Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Midlands Preview (Fri Dec 29th-Sat Dec 30th) = 165 lbs


D.J. Hamiti

Whereas 149 & 157 are likely to be won by Sun Devils, 165 is likely to be won by a Badger.  The two time NCAA DI All American was a Midlands runner-up last season & the probability of him trading in silver for gold this year has a percentage close to 100. Upsets of course are always on the table, but here, highly unlikely.  Owns both a 10-6 decision over Peyton Hall & a 14-2 major over Maxx Mayfield. 

Caleb Fish
Michigan State

In my estimation the real question here at 165 lbs is who will be Hamiti's finals opponent & who is likely to take 3rd? Caleb Fish really came alive towards the end of last season & he's one of many Spartans you can take a look at & see how much he's improved over the seasons.  Earning a spot in the Midlands finals would look very good on his resume & he's in position to make it happen.  Owns a 2-0 win over Mayfield. 

Peyton Hall
West Virginia 

Hall is another strong candidate to make the Midlands finals here against likely opponent Hamiti.  Matter of fact, I think the probable semi between Hall & Fish could end up being the best match of the entire 165 lbs bracket.  Hall was an All American two seasons ago, but barely missed out on AA number two last year.  A Midlands finals appearance would look good on his resume. 

Garrett Thompson

Darkhorse finalist? I'm gonna say probably not because I think he'll be on the same side of the bracket as Hamiti.  Now Darkhorse 3rd place finisher?  That I can see.  Garrett Thompson has already proven he can beat Hall, with an 8-5 decision.  I would think he can also beat Fish.   The Bobcat also owns a 2-0 victory over Mayfield. 

Maxx Mayfield

Excited to see how Maxx Mayfield ends up performing this weekend. As of right now I have him slotted to take the top half of the bottom half of the award stand.  In other words, I have him right about 5th place.  Yet I also realize that he's wrestling on his home mats, in front of his home crowd.  That can make a difference.  Due to the massive amount of loss via both transferring & graduation, the Wildcats aren't going to repeat as team champions this year.  However, they still plan on having some good performances on an individual level.  Mayfield, who was one match shy of a medal last season, is one of them. 

Lucas Revano

The Quaker was 7th at last year's championships & I guarantee he plans on leaving Hoffman Estates with another medal.  Thus far owns both a 10-5 as well as a 3-1 decision over Joshua Kim.  He also owns an 11-4 win over Blaine Bergey. 

Blaine Bergey

Among the place-winner candidates for this year's Midlands, Blaine Bergey has his name thrown in the hat.  The Tiger owns a 6-4 s.v. over Fish. 

Joshua Kim

Here's a guy I'd like to see find a spot on the award stand. Joshua Kim has been around for a long time & he's due for a memorable showing at a major tournament.  Other than the EIWA's & of course the NCAA's, this will be his last shot.  Owns a 3-1 victory over Revano. 

Nicco Ruiz
Arizona State

He'll wrestle unattached due to redshirting, but you better believe he'd be very valuable points if he were helping to add up the Arizona State team score.  Nicco Ruiz recently won RENO & you can bet he's looking to do well here as well. 

Nick Hamilton

And yet again, talking about a young Cavalier on the Virginia team.  With all of the youthful talent, it really makes me wonder how tough Virginia is going to be in the years to come.  Nick Hamilton as a redshirt was one match shy of placing last season. 

Tristan Massie
UW-Eau Claire

As to the Non-DI wrestlers in this bracket, I believe our best bet for a good showing is Tristan Massie of UW-Eau Claire.  

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