Tuesday, February 14, 2023

JT#1 Vs Portillo Brothers Vs Swayz "Pick Em" Contest: American Midwest Conference/Sooner Athletic Conference


Being rather small tournaments that past seasons, the American Midwest Conference (AMC) & the Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC) have combined this season as one tournament. Once again, the Portillo brothers, Swayz & I will pick who we think will win each individual weight class. 

*Note* - Once again remember that Portillo's picks are purposefully darkhorse with the intention of bringing under the radar guys into the light. 

JT#1: Johnathon Ortegon Wayland Baptist
Portillo Bros: Talha Farooq Texas Wesleyan
Swayz: Johnathon Ortegon Wayland Baptist 

JT#1: A conference champion last season who was one match shy of All American honors gotta go with Johnathon Ortegon of Wayland Baptist. 

Portillo Bros: Talha Farooq, Texas Wesleyan. Farooq spent four years at D1 George Mason University and transferred to Texas Wesleyan for one last shot. He started 2 of those years and might have what it takes to knock off ex-Cornhusker Ortegon in the finals. He will probably have to win the bracket to qualify for nationals.

Swayz: Optimism: This is the time to shine for all of these schools, many of which don’t have
great roster numbers. I will agree with Johnaton Ortegon to win this one, however I think
Stephen DaBelko could match up well with him. Dropping down to 125 and looking solid though is Cedric Abney of 1 st year program and HBCU Jarvis Christian. Talha Farooq of Tx Wesleyan is a high point scoring stud that can’t be overlooked either.

JT#1: Alex Pena Wayland Baptist
Portillo Bros: Cooper Mahaffey Oklahoma City
Swayz: Dillon Witt Missouri Baptist 

JT#1: I believe our final here will be Alex Pena of Wayland Baptist & Dillon Witt of Missouri Baptist. Pena who was an All American in 2021 is who I'm going with.  

Portillo Bros: Cooper Mahaffey, Oklahoma City. Mahaffery qualified for nationals last year and won a crazy 11-10 bout with #11 Siason. Now up a weight, he’ll have to beat Pena or Witt, another two national qualifiers to make it two years in a row making the big show. This is the only weight in this conference taking more than one guy.

Swayz:  Pena has a ton of wins on the season and has been dominant for the most part, but I’ll
change it up… Dillon Witt likes to put up points and I feel may have seen enough variances in
opposition due to location that he has grown on the season. Witt of Mo Bap for the win.

JT#1: Cade Manion Oklahoma City
Portillo Bros: Isaiah Viccarrondo Williams Baptist
Swayz: Cade Manion Oklahoma City  

JT#1: Going with last year's SAC champion who took 4th in the NAIA championships, Cade Manion of Oklahoma City. 

Portillo Bros: Isaiah Vizcarrondo, Williams Baptist. His best win this year was over Saint Mary’s Freddy Barajas who is now at 133 and ranked #18 by The Open Mat. He qualified for nationals last year, but will have a tall task this year; only one automatically qualifies, and that projects to be #8 Caden Manion, a returning All-American.

Swayz: Manion of OKC for sure. I had the privilege of seeing him in person last year for the SAC. He’s my lock.
JT#1: Keegan Luton Oklahoma City
Portillo Bros: Alejandro Mas Central Baptist
Swayz: Keegan Luton Oklahoma City

JT#1: I think this tournament will be a cakewalk for Keegan Luton of Oklahoma City. He was an SAC champ last season & he was also 7th at the NAIA's.  I am with Portillo Bros on this weight class sending a wild card though. Whoever takes silver here, Loza or Mas, deserves to go to NAIA's. 

Portillo Bros: Alejandro Mas, Central Baptist. Mas had a big win this season over Indiana Tech’s #19 Elijah Chacon by pin. It will be tough for him or 2 seed Austin Loza to beat 1 seed Keegan Luton, but one of them may be able to earn a wild card.

Swayz: While I do like Austin Loza of Texas Wesleyan as a dark horse here, I agree on Luton, he’s only lost 2 times this year and both were by decisions to DI guys. He has 3 straight wins by tech as well. He’s grooving right now.

JT#1: Hayden Brown Oklahoma City
Portillo Bros: Jerome Cannon Central Christian
Swayz: Jerome Cannon Central Christian 

JT#1: Going to go with Johnson & Wales transfer Hayden Brown of Oklahoma City. He won the Northeast Region title last season & this year I think he wins a AMC/SAC title. 

Portillo Bros: Jerome Cannon, Central Christian. Cannon is 15-5 on the season with his best win being over D2 NCAA champion Nebraska-Kearney’s current starter at 157 Teontae Wilson.

