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Best Highschool Wrestler to not compete

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Jimmy Waters. 2, 1, 1, 1 in IA in HS. Had the flu his freshman year and lost in the finals at 145 to a guy he put a beating on in district finals. Wrestled 189 his senior year and controlled Brodie Ambrose (who wrestled for Iowa and was a Fargo finalist losing to Yohn). Iowa HS plays summer baseball which was his real passion so he never went to Fargo or anything. Ended up playing baseball at Kansas.

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Jared Platt.....R.I.P.

not sure how to word this as I don't want to suggest something opportunistic, but there's a story to be told, a sad one for sure, on the paths that Platt and his HS rival Cody Gardner went down. Different stories but similar timelines and ultimately two guys lost way too young.   

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I like the call. I think his teammate was also a state champ at least once(Reed?). Interesting thing though about Gemberling is he got hammered by the AA champ, DAve Kennedy who had a solid career in college but did not make All American.

Yes, Tony Reed was a two-time AAA champ (105 lbs in 84 & 119 lbs in 85). Politics came into play when the staff wouldn’t acknowledge Paulie’s ability to beat Shik fair-haired boy, John Supsic.

 

Reed, Supsic, and Kennedy ended up as teammates at Bloom.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Edited by lu_alum

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Here's a few more from AZ.  Some of these guys never faced national competition, but they were still pretty good.

 

Angel Cejudo, committed to ASU but didn't have the grades. Went to the OTC, then WCAP eventually.  4x state champion and only 1 loss in high school that was by injury default as a freshman. Ironically the guy he lost to injured himself either during or before the Metro region tournament that year so Angel never got to avenge it.  He was winning when he defaulted too. 

 

Waldo Gutierrez, Morenci, as far as I know never wrestled in college, but was 179-0 and won 4 state titles in the smallest AZ schools division.  He didn't wrestle anyone out of state or go to nationals as far as I know, but he did beat the 4A state champion in the all star dual after the season.

 

Tim Croff, 2x state champion at Dobson High and won senior nationals when that tournament mattered and did so in dominating fashion, 5 or 6 pins I believe.  I know he ended up playing arena football at one point and did a couple of tough man contests locally but I don't think he wrestled in college. 

 

Frank Garcia, Maryvale High, wound up playing college football.  Infamously got passed on by then ASU coach Larry Marmie for not being tall enough.  Wound up as an All Conference center and played in the NFL.  Won state twice and was a super athlete who was also a very good baseball player.  

 

Garric Simmons, Washington High, All American at senior nationals and didn't get recruited by ASU very heavily so went to San Diego State to play football.  Became a high school coach eventually, but was a super athlete who preferred wrestling.  Had he wrestled in college he would have been an All American at least once if he stayed injury free.

 

Ellery Tarazon, Tempe High, rarely challenged in state as a senior, racked up some ridiculous number of pins, won state and placed 5th at senior nationals in a pretty decent field (Villers, Koz, Espinoza).  Took a decision loss to current UFC fighter Gian Villante.  Had an academic scholarship to ASU. 

 

 George Davis, Tempe High, a near mythical legend, not sure if he wrestled beyond high school, but once threw an opponent into a table unintentionally and the table did not survive. Won state and was undefeated from what I remember. Don Klostreich had a fond memory of him from the all star dual meet. 

 

Alex Bambic, Desert Vista, won state 3x, placed at Fargo, but spent less than a semester at CMU and I don't think was ever close to cracking their lineup or was a grayshirt possibly.  Was allegedly told to forget trying to walk on at ASU due to grades or some other reason when Zeke took over.  Great in high school, but was an oddity having won state in 3 successive years at gradually lower weight classes, 215, 195, 182. May have tried elsewhere besides CMU, but no idea.

 

Clay Hardt, Marana, won state 2x, was a very physical wrestler and great athlete.  Played football at UofA instead, and played arena ball briefly and had a couple MMA fights.  Not extremely technical, but made up for it.  Beat NCAA D2 champ Tanner Linsacum by tech fall to cap his senior year.  

 

Reyes Cortez, Maryvale High, won state 3x, extremely slick and technical and an excellent scrambler.  Never bothered with wrestling in college, is now a pro MMA fighter with an undefeated record. A lot of fun to watch as a wrestler.

 

Couple international guys...

 

Jake Clark, wrestled in the Marines and did OK I guess.  Never competed in college but was rumored to have maybe been going to either Minnesota or ASU at one point.  Gave Ben Provisor more than he wanted at the trials last year.

 

Cam Jones, not sure if he ever tried wrestling in college.  I know he was supposedly going to either Boise State (RIP) or Utah Valley or somewhere, but not sure he did.  Great Greco wrestler though. 

 

Dremial Byers, played football at NC A&T but was a high school state champion.  Did OK internationally when he joined WCAP.               

Spenser Mango, don't think he wrestled in college unless you count doing Greco at NMU as college wrestling.  

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Here's a few more from AZ.  Some of these guys never faced national competition, but they were still pretty good.

 

Angel Cejudo, committed to ASU but didn't have the grades. Went to the OTC, then WCAP eventually.  4x state champion and only 1 loss in high school that was by injury default as a freshman. Ironically the guy he lost to injured himself either during or before the Metro region tournament that year so Angel never got to avenge it.  He was winning when he defaulted too. 

