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Okay here’s the deal. The Midwest Classic is THE TOUGHEST in season tournament in the country, no matter the division. Honestly nothing else comes close. University of Indianapolis hosts this D2 only tournament every year, and it never disappoints. A smooth running two day tournament with the toughest competition in the country, what more could you ask for. Action kicks off tomorrow, Saturday 12/17 and concludes Sunday 12/18.

Let’s take a look strictly at the numbers first. According to the National Wrestling Coaches Association rankings, 76 of the 120 ranked wrestlers in D2 will be competing. 5 of the 10 weight classes will feature the #1 ranked wrestler in the country; including Wisconsin Parkside’s own Shane Gantz at 165. Over half of all D2 teams will be at the Midwest Classic.

If we go weight by weight, 125 has 5 of the 12 nationally ranked wrestlers, 

133 has 7, 141 and 149 BOTH have 9 of the 12 nationally ranked wrestlers, 157 and 165 have 8, 174 has 9, 184 has 7, 197 has 8, and finally at heavyweight there are 6 of the 12 nationally ranked wrestlers competing. Read that paragraph again if you didn’t start sweating the first time.

From our state UW WIsconsin Parkside will be competing this weekend at the 43rd Midwest Classic and they are bringing a talent squad. Below are the preseads for the Rangers.

At 125 true freshman Shane Corrigan has the 9 seed and is looking to make some big noise this weekend and place in the top 8. I myself would not be shocked to find him on the podium this weekend. He has gone toe to toe with the best in the country including last year’s national champ. A tournament like this is exactly what he needs to shine.

At 133 sophomore Joey Roti is seeded 26th. Roti could use a tournament like this to earn himself a ranked win or two and get himself back on track.

At 141 sophomore Cayden Henschel is seeded 13th. A bit of a low seed for what I was expecting for Henschel. He is currently undefeated and can show he belongs after this weekend.

At 149 sophomore Jalen Spuhler earned the 6th seed. Spuhler has already knocked off a top 10 wrestler in the country this year and looks to add it with a loaded bracket this weekend.

At 157 sophomore Ben Durocher is the 8th seed. Durocher is currently ranked 10th in the country and can climb his way up that ladder with an impressive showing this weekend. He has awesome leg attack defense and is very solid on bottom. Points are hard to come by when you wrestle Durocher. This will keep him in every match he wrestles this weekend. If he gets to his offense, I would plan to see him on the podium on Sunday.

At 165 senior Shane Gantz is the 1 seed. He is a returning national finalist and a Midwest Classic Champion. His bracket will have 8 nationally ranked wrestlers including the #2 wrestlers in the country who Gantz beat last weekend and 4 times total over the last two seasons. He will also have the #3 and #6 ranked wrestlers in his bracket, but Gantz has never been afraid of a challenge.

At 174 sophomore Crosby Schlosser will be unseeded. If Schlosser can pick up a couple of wins this weekend it will play big for him at the end of the year for the regional tournament. He needs to attack the legs early and often.

At 184 sophomore Reece Worachek earned the 2nd seed. Worachek placed in the top 8 at this tournament last year and is seeded to do so again. Worachek is also a returning All American for the Rangers. He will have the #2, #6, #7, #10, and #11 ranked wrestlers in his bracket this weekend. Worachek has beaten the #1 seed before, but in their most recent meeting (last year) he came up short. Let’s see if he can turn things around this weekend and capture the title.

At 197 sophomore Joe Swanson is unseeded. A transfer this year to Parkside Swanson has stepped right into their lineup. He is still looking to find his footing, but he also has the perfect opportunity to do that this weekend.

At 285 sophomore Lloyd Reynolds is the 5th seed. Reynolds was not the starter last year, but he got busy this offseason. He is currently undefeated and ranked 12th in the country. Reynolds can announce his name this weekend with a good performance. He needs to stay on the attack and trust his conditioning and he will find lots of success.