Jan 4. 6pm CST UPDATE: I may have spoken too soon in the CFOSD Girls update – even as I write, the seeds seem to be moving around (and into more reasonable alignment). Last time I looked, here are how the seeds were shaping up:
Previous: Girls Tournament Preview
The season’s largest high school tournament gets underway the the Berry Center this Friday. Although entrants and brackets will not be released until Friday morning, here is a preview of the top wrestlers we expect to see competing this weekend.
In the boys bracket, we could see as many has 171 ranked wrestlers this weekend, including 87 top-10 boys, 15 state placers and two defending champions.
106 lb – This bracket could see 5 top-10 wrestlers, including both the 5A and 6A #3’s; Javier Chapa of Victoria West and Gabriel Gamez of San Antonio MacArthur. UPDATE: Unranked sophomore Christian Lopez of Houston Westside is the only returning state qualifier and picks up the top seed. Chapa and Gamez seeded 5th and 9th.
113 lb – Six of the top nine 6A boys could be wrestling here, expect the top seed to go to Isaiah Calderon of Cy Falls, based on his 5th place state finish. Top challengers include #4 Steven Flowers of Rockwall and #6 Kynnyth Maban of Oak Ridge. UPDATE: Trinity’s Harley Williamon grabs the top seed based on his 1st place finish last year, and the lack of system data for Calderon, who is buried deep in the draw.
120 lb – Only 4 top-10 boys at 120, led by 5A #5 Micah Ribera of Dripping Springs and 6A #9 Elias Oliver of Fossil Ridge. UPDATE: Unranked Cody Scale of Rockwall picks up the top seed, followed by Ribera. Hernandez moves down from 126 and takes the #4 seed.
126 lb – 6A #5 Yahya Maqivi placed sixth in state last year and should get the top seed, 6A #6 Austin Hernandez of Cy Ranch and 5A #8 Connor Powell of Azle will also be battling for a spot on the podium. UPDATE: Yahya seeded #1 as expected, with Austin Hernandez moving down, the #2 seed goes to Westside’s Danial Hernandez-Mendoza.
132 lb – 12th ranked (6A) Garrett Mathews of San Antonio Churchill finished 5th at 120 lb at state and could pick up the top seed. His top challengers will be the 5A and 6A #4 wrestlers Enis Ida of Colleyville Heritage and Chase Howerton of Rockwall. UPDATE: Leal moves down from 138lb and grabs the top seed, Mathews at #2, Howerton #3.
138 lb – This is where things start getting really tough. Defending 132lb 5A State Champion Mike Kumlien from Northwest comes in with a #3 ranking. Joining him are last year’s 3rd and 4th place state finishers at 126 lb (5A) Chase Warden of Dripping Springs and Daniel Leal of Corpus Christi Veterans Memorial. Warden is currently ranked #2 and Leal #5 in 5A at 138. Just to keep things interesting, current 6A #1 Timmy Johnson-Thompson of Clear Creek is also in the mix. UPDATE: Leal moves out, but Batista moves in from 145lb to pick up the #3 seed behind Kumlien and Warden. Johnson-Thompson is 5th.
145 lb – Defending State Champion Daniel Manibog of Katy will be the top seed. Manibog comes in as the #2 ranked 6A wrestler after being upset by Allen’s Trent Dooley, 5-0, just before the holidays. We expect him to have the top seed, with #3 ranked Joaquin Batista of Cy Lakes picking up the second seed based on his 5th place state finish. Manibog defeated Batista at the Houston Duals last month in an overtime thriller. We are all looking forward to a potential rematch – except, of course, for the other five top-10 ranked wrestlers in this bracket. Expect really tough matches top to bottom in the final three rounds. UPDATE: With no Bautista-Manibog rematch potential, the #2 Seed goes to Chisholm Trail’s Andrew Maldonado, ranked 9th at 152lb 5A.
152 lb – There are 8 top-10 boys in this bracket, led by 5A #3 Adolfo Almanza of Corpus Christi Carroll. 6A #4 Baylee Walker of Klein and #5 Ryan Ierubino of Clear Lake will both be looking to make the podium. UPDATE: Walker moves to 145lb as the 5th seed. Top seed goes to The Woodland’s 8th ranked Gunnar Pierson, a Georgia state placer last year looking to make a big move in the Texas rankings. Almonza is seeded second.
160 lb – 6A #2 Kade McMahon of Rockwall and 5A #3 Ryland Kinard of Dripping Springs lead the six top-10 ranked boys here.UPDATE: McMahon sits at the top, 10th ranked Kyle Colie of Klein is seeded second. Kinard drops to 7th seed based on winning percentage.
170 lb – 3rd ranked (6A) Kyle Kretzer should be the top seed in this group, challenged by five other top-10 wrestlers including 5A #5 Aiden Jean of Northwest. UPDATE: We managed to exclude Chisholm Trail from our original list of schools – and #1 ranked 5A Dillon Thomas, last year’s state runner-up, who grabs the top seed, Kretzer seeded second.
182 lb – This is potentially one of the most top-heavy brackets in the boys’ tournament. The two top seeds should be 5A #1 Javonte Knoxon of Waller and 5A #2 Clayton Jetton of Dripping Springs. On the 6A side, current numbers 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7 could be in this tournament; #2 Nathan Grimes of Timber Creek leads this pack. The big question is whether #3 Trevon Mosley, of Cy Fair, fresh off of the 6A state football championship title last month, is back and in wrestling form. UPDATE: Knoxon is slotted at #1, Zyire Ardoin of Cinco Ranch snatches the #2 seed from Jetton based on a head to head win this season. Everyone else is scattered across the bracket, including Mosley. There are no free rides at 182.
195 lb – The seven top ranked boys are led by 5A #2 Alex Torres of Lamar Fulshear. CFISD rivals #4 Josh Wilson of Cy Fair and #5 Jarod Camacho of Cy Ranch are the top 6A competitors. UPDATE: Torres drops from the top seed to #4 based on head to head losses, Wilson comes in #1 with an 18-1 record, followed by Allen and Dockins.
220 lb – The four top-10 wrestlers here include #3 Tim Dendy of Cy Woods who moved down from 285, #4 Sean Delmonte of Rockwall and #5 Randall Pulido of Austin Westlake. Another question mark here is current #6 Isaac Barron of Klein Collins, who we have not seen in a major tournament since the football playoffs – he may be at 285. UPDATE: Delmonte picks up the top seed, Barron is in the tournament at 220.
285 lb – Last year’s CFISD finalists return to take the top two seeds – and it will be tough to derail their return trip to the finals. 6A #1 Desmon Williams and 5A #2 Chidoze “Dot” Nwankwo lead the seven top-10 heavyweights this weekend. Pollsters will also be watching to see whether current 6A #3 Jalen McCullar of Cy Fair broke away from his state football championship celebration soon enough to get back under 300 lbs. The other wrestler to watch is New Braunfels sophomore George Marsh (currently #4 6A), who is rising rapidly up the rankings. UPDATE: Nwankwo and McCullar are out of the tournament, Marsh picks up the second seed, not many speed bumps for either Williams or Marsh en route to a final that may well be a preview of the 6A state final next month.