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NHSCA Duals - A Focus on Individuals

In our first NHSCA Duals article, we focused on the teams that had the most success. In this one, will go over the rest of the entries and highlight the individuals who stood out in Virginia Beach over Memorial Day Weekend.

Sly Fox Black, a team comprised of quite a few South River wrestlers, saw two Maryland guys post perfect 6-0 records in St. Mary’s Ryken’s state and National Prep placer Will Buckler (160) and Severna Park’s state runner-up Nate Kohler (182).

Buckler’s wins were over wrestlers he was favored against. Kohler, though, pulled off two unexpected wins with the first one being over Pennsylvania’s Brandon Carr, who was third in his region and lost in the blood round of the AAA state tournament, by fall, 4:27. Kohler used a pin for his other big win over Northwest’s Ivan Carillo, who won a state title as a sophomore but missed his junior campaign, 1:10.

Albert Einstein’s state champion, Stone Yuen (126), went 5-1 for Sly Fox Black with two quality wins over St. Frances Academy’s Isisah Womack, a state placer, by fall, 3:54. The other was over Virginia’s Justin Jones, a two-time Class 4 state champion, 12-6. Yuen’s loss came by fall to New Jersey’s fifth place regional placer, Isaias Hernandez, 1:53.

Two South River grapplers were 3-3 for Sly Fox Black, Ben Ford (152) and Leo Flores Guzman (220). State champion Jackson Peeples was 1-5 at 133 with a loss to Illinois’ Fargo placer, Caden Correll, by fall, 2:18.

The standouts for the Buccaneers WC were Anne Arundel County folks, except for Gilman’s John Jurkovic (145). The National Prep and state placer led the way with a 6-0 record. Joining him as an undefeated grappler was two-time heavyweight state champion RJ Duncan of Old Mill.

North County’s Kai’Ryn Hall (152) was 5-1, going unscathed on the second day of competition. Dylan Fish, who wrestled for Northeast before transferring to Curley last year, was 3-3. DeMatha’a Zachary Richards (195) only stepped on the mat twice and went 1-1.

Team Takedown featured a number of Eleanor Roosevelt wrestlers and a few others from around Prince George’s County that excelled at the duals. The Raiders who stood out were state runner-up Austin Hayes (106), who went 6-0, and Leo Foreman, who was 3-3.

Bishop McNamara’s state silver medalist, Rhonin Swenson (160), posted a 5-1 record with his lone hiccup coming against Michigan’s Dalton Birchmeier, 3-2. Birchmeier was eighth in his state tournament in 2023 but failed to place this year. Three guys put 4-2 tallies in the books, two from PG County – High Point’s state placer Jonathan Robles (120) and Potomac’s Julian Reyes (195), and Urbana’s state placer Gabriel Helmen (113).

Central MD Wrestling had one undefeated grappler, Mt. St. Joe’s James Wright (113), who was 6-0. Archbishop Spalding’s Vincent Paolucci (132), a two-time National Prep placer, went 5-1, with his sole blemish coming against Illinois 3A State Finalist, Michael Esteban, 6-4 in OT. Going 3-3 were Severna Park’s Michael Queen (126) and Chesapeake’s Xander Dodd (220). Queen was third in the state, while Dodd placed second.

The Blue Shell team drew strongly from the Leonardtown roster. In fact, all of the notable standouts for Blue Shell don the Leonardtown singlet during the regular season. AJ Kuntz (160) earned a state bronze this year and went 5-1 over the two days with his lone loss being to a nationally ranked wrestler from Virginia, Chase Van Hoven (No. 11 at 150 in Scorebook Live’s National Rankings), by fall in 50 seconds. Kuntz went undefeated on the second day.

Joining Kuntz and not suffering a loss on Sunday were Leland Nelson (106), Nolan Wood (126), Jacen McLeod (182), and Nathan Hein (220). The crazy thing is, three of them did not win a match on Saturday, while finishing with 3-3 records. McLeod had some seriously tough sledding with his Saturday slate, though, facing two nationally ranked wrestlers, Indiana’s Waylon Cressell (No. 21 at 175) and Iowa’s Max Magayna (No. 18 at 175), and a third who won a AAA Pennsylvania region crown, Blaise Eidle.

Wood’s only blemish came from Pennsylvania’s Kavin Muyleart, by fall in 40 seconds. Ethan Stanalonis (285) was 2-1 both days, picking up a first day loss to South Dakota’s Honorable Mention Micah Hach.

Beat the Streets Baltimore’s two noteworthy performances came from New Town wrestlers, one who placed at this year’s state tournament, Maleek Ayonrinde (195) and another who did not wrestle this year, John Davis (220). Both were 5-1 and did not lose during Sunday’s action.

Central MD Wrestling Black saw two wrestlers shine more than others on their roster, Mt. Hebron’s Josh Danso was 3-3 at 182 and River Hill’s Nate Faulkner was 4-2 at 285.

Stephen Decatur had two wrestlers on the mostly Delaware squad, Stratton Trained. Two-time state champ, Elijah Collick (120) was 6-0 and Nate McDaniel was 4-2 at 220.

In going over successful teams in the other NHSCA Duals article, we overlooked Loyola’s Judah Aybar, who competed for Team Nauman Silver Fox, and put a strong 5-2 record in the books. Aybar’s squad took third overall and shut out all its opponents until the Championship Bracket.

Aybar competed at 145 for his first six matches where he rolled to a 5-1 record. In the pool rounds, the state champ wrestled four of the six matches (two each day), posting a 4-0 record.

TNSF had a bye in the round of 64 and Aybar did not take the mat in their round of 32 win. Aybar returned in the round of 16 victory and decked Ohio’s Holden Huhn in the first period, 1:14. Huhn was fourth in Ohio’s D1 states. A quarter final win for TNSF saw Aybar get tripped up by Florida’s Jaydon Robinson, 6-4. Robinson is ranked 14th in the nation at 144lbs and was fourth at Ironman and won a state championship in Florida.

TNSF finally met a foe it could not handle in the semis with the Quest School of Wrestling Gold, losing 33-13. In this showdown, Aybar bumped up to 152 to face Pennsylvania’s Evan Petrovich and dropped an 8-6 decision. While Petrovich is unranked nationally, he is right on the doorstep of that designation. Petrovich was sixth at PowerAde, won his AAA region, placed third in the state, and landed in the fifth spot of the NHSCA Junior Nationals podium, where he beat St. Mary’s Ryken’s Evan Boblits twice, 5-3 and 4-2.

TNSF won their third-place match by forfeit over Iron Horse Wrestling Club.

Link to Brackets/Results:

Below are all the pool assignments for the team’s referenced in this article.

Sly Fox Black:

HS Pool 38

Consi HS Boys Pool J

Buccaneers WC:

HS Pool 47

Consi HS Boys Pool O

Team Takedown:

HS Pool 17

Consi HS Boys Pool E

Central MD Wrestling:

HS Pool 11

Consi HS Boys Pool X

Blue Shell:

HS Pool 1

Consi HS Boys Pool Z

Beat the Streets Baltimore:

HS Pool 33

Consi HS Boys Pool R

Central MD Wrestling Black:

HS Pool 21

Consi HS Boys Pool U

Stratton Trained:

HS Pool 46

Consi HS Boys Pool L

Team Nauman Silver Fox:

HS Pool 7

Champ HS Boys Pool G

HS Championship Bracket

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