Official TOM Preview: The 45th Annual POWERade

Below is The Open Mat’s preview of this years POWERade Christmas Tournament that takes place this Thursday and Friday.


One of the oldest annual Christmas Tournaments will take place again at Canon-McMillan High School on Thursday when the 45th edition of the POWERade gets underway. Always a tough individual tournament, many of the top placers here will go on to win titles in their respective state tournaments.

From a team perspective, the POWERade has a big addition to the tournament this year in Blair Academy, ranked #1 in the nation in all polls.

The top three teams from last year’s POWERade should all look to do damage as well:

Champions at both the POWERade and the state individual tournament a year ago, #7 Canon Mac features a bevy of heavy hitters with potential to score high here. Although they will be without the services of one of their biggest stars, 120lber, Connor Schram, who was 2nd in ’09, and a champ last year. Schram also reached the state finals each of the last two seasons.

#22 Central Dauphin was runners-up to Canon Mac at the POWERade a year ago. As always, they have a very balanced line-up, and ride a 5-year wave as state dual champions. CD is coming off a 5th place showing last week at the Beast of the East.

HM-Pittsburgh Central Catholic also has some top end power. They placed third here last year, and were 7th at the Beast with two finalists. The Vikings will be without nationally several studs, however. Austin Conkier was hurt at the Beast. Perry Hills, who won a title at the Beast is out. And, nationally ranked 170 lber, Jason Luster, may be out for the year with a shoulder injury.

Another team you’re likely to hear a great deal about going forward will make a sort of debut here. Franklin Regional, which has a great young crop of talent coming through, including Super32 Champ Michael Kemerer, Josh Maruca and Josh Shields, will look to make some noise.

*Originally scheduled to be part of the event, #24 Collins Hill, GA, is forced to miss the event due to competition restrictions with prep schools.


Weight Class Capsules


2007 Final: Nico Megaludis, Franklin Regional DEC Devin Carter, Christiansburg – VA, 6-3

2010 Final:  Colt Shorts, Canon Mac, dec. Jeremy Schwartz, C Dauphin, 5-3


#9-Vincenzo Joseph, PCC – Ironman 5th, Beast RU

Brendan Price, CM – North Canton, 3rd

Zack Elvin, CD – Beast 6th

Tommy Aloi, Forest Park – Fargo Junior 6th

Ryan Friedman, St. Paul’s

AC Headlee, Hempfield  – Fargo Cadet 6th



Joseph has had a very nice start to his career, placing at two majors already.

Elvin had a good showing at the Beast where his first two losses came to a nationally ranked Coy Ozias.

Headlee is a good frosh as well, placing at Fargo and with a good S32 performance.

Brice was pinned in the first round of the North Canton tournament last week but wrestled all the way back for 3rd.

TOM’s Picks:   1. Joseph  2. Elvin  3. Headlee



2007 Final:  Shane Young, Penn Trafford FALL Simon Rice, Central Dauphin, 5:23

2010 Final:  Connor Schram, CM, dec. JR Wert, CBurg, 1-0


#4-Joey McKenna, Blair – Ironman RU, Beast Champ, Double Fargo AA

#8-Mike Kemerer, Franklin Regional – Super32 Champ

#15-Sam Krivus, Hempfield – Super32 6th

HM-Brandon Thompson, Solon – State Champ, P-Ade 3rd

HM-Dalton Macri, CM – 2x Fargo AA, S32 placer

Jeremy Schwartz, CD – Beast 6th, Returning RU

David Sheesley, Mifflinburg – King of the Mountain Champ, State Qualifier

Zach Fuentes, Norristown – State 4th


McKenna is the favorite here followed by a strong pack of finalist contenders. Two diaper dandies, Kemerer and Krivus had monster showings at S32.

My reservation with Kemerer is size. Is he big enough to run with the big dogs at 113?

Watch out for Thompson who should be right in the thick of things.

