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InterMat names Blair Academy national champion

Josh Lowe

3/12/2014
Josh Lowe, InterMat High School Analyst
josh@intermatwrestle.com

Blair Academy won the Best of the East by over 100 points (Photo/Rob Preston)


The season for scholastic wrestling is now done. All 43 state tournaments, plus the state-level tournaments of the National Prep Championships and the New England Regional Championships, have come to conclusion. With that in mind, we at InterMat can now crown a team as the national champions.

2014 Final Fab 50 Team Rankings
1. Blair Academy (N.J.)
2. Oak Park River. Forest (Ill.)
3. Clovis (Calif.)
4. Wyoming Seminary (Pa.)
5. Apple Valley (Minn.)
6. St. Paris Graham (Ohio)
7. Massillon Perry (Ohio)
8. Franklin Regional (Pa.)
9. Bergen Catholic (N.J.)
10. Archer (Ga.)
11. Stillwater (Okla.)
12. Broken Arrow (Okla.)
13. Bethlehem Catholic (Pa.)
14. Edmond North (Okla.)
15. Brandon (Fla.)
16. Lowell (Mich.)
17. Detroit Catholic Central (Mich.)
18. Montini Catholic (Ill.)
19. Marist (Ill.)
20. Bound Brook (N.J.)
21. Bettendorf (Iowa)
22. Southeast Polk (Iowa)
23. Don Bosco Prep (N.J.)
24. St. Peter's Prep (N.J.)
25. Nazareth (Pa.)
26. Brecksville (Ohio)
27. Marmion Academy (Ill.)
28. Claymont (Ohio)
29. St. Johns (Mich.)
30. Davison (Mich.)
31. Tuttle (Okla.)
32. Poway (Calif.)
33. Clovis West (Calif.)
34. Waverly-Shell Rock (Iowa)
35. Kaukauna (Wis.)
36. Greater Latrobe (Pa.)
37. Crook County (Ore.)
38. Kuna (Idaho)
39. Buchanan (Calif.)
40. Pleasant Grove (Utah)
41. Parkland (Pa.)
42. Centennial (Idaho)
43. Mesa Mountain View (Ariz.)
44. Vacaville (Calif.)
45. Robinson (Va.)
46. Delta (Ohio)
47. Collinsville (Okla.)
48. McDonogh (Md.)
49. Cumberland Valley (Pa.)
50. St. Edward (Ohio)
For the third consecutive season, that team will be Blair Academy (N.J.), and it will be a "wire-to-wire" triumph for the Buccaneers. Though it was not a "clean" season, with the runner-up National Prep finish discussed in a commentary, it was one that reflected dominance and a superior talent level.

Blair Academy dominated their way to a title in the nation's best tournament, the Walsh Jesuit Ironman, an event that featured six of the nation's top eight teams. They had a tournament-high eight wrestlers earn a placement finish (all within the top six), and won the title by 36.5 points, along with out-pointing the nation's number two team by 53 points.

The very next week, the Buccaneers dominated the nation's second-beat tournament. They won the title at the Beast of the East by more than 100 points, over a field that featured five of the nation's top 13 teams. Twelve wrestlers placed for Blair Academy in the tournament.

In five of the next six weeks, Blair Academy went 7-0 in dual meets against members of the top 25, including four dual meet victories over top ten teams. During that other week, they won by 80 points at the Escape the Rock Tournament, which featured three other nationally ranked squads.

From an individual talent standpoint, Blair Academy had six nationally ranked wrestlers. Joey McKenna is ranked No. 1 nationally at 138 pounds, Dylan Milonas is second nationally at 160, Matthew Kolodzik (126) and Mason Manville (152) are ranked inside the top ten, while Chaz Tucker (120) and Brandon Dallavia (170) round out the nationally ranked wrestler contingent for the Buccaneers.

Rounding out the top five teams nationally are the following teams, along with some brief highlights of each team's season:

No. 2 Oak Park River Forest (Ill.): Finished third at the Walsh Jesuit Ironman placing seven wrestlers, went 8-1 in dual meets against teams ranked inside the top 30 nationally, and placed ten wrestlers (including four champions) in the Illinois Class AAA tournament. The Huskies also have five wrestlers within the weight class rankings: No. 9 Jason Renteria (106), No. 12 Isaiah White (138), No. 17 Kamal Bey (160), No. 11 Davonte Mahomes (170), and No. 19 Andre Lee (195).

