16U Greco-Roman preview: Peterson headlines large field as returning champion

by Adam Engel, USA Wrestling

USA Wrestling will post one preview each day, starting on Friday, July 8, for the six national tournaments that will be held at the USMC Junior and 16U National Championships in Fargo.

We started the previews on Friday, with a weight-by-weight review of the boys 16U Freestyle Nationals. Saturday, we posted the 16U Women’s Nationals field. Sunday, we added the Junior Men’s Freestyle preview. Today, we have the 16U Greco-Roman preview. Watch for Junior Greco-Roman tomorrow.

88 pounds:
Several competitors make their Fargo debuts in a bracket without any returning All-Americans.

Caleb Noble of Wisconsin steps into the 16U division after two USA Wrestling Kids Triple Crowns throughout his career. He didn’t have a problem adjusting to his new division at the regional level. Noble won a Northern Plains Regionals championship in May and went 3-1 at the 16U National Duals last month. This is a guy who can find the podium in his first appearance.

Tennessee’s Jose Cordero is another 2021 14U Nationals champion who shifts into U16 competition. He claimed seventh at U15 Nationals along with a Southeast Regional championship in 2022.

Allen Woo of Illinois, Cason Craft of Oklahoma and Carter Kendrick of South Dakota also earned All-American status at U15 Nationals. Woo and Kendrick placed fourth at 38 and 41 kg while Craft placed seventh at 38.

Three additional 2022 regional champions also fill this field. Hunter Anderson represents Idaho’s strong contingent and won a 16U Northwest Regional championship. Iowa’s Mac Crosson captured a Northern Plains Regional championship while Kason Schreier of Missouri snagged one in the Southern Plains Regional.

This is an open field with many possible winners.

2021 Fargo returning All-Americans:
Others separated: Hunter Anderson of Idaho, Allen Woo of Illinois, Mac Crosson of Iowa, Kaison Schreier of Missouri, Cason Craft of Oklahoma, Carter Kendrick of South Dakota, Jose Cordero of Tennessee and Caleb Noble of Wisconsin
Nationally ranked wrestlers: None

94 pounds:
Wisconsin’s Haakon Peterson looks to repeat as national champion up a weight class this summer. A year ago, he won the 88-pound bracket. In the championship, he beat Ohio’s Javaan Yarbrough, 5-2, in a rematch of the 16U freestyle final at 88. In that one, Yarbrough won 10-4.

Two other returning All-Americans highlight this field. Cole Welte of Nebraska finished fifth in Fargo last summer and ended one win short of All-American status at U17 Nationals. Kole Davidheiser of Pennsylvania, claimed seventh at 88 in 2021. He went 6-1 at the 16U National Duals with a 100% bonus point rate. Axel Ritchie of Tennesee, another contender in this bracket, teched Davidheiser at the 16U National Duals. Ritchie enters Fargo as the Southeast Regional champion.

This weight also includes two other regional champions. Idaho’s Saxton Scott won a West Regional championship while Taegan Gilmore of Ohio won in the Central regional.

2021 Fargo returning All-Americans:
Haakon Peterson (WI, 1st 16U GR 88, Cole Welte (NE, 5th 16U GR 88) and Kole Davidheiser (PA, 7th 16U GR 88)
Others separated: Saxton Scott of Idaho, Dean Wainwright of Illinois, Nathan Rioux of Indiana, Taegan Gilmore of Ohio and Axel Ritchie of Tennessee
Nationally ranked wrestlers: None

100 pounds:
Ezekiel Witt of Kansas and Minnesota’s Lawson Eller are the returning All-Americans in this field with multiple U15 Nationals All-Americans and regional champions.Witt earned third in Fargo last year and found the podium at several major events. He claimed fifth at U17 Nationals and won the Southern Plains Regional. He logged a 4-2 performance at the 16U National Duals with a 100% bonus point rate. In tournaments, Witt displayed the abilities to surge on the backside. Even if he drops early to the consolation bracket in Fargo, he is still a strong All-American contender.

Minnesota’s Lawson Eller, the other returning All-American in this field, finished fourth a year ago at 88. He’s up two weight classes and is a mat rat that wrestled 51 matches since April. In that time, he lost one match at the 16U National Duals. In Greco-Roman, Eller enters Fargo having won 13 of his last 15 matches. In late April, he finished seventh at U17 Nationals.

