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Super 32 Challenge Preview

Whenever the Super 32 Challenge comes around, one knows that the high school wrestling regular season is right around corner. Over the last ten-plus years, this tournament has seen many of the nation's stars and future stars compete on its mats. Furthermore, every year one can count on this tournament producing a match/event -- or more -- that people will talk about for years to come.

Year-to-year this field is absolutely loaded. The October 2016 edition of the tournament had over 100 wrestlers that would be nationally ranked by InterMat in their respective weight classes at the end of the 2016-17 season. In addition, over 300 participants in the even won a state-level tournament title (i.e. state tournament, New England regional, or National Preps). From a past participant standpoint, approximate one-half of the qualifiers for the 2017 NCAA Division I wrestling tournament competed in the high school division of the Super 32 at least once; the same applies in terms of All-Americans.

Looking back at the Super 32 Challenge high school division from five years ago, the list of champions is illustrious. It includes three-time World/Olympic champion Kyle Snyder; two-time NCAA champions Dean Heil, Zain Retherford, and Isaiah Martinez; NCAA champion Mark Hall; along with another pair of wrestlers that would earn All-American distinction in Ryan Millhof and Joey Dance. The electric finals bouts of that year included Nick Suriano facing Spencer Lee at 106 and Heil facing Aaron Pico at 132.

Joey Silva will be looking to capture his third straight Super 32 Challenge title (Photo/Juan Garcia)

Anchors for this year's field include two-time defending champions Adam Busiello (Eastport-South Manor, N.Y.) at 120 pounds and Joey Silva (Lake Highland Prep, Fla.) at 132. The other returning champion in this year's field is Antonio Lorenzo (St. John Bosco, Calif.) at 113.

To show the depth of talent in this year's field, over 200 wrestlers won a state-level tournament title at the end of the 2016-17 high school season. The field also features approximately 100 wrestlers that are ranked in their respective grade levels by InterMat, and over 50 that ended the 2016-17 season in the national weight class rankings.

The event takes place Saturday and Sunday at the Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center in Greensboro, N.C.

Below is a weight-by-weight preview for this year's tournament, based on entries (and weight classes) as of Wednesday evening.

106: On paper, the pre-tournament favorite would appear to be two-time UWW Cadet National freestyle runner-up Jeremiah Reno (Liberty, Mo.). Last year's freshman campaign ended in a state title, and finishing as the No. 8 ranked 106-pound wrestler nationally; he is ranked No. 27 overall in the Class of 2020. Six other registered wrestlers are ranked in their respective grade levels: No. 2 Nic Bouzakis (Lake Highland Prep, Fla.) and No. 10 Gavin Brown (Legacy Christian Academy, Ohio) in Junior High; No. 8 Isaac Salas (St. John Bosco, Calif.), No. 12 Vincent Zerban (Christian Brothers College, Mo.), No. 14 Richard Figueroa (Selma, Calif.), and No. 19 Jet Strickenberger (Discovery Canyon, Calif.).

At least five other wrestlers in this weight class won state titles last season, including Cullan Schriever (Mason City, Iowa) and Sam Latona (Thompson, Ala.), who each have Cadet National freestyle titles on their resume. Also fitting the billing are Blake Jackson (Omaha Burke, Neb.) and Anthony Noto (HFL, N.Y.) Others to watch include state medalist Kurtis Phipps (Norwin, Pa.), Cadet National double finalist Andrew Chambal (Davison, Mich.), Junior National freestyle champion Will Guida (St. Paul's, Md.), and Cadet National freestyle champion Drake Ayala (Fort Dodge, Iowa).