No. 3 Clovis (Calif.) Had a "clean" season, in which they won all tournaments and were undefeated in dual meets. The Cougars dominated their way to the title at the Doc Buchanan Invitational, outlasted fellow top ten member Massillon Perry (Ohio) at the Alliance Top Gun, and dominated a pair of nationally ranked teams in dual meets. Clovis won the state title by more than 80 points over a field that included four other nationally ranked teams, and placed eight wrestlers with two champions (though it was below the forecasted ten placers). Nationally ranked wrestlers include No. 1 Nick Nevills (285) and No. 4 Justin Mejia (106).

No. 4 Wyoming Seminary (Pa.): Champions at National Preps, dominated top ten teams Franklin Regional (Pa.) and Bergen Catholic (N.J.) in dual meets, and split the fourteen weight classes in a dual meet loss to Blair Academy. However, they finished third at the Beast of the East (behind Bergen Catholic) and eighth at the Walsh Ironman. Two Blue Knights wrestlers are nationally ranked: No. 10 Nick Reenan (152) and No. 15 Chris Weiler (160).

No. 5 Apple Valley (Minn.): Champions at the Minnesota Christmas Tournament and Rumble on the Red, beat three nationally ranked teams to win The Clash XII. However, the 30-27 victory over OPRF was aided by a last-match win from Dayton Racer, who was no longer on the squad by year-end. The Eagles were state champions as a team, and placed eleven wrestlers (including four champions) in the Minnesota Class AAA tournament. They have three top ten ranked wrestlers: No. 4 Mark Hall (170), No. 6 Seth Gross (138), and No. 8 Bobby Steveson (182)

Comments

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jnbroncos (1) about 6 months ago
Thank you Josh for all of your hard work throughout the season. If Wyoming Seminary can stay healthy all season next year I think you may see a new champion. They were definitely the better team at the end of this season! That being said, hat's off to Blair Academy for another phenominal season, and I hope Apple Valley can right the ship before it sinks on them.
coachc133 (1) about 6 months ago
I think rankings should be based on results. not ifs and buts. bottom line valley beat oak park. that is a fact. wyoming seminary beat blair. if you are #1 you cant finish #2 in the last tournament of the year.
PapaBearSLIM (1) about 6 months ago
It was predetermined before Blair took 2nd to Wyo Sem. There is nothing that could have happened that weekend to knock Blair off the top of this list. Teams peak for the end goal of State or Prep Nationals. Blair did not end their season being able to put the 14 best wrestlers on the mat. OPRF did.
Bucksman (1) about 6 months ago
Overall body of work my friend. Blair has the clear edge in that regard, which carried them to number one.
hcraig4 (1) about 6 months ago
It’s my understanding that schools such as blair academy are able to recruit from anywhere in the country, it seems to me that there should be a separate category for these types of schools. How is a public school that can only use the students that live in its district supposed to compete with a school that can recruit nationally?
north (1) about 6 months ago
..they can recruit globally as well.
PapaBearSLIM (1) about 6 months ago
Funny AV is dinged for not being the same team that won the Clash but Blair is given excuses for not being the same team that won the Ironman.
Bucksman (1) about 6 months ago
AV got dinged because the wrestler in question was NO LONGER ENROLLED IN THE SCHOOL. Blair's missing wrestlers were on the team but injured.
PapaBearSLIM (1) about 6 months ago
Not wrestling is not wrestling.
The season ended with OPRF having the 14 best kids any one team in the country could actually put on the mat and Blair having potentially the best lineup.

Always appreciate your work but I don't always agree with it. See ya in Akron in May.
wrestlingcoach (1) about 6 months ago
Why is there discussion about Wyoming Seminary beating Blair at Preps when discussing the best HIGH SCHOOL team in the country? The Sem team that won Preps had THREE fifth year wrestlers on it. Blair wrestled with a high school lineup. The high school team that Sem had finished 3rd, 8th, etc.
The only thing that happened at Preps is that Blair's high school team didn't beat a team with non-high school eligible kids on it.
mckbln (1) about 6 months ago
Thanks for all the work Josh. I think OPRF had a great season and I do agree a 100% healthy Blair Academy is the best team in the country. Looking forward to Illinois dominance in the Freestyle/Greco season...