Wadsworth's Jaxon Joy tops the list of Greater Akron's top 20 wrestlers; here's who's next

The goal is Columbus for every wrestler. Here are the top 20 from the Greater Akron area who should have no problem getting there.
The goal is Columbus for every wrestler. Here are the top 20 from the Greater Akron area who should have no problem getting there.

These are the top 20 high school wrestlers the Greater Akron area has to offer heading into the 2022-23 season.

That said, it could be a catalog of the top 50. That’s how good the area is.

It’s not just a who’s who of high school wrestlers, but a look at the top athletes with Division I college scholarships.

Keep in mind this list will be much harder to crack when Portage, Summit, Stark, Medina and Wayne County athletes enter the fray in the top 20.

What Top 20 looked like in MarchWay-too-early 2022-23 Akron/Canton-area wrestler pound-for-pound top 20

Up Next:Five takeaways from the state wrestling tournament: Skinner rises up, area trio ready for more

With all due respect to Western Reserve Academy’s J.T. Chance, Sam Cartella and Matthew Hart, who would make any top 20 list, we’re limiting this list to those who can compete in the state tournament.

The weight classes listed for each individual are projected and most certainly will fluctuate throughout the season.

For now, here’s the best of the best of who the area has to offer:

Wadsworth's Jaxon Joy shows love for his fans in the stands after winning the 120 pound Division I state title in a match against Perrysburg's Ryan Avalos during the OHSAA State Wrestling Tournament at the Jerome Schottenstein Center on Sunday.
Wadsworth's Jaxon Joy shows love for his fans in the stands after winning the 120 pound Division I state title in a match against Perrysburg's Ryan Avalos during the OHSAA State Wrestling Tournament at the Jerome Schottenstein Center on Sunday.

1. Jaxon Joy, Wadsworth, 132 pounds, jr.

Joy is a two-time state finalist and a reigning state champion for the Grizzlies. Oh, he also picked Cornell over the likes of Penn State, Purdue, North Carolina State, Oklahoma and Virginia and is a Fargo All-American.

2. Brock Herman, Brecksville, 144, sr.

Brecksville's Brock Herman, left, is back and ready to build on a runner-up finish as a sophomore.
Brecksville's Brock Herman, left, is back and ready to build on a runner-up finish as a sophomore.

A 2021 state runner-up, Herman wasn’t eligible to wrestle for the Bees last season, but won a college open last season and finished runner-up at another. The Ohio State commit, who flipped from NC State, is ranked 15th in the nation by MatScouts.com and is ready to make up for lost time.

3. Chris Earnest, Wadsworth, 157, sr.

Wadsworth's Chris Earnest pins Reynolds' Camren Klenke during the Ironman Wrestling Tournament in 150 pounds on Friday, Dec. 10, 2021 in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, at Walsh Jesuit High School.
Wadsworth's Chris Earnest pins Reynolds' Camren Klenke during the Ironman Wrestling Tournament in 150 pounds on Friday, Dec. 10, 2021 in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, at Walsh Jesuit High School.

Earnest is a two-time state placer and one of two reigning state champions for the Grizzlies. Earnest will head to Campbell University when he’s done this season. He’s also an Ironman All-American and is ranked 17th in the nation by MatScouts.com.

4. Kyle Snider, CVCA, 215, sr.

CVCA 215 pounder Kyle Snider pins Wadsworth's Maverick Blackburn during the Ironman Wrestling Tournament on Friday, Dec. 10, 2021 in Cuyahoga Falls, at Walsh Jesuit High School.
CVCA 215 pounder Kyle Snider pins Wadsworth's Maverick Blackburn during the Ironman Wrestling Tournament on Friday, Dec. 10, 2021 in Cuyahoga Falls, at Walsh Jesuit High School.

Snider was an undefeated state champion in 2021 and finished third in a brutal Division II weight class last season. The Kent State commit is ranked 10th in the nation by MatScouts.com. He's also a Walsh Ironman All-American.

