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By Willie Saylor, WIN STAFF
In our last print edition and as a sort of prelude to the high school rankings, long-time prep analyst Rob Sherrill noted one of the rather peculiar duties requisite of those in our profession: watching the waiver wire.
For good reason, he expressed his frustration on a few levels.
In the distant past the “waiver wire” was important only to MLB general managers. Now, it’s become incumbent upon wrestling writers to keep up with the off-season movement of preps to maintain accuracy. What’s worse is that the information regarding top wrestlers moving here and there often trickles in to our desks piecemeal. An e-mail here, a text there or in the most unofficial of ways, a post on a forum.
In one passage, Sherrill expressed relief that school had started, and thus, the offseason movement had come to an end. Oh, if only it were that simple.
At least two prominent individuals have transferred since.
Originally from Texas, Jack Bass wrestled his freshman year at Robinson High School in Virginia. He stayed there through the first months of the 2011 school year, but has since transferred to Allen High (Texas) which has also brought in at least one other transfer, as their 113-pounder hails from Utah.
That Allen has transfers and is listed as a Top 20 team in every ranking service isn’t a coincidence. Sherrill notes that six of his top nine teams feature at least one transfer.
The second ‘transfer’ during the school year was Dalton Brady, a member of the Cadet World Team, who finished fifth in Hungary this August and just recently returned to his original Chandler, Ariz., high school. He had been living in Colorado Springs at the Olympic Training Center. But when the Colorado state athletic association deemed him ineligible to compete in the high school season, he returned to Arizona.
With the unique circumstances, come unique rulings.
Last week in Pennsylvania, a state notoriously tough on transfers, the athletic association (the PIAA) held hearings regarding the migration of several wrestlers.
2010 State and Super 32 Champion, Cody Weircioch, who transferred from Charleroi to Canon-McMillan, was ruled ineligible by his district, as was Zain Retherford (Line Mountain to Benton), another 2010 state champion. Both appealed the rulings, leading to the November 17th state hearings. There, Weircioch was deemed eligible. In Retherford’s case, the PIAA cited procedural inequities, sending the matter back to the district level, and deferring the issue even longer.
In 2008, Fargo and Super 32 Champ, Josh Dziewa, now at the University of Iowa, was forced to miss the entire junior season when his eligibility was denied after transferring from Pennsbury to Council Rock-South. This is the case again for Colin Hedash, who had the same ruling go against him. He has transferred from Northern Lehigh to Bethlehem Catholic.
For some, a year of ineligibility is a price they’ll pay for going to a better program. Ben Sullivan, who transferred to Apple Valley (Minn.) from Alaska, sat out last year when he lost his eligibility. But he’s good to go for this, his senior season.
In effort keep the nation’s high school wrestling fans abreast of the movement (and to keep us wrestling writers sane), we’ll try note the prominent wrestles who have switched schools for the 2011-12 season. Hopefully, with the regular season less than three weeks away, this list is comprehensive and final.
• Connor King – from Broomfield (Colo.) to Poway
• Jake Smith – from Robinson (Va.) to Newark Memorial
• Jacob Haydock – from Cascia Hall (Okla.) to Brandon
• Tyler Liberatore – from Brandon to Wharton
• Geordan Speiller – from Oviedo to Pine Castle Christian
• Doug Vollaro – from Oviedo to Pine Castle Christian
• Ryan Millhof – from Archer to Collins Hill
• Bryce Brill – from Marmion to Mount Carmel
• Jared Cortez – from Marmion to Glenbard North
• Sebastian Pique – from Hinsdale South to Carl Sandburg
• Ricky Robertson – from Mount Carmel to Carl Sandburg
• Freddy Stroker – from Harrisburg (Pa.) to Bettendorf
• Stephen Myers – from Moeller (Ohio) to Grant County
• Ben Whitford – from Marmion (Ill.) to St. Johns
• Ben Sullivan – eligibility reinstated at Apple Valley
• Colton Howell – from Brandon (Fla.) to St. Charles West
• Blake Kastl – from Gilroy (Calif.) to St. Paris-Graham
• Ryan Diehl – from Berkeley Springs (W.Va.) to Trinity
• Collin Hedash – from Northern Lehigh to Bethlehem Catholic (ruled ineligible)
• Zane Heller – from Northern Lehigh to Bethlehem Catholic
• Michael Johnson, Jr. – Freshman from Illinois now at Wyoming Seminary
• Zain Retherford – from Line Mountain to Benton
• Cody Weircioch – from Charleroi to Canon-McMillan
• Jack Bass – from Robinson (Va.) to Allen
• Jaden Wiser – from Weber (Utah) to Allen
• Coy Ozias – from Southern Garrett (Md.) to Christiansburg