The DCC freshman announced his presence onto the high school scene in a big way, winning the 98 pound bracket and knocking off some very talented kids along the way. He defeated Nolan Wertanen of St. Joe's and Braeden Davis of Dundee, who likely will both enter the season ranked #1 in their respective divisions.
Another incoming freshman, Stradling also had a big tournament as he placed 7th at 105 lbs. He split matches with Bryce Luna of California, who is ranked top-30 in the country on Flo's Junior High Big Board. Stradling also knocked off a Florida state placer and Indiana state qualifier en route to a top-eight finish.
Rodriguez lost only to runner-up Martinez (FL) and 3rd-place finisher Sean Spidle, 7-3, in what could be a potential D3 state final preview. His biggest wins all came on the backside, where he took down GA state champ Corday, returning GFC finalist Laughery (TX), and top-seeded CA state qualifier Ryan Luna.
In what was his biggest national performance to date, Homrock won the 135-pound weight by upsetting 3x Florida State Champ, and 16th-ranked, Chris Rivera, 3-1 in overtime. The future MSU Spartan also knocked off former New York 3rd place finisher Myles Griffin, now from Florida, 6-3.
When you're ranked 6th in the country and 61st overall in the Class of 2020, it's tough for the stock to go up any higher, but Gilcher did just that. The DCC senior powered past #4 BJ Bailey and #3 Chase Saldate en route to Outstanding Wrestler honors. The only question remaining now is whether or not he is the #1 senior in Michigan, for which there is a more than fair case to be made.
Another Brighton senior, Stevens had a great tournament, making the finals at 215 pounds. He pinned IHPO runner-up Jake Noon in the quarters before taking a tight 3-2 win over Colin Jagielski in the semis. With the showing, he solidified himself as one of the top 215 pounders in the state.
Jagielski had a great tournament up at 215, twice defeating D2 3rd-place finisher Hunter McCall by 9-1 and 5-1 margins. He fell only to Stevens and California's Nick Villarreal, who is ranked 8th in the country at 285, 4-3. Assuming he'll be at 189 for the high school season, he'll be one of the top guys in D1.
Florida State Champ Owen ran through a great field of Michigan lightweights, first knocking off incoming freshman hammers Stradling and Robles. In the semis he defeated Caden Horwath via standing cement mixer in the final :15 of the match to put himself in the finals. There he put together a great performance to dethrone returning GFC Champ Jacob Brya, 14-5.
Another Florida product, by way of Ohio, McClelland was impressive in his GFC debut. He took out fellow Floridian Danny Martinez in the final, 8-4. His most notable win may have come in the semis, however, where he overcame a 6-1 deficit to take out 3x MI State Champ Sean Spidle, 7-6.
Basile advanced to the finals in probably the toughest weight in the tournament, 119 lbs. He won a tight 4-3 match over TN State Champ Trey Bates in the quarters before taking out IL hammer Nasir Bailey in the semis, who had beaten 5th-ranked Joey Cruz in the round prior.
One of the top freshman prospects in the country, VanDyke lived up to the hype by placing 4th at 125 lbs. Among his wins were Junior Folkstyle 3rd-placer Michael Gioffre (CA), New York Runner-Up Chase Liardi, and 2x MI placer Austin Fietz. He'll definitely be one to keep an eye on in Ohio this year.
Crook ran the gauntlet at 130 where he entered as the 11 seed and. advanced all the way to the finals. In the quarters, he took out 3x TN State Champ Noah Horst, 4-1. Then in the semis, he knocked off another 3x State Champ in Iowa's Adam Allard, 4-3.
After losing in the quarters, Dendy strung together four quality wins en route to a 3rd-place finish at 140. The Tennessee native defeated MI State Champ TJ Daugherty, 3-2, then scored a huge win over #10 Justin Rivera (FL), 3-1 in overtime. He avenged his only loss of the tournament by knocking off another nationally-ranked opponent, #19 Alex Martin, 3-1.
Entering unseeded, Wisconsin 5th-place finisher Jack Ganos had an incredible run to 3rd place at 152. He suffered an early loss to eventual runner-up Ogunsanya (IL) and the proceeded to win six straight matches on the backside. Ganos took out returning GFC placers Lomazzo (MI) and Lofton (TX) before defeating WI Runner-Up Ben Durocher for 3rd.
Indiana's Jacob Laplace won the 189-pound weight by beating a pair of defending GFC runner-ups. He first defeated fellow Hoosier-stater Joe Walker in the semis, 3-1, and then went on to knock of #20 David Harper (TN) in the finals, 6-4. He also added a win over double Fargo AA Jack Darrah (MO) in the quarters. The match with Walker may happen again in Indiana, though they have 182 and 195 weights, so it's possible they separate from each other.
The biggest surprise of the tournament came from 215-pound champ Chad Nix of Florida. He entered as the 9 seed, based only on the fact that he was 3rd in FL two seasons ago and did not compete in the postseason last year. In any case, he stormed past #8 ranked Nick Villareal in the quarters, 7-2 and then scored a fall and a 7-3 win over Stevens in the finals- his closest bout of the tournament.