Montini Catholic went undefeated at the DCC Super Duals on Saturday
The second Saturday was another notable one on the national calendar, with many dual meets and bracket tournaments taking the fore, even if there were weather cancellations in some parts of the Midwest.
Montini triply sensational at DCC Super Duals
Ranked No. 5 nationally, Montini Catholic entered Saturday with a 3-0 record against top-25 teams in the country. The Broncos would have a chance to match that record on the day up at Detroit Catholic Central (Mich.). Their day started with a 47-12 win over No. 18 Brighton (Mich.) and continued with a 42-19 victory over No. 16 Davison (Mich.); match-by-match results were not available at the time of writing this recap. The final match of the day was against a team ranked No. 3 nationally for the second time in 12 days, this time it was the host school, Detroit Catholic Central (Mich.).
The Shamrocks won five of the first seven weight classes, starting with a Manuel Rojas major decision at 170 points. Montini Catholic earned pins from Trevor Swier (182) and Josh LaBarbera (195) against the two weakes spots in the Detroit Catholic Central lineup to take a 12-4 lead; the Shamrocks responded with pins from Brendin Yatooma (220) and No. 12 Steven Kolcheff (285) against the weakest spots of the Montini lineup. Detroit Catholic Central extended the lead to 22-12 with Anthony Walker's 7-3 win over Cadet double All-american Joseph Fernau at 106 and Dylan Gilcher's 4-2 win over state placer Nick Gonzalez at 113. Going pin-tech-pin in response were the Broncos to take a 29-22 lead that lasted the rest of the dual meet: two-time state placer Nain Vazquez over state qualifier Caleb White at 120, No. 7 Dylan Ragusin 27-12 over freshman T.J. Bunn at 126, and Cadet freestyle All-American Ethan Stiles over state medalist Camden Trupp at 132.
Consecutive wins from seniors Mark Shaeffer and No. 5 (at 138) Josh Edmond would shrink the Shamrock deficit to 29-28 with two matches remaining; this was the result of the Shamrocks flipping those two wrestlers in the lineup all day on Saturday, with Edmond knocking off No. 15 Fidel Mayora 5-2 in this dual meet. In the penultimate match, a battle of two-time state placers saw Joe Roberts outlast Logan Sanom 1-0 to push Montini Catholic to a 32-28 lead. This set the last match where No. 7 Derek Gilcher would need any bonus point victory against freshman Brayden Thompson to give Detroit Catholic Central an eighth match victory of the dual meet and the dual meet victory; however, Gilcher only won 9-4, and Montini Catholic secured the 32-31 upset despite winning only six bouts.
Other Super Duals highlights
No. 7 St. Edward (Ohio) competed without four key starters: state placer Scott Richter (132), UWW Cadet freestyle All-American Luke Geog (145), No. 13 Bryce Hepner (152), and two-time state qualifier Michael Garcar (182); they also had a reserve wrestler in at 126 pounds. The Eagles were swept, losing 31-25 to No. 16 Davison (Mich.) to open the day, 42-18 against No. 3 Detroit Catholic Central (Mich.), and 33-30 against No. 49 Dundee (Mich.). Davison won a pair of one-point bouts in the last two matches of the dual meet to upend St. Edward, 9-8 at 138 and 3-2 at 145; while in the featured individual bout of the whole day, it was No. 3 Padraic Gallagher of St. Edward who beat No. 1 (at 170) Alex Facundo 3-1 down at 160 (it should be noted that a full box score is not available). Detroit Catholic Central won nine bouts against the Eagles, while Dundee won eight matches including a 3-1 mark in matches decided by two points or less, and getting an in-match injury default at 106 pounds (Braeden Davis over Wyatt Richter).
From a national rankings perspective, probably the most notable outcome of the day was No. 49 Dundee winning eight matches in a 27-26 victory over No. 18 Brighton. It was an affair in which both teams had relatively "base lineups." The Vikings again went 3-1 in matches decided by one point, this included the winner-take-all last match of the dual meet where Tyler Swiderski beat Zach Johnson 2-1 in a battle of two-time state placers at 152 pounds. A pair of Dundee freshman came through with the other one-point wins: Braeden Davis 2-1 over Quaylin Newton at 106 and Aiden Davis 6-5 over two-time state placer Sam Freeman at 132.
Blue Knights dominate Eastern States Classic
Even with not all of their starters making the trip to SUNY-Sullivan for the Eastern States Classic, No. 1 Wyoming Seminary (Pa.) dominated their way to another tournament title with 233-1/2 points, which was 145 points more than second place Shenendehowa (N.Y.). Weight class champions for the Blue Knights were No. 11 Brandon Cannon (106), No. 1 Nic Bouzakis (126), No. 1 Beau Bartlett (138), No. 1 Lachlan McNeil (145), Andrew Donahue (170), and No. 10 Kolby Franklin (220). Vince Bouzakis, who is currently a seventh-grader finished as runner-up at 99 pounds to No. 11 overall Junior High wrestler P.J. Duke (Carmel, N.Y.), losing by fall in the weight class that is specific to the Empire State; also allowed in New York State is junior high wrestlers competing at the high school varsity level.
