What is your prediction for the top 3 teams in each class at states?
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…
Stallwarning- nicely done. For 3rd in M, I predict Branford, although it is tough to not pick Foran based on the quality of their coaching and depth of their teams. As for S, HK has 6 returning open wrestlers, Glynn at 145 is a sophomore this year. My count of returning open wrestlers from Montville, based on this website, is 4 open wrestlers: 106, 113, 126 and 195. This information may not affect your analysis since it appears there are many returning wrestlers from Montville on the cusp of placing.
@Scott I agree with you about Foran in terms of the impact of the coaching and depth. Looking at their returning roster, two returning Open wrestlers (113 & 145) with two wrestlers losing in the blood round. However, replacing eight wrestlers from graduation will be difficult with many of those eight being multi-year varsity wrestlers, but I wouldn't put this against Coach E...
In terms of Guilford via the post below from Whizzer1, twelve wrestlers return with no returning Open wrestlers, with four returning wrestlers who lost in the blood round (106, 113, 126, 220). If some of their young lineup keeps developing, Guilford could be a contender.
In all, the class Ms look pretty balanced with no clear-cut team. Remember, tournaments are won in the consi rounds, thus placing as many wresters 3rd to 6th along with match bonus points (pins, TF, MD) could counter-balance the strong JB & S/WL lineups that have weight classes with studs and holes.
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.
Extrapolating this question/thread out to the Opens/State...Top 3+ State Teams