113: Two-time state placer Lorenzo won the belt last year down a weight class at 106 pounds, and will seek to defend in this weight class, where he is joined by four other returning placers from last year's 106-pound weight class: No. 14 overall sophomore Greg Diakomihalis (Hilton, N.Y.), Junior National double finalist Brandon Kaylor (Bonney Lake, Wash.), two-time state champion Ryan Chauvin (Lake Highland Prep, Fla.), and state medalist Logan Agin (Lancaster, Ohio). Also in this weight class are five additional wrestlers that ended last season ranked nationally at 106: No. 25 overall sophomore Anthony Clark (Delbarton, N.J.), NHSCA Junior Nationals champion Dylan Ryder (Half Hollow Hills West, N.Y.), state runner-up Sammy Alvarez (St. Joseph Montvale, N.J.), No. 36 overall sophomore Zach Redding (Eastport-South Manor, N.Y.), and two-time state medalist Dante Mininno (Gateway Regional, N.J.).

Another four participants are ranked within their respective grade level: No. 4 overall Junior High wrestler Ryan Crookham (Bethlehem Catholic, Pa.); No. 40 overall sophomore Dylan Cedeno (Fair Lawn, N.J.), a NHSCA Freshman Nationals champion; No. 10 overall freshman Zeke Escalera (Wyoming Seminary, Pa.), a Cadet National freestyle champion; and No. 23 overall freshman Brock McMillen (Glendale, Pa.). Other notables include Junior Nationals double third place finisher Cody Phippen (Platte County, Mo.), state champion Kai Orine (Seckman, Mo.), Junior freestyle All-American Andrew Lucero (Pueblo East, Colo.), state champions Eric Barnett (Hortonville, Wis.) and Jacob Lindsey (Providence Catholic, Ill.), Cadet National freestyle champion Noah Surtin (Edwardsville, Ill.), and Junior double All-American Jacob Cardani (Champaign Central, Ill.).

120: Two-time defending champion Busiello, ranked No. 13 overall among juniors nationally, is among a quartet of primary contenders at this weight class. Three others are all ranked inside the top 50 overall seniors nationally: No. 35 Brody Teske (Fort Dodge, Iowa), an undefeated three-time state champ; No. 45 Patrick McKee (St. Michael-Albertville, Minn.), Junior National freestyle champion this summer; and No. 46 Tommy Hoskins (Legacy Christian Academy, Ohio), a two-time Junior freestyle All-American. Joining Busiello and McKee in placing down a weight class at last year's Super 32 are Antonio Mininno (Gateway Regional, N.J.), a state champion ranked No. 82 overall among seniors; state medalist Logan Macri (Canon-McMillan, Pa.); along with FloNationals champion and two-time state champ Ben Kamali (Detroit Catholic Central, Mich.).

Six others in this weight class are ranked within their respective grade level: No. 26 overall junior Travis Ford-Melton; No. 17 overall sophomore Dominick Serrano (Windsor, Colo.), a Cadet freestyle runner-up; No. 38 overall sophomore Vincent Mannella (Woodward Academy, Ga.); No. 49 overall sophomore Caleb Tanner (Collinsville, Okla.); No. 15 overall freshman Alek Martin (St. Paris Graham, Ohio); and No. 17 overall freshman Reid Ballantyne (Stillwater, Minn.), a high school state champion this past season. Additional wrestlers to watch include three-time Fargo freestyle All-American Aden Reeves (Albia, Iowa); two-time Junior Greco champion Jaret Lane (Southern Columbia, Pa.); state champions Cayden Rooks (Columbus East, Ind.), Kyle Gollhoffer (Woodland, Ga.), and Malyke Hines (Osceola, Fla.); two-time state placer Michael Kelly (St. Peter's Prep, N.J.); along with two-time state champion Brendon Fenton (Elyria, Ohio).

126: Even with the scratch of Patrick Glory (Delbarton, N.J.), last year's champion own a weight class, this field is absolutely loaded. Nine wrestlers ended the 2016-17 season ranked nationally in their respective weight classes: No. 4 overall junior Julian Chlebove (Northampton, Pa.), a two-time state champion; No. 4 overall sophomore Beau Bartlett (Wyoming Seminary, Pa.); No. 54 overall senior Jarrett Trombley (Lake Fenton, Mich.), a three-time state champion; returning Super 32 placer Jakob Camacho (Danbury, Ct.), No. 60 overall in the senior class; No. 8 overall sophomore Sam Hillegas (North Hills, Pa.); No. 29 overall junior Dylan D'Emilio (Genoa, Ohio), a four-time Fargo freestyle All-American; No. 34 overall junior Jordan Crace (St. Paris Graham, Ohio); No. 37 overall junior Cleveland Belton (Temescal Canyon, Calif.); and Chris Wright (Central Dauphin, Pa.), a NHSCA Junior Nationals champion.