California’s Michael Romero rampaged through U15 Nationals with a championship. In five matches, he outscored opponents 44-2. Florida’s Lincoln Sledzianowski also grabbed a U15 Nationals championship. He also won the Southeast Regional and went undefeated at the 16U National Duals with a 100% bonus point rate. In that tournament, he didn’t allow a single point. Beyond Romero and Sledzianowksi, three others in this field — Boden Banta of Idaho, Gavin Pardilla of Illinois and Cooper Hinz of Iowa placed at U15 Nationals.

Hudson Loges of Nebraska earned All-American honors at U17 Nationals. He finished as runner-up to Cadet World Team member Davis Motyka.

2021 Fargo returning All-Americans:
Ezekiel Witt (KS, 3rd 16U GR 94) and Lawson Eller (MN, 4th 16U GR 88)
Others separated: Tas Storer and Michael Romero of California, Isaiah Harrison of Colorado, Lincoln Sledzianowski of Florida, Boden Banta of Idaho, Gavin Pardilla of Illinois, Cooper Hinz of Iowa, Tyson Roach of Louisiana, Hudson Loges of Nebraska, Rocco Czarnecki of Ohio, Dominic Deputy of Pennsylvania and Caleb Jackson of Utah
Nationally ranked wrestlers: None

106 pounds:
Seven returning All-Americans including a runner-up at 94 lead the quest for a championship at 106. All returning All-Americans wrestled at a lighter weight a year ago.

Colorado’s Griffin Rial placed third at 88 and claimed fifth at U17 Nationals in late April. Revin Dickman of Indiana received sixth at 88. He also finished eighth at U17 Nationals. Brady Phelps of Illinois finished Fargo runner-up at 94. He returns with championship aspirations after being shutout in last year’s final.
Two All-Americans from 94 jump two weights to 106. Iowa hammer Ryker Graff teched fellow contender Devin Bobzien of California last year to claim seventh. Graff placed fourth at U17 Nationals. He shined at Junior National Duals with a 6-1 performance and five tech falls.

Aaron Seidel of Pennsylvania and Cole Gentsch of Illinois found the podium last summer at 106. Seidel won six straight matches in the consolation bracket to take third while Gentsch placed sixth. Seidel went undefeated at the 16U National Duals and could breakthrough in Fargo.

But wait. Even with all this talent, last year’s Junior national champion, Kolter Burton of Idaho, drops into this bracket. Yeah, this is a ridiculously deep class. He blasted his competition at the 16U Junior National Duals with an undefeated record and only allowed two points.

Returning 2021 Fargo All-Americans: Griffin Rial (CO, 3rd 16U GR 88), Revin Dickman (IN, 6th 16U GR 88) Brady Phelps (IL, 2nd 16U GR 94), Ryker Graff (IA, 7th 16U GR 94), Devin Bobzien (CA, 8th 16U GR 94), Aaron Seidel (PA, 3rd 16U GR 100) and Cole Gentsch (IL, 6th 16U GR 100)
Others separated: Gus Cardinal of Arizona, Moses Mendoza and Isaiah Cortez of California, Gavin Weichelt of Colorado, Kolter Burton of Idaho, Kaiden Triche of Louisiana, Titan Friederichs of Minnesota, Kurk Mokros of Ohio, Zane Donley, Tyler Misenheimer and Aydan Thomas of Oklahoma, Keanu Dillard of Pennsylvania, Kody Tanimoto of Texas, Evan Sanati and Tyler Dekraker of Virginia and Liam Neitzel of Wisconsin
Nationally ranked wrestlers: Aaron Seidel (No. 3 at 106) and Isaiah Cortez (No. 10 at 106)

113 pounds:
One All-American returns in a field flooded with age group placewinners and a 14U national champion.
Idaho’s Jaxton Packer received fourth last summer at 100. Now up 13 pounds, he looks for the podium again amid a Greco-Roman season that included an eighth-place finish at U17 Nationals.

Two fellow U17 Nationals All-Americans look for the podium as well. Californians Elijah Cortez and Edwin Sierra placed at U17 Nationals. Cortez nabbed fourth at 51 kg while Sierra finished runner-up to Cadet World Team member Elyle Francisco in a best of three final series. Wisconsin’s Declan Koch captured a U15 Nationals championship while Ned Kauffman of Pennsylvania placed fifth. Deven Casey of Illinois also placed fifth at U15 Nationals at 52 kg.

Colorado’s Derek Barrows, a 2021 14U national champion shifts into Fargo this summer. In late April, he finished as runner-up at U15 Nationals.

