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Grappler Gold Invite Preview

By MI Grappler, 12/13/19, 12:45PM EST

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Every weekend will breakdown the top tournaments to watch around the state.

Our featured tournament preview is the Grappler Gold Invitational.  This year's tourney includes five nationally-ranked programs: #14 Davison, #17 Brighton, #34 Lowell, #35 Brownsburg (IN), and #45 Dundee.  Read below for a weight by weight breakdown of the tournament, and click below for a preview of the other major tournaments.

OTHER TOURNAMENT PREVIEWS  (click to view)
Herm Wilkinson Invitational @ Howell
Allegan Southwest Classic
Warren Woods Tower Duals

106

Ranked Wrestlers:
D1 #1 Caden Horwath (Davison)

D1 #4 Quaylon Newton (Brighton)
D1 #14 Dutch Ballan (Traverse City Central)
D3 #1 Braeden Davis (Dundee)
IN #2 Logan Miller (Brownsburg)

A pair of Fargo finalists - Horwath and Davis - and returning state placer Miller headline the lowest weight class.  This year's pool play format is going to make it a brutal day since they'll pretty much all see each other.  Throw in Newton, who'll be a contender in D1 and a solid freshman in Ballan, and it'll be as good a top-four as you'll find anywhere.
Picks: 1) Horwath 2) Miller 3) Davis 4) Newton

113

Ranked Wrestlers: 
D1 #4 Aden Williams (Davison)
D1 #8 Aiden Smith (Brighton)
D2 #1 Jacob Brya (St. Johns)
D2 #4 Ramsy Mutschler (Lowell)
D2 #9 Jason Judd (Flint Kearsley)
D3 #10 Kaden Chinavare (Dundee)
IN #14 Braden Haines (Brownsburg)

At 113, it'll be a really strong field that mostly will be chasing defending state champ Jacob Brya.  Mutschler and Smith will wrestle in pool action, which will be a big match to advance to the championship rounds.  Both Mutschler and Smith lost to Williams last season, so the Davison sophomore will be the pick to place 2nd.
Picks: 1) Brya 2) Williams 3) Mutschler 4) Smith 

120

Ranked Wrestlers:
D1 #8 Owen Payne (Davison)

D2 #7 Nick Korhorn (Lowell)

Just two ranked wrestlers in this weight but there will be a handful of guys looking for a breakout tournament.  Payne knocked off Korhorn in their dual last season, so he's the top seed.  Keep an eye on Gavin Garcia of Brownsburg to make a run; he was 3-2 at GFC.  Also some freshman to watch are Travis Richardson of Brighton and Jacob Fenbert of Dundee.
Picks: 1) Payne 2) Garcia 3) Korhorn 4) Richardson

126

Ranked Wrestlers:
D1 #2 Mason Shrader (Brighton)
D1 #5 Jaron Wilson (Davison)
D3 #1 Casey Swiderski (Dundee)
D3 #14 Josiah Baltierra (Alma)
D4 #6 Joey Galvez (Onaway)
IN #3 Kysen Montgomery (Brownsburg)

Returning GGI OW Casey Swiderski will look to defend his title and will have to go through a very tough Kysen Montgomery to do so.  Montgomery has finished 4th and 5th in Indiana the past two seasons.  Another critical match will be Shrader vs Wilson, which will be a preview of next week's dual between the Dogs and Cards.
Picks: 1) Swiderski 2) Montgomery 3) Shrader 4) Wilson  

132

Ranked Wrestlers:
D1 #1 Andrew Chambal (Davison)
D1 #2 Sam Freeman (Brighton)
D1 #13 Kyle White (Davison)
D2 #5 La'Ron Ruffin (Flint Kearsley)
D2 #6 Zeth Strejc Lowell) 
D3 #4 Austin Fietz (Dundee)
D3 #5 Aiden Davis (Dundee)
D3 #9 Solomon Rosales (Alma)
D4 #14 Teddy Peters (Onaway)

132 is the biggest weight and definitely the deepest as well, with nine ranked wrestlers entered.  Chambal and Freeman are the top seeds and would make for a really good finals match if it happens.  D2 all-staters Ruffin and Strejc will be in the mix as well.  Dundee teammates Fietz and Davis are both competing here.  It'll be interesting to see how they each come through the tournament.
Picks: 1) Chambal 2) Freeman 3) Fietz 4) Ruffin

138

Ranked Wrestlers:
D1 #5 Damien Ballan (Traverse City Central)
D2 #4 Dawson Jankowski (Lowell)
D3 #2 Dametrius Castillo (Alma)
D3 #4 Kyle Yuhas (Dundee)
D4 #1 Matthew Grant (Onaway)
IN #3 Drake Campbell (Brownsburg)

Brownsburg's Drake Campbell is the frontrunner here, as a returning GGI finalist from a year ago.  He'll be followed by former state champ Castillo, 3x all-stater Grant, and state placers Ballan, Jankowski, and Yuhas.  So it's a pretty deep weight class.  The wild card is Davison freshman Herriman, who will be able to compete with anyone in the weight and could have a big weekend.
Picks: 1) Campbell 2) Ballan 3) Grant 4) Castillo

145

Ranked Wrestlers:
D1 #1 Eddie Homrock (Brighton)
D1 #3 Zach Johnson (Brighton)
D1 #4 James Johnston (Davison)
D2 #1 Austin Boone (Lowell)
D3 #1 Christian Killion (Dundee)
D3 #3 Jarrett Ferman (Alma)
D4 #5 Brendan Fenstermaker (Onaway)
IN #15 Griffin Ison (Brownsburg)

