Photos: There was plenty of buzz between Penn State (left) and Iowa...
WIN’s Top 10 College High School Wrestling Stories of 2012-13
By Rob Sherrill
Who and what created the greatest moments the past 12 months in high school wrestling?
In this week’s WIN eNews, WIN is, in reverse order, announcing moments 6 to 10. The Top 5 moments will be announced in WIN’s May 22 eNews.
10. Blair Academy keeps rolling along
The legendary Jeff Buxton relinquished his post as head coach at Blairstown Township (N.J.) Blair Academy last summer, but he left plenty in the cupboard for his long-time assistant coach and successor, Charles Danhof.
With the emergence of senior Russell Parsons (152), the upper-weight leadership of seniors Frank Mattiace (195) and Brooks Black (285) and the return of junior Joey McKenna (132) from a FILA Cadet World Championships injury, the Bucs didn’t show the level of individual dominance of past years but they won their 33rd straight National Prep Championships title — a record for any wrestling team in any arena of competition — by 88 points over Kingston (Pa.) Wyoming Seminary, and placed more wrestlers on the ASICS All-America Team than any other school.
The Bucs also completed another wire-to-wire run atop WIN’s Top 25 team rankings.
9. Jordan edges Martinez as Ironman features No. 1 vs. No. 2
The Walsh Ironman went according to form this season in December, but there were still plenty of entertaining matches. The first of two matches this season matching the incumbent No. 1 vs. No. 2 in the WIN individual rankings took place in the 160-pound final.
That was where Bo Jordan of St. Paris Graham, in what would turn out to be his closest match of an undefeated season, scored a 4-2 victory over Israel Martinez of Lemoore (Calif.).
The two wrestled up to their rankings prior to the final as well, dominating their competition en route to the finals. Jordan reached the finals with two pins, a technical fall and a 15-5 major decision, while Martinez followed a technical fall and a 21-7 major decision with two pins.
The two closed their careers with a combined seven state championships, Jordan owning four. They also whetted the appetites of college wrestling fans for what could be quite a future rivalry in the Big Ten, as Jordan heads for Ohio State University, Martinez to the University of Illinois.
And Jordan put an exclamation mark to his career when WIN and the AAU named him the winner of this year’s Junior Hodge Trophy.
Bennington (Vt.) Mount Anthony completed a quarter century of dominance in Vermont, winning its 25th straight state title. The Patriots also won their first New England Championships team title since 2004. They snapped the five-year New England winning streak owned by their New Hampshire neighbors, Plaistow Timberlane. But the Owls kept the nation’s second-highest sanctioned streak going, winning the Division 1 state meet in the Granite State for the 14th straight year. Three schools won their 13th straight: Brandon (Fla.), Jefferson (Ga.) and St. Paris (Ohio) Graham. Christiansburg (Va.) won for the 12th straight year and Gillette (Wyo.) Campbell County now owns 11 straight state crowns.
7. Graham edges St. Edward on criteria
In a meet which ended with a 7-7 match split, four-time state champion Bo Jordan (160) scored the only pin of the match, helping host St. Paris Graham past Lakewood St. Edward on criteria Jan. 29 after the two teams tied, 29-29. The Falcons had a 2-1 edge in six-point wins.
St. Edward rallied with back-to-back technical falls from Colin Heffernan (138) and Edgar Bright (145), tying the match at 10-10, then took a 13-10 lead on Markus Scheidel’s 9-7 victory over freshman standout Alex Marinelli at 152.
Jordan’s 31-second pin gave Graham a 16-13 lead, but St. Edward won four of the next five matches to reclaim a 29-22 lead. But the tide turned at 106. Ahead of Ironman champion Eli Stickley, 4-1 after two periods, L.J. Bentley was penalized three times for four points for stalling on the bottom in the third period, giving Stickley a 5-4 victory and narrowing St. Edward’s lead to 29-25. Eli Seipel’s 14-4 major decision at 113 tied the score at 29 and capped the comeback.
It was the second St. Edward dual against a Top 10 national opponent to be decided on criteria during the month. On Jan. 12, the Eagles came out on the winning end against Lombard (Ill.) Montini on an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
6. Marsteller edges Wiercioch in riveting Powerade final
The second No. 1 vs. No. 2 match took place just three weeks after the Jordan-Martinez showdown. In the final match of the Powerade Christmas Tournament, Dec. 30, at Canonsburg Canon-McMillan. Two wrestlers who ended the season as three-time state champions — junior Chance Marsteller of Fawn Grove Kennard Dale and senior Cody Wiercioch of the host Big Macs — squared off at 170 pounds. The top-ranked Marsteller escaped three seconds into the ultimate tiebreaker for a 3-2 victory. Marsteller escaped to start the second period for a 1-0 lead, giving him the choice in the ultimate tiebreaker. Wiercioch escaped to start the third period and the two traded escapes in the two overtime tiebreaker periods. In just over eight minutes of action, the two wrestlers were on their feet for all but 12 seconds.
Marsteller eventually dropped to 160 to win his third AAA title, with Wiercioch winning at 170.
The Top 5 High School stories of 2012-13 will be announced on May 22, 2013