TOM’s Picks:  1. McKenna   2. Thompson   3. Krivus



2007 Final: Nico Cortese, Hempfield DEC Michael Garofalo, Colonial Forge – VA, 6-5

2010 Final:  Jimmy Gulibon, Derry, dec. Joey Dance, CBurg, 2-1.


HM-PJ Klee, Blair – Ironman 6th , Beast RU, Fargo AA

HM-Godwin Nyama – Ironman, State, FloNats, S32 Placer

HM-Cory Stainbrook, Walsh Jesuit – State Runner-Up, P-Ade 3rd

Tom Traxler, Bellefonte – State 6rh

Matt Welliver, Benton – State Qualifier

Cole Walter, Mifflinburg – King of the Mountain 3rd

Tyler Buckiso, Peters Township – State Qualifier

Jack Mutchnik, St. Paul’s – National Prep 4th


Canon Mac will miss Schram’s points here.

Three of these guys were placers at KOM. Traxler beat Walter on the frontside, with Walter flipping that result in the 3-4 bout. Bohince was 5th.

Nyama and Klee met in the first round at Ironman, with Nyama winning a 2-0 decision.

TOM’s Picks:   1. Nyama  2. Stainbrook  3. Klee



2007 Final:  Dane Johnson, Shady Side Academy DEC Ian Squires, Colonial Forge – VA, 5-4

2010 Final:  Nico Megaludis, FR, dec Geoff Alexander, Shady Side, 8-1


#1-Jimmy Gulibon, Derry – 3x State Champ, 3x P-Ade Champ

#12-Cory Keener, Blue Mountain – State Champ, RU, P-Ade Placings: 3-2-2

HM-Max Hvolbeck – Beast and Ironman Placer

HM-Colt Shorts, CM – State 3rd, P-Ade Champ

Eric Friedman, St. Paul’s – National Prep 3rd, Beast 7th

Josh Maruca, Franklin Regional

Mike Kostandaras, Walsh Jesuit


Gulibon is shooting for his 4th POWERade title and should be the favorite.

But this is a really solid weight with plenty of stiff competition. Keener is looking to make the finals for the third time.

Shorts had a very good year a season ago, but he’s up three weight classes.

Kostandaras is a strong up-and-comer who was just a round from placing at Ironman.

TOM’s Picks:  1. Gulibon  2. Keener   3.  Hvolbeck



2007 Final:  Josh Kindig, Blue Mountain DEC Chad Frankhouser, Indian Valley, 7-2

2010 Final:  Johnni DiJulius, Walsh, dec. Solomon Chisko, CM, 5-0


#3-Mark Grey, Blair – JR World Team Member, 3x National Prep Champ

HM-Ty Dippery, Central Dauphin – State 3rf, P-Ade Champ, Fargo AA

Mackenzie McGuire, Upper St. Clair – State Runner-Up

Cody Kievman, Blue Mountain – State Qualifier

Colt Cotton, Benton – State 4th

Chris Vasser, Cedar Cliff – State Placer, P-Ade 4th

Dennis Gustafson, Forest Park – NHSCA Placer, P-Ade placer, Beast placer

Josh Shields, Franklin Regional

Tim Locksmith, Osceola – State Placer


With Grey locked in to the top seed, we’re likely looking at a potential semi that will be a rematch of the state semifinal last March that had the Giant Center buzzing when McGuire got a questionable takedown call on Dippery at the final whistle.

But let’s not put the cart before the horse. There will be plenty of talent to try and prevent that match-up from happening.

TOM’s Picks:  1. Grey   2. Dippery   3. Vasser



2007 Final:  Colin Johnston, Canon McMillan DEC Shane Welsh, Burrell, 5-2

2010 Final: Nate Skonieczny, Walsh, dec. Joey Mazzi, LaSalle, 6-4


#1-Nate Skonieczny, Walsh Jesuit – State Champ, Ironman Champ, P-Ade Champ

#6-Todd Preston, Blair – Ironman 3rd, National Prep Champ, Beast Champ

HM-Shyheim Brown, Central Dauphin – 3x State Placer, S32 Placer, Beast 3rd

Fox Baldwin, Osceola – State Champ

Justin Arthur, Huntington – State Champ


We have the potential for one of the best finals here should Skon and Preston get there.

