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Steveson named InterMat High School Wrestler of the Year

Just over five weeks ago, the last of the high school state championships came to their conclusion with the events in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Since then, the NCAA Division I Championships took place in Cleveland, the Easter holiday came and went, as did multiple major all-star events and national level postseason tournaments.

With all that in the books, it's time to put a wrap on the 2017-18 scholastic season with the release of the final national high school weight class rankings. we reflect upon what has happened over the past "cycle" and recognize the top wrestler in each high school weight class as well as the "Wrestler of the Year" with First Team All-American recognitions by InterMat.

Gable Steveson was undefeated over his last four seasons (Photo/Jeff Beshey, The Guillotine)

Wrestler of the Year: Gable Steveson (Apple Valley, Minn.), 285 pounds

Unlike last year when the two most accomplished prep wrestlers -- Spencer Lee and Yianni Diakomihalis -- had seasons clouded by injury, which created debate over who to name as Wrestler of the Year, there was no such cloud and/or deliberation about this year's selection. The University of Minnesota-bound Steveson has won three straight UWW world championships in freestyle, and is a five-time state finalist, going undefeated the last four seasons (171-0).

Steveson won state titles at 220 as a freshman and sophomore, concluding the 2015-16 season as the nation's No. 1-ranked wrestler; while he has won state titles the last two seasons at 285, also ending those seasons as the No. 1-ranked wrestler. He was a Cadet world freestyle champion at 100 kilograms in 2015 and 2016 before winning a Junior world freestyle title at 120 kilos this past summer. Steveson also went 39-3 in eighth grade to finish state runner-up at 195 pounds. All of this robust resume comes before turning 18, something that doesn't happen for another six weeks.

Previous Wrestlers of the Year

2017: Vitali Arujau (Syosset, N.Y.)
2016: Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Minn.)
2015: Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Minn.)
2014: Chance Marsteller (Kennard Dale, Pa.)
2013: Kyle Snyder (Good Counsel, Pa.)
2012: Jason Tsirtsis (Crown Point, Ind.)
2011: Morgan McIntosh (Calvary Chapel, Calif.)

Other top-ranked wrestlers

106: Jacob Decatur (CVCA, Ohio)

On his way to a second straight state title in this weight class, the junior verbal commit to Ohio State was an undefeated 40-0. Known for his explosion and quickness, along with a stingy defense, Decatur's in-season resume included titles at the Walsh Ironman, Brecksville Holiday Tournament, and Maumee Bay Classic.

113: Trevor Mastrogiovanni (Blair Academy, N.J.)

The sophomore won his second straight National Prep title with a 3-1 overtime victory over two-time Cadet world champion Kurt McHenry, which avenged his lone loss of the season in the Beast of the East final. Mastrogiovanni won titles at the Walsh Ironman and Geary Invitational, and is also a two-time Cadet freestyle All-American.

120: Robert Howard (Bergen Catholic, N.J.)

The sophomore finished his 36-1 state title winning season with wins over wrestlers ranked in the top 12 nationally in the state semifinal and final match, the state semifinal win over Antonio Mininno avenged his state finals defeat from last season. Howard beat national No. 2 Michael Colaiocco 4-3 in a mid-January dual meet, along with earning two additional victories over top six opposition in January. He also competed in the Cadet world freestyle championships at 54 kilograms last summer.

126: Patrick Glory (Delbarton, N.J.)

The Princeton bound wrestler finished his prep career as a four-time state finalist, including 83 straight wins on the way to a pair of undefeated state titles to end his career. Glory won championships at the Beast of the East and Escape the Rock tournaments during those seasons. While he did split all-star matches with No. 3 Gavin Teasdale (winning in October at Who's Number One, but losing last month at the Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic), Glory beat No. 2 Beau Bartlett 11-2 in an early February dual meet.

132: Joey Silva (Lake Highland Prep, Fla.)

This University of Michigan signee had a most excellent senior year -- winning a second straight Super 32 Challenge, earning gold at the Ironman, advancing to the finals at the Beast of the East and Powerade, earning a fifth state title, and winning a fourth straight grade-level title at the NHSCA Nationals.

138: Quinn Kinner (Kingsway, N.J.)

The four-time state placer ended his career winning 76 consecutive matches on the way to two state titles. This year's state title for Kinner capped off an undefeated 44-0 year that included titles at the Beast of the East and Escape the Rock Tournaments. Even though he lost to No. 5 Cole Matthews at the Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic, his championship match victory at the Escape the Rock came over No. 3 Ryan Anderson. The Ohio State bound Kinner also was a two-time Super 32 Challenge placer and a three-time Flo Nationals placer during his career, and amassed a four-year high school record of 168-6.

