"The NCAAs of High School wrestling", a "meat grinder", a "pool that has no shallow end", etc...
All of these expressions and many more have been used to categorize/depict the elite level of competition that flocks to Greensboro, NC on a yearly basis to compete in the beastly ritual known simply as the Super 32!!!
Stripping away all of the fancy sayings and whatnot, at the very bare bones of the situation, there is one indisputable truth.....no matter if it's the high school division or the pee wees (8U), YOU DON'T SURVIVE IF YOU CANNOT SCRAP!!!
History has illustrated that there were future NCAA All-Americans and/or national champions that failed to medal at this event; some did not even make it to day #2!
So while it is great to dream about coming home with a belt around your waste, always be mindful to derive joy in the fight itself and to take joy/pride if you are among the best of the best that stood on ANY step of that podium...
50 Empire Staters among five divisions made the pilgrimage to the Tar Heel State.....12 traveled home as All-Americans!!!!
Anchored by a wave of young brilliance, three of our five HS placers (including 126-pound champ, PJ Duke) are sophomores or younger....
To boot, a pair of 11 & Under Long Islanders (Jace Rooney, Tyler Conzo) left no doubt that New York is a state on the rise!!!
Below is just a sampling of the stars that lit up the proverbial sky on behalf of the NY!!!
2021 Super 32 Champion, PJ Duke (Minisink Valley) poses with his family (L-R; Timmy, Annie, PJ, Pete, Abby)
When the weekend started, the Minisink Valley freshman was the #1 ranked freshman in America...By the end of it, one cannot help but ask themselves, is he the best wrestler in the country regardless of age?
Putting forth the best version of himself that we have ever seen (which says a lot considering his decorated resume up to this point), the 2020 NYSPHSAA DI State champion, who finished as the 113-pound runner-up at the S32 a season ago, was not just winning in his return to Greensboro , he was beating high caliber foes by such wide margins that a true argument can and should be made for him to be the #1 ranked wrestler in his weight class the next time the polls are released (is currently #10).
Posting an 8-0 overall record between Saturday and Sunday, Duke put an exclamation on his title journey by winning an 11-3 major decision in the finals against #4 ranked/4x Alabama State Champion/2021 UWW Cadet GR World silver medalist, Cory Land...
Leading 4-1 at the end of two periods behind a pair of takedowns in the 1st and a rideout in the 2nd, the KD Trained (Khaled Dassan) delivered a KO during the last 2:00, escaping at the onset and then breaking his opponent with pressure on his way to three more TDs to account for the bonus point outcome...Land is now a two-time runner-up at this tournament, having gone 2-3-2 from 2019-2021.
The victory over Land was one of three that Duke earned over a fellow nationally ranked peer.
In the semis, he utilized a counter takedown in the 2nd period on his way to a 3-1 decision over top-ranked/2x State Champion/2021 USAW Jr. Folk National champ/2021 USAW Jr. FS National runner-up, Sergio Lemley (Illinois/Indiana)...
After recording an 11-3 major decision in the round of 16 over 14th ranked/2x Minnesota runner-up/2021 USAW 16U FS National runner-up, Landon Robideau (the #4 2025 prospect per Willie Saylor) to wrap up day #1, Duke made it two wins in a row over a fellow diaper dandy when he emerged with a 12-5 quarterfinal decision against Californian, Daniel Zepeda (#17 in the 2025 class rankings; 2021 USAW 16U GR 5th, 2020 Super 32 MS champ, 2019 NHSCA MS National runner-up).
Duke also had key Saturday wins over 2021 National Prep Invitational 4th, Joel Brown (fall in 0:46) and 2021 Illinois State gold/2019 USAW Folk AA (6th), Jacob Macatangay (5-2 decision)
Duke is the first New Yorker to bring home the belt in the high school division since 2018 when 4x State Champ for Shenendehowa, Stevo Poulin, accomplished the feat at 106.
Williamsville North Super Sophomore, Cam Catrabone
Is there a wrestler in the Empire State more on fire than Williamsville North sophomore, Cameron Catrabone? What about planet Earth?
Every time the Spartan 10th grader (currently ranked 2nd in our 2024 in-state class polls) makes an appearance, he is just a tad bit better and more lethal than the previous showing....