Returning 2021 Fargo All-Americans: Jaxton Packer (ID, 4th 16U GR 100)
Others separated: Stone Phillips and Brodie Christmas of Alabama, Elijah Cortez, Edwin Sierra and Nathan Carrillo of California, Derek Barrows and Cody Tanner of Colorado, Tucker Bowen and Koy Orr of Idaho, Deven Casey of Illinois, Isaiah Schaefer of Indiana, Timothy Koester and Connor Fiser of Iowa, Jayden Raney of Kentucky, Ryan Meier of Massachusetts, Cole Rogers of Montana, Seach Hibler of New Jersey, Isaiah Jones of Oklahoma, Jeremiah Wachsmuth of Oregon, Ned Kauffman of Pennsylvania, Carson Dupill of Tennessee and Declan Koch of Wisconsin
Nationally ranked wrestlers: Edwin Sierra (No. 7 at 113), Jake Hockaday (No. 12 at 113), Elijah Cortez (No. 16 at 113)

120 pounds:
Two runners-up and three other All-Americans return to Fargo in hopes of improvement.

Trey Wagner of Pennsylvania finished second a year ago at 100 while Idaho’s Matthew Martino did the same at 106. Also at 100, Jared Johnston of Ohio finished seventh. Adam Butler of Ohio placed seventh at 106. Down at 113, Sam Herring, a 2021 double All-American, claimed the podium’s last spot.

Other than these guys, podium-worthy talent remains. It starts with Thomas Verrette of Colorado. A U15 Nationals champion, he has the skill and experience to win at Fargo. He makes his Fargo debut a year removed from a 14U championship and constantly trains with the nation’s best. A few weeks ago, he trained with the Cadet World Team at the Olympic and Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Jackson Heslin of Connecticut won at U15 Nationals in 2021. Last year at Fargo, he finished a win short of All-American status.

This weight also features several U15 All-Americans. Maksim Mukhamedaliyev of Illinois claimed eighth at 52 kg. Utah’s Geronimo Rivera did the same but at 57 kg.
Two U17 All-Americans add to this weight’s depth. Manuel Saldate of Nevada claimed seventh at U17 Nationals while Amryn Nutter of Wisconsin finished fifth.

Returning 2021 Fargo All-Americans: Trey Wagner (PA, 2nd 16U GR 100), Jared Johnston (OH, 7th 16U GR 100), Matthew Martino (ID, 2nd 16U GR 106), Adam Butler (OH, 7th 16U GR 106), Sam Herring (PA, 8th 16U GR 113)
Others separated: Joshua Requena of California, Nick Dardanes and Thomas Verrette of Colorado, Jackson Heslin of Connecticut, Christian Fretwell of Florida, Matthew Martino and Jake Castagneto of Idaho, Ty Edwards, Theodore Flores and Maksim Mukhamedaliyev of Illinois, Richie Clementi of Louisiana, Jackson Blum of Michigan, Presley Johnson of Missouri, Mason Gutenberger of Montana, Manuel Saldate of Nevada, Benjamin DeForest of North Dakota, Adam Butler of Ohio, Cooper Hilton of Tennessee, Geronimo Rivera of Utah and Tanner Campbell, Jacob Herm and Amryn Nutter of Wisconsin
Nationally ranked wrestlers: Cooper Hilton (No. 20 at 120)

126 pounds:
Ohio’s Phoenix Contos is the only returning All-American in this bracket. Last summer, he secured seventh at 120. But don’t let that deceive you from the talent in this bracket.

Watch out for Elias Navida of California who finished as Fargo runner-up to California’s Ray Ray Harris in 2021. Navida is one of several junior finalists who will participate in the 16U division this year. Recently, he finished two wins short of All-American status at U17 Nationals.

Also look out for Noah Koyama of Washington who recently placed fourth at U15 Nationals. This is one of the lighter weight classes in terms of the number of wrestlers with notable accolades which could make things interesting.

Returning 2021 Fargo All-Americans: Phoenix Contos (OH, 7th 16U GR 120)
Others separated: Giosue Hickman of Arizona, Elias Navida of California, Maximus Riggins and Cale Seaton of Iowa, Emmitt Sherlock of Maryland, Brayden Canoyer of Nebraska, Brock Weiss of Pennsylvania, Chase Van Hoven of Virginia, Noah Koyama of Washington, Sullivan Ramos and Colton Weiler of Wisconsin
Nationally ranked wrestlers: None

132 pounds:
Despite no returning All-Americans, Brock Mantanona of California is one of many contenders in this bracket. Ranked No. 20 at 126 by FloWrestling, he makes his Fargo Greco-Roman debut. Last summer, he finished as runner-up in freestyle.

