament. There are plenty of other studs in this bracket that could potentially spoil this Michigan face-off. Jackson Tucker is a Missouri state runner-up, and placed 4th this past year at the incredibly tough Cheesehead Invitational. This placement, along with winning both freestyle and greco 16U Central Regional, is good enough for me to slide him in at 4th place. Grayson Woodcock is the highest Middle School Super 32 placer out of a number of talented incoming freshmen who are looking to make their mark at the highest level. With only a 1-2 performance at last year’s IHPO however, he is going to have to have improved significantly since last year to find himself on the podium. Elijah Bunn, a Michigan state runner-up, also returns to IHPO after a solid performance last year, taking out both Tony Wood and Matteo Vargo and losing a respectable 6-3 match to Logan Frazier. This bracket is very unpredictable in my opinion, and any one of these placement contenders could find themselves in the top 4, but I chose Tucker as my 4th place finisher. My sleeper pick is Silas Foster, who has had solid off season results this off season, but has yet to cement himself into the conversation of state placers next year. However, I think that this could be a breakout performance for him, with multiple state level wrestlers in danger of being upset. I should also note that he wrestled Woodcock at the Central Regionals this summer and lost a close 8-7 match, showing that he is right there with some of the best in this bracket. 141 Title Contenders: Phoenix Blakely- Alber Athletics- Illinois Cheaney Schoeff- Avon Wrestling Club- Indiana Cole Solomey- Midwest RTC- Indiana TJ Langley- Western Reserve High School- Ohio Placement Contenders: Wyatt Kresja- Center Grove- Indiana Renzo Morgan- Brunson- Illinois Hunter Vogus- BTWC- Ohio Diego Chavez- Perrysburg - Ohio Sleeper Pick: Branson Weaver- Owen Valley- Indiana Top 4: Cole Solomey- Midwest RTC- Indiana TJ Langley- Western Reserve High School- Ohio Cheaney Schoeff- Avon Wrestling Club- Indiana Phoenix Blakely- Alber Athletics- Illinois I know it looks like I’m hating on Illinois here (isn’t that what Indiana likes to do though) as Phoenix Blakely is the only state champion in this bracket, but I think that the other three title contenders here are talented enough to take on the champ in this bracket. While Blakely is an Illinois state champ, he has very limited off season results, which makes him hard to compare to some of the other studs in this weight. Of course, when I say this, I’m not insinuating that he hasn’t worked hard this off season; some wrestlers just don’t compete due to a variety of issues, but the first time back on the mat after a while can be tough, especially when you have a deep pool of talent in front of you. Cole Solomey and Cheaney Schoeff are both state runner-ups that I predict to break the top 4, but if it comes down to Solomey and Schoeff, I’m picking Solomey to win. They met earlier this off season at Freestyle State, where Schoeff walked away with the 8-7 victory, but I am more confident in Solomey in a folkstyle environment to walk away with the win. I also have Western Reserve’s TJ Langley making a deep run to finals here. He is another National Preps bloodrounder, but this was after a 3-2 loss to the eventual runner-up (in which he lost a close match himself to Ohio State’s Nic Bouzakis in the finals). While I have four title contenders here that I expect to be in the top 4, I also have a number of placement contenders here that could spoil the top 4 or sneak in due to rough bracketing. Wyatt Krejsa is an Indiana stud that has been improving massively these past couple years, and should be considered a threat to anyone in the bracket. Renzo Morgan is an Illinois 6th placer, but only went 2-2 last IHPO, so significant improvement will be needed to crack a spot in the top 4. Ohio 7th placers Diego Chavez and Hunter Vogus also have solid resumes to support them, and both went 3-2 at last year’s IHPO. My sleeper pick for this weight class is Branson Weaver. This kid has wrestled at everything this off season, and has picked up plenty of solid wins. I don’t expect him to place but I definitely think he can claim a couple wins that he’s not supposed to. 148 Title Contenders: