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Summer RPI leaders: A different look at some off-season standouts
By Rob Sherrill
With another off-season now officially over, I’ve spent the better part of the last week (prior to deadline) compiling my second annual WIN Summer RPI leaders list.
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 too much information.
The RPI, of course, is short for Rating Percentage Index and a tool used by a sport that traditionally is one of wrestling’s sworn enemies, NCAA Division I basketball. 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 the next issue’s pre-season 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. They reflect only the USA Wrestling portion of the off-season schedule. Although some important results were recorded at the Disney Duals, and they have been factored into the pre-season rankings, they are not part of this measure, simply to keep the compilation process consistent.
The 106-pound category includes everyone who competed at 106 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 2012.
Who were the big winners?
Only one wrestler who returns to high school competition next year — Seth Gross of Apple Valley (Minn.) High — got to double figures in quality wins (10). That compares to seven such wrestlers last year. In fact, 10 wins would have put Gross only fourth in the list in 2011. Zane Richards of Carbondale (Ill.) High, now a University of Illinois freshman, posted 14 quality wins in 2011, which remains the record for this assessment.
So, with the ground rules out of the way, we present WIN’s Summer RPI leaders by weight class. Enjoy!
WIN’s 2012 Summer RPI leaders
Rk. Name, Year, Hometown & High School, Quality wins; losses
1. Scott Parker, junior, Fairless Hills (Pa.) Pennsbury High, 9; 1
2. Ke-Shawn Hayes, sophomore, Kansas City (Mo.) Park Hill High, 8; 1
3. Kaid Brock, sophomore, Stillwater (Okla.) High, 7; 3
4. Miguel Silva, junior, Plainfield (Ill.) South High, 6; 4
5. Hunter Marko, sophomore, Amery (Wis.) High, 5; 0
5. Camden Bertucci, sophomore, Grand Haven (Mich.) High, 5; 4
5. Paul Fitterer, sophomore, Cannon Falls/Randolph (Minn.) High, 5; 6
5. Nkosi Moody, senior, Olympia Fields (Ill.) Rich Central High, 5; 7
The lowdown: Seven of Parker’s quality wins came en route to his Cadet National freestyle title, more than any other wrestler on the list recorded in a single tournament. Hayes led the list with three wins at 113.
1. Zahid Valencia, sophomore, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco High, 6; 4
2. Mitch Rogaliner, senior, Temperance (Mich.) Bedford High, 4; 4
3. Adrian Cordova, senior, Colorado Springs (Colo.) Coronado High, 3; 1
3. Charles Tucker, sophomore, Blairstown (N.J.) Blair Academy, 3; 4
3. Dominic Forys, junior, Wexford (Pa.) North Allegheny High, 3; 6
The lowdown: Valencia, the first freshman Asics first-team All-American, came down to 113 to win the Cadet Nationals in freestyle after recording his first three wins at 120. Forys went up to 120 for Fargo, where he recorded his three wins.
1. Cole Weaver, junior, Hudson (Mich.) High, 7; 2
2. Joe Smith, sophomore, Stillwater (Okla.) High, 6; 5
3. Josh Terao, senior, Honolulu (Hawaii) Mid-Pacific Institute, 5; 3
3. Matthew Floresca, junior, Shoreline (Wash.) Shorewood High, 5; 9
5. Matthew Kolodzik, sophomore, Blairstown (N.J.) Blair Academy, 4; 0
The lowdown: Weaver, Smith and Floresca all started the off-season at 126. Terao and Kolodzik both fought through tough draws at Fargo.
1. Seth Gross, junior, Apple Valley (Minn.) High, 10; 2
2. Jacob Rubio, junior, Amarillo (Texas) Canyon Randall High, 8; 6
3. Jered Cortez, junior, Carol Stream (Ill.) Glenbard North High, 5; 0
4. Joey McKenna, junior, Blairstown Township (N.J.) Blair Academy, 4; 1
The lowdown: All 10 of Gross’s wins came at the Cadet level. Rubio, meanwhile, had three quality wins in the Junior Duals.
1. Kamaal Abdush-Shakur, junior, Lilburn (Ga.) Parkview High, 3; 3
1. Larry Early, sophomore, Oak Park (Ill.) O.P.-River Forest High, 3; 7
The lowdown: Two wrestlers who came out of nowhere to finish third in their respective state tournaments took their lumps against equally tough off-season schedules, but recorded wins.
