Every year around this time, wrestling savant Brian Brakeman releases a prospectus surveying the Ohio high school wrestling scene.
It's fantastic and has a proven track record, but it is also extremely long and dense. At 92 printed pages and 40,732 words, the 2012 Report is one of his shorter releases.
First and foremost, here's your link to the report. I'll meet you back here when you're done checking it out.
I've parsed the document for readers in the Fandy.com coverage area, and here are some of your numbers:47 area wrestlers in the Report (44 in the Register coverage area, three in the Reflector-only area) 6 projected runners-up 0 projected area champions 1,520 different state champs in Ohio High school history with 1,932 titles (taken from Brakeman's own numbers) Taking into account forfeits many teams allow, around 1 of every 7 starting wrestlers are in the Brakeman.
This is the first time in at least a decade without a projected state champion from the coverage area. Before Monroeville’s highly touted wrestlers hit the scene, the St. Mary CC’s Opfers, Oak Harbor's champions, et al. were at the top of his lists.
Does that mean that the coverage area won’t have a state champion this season? How accurate is he? Brakeman, from the Northeast and present at all the big tournaments in that direction, from the Ironman to North Canton to Brecksville, correctly picked 30 of 42 state champions with his 2011 report. His success within the Fandy.com coverage area, however, was more limited: five of his 12 misfires were from our area. Three projected champions — Oak Harbor’s Ian Miller and Jake Cramer, and Clyde’s Trevor Strickland — and two not picked to win — Edison’s Kyle Burns and Oak Harbor’s Tyler Hackworth — proved him wrong. Hackworth was actually picked seventh in Division II at 125 on his way to the championship, but went in underrated and had a great tournament on top of that.
What does the Brakeman actually decide? Nothing. And that’s the biggest thing to take away from any kind of poll or prognostication. The bout is decided on the mat, and never with written words.
Here are the area’s six projected runners-up:Edison senior Kyle Burns (Division II, 152; projected champ is St. Paris Graham’s Bo Jordan) Edison junior Jude Michel (D-II, 106; Claymont’s Cody Burcher) Clyde junior Chris Moore (D-II, 170; Clear Fork’s Brandon O’Neill) Clyde senior Billy Ward (D-II, 220; CVCA’s Matt Meadows) Sandusky senior Mike Brown (D-II, 285; Washington Courthouse’s Riley Shaw) Huron senior Nino Majoy (D-III, 285; Swanton’s Mimmo Lytle)
Out of those six — and considering some may change weight classes — I can see five of them possibly winning a state title in their respective classes. To be clear, I do not believe any of the above should be favorites at this point, but wrestlers develop and devolve throughout the season, and there are single-match upsets every day.
The biggest winners of the 2012 Brakeman? Edison, with Clyde in a close second place. The Chargers have eight ranked, with five wrestlers in the top four of their respective weight classes. Three of those five, however, are buried in their weight classes under some of the top wrestlers in the nation. Dalton Howard, projected at No. 4 at 113, is behind CVCA junior Nathan Tomasello, who is likely on his way to four state titles. Tyler Majoy is No. 4 at 138, behind Nick Skonieczny, Intermat Wrestling’s No. 2 in the nation. Burns follows Graham’s Bo Jordan, the son of four-time champ and revered wrestling coach Jeff Jordan. Bo is likely a favorite to complete the first father-son four-time champion tandem at the end of the 2012-13 season.
Clyde is right there, too, with Ward and Moore, and with Beau Minnick (5th at 120) and Brad Smith (5th at 182), with very good wrestlers in Blake Miller (9th at 126) and Casey Flores (17th at 138) also getting respect.
Are there wrestlers that aren’t ranked, but you think should be? Are there wrestlers ranked, but you think should not be? Absolutely yes, and yes. I don’t want to add pressure, though, so I’m keeping that to myself. High school wrestling results are merit-based, and those who should be ranked will prove it. Everyone gets a shot at the title.
Division II (30)
Division III (17)