Jaydon Robinson- Homewood Flossmoor High School- Illinois Dillon Graham- Fighting Irish WC- Indiana Placement Contenders: Mason Schweitzer- Kentucky Extreme- Kentucky Cameron Clark- Jay County Wrestling Club- Indiana Reese Stephen- Barnesville - Ohio Sleeper Pick: Alexander Smith- Patriots Wrestling Club- Indiana Top 4: Jaydon Robinson- Homewood Flossmoor High School- Illinois Dillon Graham- Fighting Irish WC- Indiana Mason Schweitzer- Kentucky Extreme- Kentucky Cameron Clark- Jay County Wrestling Club- Indiana Jaydon Robinson looks to be the favorite here, being an Illinois 3rd placer in the 3A division, which Illinois tells me is the toughest of the three divisions. Challenging Robinson will be Dillon Graham, who is back after suffering an injury last winter that kept him from finishing his state run (from what I remember, but I might have a piece of information wrong). I think that Robinson wins this matchup, but Graham had some solid wins this past season that make me confident in his ability to perform well, even after a significant amount of time off the mat. Challenging for the last three spots will be three state placers from different states. Mason Schweitzer placed 4th in Kentucky state this past season and had a solid off season. He had only one match this off season with an Indiana wrestler, which was a 4-2 loss to Mitchell Betz (for those who need a comparison to Indiana talent to know how good someone is), but seems solid enough for me to lock him into the 3rd place spot. Cameron Clark placed 7th last year in Indiana and is looking to continue with his success at IHPO this year, but will have to battle for the 4th place spot against Reese Stephen, an Ohio 5th placer. Overall, there are a decent number of state qualifiers and placers in this bracket, but I think these 5 wrestlers have convincing enough resumes for me to consider them in the top 4. My sleeper pick in this weight class is Alexander Smith, although if you paid attention to Fargo brackets this off season, he might not be so much of a sleeper. Smith had an incredible run at Fargo that ended him in the 6th place spot in the Greco division, and I’m sure he will be tossing people this coming weekend, looking to upset multiple state qualifiers and placers en route to a deep IHPO run. 155 Title Contenders: Mitchell Betz- Western Wrestling Club- Indiana Conner Kleinberg- Springboro- Ohio Anthony Rinehart- Region Wrestling Academy- Indiana Placement Contenders: Evan Morris- TWA- Missouri Tristin Greene- Keystone High School- Ohio Bryce Lowery- Roncalli Wrestling Foundation- Indiana Hunter May- Maurer Coughlin Wrestling Club- Indiana Sleeper Pick: Zymarion Hollyfield- Penn- Indiana Top 4: Mitchell Betz- Western Wrestling Club- Indiana Anthony Rinehart- Region Wrestling Academy- Indiana Conner Kleinberg- Springboro- Ohio Tristin Greene- Keystone High School- Ohio This was an especially hard weight class to accurately predict. With tons of Indiana talent and many out-of-state challengers, I have decided to put Mitchell Betz and Anthony Rinehart at 1st and 2nd, respectively. Betz has the last head-to-head win over Rinehart with a 2-1 victory at last year’s state finals, and was agonizingly close to securing All-American honors at Fargo this summer, getting stuck in a match he was up. Connor Kleinberg is last year’s IHPO champ, and with this in mind, it’s hard to not label him as a title contender. However, after an 8th place finish at the Ohio state championships, he will be looking to regain his stride, coming up from 138 to 152 and hopefully adjusting to the weight change well. Evan Morris is the only state champion in this bracket, coming from Missouri, and should be expected to do well, but with my current 4th placer in this bracket being a 16U Fargo Greco champ in Tristin Greene, it is going to be hard to break the top 4 here. In addition to Morris and Greene, Indiana studs Hunter May and Bryce Lowery are looking to secure a top 4 finish at IHPO. Hunter May had a solid run at Fargo this year, and is looking to make a statement after a rough performance at the state finals last year which saw him get 8th. Bryce Lowery did not compete at Fargo but has been active in the folkstyle scene this off season, having solid wins over Kenneth Bisping and Toby Abbott. My sleeper pick for this weight class is Zymarion Hollyfield, who did not qualify last year but picked up solid wins, including one over Dillon Graham. Hollyfield also has a Frosh/Soph title to his name, and people who win Frosh/Soph in Indiana historically end their careers as state placer or even state champion caliber wrestlers. 