#8 Nick Lee, IN (10) – State 3rd
#9 Jared Prince, FL (12) – 2X State Champ
#13 Cameron Kelly, OH (12)– State Champ
#16 Eric Hong, MD (10) - National Prep Champ
#2 @126 Mitchell McKee, MN (11) – State Champ
#6 @126 Mickey Phillippi, PA (11) – State Champ
#11 @138 Robert Lee, WI (12) – 2X State Champ
#13 @138 Brandon James, IN (12) – State Runner-Up
#16 @126 Todd Lane, PA (10) – State Runner-Up
#19 @126 Corey Shie, OH (10) – State 5th
Grant Aycox, GA (12) – State Champ
Reiley Brown, MI (11) – State Runner-Up
Cross Cannone, CT (12) – New England Runner-Up
Mike D’Angelo, NY (12) – State 3rd
Jesse Dellavechhia, NY (12) – State Runner-Up
Kellen Devlin, NY (11) – State Champ
Jon Furnas, OH (12) – 2X State Placer
Jarred Ganger, OH (12) – 2X State Champ
Noah Hanau, MI (12) – State 4th
Josh Heil, OH (11) – 2X State Placer
Triston Law, PA (12) – 2X State Placer
Marty Margolis, MD (12) – 2X State Champ
Sa'Derian Perry, FL (12) – State Runner-Up
Salvatore Profaci, NJ (12) – State 4th
Brandon Robinson, VA (12) – State Champ
Justin Ruffin, GA (9)
Jonathan Ryan, MA (12) – 3X New England Placer
Angel Velasquez, CA (12) – State 4th
This summer #2 McKee absolutely skyrocketed in the rankings thanks in large to a Junior Freestyle National title. There’s no arguing with his Freestyle accomplishments, but some pundits might question whether he’s proven himself as an elite Folkstyle wrestler. I’d disagree, but either way this is his chance to silence any doubters. He enters the tournament as the favorite, but winning a title will require McKee to string together at least 2 or 3 wins against top-notch opponents.
I count 5 others that are legitimate title contenders: #6 Phillippi, #8 N. Lee, #9 Prince, #11 R. Lee, and #13 James. It’s a highly accomplished group with minimal separation, but Phillippi’s name is the one that stands out the most. He wrestled one of his best tournaments to date at last year’s Super 32, losing only to top-ranked Luke Pletcher in a closely contested finals match. R. Lee is probably the wildcard of the bunch. He possesses a dangerous arsenal and will be one of the biggest and strongest kids on the chart as long as the cut doesn’t take too much out of him.
The 4 additional nationally ranked guys should all be squarely in the mix as well. #13 Kelly and #16 Hong are ranked at 132 while #16 Lane and #19 Shie make the move up from 126. It wouldn’t shock me to see any of these guys place, but if I had to pick one it’s definitely Kelly. He’s a senior with plenty of experience at major national tournaments, and his results tend to be pretty darn consistent.
Moving on the unranked, there’s no shortage of depth. D’Angelo, Ganger, and Margolis in particular are all guys that I could easily see cracking the national rankings before season’s end. One major sleeper to take note of is Perry. He looked phenomenal at the GFC a few weeks ago, placing 3rd with his only loss coming in a very competitive match with nationally ranked Lincoln Olson.
PICKS: 1) McKee 2) Phillippi 3) N. Lee 4) R. Lee
#3 Cameron Coy, PA (10) – State Champ
#6 Brent Moore, OH (11) – State Runner-Up
#10 Dom Demas, OH (10) – State 6th
#14 Ethan Karsten, MO (11) – State Champ
#19 Devin Bahr, WI (10) – State Champ
#20 Nate Hagan, OH (12) – State Champ
#5 @132 Sam Krivus, PA (12) – State Champ
#6 @132 Jaydin Clayton, MO (12) – 3X State Champ
#7 @126 Davion Jeffries, OK (12) – 2X State Champ
#11 @132 Nate Limmex, MI (12) – 2X State Champ
#13 @145 Jarod Verkleeren, PA (10)– State Qualifier
#15 @132 Mark McCormick, NJ (11) – State 4th
#15 @126 Craig De La Cruz, NJ (12) – 2X State Champ
#17 @132 Kyle Bierdumpfel, NJ (11) – 2X State 2nd
Hunter Bolen, VA (10)
Connor Burkert, NJ (12) – 2X State Placer
David Carr, OH (9) – KY State Champ
Will Clark, NC (12) – State Champ
Zach Elvin, PA (12) – 2X State Placer
Ervin Enriquez, NC (12) – State Champ
Jon Errico, NY (11) – State 4th
Austin Eveler, MO (12) – State Champ
Frankie Gissendanner, NY (9) – State 4th
Rudy Guillen, GA (12) – State Champ
Mario Kastl, OH (11) – State 3rd
Nick Kiussis, OH (10) – State Runner-Up
Ryan Peters, NH (11) – New England 3rd
Bo Pipher, CO (10) – State Champ
William Povalac, NJ (12) – State 5th
Connor Prince, FL (12) – State Champ
Josiah Rider, CO (9)
Richie Screptock, OH (12) – State Champ
Stevan Smith, MD (12) – State Champ
Nick Steed, OH (12) – State Runner-Up
Austin Thompson, MI (12) – State Champ
Tyler Vath, PA (12) – 3X State Placer
Will Verallis, PA (11) – National Prep Runner-Up
Jacoby Ward, OH (11) – 2X State Placer
Josh Wenger, IA (12) IA – 3X State Placer
JJ Wolfe, Dakota (12) IL – State Champ
There's no such thing as an unintriguing weight class at the Super 32 Challenge, but right now this looks like the best of the bunch. For one, it’s crazy deep with 14 nationally ranked wrestlers and no shortage of unranked studs. Even better, it’s about as wide open as it gets. As a 2X Super 32 champ #5 Krivus is the favorite by default, but the amount of guys capable of knocking him off is in the double digits. Some are a bit down on Krivus at the moment as a result of his 4th place finish at last year’s state tournament and DNP in Fargo. That’s a big mistake.He was clearly raw in Freestyle in competition, and his losses at state were to elite opponents. The kid hasn’t won back-to-back titles at Super 32 and Flonationals by accident.
