Roberts, much older & wiser, meets Hafizov again in Final X
Photo: Dalton Roberts (left) beat Ildar Hafizov at the 2023 U.S. Open...
By Rob Sherrill
In looking ahead to this winter’s upcoming high school season, WIN Magazine is looking back at the top wrestlers from last season, who are expected to return this season. The examination of these weight classes comes from individual wrestlers’ performances this past summer at the Cadet/Junior Nationals and Disney Duals.
Click here to view WIN’s 2013-14 Preseason High School National Rankings
Rankings will be subject to change as weight classes are updated as the season grows nearer.
Here’s how they finished in the WIN rankings last year, minus those who graduated:
10. Johnny Sebastian Sr. Oradell, NJ Bergen Catholic
11. Chip Ness Sr. Buford, GA
19. Michael Pixley Sr. Blue Springs, MO
20. Ryan Christensen Sr. Woodinville, WA
(tie) Justan Rivera Jr. Kennesaw, GA Mountain
Just five returnees here. Remember what we said about the new weight classes? Expect the lack of quality returnees at this end of the weight-class spectrum to be permanent as long as they remain the standard. Despite the lack of numbers, there is more depth here than there appears, particularly coming up from the Cadet ranks.
We’ll need an 18-wheeler to carry all the hardware we’re handing out here.
Pixley – he was dominant in winning the Junior National freestyle title. He beat two of the three Dixon triplets from Edmond (Okla.) North: Lance in the Junior National Freestyle Duals and Andrew in the Junior Nationals. His lone loss came to Christensen, 5-4 in the Junior Greco-Roman Duals.
Christensen – injury knocked him out of the Junior Nationals, but his victory over Pixley was the highlight of an 11-1 Junior Duals run.
Rivera – the two-time Georgia champion was a tie away from a double Cadet Nationals championship. He also beat Andrew Marsden of Illinois twice, but, lost two of three matches to Hunter Ritter of Maryland, who shared the Cadet Nationals titles with him.
Dylan Wisman, junior, Winchester (Va.) Millbrook – not many sophomores place in the Junior Nationals. Wisman not only did it, but he was the only double-All-American, finishing fourth in both styles. And he was two weight classes up from the weight at which he was a state runner-up last season.
Tyler Johnson, Lockport (Ill.) – he hasn’t yet placed in the state tournament, but he walked away with the Cadet Nationals title in freestyle with a pin over potential double champion Samuel Shields-Colbray of Oregon.
Wrestling up a weight class at 195, Ness, competing for Brandon’s Disney Duals team, overcame an opening-round 6-5 loss to University of North Carolina freshman Josh Lehner to become one of two wrestlers at this weight class to win a silver medal at the event. The other, two-time Nebraska champion Will Schany of Blair High School, also overcame a first-day loss, 5-3 to Adam Drain, to earn a silver medal at 170 competing for Nebraska Red. Schany didn’t win a succeeding match by less than a 21-9 score. Ohio champion Aaron Adkins of St. Vincent-St. Mary was the lone gold medalist at the weight, going 9-0 with three major decisions while wrestling for Team Kryptonite.
Next week: 195 pounds.