Monday, March 24, 2014

Seven 2013 NHSCA Freshman National Champs looking for back-to-back gold at Sophomore Nationals

by Jeff Fisher
Host, NHSCA Sports Hour
Follow @NHSCARadioShow

Seven 2013 NHSCA Freshman National champs are back to defend their titles at the 25th Annual National High School Coaches Association High School National Wrestling Championships in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Back-to-back titles put wrestlers halfway to joining the exclusive NHSCA 4X National Title Club.  Only three wrestlers have ever captured four NHSCA's. Last year B.J. Clagon of Toms River South High School in New Jersey joined Blake Roulo of Matoaca High School in Virginia and Tyler Beckwith of Greene High School in New York as the only four-time champs in the history of the event.

The 2014 NHSCA Sophomore Nationals field features 16 two-time state champs from around America. Three of those two-time state champs hail from Georgia - Jack Barber of Buford High School and twins Thomas and Daniel Bullard of Archer High School.

The Bullard boys have been been the talk of the Peach State over the last two year and they are back to defend their 2013 NHSCA Freshman Nationals titles.  Both wrestlers have also won back-to-back Georgia state championships.  This past season, Thomas was 60-1, while Daniel was 60-4.

As freshmen, Daniel owned a record of 58-5, Thomas was 54-7. The twins brother Sam, who is a junior, has finished as a state runner-up twice, plus a third place finish.  All three boys carry 4.0 GPA's.

At 120, two-time Florida state champ Kyle Norstrem of Brandon High School is back to add another gold medal to the trophy case.  Norstrem won the 2013 Freshman Nationals title at 113.

Defending 2013 NHSCA Freshman Nationals champ at 132, Chris Mauriello of Hauppauge High School New York is back at the same weight class as a sophomore.  Mauriello won the state's Division II title this year with a 48-1 mark.

At 138, Kevin Budock of Good Counsel will be going after a second straight NHSCA championship.  Budock won the 126-pound title last year. 

The 195-pound weight class features 2013 Freshman Nationals champ Matthew Correnti of  Holy Cross High School in New Jersey. Correnti, who placed third in this year's New Jersey state championships, won the 182-pound NHSCA title last year.

At 285, Jack Beistel of Southmoreland High School in Pennsylvania is back to defend the title he won last year as a freshman.

Runner-ups from last year that are entered in the 2013 NHSCA Sophomore Nationals: Kellen Devlin (126) of Amherst High School in  New York, Ryan Peters (132) of Timberlane High School in New Hampshire Jimmy Saylor (138) of Easton High School in Pennsylvania, Dean Drugac (170) of Morris Knolls High School in New Jersey, Alan Clothier (170) of Lawrence High School in Kansas, Christian Araneo (182) of Melville High School in New York, Joe Hensley (285) of Archbishop Moeller in Ohio.

2X State Champs entered in 2014 NHSCA Sophomore Nationals

113 - Peter Del Gallo, Gardiner HS (Maine)
113 - Michael Prieto, Garden City HS (Kansas)
120 - Benjamin Anderson, Pleasant Grove (Utah)
120 - Chris McCrackin, Banks County (Georgia)
120 - Michael Murphy, Baylor School (Tennessee)
120 - Kyle Norstrem, Brandon HS (Florida)
126 - Jack Barber, Buford HS (Georgia)
126 - Michael Berkowitz, Long Island Lutheran (New York)
132 - Jarrett Degen, Belgrade HS (Montana)
132 - William Verallis, Wyoming Seminary (Connecticut)
138 - Lenny Merkin, Poly Prep (New York)
145 - Thomas Bullard, Archer HS (Georgia)
145 - Eric Reyes, Dedham HS (Massachusetts)
145 - Luke Weber, Forsyth HS (Montana)
152 - Daniel Bullard, Archer HS (Georgia)

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