A few U15 Nationals All-Americans enter their first Fargo tournament. Chaz Ponton, a member of the stacked Idaho contingent, finished seventh at 62 kg. Washington’s Israel Acosta claimed seventh at 57 kg. Both guys could do some damage.

Also watch out for Colorado’s Billy Greenwood. Last year at Fargo, he finished a win short of All-American status. A month ago, he went 5-2 with three bonus point wins at the 16U National Duals.

Returning 2021 Fargo All-Americans: None
Others separated: Daishun Powe of Alabama, Brock Mantanona of California, Billy Greenwood and Nevin Smith of Colorado, Nathaniel Askew of Georgia, Chaz Ponton of Idaho, Ian Hawkins of Illinois, Nolan Fellers of Iowa, Marco Dalakishvili of Missouri, Cory Velasquez of Oklahoma, Israel Acosta of Washington
Nationally ranked wrestlers: Brock Mantanona (No. 20 at 126)

138 pounds:
Two returning All-Americans return to Fargo looking for the podium again.

A year ago, Garret Reece of Colorado placed fourth at 120. Reece dropped into the consolation bracket after a quarterfinals loss to 2022 Cadet World Team member Zan Fugitt. Reece won three straight only to lose to Fugitt in the third-place bout. But on the way to a rematch with Fugitt, he teched Jax Forrest, another 2022 Cadet World Team member. Sure, Forrest is improved from last year, but Reece proved he can wrestle with the best. Gabriel Bouyssou of Rhode Island placed seventh last year at 132. He’s a big talent from a small state. In fact, Bouyssou is just one of five Rhode Island entries in this division. In late April, he added a fifth-place finish at U17 Nationals.

Vince Bouzakis is also one of several other names to watch at this weight. The younger brother of Ohio state signee, Nic Bouzakis, Vince is ranked No. 14 at 138 by FloWrestling. He went undefeated at the 16U National Duals and didn’t allow a point. Kane Naaktgeboren of Iowa is another guy to watch. He won a 16U folkstyle national championship but showed the ability to win in Greco-Roman. Naaktgeboren recorded three tech falls at the 16U National Duals.

Returning 2021 Fargo All-Americans: Garrett Reece (CO, 4th 16U GR 120) and Gabriel Bouyssou (RI, 7th 16U GR 132)
Others separated: Silas Foster and Wyatt Krejsa of Indiana, Kane Naaktgeboren of Iowa, Alex Braun and Conlan Carlson of Minnesota, Lane Snyder of Missouri, Brandon Dean of New Jersey, Caden Bellis of New York, Grayson Woodcock of Ohio, Vince Bouzakis of Pennsylvania, Brayden Robison of Utah and Tre Haines of Washington
Nationally ranked wrestlers: Vince Bouzakis (No. 14 at 138)

145 pounds:
Gabriel Delgado of Nevada, a fourth-place finisher last year at 132, leads this contingent of middleweights, Iowa’s Justin Avila, the other returning All-American in this bracket, finished seventh last summer at 138. Avila also placed seventh at U17 Nationals in late April.

In this weight, a 14U champion debuts in Fargo. Kyler Knaack of Iowa teched his way to a national championship a year ago and placed third at U15 Nationals.

Christopher Acuna is another contender who placed fifth at U15 Nationals. Similar to 94 and 126, this is a weight that seems wide open. This is a great opportunity for a lesser known wrestler to emerge as champion.

Returning 2021 Fargo All-Americans: Gabriel Delgado (NV, 4th 16U GR 132) Justin Avila (IA, 7th 16U GR 138)
Others separated: Aliaksandr Kikiniou of California, Emil Necula of Georgia, Carlos Valdez of Idaho, Kyler Knaack of Iowa, Jackson Marr of Minnesota, Christopher Acuna of Montana, Kody Routledge of Oklahoma, Devon Kerr of Oregon, Hunter Sturgill of Tennessee and Liam Fox of Wyoming
Nationally ranked wrestlers: None

152 pounds:
No returning All-Americans grace this bracket but plenty of U15 All-Americans seek the podium.

Start with Dominic Dotson of California, who placed eighth at U15 Nationals. He will make his Fargo debut. Nevada’s Deacon Pickett, another contender in this field, beat Dotson at U15 Nationals to claim seventh. Joseph Ruiz of New Jersey finished fourth at U15 Nationals in late April.

Minnesota’s Bradley Rodriguez-Little enters Fargo a year removed from a 14U Nationals championship.

