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2017 UIL State Preview – 6A Boys

The statisticians, analysts, prognosticators, bracketologists, experts and wanna-be experts have been scouring season results, records, and head-to-head match-ups all weekend.  While Ray is still finalizing his last state rankings lists of the year (at least it’s easy to come up with 20 names in each weight class), the staff has collaborated on putting together a comprehensive preview of the 6A boys tournament this weekend.

Please be aware we didn’t pick any placers or state champions, those will be decided by the wrestlers on Friday and Saturday (well, some of us have, but this isn’t where it’s being published).

After reviewing the rosters, a couple of things are apparent:  First, Allen’s upper weights are good, I mean really good.  Second, the 126-pound weight class, on paper at least, is the deepest weight class in the state tournament – starting in the second round of that bracket, every single match will include two competitors with state medals in their trophy case. Third, the team race for second is going to be fun to watch. (and maybe one member of our staff is wondering if Allen will hit a new high mark for total points scored)

Going for their third state title

126lb – Jack Skudlarczyk – Westlake
170lb – Braedan Redin – Allen

Going for their second state title

113lb – Isaiah Delgado – Eastwood
126lb – Ryan Chavez – Eastwood
138lb- Camden Fontenot-Clear Lake
152lb – Juwan Robinson – Allen
152lb – Riley Jacobs – Vandegrift
182lb – Evan Hackett – Allen
195lb – Mark Inglehart – Allen
220lb – Henry Willoughby – Cibolo Steele

*returning state placers

106

This weigh is led by Jordan Strmiska (Lake Travis, So), the only returning state placer.   Jordan is currently undefeated on the year with a win over Keller’s Parker Decker.  Luke Garcia is having a great freshman season.  Look for this weight to be a 3-horse race between Strmiska, Decker, and Garcia.  Then regionals happened and welcome Adrian Manuel-Rodriguez to the party.  Manuel-Rodriguez had two big wins over Decker and Garcia to win his regional title.  This is going to be a tight race to the top of the podium.

State Champion Contenders
Tier 1
*Jordan Strmiska – Lake Travis
Adrian Manuel-Rodriguez – El Paso Franklin
Luke Garcia – Martin
Parker Decker – Keller

Tier 2
Gabe Martinez – Allen
Harley Williamson – Euless Trintiy

Tier 3
Steven Flowers – Rockwall
Isaiah Calderon – Houston Cypress Falls

113

One of the toughest weigh classes in the state with 5 returning state placers, a NHSCA National finalist, and a double Fargo All-American.  Isaiah Delgado should be the favorite to win his second state title. Not too far back in this title race is Nathan Rankin.  Nathan has only suffered one loss on the year and he was up a weight class.  This weight will also feature returning state finalist Noah Yeamans and dark horse Myles Theirgood who is undefeated this season, with a win over returning 2X state placer Christian Moreno. Yeamans and Thiergood are in the same quarter bracket and could meet in round 2. Decker and Moreno are in the adjacent Quarter – making the bottom half of the bracket a brutal road. Delgado and Rankin are on opposite sides of the upper half.

State Champion Contenders

Tier 1
*Isaiah Delgado – Eastwood

Tier 2
*Nathan Rankin – Plano East
*Noah Yeamans – Allen
Myles Theirgood – Klein Oak
*Christian Moreno – Austin Bowie
Preston Decker – Keller

Tier 3
*Daniel Hernandez – Houston Westside
Dominic Chavez – Martin

120

Since losing in the finals of last year state tournament, Ty-Rae Carter has been on a mission.  Carter is undefeated on the season and has wins over Nathan Rankin and Noah Martinez (#1 ranked 5A@120lb).  If Carter continues to wrestle the way he has all season it’s going to be tough for someone to beat him.  If anyone in this weight can challenge Carter, it’s James McClain who was an NHSCA All-American last spring and has only one loss on the season.  Their clash would be in the semifinals.  Others to watch out for are returning state placers Alonzo Herrera and Daniel Kidd.

