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Summer RPI leaders shows true prep standouts

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Updated: September 26, 2011

By Rob Sherrill

With another off-season now officially over, I’ve spent the better part of the last couple of weeks (prior to deadline) compiling the new set of preseason individual rankings you can find on page 35 in this issue. (Hold all applause until the end, please.)

The volume of results I used resembled a small mountain. And, as I’ve written repeatedly in previous columns, the size of that mountain neither makes the process of compiling the rankings easier … nor improves the accuracy of those rankings. Sometimes too much information is just that: too much information.

Recently, however, I’ve started utilizing a tool used by a sport that traditionally is one of our sworn enemies, NCAA Division I basketball: the RPI. One component of that RPI: the number of wins against the RPI top 50.

Given that my two main rankings criteria are strength of schedule and the number of quality wins, it should come as no surprise that I’m partial to the RPI as a rankings tool.

In this day and age, when everybody wrestles everybody, nearly everybody in the rankings has good wins and bad losses. Some have a lot of the former, which will excuse even a lot of the latter. After all, those wrestlers are putting it on the line frequently in events with tough fields, which contributes to the strength of schedule component.

So I thought I’d share a window to my world with you some of the off-season RPI leaders who can be found in this issue’s preseason rankings. The list below includes the top five wrestlers at each weight class in quality wins … defined as wins over other wrestlers I considered for a ranking. These records include quality wins, and all losses.

Although I’m using the new weight classes in the pre-season rankings (my unequivocal support to the many current attempts in Ohio and other states to roll them back; please keep me posted), I’m listing my summer RPI leaders using the previous weight classes, since they were in effect during the last season. The 103-pound category includes everyone who competed at 105 pounds or below.

Finally, to level today’s playing field, these records include only wins and losses against current high school wrestlers. They do not include wins or losses against wrestlers who graduated from high school as part of the Class of 2011.

Who were the big winners? Seven wrestlers recorded, by my count, 10 or more quality wins over the current high school population. Leading the way:

Zane Richards of Illinois won a Junior freestyle championship last summer in Fargo, N.D.

• Zane Richards, Carbondale (Ill.) High — 14

• Cory Clark, Runnells (Ia.) SE Polk High — 12

• Joey McKenna, Blairstown Township (N.J.) Blair Academy — 12

• Kyle Crutchmer, Tulsa (Okla.) Union High — 10

• Zac Hall, St. Johns (Mich.) High —10

• Phillip Laux, Iowa City (Iowa) West High — 10

• Devin Peterson, Wisconsin Rapids (Wis.) Lincoln High — 10

So, with the ground rules out of the way, we present WIN’s Summer RPI leaders by last year’s weight classes. Enjoy!

 

WIN’s 2011 Summer RPI leaders

 

103 pounds

1. Zac Hall, sophomore, St. Johns (Mich.) High, 10 quality wins; 10 losses

2. Johnson Mai, senior, North Torrance (Calif.) High, 7 quality wins; 1 loss

3. Ronnie Bresser, junior, Klamath Falls (Ore.) Henley High, 6 quality wins; 2 losses

4. Tommy Thorn, junior, St. Michael-Albertville (Minn.) High, 5 quality wins; 0 losses; (tie) Bobby Nachreiner, junior, Hartford (Wis.) High, 5 quality wins; 5 losses

(tie) Javier Vieyra, senior, Salina (Kan.) South High, 5 quality wins; 12 losses

The lowdown: Hall’s tough schedule at 112 included wins over Laux and Crone, as well as three losses to McKenna, but it ultimately led to a pair of third-place finishes in the Cadet Nationals. Thorn’s log included wins over Garelli, Hall and Bresser.

