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WIN’s Preseason Prep Preview A look back – and ahead – at 138 pounds
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 based on where he wrestled last season and is subject to change once this season officially begins.
By Rob Sherrill
Here’s how they finished in the WIN rankings last year, minus those who graduated:
2. Hayden Tuma Sr. Boise, ID Centennial
6. Tyler Berger Sr. Hermiston, OR
7. Alfred Bannister Sr. Forestville, MD Bishop McNamara
9. Logan Massa Jr. St. Johns, MI
10. Daniel Lewis Sr. Blue Springs, MO
12. Nikko Villarreal Sr. Gilroy, CA
15. Joe Galasso Sr. Philadelphia, PA Father Judge
20. Tommy Forte Jr. Mishawaka, IN
(tie) Josh Maruca Jr. Murrysville, PA Franklin Regional
(tie) Neal Richards Jr. Ettrick, VA Matoaca
You know we’re getting into the upper weights when we start seeing this much senior attrition from the Class of 2013. This is the first weight class where we see less than half of the returning ranked wrestlers returning. We saw no fewer than 14 returnees in any of the lower weight classes.
Tuma, one of the nation’s emerging Greco-Roman stars, followed up a second consecutive Junior National championship at Fargo … and the Outstanding Wrestler award … with an eighth-place finish in the FILA Junior World Championships last month. Like Maruca, Tuma went down a weight class to 132 to compete in the off-season, ostensibly to make the adjustment to wrestling that weight in the World Championships. The three-time National Prep champion won his first 19 matches at Fargo — 15 by technical fall — and allowed only two points in a 9-0 Greco-Roman title run. He and Rodriguez-Spencer turned in sparkling records in the Junior Greco-Roman National Duals as well, going 8-0 and 9-0, respectively.
Sharing co-OW honors with Tuma: Lewis, who finished third in the Junior National freestyle up a weight, at 145. He recorded technical falls at Fargo over Missouri state-mate Grant Leeth — who also earned All-America honors by finishing fifth — and Mike Longo of California, who beat Massa in the Junior National Duals but lost to Leeth under the Dome. Massa, meanwhile, went 9-3 at the Duals. Both Lewis and Massa lost there to California ace Anthony Valencia, who will figure prominently in our discussion at 152 pounds, a couple of weeks down the road.
Suffice it to say we’ll be seeing some movement in this weight class prior to WIN’s preseason rankings next season, particularly with the number of wrestlers who made waves in the off-season at this weight after wrestling at 132 during the season a year ago.
Forte, the only other wrestler to compete under the FargoDome went 2-2 in his first appearance in the Junior division.
Maruca, one of seven members of Young Guns Black to earn a gold medal at the Disney Duals and a two-time state placewinner, flip-flopped weight classes with state-mate and fellow gold medalist Jason Nolf, who went up a weight to 138. Maruca went 9-0 with two pins, a technical fall and two major decisions.
Next week: 145 pounds.