Editor’s Note: Between Aug. 8 and the start of the high school wrestling season, WIN’s high school columnist Rob Sherrill is taking a closer look at the top wrestlers in the country, weight by weight. The weight class a wrestler competes in is subject to change once the season officially begins.
By Rob Sherrill
Here’s how they finished in the WIN rankings last year, minus those who graduated:
1. Jered Cortez Sr. Carol Stream, IL Glenbard North
4. Zac Hall Sr. St. Johns, MI
5. Brock Ervin Sr. Morganfield, KY Union County
6. Michael Kemerer Jr. Murrysville, PA Franklin Regional
7. Fredy Stroker Jr. Bettendorf, IA
9. Nate Limmex Jr. Grand Rapids, MI Catholic Central
10. Zeke Moisey Sr. Bethlehem, PA Catholic
15. Johnny Parada Sr. San Fernando, CA
16. Michael Knoblauch Sr. Fresno, CA Clovis West
17. Isaiah White So. Oak Park, IL O.P.-River Forest
19. Anthony Giraldo Sr. North Bergen, NJ
20. Jordan Shearer Jr. West Fargo, ND
(tie) Mike Magaldo Sr. Watchung Hills, NJ
(tie) David McFadden Jr. Wayne, NJ DePaul
If what we saw at Fargo this summer was any indication, 132 pounds will be a hot weight class next season. Let’s start with our co-OWs, Jered Cortez and Jordan Shearer, the two who stayed at 126 and dominated under the FargoDome in July.
Cortez: The best wrestler I saw in person last season at any weight, the three-time state champion stayed at 126 and made everyone at that weight in the Junior freestyle pay. In 17 matches in the Junior Duals and Nationals in freestyle, Cortez was scored upon in just one match, his 12-6 victory over three-time Wyoming champion Bryce Meredith at Fargo, and had just one other match go the distance, that coming in the Fargo final when he blanked Coloradan P.T. Garcia, 4-0.
Shearer: The four-time state champion took his lumps during the off-season, some of those at 132 pounds, but scored technical falls over William Koll of New York and Cub Yeager of Oklahoma en route to the Junior Nationals title in the Greco-Roman. In freestyle, he avenged a loss at the Junior Duals with a technical fall over Ohio champion Anthony Tutolo and also beat California champion Mason Pengilly as he earned double All-America honors.
Three-time state champion Hall, Kemerer and Stroker all had adventures of their own up at 132, another loaded freestyle weight class at Fargo. In freestyle, Hall and Kemerer both recorded victories over Idaho standout Hayden Tuma, who had dominated the Greco-Roman tournament. Hall won his match over Tuma by technical fall, while Kemerer squeaked out a 10-9 win. Hall also prevailed over Kemerer, 6-0 for fifth place. Stroker had plenty of quality wins in the other pool, including Cole Weaver of Michigan and Jacob Rubio of Texas, en route to the third-place match. Giraldo, a Greco-Roman All-American, will again have to navigate a loaded weight class in New Jersey next year in his bid to repeat.
There weren’t some of the high-profile match-ups at this weight at the Disney Duals as other weights. However, Kemerer took home a gold medal, one of seven earned by Young Guns Black. His 9-0 record included four pins, a technical fall and three major decisions. He allowed just 20 points overall.
Meanwhile, up two weight classes was White, one of four Oak Park-River Forest wrestlers to win titles at Fargo. White took the Cadet National freestyle crown.
Next week: 132 pounds.