5. Luke Vanadia, Brecksville, 175, sr.

Brecksville's Luke Vanadia, top, takes down Marysville's Colton Powers during their 175 pound match in the Division I quarterfinal round of the OHSAA State Wrestling Tournament at the Jerome Schottenstein Center on Saturday.
Brecksville's Luke Vanadia, top, takes down Marysville's Colton Powers during their 175 pound match in the Division I quarterfinal round of the OHSAA State Wrestling Tournament at the Jerome Schottenstein Center on Saturday.

Vanadia, who is headed to Michigan State, is a two-time state placer and reigning third-place finisher. He’s a Fargo All-American and is ranked eighth in the nation by MatScouts.com. He's also the projected state champion.

Walsh's Dyvaire VanDyke works over Elyria's Nate Burnett during their 138 pound match in the Division I semifinal round of the OHSAA State Wrestling Tournament at the Jerome Schottenstein Center on Saturday.
Walsh's Dyvaire VanDyke works over Elyria's Nate Burnett during their 138 pound match in the Division I semifinal round of the OHSAA State Wrestling Tournament at the Jerome Schottenstein Center on Saturday.

6. Dy'Vaire "Boots" VanDyke, Walsh Jesuit, 138, sr.

VanDyke finished third in the state as a sophomore and was runner-up as a junior, which leaves only one step to climb for the Michigan State commit. VanDyke is a gamer and a returning Walsh Ironman All-American.

Wadsworth's Aaron Ries celebrates after winning the 16U National Freestyle title at heavyweight in Fargo, N.D.
Wadsworth's Aaron Ries celebrates after winning the 16U National Freestyle title at heavyweight in Fargo, N.D.

7. Aaron Ries, Wadsworth, 285, jr.

Ries absolutely took the national scene by storm when he went to Fargo over the summer and won a championship in freestyle. He returns as a state placer for the Grizzlies and should skyrocket up the podium this season.

STVM's Bryce Skinner, top, flips over Waynesville's Matt Ellis during their 126 pound match in the Division II championship round of the OHSAA State Wrestling Tournament at the Jerome Schottenstein Center on Sunday.
STVM's Bryce Skinner, top, flips over Waynesville's Matt Ellis during their 126 pound match in the Division II championship round of the OHSAA State Wrestling Tournament at the Jerome Schottenstein Center on Sunday.

8. Bryce Skinner, St. Vincent-St. Mary, 126, sr.

Skinner comes in as the projected state champion because, well, he’s also the reigning state champion after beating Waynesville’s Matt Ellis 3-2 last season. What the senior does better than anyone is stay calm under pressure, as evidenced by two overtime wins en route to his state title.

Copley's Javaan Yarbrough, facing, takes down Napoleon's Alex Gonzales during their Division II 106 pound preliminary match on day one of the OHSAA State Wrestling Tournament at the Jerome Schottenstein Center on Friday.
Copley's Javaan Yarbrough, facing, takes down Napoleon's Alex Gonzales during their Division II 106 pound preliminary match on day one of the OHSAA State Wrestling Tournament at the Jerome Schottenstein Center on Friday.

9. Javaan Yarbrough, Copley, 106, jr.

Mason Brugh, left, of Wadsworth of Kaden Jett of Brecksville wrestle in the 126 pound weight class at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School in Broadview Heights. Jett won 2-1.
Mason Brugh, left, of Wadsworth of Kaden Jett of Brecksville wrestle in the 126 pound weight class at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School in Broadview Heights. Jett won 2-1.

How tough is this list to crack? Yarbrough is a two-time national champion and two-time national runner-up at Fargo and he only eked his way to the top 10. A two-time state placer, expect much better than his sixth-place finish last season that ended early due to injury.

10. Kaden Jett, Brecksville 132, sr.

An injury kept Jett from building on his third-place finish in 2021, but he’s ready to take off yet again. He’s headed to Ohio University next season and is the projected state runner-up behind Joy.

