What’s up everyone, long time no article…But your sadness can end now because I am back and I’m back with a BANG! It all goes down this Friday, April 14th @ 6pm in La Crosse Wisconsin and streaming live on the WIwrestle channel on Rokfin. Two clubs among the best in the country are bringing their big guns in a showdown to find out who is the best. Askren Wrestling Academy will be representing Wisconsin and Pinnacle Wrestling will be repping the State of Minnesota.
I don’t want to overwhelm you so let me just throw a couple numbers at you. There are 20 total matches set for Friday evening and 38 of the 40 wrestlers are state finalists. 16 of the wrestlers are nationally ranked including 4 Fargo Champs from AWA and from Pinnacle there are a Fargo Champ, 2 World Team members, a Super 32 Champ and a finalist. There are 7 nationally ranked matchups. The evening will start with #12 Mulvaney vs #8 Han-Lindemyer and be capped off with the Co-main featuring #3 Aeoden Sinclair vs #6 Joey Novak and the Main Event will be #5 Connor Mirasola vs #2 Ryder Rogotzke.
There will be 20 insanely high level matches taking place on Friday evening, but let me highlight to you the 7..SEVEN… nationally ranked matchups!
#12 Noah Mulvaney vs #8 Cole Han-Lindemyer
Old man Noah Mulvaney, a Senior has had his best year of wrestling to date and is coming off his first State Title this winter. He is a Junior Fargo All American and is committed to wrestle at Bucknell. His opponent, Han-Lindemyer is ranked 8th in the country and also won his first State Title this year as a junior. He is also a 2x Minnesota State runner up. Most Impressively is that he was a member of the Cadet World Team this summer at 80kg. Mulvaney is not usually a flashy wrestler. Constant pressure and active hands leads him to his takedowns. It’s freestyle season which means Mulvaney’s head pinch will be in full effect. Han-Lindemyer is power and a very talented wrestler. He is strong on the legs, but I would advise him to not shoot head inside against Mulvaney to win this match.
#11 Ethan Riddle vs #8 Cole Han-Lindemyer
The next ranked match we will see is again with #8 Han-Lindemyer as he is pulling double duty. However, there will be a sizable rest time with 14 other matches coming in between. Last summer Riddle lost to Mulvaney at freestyle state, but then got red hot and made a big jump. He went on to earn himself multiple nationally ranked wins and avenge his loss to Mulvaney twice. He also captured his 2nd State Title this winter. He is a Senior and is committed to be a Minnesota Gopher next fall. Riddle is very tough and is a strong scrambler. Lindemyer will need to finish quick and clean or Riddle might find creative ways to score.
#18 Charlie Millard vs #6 Zach Hanson
Next up is #18 Millard vs #6 Hanson. On paper this may look lopsided if you look at rankings, but what I know and what us Wisconsin folk know is Charlie Millard is the real deal. Millard is a Junior and Cadet Fargo All American and won his first State Title this winter as a junior after previously placing 2nd and 4th. Millard is also currently committed to be a Minnesota Gopher. His opponent #6 Hanson is wicked SMAAAT and is committed to Stanford. Hanson is a 2x Fargo Champ winning a Cadet title in both Freestyle and Greco in 2021. Last summer in Juniors he placed 3rd after beating AWA alum Meunier in the consi semis and in Freestyle and 7th in Greco. Hanson is also the real deal and is the favorite. Millard wrestles with a high pace and lots of attacks. He has good head hands defense and will need it to keep Hanson off his legs. Hanson loves his right side underhook and attacks the leg there. I believe if Millard can shut down Hanson’s underhook then he will win this match.
#19 Zane Licht vs #1 Koy Buesgens
Another crazy matchup, this time for AWA its #19 Licht out of Lodi. He is taking on #1 Buesgens, but don’t get it twisted Zane can absolutely beat anyone in the country. Case and point is when he TF current #1 Mantoanna 17-4. Zane has multiple nationally ranked wins and makes it deep into every tournament he enters. He is a 2x State Champ and set his high school record for takedowns in a season and narrowly fell short of the state record held by club coach Ben Askren. Licht is committed to NDSU. Buesgens also fell short this summer at Fargo failing to be an All American, but that does not take away from how talented he is. He is a Super 32 finalist and a 3x State Champ. He is currently committed to join the Wolfpack at NC State. I have not watched a lot of Buesgens, but from what I have seen I think he and Licht wrestle similar styles. They are both lightning quick and short and stocky. Buesgens does an excellent job downblocking and staying in motion on his feet. Licht is a high level leg attacker with an excellent double leg and great counter attacks. Licht can win this match, but I think he will have a hard time if he has to play catchup.
