SIU Edwardsville recruit Bradley Gillum (photo courtesy of John Sachs; Tech-Fall.com)
We are just a few days away from the first whistle blowing at the FargoDome as the Junior/16U National Championships will occur. The event returned in 2021, after it was canceled in 2020, and had an incredibly deep field. This year's group looks even better.
Over the next couple of days, we'll go conference-by-conference to preview recruits from each school and their chances for success. We have only included recruits that have been tabbed to participate in one of the tournaments. Next on the list is the MAC!
The 2021-22 season was an uncharacteristically rough one for the MAC. The league did not have any All-Americans crowned. While each coaching staff is looking to improve their current wrestlers, they also have some promising talent in the pipeline and ready to compete in Fargo.
Below are the MAC recruits set to take the mat in the FargoDome.
Sam Ewing, Missouri (138) - Class of 2023
Dylan Schell, New York (170)
Buffalo's latest commitment, Sam Ewing of Missouri, is one of two future Bulls that will compete in the FargoDome. Ewing has won a Missouri state title in each of his first three years of high school and was fourth in Greco and third in freestyle at the 2022 Southeast Regional. Incoming freshman, Dylan Schell, capped off his high school career with an undefeated, state-title-winning season, before making the finals at NHSCA Senior Nationals.
Chase Cordia, Missouri (182)
Typically, Clarion gets a lot of in-state recruits, but one of their incoming freshmen, from out-of-state, is set to compete in Fargo in Chase Cordia. Chase was a two-time Missouri state champion and finished in the top three in each of his final three years of high school. This spring, Cordia won a freestyle state championship at 182 lbs.
Nick Abounader, Ohio (160)
Local star, Nick Abounader, has decided to stay in Cleveland and will be a Viking this fall. He was a fourth-place finisher at the DII state tournament in Ohio this year at 150 lbs.
Markel Baker, Illinois (132)
JB Dragovich, Virginia (126)
Traditional power Illinois is filled with contenders in both the Greco and freestyle ranks. That's why it's a big deal for George Mason to nab Markel Baker, a 2022 2A state champion. Baker also won the open state title last year. In April, Baker was third at the USAW Folkstyle National Showcase and was victorious at the Illinois state freestyle meet. He could be a medal threat that some may overlook. From inside the Commonwealth, George Mason has JB Dragovich, who closed his career with a 3A state title after finishing in the top three in his first three seasons.
Billy Meiszner, Illinois (132)
Kyle Snider, Ohio (220) - Class of 2023
Once again, we have a battle-tested kid from Illinois in Billy Meiszner. Billy was fourth at the state tournament in Illinois' largest classification this year. In 2021, he was a runner-up at the open state tournament. Leading up to Fargo, Meiszner was sixth at the Northern Plains Regional in freestyle. Kent State's 2023 recruit, Kyle Snider, might be the most highly regarded in the conference. This season, Snider was third in a brutal Ohio DII 215 lb weight class. Last year, Snider was a state champ at the same weight. While competing in folkstyle, Snider took sixth at the 2021 Walsh Ironman.
Eric Alderfer, Pennsylvania (152)
Sean Logue, Pennsylvania (126)
Lock Haven tends to have a usual formula for recruiting and their two signees in Fargo fit the bill. Sean Logue is a AAA kid that placed twice at the state tournament (4th and 7th) and has a big upside. Eric Alderfer was a standout at the AA level, placing three times in Hershey and making the finals as a senior. Alderfer's biggest national-type credential is a seventh-place finish at this year's Powerade. These two are sure to be a tough out for anyone.
Tommy Bennett, Illinois (182)
Eli Rocha, Missouri (138)
Northern Illinois kept Tommy Bennett at home after he captured a 2A state title at 170 lbs this winter. In doing so, he became only the third wrestler in Brother Rice history to stand on top of the state podium. One of the few recruits in the conference with a track record at Fargo is Eli Rocha. A 2022 state runner-up, Rocha, was eighth in 16U freestyle in 2019.
Raymond Weed, New Jersey (182)
Brock Zurawski, New Jersey (182) - Class of 2023
Rider typically goes heavy on the in-state recruits and here is no different. Incoming freshman, Raymond Weed, is a two-time state qualifier who was seventh in 2021. He'll compete at the same weight as his future teammate Brock Zurawski. The top-150 recruit Zurawski was eighth in the state at 165 lbs in 2022. Before his junior year, Zurawski was eighth at the Super 32 and once the high school season got underway, he was seventh at the Beast of the East.
Bradley Gillum, Illinois (170)
Antonio Torres, Illinois (182)
Without a question, the wrestler with the longest track record of success in Fargo, amongst MAC recruits, is Bradley Gillum. In 2019, Gillum was a double 16U All-American finishing seventh in freestyle and winning the Greco tournament. Last year, he made the Greco podium with a seventh-place finish. He'll likely be amongst the title contenders in Greco and an AA threat in freestyle. Also in competition is Antonio Torres, who was a two-time Illinois state placewinner, taking fourth as a senior.