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Careers that could have been..

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Gotta throw Cade Olivas into the mix. Former teammate of Aaron Pico and the Valencias. State champ as a freshman. #1 youth wrestler in the country as an 8th grader. Committed to ASU as a freshman. He had to retire due to concussions. He'd have been a lot of fun to watch. 

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3 hours ago, TheHeel said:

Gotta throw Cade Olivas into the mix. Former teammate of Aaron Pico and the Valencias. State champ as a freshman. #1 youth wrestler in the country as an 8th grader. Committed to ASU as a freshman. He had to retire due to concussions. He'd have been a lot of fun to watch. 

And a hero of the #WillieTrials

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Mentioned already but Garrett Scott was unbelievable. Came from a small school in PA that graduates less than 100 per class.   3x champ going for 4th his senior year and got in trouble prior to states and wasn't able to compete for his 4th state title. Won the starting position at PSU as a true freshman and in his home debut at Rec Hall beat #4 Kellen Russell (ranked #1 in the previous week). 

His only loses in high school were to Jake Strayer who he ended up beating out for the starting position at PSU. Jake was a 2x PA state champ and All American at PSU. 

Hanging out with the wrong crowd, poor decisions and injuries prevented him from reaching the heights he was destined for. 

 

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20 hours ago, JasonBryant said:

Villalonga was a 4x qualifier, seeded twice, R12 once and an All-American. College wrestling is hard and even blue-chippers have to fight to place just once. Not a bad career at all. I see a "what could have been" as guys that maybe flamed out or HEW before hitting college. 

Platt (RIP) was at Penn State and while his off-the-mat things might have derailed his career, he was also a diabetic, which impacted his performance in ways few people can really understand. 

Hess at Lehigh also dealt with fighting lymphoma. 

Jason, I should of done more digging. I agree that is not a bad career at all for Villalonga. I stand corrected. 

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In 1999, Mark Worthy became a 3x NJ State Champ with a 128-2 record and went to Oklahoma State. I believe right out of the gate he suffered a really bad shoulder injury that derailed his career. His older brother Maurice would become a NCAA runner up in 2001 for Army. I thought Mark had multiple Aa or titles written all over him. He was very special to watch in high school. 

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34 minutes ago, Wrestlingbcpc said:

In 1999, Mark Worthy became a 3x NJ State Champ with a 128-2 record and went to Oklahoma State. I believe right out of the gate he suffered a really bad shoulder injury that derailed his career. His older brother Maurice would become a NCAA runner up in 2001 for Army. I thought Mark had multiple Aa or titles written all over him. He was very special to watch in high school. 

Oklahoma u

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On 4/9/2021 at 12:23 AM, Husker_Du said:

I should have clarified - it's "Best HS Wrestlers Who Didn't Have a College Career"

For that category, I think of Paul Gemberling, 1985 graduate of Shikellamy HS.  "Paulie" placed was PIAA 4th at 98 as a soph; and an undefeated champ at 126 as a senior.  

Gemberling was the only person to beat Jack Cuvo in the regular season.  Cuvo was 139-2 on his career -  losing to Gemberling (9-8) in the Top Hat finals as a soph, and in the first round of the PIAA tourney as a frosh (Rick Kubistek).  

Gemberling's class of '85 at Shik was comprised of a number of uber-talented lightweights.  Tony Reed was a 2x PIAA champ, John Supsic placed 4-4-2, Dan Bottiger placed 5th as a senior.  Additionally Mike Balestini (Shik '84) was a 2x PIAA place-winner who wrestled at Nebraska.  Local rumor has it that the Shik coaches favored John Supsic over Gemberling in elimination bouts, which lead to Paul moving up two weight classes (skipping over Tony Reed) to break into the lineup.  Gemberling was at one time part of the coaching staff at Bucknell's Bison Wrestling Club.  Gemberling lost his battle with cancer in 2020.

https://www.dailyitem.com/sports/former-teammates-celebrate-the-life-of-state-champ-gemberling/article_50ad0edb-a566-55b2-a53d-fbd702c6c5fd.html  

The Gemberling battle with cancer makes me think of another Central PA who probably isn't very well known.  I wouldn't call him one of the Best HS Wrestlers, but he crossed paths with A LOT of eventual great wrestlers as a youth and JH coach (primarily at the Lock Haven YMCA & Mifflinburg) in Central PA. The Lock Haven YMCA at that time (late 1970s/early 1980s) was the primary feeder program for State College, Bald Eagle Area, Bald Eagle Nittany, and Lock Haven.

Dave Buck of Milton's Class of 1977, was only able to crack the starting lineup as a 98-pound senior due to his size and being he was stuck behind Jerry Derr (2x PIAA runner-up).  Milton was a Central PA power in the late 1970s like Shik was in the early 1980s.  Buck made the most of his only season in the starting lineup for Milton, winning a District 4 title over three eventual PIAA state champions (John Manotti, Doug Shiffler, and Mike Litzelman).  Buck made his name after HS in Central PA and the Southern Tier of NY as a coach.  During my HS days, Buck was a well-respected JH coach at Mifflinburg HS.  Even though he coached at a rival school, I have fond memories of Buck driving myself and my HS teammate (4x PIAA runner-up Bob Simpson) to pre-season tournaments.  It was Buck who shared with me the stories about the Gemberling-Supsic wrestle-off bias issues at Shik.  Dave Buck lost his battle with cancer in 2018.

https://www.stargazette.com/story/sports/high-school/2018/01/17/dave-buck-inspired-enlightened-teacher-and-coach/1026157001/

Edited by lu_alum

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Chris Phillips 4xer, Monroeville Ohio (Same HS as The Steibers and Tessari).