1. Hayden Tuma, junior, Boise (Idaho) Centennial High, 8; 1
2. Anthony Ashnault, senior, South Plainfield (N.J.) High, 7; 3
3. Josh Shields, sophomore, Murrysville (Pa.) Franklin Regional High, 6; 1
4. Bryce Brill, junior, Chicago (Il.) Mount Carmel High, 5; 0
5. Darick LaPaglia, senior, Blue Springs (Mo.) High, 4; 4
5. Mitch Bengtson, senior, St. Cloud (Minn.) Apollo High, 4; 5
The lowdown: Not only was Tuma the leading winner, he was the most versatile, recording four quality wins in each style. The other five wrestlers on this list combined for three quality Greco wins, one fewer than Tuma alone.
1. Mason Manville, freshman, Apple Valley (Minn.) High, 4; 1
1. Jake Short, senior, Inver Grove Heights (Minn.) Simley High, 4; 1
1. Jack Bass, junior, Allen (Texas) High, 4; 3
1. Fox Baldwin, sophomore, Kissimmee (Fla.) Osceola High, 4; 4
The lowdown: After three losses to Manville, Baldwin finally turned the tables in the Cadet National freestyle final. He also was successful in both the Cadet and Junior National Duals. One of Bass’s wins was over high school teammate Bo Nickal in the FILA Cadet Freestyle finals.
1. Myles Martin, sophomore, Owings Mills (Md.) McDonogh School, 6; 1
1. Brian Murphy, senior, Carol Stream (Ill.) Glenbard North High, 6; 3
1. Keilan Torres, senior, Altus (Okla.) High, 6; 4
4. Anthony Collica, senior, Solon (Ohio) High, 5; 1
4. Grant LaMont, senior, Spanish Fork (Utah) Maple Mountain High, 5; 1
The lowdown: This was a loaded weight class, so it wasn’t hard to pile up quality wins at Fargo alone, as Collica did in recording all five of his wins. LaMont had two of each at Fargo, more than anyone else at this weight.
1. Bo Nickal, junior, Allen (Texas) High, 5; 3
The lowdown: This weight was as weak as 152 was strong. Nobody else at this weight had more than one quality win. Nickal had his share at both in sweeping the Cadet Nationals.
1. Angus Arthur, sophomore, Lowell (Mich.) High, 4; 4
1. Tyler Wildmo, sophomore, Davison (Mich.) High, 4; 8
3. Chandler Rogers, junior, Spokane (Wash.) Mead High, 3; 2
The lowdown: No Junior managed as many as three quality wins. All three posted wins in both styles.
1. Michael Pixley, junior, Blue Springs (Mo.) High, 8; 2
2. Glenn Climmons, senior, Marietta (Ga.) Alan C. Pope High, 6; 1
The lowdown: Pixley made four tournament finals, winning three. The wrestler who defeated him in the Cadet Greco finals — freshman Samuel Colbray of Hermiston (Ore.) High — was one of six wrestlers next in line with two wins.
1. Lance Benick, sophomore, Fridley (Minn.) Totino Grace High, 4; 0
2. Tom Peterson, senior, Lakeville (Minn.) South High, 3; 1
The lowdown: Cadet Nationals double champion Benick has taken control of this weight. Junior Greco-Roman champion Ryan Solomon of Milton (Pa.) High and Junior freestyle finalist Broc Berge of Kasson (Minn.) Kasson-Mantorville High were among four wrestlers with two quality wins.
1. Roy Nash, junior, Murray (Utah) Taylorsville High, 3; 4
The lowdown: Double Cadet Nationals champion Nash toughened up for Fargo by competing in the Junior National Duals at 285. No other wrestler had more than one quality win at this weight.
1. Tanner Farmer, sophomore, Highland (Ill.) High, 5; 2
2. Adam Coon, senior, Fowlerville (Mich.) High, 4; 0
3. Wyatt Spears, junior, Eugene (Ore.) Sheldon High, 3; 1
3. Xyah Ra, junior, Nixa (Mo.) High, 3; 8
The lowdown: Ra was a double Cadet National All-American despite seven losses, which may be a record. Farmer and Coon had strong National Duals runs prior to their Fargo success.