With the 2019-20 wrestling season in the books, and with most other activity at a standstill, lets take a way-too-early look at the 2020-21 wrestling season.
Today, we rank the top 15 wrestlers from the Class of 2023 -- in other words, next years sophomores.
These rankings, like any cross-weight-class rankings, are more for fun and discussion than our weekly rankings of each weight class would be. So enjoy.
Last seasons record and weight are used.
Bethlehem Catholic's Tyler Kasak (top) and Mifflin County's Nick Allison wrestle during their 106-pound bout during the PIAA 3A individual tournament quarterfinals on March 6, 2020.Saed Hindash | For lehighvalleylive.com
1. Tyler Kasak (106 pounds, 18-2) Bethlehem Catholic
He finished fifth at PIAA 3A, defeating Northamptons Carson Wagner by fall for fifth, to cap what had been a very impressive mid-season debut after recovering from an injury. He won District 11 and Northeast Regional titles and was undefeated entering states, having beaten several of the states top-ranked wrestlers. Kasak was involved in one of the top fan highlights in Hershey, a 14-10 back-and-forth donnybrook of semifinal loss to eventual champion Vincent Kilkeary of Greater Latrobe. The Golden Hawk, who combined speed, power and a non-stop motor, will be a major player at states for the next three seasons.
Nazareth's Charlie Bunting (right) and Dallastown's Caden Dobbins wrestle during their 106-pound bout, in the PIAA Class 3A team wrestling championship semifinals on Feb. 7, 2020.Saed Hindash | For lehighvalleylive.com
2. Charlie Bunting (106 pounds, 38-7) Nazareth
Had Bunting not been injured at the District 11 meet, he very likely would have been a state medalist. The Blue Eagle defeated Becahis Cael McIntyre and Northamptons Carson Wagner twice each during the season. He lost 11-5 to Kasak at districts, but hes pretty clearly the class of everybody else, even of the wrestlers who made the state tournaments further up the weight ladder. Hes a good bet to be a three-time PIAA placewinner.
Bethlehem Catholics Cael McIntyre (right) and Freedoms C.J. Horvath wrestles during their 106-pound bout during the District 11 team wrestling quarterfinals on Jan 30, 2020, at Liberty High School. Saed Hindash | For lehighvalleylive.com
3. Cael McIntyre (106 pounds, 25-8) Bethlehem Catholic
McIntyre is a hard wrestler to know where to put in these rankings. He was outstanding all season as the Golden Hawks 106-pounder until Kasaks return -- his only losses in Pennsylvania were to Bunting and Father Judges Sean Logue (7th in PIAA 3A). If Becahi could have had two entries at 106 in the postseason, McIntyre would have been a strong contender for PIAA honors. Jeff Karam will be hoping his lineup will spread itself out better for 2020-21.
Nazareth's Sonny Sasso (top) and Seneca Valley's Conor Hayes wrestle during their 195-pound bout in the first round of the PIAA Class 3A team wrestling championship quarterfinals on Feb. 7, 2020. Saed Hindash | For lehighvalleylive.com
4. Sonny Sasso (195 pounds, 13-5) Nazareth
Wed have loved to have seen what Sasso would have done at 182, his natural weight. He had to wrestle up a class to get into the lineup, where he finished second in District 11 and fifth in the Northeast Regional. And wed have loved to have seen what he could have done with a full season, instead of missing much of the year with an injury. Expect Sasso to explode on the scene next season.
Northampton's Carson Wagner (right).Chris Shipley | lehighvalleylive.com contributor
5. Carson Wagner (106 pounds, 37-13) Northampton
The only other Class of 2023 state medalist other than Kasak was Wagner, who was sixth at 106 in PIAA 3A. 106 was a jungle of a weight class at D-11 and the Northeast Regional, and Wagners third place finish in both showed his season-long progress and his ability to come up big in the clutch. Konkrete Kid fans have much to be excited about with Wagner to watch for three more seasons.
Nazareth's Dominic Wheatley and Northampton's Dagen Condomitti (right) wrestle during their 132-pound bout on Jan 15, 2020. Condomitti went onto win the bout. Saed Hindash | For lehighvalleylive.com
6. Dagen Condomitti (126 pounds, 34-10) Northampton
And heres another reason for Northampton fans to want 2020-21 to come quickly. Condomitti was a Northeast Regional champion and District 11 runner-up as a freshman. He lost to Pottsvilles Wiley Kahler in the D-11 final but reversed that result in the regional final, always a good sign. Dagen went just 1-2 at states, but hell be a good bet to considerably improve on that finish as a sophomore.
Saucon Valley's Jake Jones (left) and Curwensville's Zach Holland wrestle during their 138-pound bout during the PIAA 2A individual tournament quarterfinals on March 6, 2020.Saed Hindash | For lehighvalleylive.com
7. Jake Jones (138 pounds, 42-8) Saucon Valley
The region was blessed with two outstanding 138-pound freshmen this season. Jones and Notre Dames Holden Garcia (see next entry) had a terrific rivalry, with Jones winning 2 of the 3 meetings though Garcia did win the District 11 2A final; Jones bounced back to win the Southeast Regional title. Jones lost in the blood round at states. When at his bg-move best, Jones is as exciting a wrestler as the area has. As he matures and gains more offense on his feet, he could well follow his older brother, Josh, as being a state champion.
