Wisconsin Freshman Class of ’20 Top Ten Preview (2016-2017)
We take a stab at suggesting the top of the 2016 Wisconsin high school freshman class. As we mentioned last season, freshman are the most difficult to rank, as they don’t have a standardized schedule prior to freshman year. The class of 2020 is impressive and has achieved a lot of success at the national level.
Braden Maertz (Kewaskum)
Brady Spaeth (Cadott)
Ben Stevenson (Waterford)
Connor Westfall (Athens)
- Dajun Johnson (Whitefish Bay) – Dajun won his first youth state title last year and followed it up with success at the cadet level placing at Northern Plains in both styles and Dominate in the Dells. He made a decent run at Fargo winning 4 matches. It is always tough to predict how freshman will progress in the upper weights, but Dajun’s upside is high and it should be fun to watch him find his way.
- Tommy Larsen (East Troy) – Tommy has consistently achieved at the state level, including a state title last season, Dominate the Dells title and Badgerland National’s title. The big question for Tommy will be size, as he wrestled 85lbs at the state tournament and 88lbs at Fargo in July. We expect him to succeed as he grows into the highs school weight class.
- Cole Ramos (Kenosha Bradford) – Cole took the Triple Crown last year winning all three State titles and did so in dominant fashion. Cole placed in both styles at Northern Plains. Despite his successes he did not All American at Nationals in July. Previously at 98 pounds, Cole should slot in nicely at 106!
- Cody Minor (Ashwaubenon) – Minor, similar to Larsen, is another wrestler who will have to pack on some serious size to make noise as a freshman. That being said his wrestling skills are top notch; Cody won all 3 state titles last year and has placed 5th and 2nd in the last two years at USAW Folkstyle Nationals. We look for him to progress early and achieve much success by the end of the year.
- Sam Skillings (Menomonie) – Another wrestler on the list who won the state Triple Crown last year Sam had success at the national level as an All American in both Folkstyle and Greco at USAW Nationals. We think Skillings will continue in the tradition of successful Menomonie upper weights.
- Jalen Spuhler (Hartford) – Spuhler won a State title in folkstyle the last two years and has mixed results at the national level. His results at the UWW Cadet Greco Nationals (2nd) and USAW Cadet Greco nationals (3rd) were exceptional. Jalen placed 6th at Northern Plains in Greco and did not place at USAW Folk Nationals. With more consistent results he may have landed higher on this list. Spuhler should fill in very nicely for Hartford at 106.
- Cole Bavery (Edgerton) – Bavery had a very 8th grade season winning both freestyle and folkstyle State. Cole had notable success at the big tournaments winning the Track Championships and Dominate in the Dells. He placed 3rd at USAW Folkstyle Nationals in a tough bracket. Bavery will likely wrestle 113 right off the bat and we wouldn’t be surprised to see him compete for a state title.
- Tyler Hannah (Viroqua) – Winning Pan Am Championships in both international styles, Hannah won pretty much everything there is to win prior to his first high school season. At Tulsa Nationals he placed a respectable 3rd. His achievements included Triple Crowns at the State and National levels. Transitioning to high school varsity at an upper weight will be a challenge. Last season highly ranked freshmen Bryant Schaaf and Drew Hennessy had amazing 8th grade seasons and were challenged as freshmen in upper weight classes. We see Hannah adjusting early and possibly finding his way onto the podium in Madison.
- Aidan Medora (Brookfield Academy/St. John’s) – Medora won a youth folkstyle State title and emerges high on this list due to success in the cadet division with wins against tough high school age wrestlers. In winning Dominate in the Dells Medora defeated WIAA State Place winners Mason McMillen (Reedsburg) by fall and Aaron Bahr (West Salem/Bangor) 9-3. Medora earned All-American honors at USAW Folkstyle Nationals and was one round away from placing at Fargo reaching quarterfinals.
- Keegan O’Toole (Arrowhead) – O’Toole is another athlete who had a huge amount of success at the Cadet level last year winning both the Dominate in the Dells and Freestyle State. Keegan was an All-American at both USAW Folkstyle Nationals and Freestyle Nationals. His lone loss at Folk nationals was a 3-2 tie breaker to nationally ranked Eric Faught (Clear Lake, IA). O’Toole holds a win over No. 8 nationally ranked Anthony Clark (East Hanover, NJ).
Any way you slice it; this is an immensely skilled freshman class. It will be fun to follow them as they progress and achieve success at the high school level.
(WIWrestling.com would like to post head shot pictures of these individuals. Please send appropriate pictures to trm @ wiwrestling.com . )
Keegan O’Toole Photo: Scott Stokhaug Photography