The Super Bowl of High School Wrestling is the ASICS/Vaughan Cadet & Junior Nationals held in Fargo, ND. Angelo Reyes and Taniela (Nela) Feliciano Takafua both qualified from our club and are inbetween competitions in Fargo as I write this. Angelo is making his second Fargo appearance, he finished 1-2 in Greco and 2-2 in Freestyle last year. Nela is making his first trip and will qualify to wrestle Cadets again next year.
The first, of two, competitions for Angelo and Nela was the Cadet Greco National Championships. Nela started his tournament against the Maryland Greco State Champion, who he defeated by fall early in the 2nd period. He then lost to Whimper of Georgia, who went on to finish 4th. In the consolation side of the bracket Nela lost to Schuyler of New York and finished the tournament 1-2. Angelo won his first match of the tournament against Nathan Gainey of Maryland who was a Greco runner up in his home state. Angelo then wrestled Roman Bravo-Young of Arizona. Bravo-Young won the Cadet Greco Tournament in 2014 and ended up repeating at the 2015 tournament. Once Angelo entered the consolation bracket he went on a terror. He won his next 5 matches defeating Lee from Illinois, McCain from Iowa, Hicks from Tennessee, Nunez from Washington, and Brown from Missouri to finish the first day of competition one match away from the podium. To start day two Angelo fell to Webster of Minnesota and finished in the top 12 of Cadet Greco wrestlers in the Nation.
Making the trip to Fargo is a huge learning opportunity. Nela is able to see some of the best and hopefully has learned he can compete at that level, defeating a state champion is an indicator of what we could see from Nela in the future. Angelo, making his second trip, has hopefully learned that he can not only compete at the National level, that he should be brining home hardware. The work that these wrestlers have put in makes them special, and we hope many more kids will follow the path that these two have. They have bright futures in wrestling and in life. Their wrestling careers are extremely young and we expect big things from them in the near future. We will post the results of the Freestyle tournament when it becomes available.