Bartlett and McNeil beat nationally ranked opponents in their championship bouts. For Bartlett, it was a 10-4 victory over No. 16 Ryan Burgos (Hilton, N.Y.), while McNeil beat No. 18 Willie McDougald (Niagara Falls, N.Y.) 5-4, though McDougald shrunk the final margin with a takedown almost at the death of the match. Three other finals bouts involved at least one nationally ranked wrestler: No. 2 Stevo Poulin (Shenendehowa, N.Y.) beat two-time state champion Dante Geislinger (Norwich, N.Y.) 7-3 at 113 pounds, No. 6 Jordan Titus (Center Moriches, N.Y.) beat No. 15 Anthony Noto (Honeoye Falls/Lima, N.Y.) 9-4 at 120, while Zach Redding (Eastport-South Manor, N.Y.) upset No. 2 Ryan Jack (Danbury, Ct.) 8-6 at 132.
Blair Academy sets up No. 1 showdown with stellar home performance
Wrestling at home for the first time this season after four road tournaments to open the season, No. 2 Blair Academy (N.J.) made a statement of intent at the Blair Duals as they only lost two matches across three dual meets on Saturday afternoon. They shut out Belmont Hill (Mass.) 76-0 while upending a pair of nationally ranked teams by big margins: 56-6 over No. 11 Delbarton (N.J.) and 58-4 over No. 40 Baylor School (Tenn.). It should be noted that Delbarton wrestled without two of their four nationally ranked wrestlers, Nico Nardone (126) and Anthony Clark (132/138), along with another state medalist in Kieran Calvetti (160).
Making season debuts for the second-ranked Buccaneers were defending National Prep champions Trevor Mastrogiovanni (126) and Shayne van Ness (132), while No.3 Travis Mastrogiovanni (152) returned after missing two tournaments subsequent to the Ironman. The lone wrestler out for Blair Academy was No. 8 Domonic Mata (170), though they presumably are hoping for his return this coming Saturday afternoon when they host No. 1 Wyoming Seminary (Pa.) for a dual meet. No. 1 Marc-Anthony McGowan (106) and No. 9 Peyton Craft (195) had notable days: McGowan upended Nick Corday (Baylor School) 10-1 and avenged his lone loss of the season with a 5-3 victory over No. 12 Tyler Vazquez (Delbarton); while Craft beat No. 15 David Harper (Baylor School) 6-2 and upended No. 17 Luke Chakonis (Delbarton) by the same 6-2 score. Two other key Blair Academy wins on the day were No. 14 Lucas Chittum (138) pinning Garrison Dendy (Baylor School) in 5:58, along with No. 12 Noah Pettigrew (220) beating P.J. Casale (Delbarton) 6-4 in overtime.
McDonogh wins the Virginia Duals
The 40th anniversary edition of the Virginia Duals saw champions crowned in multiple divisions of high school and college competition. However, most notable for national high school purposes was the National High School division title won by No. 45 McDonogh (Md.), which beat No. 33 Nazareth (Pa.) 35-30 in the semifinal. The teams split the first eight bouts of the dual, but Nazareth had the 21-17 lead headed into 160 pounds, where 2018 National Prep placer Harrison Trahan scored the 9-3 win over two-time state placer Nathan Stefanik to cut the deficit to 21-20. Nazareth state medalist Connor Herceg then responded with a pin before Drew Clearie beat Dominic Solis 3-2 to push the Blue Eagles lead to 30-20. Needing to win out to take the dual, McDonogh flipped their lineup putting Jackson Bonitz out at 195, who pinned freshman Sonny Sasso in 5:37; then normal 195 Jack Wimmer knocked off Beast of the East placer Steven Schott 3-1 in overtime to set up a winner-take-all match at 285 that No. 19 Garrett Kappes won by fall in 28 seconds.
McDonogh would take eight of 14 matches in a 40-30 victory over Erie Cathedral Prep (Pa.) to win the National Division title, while Nazareth won a consolation semifinal over South Dade (Fla.) 31-23 before beating Canon-McMillan (Pa.) 40-17 to take bronze. In the opposite semifinal, Erie Cathedral Prep on nine of 14 bouts to beat Canon-McMillan 34-27.