Fox Baldwin, already a state champion, is one of the best young talents in the country.

TOM’s Picks:   1. Skonieczny   2. Preston   3. Brown



2007 Final:  Marshall Peppelman, Central Dauphin DEC Jordan Shields, Burrell, 6-3

2010 Final:  Matt Cimato, LaSalle, dec. Dan Neff, 3-1


#6-Dylan Milonas, Blair – Fargo, Ironman, Beast Champ

#7-Solomon Chisko, CM – State 3rd, P-Ade Runner-Up, 3x S32 Placer

#11-Matt Cimato, LaSalle – State 3rd, P-Ade Champ, Beast RU, S32 Placer

#12-Anthony Collica, Solon – State Champ, P-Ade 3rd

#18-Ty Lydic, Greater Latrobe – Super32 Placer, Fargo AA, KOM Champ, P-Ade 3rd


In terms of ranked wrestlers, this is the premier bracket in the tourney.

Milonas has been on a tear, winning his last three majors.

Collica is one of the more under-appreciated kids in the country, and he just keeps getting better and better.

Lydic, one of my favorite wrestlers in high school, wrestles a lot of close matches. He’s coming off his second straight strong performance at KOM and should be in the thick of things here.

TOM’s Picks:   1. Collica  2. Milonas   3. Lydic



2007 Final:  Walter Peppelman, Central Dauphin MAJOR Dominick Demor, South Side Beaver, 9-0

2010 Final:  Pete Baldwin, Osceola, dec. Eric Nutter, PCC, 1-0


#16-Garrett Peppelman – State and S32 Placer, Beast 3rd

HM-Russ Parsons, Blair – Fargo, Beast, and Ironman placer

HM-Pete Galli, St. Paul’s – Prep RU, Beast Placer, P-Ade Placer

HM-Tyler Manion, PCC – State and Ironman placer

Casey Kent, LaSalle – State Placer, Beast 4th , P-Ade 3rd

Leo Wortman, Bellefonte – KOM 3rd

Dario Dobbin, CM – State Placer

Zack Voytek, Greensburg-Salem – State Placer

Joe Welk, Solanco – P-Ade 4th


Terrific depth here with a group of kids around a similar tier.

Peppelman, just a sophomore, is talented but green. Parsons has been steady.

A darkhorse here is Kent, a very active wrestler who was 3rd at the same weight here last year.

TOM’s Picks:   1. Peppelman  2. Kent   3. Parsons



2007 Final:  Sam Rakes, Christiansburg – VA DEC Donnie Tasser, Belle Vernon, 3-2

2010 Final: Chance Marsteller, KD, dec. Lorenzo Thomas, PCC, 8-3


#1-Chance Marsteller, Kennard-Dale – State Champ, 3x Fargo Champ, S32 Champ, P-Ade Champ

HM-Patrick Coover, Blair – Ironman, Beast, and Fargo Placer

Zack Zavatsky, Greater Latrobe – State Qualifier, KOM 3rd

Brett Harner, Norristown – Beast 3rd, State 4th

Brad Mutchnik, St. Paul’s – National Prep placer


Chance is the heavy favorite here, with Coover the most nationally proven behind him.

But Zavatsky, entering his Soph. year, is a very talented youngster as well.

Harner is an under-the-radar type that could make some noise as well, as he did at the Beast, placing 3rd with a 3-0 win over Coover along the way.

Mutchnik was a bout from placing at the Beast.

TOM’s Picks:  1. Marsteller   2.  Harner   3. Coover



2007 Final:  Steve Bosak, State College DEC Josh Condon, Harrison – GA, 3-0

2010 Final:  Travis McKillop, Burrell, dec. Cody Weircioch, Charleroi, 4-3


#3-Cody Weircioch, CM – 2x State Finalist, 2x P-Ade Finalist, S32 Champ

Tyler Rill, Mt. St. Joe’s – National Prep 3rd, Beast 4th, P-Ade 5th

Shane Springer, Norristown – Beast 5th, State Placer

Conor Moran, Solanco – State 5th

Derrick Zavatsky, Greater Latrobe – KOM 3rd

Garrett Volcano, Chartiers-Houston

Travis Moyer, Blue Mountain – State Qualifier

Adam Bicak, Ripley


Weircioch is looking for his third straight POWERade finals.

