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Four-man 170-pound bracket, multiple Cadet World medalists headline FloWrestling’s Who’s Number One boys card on Saturday

by Joe Wedra, Special to

2021 Junior Nationals champion Manny Rojas of Michigan will be among the stars featured by FloWrestling at Who's Number One. Photo by Austin Bernard.

High school wrestling is back in a big way this weekend with FloWrestling’s annual Who’s Number One event taking place in Dallas. The impressive boys card on Saturday features some of the nation’s top talent, hoping to become the top-ranked wrestler at their respective weights.

A stacked four-man bracket at 170 pounds and three 2021 Cadet World medalists headline what should be an action-packed night of wrestling.

Below you can find a preview of the full slate ahead of Saturday night.

170 pounds – No. 1 Manny Rojas vs. No. 4 Rocco Welsh

This is the first match of the 170-pound four-man bracket highlighting Saturday’s action.

Welsh, wrestling out of Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, has had plenty of success wrestling both folkstyle and freestyle and is looking to make the jump to the top of the 170-pound rankings this weekend. The Waynesburg Central standout is a two-time Pennsylvania 3A state runner-up.

He’ll battle Manny Rojas, a Michigan native who won the 2021 Junior Nationals freestyle title at 170 in July. Rojas, a two-time Michigan D1 state champion out of Detroit Central Catholic, is committed to Iowa State.

170 pounds – No. 3 Gabe Arnold vs. No. 5 Brayden Thompson

The second bout at 170 pounds is set to feature plenty of potential fireworks, as Arnold and Thompson provide another talent-filled matchup.

Arnold, who wrestles at Wyoming Seminary, has been widely touted as one of the top high school talents in the nation. He’s had plenty of sustained success that continued in July, when he won a 16U title at Fargo.

Arnold will do battle with Thompson, an Illinois native who was the Junior Freestyle runner-up at Fargo at 170 pounds, dropping his finals bout to Rojas. Thompson is a 2021 National High School Showcase champion who took third at the 2020 Illinois 3A state championships.

**The winner of these two matches will wrestle in the 170-pound final for the top spot at the weight class.

106-pound Futures Match – Seth Mendoza vs. Bo Bassett

Here’s a bout that will be fun for fans to enjoy, featuring two young wrestlers who have been surging onto the scene over the past several months. This bout will not affect rankings at the 106-pound weight class due to the age of both wrestlers.

Bassett, just an eighth-grader, is a familiar name for fans in the US after winning a Cadet World freestyle title this year in Russia at 45kg. He showcased special talent throughout the weekend, winning via three pins and a tech fall.

Bassett will look to continue his rise onto the scene against Seth Mendoza, who turned heads when he cruised to a 16U Fargo title at 100 pounds in July. Mendoza, also a 2021 Northern Plains Regional 16U champion, will be a freshman at Mt. Carmel High School in Illinois this year.

182 pounds – No. 1 Jack Wehmeyer vs. No. 2 TJ Stewart

At 182 pounds, we’ll see Maryland’s TJ Stewart look to impress yet again following a Junior Nationals victory at Fargo at 182 pounds. Stewart, who will be a senior at Blair Academy this year, was a 2019 16U Nationals champion in freestyle. He knocked off then-third-ranked Brian Soldano (NJ) in the Fargo finals with an 8-4 decision. He is currently uncommitted.

Wehmeyer is a Columbia commit who posted a pair of wins over Stewart in the two’s head-to-head meetings last season. The Malvern Prep athlete is a multiple-time National Prep placewinner who looks to take command of the weight class on Saturday.

145 pounds – No. 1 Hunter Garvin vs. No. 3 Jackson Arrington

Garvin, an Iowa high school standout, won his third USA Wrestling Folkstyle Nationals title this year, winning the Outstanding Wrestler award at April’s event. The Iowa City West wrestler is a two-time Iowa state champion and will look to lock down the nation’s top spot at 145 pounds.

Arrington, a Pennsylvania standout from Forest Hills High School, has committed to coach Pat Popolizio and North Carolina State for his college career. He has won a pair of PIAA state titles, including his standout championship performance as a freshman.

113 pounds – No. 1 Braeden Davis vs. No. 2 Leo Deluca

Deluca, a New Jersey native, was the 2021 Fargo 16U freestyle champion at 113 pounds, knocking off California’s Brock Mantanona in an impressive tech fall finals victory that took just over a minute. DeLuca, who is just 14 years old, will be a freshman at Blair Academy this fall and looks to claim the weight’s top spot after a dominant performance at 16U Nationals.

Davis was also impressive this year in Fargo, winning the Junior Freestyle title at 113 pounds. The Belleville, Michigan native also won a 16U Nationals title in 2019. The 16-year-old is a two-time D3 Michigan state champion out of Dundee High School.

