Future collegians end high school careers with first-ever Fargo championships

Updated: July 18, 2017

Photo: Drew Mattin (top), who will wrestle this fall at Michigan, beat another future Big Ten wrestler in Paul Konrath — the native of Indiana, who will compete at Wisconsin — for the 126-pound championship at the USMC Junior Freestyle Nationals in Fargo, N.D. (G. Wyatt Schultz photo)

July 18, 2017

FARGO, N.D. — Drew Mattin and Ben Freeman will eventually team up at the University of Michigan so the future Wolverines did not have to come to the Fargodome to impress any of the many Division I wrestling coaches who attended the 2017 United States Marine Corps Junior Freestyle Nationals on Tuesday afternoon.

Yet Mattin and Freeman had something to prove to themselves before they begin their future college careers in Ann Arbor, Mich.

“I’ve never won Fargo here before,” said Freeman, a native of Walled Lake, Mich., who scored a technical fall over Jeremy Schoenherr of Wisconsin to claim the 138-pound championship. “I had come pretty close by finishing second and third before. I had never gotten the job done. I knew this year I had to get it done and had it set in my mind.”

Mattin, a three-time state of Ohio high school champ from Delta, Ohio, had a similar story before arriving in Fargo for the fourth time in his career.

Iowa Max Lyon will carry a Junior National freestyle title with him to Purdue after beating Jack Jessen of Illinois at 182 pounds. (G. Wyatt Schultz photo)

“In the past I took fourth, second, fourth,” said Mattin, who defeated Paul Konrath of Mount Vernon, Ind., 8-1 to claim the 126-pound championship. “I wanted to get my stop sign (championship award). Michigan is a great place to train all spring and summer. They prepared me by getting beat up a little bit in their room. Also, I was not a Top-100 recruit and that bothered me.”

Another future Big Ten Conference wrestler who had never won a Fargo championship was Max Lyon, a native of Dyersburg, Iowa, who will wrestle next year at Purdue, which is coached by former Hawkeye Tony Ersland.

“I had a lot of really tough decisions to make regarding the colleges in Iowa, at the end of the day, Purdue was right for me,” said Lyon, who rallied from a 3-0 deficit to beat Jack Jessen of Villa Park, Ill., for the 182-pound championship. “Iowa blood is in West Lafayette and I really like Coach Ersland’s philosophy. The things I learned the last month helped me win that title.”

Lyon is still eligible to win a Junior Triple Crown as the 2017 Junior Folkstyle champion will compete in Greco-Roman later this week

Earning Outstanding Wrestler honors in the Junior freestyle nationals, the third of six tournaments held in the week-long event in Fargo, was 160-pound David Carr of Massilon, Ohio. The confident son of former Iowa State star Nate Carr said he learned a lot about himself after finishing third at the Junior World Team Trials in June.

David Carr (left) of Ohio was named the OW in the Junior Freestyle Nationals when he scored a 13-3 technical fall over Tyler Dow of Wisconsin. (G. Wyatt Schultz photo)

“It humbled me and got me ready for this tournament,” said Carr, who captured his first Fargo title with a technical fall over Tyler Dow of Stoughton, Wisc. “That doesn’t happen too much but I’m glad it happened and got me motivated for this.”

One of the defending Junior champs who duplicated that honor in the 2017 finals, was Anthony Artalona of Seffner, Fla., who defeated Kaden Gfeller of Edmond, Okla., for the 145-pound championship.

Illinois, which won the Cadet freestyle championship on Monday, added to its team success by also out-distancing Ohio and Iowa for the Junior freestyle team championship.


2017 Junior Nationals Freestyle Championships

July 18 • Fargo, N.D.

Championship Matches

100 — Wil Guida (Rockaway, NJ) pinned Jackson Cockrell (Broken Arrow, Okla.), 2-1 2:13

106 — Samuel Latona (Alabaster, Ala.) won by TF over Christopher Trelli (Bristol, Conn.), 12-2 5:07

113 — Ty Smith (Bunkerville, Nev.) won by TF over Brandon Kaylor (Puyallup, Wash.), 17-6 3:19

120 — Patrick Mckee (Hanover, Minn.) pinned Joey Melendez (Harwood Heights, Ill.), 8-4 3:59

126 — Drew Mattin (Delta, Ohio) dec. Paul Konrath (Mount Vernon, Ind.), 8-1

132 — Atilano Escobar (Peoria, Ariz.) won by TF over Alexander Cruz (Puyallup, Wash.), 10-0 1:40

138 — Ben Freeman (Walled Lake, Mich.) won by TF over Jeremy Schoenherr (Stratford, Wisc.), 10-0 4:30

145 — Anthony Artalona (Seffner, Fla.) dec. Kaden Gfeller (Edmond, Okla.), 6-4

152 — Will Lewan (Chicago, Ill.) dec. Jared Franek (Harwood, N.D.), 6-2

160 — David Carr (Massillon, Ohio) won by TF over Tyler Dow (Stoughton, Wisc.), 13-3 3:40

170 — Aaron Brooks (Hagerstown, Md.) dec. Trent Hidlay (Lewistown, Pa.), 13-3 3:36

182 — Max Lyon (Dyersville, Iowa) dec. Jack Jessen (Villa Park, Ill.), 10-3

195 — Jacob Warner (Washington, Ill.) won by TF over Miles Lee (Philadelphia, Pa.), 11-0 3:32

220 — Zach Elam (Kansas City, Mo.) won by TF over Haydn Maley (Roseburg, Ore.), 14-4 5:03

285 — Anthony Cassioppi (Roscoe, Ill.) dec. Brandon Metz (West Fargo, N.D.), 4-1

Final Team Standings

Place State (Champs) Points
1 Illinois (3) 82
2 Ohio (2) 37
3 Iowa (1) 36
4 Minnesota (1) 34
5 Pennsylvania 32
6 Indiana 30
7 Michigan (1) 26
8 New Jersey (1) 25
9 California 21
9 Missouri (1) 21
11 Wisconsin 17
12 Oklahoma 16
13 Nevada (1) 15
14 Colorado 14
14 Florida (1) 14
14 North Dakota 14
14 Washington 14
18 Connecticut 13
19 Alabama (1) 12
20 Georgia 9
20 Maryland (1) 9
20 Oregon 9
23 Arizona 8
24 Idaho 6
24 Kansas 6
24 Montana 6
27 Tennessee 5
27 Utah 5
29 Kentucky 2
30 Louisiana 1
30 Texas 1