And after what he just achieved this past weekend in North Carolina, the question is no longer "Will he be nationally ranked", it is an affirmative, "HOW HIGH will he be ranked"? And quite frankly, we are banking on it being incredibly high!!!!
Just a matter of weeks removed from an impressive 3rd place finish at the Grappler Fall Classic, the 2021 Journeymen NYS Bronze medalist/2021 NHSCA Freshman National titlist was even more lights out in Greensboro...
The owner of a state-best 10 wins (10-1), nobody (including the respective champions in each weight class) had a better day #2 of action than the section VI standout...
Posting a 5-0 record on Sunday, he bested not one, not two, not three, but FOUR top-20 ranked foes on his way to the bronze!!!
Beginning his climb to and up the podium with 12-4 major decision over #11 (@126) Braden Basile (3x Florida finalist/2x champ, 2021 USAW Jr FS 6th, 2021 NHSCA Jr 3rd), the NYer put on a mat wrestling clinic in the 2nd period, getting a reversal and then adding three sets of near-fall to turn a scoreless contest into an 8-0 edge heading to the 3rd...Basile rallied, cutting the deficit to as close as 9-4, but Catrabone responded by answering with the final three points of the match (escape + TD)...
In the blood round, he utilized a 2nd period escape for the lone point of the match to upend #3 ranked Emilio Ysaguirre (2x Arizona State Champion; 2021 USAW Junior FS National runner-up)...
Top-8 honors officially locked up, he knocked off 2021 NHSCA Sophomore National champ, Eligh Rivera, 9-6, in his next match to set up a much desired rematch...
Tagged with the only blemish (6-4 decision) on an otherwise impeccable resume in the round of 16 against #4 Zeke Seltzer, when he faced the 2x Indiana titlist/multiple-time Fargo AA (2019 U16 FS runner-up/2020 Super 32 3rd), he sent a message in the consolation semis, pouring it on the future Missouri Tiger to the tune of a 10-2 major decision...
Scoring a counter TD in the last 15 seconds of the 3rd, Catrabone cemented his perfect day by overcoming an early 4-1 hole to defeat 2021 California State gold, #12 (@126) Dario Lemus, 8-6, in the 3rd place bout...
He wasn't too bad on Saturday either, as he opened up the festivities with three straight wins over a 2021 Illinois State 4th (Edmund Enright; pin in 1:31), a 2020 National Prep 7th (Freddy Pimental; fall in 2:29), and a 9-0 major shutout versus 3x Colorado placer (2019 runner-up)/2021 USAW Junior GR 3rd, Joseph Airola...Catrabone also pinned Iowan, Tycho Carmichael, with 34 ticks remaining in the 3rd period of their round of 32 bout...
The #1 Man in the NYWN 2024 Class rankings...Zack Ryder
Assembling a 6-2 overall record in his second trip to the "Battle For the Belt" (went 3-2 in 2020), the two-time defending New York State Champion/#1 ranked sophomore in the NYWN class polls, picked up exactly where he left off from a magical freshman campaign that witnessed him seize just about every prize on the national table (NHSCA National crown, USAW 16U FS title, etc)...
Splitting matches with four fellow top-20 regarded opponents (he entered at #7), the Warrior wonder kid, who also prepared for this tournament by training with [Khaled] Dassan, took a few jabs along the way, but still successfully wrestled above his #6 seed...
One of two Empire Staters to reach the semifinals [Duke obviously being the other], Ryder guaranteed himself a spot on the podium when he completed the only TD of the bout in the 2nd period to upend #5 ranked Erik Gibson (2x PIAA medalist; 2021 Double Fargo Jr. AA; 2020 Super 32 7th), 3-2, in the quarterfinal round...
Back-to-back losses on Sunday to the eventual runner-up (#8 Joseph Sealey; 2021 North Carolina State titlist) and 4th (#9 Jonathan Ley; 2020 Super 32 3rd; 2x NHSCA AA) finishers by identical 3-1 scores in the semi and consolation semifinal rounds dampened the mood slightly, but like a true champ, the youngest of Darren & Laura's four children fought back to end on a high note...