163 Title Contenders: Sam Goin- Region Wrestling Academy- Indiana Placement Contenders: Hunter Andel- James A Garfield- Ohio Aydan George- Centerville- Ohio Logan Swaw- Lockport, IL- Illinois Cohen Bunting- John Glenn High School- Ohio Harrison Konder- Downers Grove North HS- Illinois Jeb Pretchel- Jasper- Indiana Sleeper Pick: Jeb Pretchel- Jasper- Indiana Top 4: Sam Goin- Region Wrestling Academy- Indiana Logan Swaw- Lockport, IL- Illinois Aydan George- Centerville- Ohio Hunter Andel- James A Garfield- Ohio I don’t imagine that anybody besides Sam Goin wins this weight class. With a very solid Fargo run ending at the bloodround (after facing off way early on to #4 Braeden Scoles and losing only 9-5) and a state title to his name, I don’t think anybody will get close to him in this bracket. I do think that there are a number of wrestlers here who could make the top 4, however. Logan Swaw placed 6th in Illinois, but it should be noted that he lost a 5-1 bout to #4 at 152 Ethan Stiles during his run, and can compete with the best. This will be the hardest challenge for Goin. Also from Illinois is 4th placer Harrison Konder, who had a decent showing of 4-2 at last year’s IHPO, beating Zach Wilson in OT and Brody Arthur 4-1, and also had a solid run at Fargo, just missing out of the bloodround by losing 8-8 by criteria, but it should be noted that his state placement from this year was at 138, and I’m not confident enough in his results up in weight to put him in the top 4. Ohio state placers Aydan George (8th) and Hunter Andel (4th) are my picks for 3rd and 4th respectively, although the placements might infer the other way around. However, after some deep diving into Ohio state brackets, I think I can reasonably conclude that George will beat Andel in a razor thin battle. Andel’s 4th placement was at 145, so it is hard to predict how he will adjust to the weight change; meanwhile, George’s 8th place finish was up at 165, so I think the battle just barely goes in his favor. Cohen Bunting is another stud from Ohio who I think can do some damage. He is an Ohio state qualifier, but as his qualification was all the way down at 138, I worry for his ability to adjust to the new weight. But this is what is always interesting about IHPO anyways. Lastly, I think ticket rounder Jeb Prechtel is a threat to make top 4 here, and is also my sleeper pick for this weight. I say ticket rounder, but his ticket round was a slim 6-5 loss to eventual runner-up Kade Law, and could have punched his ticket with a number of better draws (also note that Prechtel got 2nd at regionals to J Conway, the eventual state champ). He has had wins over multiple Indiana studs this off season such as Andre Merritt and Aaron Steenbeke, and I think he has what it takes to place in the top 4 here. 173 Title Contenders: Delaney Ruhlman- Bloomington South WC- Indiana Placement Contenders: Devin Halliday- Delaware Hayes High School- Ohio Miguel Rojas- Brownsburg East middle school - Indiana Anthony Cashman- Warren Wrestling Academy- Indiana Logan Farnell- Battling Braves- Indiana Matt Kowalski- Springboro- Ohio Sleeper Pick: Noah Clouser- Center Grove- Indiana Top 4: Delaney Ruhlman- Bloomington South WC- Indiana Devin Halliday- Delaware Hayes High School- Ohio Anthony Cashman- Warren Wrestling Academy- Indiana Logan Farnell- Battling Braves- Indiana You aren’t a Ruhlman if you don’t go up at least two weight classes every year. We should expect Ruhlman to be a 195 or 220 next year if history tells us anything. Enough about his weight though, I think he is the clear favorite here. A two time state runner-up, he is joined in this bracket by a number of state qualifiers that will be battling for second place. Devin Halliday is an Ohio state qualifier, and had a 3-2 run last year at IHPO, which saw him beat Logan Farnell 7-2. Farnell is now a state placer and can certainly reverse this result with a year of work in between their meetings, but I think