A few 2021 U15 All-Americans like Travis Grace of California look to improve in their second Fargo tournament. He went 2-2 in 2021. Brodie Dominique of Ohio who finished as runner-up at the 2021 U15 Nationals, went 3-2 last year. With a lot of Fargo inexperience in this group, there are many unknowns.

Returning 2021 Fargo All-Americans: None
Others separated: Enzo Morales of Arizona, Travis Grace and Dominic Dotson of California, Bradley Rodriguez-Little of Minnesota, Kaleb Shine of Montana, Deacon Pickett of Nevada, Joseph Ruiz of New Jersey, Brodie Dominique of Ohio and JD Sigman of Oklahoma
Nationally ranked wrestlers: None

160 pounds:
Again, no returning Fargo All-Americans in this bracket. The accolades are light, but Fargo always entertains. The uncertainty could create some chaos.
Elijah Hawes of Utah placed sixth at U15 Nationals. He is the only 2022 U15 All-American in this field.

Look out for Aydan Carlson of Minnesota who went 5-1 at 16U National Duals with a 100% bonus point rate. Merrik Murray of Minnesota competed in the 16U and Junior National Duals. Combined, he recorded a 10-4 performance with seven bonus point victories.

Returning 2021 Fargo All-Americans:
Others separated: Angelo Posada of California, Anthony Gutierrez of Illinois, Miguel Rojas of Indiana, Aydan Carlson and John Murphy of Minnesota, Merrik Murray of Missouri, Tyrel Miller of Ohio, Tommy Cohenour of Pennsylvania, Elijah Hawes of Utah, Macon Ayers of Virginia, Tristan Steldt of Wisconsin and Terran Grooms of Wyoming
Nationally ranked wrestlers: None

170 pounds:
This weight classes features two returning All-Americans and several 2021 U15 All-Americans.

Luis Mendoza of Washington surged from an opening loss to a sixth-place finish in 2021 at 160. After he lost his round of 64 bout, Mendoza erupted with motivation to win seven straight matches on the backside. In that span, he logged six bonus-point victories. At 145, Hudson Rogers of Idaho grabbed eighth a year ago. Recently, up at 170, he went undefeated at the 16U National Duals and outscored opponents 38-2. Espyn Sweers of Wisconsin, Luke Hancock of Kansas, Brent Slade of Iowa and Sir Friday of Arizona placed at U15 Nationals last year.

Also watch out for Jarrel Miller Jr. of Ohio. Last year in Fargo, he finished two wins shy of All-American status. This is an intriguing weight class with many possible contenders. Who is your pick?

Returning 2021 Fargo All-Americans: Luis Mendoza (WA, 6th 16U GR 160) and Hudson Rogers (ID, 8th 16U GR 145)
Others separated: Sir Friday of Arizona, Brent Slade of Iowa, Luke Hancock of Kansas, Cael Mielnik of Maryland, Bryce Burkett of Minnesota, Jarrel Miller Jr. of Ohio, Liam Byrne of Oregon, Bekhruz Sadriddinov of Pennsylvania, Josh Kelly of Virginia and Espyn Sweers of Wisconsin
Nationally ranked wrestlers: None

182 pounds:
De’Alcapon Veazy returns to Fargo after a third-place finish at this weight a year ago.

He made it to the semifinals until he was teched by Minnesota’s Soren Herzog but battled back for third. In late April, he responded from a semifinal loss against Minnesota’s Cole Han-Lindemyer, a Cadet World Team member, to place fifth. Veazy recorded an 8-0 outing at the 16U National Duals with a 100% bonus point rating. In those bouts, he tallied two pins under a minute. In one of those, he pinned Kai Valenzuela of Alabama in eight seconds.

Cittadino Tuttle, a 2021 U15 All-American, went 3-2 in Fargo last summer. Recently at the 16U National Duals, he went undefeated and outscored opponents 67-1. He will be a contender at this weight. He also won the Northern Plans Regional.

Three other regional champions highlight this field. Adam Waters of Pennsylvania cruised to a Northeast Regional championship with a 100% bonus point rate. Texas’ Karson Tompkins won at the Southern Plains Regional while Matt King of Washington did the same at the Northwest Regional.

