Sunday, March 31, 2013

Lots of Familiar Faces in Junior Division of the 24th National High School Coaches Association National Wrestling Championships

by Jeff Fisher
Host, NHSCA Sports Hour
Follow @NHSCARadioShow

This year’s Junior Nationals are loaded from top-to-bottom with eleven 3X state champs in the field, plus eight 2012 NHSCA Sophomore Division champs are back to defend their titles.  In fact, three wrestlers are looking to add a third NHSCA title to their resumes.

Nathan Rose of Sibley East High School in Minnesota, Ryan Millhof of Collins Hill in Georgia and Jesse Webb of Mount Anthony Union High School in Vermont are halfway to becoming 4X NHSCA national champs.  There have only been two wrestlers in the history of the NHSCA National Wrestling Championships to win four titles.

Millhof, who is currently ranked 5th in the nation at 120 pounds, also owns two Georgia state championships, plus a runner-up finish as a freshman. Rose, who is currently ranked 12th in the nation at 195, is coming-off his second straight Minnesota title. Webb, who is ranked 17th in the nation, is a 3X Vermont state champion.

The 126-pound bracket is loaded with 3X Kentucky state champ Brock Ervin of Union County High School and 2X Colorado state champ and defending 120 pound NHSCA Sophomore champ P.T. Garcia of Bear Creek High School in Colorado entered. Also at 126 are two 2X state champs Jack Mutchnik of St. Paul’s in Maryland and Cameron Perry of Gilmer High School in Georgia.  The 126-pound bracket has registrants with a combined 17 individual state championships.

Other returning 2012 Sophomore Division champs are: 3X Delaware state champ Brent Fleetwood of Smyrna High School (ranked #3 nationally @ 113 pounds); 3X South Carolina state champ Clay Walker from Eastside High; former Blair Academy (New Jersey) wrestler P.J. Klee, who sat out this season after transferring to Cardinal Newman High School in California because of transfer rules; 3X Maryland state champ Alfred Bannister of Bishop McNamara High School (ranked #5 nationally @ 138 pounds); Larry Bomstad of Atwater-Cosmos-Grove in Minnesota, who won a state championship this year.

Another top junior is Burke Paddock of Warsaw High School in New York. Burke won an NHSCA Freshman Division title and finished runner-up last year at 160 pounds.

Last year, Pennsylvania, with three champions, won the Junior National team title with 189 points to edge-out Virginia with 186.  New York finished third with 183.5 points.  

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