Halliday will maintain his victory if they meet again. Anthony Cashman is another state qualifier that I think can do big damage in this bracket, with a solid off season that saw him take wins over Jesse Herrera and Luke Kemper. I predict Cashman and Farnell to meet for 3rd place, where I think Cashman will just barely edge him out. Miguel Rojas is a Middle School Super 32 placer, and is looking to test his abilities against an older group of guys. As an 8th grader, I don’t expect him to place just yet, but his body of work at the middle school level is good enough for me to mention him in the placement contenders. Lastly, Matt Kowalski is another Ohio state qualifier that could potentially make a deep run. There are only 6 studs in this weight class on the stud list, so I think that every stud on that list can reasonably place. Another guy to look out for is my sleeper pick: Noah Clouser. Ranked #11 on the final IndianaMat state rankings, Clouser fell victim to a tough ticket round draw in Brody Baumann. However, Clouser has shown state level results all year, picking up wins over Isaac Valdez and Aiden Costello this past year. 185 Title Contenders: Orlando Cruz- Region Wrestling Academy- Indiana Lane Kiser- Trinity Shamrocks (Ky)- Kentucky Dominic Thebeau- Bull Trained- Illinois Placement Contenders: Max Ray- Tiffin Columbian- ohio Joshua Strayer- Warhawk Wrestling - Kentucky Sleeper Pick: Noah Weaver- Frankfort- Indiana Top 4: Orlando Cruz- Region Wrestling Academy- Indiana Dominic Thebeau- Bull Trained- Illinois Lane Kiser- Trinity Shamrocks (Ky)- Kentucky Max Ray- Tiffin Columbian- ohio I think Orlando Cruz is the slight favorite here, as he defends Indiana from a number of out-of-state studs. Dominic Thebeau is an Illinois 3rd placer, and was last year's IHPO champ with an 11-6 win over Brodie Porter. He’ll give Orlando a tough battle, but I’m confident that Cruz can successfully fend him off for first place. Another stud that could give Cruz a hard time is Kentucky state runner-up Lane Kiser. Kiser missed the placement round at IHPO last year, but stole wins over Christian Chavez and Caden Brewer. He also invaded Indiana territory during the high school season, winning the Mater Dei Holiday Classic with a 9-6 victory over Luke Hansen. I don’t have him beating Thebeau or Cruz, but is still a solid pick for 3rd. The 4th place spot, in my opinion, goes to Max Ray, an Ohio 6th placer. Max got his hands on Orlando Cruz earlier this year at the Central Regional, where he lost a respectable 7-3, and could keep it close against Cruz if they are to meet again. Joshua Strayer is another placer: a 7th place finisher from Kentucky, and despite limited off season results, should also be considered a threat to make a deep run. My sleeper pick for this weight class is Noah Weaver, who was dangerously close to winning his ticket round match to the previously mentioned Anthony Cashman, losing in double overtime. Also a previously mentioned opponent is Logan Farnell, who he was able to beat at Folkstyle State this year, so Weaver should be considered a threat to both state qualifiers and non-qualifiers alike. 198 Title Contenders: Myles Johnson- Springboro- Ohio Gunner Henry- Brownsburg- Indiana Adam Haselius- Jackson Northwest (MI)- Michigan Placement Contenders: Miles Workman- Blackman High- Tennessee Christian Chavez- Midwest RTC- Indiana Gunnar Pool- Centerville High School- Ohio Sleeper Pick: Anthony White- Crown Point- Indiana Top 4: Gunner Henry- Brownsburg- Indiana- Myles Johnson- Springboro- Ohio Adam Haselius- Jackson Northwest (MI)- Michigan Christian Chavez- Midwest RTC- Indiana A clash between two former IHPO placers, Myles Johnson and Gunnar Henry are likely to meet in the finals this year. Myles Johnson is an Ohio 3rd placer (his only loss was to #6 Camden McDaniel) and got 2nd at last year’s IHPO, losing only a 6-5 bout to Nate Critchfield. He is a very tough opponent, and is likely the favorite to win this bracket. However, Gunnar Henry has been on fire this past year, starting his freshman campaign off strong with a third place finish at the state finals, beating #12 De’Alcapon Veazy 3-2. He also claimed 3rd place at IHPO last year, losing only to former Indiana state champ Andrew Donahue. He’s also claimed several high