Three number-one ranked wrestlers make this weight probably the toughest to win in the tournament.  3x state champ Boone is the favorite to come through, but Homrock, Killion, Johnston, and Johnson, and Ferman are all ranked top-4.  Killion-Homrock is a very interesting matchup, and Johnston-Johnson are familiar foes (Johnston won last meeting at GFC).  Prowse of Portage Northern and the Brownsburg duo of Cicciarelli/Ison make the second tier pretty interesting as well.
Picks: 1) Boone 2) Homrock 3) Killion 4) Johnston

152

Ranked Wrestlers:
D1 #2 Josh Barr (Davison)
D1 #11 Aiden Brown (Davison)
D2 #2 James Fotis (Lowell)
D2 #8 Will Link (Lowell)
D3 #2 Tyler Swiderski (Dundee)
IN #13 Jacob Cookerly (Brownsburg)

In terms of uncertainty, this weight is probably the most up in the air of any.  You've got three #2's, one of whom has two high school matches under his belt, and a GFC placer in the mix.  Barr, a freshman, will have a big test for his first HS tourney but is much more seasoned than your typical freshman.  2x runner-up Swiderski and 2x all-stater Fotis are both capable of coming through with a title here.  Cookerly was 7th at the GFC at 171 pounds, so him down at 152 makes him just as much of a threat to win it as anyone.
Picks: 1) Barr 2) Cookerly 3) Fotis 4) Swiderski

160

Ranked Wrestlers:
D1 #10 Max Callahan (Davison)
D2 #6 Doak Dean (Lowell)
D3 #1 Stoney Buell (Dundee)
D3 #3 Justin VanBlaricum (Alma)
D4 #13 Seth Enos (Onaway)
IN #5 Peyton Asbury (Brownsburg)

Six ranked wrestlers out of ten wrestlers in the weight makes for another quality weight.  2x state champ Buell will have a couple really good guys to get through to claim his first GGI title.  Asbury of Brownsburg was 8th in the state last season and will snag the 2nd seed.  Dean and VanBlaricum are the other all-staters in the weight and will square off in pool play.  Two freshman to watch are Callahan and Remy Cotton of Traverse City Central.
Picks: 1) Buell 2) Asbury 3) Dean 4) Callahan

170

Ranked Wrestlers:
D1 #1 Alex Facundo (Davison)
D1 #2 Dane Donabedian (Brighton)
D1 #15 Austin Bills (Traverse City Central)
D2 #4 Jacob Lee (Lowell)
IN #11 Greg Glover (Brownsburg)

The nation's #1 ranked wrestler, Alex Facundo, should have little issue coming away with a second GGI crown after winning the upper weight OW last season.  Behind him is are a handful of ranked wrestlers, including all-staters Donabedian and Lee.  They should meet up if both advance to the championship pool and will make for an intriguing bout.
Picks: 1) Facundo 2) Donabedian 3) Lee 4) Glover

182

Ranked Wrestlers: 
D1 #1 Jay Nivison (Davison)
D1 #6 Harley Berne (Brighton)
D2 #7 John Brown (Flint Kearsley)
D2 #10 Derek Mohr (Lowell)
D3 #2 Jaxon Guinn (Dundee)

Another weight with half of the entries being ranked top-ten.  Nivison is the favorite, though he's been on the mats scarcely if at all, coming off a football state title two weeks ago.  He also just committed to the University of Buffalo yesterday.  Guinn and Brown are the other state placers in the mix.  Brown will have to get through Berne of Brighton, which is a matchup that's happened a bunch over the years.
Picks: 1) Nivison 2) Guinn 3) Berne 4) Brown

195

Ranked Wrestlers:
D2 #14 Jacob Hough (Lowell)
D3 #11 Dennis Root (Dundee)
IN #10 Isaiah Street (Brownsburg)

This is a tough weight to predict since everyone is looking to have a break out tournament to open the season and no one has qualified for their state tournament yet.  Street has some pretty good results and is probably the pick to win it.  Hough, Root, and Kane Larrison of St. Johns are all regional qualifiers in the weight.
Picks: 1) Street 2) Hough 3) Root 4) Larrison

220

Ranked Wrestlers:
D1 #2 Greyson Stevens (Brighton)
D1 #3 Jimmy Colley (Davison)
D2 #5 CJ Krum (St. Johns)
IN #13 Leighton Jones (Brownsburg)

Pretty solid top four at 220.  Stevens and Colley were 4th last season in D1 - Stevens at 189, Colley at 215.  That's another matchup that will be a preview of next week's dual.  Like Nivison, Stevens is just getting back on the mats after a run to Ford Field in football.  Krum is equally in the mix here, having notched a win over Stevens two years ago at the CC Invite.  Leighton Jones in a freshman but was a Cadet AA this summer and it'll be interesting to see how he does here.
Picks: 1) Stevens 2) Krum 3) Colley 4) Jones

285

Ranked Wrestlers:
D2 #1 Tyler Delooff (Lowell)
IN #1 Dorian Keys (Brownsburg)

A five-man heavyweight round robin will feature two top-ranked wrestlers.  Keys won an Indiana state title last year as a junior after not competing at all as a freshman or sophomore.  So expect him to be even better in his senior season.  Delooff just took state champ Steven Kolcheff to UTB on Wednesday and looks to be much slimmer than years past, so he could be up for the challenge.
Picks: 1) Keys 2) Delooff 3) Williams 4) Jelinek