Squaring off with the top-seed in his bracket/#12 Michael Kilic (3x State Champion, Multi-time Fargo AA/2019 16U GR titlist, 2x NHSCA National Champion, 2020 Super 32 bronze), in the bout for 5th place, Ryder notched his second signature triumph in as many days when he hit a double-leg approximately half a minute into the 2nd period for the only takedown and then added an escape off the whistle in the 3rd to pick up the "w" via a 3-2 decision...
4-0 on Saturday, Ryder struck immediately in the first period for a takedown in a 3-2 decision in the round of 64 over 2x Florida State champ/2021 USAW Folk Nationals Jr. 4th, Brendon Abdon.... In the round of 16, he really had the offense going in all positions, registering a takedown and set of swipes in each of the first two periods to build a 9-1 advantage against 2x Oklahoma 3rd, Bam West. An escape + TD drew West within 9-4, but Ryder was never seriously challenged. An escape by the Section IXer rounded out the scoring to account for the 10-4 tally.
Ryder's body of work also included a fall in the round of 32 against 2021 USAW Folk Nats 4th, Sloan Swan (California)...Up 2-0 in the contest, he went bread-and-butter MV/Underground cradle to hear the slap of the mat with 32 ticks remaining in the 1st!
2021 Journeymen NYS Champion, Kole Mulhauser, posing with former NCAA DI All-American, Kenny Courts
"Either you're winning or you're learning" were the sentiments coming out of the camp for the 2021 NYS Champion/2021 NHSCA Junior National runner-up from Central Square, Mulhauser...
Finding himself in a bracket where many of his fellow nationally recognized peers (he stands at #8) were not even fortunate enough to survive the first day, let alone earn a top-6 showing, the Princeton University bound hammer can officially refer to himself as a Super 32 All-American, as his 6-3 record landed him in a strong 6th place!
Absolutely on fire out of the gates on Saturday afternoon, our #1 in-state prospect from the class of 2022 ripped off consecutive falls in the rounds of 64 (Charles King of Georgia; 0:53) and 32 (2021 North Carolina State titlist, Brady Ross; 2:24), before being met with a bit of hardship in the round of 16...
Going toe-to-toe with the #2 overall stud in the class of 2025 (per Willie Saylor), Jude Correa (2021 Roller Series Trinity Award Winner, 2021 USAW 16U Folk National Champion, 2019 & 2020 Super 32 MS champ), Mulhauser, was on the undesirable side of a 4-2 upset that could have easily derailed his bid for top-8 distinction...
Staring at the unenviable predicament of needing THREE wins in the consolation bracket to clinch AA status, the gem from section III embraced the challenge and responded with FOUR straight hand-raising outcomes...
Commencing his comeback tour with a 14-2 major decision over 2021 Colorado State champ/2021 NHSCA Junior 7th, Remington Peterson, Mulhauser's next two matches were where he really proved his toughness...
Facing the first of four foes with #s next to their names, the New Yorker punched his ticket to the blood round when he utterly destroyed #19 (@170), Nate Taylor of Connecticut (2021 National Prep Invitational 4th; 2021 NHSCA Freshman National champ; 2021 USAW 16U FS 7th), 12-1....Already up 2-0 at the end of the 1st, his top work in the 2nd allowed him to create separation as he rolled through a pair of tilts for the full allotment and then tacked on his second TD of the match to hold a 10-1 edge after the second stanza....For good measure, he converted one last takedown 35 ticks into the 3rd and proceeded to ride out the last 95 seconds...
In the mano a mano clash between the aforementioned #8 and 9th-ranked Joseph Martin (California), it was Mulhauser striking with a double in the last :25 of the 1st period to go up 2-0....This proved to be all the offense he would need as the two combatants took turns riding the other out in the 2nd and 3rd periods...Martin, a 2020 State champ/2021 USAW Junior Folk Nat. runner-up, who took 7th at the S32 in 2019, recorded his only point when Mulhauser was hit for multiple stall warnings on bottom...
Top-8 in the book and the pressure somewhat off, Mulhauser registered his fifth bonus point victory in his next appearance, breaking a cradle attempt for a reversal before throwing in a power-half with bad intentions to stick 2021 Iowa State 3rd, CJ Walrath, at the 2:14 mark!