State Champion Contenders

Tier 1
*Ty-Rae Carter – Houston Westside

Tier 2
*Alonzo Herrera – Allen
*James McClain-Green – Franklin
*Daniel Kidd – Lake Highlands

Tier 3
Joran Haskins – Lewisville
Garrett Mathews – Johnson
Yahya Maqavi – Regan

126

This weigh class is loaded.  There are two returning state champions and six other returning state place winners from last year.   One thing is guaranteed –  only 6 guys can stand on the podium at the end of the day, so at least two returning placers will be going home empty handed. 2X State Champion Jack Skudlarczyk looks to be the favorite to win his third title. Ryan Chavez, the returning state champion at this weigh a year ago, was just beaten in the regional finals by state placer Cole FournierTimmy Johnson-Thompson was in the state finals a year ago, Logan Brown is a 2X state placer, Adam Maestas, Brett Taylor, and Gregory Quintilian have all stood on the state podium before. When there are this many state placers in one weight class anything is possible.  Starting in the second round, these guys will be squaring off against each other in every bout.

State Champion Contenders

Tier 1
*Jack Skudlarczyk – Westlake

Tier 2
*Timmy Johnson-Thompson – Clear Creek
*Logan Brown – Allen
*Ryan Chavez – Eastwood
*Cole Fournier – Weatherford

Tier 3
Sameer Musalli – San Antonio Regan
*Greogory Quintilian – San Antonio Johnson
*Adam Maestas – McKinney Boyd

132

Blaine Martinez has entered the state tournament the past two years as one of the favorites to win the title and each year he has faced a setback. Will this be his year, or can Conner Maderfeld make the adjustment when it counts?  Blaine has had Maderfeld’s number this year in a few in close matches.  The next question is; will someone in one of the lower tiers step up and challenge one of these two?  Returning state placer Joaquin Bautista beat Jaylen York in the semifinals at regionals and York has been on a tear this season beating multiple returning state placers.

State Champion Contenders

Tier 1
*Blaine Martinez – Keller Central
*Conner Manderfeld – Martin

Tier 2

Jaylen York – Katy
*Joaquin Bautista – Houston Cypress Lakes

Tier 3
Alfredo Benavidez – Euless Trinity
Louis Imbriaco – Pflugerville
Jesse Diaz – Tascosa

138

This has been one of the wildest weight classes all year.  Everyone has beaten everyone by 6 degrees of separation.  Once the dust settled, retuning state placer Daniel Manibog found himself currently sitting at the top of the heap.  The question is; can he stay on top?  Manibog avenged his lost to Trent Dooley this year and beat returning state champion and Fargo All-American Camden Fontenot in last Saturday’s region 3 final.  Emanual Ventura also has a win over Dooley this year.  The dark horse in this weight is Eric Two Lance, the champion out of Region 1.

State Champion Contenders

Tier 1
*Daniel Manibog – Katy
*Camden Fontenot – Clear Lake

Tier 2
Trent Dooley – Allen
*Bataa Douglas – Flower Mound

Tier 3
Zarik Anderson – Rockwall Heath
*Chase Carter – Timber Creek
Eric Two Lance – Martin
Kalob Jewett – Franklin
Emmanual Ventura – Irving

145

Taylor Parks had a big win over Michael Duval earlier in the season and has not looked back since, but with the addition of UWW Cadet All-American Alex Frometa to this weight class, it might be time to peek in the rear-view mirror.  Formeta has wrestled up at 152 most of the year and has a win against returning state finalist Riley Jacobs. Don’t overlook Cameron Haddock and Hunter Gibson both looking for their first UIL state medals.

State Champion Contenders

Tier 1
*Taylor Parks – Arlinton Bowie
*Alex Formeta – Woodlands
*Michael Duval – Rockwall

Tier 2
Cameron Haddock – Southlake Carrol

Tier 3
Hunter Gibson – Allen
Jacob Junk – Austin Bowie

152

This weigh class is led by two former state champions.  Juwan Robinson won a state title as a freshman and was runner up last year.  Juwan will be challenged again by former state champion and 2X placer Riley Jacobs.  These two met at the Outlaw tournament this year with Juwan walking away with the victory.  The spoiler in this weight could be Cadet Greco All-American Sam Mora.

State Champion Contenders

Tier 1
*Juwan Robinson – Allen
*Riley Jacobs – Vandegrift

Tier 2
Sam Mora – Tasscosa

Tier 3
Tyriere Mickens – Katy Seven lakes
Wade Wilson – Katy

160

AJ Ferrari…if you haven’t heard this name before know you have, think of names like Oliver Pierce, Ophir Bernstein, and Bo Nickel.  Yes, this young man is that good.  The only problem is Ferrari is a Freshman and like with most young wrestlers, upsets can and do happen at the state tournament.  Look for Ferrari to be pushed by state placer Austin Fox, state finalist Adam Wachnin and state qualifier Nate Moore.

