Saturday, December 17, 2022

43rd Midwest Classic Preview (Dec 17th-18th) HWT


Here we are! The start of the Midwest Classic is only a couple of hours away. Hate to do a preview on the same day of the tournament with such short notice, but as they sometimes do, work & real life interfered and time got away from me. With that noted, this year's HWT Midwest Classic looks to me to be a grand opportunity for some new blood. The HWT class was full of a lot of seniors last season, as well as other wrestlers who for one reason or another aren't competing this season.  A lot of room for wrestlers to make a name for themselves this weekend. Establish themselves as one of the best in DII by having a good showing here.  12 of the top 20 in NCAA DII compete today with 5 being in the top 10.  This includes 8 NCAA DII qualifiers & three All Americans.  Only two Midwest Classic place-winners return, including last year's champion. Two more who were R12. 

Shawn Streck
Central Oklahoma 

The Forerunner for a title here is 6th place NCAA DII All American Shawn Streck. The former Purdue Boilermaker has had success at the major DI tournaments of The Midlands and CKLV.  Among his wins, some dominating results. A 14-4 major over Cole Gray, a 15-3 major over Juan Edmonds-Holmes & a 15-5 major over Ryan Herman. Truth to be known, if the Broncos were to wrestle Braden Morgan instead of Streck, he himself is a threat to place top 8. 

Jared Campbell
Glenville State 

Jared Campbell can most certainly challenge Shawn Streck for a title.  Although he hasn't been to the NCAA DII tournament since 2020, he recently had an extremely impressive 7-1 victory over DI qualifier Michael Wolfgram of West Virginia.  Against the field he's proven himself to be a pinner.  A 2:33 fall over Hunter Harnish, a 4:27 fall over Laron Parks & a 32 second fall over Nico Ramirez. He also owns a 5-2 decision over Kiegan Yuhas. 

Isaiah Vance

Currently 7-0 on the season, Isaiah Vance owns a 12-5 victory over Cole Gray. 

Zach Ryg
Upper Iowa

A dominating force at 197 who took 3rd place NCAA DII All American honors last season, Zach Ryg will test his skills against some of the best competition HWT has to offer this weekend. 

Juan Edmonds-Holmes 

A match away from being an NCAA DII All American last season, Juan Edmonds-Holmes owns a 3-1 victory over Devon Rice. He will look for a top 8 showing at the Midwest Classic this weekend. 

Iah Kuehl

If the seedings reflect the rankings, of all returning Midwest Classic champions, Ian Kuehl will have the toughest journey back to the road paved with gold. A match shy of earning DII All American honors last season, he is 3-0 against Ryan Herman with 11-4, 7-3 & 7-4 victories. He's defeated Cole Gray 7-2 & he's pinned Laron Parks twice (4:39 and 5:16). 

Lloyd Rogers

Currently 16-0 on the season, Lloyd Rogers his having himself a great start to the 22'-23' season.  Along with a 12-4 major over Mason Mustain, he also owns a 5-4 decision over Ryan Herman & a 1-0 decision over Keigan Yuhas.  As said with Shawn Streck, it should also be noted that Rogers' backup Jason Guadarrama is a wrestler who in his own right would contend for place-winner status this weekend. 

Nico Ramirez
Mount Olive 

Today and tomorrow Nico Ramirez has the opportunity to in many ways demonstrate what DIII can do in a DII world. He had an outstanding career for Southern Virginia, earning back to back 5th place All American honors at the 2021 & 2022 NCAA DIII championships. This weekend he gets to see what he can do as a DII wrestler. 

Cole Gray
Western Colorado 

One of the leaner and lankier HWT's among a field of some giants, Cole Gray took an impressive 4th place finish here last season. It'll be even more impressive if he can duplicate or even outdo that finish this season. 

Matt Long

Matt Long is an interesting case.  In the past three seasons he's had only 9 matches & 7 of them have been against non-DII competition.  On the plus side he owns a 1:06 fall over Laron Parks & he's a huge, big & strong heavyweight.  

Laron Parks
Notre Dame (OH) 

Representing the real Notre Dame, NCAA DII qualifier Laron Parks will be in the hunt for a top 8 showing at the Midwest Classic this weekend. Among his notable victories a 3:55 fall over Keigan Yahs and a 4-2 victory over Lloyd Reynolds. 

Mason Watt
Chadron State

Here's what sticks out to me most about Mason Watt this tournament.  He owns a fall over Sam Deseriere who was a multiple time Midwest Classic place-winner.  Maybe that says a lot, maybe it doesn't. What it does say is that Watt is capable of big wins. 

Ryan Herman

Among those in the hunt for a top 8 finish this weekend, count in Ryan Herman. 

As to the unranked?  

Cade Ridley

Two time NCAA DII qualifier, Cade Ridley is without a doubt a threat to a top 8 finish if he competes today. Thing is, he hasn't competed since the 2020-2021 season. Doubt he magically shows up today, but in the weird world of collegiate wrestling, stranger things have happened.  He owns a 4-0 victory over Devon Rice. 

Gabe Carranza
Colorado Mesa 

Here's another wrestler who would challenge for a top 12/8 finish today if he enters the tournament. 13-5 on the season last year & a match away from a Midwest Classic medal, we have yet to see Gabe Garranza compete this season. 

Mason Mustain 

Mason Mustain is a freshman with a losing record. He's also a freshman with a 3-1 win over Cole Gray. Young, hungry and eager the four time Ohio state qualifier could very well pull off more upsets this weekend. 

Hunter Harnish

An effective legger at 197, I am anxious to see if he will be able to throw in the legs & be as dominant on top with guys (who can be up to) nearly 100 lbs bigger.  Thus far Hunter Harnish owns a 6:34 fall over Keigan Yuhas. 

Devon Rice

Devon Rice is a wrestler I feel stands a very good shot at a top 12, if not a top 8 performance this weekend. Thus far on his resume a 2-1 victory over last year's champ Ian Kuehl & a 3-1 s.v. over Juan Edmonds-Holmes. 

Keigan Yuhas

The oiler finished one match shy of earning Midwest Classic placement last season and will look for similar success this tournament. 

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