Two-time Florida state champion and Campbell signee Sebastian Melguizo (Photo/SEWrestle.com)
We are less than a week away from the first whistle blowing at the FargoDome as the Junior/16U National Championships will occur for the first time since 2019. Because of the cancelation of the 2020 tournament, the wrestlers have decided to show up in full force at Fargo. Early entries indicate that it will be the deepest in 10-15 years.
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. We're moving on to the SoCon. Traditionally the SoCon has not been able to match the other leagues when it comes to recruiting; however, they are improving. Campbell has become a consistent top-25 team and boasts a pair of top-200 recruits, both of which will be in Fargo. Chattanooga and Appalachian State each have a member of the senior Big Board, who is scheduled to be in action. Here are the recruits to watch from the SoCon next week in Fargo.
Chad Bellis (Illinois) - Class of 2021: 120 lbs
Appalachian State's lone entry, Chad Bellis, finished his senior year at #185 overall on the Big Board. Bellis spent the first three years of his high school career in Illinois, but moved into Iowa for his senior season. He was an Illinois 2A state champion as a sophomore and fifth as a junior. In Iowa, Bellis made the state finals in the 3A classification. Bellis' best national results have come on the Greco front. He was a Junior Greco All-American in 2019, placing fourth in the 106 lb weight class. The previous year Bellis took sixth in Cadet Greco while competing at 94 lbs. I'd expect another podium-worthy showing during the Greco tournament and a deep run in freestyle, as well.
Brandon Hoselton (Illinois) - Class of 2021: 220 lbs
Sebastian Melguizo (Florida) - Class of 2021: 126 lbs
The SoCon recruit with the best national credentials and slated to compete in Fargo is Brandon Hoselton. In 2018, Hoselton placed top-four in both styles at the Cadet level. He was fourth at 220 lbs in freestyle, before making an appearance in the Greco finals at 195. Hoselton also made the state finals in each of his first three seasons. He won titles in the first two. Prior to his junior year of high school, Hoselton made the 195 lb finals at the Super 32. The 220 lb field in Fargo contains a handful of legitimate title contenders. Hoselton is one of those and could come away with a title in either style on his best day. The other future Camel in the field is Sebastian Melguizo. The two-time Florida state champion, Melguizo, was one of the breakout stars from the 2020 Journeymen Fall Classic. Melguizo defeated a pair of Fargo Junior National freestyle finalists en route to a title. Wins like those show that Melguizo is capable of pulling the upsets necessary to reach the podium in Fargo; however, those were in folkstyle.
Blake Boarman (Indiana) - Class of 2021: 138 lbs
Dayne Dalrymple (Tennessee) - Class of 2021: 138 lbs
Both of the incoming recruits for Chattanooga will compete at the 138 lb weight class next week. Blake Boarman placed third or higher in all four years of high school while wrestling in Indiana's one-class system. His exploits have earned him a place on the Senior Big Board at #189, which made him the Moc's highest-ranked incoming freshman. Boarman does not have past placements at a tournament like Fargo; however, most of his damage has been within Indiana's borders. Speaking of in-state, Chattanooga's top in-state recruit is Dayne Dalrymple, a two-time Tennessee state champ. Dalrymple doesn't have the national accolades either, but has plenty of experience on a national stage. Both should be able to get deep into the tournament.