 

112 pounds

1. Joey McKenna, sophomore, Blairstown Township (N.J.) Blair Academy, 12 quality wins; 3 losses

2. Phillip Laux, senior, Iowa City (Iowa) West High, 10 quality wins; 9 losses

3. Andrew Crone, junior, Hartland (Wis.) Arrowhead High, 9 quality wins; 7 losses

4. Micah Perez, junior, El Centro (Calif.) Central Union High, 8 quality wins; 4 losses

5. Colton Howell, senior, St. Charles (Mo.) West High, 5 quality wins; 0 losses

(tie) James Flint, sophomore, Brandon (Fla.) High, 5 quality wins; 5 losses

(tie) Sebastian Pique, junior, Orland Park (Ill.) Carl Sandburg High, 5 quality wins; 5 losses

The lowdown: McKenna had three wins over Hall and also beat Crone and Pique, but lost to Laux and Perez. See how the merry-go-round goes? Crone’s wins included Laux and Pique, and Perez beat both of the top two on the list.

 

119 pounds

1. Cory Clark, senior, Runnells (Iowa) Southeast Polk High, 12 quality wins; 4 losses

2. Isaiah Varona, senior, Homestead (Fla.) South Dade High, 8 quality wins; 5 losses

3. Thomas Gilman, senior, Omaha (Neb.) Skutt High, 5 quality wins; 0 losses

(tie) Gary Wayne Harding, sophomore, Collinsville (Okla.) High, 5 quality wins; 2 losses

5. Tim Lambert, junior, Ada (Mich.) Forest Hills Eastern High, 4 quality wins; 0 losses; (tie) Jered Cortez, sophomore, Carol Stream (Ill.) Glenbard North High, 4 quality wins; 2 losses; (tie) Jacob Schmitt, junior, St. Johns (Mich.) High, 4 quality wins; 3 losses

The lowdown: When you’re everywhere, as Clark was, the quality wins pile up: four over Brancale plus wins over Bengtson, Weber, Klimara and Cortez. Varona, who beat Hathaway, Schmitt and Brandt, was a revelation as a Junior Greco-Roman champion. Gilman beat Clark, Cortez and Schmitt en route to the Junior freestyle crown.

 

125 pounds

1. Zane Richards, senior, Carbondale (Ill.) High, 14 quality wins; 2 losses

2. Rossi Bruno, senior, Brandon (Fla.) High, 8 quality wins; 1 loss

3. Joey Palmer, senior, Orting (Wash.) High, 6 quality wins; 3 losses; (tie) Sam Brancale, senior, Eden Prairie (Minn.) High, 6 quality wins; 8 losses

5. Anthony Ashnault, junior, South Plainfield (N.J.) High, 5 quality wins; 6 losses

The lowdown: Collecting wins at both 125 and 130 — where he won the Junior freestyle title — Richards led the way from start to finish. His lone losses were to Tuma and Bruno, who also beat Brancale and Kraisser twice each. Palmer was a revelation with two wins over Weber and one over Kraisser.

 

130 pounds

1. Josh Pennell, junior, St. Johns (Mich.) High, 8 quality wins; 7 losses

2. Kevin Norstrem, junior, Brandon (Fla.) High, 6 quality wins; 2 losses

3. Kyle Larson, senior, West Des Moines (Iowa) Valley High, 6 quality wins; 6 losses

4. Jeff Ott, senior, Belmont (Mass.) Belmont Hill School, 5 quality wins; 1 loss

5. Mark Grey, senior, Blairstown Township (N.J.) Blair Academy, 4 quality wins; 0 losses;                         (tie) Brandon Jeske, junior, Virginia Beach (Va.) Frank W. Cox High, 4 quality wins; 1 loss; (tie) Hayden Tuma, junior, Boise (Idaho) Centennial High, 4 quality wins; 1 loss; (tie) Sam Jones, senior, Folsom (La.), 4 quality wins; 3 losses; (tie) Jared McKinley, senior, Indianapolis (Ind.) Perry Meridian High, 4 quality wins; 4 losses; (tie) Austin Roper, senior, Kirksville (Mo.) High, 4 quality wins; 10 losses

The lowdown: This weight class was a logjam from top to bottom, with over two dozen recording at least one quality win. Though he hasn’t yet won a Michigan state title, Pennell owns two wins over Larson and wins over LaMont and Roper. He also lost twice to Norstrem, who in turn lost to Larson. Ott, who finally lost to Richards after winning a protest, beat Larson as well.