quality wins this off season, such as Lane Kiser and Christian Chavez. Chavez is a very tough wrestler that is quickly starting to establish himself at a threat to the podium at 195. After losing at semi-state at 160, he went all the way up to 195 and nearly took out eventual 3rd placer Aataevon Jordan. Since then, he has been picking up several high quality wins, and is looking to test himself against the title contenders in this field. I don’t expect Chavez to win, but I also think that these bouts will be much closer than some may think. Adam Haselius is a Michigan state champ that has built up an impressive resume that includes All-American honors at Fargo in 2021 and a GFC title. This will be his first IHPO, but his state finals win is over a former IHPO runner-up in Kael Wisler, so he can certainly match or even win the bracket against a field of similar talent. However, with Johnson’s history at the event, along with Henry’s rapidly growing talent, I think they both get the job done over the Michigan stud. Two more wrestlers to watch out for are Gunnar Pool, an Ohio state qualifier, and Miles Workman, a Tennessee 6th placer for the spot. I should note that Workman is coming down from 220, so that could definitely be an advantage to him against the rest of the field. My sleeper pick here is Anthony White, who is trying Chavez’s strategy of going up a lot of weight, after being on the wrong side of an upset at semi-state, losing to Connor Cervantes. White has wrestled Henry this off-season, losing 11-4, which is an indicator that he may not be at Henry’s level quite yet, but is easily a threat to make a deep run. 223 Title Contenders: Brentan Simmerman- Little Miami Wrestling Club- Ohio Chance Harris- Fort Wayne Concordia Lutheran- Indiana Tommy Morrill- Columbus East- Indiana Devin Kendrex- Marauder Wrestling Club- Indiana Keegan Martin- Bellmont- Indiana Placement Contenders: Hunter Janeczko- Izzy Style Wrestling- Illinois Alex Rose- Terre Haute South- Indiana Royce Deckard- Roncalli Wrestling Foundation- Indiana Sleeper Pick: Keegan Martin- Bellmont- Indiana Top 4: Brentan Simmerman- Little Miami Wrestling Club- Ohio Devin Kendrex- Marauder Wrestling Club- Indiana Tommy Morrill- Columbus East- Indiana Keegan Martin- Bellmont- Indiana The only bracket where I have more than four title contenders, there are a lot of wrestlers here that have the potential to win it. The favorite here is Brentan Simmerman, who is an Ohio 6th placer (although I should mention he had an absolutely brutal bracket, losing to Ohio State’s Seth Shumate 12-4 and Myles Johnson 6-3). Looking to challenge for the top spot are a number of Indiana studs. The only placer of this group is Chance Harris, who claimed an 8th place finish following a 4-3 victory over Devin Kendrex. Kendrex and Harris have wrestled a number of times, with Kendrex leading the series 2-1. However, with a Fargo performance that saw him make the bloodround, I have confidence that Kendrex will win the rematch over Harris. I don’t actually have Harris placing, which maybe doesn’t seem fair, but the margin between each wrestler here is razor thin. Placing 3rd here, I have Tommy Morrill, who was upset last Friday night by Paul Clark, but is still a state placing caliber wrestler. I have my sleeper pick, making it all the way to 4th place here: Keegan Martin. Martin had a rough semi-state, but owns wins over both Harris and Kendrex in the past year. I think the placement contenders here will not necessarily place but could do so with a stellar performance, good bracket luck, or a combination of both. Hunter Janeczko is an Illinois bloodrounder (which would be top 8 in Indiana because Illinois only places top 6) and could easily contend with the other qualifiers in this bracket. Alex Rose is a state qualifier who gave Veazy a tough battle Friday night, but I worry about his ability to adjust to 220. I shouldn’t worry too much though, as he has consistently grown a number of weight classes every year. Lastly, Royce Deckard is another Indiana state qualifier, and owns a win over 7th placer Jackson Weingart, showing he has the potential to beat state placing caliber opponents. HWT Title Contenders: Aidan Fockler- Massillon Perry- Ohio Dom Burgett Hamilton Southeastern- Indiana Josh Clark- New