Springer is a former state finalist for LaSalle, now wrestling at Norristown.

Austin Coniker (PCC), a state and Ironman placer, is out with an injury.

TOM’s Picks:  1. Weircioch    2.  Rill   3. Moran



2007 Final:  Lance Bryson, Albert Gallatin DEC Peter Huntley, Colonial Forge – VA, 9-4

2010 Final:  Nick Bonnacorsi, Bethel Park, dec. Dakota DesLauriers, Burrell, 5-1


#18-Dakota DesLauriers, Burrell – State 3rd, P-Ade RU, Fargo AA

Michael Mocco, Blair – Ironman 4th, Beast 5th

Ryan Burnheimer, Westmont-Hilltop – State Placer


Across the country we’ve seen thin brackets at 182 due to the new weights. That doesn’t change here. But the top three should be solid guys.

DeLauriers missed the Ironman with injury, and looks to get to the top of the podium after a finals appearance last year.

TOM’s Picks:  1. DesLauriers   2. Burnheimer   3. Mocco



2007 Final:  Max Huntley, Colonial Forge – VA DEC Andy Thomas, Parkersburg – WV, 5-1

2010 Final:  Kenny Courts, CD, dec. David Reck, Colonial Forge, 10-3


#12-Frank Mattiace, Blair – Ironman Champ, Beast RU

Ian Binotto, CM – North Canton 3rd

Scott Mohring, Greater Latrobe – State 6th, KOM Runner-Up


We could have had a rematch of the Beast finals, but Perry Hills (PCC) is out with an injury.

Mohring has moved down to 95 after being a state placer at 215 last year.

TOM’s Picks:  1. Mattiace  2. Mohring   3. Binotto



2007 Final:  Matt Lindamood, Parkersburg – WV DEC Glenn Carson, Southern Regional – NJ, 6-4 OT

2010 Final:  Brian Beattie, Burrell, md. Dante Nania, Hemplfield, 13-4


#4-Thomas Haines, Solanco – State Champ, S32 Champ

David Farr, Blair – Ironman 6th, Beast 6th

Zach Deluca, PCC – P-Ade 7th

Alex Campbell, CM – North Canton, 3rd

David Hicks, Ripley


Haines is a strong favorite. He’s just a soph, but he’s a hammer on top.

Another guy shooting up through the ranks in Campell, who had a 30 win season as a soph. last year.

Farr just placed in both majors.

TOM’s Picks:   1. Haines   2. Farr   3. Campbell



2007 Final:  Nick Cook, Fauquier – VA DEC Paul Snyder, Mt. Pleasant, 3-1 OT

2010 Final:  Cody Klempay, CM, dec. Josh Duplin, Westmont-Hilltop, 2-0


#1-Brooks Black, Blair – Ironman and Beast Champ

#10-Cody Klempay, CM – State 3rd, P-Ade Champ, North Canton Champ

Josh Duplin, Westmont-Hilltop – 2x State Placer, P-Ade RU

Luke Fleck, Franklin Regional – State Qualifier

Garrett Poorman, Bellefonte – KOM Runner-Up

Nazar Mironenko, Mifflinburg – KOM Champ


Heavyweight here is a very strong weight class. And several guys are familiar with each other.

Black is  the #1 HWT in the country; his resume speaks for itself.

Klempay is very interesting. He spent the majority of the season as the #1 guy in the state last year, but dropped a semi to Chambersburg’s Dawson Peck and had to settle for 3rd. Two weeks ago, he knocked off 2x Ohio Champ, Nick Tavanello in the North Canton finals.

Klempay also beat Duplin in the finals here last year.

Mironenko, a talented sophomore, beat Poorman in the KOM finals.

TOM’s Picks:   1. Black   2. Klempay   3. Duplin

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