Thursday, February 8, 2024

NJCAA South Central District Preview (Saturday February 10th)


Featuring Regions 2 & 6, The South Central District is another NJCAA qualifier that will take place this weekend. Hosted by Barton, it is a very competitive District that featured a number of NJCAA All Americans last season & is bound to produce as many if not more this season.  Let's take a look at the individual weight classes. 

125 lbs

A South Central District Runner-up last season, not only does Kaden Spragis of Pratt look to win a title this weekend, he's also looking to add NJCAA All American honors to his collection. With that said, don't be the least bit surprised if Brady Foster of Cloud County ends up giving him a scare in the finals.  Despite being unranked, he used a gas tank to come back from a 12-2 deficit at the start of the third period, to end up making Spragis hold on to a 14-9 victory.  He himself was an NJCAA qualifier last season with a 4th place finish here. 

133 lbs

Here's another weight class where what happens on the mat may very well surprise what happens on the paper.  NEO looks to crown a South Central District champion in Vinny Citrano, but I am anxious to see if Aidan O'Dell of Cowley, despite being unranked, ends up giving him a match.  O'Dell was one match shy of NJCAA All American honors last season. 

141 lbs

I wouldn't exactly call myself Miss Chloe, but I predicted at the beginning of the season that Pratt's Easton Taylor would win both a South Central District title & an NJCAA title this season, and I'm sticking to that prediction! A District champ last year & 2nd in the NJCAA nation, I can't see anyone denying the Beaver of either.  I will say though, this weight class features an array of talent.  We also have a very tough Marcus Terry of NEO, as well as two NJCAA qualifiers from last season in both Jazen Brown of Labette & Zane Lucksavage of Colby.  Will be a tough bracket. 

149 lbs

I tell you what, this Jaden Two Lance of Carl Albert has caught my attention on more than one occasion this season.  Collecting three bronze medals from the Texas High School State championships, he never made a final, but I'll be damned if I don't think he might be able to win an NJCAA title before his time is said & done with the Vikings.  He won a rather loaded Oppenheim Invitational earlier this season, which I found most impressive.   With that said, winning a South Central District title this weekend will be anything other than a cakewalk.  Pratt's Gabe Maki won a title here last year & he doesn't plan on doing anything less this weekend.  Then on top of it we also have a very tough Dayton Bell of NWKT, who in his own right will be looking to knock off both higher ranked wrestlers. 

157 lbs

Here's another tough weight class in the South Central Distrit.  An NJCAA qualifier last season, Noah Smith of Pratt will most likely be the *1 seed this weekend.  One who isn't afraid to lock up & go upperbody, don't be surprised if we see a couple of tosses out of him this weekend.  Fighting to meet him in the finals will be Jackson Wilkins of NEO & Job Lee of NWKT.  Could also see an upset or two out of Dylan Ancheta of Cloud County.  He was 6th here a year ago & then wrestled exceptionally well at nationals, finding himself in the R12. 

165 lbs

A South Central District champ & 3rd in the NJCAA nation last season, Cayleb Atkins is another Beaver who looks to collect gold medals from here on out the rest of the season.  He's got a tough field to go through this weekend.  Chance Davis of Cowley, started off his career at Little Rock, then transferring.  He's been doing great thus far & I'm anxious to see if after his time in NJCAA is a said and done thing, if he ends up back at Little Rock.  With that noted, he'll have himself one heck of a likely semi-final with Justice Compton of NEO.  Compton himself was 3rd here last season & 6th in the NJCAA nation.  Then in the shadows, waiting to plausibly pull off an upset or two we have Gabriel Bailey of Cloud County. Himself an NJCAA qualifier last season. 

174 lbs

Looking into the future, Otgonbayar Batsuuri is destined for a great collegiate career, followed by a great international career representing Mongolia. The list of huge accomplishments that he will earn, all start here, this weekend in Great Bend, Kansas.  That is of course if he doesn't get upset by either Tye Frnka of NEO or Garrett Davis of Labette.  Davis, an NJCAA qualifier, was 4th here last season. 

I also want to note that I'm unsure of the current status of Melton Powe who won a South Central District title last season & finished 3rd in the NJCAA nation.  Per Cowley's website he's still listed on the roster, but I don't see much about him otherwise. Not sure if the roster isn't current, he's redshirting or what the deal is.  

184 lbs 

If by the time things are said and done in Council Bluffs, half of the NJCAA All Americans at 184 all come from the South Central District, it wouldn't surprise me any.  This is a tough, tough group of wrestlers.  3rd in the South Central District last season & one match shy of NJCAA All American honors last season, Blake Jouret of Pratt looks to trade bronze for gold this weekend.  Right there to challenge him will be another international star of the NWKT Mavericks.  This one from Cuba, Lazaro Crespo.   Also featured here will be Gabriel Commons & if you really want to examine how deep 184 lbs gets, keep in mind that unranked Wyatt Powell of Cloud County was 8th in the NJCAA nation last year.  Semis, finals, consolation finals, this is one to watch. 

197 lbs

Got another tough weight class here at 197 lbs.  See Matt Marcum of Labette & Gavin Dodge of NWKT most likely our *1 & *2 seeds.  Dodge was 5th here a year ago competing at HWT & R12 at the NJCAA's. As we look at Marcum & Dodge don't be the least bit surprised if Carl Albert's Hunter Hall doesn't end up making the finals.  He got hot at the end of last season, earning 7th place All American honors at the NJCAA championships.  Wouldn't be the least bit surprised to see him got hot again.  Let's also keep in mind that 197 will also feature Kaden Glass of Pratt, himself an NJCAA qualifier last season. 


A season ago Austin Tischer barely finished his season with a winning record going 8-7.  Fast forward nearly a year later, he's ranked in the top 12 & he's a contender to win a South Central District title.  He'll be challenged by Geoff Freeman of NEO who did quite well competing at 197 lbs last year.  3rd here at the South Central District, he was one match shy of NJCAA All American honors. 

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