The field in addition features four other nationally ranked sophomores: No. 7 Joshua Saunders (Christian Brothers College, Mo.), a returning Super 32 placer; No. 26 Keegan O'Toole (Arrowhead, Wis.), a two-time Cadet freestyle All-American; No. 41 Peyton Hall (Oak Glen, W.Va.), a NHSCA Freshman Nationals champion; and No. 46 Mick Burnett (Elyria, Ohio). Other notables include Junior freestyle All-American Aaron Schulist (Mukwanago, Wis.), two-time state placer Joseph Heilmann (South Plainfield, N.J.), FloNationals placer Ryan Moore (Walton Verona, Ky.), National Prep placers Mosha Schwartz (Wyoming Seminary, Pa.) and Mark Salvatore (Malvern Prep, Pa.), NHSCA Sophomore Nationals champion Gabe Hixenbaugh (Thompson, Ala.), along with Cadet Greco-Roman champ Phillip Moomey (Kearney, Ala.).

132: Silva is a two-time defending tournament champion, winning titles the last two years at 120 and 126, both times beating March 2017's "giant killer" Austin DeSanto in the final. The No. 9 overall senior is favored for a third title, though it won't be easy with five others that ended the 2016-17 season ranked nationally: No. 3 overall junior Nick Raimo (Hanover Park, N.J.), returning Super 32 placers in No. 11 overall junior Andrew Alirez (Greeley Central, Colo.) and No. 18 overall junior Ryan Andreson (Bethlehem Catholic, Pa.), No. 1 overall freshman Carson Manville (Wyoming Seminary, Pa.), and No. 6 overall sophomore Jesse Vasquez (Santiago Corona, Calif.). It should be noted that prior to this year, only seven have won three Super 32 titles, with just three coming since the tournament moved to Greensboro.

Five additional wrestlers in this weight are ranked in their respective grade level: No. 21 overall junior Connor McGonagle (Timbelane, N.H.), a returning Super 32 placer; No. 40 overall junior Colton Yapoujian (Pomona, Colo.); No. 21 overall sophomore Aidan Medora (Brookfield Academy, Wis.), a Cadet freestyle runner-up; No. 24 overall sophomore Frankie Tal-Shahar (American Heritage, Fla.), and No. 33 overall sophomore Manzona Bryant (Culver Academies Ind.). Others in the weight include FloNationals placers Jackson Henson (Penn Foster, W.Va.) and Sam Stuhl (Ellsworth, Wis.); 2015 Super 32 placer Andrew Wert (Central Dauphin, Pa.); a pair Junior National freestyle All-Americans in Alex Cruz (Orting, Wash.) and Chase Zollmann (Poway, Calif.); 2015 Super 32 runner-up Jojo Aragona (Pope John, N.J.); along with state champions Matt Fields (Brunswick, Ohio) and Justin Vines (Wantagh, N.Y.).

138: Three-time Super 32 placer Mitch Moore (St. Paris Graham, Ohio) was runner-up in this tournament last year down a weight class, and the No. 13 overall senior enters this year's event as the pre-tournament favorite. It's a rather robust weight class with six other ranked wrestlers in either the junior or senior classes. Among the juniors it's No. 12 Jaden Abas (Rancho Bernardo, Calif.); No. 16 Ryan Vulakh (Pope John II, Pa.), a returning Super 32 placer in this weight class; and No. 27 Kevon Davenport (Detroit Catholic Central, Mich.), a Cadet National double finalist this summer. While among seniors you have No. 41 Grant Aronoff (St. Thomas Aquinas, Fla.), a returning Super 32 placer in this weight class; No. 55 Quinn Kinner (Kingsway Regional, N.J.), a three-time FloNationals placer; and No. 96 Jeremy Schoenherr (Stratford, Wis.), a Junior National freestyle runner-up.