Returning 2021 Fargo All-Americans: De’Alcapon Veazy (IN, 3rd 16U GR 182)
Others separated: Coby Merrill of California, Samuel Watkins of Kansas, Cittadino Tuttle of Minnesota, Adonis Bonar II of Nebraska, Gavin Blondeaux of Nevada, William Ward of North Dakota, Adam Waters of Pennsylvania, Karson Tompkins of Texas and Matt King of Washington
Nationally ranked wrestlers: None

195 pounds:
Iowa’s Dreshaun Ross is a hammer in this field without any returning Fargo All-Americans. In late April, he dominated to win a U15 Nationals championship. Oh, and he did the same in freestyle. He makes his Fargo debut a year after a 14U National Championship. In fact, he hasn’t lost a USA Wrestling sanctioned match since June 2021 in the 14U National Duals. Since then, he’s a combined 15-0 and 5-0 in Greco-Roman.

This is also a division littered with folkstyle national champions and placewinners. Mark Marin III of Californio won a Junior folkstyle national championship in spring. It will be interesting to see how that success transitions to Greco-Roman.

Several regional champions could be in contention for stop signs in Fargo. Carson Gooley of Idaho claimed a West Regional championship. In the Midwest, Iowa’s Noah Parsons topped the field at the Northern Plains Regional. Ohio’s Owen Pummel snagged a championship at the Central Regional while Jason Singer of Pennsylvania and Riley Hucks of South Carolina did the same at the Northeast Regional and Southeast Regional.

Ross may be the favorite but like most weights in this division, the rest of the field could be wide open.

Returning 2021 Fargo All-Americans:
Others separated: Cole Carter of Alabama, Kayden Cartee and Mark Marin III of California, Carson Gooley of Idaho, Dreshaun Ross and Noah Parsons of Iowa, Brennan Carey of Missouri, Owen Pummel of Ohio, Jason Singer of Pennsylvania, Riley Hucks of South Carolina and Tyson Martin
Nationally ranked wrestlers: None

220 pounds:
California’s Nicholas Sahakian represents his state’s strong contingent as the only returning Fargo All-American in this bracket. Last summer, Sahakian, ranked No. 16 by FloWrestling, finished seventh. He added to his resume with a fifth-place finish at U17 Nationals and went undefeated with a 100% bonus point rate at the 16U National Duals.

Watch out for his teammate, Adam Farha, a Western Regional champion. In the last bout of the 16U National Duals championship, he defeated Ean Winchester of Pennsylvania Blue to gift California a national championship.

Farha is one of many regional champions in this field. Illinois’ Lamar Bradley earned the top spot in the Northern Plains Regional. Clayton Frehn of Kansas won a Southern Plains Regional while Rylan Kuhn of Missouri secured one in the Central Regional. Back in the west, Chase Baker of Washington topped his bracket, and, in the east, Landon Hartman of Pennsylvania won a Northeast Regional.

Returning 2021 Fargo All-Americans: Nicholas Sahakian (CA, 7th 16U GR 220)
Others separated: Adam Farha of California, Lamar Bradley of Illinois, Brayden Hill and Clayton Frehn of Kansas, Rylan Kuhn of Missouri, Melvin Whitehead of Nevada, Landon Hartman of Pennsylvania and Chase Baker of Washington
Nationally ranked wrestlers: Nicholas Sahakian (No. 16 at 220)

285 pounds:
One All-American returns in this field full of regional champions and U17 Nationals All-Americans.

Willie Cox of Alabama found the last spot on the podium in 2021. After a round of 32 loss, Cox won four straight to secure All-American status. But once a guaranteed All-American, he dropped two straight to take eighth. Watch out for this southern star.

In Missouri, Sampson Stillwell is a solid podium candidate after finishing as runner-up to Cadet World Team member Koy Hopke of Minnesota at U17 Nationals. At the 16U National Duals, Stillwell went undefeated and tallied five tech falls. Connor Aney of Washington, another U17 Nationals All-American, finished eighth in that tournament.

Beyond these guys, there are a few regional champions to watch. Iowa’s Cooper Martinson sped through the Northern Plains Regional bracket and went undefeated at 16U National Duals with a 100% bonus point rate. Misssouri’s Kamahoa Grace claimed a Southern Plains Regional championship. Hunter Vander Heiden of Wisconsin snagged a Central Regional championship.

Returning 2021 Fargo All-Americans: Willie Cox (AL, 8th 16U GR 285)
Others separated: Wyatt Schmitt of Illinois, Cooper Martinson of Iowa, Milan Colvin of Kansas, Avaugn Dorvil of Minnesota, Kamahao Grace and Sampson Stillwell of Missouri, Connor Aney of Washington and Hunter Vander Heiden of Wisconsin
Nationally ranked wrestlers: None

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