Once again, 32 of the nation’s top high school wrestling teams will come together to battle for supremacy at The Clash National Duals in Rochester, Minn. The Clash XV will take place at the Rochester Community & Technical College Regional Sports Center on December 30-31.
Here’s a brief look at 16 of the 32 teams slated to compete (check back soon for the other 16):
Park Hill High School is located in Kansas City, Missouri. Park Hill has won four Class 4 (Big School) team state championships and ten championships in school history. They return nine state qualifiers from last year’s team and have four freshmen that are making an impact on the team this year. Park Hill is looking to improve on a third-place finish in Bracket 3 at The Clash XIV.
Wrestlers to watch: Kelvin Eblen – returning state champ, Weston DiBlasi – returning state runner-up, Josh Steele – Fargo All-American, Thomas Lisher – Fargo All-American, Devin Winston – Fargo All-American,
Plattsmouth, Nebraska is the defending Class B Dual Champions. Since 2013 the Blue Devils have finished in the top 6 at the individual state tournament every year. In the time frame, they have set team records with 11 qualifiers and also a school record with eight placers at the state tournament. Ten wrestlers on the team and a coach are related to each other.
Wrestlers to watch: Ronald Taylor – 2X State Medalist, Andrew Nielsen – 3X State Medalist, Kole Gray – 2X State Medalist, Jason Nanke – 2X State Medalist
Nebraska Class B Rankings
Lake Highland Prep is located in Orlando, Florida. LHP is the defending 1A State Champion. Currently ranked #3 in the country, they will be making their Clash debut with eight Florida defending state champions and seven nationally ranked wrestlers.
Wrestlers to watch: Joey Silva (3x State Champ), Jake Brindley (3x State Champ), Bryce Rogers (2x State Champ), Mason Wohltman (2x State Champ)
Florida Class 1A Rankings
Anoka, MN is regarded as the Halloween Capital of the World. Anoka High School is also known for producing five Olympic Wrestlers. This year’s team is ranked #3 in Class AAA (Big Schools). Anoka won Bracket 3 at Clash XIV.
Wrestlers to watch: Colby Njos – Fargo All-American, Tyler Eischens – Fargo All-American, Calvin Germinaro-Nahring – Fargo All-American
Minnesota Class AAA Rankings
Zumbrota-Mazeppa High School is located in Zumbrota, MN 23 miles from Rochester, home of The Clash. Z-M is ranked 3rd in Class A. Most of Z-M’s wrestlers are two or three-sport high school athletes but still train in the off-season.
Wrestlers to watch: Caden Steffen – Fargo All-American, Jarrett Haglund, Maverick Jackson
Minnesota Class A Rankings
Washington Community High School is located in Washington, IL. The Illinois Class 2A defending champion is ranked #23 in the country and wrestled #20 Oak Park and River Forest on December 23. Keep a lookout for results. Last year Washington placed 7th at The Clash.
Wrestlers to watch: Dack Punke – 4x National Champion, Jacob Warner – 4x National Champion and 2016 World Freestyle Bronze Medalist.
Illinois Class 2A Rankings
Thompson High School is located in Alabaster, AL. Thompson started its wrestling program in 2008 and won a Class 6A team title in 2011 and then won the next four as well. Thompson’s wrestling team has participated at the Kansas City Stampede already this season and will be heading the Cheesehead the week after The Clash. Tough schedule.
Wrestlers to watch: Sam Latona – 2016 Fargo Champ and Double All-Amercian, Gabe Hixenbaugh – 2x State Champion
Alabama Class 7A Rankings
Bismarck Century is located in Bismarck, North Dakota. The Patriots have won the ND state tournament a total of five times. They have been 2nd eight times. Last year’s team took 2nd in duals and placed 3rd as a team in the individual tournament.
Wrestlers to watch: Ryan Ripplinger, Mason Schulz, and Devin Steidler
North Dakota Class A Rankings
Foley, MN is making its first appearance at The Clash. The Falcons have made 23 State Tournament Appearances, 9 Consecutive State Tournament Appearances, were Class AA State Runner-up in 2016 and were State Champions in 1989, 1993 and 1994. Foley is currently ranked #4 in Class AA and has five ranked wrestlers.
Wrestlers to watch: Nathan Garceau, Noah Lefebvre, Saylor Schmit and Mitch Trigg
Minnesota Class AA Rankings
Oak Park and River Forest High School is in Chicago, IL and is coming off its third straight 3A Illinois Dual Team State Championship. Last year OPRF finished 3rd at The Clash, and the year before were Clash XIII Champions. OPRF is ranked #20 in the country.
Wrestlers to watch: Anthony Madrigal, Jason Renteria are both ranked in the top 10 nationally.
Illinois Class 3A Rankings
Commerce, GA is a small school in Georgia with an enrollment of 425 students, yet they are still the team to beat in the state regardless of class. Commerce is the 3X Class A Defending Champion. Commerce won 11 of 14 weight classes at its state tournament last year and only lost one wrestler to graduation.
Georgia Class A Rankings
Vacaville, CA is one of two teams to participate in every tournament in Clash history. With best finishes of 3rd, 9th, and 10th, and nine finishes in the top 16, Vacaville is a seasoned competitor. Nine Bulldogs have earned All-Tourney honors at The Clash over the years. Vacaville wrestles in the Sac Joaquin section of the state of California, comprised of 178 schools. Last year the Dogs finished runner-up in the section and had two individual state medalists in the single division state tournament. Vacaville is ranked #14 in California, with four individuals in the top 10.
Wrestlers to watch: Jake Levengood, a 2016 state medalist, Lawrence Saenz, Matt Hruby (Clash XIV All-Tournament Team) and Zach Myers
California One-Class Rankings
Owatonna, MN, currently ranked #6 in Minnesota Class AAA is just up the road from Rochester on Highway 14. The Huskies have been to the State Tournament 11 times, won state titles in 1998 and 2005, placed second in 1999 and 2001, 3rd in 2003 and 2010 and placed 4th in 2002 and 2014. OTown has eight wrestlers ranked individually in Class AAA.
Wrestlers to watch: Peyton Robb – 2X State Champion and Brandon Moen – returning state champion
Minnesota Class AAA Rankings
T.F. Riggs High School in Pierre, SD (Pierre) is returning to The Clash for the third time. Pierre’s history of team state championships looks like this: 1974- State Champions, 2012- State A Champions, 2013- State A Champions, 2015- State A Champions, 2016- State A Champions. The Governors have three sets of twins that wrestle on the team.
Wrestlers to watch: Lincoln Turman, Michael Lusk, Aric Williams and Spencer Sarringar
SD Class A Rankings
Roseburg, OR has won 8 of the last 10 Oregon Class 6A (Big School) Team Titles and is currently ranked #1. The Indians are returning to The Clash for the fifth time and are hoping to get a chance to avenge a couple of upsets they suffered at The Clash XIV.
Wrestlers to watch: Layne Van Anrooy and Haydn Maley both have a chance to become 4X state champions this season. Van Anroy (Clash XIV All-Tournament Team) is ranked 3rd in the nation at 152.
Oregon Class 6A Rankings – Not Available
Prior Lake, MN placed 2nd in Minnesota Class AAA in 2014 and 3rd in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015 and is currently ranked #7. The Lakers are making their 6th appearance at The Clash.
Wrestlers to watch: Kenny ONeil and Curtis LeMair are ranked #1 in AAA.
Minnesota Class AAA Rankings
Visit www.clashmn.com to buy tickets or to find out more information about The Clash XV.