#11 Kellen Wolbert vs #4 Alan Koehler
This match is going to be exciting. Both guys have a variety of ways to score and can put up points in a hurry. Wolbert won state as a freshman this year and won a Cadet Fargo title this past summer. Koehler has a long list of credentials, he finished 3rd at Fargo in both Junior freestyle and Greco, the year before he also finished 3rd in junior freestyle and was a multiple time Cadet All American as well. He finished his Senior Season off with his 3rd State title and is committed to wrestle at Nebraska. The talented young buck vs the seasoned old guy;). Koehler is a hammer and for Wolbert to get a win here would say a lot. Wolbert moves great on his feet, has one of the best front head offense i’ve seen and defensively he can create problems for anyone to score. Koehler hand fights hard and has a powerful snap. I heard Wolbert has bulked up a little bit which is good because he might need some of that extra muscle.
#3 Aeoden Sinclair vs #6 Joey Novak
Our Co-Main Event features a top 10 matchup in the country with #3 Sinclair vs #6 Novak. Sinclair won a Cadet Fargo title this past summer and was a Super 32 runner up in the fall. He captured his 2nd state title this year as a junior and is committed to Missouri. Novak a senior, is committed to Wyoming and capped off his senior year with his first State Title. He has a host of nationally ranked wins including a win over the currently #1 ranked wrestler in the country earning himself his #6 ranking. He is also an excellent folkstyle wrestler and is a hammer on top, however this match is in freestyle. Sinclair is one of the most difficult people in the country to score on and I think Novak will have a hard time doing so. Sinclair can go and get his own takedowns but he excels on counter attacks. Excited to see how this match plays out.
#5 Connor Mirasola vs #2 Ryder Rogotzke
This is our MAIIIIIIN Event of the evening, a top 5 matchup in the country. Mirasola is currently ranked 5th in the country and 18th in P4P while at the same weight Rogotzke is currently ranked 2nd in the country and #23 P4P in the country. Mirasola was a junior Fargo Champion this past summer and is a 3x State Champion as a junior; he is committed to Penn State with his twin brother Cole. Besides having a sick name Ryder is a Cadet World Team member, a 2x Super 32 Champion, and a State Champion. He is committed to Ohio State.
This will be the third meeting between these two. Rogotzke has won both matches. The first time he took it to Mirasola a little bit, but most recently at the MN Christmas Tournament Connor Mirasola got the first 3 takedowns on Rogotzke before he chin whipped Mirasola while on bottom to his back and getting the fall. Sometimes when someone has won the first two times the 3rd one doesn’t have as much juice, but that is not the case. This match is going to be an all out battle. Rogotzke needs to make some adjustments to keep Mirasola off his legs and Mirasola needs to continue to stay in good position throughout the whole match to not only defend his legs, but to watch out for some of the unorthodox things Rogotzke does (ex: chin whip). Both these guys have the goods to get the job done on Friday, but as a friend of the Mirasola’s and an unwavering bias to Wisconsin I will gladly pick Connor to get the job done.
Other ranked wrestlers that will be competing are #5 Cole Mirasola for AWA and for Pinnacle #9 Liam Neitzel and #16 Jack Nelson.
Shoutout to Coach Lawrence and Paulson from Pinnacle and Coach Ben & Max Askren from AWA for setting this event up and allowing us to cover it! Thank you to UWL and Coach Malecek for hosting. AWA vs Pinnacle will be live at 6pm this Friday April 14th on the WIwrestle channel on Rokfin for all to watch. You can also be there in person in Mitchell Hall at UW La Crosse. Either way you won’t want to miss this dual. 40 total elite wrestlers, 38 state finalists, 16 nationally ranked, 7 nationally ranked head to head matches, multiple Fargo titles and World Team Members.