Beat the #1 171lber Roddy (STED) his freshman season. Iron Man Champ as a Freshman.

Only HS loss was 3-2 to Ed Ruth in his sophomore season, Phillips avenged the loss later. He never competed in college. Phillips did show up to an open at Lake Erie College a few years after high school and won. Everything he tried, worked. Never saw a HS kid like him before or since.

Phillips may be the GOAT of Ohio HS wrestling...

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55 minutes ago, Mphillips said:

Chris Phillips 4xer, Monroeville Ohio (Same HS as The Steibers and Tessari).

Beat the #1 171lber Roddy (STED) his freshman season. Iron Man Champ as a Freshman.

Only HS loss was 3-2 to Ed Ruth in his sophomore season, Phillips avenged the loss later. He never competed in college. Phillips did show up to an open at Lake Erie College a few years after high school and won. Everything he tried, worked. Never saw a HS kid like him before or since.

Phillips may be the GOAT of Ohio HS wrestling...

Alan Fried deserves some consideration as Ohio's GOAT.

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7 hours ago, Mphillips said:

Chris Phillips 4xer, Monroeville Ohio (Same HS as The Steibers and Tessari).

Beat the #1 171lber Roddy (STED) his freshman season. Iron Man Champ as a Freshman.

Only HS loss was 3-2 to Ed Ruth in his sophomore season, Phillips avenged the loss later. He never competed in college. Phillips did show up to an open at Lake Erie College a few years after high school and won. Everything he tried, worked. Never saw a HS kid like him before or since.

Phillips may be the GOAT of Ohio HS wrestling...

I was going to post about Phillips as the "career that never was".  Part of the Monroeville 4... was absolutely a beast.  Good call on this post @Mphillips.

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Chris Phillips 4xer, Monroeville Ohio (Same HS as The Steibers and Tessari).
Beat the #1 171lber Roddy (STED) his freshman season. Iron Man Champ as a Freshman.
Only HS loss was 3-2 to Ed Ruth in his sophomore season, Phillips avenged the loss later. He never competed in college. Phillips did show up to an open at Lake Erie College a few years after high school and won. Everything he tried, worked. Never saw a HS kid like him before or since.
Phillips may be the GOAT of Ohio HS wrestling...

Where did Chris Phillips avenge that loss? IIRC, that was in the quarters at Ironman. Ruth won HS nationals that year too - his one loss in season was the spladle in the first round at the Beast by the kid from Mt. St. Joes in Maryland. Ruth came back to take third. If Phillips beat Ruth later, I’d be the first I’d heard of it.

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10 hours ago, JasonBryant said:


Where did Chris Phillips avenge that loss? IIRC, that was in the quarters at Ironman. Ruth won HS nationals that year too - his one loss in season was the spladle in the first round at the Beast by the kid from Mt. St. Joes in Maryland. Ruth came back to take third. If Phillips beat Ruth later, I’d be the first I’d heard of it.

I'm certainly going to defer to you on this Jason. I read it somewhere on the interwebs just the other day, but it was an old article and I trust your knowledge more than what I read. I just remember the loss to Ruth at the time, I don't recall hearing about avenging the loss and just figured I missed it or forgot. 

Kudos...

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He didn't have a terrible career, but I think most who followed Ty Morgan in HS thought he was going to make more of an impact at the college level.  He was a 3 time Ohio state champion (losing his sophomore while battling mono) for St. Paris Graham and his senior year at Huber Heights Wayne.  His Senior year he twice dominated Ryan Bertin and already seemed to have the physique and style of a college wrestler.  I believe he wrestled at Central Michigan where he was a qualifier, so like I said I think he had a pretty decent career and not trying to take anything away from him, but with the way he dominated in HS, and seeing him dominate Bertin that way (who was a 2 time NCAA champ for Michigan) I just expected to see him continue that in college.

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19 hours ago, treep2000 said:

I was going to post about Phillips as the "career that never was".  Part of the Monroeville 4... was absolutely a beast.  Good call on this post @Mphillips.

How crazy was it that these 4 wrestlers alone were able to win Monroeville the Ohio State D.III title by bonusing their way to state tournament titles? I think Monroeville may have qualified 1 other wrestler that year but he didn't put up many points. 

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3 minutes ago, RandolphJones said:

How crazy was it that these 4 wrestlers alone were able to win Monroeville the Ohio State D.III title by bonusing their way to state tournament titles? I think Monroeville may have qualified 1 other wrestler that year but he didn't put up many points. 

I believe they had two, but no idea how they did. Cal Clark at 135 and Brent Wilkin at 189

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21 hours ago, treep2000 said:

I was going to post about Phillips as the "career that never was".  Part of the Monroeville 4... was absolutely a beast.  Good call on this post @Mphillips.

What's the back story on this?  It seems quite odd that a guy who some claim was a generational talent just decides to give it up after high school and not even attempt to take advantage of the educational opportunities his talent could unlock.

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4 minutes ago, EM_1996 said:

What's the back story on this?  It seems quite odd that a guy who some claim was a generational talent just decides to give it up after high school and not even attempt to take advantage of the educational opportunities his talent could unlock.

He was supposed to go to Ohio State with the rest, but never really got a clear answer on why he did not go, only thing that seemed reasonable was burnout, but that's just an assumption.  I don't have any info to back that up.  Make no mistake though, he was definitely a generational talent.  Even when he was not as physically developed, up at the higher weights 171, everything he did looked effortless and would make beating guys at the level of Roddy, look easy.

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