WEEK 8 PREVIEW
This week we have one thing: Powerade.
The Powerade Tournament is perennially considered to be one of the three toughest high school wrestling tournaments in the nation. This year will be no exception, as the number of teams in the tournament has expanded to 50 in celebration of this being the 50th year of the tournament. You'll be able to follow it live on FloArena. Powerade also runs an extremely detailed website with top returners, accomplishments, and even full past year results. You can find the Powerade website here.
The tournament seeds the top eight wrestlers at each weight class. The seeds have already been released. Seeding criteria begins with performance at the tournament last year, then takes state placement and qualification into account. Lockport has five wrestlers that earned a seed this year. Matt Ramos is seeded 5th at 106, Abdullah Assaf is 8th at 132, Brandon Ramos is 3rd at 138, Trevell Timmons is 3rd at 160, and as defending champion, Ronald Tucker earned the top seed at 285.
Last year, I did a long, very detailed analysis of who's who at the tournament. But in doing that, I learned this: there are WAY too many fantastic wrestlers to profile, and that injuries, illness, and weight issues will inevitably change the entries anyway. That being said, based on the latest InterMat rankings, here are a few fast facts for you
- There are six teams in the InterMat Fab50 that are in this tournament. (Bergen Catholic - 8th, Wyoming Seminary - 13th, Lockport - 19th, Kiski Area - 40th, St. Paul's - 42nd, North Alleghany - 44th)
- 12 out of 14 weight classes have at least one wrestler ranked in the top 20 in the nation - with 132 and 285 being the only exceptions (and if you use Flo's rankings, 285 has one ranked individual)
- The field has combined for 5 world championship gold medals in freestyle - three of them come from Spencer Lee. (Kurt McHenry, 106, And Jared Verkleeren, 145, each have one.)
- Speaking of Spencer Lee, now a senior, he's still currently undefeated as a high school wrestler. He's, understandably, the top seed at 126. Four other wrestlers in his bracket were also state champions last year.
- Speaking of undefeated wrestlers, Gavin Teasdale, a junior, is also undefeated thus far in high school. He'll be top-seed at 120. (No pressure, Jimmy)
- Lee and Teasdale, both Iowa commitments, are both ranked first in the nation at their weight classes - the only #1 ranked wrestlers at the tournament. Kurt McHenry holds a world gold medal, but a #2 ranking at 106, as does Jared Verkleeren (145). Cameron Coy (152) is the last of the individuals ranked first or second.
- Three weights are tied for the most ranked wrestlers, with three each. They are 138, 152, and 195. Out of these, 152 is the toughest on paper - all three wrestlers are in the top-ten.
You can get some other details on the Powerade website, or look for FloWrestling to put out a detailed preview in the next day or so.
WEEK 7 RECAP
The Porters had a good week this past week, going 2-0 to push the team record to an outstanding 21-0 on the season. On Thursday, Lockport defeated DeKalb by a score of 60-7. Click here for that recap. Friday night was Senior Night, as Lockport hosted Stagg in the last home dual of the season, coming away with a 61-9 victory. Click here for that recap, as well as for pictures of the seniors and links to photos from the dual.
The first week of winter break makes for a quiet week for the alumni, but we have one result to report, as Tyler Johnson took the mat for N.C. State last Tuesday. Johnson took a 10-0 loss to Old Dominion's Kevin Beazley, who was ranked 12th by InterMat at the time (and currently ranked 10th).
In a bit of a change from the usual, we wanted to give you a quick preview of the alumni for the upcoming week. On Thursday and Friday of this week, Northwestern will host the 54th annual Midlands Championship. Out of all the teams competing, we have wrestlers on the rosters of four of them. Obviously, at Northwestern, we have Shayne Oster at 149, competing in his first Midlands Tournament. Oklahoma University will also be there, so Brad Johnson will be taking the mat at his final Midlands at 197. NC State is also present, so Tyler Johnson may be wrestling - his status has not yet been determined or finalized. If he is, he'd be at 197 as well - perhaps we can get that brother vs. brother matchup! And lastly, Northern Illinois is returning, which means Shaun'Qae McMurtry may be making an appearance, having missed the last dual for NIU. For Northwestern's website, click here. For their page previewing the top contenders for the Midlands, click here.
The Southern Scuffle also takes place this week, Sunday and Monday (1/1 and 1/2). Wrestling is slated to begin at 9am Central Time both days. Stanford is there, and with Connor Scram bumping to 133 now, that opens the door for Brian Rossi's to make his return at 125 pounds. Rossi tore several parts of his knee at UWW Junior Nationals at the end of April. This will be his first competition since then.
At the Division II level, St. Cloud State's website lists them participating at the Midland University Open, which has a rather suspect name given the timing of it... but also known as the Viking-Warrior Open, on Dec. 31. Vince Dietz is currently ranked 5th by InterMat in DII at 197 pounds, so if they send their starters, expect to see Dietz.