Yet again the fall is here, which means it is almost the scholastic wrestling season. However, these days, there is no such thing as a true offseason. There have already been a few preseason tournaments, mostly Super 32 Challenge early entry qualifiers, but the preseason tournaments begin in earnest very soon.
The following is a listing and overview of some of the “higher profile” preseason high school wrestling tournaments, ones that have either a regional or national flavor.
Journeymen Fall Classic, October 3-4, Shenectady, N.Y. (Union College)
The Sunday, October 4 event is the high school division “invitation primary” format that features selected wrestlers based on wrestling credentials. Round-robin format with wrestlers placed into groupings based on weight and ability level. Those wrestlers not in the Sunday field — either due to expressing interest too late, or not meeting the credential thresholds — can compete their way into the field on Saturday. Also on Saturday will be round-robin competitions for middle school and female wrestlers.
Columbus Day Duals, October 11, York, Pa. (Expo Center)
Dual meet tournament open to teams competing in divisions for high school, middle school, and elementary aged students. The field has featured competitors from Pennsylvania and surrounding states in past years.
Conflict at Carver, October 17, Iowa City, Iowa (Carver-Hawkeye Arena)
This is a third year event that was initially branded as the Hawkeye Wrestling Club Challenge. However, it is the second year branded as the “Conflict at Carver.” The field last year was Iowa-centric with other competitors coming from bordering states. This year should see a slightly broader field with the “Night of Conflict” event being held the night before.
Grappler Fall Classic, October 17, Grand Rapids, Mich. (Kellogg Arena)
This one day tournament will be held on Saturday for all age levels. Those being a high school tournament (9th-12th with 7th & 8th eligible as well), a middle school division (7th & 8th), and an elementary school division (3rd through 6th). The field is primarily from the Great Lakes area with a sprinkling of others from across the country.
USA Wrestling Preseason Nationals, October 24-25, Cedar Falls, Iowa (UNI-Dome)
On Saturday, October 24 it is the high school boys competition, split into two divisions (freshman/sophomore and junior/senior); while on Sunday, October 25, there are four grade level based divisions for below high school boys (1st/2nd, 3rd/4th, 5th/6th, and 7th/8th) and a fifth division for high school girls. The high school divisions are pretty national events, with the primary base of the field coming from the Midwest.
NUWAY Southwest Kickoff Classic, October 24-25, Las Vegas, Nev. (Convention Center)
Somewhat similar to the Preseason Nationals in that it is a pretty national event, except that the primary base is going to be the western third of the United States. There are divisions for the full spectrum of age groups. The 15U, high school varsity, and high school elite tournaments are two-day events (both Saturday and Sunday); while the 6U, 8U, 10U, and 12U tournaments, along with both divisions of high school girls, are one-day events on Sunday.
Super 32 Challenge, October 31-November 1, Greensboro, N.C.
This is the pinnacle event for the high school preseason. A national field, which in the fall of 2014, featured over 100 wrestlers that would end the 2014-15 season in the national weight class rankings. Over recent years, a “who’s who” of scholastic aged wrestling has competed on the mats in Greensboro. Among the champions last year were UWW Cadet World champion Yianni Diakomiahlis and UWW Junior World champion Spencer Lee. The high school event is both Saturday and Sunday, while on Sunday (November 1st) there is also a middle school tournament as well as two divisions of elementary school competition (based on age).
InterMat JJ Classic, November 8, Rochester, Minn. (UCR Regional Sports Center)
This InterMat event is for wrestlers in grades 7 through 12 competing in one division. In past years the field has primarily featured wrestlers from the Upper Midwest and Great Plains region. The premier match of last year’s tournament was a final at 145 pounds between Fredy Stroker and Griffin Parriott. Other notable champions from last year were Mark Hall, Bobby Steveson, Gable Steveson and Alex Lloyd.
Track Wrestling Preseason Championships, November 14-15, La Crosse, Wis.
This is a first-year event that will feature competition across five divisions (8U, 10U, 12U, 14U, and high school) with a capacity limit of 1,000 wrestlers. Given its nature as a first year event, it is hard to say what the nature of the field will be from a talent or footprint standpoint.
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