State Champion Contenders

Tier 1
AJ Ferrari – Allen

Tier 2
*Austin Fox – Timber Creek
Nate Moore – Weatherford
*Adam Wachin – Vandegrift

Tier 3
DeMichael Franklin – Katy Mayde Creek

170

Braedan Redlin will be looking for his 3rd state title.  When it’s all said and done, Redlin can end up being one of the most dominating wrestlers in the state’s history.  Redlin has only one loss to a Texas wrestler in his high school career and that was to his teammate AJ Ferrari.  It is going to be a tall task for someone to stop him this year.  Returning state placer Anderson Salisbury is the field’s best chance to challenge Redlin.

State Champion Contenders

Tier 1
*Braedan Redin – Allen

Tier 2
*Anderson Salisbury – Westlake

Tier 3
Nathan Grimes – Timber Creek
Aaron Lindberg – Southlake Carroll
Adam Kilgore – Arlington Bowie
Tucker Rowan – Houston Cy-Woods

182

Returning state champion Evan Hackett looks to add another state title to his resume this year.  That will not be an easy task with 3 other returning state placers in thebracket.  Returning state finalist Noah Vasquez has moved up 3 weight classes this year and will be a major obstacle in Hackett’s path.  Not to mention Marco Soto, whose only lose on the season wass to Vasquez in the regional finals.  Two other wrestlers to be on the watch for are returning state placer Adam Lindberg and Henry Rossiter.

State Champion Contenders

Tier 1
*Evan Hackett – Allen
*Noah Vasquez – Eastwood

Tier 2
*Adam Lindberg – Southlake Carroll
*Henry Rossiter – Cypress Woods
Marco Soto – Arlington Bowie

Tier 3
Aaron Peterson – Vandegrift
Nathaniel Schutt – Humble Summer Creek

195

Mark Inglehart is back to defend his state title at this weight.  Inglehart walked away with victory in the regional finals against one of his biggest challengers, retuning state placer Collin McCoy.  We expect that perhaps that was a preview of the state finals.  Frantony Lewis has also been wrestling tough all season long and can’t be overlooked at making a run the title.

State Champion Contenders

Tier 1
*Mark Inglehart – Allen

Tier 2
Frantony Lewis – Keller Fossil Ridge
*Collin McCoy – Mckinney Boyd

Tier 3
Bryce Marsh – New Braunfels
Matthew Dean – Humble Kingwood

220

Henry Willoughby is your returning state champion at this weight, but be on the watch for Cameron Barnes.  Cam had a disappointing end to his season last year by not placing at the state tournament, but has posted some big wins throughout his career. At 51-2, his only losses have been to Nico Manzonelli, who has since moved up to 285.  The big question, though, is whether Willoughby will wrestle after injury defaulting in the regional finals to undefeated Zeke Garcia. Justin Vellegas is a bit of a wildcard here – he just moved up two weight classes, and cruised through districts and regionals.  Does he have the firepower to get past Willoughby in the second round?

State Champion Contenders

Tier 1
*Henry Willoughby – Cibolo Steele
Cameron Barnes – Katy

Tier 2
Zeke Garcia – Leander
Justin Villegas – Allen

Tier 3
Jacob Doddridge – Southlake Carroll

285

Nico Manzonelli is looking to win his first state title after finishing in second place one year ago.  Nico is the defiantly the favorite in this weight, but it is not going to be a cake walk. As unassuming Nico himself once said, “They all got here for a reason.” There are a handful of tough wrestlers in this bracket that could challenge Manzonelli.

Desmon Williams placed 4th in 5A last year and has been at the top of the ranks all season, but was defeated by Nico in the regional final.

Bobby Brown was undefeated going into districts before he was DQ in the finals.  Since then, Brown pinned his way to a regional title.  Reese Rusk is coming into the state tournament with only one 6A loss this season, to Langham Creek’s 2016 state qualifier Rob Hill, who is out of contention after an injury in January.  Rusk’s other two losses were to 5A qualifier Chidoze “Dot” Nwankwo of Richmond Foster, one of which was cut short when Rusk suffered a concussion. (Ironically, at the same time Hill suffered his season-ending injury on the adjacent mat)

State Champion Contenders

Tier 1
*Nico Manzonelli – Allen

Tier 2
*Desmon Williams – Rockwall
Bobby Brown – Arlington Lamar

Tier 3
Maceo Branch – Killeen Shoemaker
Gabriel Cabrera – Churchhill
Reese Rusk – Katy Tompkins

COMPLETE BRACKETS are posted

See the full list of 6A boy qualifiers and alternates here