 

135 pounds

1. Bo Nickal, sophomore, Allen (Texas) High, 7 quality wins; 7 losses

2. John Meeks, senior, Des Moines (Iowa) Roosevelt High, 6 quality wins; 0 losses; (tie) Grant LaMont, junior, Spanish Fork (Utah) Maple Mountain High, 6 quality wins; 4 losses; (tie) Ryan Blees, sophomore, Bismarck (N.D.) High, 6 quality wins; 5 losses

5. Todd Preston, senior, Blairstown Township (N.J.) Blair Academy, 4 quality wins; 1 loss; (tie) Ben Morgan, senior, Forest Lake (Minn.) High, 4 quality wins; 5 losses; (tie) Grant Leeth, sophomore, Kearney (Mo.) High, 4 quality wins; 6 losses

The lowdown: Because the vast majority at this weight were Cadets, their performances got them on the radar, but not over the top just yet. Nickal’s wins were split between 130 and 135. Meeks’ impressive performance included wins over Preston, Morgan, Nickal and Blees.

 

140 pounds

1. Jack Clark, sophomore, Owings Mills (Md.) McDonogh School, 7 quality wins; 2 losses

2. Peter Nagy, sophomore, Creston (Iowa) High, 6 quality wins; 2 losses

3. Jason Tsirtsis, senior, Crown Point (Ind.) High, 5 quality wins; 0 losses

4. Jake Short, junior, Inver Grove Heights (Minn.) Simley High, 4 quality wins; 1 loss; (tie) Devin Vasquez, junior, El Paso (Texas) Eastwood High, 4 quality wins; 4 losses

The lowdown: Clark split with Garett Hammond and Holler, also beating Nagy, who in turn owns wins over Michigan standouts Mooradian and Marcicki. All five of Tsirtsis’s wins at Fargo came over ranked opponents, capped by his Junior freestyle final win over Short.

 

145 pounds

1. Brian Realbuto, senior, Somers (N.Y.) High, 6 quality wins; 0 losses

2. Brian Murphy, junior, Carol Stream (Ill.) Glenbard North High, 5 quality wins; 1 loss; (tie) Oliver Pierce, junior, Allen (Texas) High, 5 quality wins; 3 losses; (tie) Dylan Milonas, sophomore, Blairstown Township (N.J.) Blair Academy, 5 quality wins; 5 losses

5. Alex Abono, senior, Concord (Calif.) DeLaSalle High, 3 quality wins; 2 losses

The lowdown: The Junior freestyle final between Realbuto and Murphy turned out to be for all the marbles in more ways than one. Realbuto earned a win over Allen as well and both recorded victories over Moreno and Dailey. Pierce split with Koethe and beat Abono and Moreno.

 

152 pounds

1. Chance Marsteller, sophomore, Fawn Grove (Pa.) Kennard Dale High, 5 quality wins; 0 losses; (tie) Kelian Torres, junior, Altus (Okla.) High, 5 quality wins; 2 losses; (tie) Justin Koethe, senior, Iowa City (Iowa) West High, 5 quality wins; 4 losses

4. Zac Brunson, senior, Eugene (Ore.) Winston Churchill High, 3 quality wins; 1 loss; (tie) Russell Parsons, junior, Blairstown Township (N.J.) Blair Academy, 3 quality wins; 2 losses

The lowdown: Marsteller was never challenged at Fargo, with his finals win over Torres clinching the Cadet freestyle OW. Koethe split time between 152 and 160, collecting wins over Glass, Pierce and Coleman Hammond while losing to Brunson.

 

160 pounds

1. Alex Meyer, senior, Runnells (Iowa) Southeast Polk High, 8 quality wins; 3 losses

2. Dylan Reel, senior, Washington (Ill.) High, 6 quality wins; 5 losses

3. Jordan Wohlfert, senior, St. Johns (Mich.) High, 3 quality wins; 2 losses; (tie) Micah Barnes, senior, Inver Grove Heights (Minn.) Simley High, 3 quality wins; 3 losses; (tie) Ben Morgan, senior, Forest Lake (Minn.) High, 3 quality wins; 3 losses; (tie) Grant Leeth, sophomore, Kearney (Mo.) High, 3 quality wins; 4 losses

The lowdown: Wohlfert was among four St. Johns wrestlers who made this list; second only to Blair Academy’s six. Meyer stood head and shoulders above this field with wins over Begin, Benitz, Paddock, Reel and Martin, who also owns a win over Brunson.

