Thursday, February 29, 2024

2024 SUPER REGION II (March 2nd Saturday)


125 lbs 

A Super Region II champ & 4th in the DII nation last season, James Joplin looks to win another title this weekend. 23-0 on the year, thus far Logan Seliga of UNC-Pembroke has given him two close matches in 6-4 & 4-2 decisions.  Against Zach Shupp, Joplin has won by a 6-2 decision. 

As to Seliga, he was an NCAA DII qualifier all the way back in 2020.  He looked poised to make another trip last season, but unfortunately had to medical forfeit to 6th place.  It looks like he will not be denied this season, as he carries a high ranking & a 12-2 record. 

As to our other qualifier here at 125 lbs?  I'd go with Zach Shupp of Newberry who finished as the runner-up here a year ago & one match shy of NCAA Division II All American honors. 

133 lbs

It's been a real treat thus far this year watching Campbell transfer Gabe Hixenbaugh give first year program Montevallo a lot of first.  At 21-0 he gave the Falcons their first Patriot Open Champion & their first Midwest Classic champion.  He is very likely to give them their first Super Region II champion this weekend & he could give them their first NCAA DII champion in a couple of weeks.  I wish wrestling fans truly understood the significance of what is happening here.  A wrestler from Alabama, wrestling for an Alabama school.  Not all that long ago the idea wasn't even fathomable.  You couldn't even imagine it.  Now, here we are. 

With that said, it's not a guarantee.  Hixenbaugh has beaten Elijah Lusk of Lander twice this season, but meeting number two (4-2) was a lot closer than meeting number one (11-4).  There's a reason Lusk has been 2nd & 1st in these championships the past two years & 8th in the D2 nation last year.  Should be a good final. 

141 lbs 

The name maybe Peace, but when the Bearcat steps on the mat, he goes to war.  21-6 on the season, Isham Peace owns both an 11-8 & a 9-5 decision over John Carayiannis of Belmont Abbey.  He should be the *1 seed this weekend. 

As we look at the other side of the bracket, we're bound to have a good semi-final between Carayiannis & Omar Armengol of Coker.  If won by Carayiannis, despite being 0-2 against Peace on the season, I still say he poses a threat to the Super Region II title.  He has been 8th & 6th in the D2 nation the past two seasons for good reason.  He knows how to win. 

149 lbs 

Here's the grand prize.  149 lbs.   We have five very talented wrestlers in this bracket & only three of them get to go to nationals this year. Bar none, it'll be the toughest of all the Super Region II weight classes. 

Zeth Brower of Lander was an NCAA Division II champion in 2022 & he finished 5th in the DII nation last season competing at 141 lbs.  He he is up at 149 as he looks to win another Super Region II title this weekend.  He has a 1:27 fall over Devan Moore of Newberry, a 4-3 decision over Jake Piccirilli of UNC-Pembroke & a 15-0 tech over Demetri Teddlie of King. 

Moore was the Super Region II champ here last season & 8th in the D2 nation.  Carrying a 17-5 record he owns both a 3-1 as well as an 8-5 sudden victory over Teddlie.  He also owns a 7-6 decision over Dallas Wilson of Mount Olive. 

Wilson was 3rd here a year ago, finishing one match shy of All American honors.  He owns a 7-3 decision over Piccirilli & a 13-8 decision over Teddlie. 

Piccirilli was an NCAA DII qualifier in 2022 with a 3rd place finish, but was the odd man out in an equally tough bracket last year, finishing 4th.  On the season standing 17-3 overall, he has a 13-1 major over Moore & a 12-3 major over Teddlie. 

Teddlie, despite being unranked does own an 18-4 major over Moore & he was runner-up here two seasons ago. 

157 lbs 

Here's what's funny about this weight class. The rankings say one thing, the results say another.  Keegan Roberson of UNC-Pembroke is ranked higher than Jack Tangen of Lander, but it has been Lander who has won both of their meetings this season.  A 6:28 fall and a 21-12 major decision.  Roberson stands at 28-6 on the year, as Tanger was the Super Region II runner-up last season competing at 149 lbs. 

As we discuss those two plausible Super Region II champion contenders, let's not forget last year's champion Max Kiel of Belmont Abbey.  Roberson pinned Kiel at 1:29, but Kiel defeated Tangen 10-6. 

Parity anyone? 

165 lbs 

I swear, the strangest stuff happens in NCAA Division II wrestling.  If you grew up a fan of R.L. Stein & shows like Eeire, Indiana  then this is the division of collegiate wrestling for you.  David Hunsberger is the number one wrestler at 165 lbs & he carries a 26-1 record.  He was the Super Region II champ last year & 4th in the DII nation.

Any guess as to who that one lone loss is to? 

Trent Mahoney of King, who is currently unranked. It was in the first period at the 2:32 mark.  Was in a fluke? Was it legit?  Well, I'll say this.  Despite not being in the rankings, Mahoney competing at 157 last season was 2nd at the Super Region & 6th in the D2 nation.  Despite whatever happened in the Lander/King dual, we're most likely going to see the two go to battle again this weekend. 

174 lbs 

32-2 on the season, with titles won at the Pembroke Classic & the Midwest Classic, it has been one heck of a good season for West Virginia transfer Scott Joll.  The only prediction I make about 174 with confidence, is that I'm 99.99% positive the Brave will be our champion this weekend.  As to the rest of the bracket?  I'd like to think that last year's champ Calan Staub would pose threat to qualification, but he's had some weird losses thus far this season.  It's one of those deals where there's so much this guy beat that guy, but lost to this guy, who lost two these two guys....It's chaos.  Figure might as well sit back and watch what happens. 

184 lbs 

184 is even more complicated than 174 from where I sit.  I really don't know what to make of it or who out of a 12 man bracket will be the three remaining standing.  I can tell you though, that I believe there's no reason at all why ZeBrandon Gant of Newberry shouldn't be one of those three.  8-1 on the season, he is a three time NCAA DII qualifier, looking for his fourth trip to nationals. 

197 lbs 

Confident that our final here will be between Anthony Yacovetti of Lander & John Parker Wilson of Newberry.  While Yacovetti has the higher ranker & was the Super Region II champion last year, it is Wilson who owns a 5-1 decision over Yacovetti. 

As to our consolation final?  I believe that will be between Ethan Lopez of King & Micah Clemson of Emmanuel.  Clemson was 3rd here last year, but it is a Lopez who owns a 14-7 decision over Clemson. 


A Super Region II champion last year & 6th in the DII nation, Juan Edmond Holmes of Lander is looking to win another Super Region II title this weekend.  23-2 he owns a 2:25 fall over Devon Rice of Newberry who has been 5th & 3rd the past two Super Region II championships.  He carries a 25-5 record. 

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