What is your prediction for the top 3 teams in each class at states?
Extrapolating this question/thread out to the Opens/State...Top 3+ State Teams
The Opens are about getting as many placers as possible, with some support from other wrestlers. For example, Xavier and Warde for the last year’s Open with each placing 2nd/109 points and 3rd/103 points, respectively. Xavier sent nine wresters, while Warde sent five. Warde placed all five, while Xavier placed four out of the eight. The real difference was that Warde did not get the early-round support with non-placing wrestlers, while Xavier did. Thus, the important aspect is to look at both quality and quantity…
Here is my pre-season guess to the rankings for the Opens/States. Now mind that this is for the Opens and not necessarily for dual meets, but these two are closely associated.
4 to 6: Xavier, BE, Joel Barlow
Danbury has four returning Open placers, which is the most of any team for the 2019-2020 season. Additionally, as Danbury sends many other wrestlers to the Open, which also adds to their overall result.
Simsbury and Warde return three Open placers each; however, Simsbury has the additional depth that Warde doesn’t, thus Simsbury ahead of Warde. Nonetheless, as Warde illustrated last year, quality over quantity goes a long way (Warde sent five to the Opens and placed all five, while Simsbury sent eight and placed four).
Similar to that in the Class Ls, Xavier and BE both look to contend for the 4th & 5th slot. Both of these teams had two place and one other losing in the blood round. However, Xavier returns six Open wrestlers, while BE returns four. Thus, Xavier returns more depth.
The team to possibly watch out for within the Opens/State is Joel Barlow. JB placed two in the Opens last year, with two others losing in the blood round. If these other two wrestlers progress on to place, JB could do well come the end of February. However, JB does not have the depth behind these four, which could limit JB’s overall performance. Additionally, JB will do well in tournaments, but in dual meets be limited due to the lack of depth in other weights. In the end, I wouldn't be surprised with JB making a push up in the overall result in the 2019-2020 end of season tournaments, like the Opens (teams placing four tend to end up in the top few teams).
Some excellent observations above about class M, J. Barlow & Suffield have serious studs no doubt. No question on strength of program from Foran, but they graduated a lot as did Avon. Look to Guilford as the spoiler with a line up full of returning underclassmen very balanced from "little's" to "bigs" and I know that East Haven has put the work in this entire off season and still has Davito twins and brother Matt is a returning SCC champ. The M's should be very balanced this year.
Here is my take on your question:
Danbury needs no explanation as they have eight returning Open wrestlers/four returning NE wrestlers. Warde and Southington have four returning Open wrestlers; however, Warde is returning eleven wrestlers, while Southington is returning eight. I don't see any other team this year in the LLs challenging these three (as Trumbull lost a bunch of wrestlers last year from graduation).
Simsbury is the team leading the pack in the Ls by returning a bunch of excellent wrestlers (could be the second best team in the state behind Danbury)…eight Open wrestlers to my count (seven if you count Bergin moving to NY). I would put Xavier over BE as Xavier is returning six Open wrestlers with nine returning wrestlers in total, and BE returns four Open wrestlers and also returning seven in the lineup. The possible surprise team not listed here is Middletown with four returning Open wrestlers and the team returning a total of eleven wrestlers (which includes the four mentioned prior).
Joel Barlow looks strong with six returning Open wrestlers (but also has holes). JBs strong returners will take them far in tournaments, but could hold them back in duals against more complete teams. Similarly, Suffield/WL has a strong contingent returning (Adams, Johns, etc.). Again like JB, the holes in their upper weights will hold them back in duals, but allow S/WL to do well in tournaments. Last year's class M contenders of Foran and Avon both lost a good amount of wrestlers, along with Killingly and Ledyard moving to the Ss. I would say the 3rd team is up for grabs…is there a surprise team in this class (East Haven, Branford, et al.), or could Foran/Avon reload?
Montville returns five open wrestlers, and also returns a total of four others from last year’s team, which had a bunch of wrestlers knocked out in the blood round. HK looks strong, returning 5 open wrestlers. However, HK does not have the number of wrestlers that got knocked out in the blood round like Montville. Gilbert looks to return four Open wrestlers (4), but had open weight classes in the lower weight last year and lost some quality wrestlers from last year. However, will Ledyard make some waves returning to the Ss with a number of returning wrestlers? Only time will tell…