160 pounds – No. 1 Levi Haines vs. No. 2 Josh Barr

At 160 pounds, we’ll see Josh Barr looking to make the move up to the top spot at the weight. Barr, a Davison High School (MI) wrestler, posted a Junior Nationals title in July with his impressive 4-4 finals win on criteria against Iowa’s Aiden Riggins. He took third in the 2021 UWW Cadet Nationals and was a 2019 16U Nationals champion. He has won two Michigan D1 state titles, winning the 2021 tournament at 160 pounds and the 2020 tournament at 152.

Haines is a Penn State commit who won the Cadet World Team Trials (71kg) to earn a spot on the Cadet World team this year, defeating Riggins in the finals to earn his trip to Budapest, where he went 1-1.

Given the amount of success that both Haines and Barr have seen in their young careers, this bout at 160 could be one of the unexpected highlights of the card.

106 pounds – No. 1 Anthony Knox vs. No. 2 Luke Lilledahl

Here’s another bout that should bring fireworks to the star-studded high school card. We have a Cadet World team member battling a Fargo champion.

Lilledahl has had an eventful summer, as he made the Cadet World Team and took silver for the USA at the event. A young Missouri high school standout, Lilledahl won a state title in 2021 as a freshman.

Knox won the 16U Nationals title at 106 pounds in July, defeating Pennsylvania’s Sam Herring in the finals. Knox, who is 15, took second in the 2021 U15 Nationals in freestyle and won a freestyle championship at the 2019 14U Nationals.

152 pounds – No. 1 Caleb Henson vs. No. 2 Jordan Williams

At 152 pounds, we have a battle of two 2021 Fargo champions – Williams at 145, Henson at 152.

Williams, a three-time Oklahoma state champion, continues to be one of the nation’s top uncommitted prospects as he enters Saturday’s event. He’s had plenty of success in both folkstyle and freestyle – he won the 16U Nationals in freestyle in both 2018 and 2019. He knocked off Iowa’s Caleb Rathjen in the Junior Nationals freestyle finals in July.

Henson, who has committed to Virginia Tech, is no stranger to showing up to big matches and having success. He’s won two Georgia state titles and won the very talented 152-pound bracket at this year's Junior Nationals. He’ll look to enter his senior year at Woodward High School with the number one next to his name.

195 pounds – No. 1 Gavin Nelson vs. No. 2 Dylan Fishback

Fishback enters Who’s Number One following an impressive Junior Nationals tournament, where he topped the 195-pound field to win his first Fargo title. The Aurora High School standout won the 2021 Ohio D2 state championship at 195 pounds. He is committed to North Carolina State University.

Nelson is committed to Minnesota, staying within his home state to continue his wrestling career. Nelson was a freestyle Cadet World Team member at 92kg this year and has a Minnesota state championship to his name. He was convincingly dominant at the 2021 Cadet World Team Trials, took fifth in Budapest, and will look to add another impressive line to the resume on Saturday.

138 pounds – No. 1 Jesse Mendez vs. No. 2 Casey Swiderski

Getting ready for this event, it will be difficult to not be excited to watch Indiana’s Jesse Mendez ahead of the wrestling action. Mendez has won this event three times in the past. The nation’s top-ranked pound-for-pound wrestler by FloWrestling made the Junior World team this year, further establishing his status as one of the best talents in the nation.

Swiderski, a Dundee High School (MI) standout, will undoubtedly look to provide a fight at 138 pounds on Saturday. A 2021 Junior Nationals finalist, Swiderski has won the Michigan D3 state championships three times. He will be a senior this season and has committed to Iowa State.

120 pounds – No. 1 Nate Jesuroga vs. No. 3 Joey Cruz

If you’re looking for excitement and firepower, here’s a match to circle.

Jesuroga is fresh off of his 2021 Cadet World Championships performance, where he brought a bronze medal back for the United States. He has firmly solidified himself as one of the top high school talents in the country, winning a state title at 113 pounds this year out of Southeast Polk High School.

Cruz recently committed to Oklahoma ahead of Saturday’s event. He is a two-time placer in the California state tournament, most recently taking second at 113 pounds in 2020. He finished third at the 2019 Cadet World Team Trials in freestyle and was a finalist at USA Wrestling’s 2020 Preseason Nationals.

“Big Man Super Match” – No. 1 at 220 pounds Christian Carroll vs. No. 1 at 285 pounds Nick Feldman

As if this card wasn’t strong enough, Carroll and Feldman will wrestle in what looks to be one of the night’s top matches.

Carroll was dominant at 220 pounds at the 2021 Junior Nationals, cruising to a championship performance. The Illinois commit also took second at the 2021 UWW Junior Nationals in both freestyle and Greco-Roman. Going into this academic year, he will be a junior at New Prairie High School.

Feldman is a past Who’s Number One winner, winning the 2020 event at 220 pounds. He’s moved up to heavyweight and will look to solidify his standing as the best high school heavyweight in the country (this match will not affect weight class rankings due to the two’s differing weight classes). Feldman is a National Prep champion out of Malvern Prep and is set to attend Ohio State.

Saturday’s event will start at 7 p.m. eastern time and can be streamed live on FloWrestling.