Broken Arrow takes home title at nation's oldest tournament
Featuring three nationally ranked schools among the approximately 25 in the field, the 76th edition of the Geary Invitational in Oklahoma lived up to its tradition. Among the unique features of the tournament is the "blind draw" (i.e. no seeding), true second place matches, and also team scoring that reflects only placement and bonus points (i.e. no advancement). Winning the event led by nine placers was No. 26 Broken Arrow (Okla.) with 139.5 points. The Tigers placed nine wrestlers, including five finalists, led by weight class champions in Bryce Mattioda (170) and Emmanuel Skillings (195); Skillings won his championship bout 9-8 over Harley Andrews (Tuttle, Okla.).
Second place in the standings went to Choctaw with 106.5 points, led by state champion Gabe Johnson, who won the tournament at 152 pounds. Six other wrestlers placed within the top six. Third place in the standing went to No. 42 Mustang (Okla.) with 104.5 points despite a tournament high three champions and eight total placers: Tucker Owens (120), No. 17 John Wiley (145), and No. 9 Tate Picklo (182); Owens upset No. 13 Dominic Chavez (Arlington Martin, Texas) 5-3 in the championship match. Despite missing a pair of nationally elite Oklahoma State signees in Luke Surber and Dustin Plott, No. 12 Tuttle (Okla.) placed eight wrestlers led by tournament champion Ryder Ramsey (138).
Additional champions highlighting the evening were No. 19 Cael Hughes (Stillwater, Okla.) at 106 pounds, No. 16 Cruz Aguilar (Edmond Memorial, Okla.) at 113, and No. 5 Konner Doucet (Comanche, Okla.) at 220; Doucet outlasted fellow Junior National freestyle All-American Caleb Dickerson (Altus, Okla.) 4-3 in overtime for his championship. Outstanding Wrestler honors went to 132-pound champion Carter Young (Stillwater, Okla.), who is ranked No. 20 nationally.
St. John Bosco wins by the tightest of margins at Five Counties
A pair of top 20 in the country teams anchored the field at the Five Counties Invitational this weekend hosted by Fountain Valley (Calif.). When all was said and done, No. 17 St. John Bosco (Calif.) and No. 19 Gilroy (Calif.) were separated by 1/2 point. The Braves placed seven starters and nine wrestlers in total to score 222-1/2 points, while the Mustangs placed seven wrestlers despite the absence of Junior National freestyle All-American Jayden Gomez (126) to amass 222 points.
Weight class champions for St. John Bosco were Timothy Levine (126), Isaac Salas (138), No. 2 (at 160) Cael Valencia (170), and No. 7 Nathan Haas (182). Salas upended two-time state placer Henry Porter (Gilroy, Calif.) 3-2 in the tiebreaker in his championship bout, Valencia beat No. 9 Maxwell Wilner (Fountain Valley, Calif.) 3-2 in the final, while Haas knocked off state medalist Javen Jovero (Rancho Bernardo, Calif.) 8-2. Runner-up finishers for the Braves were Maxximus Martinez (113) and No. 2 Sonny Santiago (152); Martinez lost 8-6 to state medalist Zeth Romney (Chaminade, Calif.), while Santiago lost by 9-1 major decision to No. 1 Chase Saldate (Gilroy, Calif.) after beating No. 17 Tyler Badgett (Rancho Bernardo, Calif.) 5-4 in the semifinal.
Gilroy was led by a pair of weight class champions in Saldate and No. 9 Nicholas Villarreal (285), while Porter was a runner-up finisher. No. 28 Selma (Calif.) was sixth in the standings with 156 points, just 17 in back of third place Northview (Calif.) despite the absence of No. 1 Richard Figueroa (113) and No. 4 Jacob Rivera (120); while No. 15 (at 126) Tristan Lujan defaulted out of the 120 pound bracket early on in the tournament. The Bears were led by two-time state placer Devin Murphy, who won the 132-pound weight class keyed by a semifinal pin over No. 15 Wayne Joint (Lemoore, Calif.).
Poway dominates Battle for the Belt
Another week, and yet another showing of the most excellent lineup balance that No. 13 Poway (Calif.) possesses. The Titans dominated the field over the court of two days at Temecula Valley (Calif.) advancing seven to the championship finals, winning six of them. Weight class champions included No. 10 (at 113) Andre Gonzalez (106), Brock Bobzien (113), Johnny Lopez (120), Jason Miranda (126), Aaron Gandara (152), and Alex Hernandez (170). Gonzalez upended No. 16 Beau Mantanona (Palm Desert, Calif.) 8-5 in the final, Miranda earned a 14-4 major decision over two-time state placer Juan Sierra (Cibola, Ariz.), Gandara scored the 4-2 decision over Super 32 placer Jaxon Garoutte (Pueblo County, Ariz.), while Hernandez beat state medalist Jarrad Priest (Bakersfield, Calif.) 3-2 in the tiebreaker.
Also winning weight class titles were No. 11 Luka Wick (San Marino, Calif.) at 145 pounds, No. 14 Guillermo Escobedo (Los Altos, Calif.) at 195, and No. 8 Jared Hill (Bakersfield, Calif.) at 285.