 

171 pounds

1. Kyle Crutchmer, senior, Tulsa (Okla.) Union High, 10 quality wins; 0 losses

2. Jordan Rogers, senior, Spokane (Wash.) Mead High, 6 quality wins; 1 loss

3. Raymond O’Donnell, junior, Hellertown (Pa.) Saucon Valley High, 5 quality wins; 3 losses; (tie) Matt Reed, senior, Wichita Heights (Kan.) High, 5 quality wins; 3 losses

5. Jordan Thomas, senior, Greenville (Mich.) High, 4 quality wins; 3 losses; (tie) Troy Hembury, junior, Muncy (Pa.) High, 4 quality wins; 6 losses; (tie) Sean Mappes, senior, Greenwood (Ind.) Center Grove High, 4 quality wins; 6 losses

The lowdown: Crutchmer was the only one of the double-digit club to win every match against a quality opponent. He beat Reel twice and also recorded wins over Thomas, Beazley, Dechow, Newberg and Begin. Despite a loss to O’Donnell, Hembury recorded two wins each over Cadet freestyle champion Robertson and Cadet Greco-Roman finalist Bernstein.

 

189 pounds

1. Devin Peterson, senior, Wisconsin Rapids (Wis.) Lincoln High, 10 quality wins; 2 losses

2. Sam Brooks, senior, Oak Park-River Forest (Ill.) High, 6 quality wins; 1 loss

3. Gage Harrah, senior, Crystal Lake (Ill.) Central High, 4 quality wins; 2 losses; (tie) Matt McClimens, junior, Eureka (Mo.) High, 4 quality wins; 3 losses; (tie) Willie Miklus, senior, Runnells (Iowa) Southeast Polk High, 4 quality wins; 4 losses

The lowdown: Peterson joined Crutchmer as the only wrestlers above 125 with double-digit wins by splitting with Brooks and Lobsinger and beating Miklus twice, Harrah, Gibbons, Howes, Dudley and Mattiace. McClimens was one of three dominant Cadets, beating both double champion Sliga and Cadet finalist Ellingwood.

 

215 pounds

1. J’Den Cox, junior, Columbia (Mo.) David Hickman High, 8 quality wins; 2 losses

2. Adam Coon, junior, Fowlerville (Mich.) High, 6 quality wins; 0 losses; (tie) Brian Moran, junior, Fowlerville (Mich.) High, 6 quality wins; 8 losses

4. Josh Marchok, senior, Schaumburg (Ill.) High, 5 quality wins; 2 losses

5. Kyle Snyder, sophomore, Wheaton (Md.) Good Counsel High, 3 quality wins; 0 losses; (tie) Brad Johnson, senior, Lockport (Ill.) High, 3 quality wins; 2 losses

The lowdown: In what was an interesting Cadet division, Cox fell to Snyder, but beat Moran twice in three matches and also beat Butler, Henry and Cobb. Coon and Moran met in the state high school finals last year, and Coon also won their only off-season match, along with wins over Marchok and Johnson.

 

Heavyweight

1. Brooks Black, junior, Blairstown Township (N.J.) Blair Academy, 5 quality wins; 0 losses

2. Jeremy Brazil, senior, Vernon Hills (Ill.) High, 4 quality wins; 4 losses

3. Sam Stoll, sophomore, Kasson-Mantorville (Minn.) High, 3 quality wins; 0 losses; (tie) Doug Vollaro, senior, Orlando (Fla.) Pine Castle Christian School, 3 quality wins; 2 losses; (tie) Evan McGee, senior, Ardmore (Okla.) High, 3 quality wins; 6 losses

The lowdown: Black’s resume as a first-year junior wasn’t as impressive as previous years — for obvious reasons — but he still beat Vollaro, McGee and Brazil. Brazil recorded a pair of wins over McGee and Stoll came out on top in a competitive Cadet division in Fargo.

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