Additional notable wrestlers in this weight class include Junior freestyle All-Americans Michael Millage (New Hampton, Iowa) and Gabe Miller (Pequea Valley, Pa.); state champions Jacob Greenwood (Poudre, Colo.) and J.D. Stickley (St. Paris Graham, Ohio); state runners-up Marshall Keller (Christiansburg, Va.), Gage Grunden (Wauseon, Ohio), and Kris Rumph (Portage, Ind.); state medalist Jarred Papcsy (Bethlehem Catholic, Pa.); along with Cadet freestyle All-American Luka Wick (San Marino, Calif.), ranked No. 22 overall among freshmen.

Anthony Artalona (Photo/Jim Thrall)

145: Junior National freestyle champion Anthony Artalona (Tampa Prep, Fla.), ranked No. 20 overall in the senior class, is joined by five other top 100 seniors in this very deep weight class: No. 23 Alex Lloyd (Shakopee, Minn.), a four-time Fargo freestyle All-American; No. 51 Brock Mauller (Father Tolton Catholic, Mo.); No. 69 Jake Silverstein (Hauppauge, N.Y.), a returning Super 32 placer; No. 80 Tyler Eischens (Anoka, Minn.), a Junior National double All-American this summer; and No. 94 Kendall Coleman (Mt. Camrel, Ill.). Three others in this weight are ranked nationally in their grade level: No. 4 overall freshman Alex Facundo (Davison, Mich.), a Cadet National freestyle champion; along with a pair of Walsh Ironman placers last season as freshmen, No. 12 Kai Bele (Lake Highland Prep, Fla.) and No. 43 Alfonso Martinez (Wyoming Seminary, Pa.).

Others in this weight include FloNationals placers Kasper McIntosh (Portage, Ind.) and Quincy Monday (Carrboro, N.C.), Junior National Greco-Roman champion Mason Phillips (Stanwood, Wash.), two-time state runners-up Sandro Ramirez (Wauseon, Ohio) and Ben Pasiuk (Carrollton, Ohio), two-time state placer Tony Mendoza (Selma, Calif.), state placer Lawrence Saenz (Vacaville, Calif.), state champion Jacob Mariakis (Ridgeland, Ga.), and Cadet freestyle All-American Michael Kistler (Northampton, Pa.).

152: Wrestlers that placed second through fifth down a weight class at last year's Super 32 anchor this weight class. No. 11 overall senior Brayton Lee (Brownsburg, Ind.) lost 7-1 to eventual champion Jarod Verkleeren in the semifinal on the way to a third place finish; No. 15 overall senior Josiah Rider (Grand Junction, Colo.) was the tournament's runner-up losing 5-2 in the championship match; No. 42 overall senior Justin Ruffin (Union Grove, Ga.) placed fourth, also placing fourth in both styles at this summer's Junior Nationals in Fargo; while No. 6 overall junior Connor Brady (Olentangy Liberty, Ohio) placed fifth.

Seven additional wrestlers in this field enter the tournament ranked within their grade level. NHSCA Sophomore Nationals champion Brevin Balmeceda (South Dade, Fla.) is the No. 9 overall junior nationally, Junior freestyle All-American Joshua Kim (Santiago Corona, Calif.) is No. 79 among seniors, Matthew Grippi (Fox Lane, N.Y.) is No. 87 among seniors, FloNationals placer Cameron Amine (Detroit Catholic Central, Mich.) is No. 32 among juniors, Cadet freestyle runner-up Aaron Gandara (Cibola, Ariz.) is No. 15 among sophomores, Grayden Penner (Liberty, Mo.) is the No. 29 overall sophomore, while Cole Rees (Wyoming Seminary, Pa.) is No. 20 among freshmen.