Notre Dame's Holden Garcia (left) and Trinity's Patrick Demark wrestle during their 138-pound bout during the PIAA 2A individual tournament quarterfinals on March 6, 2020.Saed Hindash | For lehighvalleylive.com
8. Holden Garcia (138 pounds, 43-14) Notre Dame
As noted above, theres not much separating Garcia and Jones. The Crusader was District 11 champion, fifth at the Southeast Region and, like Jones, fell in the 2A blood round. Garcia, as technically secure and mentally calm a ninth grader as youll ever see, posted some very impressive wins during the season, including defeats of PIAA medalists Blake Showers of Biglerville and Bryce Brennan of Red Land. The sky is really the limit here.
Nazareth's Jake Doone (right).Saed Hindash | For lehighvalleylive.com
9. Jake Doone (113 pounds, 25-7) Nazareth
Like McIntyre, Doones problem was not being able to get in his own lineup. He didnt wrestle in the individual postseason but played a key role in the Blue Eagles run to the 3A team title as he was undefeated at state duals. Doone had a rough patch in December but lost just twice after -- to a pair of state medalists (Kasak and Easton sophomore Braxton Appello). Wed not bet against Doone being a three-time state medalist.
Freedoms CJ Horvath.Tim Wynkoop | lehighvalleylive.com contributor
10. CJ Horvath (106 pounds, 34-7) Freedom
Another of the outstanding wrestlers caught in the maelstrom that was 106 at the District 11 and Northeast Regional. Horvath was second at District 11 but then finished fifth at the regional and did not make states. He won the Bethlehem Holiday Wrestling Classic and won two of three meetings with Wagner (who pinned him in the regionals, though). Horvath has everything it takes to become Freedoms first PIAA medalist since 2016.
Bethlehem Catholic's Andrew Harmon adjusts his headgear as he faces Norwin's Kurtis Phipps during their 126-pound bout during day one of the PIAA 3A individual wrestling championships on March 5, 2020.Saed Hindash | For lehighvalleylive.com
11. Andrew Harmon (126 pounds, 22-17) Bethlehem Catholic
Heres another top-level wrestler who had to fight his way into a very crowded lightweight lineup, but once he found his spot he did just fine, finishing fourth in District 11 and the Northeast Regional and falling in the blood round at 3A states. Hes really a 120-pounder, so well be excited to see Harmon compete at a more natural weight next season -- and does he ever compete! Harmon has a high-octane motor few can match.
Notre Dame's Bryson Vaughn gets up after defeating Westmont Hilltop's Tanner Kushner during their 120-pound bout, in the second round consolations of the PIAA Class 2A team wrestling championships on Feb. 7, 2020.Saed Hindash | For lehighvalleylive.com
12. Bryson Vaughn (113 pounds, 13-3) Notre Dame
Vaughn was caught in the lineup squeeze that is the Crusader lightweights -- from 106 to 126 two state champions and two state medalists. When Vaughn got a chance, he was extremely effective (he lost in OT to Reynolds state medalist Cole Bayless, for example) and no one gets better practice partners, to be sure. We expect him to make a real name for himself as a sophomore.
Alex Uryniak of North Hunterdon (right).Scott Faytok | For NJ Advance Media
13. Alex Uryniak (195 pounds, 28-7) North Hunterdon
195 isnt an easy weight for a freshman to compete at, and Uryniak had his ups and downs. He was third at District 20, but only sixth at Region 5 and did not make states. He was a John Goles Tournament champion, and seventh at Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex. But at his best -- and he often was in duals - he delivered clutch wins over solid foes. Uryniak has all the physical tools to be an elite wrestler and as he matures into his weight, look out.
Logan Wadle (left) of North Hunterdon.Scott Faytok | For NJ Advance Media
14. Logan Wadle (106 pounds, 29-6) North Hunterdon
Wadle won the H/W/S championship and District 20 and came up big in the Group 4 final against Kingsway as well. Unusually quick, yet still quite strong, he certainly looked as if he might make a postseason run but was eliminated at Region 5. That result should provide Wadle all the motivation he needs for a standout sophomore season.
Saucon Valley's Tyler Pfizenmayer (left).Saed Hindash | For lehighvalleylive.com
15. Tyler Pfizenmayer (152 pounds, 31-15) Saucon Valley
The Panthers boasted a very strong ninth grade group and Pfizenmayer was a big part of it. He was second at District 11; he didnt place at regionals but due to an injury made 2A states, where he went 1-2. Almost half his wins (15) were by fall, and he has the physical strength to become a real power on top.
Next five: Evan Camire (126 pounds, 14-7) Emmaus; Ashton Campbell (120 pounds, 30-16) Palisades; Aiden Compton (220 pounds, 28-11) Pen Argyl; Oliver Fairchild (120 pounds, 14-12) Easton; Jarrett Pantuso (182 pounds, 9-3) Warren Hills.
Brad Wilson may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. If theres anything about this story that needs attention, please email him. Follow him on Twitter @bradwsports. Find Lehigh Valley high school sports on Facebook.
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The top 15 regional wrestlers of the Class of 2023 - lehighvalleylive.com