The 2022 college wrestling national championships are over … but the great...
State-by-State High School Wrestlers of the Year in WIN Magazine
Note: This story was first published in WIN Magazine’s Annual Awards Issue, which was printed on May 6. Other award stories in this issue included features on the Malvern Prep’s Nick Feldman (Junior Hodge Trophy winner), NWCA’s Mike Moyer (Mike Chapman Impact Award), Michigan’s Sean Bormet (Dan Gable Coach of the Year), Mat Talk Online’s Jason Bryant (Journalist of the Year), Air Force’s Wyatt Hendrickson (Schalles Award) and Ryder Rogodzke of Stillwater, Minn. (Junior Schalles). Click here or call 888-305-0606 to subscribe to WIN Magazine.
By Rob Sherrill
For the first time in two years, WIN has selected its High School Wrestlers of the Year in every state. The COVID-19 pandemic, which eliminated high school state tournaments or seasons in roughly a dozen states, forced us to take a hiatus from selecting this elite group in 2021.
Every state, however, was back on the mats this year and so are we.
As always, many of the selections were extraordinarily difficult. How do you choose between multiple four-time state champions, maybe multiple four-time state champions on the same team? Why did we choose a two-time state champion over multiple four-time state champions?
The answers are multifaceted. State titles make a difference. But so do regional and national accomplishments and maybe even a head-to-head result or two. It’s all connected. Every tournament, every match, is an opportunity to add another bullet to the resume.
Here’s another decision we made. In past years, we’ve selected co-Wrestlers of the Year, often in a half-dozen or more states. This year, we decided to eliminate the practice of kicking the can down the road — one selection per state. The exception was Florida, where a standout pair of twin brothers each brought a set of unique accomplishments to the table. Sometimes blood is still thicker than water.
Here is a sampling of WIN’s state-by-state High School Wrestlers of the Year. To view the complete listing, notes on each winner’s resume, and WIN’s rationale for choosing them as the top preps of the 2021-2022 season in their state, subscribe to WIN by clicking here or calling 888-305-0606 to start an annual subscription with the print or digital version of WIN’s May issue.
Cory Land (138), Sr., Moody
Landon Smith (119), Sr., Bethel
Markell Rivera-Cain (175), Jr., Glendale Ironwood
Vincent Bryan (195), Sr., Little Rock Central