Haven- Indiana Placement Contenders: Eathan Westfall- Reading- Michigan Peyton Kendall- Penn High School- Indiana Hunter Branhan- Frankton jr./Sr. High school- Indiana Sleeper Pick: Dom Burgett- Hamilton Southeastern- Indiana Top 4: Aidan Fockler- Massillon Perry- Ohio Dom Burgett- Hamilton Southeastern- Indiana Joshuah Clark- New Haven- Indiana Eathan Westfall- Reading- Michigan This is the only weight class that I think a sleeper pick could potentially win it all. Dom Burgett was ranked #3 in the IndianaMat state rankings, but fell victim to a first round upset at semi-state in an overtime bout to Hunter Brahnam, who also makes an appearance in this tournament and is one of my placement contenders. Since then, he has had a lot of success, getting wins over Hosia Smith and Jacob Johnson, and making the bloodround at Fargo. Unfortunately, he has a tall task at hand, with #16 Aidan Fockler being the heavy favorite to win this bracket. Fockler is an Ohio state runner-up and a Walsh Ironman placer, so he will be tough to beat. Another name in this bracket I think is very interesting is Josh Clark. While Burgett was on the tough side of an upset, Clark was on the right side of one, beating then-undefeated Brandon Villafuerte in the first round of semi-state to eventually qualify for the state tournament. He was not ranked in the state at the time. What I find more interesting is that Burgett and Clark have wrestled twice this off season, and Clark has stuck Burgett both times. One pin, you can call a fluke. But three separate pins against top 5 opponents in the state, and you are a very dangerous pinner. I think Burgett wins against Clark to earn a win in the series against them both, but Clark has proven himself to be highly dangerous. The 4th spot in my opinion goes to Eathan Westfall, a Michigan 4th placer who only lost 5-3 in the semis to the eventual champ of that weight class, and owns a tech fall over Clark at the Central Regional. This tech fall makes my prediction here a little iffy, but I think the score here will at least be closer in a folkstyle setting. Another potential placer here is Peyton Kendall, who qualified for state in 2021, but did not compete at semi-state this past year (for a reason I do not know). Interestingly enough, Kendall owns a 14-6 major decision over Clark this off season, so I really do not know what to expect out of this weight class. Heavyweight will continue to be the most unpredictable weight class in wrestling. Now that I’ve finished, I’d like to note a couple of things that I should bring up after writing this and reflecting on it: All of the sleeper picks are Indiana guys. I could have dove into every single wrestler from every state to figure out who the true best sleeper pick is, but I think these picks are more so we can be looking out for emerging talent in Indiana. I might have messed up a stat or misspelled something somewhere, and if you see anything like that, I’d appreciate it if you let me know. I am going to proofread this a couple times, but this write-up is 15 pages total, single spaced (you’re all welcome), so I am bound to miss a couple of mistakes. I know that maybe not everybody knows every single wrestler in Indiana, but I chose to leave out some of the credentials of some Indiana guys that I was naming off in order to save time and spend my time researching the out-of-state guys that most of you might have been unfamiliar with. It’d be so much work to say that, for example, Dom Burgett beat 2022 5th placer Hosia Smith and 3x state qualifier and 2022 4th placer Jacob Johnson. I tried to reference as many Indiana wrestlers that I could when trying to make comparisons, especially with the out-of-state guys, because a lot of people, including me, find it helpful to gauge a kid’s talent based on how they stack up against familiar opponents, rather than telling you they beat a state champ from Ohio, which tells you nothing, especially when talking about states with multiple divisions of varying depth and quality. So I’m not going to give you all the credentials for every Indiana wrestler, so if you don’t recognize a name, either look it up or take my word that it’s a significant enough win to highlight in the write up.
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