 

Waldo Gutierrez, Morenci, as far as I know never wrestled in college, but was 179-0 and won 4 state titles in the smallest AZ schools division.  He didn't wrestle anyone out of state or go to nationals as far as I know, but he did beat the 4A state champion in the all star dual after the season.

 

Tim Croff, 2x state champion at Dobson High and won senior nationals when that tournament mattered and did so in dominating fashion, 5 or 6 pins I believe.  I know he ended up playing arena football at one point and did a couple of tough man contests locally but I don't think he wrestled in college. 

 

Frank Garcia, Maryvale High, wound up playing college football.  Infamously got passed on by then ASU coach Larry Marmie for not being tall enough.  Wound up as an All Conference center and played in the NFL.  Won state twice and was a super athlete who was also a very good baseball player.  

 

Garric Simmons, Washington High, All American at senior nationals and didn't get recruited by ASU very heavily so went to San Diego State to play football.  Became a high school coach eventually, but was a super athlete who preferred wrestling.  Had he wrestled in college he would have been an All American at least once if he stayed injury free.

 

Ellery Tarazon, Tempe High, rarely challenged in state as a senior, racked up some ridiculous number of pins, won state and placed 5th at senior nationals in a pretty decent field (Villers, Koz, Espinoza).  Took a decision loss to current UFC fighter Gian Villante.  Had an academic scholarship to ASU. 

 

 George Davis, Tempe High, a near mythical legend, not sure if he wrestled beyond high school, but once threw an opponent into a table unintentionally and the table did not survive. Won state and was undefeated from what I remember. Don Klostreich had a fond memory of him from the all star dual meet. 

 

Alex Bambic, Desert Vista, won state 3x, placed at Fargo, but spent less than a semester at CMU and I don't think was ever close to cracking their lineup or was a grayshirt possibly.  Was allegedly told to forget trying to walk on at ASU due to grades or some other reason when Zeke took over.  Great in high school, but was an oddity having won state in 3 successive years at gradually lower weight classes, 215, 195, 182. May have tried elsewhere besides CMU, but no idea.

 

Clay Hardt, Marana, won state 2x, was a very physical wrestler and great athlete.  Played football at UofA instead, and played arena ball briefly and had a couple MMA fights.  Not extremely technical, but made up for it.  Beat NCAA D2 champ Tanner Linsacum by tech fall to cap his senior year.  

 

Reyes Cortez, Maryvale High, won state 3x, extremely slick and technical and an excellent scrambler.  Never bothered with wrestling in college, is now a pro MMA fighter with an undefeated record. A lot of fun to watch as a wrestler.

 

Couple international guys...

 

Jake Clark, wrestled in the Marines and did OK I guess.  Never competed in college but was rumored to have maybe been going to either Minnesota or ASU at one point.  Gave Ben Provisor more than he wanted at the trials last year.

 

Cam Jones, not sure if he ever tried wrestling in college.  I know he was supposedly going to either Boise State (RIP) or Utah Valley or somewhere, but not sure he did.  Great Greco wrestler though. 

 

Dremial Byers, played football at NC A&T but was a high school state champion.  Did OK internationally when he joined WCAP.               

Spenser Mango, don't think he wrestled in college unless you count doing Greco at NMU as college wrestling.  

Good list, TripNSweep. I would add Romego Young of Sunnyside High School to the list of Arizona standouts who never wrestled in college. Father of top recruit Roman Bravo-Young. Super talented wrestler. 

 

Regarding a couple others you mentioned:

 

Jake Clark did much better than "OK" in Greco (maybe that was sarcasm on your part). Made multiple world teams. Actually wrestled for Minnesota out of high school as a redshirt. Only lost once as a redshirt, a close loss to Donny Pritzlaff. 

 

Cam Jones wrestled both at Utah Valley and Boise State. Like Jake Clark, he was good in folkstyle, but much better in Greco. 

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Good list, TripNSweep. I would add Romego Young of Sunnyside High School to the list of Arizona standouts who never wrestled in college. Father of top recruit Roman Bravo-Young. Super talented wrestler. 

 

Regarding a couple others you mentioned:

 

Jake Clark did much better than "OK" in Greco (maybe that was sarcasm on your part). Made multiple world teams. Actually wrestled for Minnesota out of high school as a redshirt. Only lost once as a redshirt, a close loss to Donny Pritzlaff. 

 

Cam Jones wrestled both at Utah Valley and Boise State. Like Jake Clark, he was good in folkstyle, but much better in Greco. 

 

Yes it was sarcasm.  I didn't know he wrestled for Minnesota, I remember at one point there was talk of him leaving the Marines and supposedly it was down to either ASU or Minnesota.  Also yeah Romego was super talented but his grades probably weren't good enough. His son nailed that part.  

 

Another one I just thought of was Nori "Kid" Yamamoto who was a 3x state champ at Marcos de Niza.  Only loss in high school was to a senior state champion in overtime who wound up being an All American at senior nationals that year.  One of his coaches once told me that the hardest part for him was learning how to mat wrestle since he was raised on freestyle.  I think he placed at the Sunkist Open while still in high school too.  

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Damn Trip, you know your AZ wrestling! Didn't realize Byers played college football.  Probably not many guys that went that route...HS, college football, and then back to wrestling internationally.

 

I could be wrong but Byers joined the Army with no intention of wrestling again and got into it by accident after he had joined.  I don't remember the story but I think he got talked into it or somebody needed a training partner or something like that and he stuck around, and well we know the rest of that story.  

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