145: Sammy Sasso (Nazareth, Pa.)

The Ohio State signee won 90 of his last 91 scholastic matches after losing to Luke Pletcher in the state quarters as a sophomore, with the lone loss for the two-time state champion in that stretch coming in this year's Beast of the East final up at 152 pounds to fellow national No. 1 David Carr. The other career state series loss for this four-time state medalist came in the 2015 state final to Spencer Lee. Additional resume highlights for Sasso include a Junior National freestyle All-American finish last summer; titles in 2016 at the Super 32 Challenge, Walsh Ironman, and Beast of the East; a pair of Flo Nationals titles; and a pair of UWW Cadet freestyle runner-up finishes.

152: David Carr (Massillon Perry, Ohio)

The Iowa State signee won four state high school titles in Ohio to go with a high school state title won in Kentucky as an eighth grader. His undefeated 39-0 senior season included a second Walsh Ironman title and first Beast of the East title, and capped off a 192-7 four year run in Ohio. Carr was a Junior National freestyle champion last summer and a Cadet world bronze medalist in 2016, while his state finals victories as a sophomore and junior came against fellow returning state champions.

160: Shane Griffith (Bergen Catholic, N.J.)

The four-time state finalist, three-time state champion amassed a record of 123-13 despite missing two months of his sophomore season with an injury. Griffifth, a Stanford signee, went 39-1 as a senior; the lone loss coming in the semifinal at the Beast of the East to No. 3 Andrew Merola, but avenged it via 5-2 decision in a mid-January dual meet. The career resume also includes a 2015 Super 32 Challenge title and Cadet National freestyle runner-up finish.

170: Travis Wittlake (Marshfield, Ore.)

In the course of becoming a four-time state champion, the Oklahoma State signee accrued a record of 196-2, including wins in his last 138 career high school matches. Wittlake was also a Cadet world bronze medalist in 2016 after winning a UWW Cadet national freestyle title; he won that same national title last year, also at 76 kilos, but was unable to compete at the world tournament due to injury.

182: Aaron Brooks (North Hagerstown, Md.)

The Penn State commit is a four-time state champion and a four-time NHSCA grade-level national champion. Brooks also was a Cadet National double champion 2016 and a Junior National freestyle champion this past summer. He was runner-up to Wittlake at the UWW Cadet Nationals last spring, but competed at the world championships as an injury replacement, earning a gold medal at 76 kilos.

195: Gavin Hoffman (Montoursville, Pa.)

The Ohio State signee has a robust resume that most notably includes a Cadet world bronze medal in freestyle from this past summer and a mark of 135-3 on the way to winning state titles the last three years at 195 pounds, the most recent of those three losses coming in the December 2016 Powerade final. Other resume highlights include three NHSCA grade-level titles, two Flo Nationals placements (2017 champion), two Super 32 Challenge placements (2016 runner-up), and a pair of Cadet National freestyle All-American finishes.

220: Mason Parris (Lawrenceburg, Ind.)

The University of Michigan signee concluded his scholastic career with three state titles (all at 220 pounds) and a record of 206-1, which includes wins in his last 153 bouts after losing 11-10 in the 182-pound semifinal match as a freshman. Parris is also a two-time Flo Nationals champion, and was a three-star recruit as a linebacker in football with multiple Division I-A (technically, FBS) offers before choosing to wrestle collegiately.

Breakdown of ranked wrestlers by state

37: Ohio (2 individuals ranked No. 1 nationally), New Jersey (5)
32: Pennsylvania (2)
24: California
19: Iowa
17: Illinois, Missouri
10: Michigan, New York
9: Florida (1)
8: Colorado, Minnesota (1), Wisocnsin
5: Indiana (1), Oklahoma
4: Texas
3: Georgia, Maryland (1), Washington
2: Arizona, Nebraska, South Dakota, Virginia, West Virginia
1: Connecticut, Idaho, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon (1), Tennessee

Thirty-five states in all had a nationally ranked wrestler (i.e. attend a high school in that state).

Comments

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coolbeans (1) about 8 months ago
This Gable dude is a Tyrannosaurus rex. This special meat eating predator chews up and swallows any meat that stands before him. The Gophers are fortunate to have him. Congratulations!!