Swayz: I’m going rogue on this one. I’m not going with OKC on this one. Hear me out on this one. Jerome Cannon when the spotlight is one, it is like he is shot out of a Cannon. I’ve done 2
qualifiers with him competing in and both he was an underdog that was phenomenal. Jerome
Cannon of Central Christian for the big W.

JT#1: Braeden Baller Texas Wesleyan
Portillo Bros: Christian Richer Central Baptist 
Swayz: Braeden Baller Texas Wesleyan 

JT#1: Tough choice. We got a battle between a SAC runner-up & a AMC runner-up as I believe our final will be Braeden Baller of Texas Wesleyan & Christian Richer of Central Baptist. Going with Baller. 

Portillo Bros: Christian Richer, Central Baptist. Richer’s stock got richer when he beat #16 Michael Lucas of Benedictine earlier this year 4-2. Richer got a wild card last year, but was unlucky having to face the 1 seed and 2 seed in his only two matches and falling short. He is the 6 seed in his conference bracket, which is the deepest of the AMC/Sooner conference.

Swayz: Appears that Braedan Baller and Hayden Brown could meet up again. These two met way
back in the early weeks of November with both being at 165. Brown lost big to teammatae
Vannoy which might have partially been to a tough cut and a return to this weight. Brown won by
1 pt last time, but I’ll give homefield edge to Baller (interesting note: The tournament was to be at
OK CITY, but they had floor damage to their gym from water).

JT#1: Bryce Milster Texas Wesleyan
Portillo Bros: Mannix Faworski
Swayz: Bryce Milster Texas Wesleyan 

JT#1: Going with Bryce Milster of Texas Wesleyan 

Portillo Bros: Mannix Faworski, Oklahoma City. The true freshman from Illinois can have his first shot at nationals if he can win the wide open 174 bracket, and he’s already earned te 2 seed.

Swayz: No debate from me. Milster of Texas Wesleyan for the win. Jarin Gomez a potential finals
spots here for Central Christian, but he’d be a shoe in finalist if he went up to 184 where he
started the season and has a victory over the potential 2 seed.

JT#1: Brahn Howard Texas Wesleyan
Portillo Bros: Zeno Marcheselli Texas Wesleyan
JT#1: Brahn Howard Texas Wesleyan 

JT#1: Going with Texas Wesleyan once again, Brahn Howard. 

Portillo Bros: Zeno Marchesellii, Texas Wesleyan. Zeno has wrestled an abbreviated schedule this year but did beat previously ranked 197 from Missouri Valley Athonie Banuelos.

Swayz: My only reservations of putting Brahn Howard as the champ is that he has medical forfeited out of two tournaments on the year. I’ll stick with Brahn though, he’s fun to watch and gets after it.

JT#1: Jack Kitchingham Oklahoma City
Portillo Bros: Gregory Pierre-Louis Central Baptist
Swayz: Jack Kitchingham Oklahoma City 

JT#1: I believe our champ will be Jack Kitchingham of Oklahoma City. 

Portillo Bros: Gregory Pierre-Louis, Central Baptist. He has a pin over the 4 seed in this bracket and could make the finals here if he can beat Kelvin Coker from Texas Wesleyan

Swayz:  My only reservations of putting Brahn Howard as the champ is that he has medical forfeited out of two tournaments on the year. I’ll stick with Brahn though, he’s fun to watch and gets after it.

JT#1: Austin Trimble Lyon
Portillo Bros: Charles Bouvay Jarvis Christian
Swayz: D.J. Harvey Central Baptist 

JT#1: I'm going with Austin Trimble of Lyon. I think he's often overlooked because he also plays football for the Scots & gets a later start to the season. He was an AMC runner-up last year.  

Portillo Bros: Charles Bouvay, Jarvis Christian. This is Jarvis Christian’s first year in competition. Bouvay could lead the way for them with a placement at conference.

Swayz: Darron “DJ” Harvey for Central Baptist is my champ. DJ is a transfer from Arkansas Baptist
where in 2020 season he was part of that NJCAA program and was a huge leader and perhaps the
best wrestler in the decade plus of that program. The leadership of ABC just quit sponsoring the
sport prior to this season, and would have done way better in the NAIA then any product put out
in one of the premier juco qualifiers. I really hope Darron wins this not only for himself, but for
CBC Coach Ken Prophete and for his former coach Roosevelt Hadley at ABC as a big heavyweight
finger to that dropped program!


I hope you guys are having as much fun with this as we are! This has been a blast going over these conferences & getting other views/perspectives! Feel free to give yours in twitter/facebook comments! 

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