In addition to Krivus, I would also put #3 Coy, #6 Moore, #6 Clayton, #7 Jeffries, #11 Limmex, and #13 Verkleeren in the top tier of title contenders. It wouldn’t surprise me if any of these guys were to bring home a belt, but I like Limmex’s odds the most. His ranking is a bit low, but that’s the product of untimely injuries, not bad results. His last loss was all the way back at this event in 2012. Limmex definitely passed the eyeball test at the GFC a couple weeks ago, and I think this is the weekend where he reminds the country just how good he is.
That leaves 7 additional nationally ranked wrestlers: #10 Demas, #14 Karsten, #19 Bahr, and #20 Hagan are all ranked at 138. Meanwhile, #15 McCormick and #17 Bierdumpfel move up from 132 while #16 De La Cruz jumps up from 126. I didn’t put Demas in the first tier, but he has crazy upside and can beat anyone on the chart. He’s still developing, especially in Folkstyle, but he showed tremendous promise on the FS/GR circuit this summer. I’m not sure he’s consistent enough to navigate through a bracket as deep as this one, but I wouldn't put it past him either.
Out of the many unranked hammers here, those with the best odds to find a spot on the podium are seniors Clark, Screptock, Steed, and Thompson. There’s also some elite young talent present. Kiussis and Bolen are among the country’s top 50 sophomores while Carr, Rider, and Gissendanner are top 15 in the freshman class.
PICKS: 1) Limmex 2) Krivus 3) Clayton 4) Moore
#5 Michael Kemerer, PA (12) – 3X State Runner-Up
#9 Max Thomsen, IA (12) – 3X State Champ
#14 Patricio Lugo, FL (12) – State Champ
#2 @138 Kyle Lawson, OH (10) – State Champ
#8 @138 Griffin Parriott, MN (11) – State Champ
#12 @138 Kent Lane, PA (12) – State Runner-Up
#16 @152 Tommy Dutton, NY (12) – 2X State Placer
Jake Adcock, GA (12) – 2X State Champ
Ben Barton, KY (11) – State 3rd
Kevin Budock, MD (11) – 2X National Prep Runner-Up
Ryan Burkert, NJ (12) – State Runner-Up
Zac Carson, OH (12) – State Runner-Up
Jacob Covaciu, IN (11) – State Runner-Up
Hudson Heidorf, KY (11) – State 3rd
Hayden Hidlay, PA (11) – State 6th
Foster Karmon, MI (11) – State Champ
Logan Lacure, OH (11) – State Champ
BC Laprade, VA (12) – State Champ
William Povalac, NJ (12) – State 5th
Kyle Shoop, PA (12) – State Runner-Up
Lane Stigall, OR (10) – State Runner-Up
Christian Villani, WA (12) – 2X State Champ
Throughout the rich history of the Super 32 Challenge few wrestlers can match the accomplishments of #5 Kemerer. As a freshman he won it all at 106, knocking off 2 wrestlers who are currently ranked #1 in the country (Luke Pletcher at 126 and Matt Kolodzik at 138). He then finished runner-up as a sophomore and junior, losing only to future NCAA All-American Joey Dance and 2X Super 32 champ Sam Krivus. Now he heads back to Greensboro as the favorite to become a 4X finalist and bring home a 2nd belt.
That being said, Kemerer isn’t the only guy at this weight who knows how to get it done at this tournament. Joining him as returning AA’s are #2 Lawson, #9 Thomsen, and #16 Dutton. Of the 3, I think Lawson poses the biggest threat to Kemerer. He’s been off the grid since the end of the high school season, but he’s one of the country’s most dynamic young talents and I’m anxious to see how he’s progressed over the past 8 months. Dutton’s an interesting case as well. He’s back down to 145 after wrestling pretty well at 152 over the summer.
Also in the national rankings at 145 is #14 Lugo. He’s a unique talent that could be a dangerous matchup for anyone on this chart. Meanwhile, #8 Parriott and #12 Lane are moving up from 138. Additionally, Carson, Hidlay, Shoop, and Adcok are all established studs with a good chance to break into the national rankings in the near future. Budock is another guy to watch out for. He struggled in Fargo this summer but has proven himself as a top-notch Folkstyle wrestler.
PICKS: 1) Kemerer 2) Lawson 3) Thomsen 4) Dutton
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