Additional wrestlers to watch include 2016 state placer Jake Marsh (Marysville, Ohio), three-time state champion Joshua Humphreys (Parkersburg South, W.Va.), two-time state placer Joey Sanchez (St. Paris Graham, Ohio), Journeymen Classic champ Cole Corrigan (Toms River South, N.J.), state placer Brian Meyer (Phillipsburg, N.J.), along with state champions Ryan Luth (Foran, Ct.), and Peter Enos (Francis Howell, Mo.). Among those not listed, at least four others were Cadet freestyle All-Americans this summer.

160: A trio of top 100 Class of 2018 wrestlers anchor this weight class, No. 39 Phil Conigliaro (Belmont Hill, Mass.), No. 63 Ryan Thomas (St. Paris Graham, Ohio), and No. 77 Erich Byelick (Lake Highland Prep, Fla.). National Prep champion Conigliaro was a Junior freestyle All-American in 2016, two-time state champion Byelick is a returning Super 32 Challenge placer, while state champion Thomas beat Byelick in the finals of the Grappler Fall Classic earlier this month. Another trio of wrestlers are ranked within the top 50 of the Class of 2019: No. 33 Mason Reiniche (Baylor School, Tenn.), No. 44 Carson Kharchla (Olentangy Liberty, Ohio), and No. 49 Robert Kanniard (Wall Township, N.J.); Reiniche was champion at the NHSCA Sophomore Nationals, Kharchla a Junior freestyle All-American, and Kanniard a Cadet National freestyle champion.

Another trio of contenders were state champions this past season: Kenny O'Neil (Prior Lake, Minn.), Danny Braunagel (Althoff Catholic, Ill.), and Edmond Ruth (Susquehanna Township, Pa.); Braunagel and Ruth both also were FloNationals placers. Other contenders include 2016 National Prep placer Noah Chan (Kinkaid School, Texas), NHSCA Junior Nationals placer Lucas Cordio (Neshoba Regional, Mass.), No. 18 overall sophomore Dustin Plott (Tuttle, Okla.), along with state runners-up Drew Hoselton (Prairie Central, Ill.) and Diego Lemley (Chesterton, Ind.).

170: This is a very robust weight in terms of title contenders with six wrestlers that are nationally ranked for their respective grade level. Four of those wrestlers are returning Super 32 placers: Trent Hidlay (Mifflin County, Pa.), Emille Shannon (Christian Brothers College, Mo.), Chris Foca (Bergen Catholic, N.J.), and Emil Soehnlen (Massillon Perry, Ohio); No. 25 Hidlay, No. 37 Shannon, and No. 61 Soehnlen are all seniors, while Foca is No. 19 in the junior class. Three-time state placer Michael O'Malley (Hasbrouck Heights, N.J.) is ranked No. 57 overall among seniors, while No. 5 overall sophomore Patrick Kennedy (Kasson-Mantorville, Minn.) placed third at both the UWW Cadet Nationals and Cadet Nationals in freestyle.

Zach Glazier won a JJ Classic title this past weekend (Photo/Jeff Beshey, The Guillotine)

Another pair of challengers were state champions this past season, Junior National freestyle All-American Zach Braunagel (Althoff Catholic, Ill.) and Jared Lough (Colonial Forge, Va.). Additional wrestlers to watch include a quartet of state (level) tournament runners-up in FloNationals placer Grant Cuomo (Brewster, N.Y.), NHSCA Junior Nationals runner-up Robert Patrick (Ligonier Valley, Pa.), NHSCA Sophomore Nationals runner-up Jackson Turley (St. Christopher's, Va.), and champion at this past weekend's JJ Classic Zach Glazier (Albert Lea, Minn.).

182: Three top 100 overall seniors lead the proceedings at this weight class, No. 44 Anthony Montalvo (Buchanan, Calif.), No. 62 Cody Mulligan (Saegertown, Pa.), and No. 71 Jared Krattiger (Waterford, Wis.). Primary challengers include Junior National double All-Americans Victor Marcelli (Massillon Jackson, Ohio) and Christian Knop (Alexandria, Alba.), FloNationals placer Josh Stillings (Pennridge, Pa.), state medalists Nathan Tausch (Poway, Calif.) and Ashton Eyler (Claymont, Ohio), along with two-time FloNationals placer Dalton Group (Susquenita, Pa.).