Losses by scores of 5-2 and 1-0 at the hands of the #2 (Brian Soldano; 2x NJ State Champion/defending S32 champ/2021 Junior FS runner-up), and #5 (Hayden Walters; 2x Oregon titlist/2021 Fargo Junior FS 3rd/2020 S32 5th) ranked wrestlers in the consolation semis and 5th place bout was not the conclusion the NY faithful were hoping for; but it in no way diminishes what was a very productive collective display for the future Tiger!
2021 Journeymen NYS Bronze Medalist, Charlie Tibbitts
If you look only at the win/loss column, you are going to see that the 2021 Journeymen NYS Bronze medalist out of New Hartford [Tibbitts] went 2-3!!!
However, the lesson to be heeded in this instance is that sometimes the quality and clutchness of your triumphs takes precedents over the quantity of those victories...
Participating in one of the few non-overcrowded brackets of the event, the Spartan senior picked his spots perfectly!
Toeing the line in a round of 16 match versus fifth-seeded Matthew Cruise of Pennsylvania (2021 State 5th; 2019 NHSCA Freshman 4th), Tibbitts transformed a scoreless bout into a 5-0 advantage during the last :45 of the 2nd period when he hit a roll for a reversal and then synched up a standing cradle, pulling the Keystone Stater to his back for 3NF....He later added a takedown in the final 35 seconds of regulation when he sprawled and gradually worked his way behind Cruise to put the cherry on the 7-0 shutout!
An 8-2 loss in the quarterfinals to 2021 NJ State bronze medalist, Max Acciardi, would drop the section III big man into the blood round where he faced 2x Idaho State 3rd, Miguel Perez (unseeded)...
Leading 1-0 after an escape just beyond the midway point of the 2nd period, all that stood in the way of Tibbitts being on the podium would be an effective 3rd period ride....He rose to the occasion and then some, repeatedly flattening his opponent whenever the latter was able to build up to a quodpod....He eventually made his nemesis pay for the inability to get free, as he horsed him over to his back for the mat slap at the 4:04 mark to punctuate his top-8 effort!!!!
Tibbitts did stumble in his last two outings, but neither could be considered a "bad loss"....Defeating him was 2021 Virginia State champ/2021 USAW Jr. GR 6th/2021 NHSCA Jr. 3rd, Aiden Lacoma (Virginia; 10-2 major decision) and 3x Ohio State qualifier/2019 USAW Double Fargo 16U All-American, Riley Ucker (Ohio; 9-4 decision).
|113||Justin Shay||Iona Prep-C||0-2||-----|
|120||Liam Carlin||Burnt Hills-2||2-2||-----|
|120||Mason Ketcham||Don Bosco-NJ/Washingtonville-9||2-2||-----|
|120||Tyler Ferrara||Chenango Forks-4||4-2||-----|
|126||Max Gallagher||Bayport Blue Point-11||5-2||-----|
|126||PJ Duke||Minisink Valley-9||8-0||CHAMPION|
|132||Cameron Catrabone||Williamsville North-6||10-1||3RD PLACE|
|132||Jordan Brown||Monroe Woodbury-9||0-2||-----|
|132||Konstantinos Koufalis||Iona Prep-C||0-2||-----|
|138||Colin Carlin||Burnt Hills-2||0-2||-----|
|138||Connor Gregory||Ballston Spa-2||0-2||-----|
|138||Jackson Polo||Cold Spring Harbor-8||4-2||-----|
|138||Kayleb Martin||Sackets Harbor-3||0-2||-----|
|145||Sean Degl||Iona Prep-C||0-2||-----|
|152||Thomas Mancini||St. Anthony's-C||0-2||-----|
|152||Zack Ryder||Minisink Valley-9||6-2||5TH PLACE|
|160||Frankie Theroux||St. Anthony's-C||0-2||-----|
|160||Nick Fea||Bergen Catholic-NJ/Goshen-9||1-2||-----|
|170||Aiden Poe||Indian River-3||1-2||-----|
|182||Alex Berisha||Fox Lane-1||0-2||-----|
|182||Kole Mulhauser||Central Square-3||6-3||6TH PLACE|
|220||Gabriel Garibaldi||White Plains-1||1-2||-----|
|285||Charlie Tibbitts||New Hartford-3||2-3||8TH PLACE|
|285||Marc Berisha||Fox Lane-1||2-2||-----|
#1 Ranked Jace Rooney Claims the Betl
In the immortal words of William Shakespeare, "Heavy is the head that wears that crown".....Unless of course you are he the 60-pound phenom from Great River [Jace Rooney]....For him, #1 is a privilege and he had no intention of relinquishing his throne this past weekend...
