WIN announces State-by-State High School Wrestlers of the Year


NEWTON, Iowa — There are 49 states that offer high school wrestling and Wrestling Insider Newsmagazine has named its top wrestlers per state in the June 3, 2016 issue of WIN.

The following is a look at five of those states. You can view the remaining state-by-state selections by subscribing to WIN Magazine by calling 888-303-0606 or going to

Alabama — Hasaan Hawthorne (145), senior, Pelham

Hasaan Hawthorne

Hasaan Hawthorne

Hawthorne (37-0) was voted the Outstanding Wrestler in Class 6A, and finished third in state at 160 as a junior. A double amputee, Hawthorne was born without tibias, the lower leg bones that connect the knees to the ankles. Despite two surgeries that resulted in his legs being amputated above the knee — the second after his sophomore season — Hawthorne persevered.

Alaska — Seth Hutchison (126), senior, Soldotna

The latest star in a large wrestling family, Hutchison (43-2) became the state’s 11th four-time champion, scoring three first-period pins in four state tournament matches, including the final, to earn 4A Outstanding Wrestler honors.

Arizona — Danny Vega (113), senior,

Oro Valley Ironwood Ridge

Vega (39-0) earned this honor for the third consecutive year. He didn’t have to be at 113 pounds, but he was, dominating the 6A state tournament with two pins and two technical falls to win his third title. The Iowa State University recruit, who pinned his way to the title as a junior, never lost a state tournament match.

Arkansas — Nick Noel (138), senior, Little Rock Pulaski Academy

Noel (59-1) won his second straight 138-pound A-5A title, sharing Outstanding Wrestler honors. The West Point Prep recruit, who won his first three titles at Greenbrier, became the third four-time state champion in the state-sanctioned era. Also watch out for his sophomore brother, James (160), who went 59-0 while winning his second title this season.

California — Justin Mejia (120), junior, Clovis

Couldn’t decide between the two sets of twin state champions: Zander (145) and Evan Wick (152) of San Marino, both University of Wisconsin recruits, or Justin (160) and Jeremy Thomas (170) of Santa Ana Calvary Chapel, both headed to the University of Oklahoma? So Mejia, whose run to a third state title included four pins and a technical fall in six matches, is the man.


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