Others to watch include Cadet freestyle runner-up Jake Logan (New Rochelle, N.Y.), Cadet double All-Americans Darrien Roberts (Wyoming Seminary, Pa.) and Grant Parrish (Forest Lake, Minn.), NHSCA Sophomore Nationals champion Jacob Cardenas (Bergen Catholic, N.J.), along with state medalists Julian Gorring (Fort LeBoeuf, Pa.) and David Heath (Akron SVSM, Ohio).

Gavin Hoffman after winning bronze at the Cadet World Championships (Photo/Richard Immel)

195: The clear headline wrestler in this weight class is No. 14 overall senior Gavin Hoffman (Montoursville, Pa.), last year's runner-up in this weight class and a Cadet World bronze medalist this summer. Two other top 100 seniors also are in the field, No. 89 Jared Ball (Hilliard Darby, Ohio) and No. 93 Lucas Davison (Chesterton, Ind.); Ball placed at the FloNationals this spring, while Davison was a Junior National double All-American this summer.

Others to watch in this weight class include state champions Tony Wuest (Smyrna, Del.) and Joey Miller (McQueen, Nev.), both also NHSCA Junior All-Americans in this weight class; National Prep runner-up Yarislau Slavikouski (Northfield Mt. Hermon, Mass.); state medalist Elijah Jones (Boyertown, Pa.); state champions Miles Nuessle (Liberty, Ariz.), Konner Doucet (Comanche, Okla.), Jacob Henderson (Armuchee, Ga.), and David Jones (King William, Va.); along with Cadet double All-American Wyatt Hendickson (Newton, Kansas).

220: No. 3 overall sophomore Braxton Amos (Parkersburg South, W.Va.) has sandwiched a pair of Cadet National double championships around a missed 2016-17 due to injury last September. His run to sweeping titles in Fargo this summer showed a clear return to form after said injury, and he seeks to augment those titles with another one in this weekend's Super 32 Challenge. His primary challenger will be Josiah Jones (Bishop McCort, Pa.), the No. 52 overall senior nationally, a two-time state runner-up and two-time FloNationals placer. Also in this field are state runner-up and returning Super 32 placer Peter Acciardi (Don Bosco Prep, N.J.) along with two-time state champion Ben Goldin (Lake Highland Prep, Fla.), the participants in this spring's NHSCA Junior Nationals final for this weight class; Junior freestyle All-American Antonio McCloud (Cincinnati Elder, Ohio); state runner-up Josh Heindselman (Piedmont, Okla.); National Prep placer Colin Lawler (Kinkaid School, Texas); state champions Daniel Conley (Chaminade, Mo.) and Tarik Sutkovic (Ironwood, Ariz.); along with state medalists Isaiah Perez (Pitman, Calif.) and Tyler Cook (Brookville, Pa.).

Anthony Cassioppi after winning a Fargo title in freestyle (Photo/Jim Thrall)

285: Junior National double champion Anthony Cassioppi, an Iowa commit and the No. 27 overall senior nationally, is the clear favorite in this weight class. Among the challengers are three placers from last year's tournament in this weight class: FloNationals placer Keaton Kluever (Kaukauna, Wis.), NHSCA Sophomore Nationals champion Michael Kramer (Wilson Central, Tenn.), and NHSCA Junior Nationals third place finisher Paul Robinson (Bremen, Ga.).

Others of note include Junior National double All-American Max Darrah (Whitfield, Mo.), UWW Cadet freestyle champion Jordan Earnest (Wadsworth, Ohio), NHSCA Sophomore Nationals runner-up Jordan Pryor (Dunbar, Md.), No. 45 overall sophomore Andy Garcia (Pueblo East, Colo.), along with Cadet National double All-Americans Eli Pokorney (Chesterton, Ind.) and Louden Haga (Pakersburg South, W.Va).

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