Seeded 3rd in his bracket despite being atop the Mobbin' Media national youth polls, Rooney served some humble pie to those who doubted him...
Compiling a 5-0 record on Sunday, he emerged with the belt when he bested 2019 USAW Kids Folkstyle titlist/2019 Kick-Off Classic runner-up/2019 Reno Worlds runner-up, Cash McClurg (California), 4-3, in the finale of their weight class...
Stringing together four points in a matter of seconds behind a takedown and turn for 2NF in the first period, this was all the offense that Rooney would need, as he surrendered a reversal in the 1st and was hit for a stalling point on bottom in the 3rd, but was never in danger of losing...
The conquest of McClurg was one of three signature victories for the Long Islander...In fact, it could be argued that his 2-1 semifinal victory against long-time rival, Slate Bayona (also hailing from CA; #7 ranked; 2020 Kick-Off Classic runner-up; 2021 Tulsa 4th; 2x defending titlist at Reno Worlds) was his most satisfying of the day given their history....
Suffering a rare loss to his "archenemy" at the Mobbin Youth Championships a few weeks ago, Rooney got right to business in this meeting, converting a single-leg and briefly threatening a cradle in the last 1:00 of the 1st period for what proved to be the difference-maker.....Bayona would ride out the full length of the 2nd and 3rd periods, earning a pair of stall warnings against the New Yorker in the waning moments of the bout, but it did not much matter, as Rooney took the "w", 2-1!!!
Rooney's quarterfinal was not nearly as stressful, as he cruised to an 8-1 decision over 2021 USAW Kids Folk National gold medalist, Max Lindquist (MO)
After two legs of the Roller Series last season, Tyler Conzo, kicks off the new campaign with S32 Glory
"Marcia", "scrub", or whatever other terms of endearment you may choose to label him, from this day forward, you best remember to call the Smithtown stud [Tyler Conzo], SUPER 32 CHAMPION!!!
Not surrendering a single point all day on Sunday, all Mobbin's #4 regarded wrestler seems to do is win, win, win!!!
Named as a 2020/2021 Roller Series All-Star after winning in Tulsa and Reno, Conzo most added the Mobbin Youth Championship hardware to his trophy case in the lead-up to Greensboro...
The owner of a 4-0 tally, we are not sure how welcomed he will be in Pennsylvania as ALL of his triumphs came at the expense of Keystone residents!
Commencing his day of domination with back-to-back sub-1:00 falls over multiple-time USAW Kids FS/GR All-American, Jay McQuiston (0:52) and 2021 Tulsa 3rd/2019 Super 32 11U 6th, Evan Lisowski 0:42), Conzo finally was forced to go the distance in the semis...
Striking for a TD within the initial 10 seconds and then running a bar in the last 10 of the opening period, Conzo jumped out to a comfortable 5-0 edge against Brady Genard....A reversal 18 ticks into the 2nd provided some insurance, as he would get ride out the remainder of the middle stanza and then play it safe on bottom in the 3rd (Genard chose top) to punch his ticket to the finals via the 7-0 decision....
Facing his toughest test of the weekend in the person of #6, Rocco Lombardo (2020 KO Classic champ, 2021 Tulsa runner-up, 2021 Reno titlist) in the "match for all the marbles", it was the Conzo converting a takedown in the 1st and then padding the lead with a reversal in the 3rd en route to the 4-0 shutout to cap off an immaculate showing in NC!
|55||Leonidas Murillo||4-1||3RD PLACE|
|80||Matthew McDermott||4-1||3RD PLACE|
|80||Finnegan O'Brien||5-2||7TH PLACE|
|85||Gavin Mangano||3-3||8TH PLACE|
|136||Griffin LaPlante||2-3||8TH PLACE|