11. Coen Grimm, Wadsworth, 190, sr.

Wadsworth's Coen Grimm competes against Detroit Catholic Central's Connor Bercume during the Grizzly Invitational Tournament on Saturday, January 22, 2022.
Wadsworth's Coen Grimm competes against Detroit Catholic Central's Connor Bercume during the Grizzly Invitational Tournament on Saturday, January 22, 2022.

Grimm really took a gigantic step last season with a fourth-place finish at the Division I level at state. While he’s projected to finish at the same spot this season, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Buffalo commit higher on the podium.

12. Brett Stanley, Brecksville, 113, jr.

Jack Dinwiddie, left, of Wadsworth and Brett Stanley of Brecksville wrestle in the 106 weight class at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School  in Broadview Heights. Stanley won 3-1.
Jack Dinwiddie, left, of Wadsworth and Brett Stanley of Brecksville wrestle in the 106 weight class at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School in Broadview Heights. Stanley won 3-1.

Stanley finished fourth as a sophomore and is projected to finish in the same spot again. That said, he knows when to turn it on, so seeing him climb higher shouldn’t be much of a surprise.

13. Jeremy Olzsko, Nordonia, 175, sr.

Nordonia's Jeremy Olszko, bottom, looks to the clock during his 165 pound match against St. Ed's Evan Bennett in the Division I quarterfinal round of the OHSAA State Wrestling Tournament at the Jerome Schottenstein Center on Saturday.
Nordonia's Jeremy Olszko, bottom, looks to the clock during his 165 pound match against St. Ed's Evan Bennett in the Division I quarterfinal round of the OHSAA State Wrestling Tournament at the Jerome Schottenstein Center on Saturday.

The Ohio University commit and two-sport standout reached the quarterfinals last year at state and then battled all the way back to finish fourth. All three wresters above Olzsko have graduated.

14. Max Vanadia, Brecksville, 215, sr.

Vanadia will join his brother at Michigan State after signing with the Spartans on Nov. 9. He’s a two-time state placer – sixth both season – and is also a Fargo All-American.

15. Rylan Seacrist, Brecksville, 106, fr.

Yes, there’s a newcomer to the high school scene. Yes, he’s really good. Seacrist hasn’t wrestled a match yet and he’s already ranked third in the state. Part of that is because he’s already a Fargo All-American after finishing fifth in freestyle over the summer.

16. Chase Pluhar, Brecksville, 138, sr.

Brecksville's Chase Pluhar, bottom, wrestles St. Ed's Wyatt Richter during their 113 pound championship match in the Division I State Dual wrestling tournament at St. Edward High School, Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021, in Lakewood, Ohio. [Jeff Lange/Beacon Journal]
Brecksville's Chase Pluhar, bottom, wrestles St. Ed's Wyatt Richter during their 113 pound championship match in the Division I State Dual wrestling tournament at St. Edward High School, Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021, in Lakewood, Ohio. [Jeff Lange/Beacon Journal]

Pluhar rolled into the Division I state semifinals last season before finishing fourth. The schedule coach Todd Haverdill puts together should have him right back in the mix again in his swan song season.

17. Bryson Getz, St. Vincent-St. Mary, 285, sr.

St. Vincent-St. Mary 215 pounder Bryson Getz pins Dublin Coffman's Ali Al-Dulaimi during the Ironman Wrestling Tournament on Friday, Dec. 10, 2021 in Cuyahoga Falls, at Walsh Jesuit High School.
St. Vincent-St. Mary 215 pounder Bryson Getz pins Dublin Coffman's Ali Al-Dulaimi during the Ironman Wrestling Tournament on Friday, Dec. 10, 2021 in Cuyahoga Falls, at Walsh Jesuit High School.

Don’t be surprised to see Getz drop down to 215 as he navigates his path to where he’ll wrestle in college. For now, he will try to erase two consecutive losses at state last season and look for the form that made him a state runner-up as a sophomore.

18. Israel Petite, Nordonia, 144, jr.

Nordonia's Israel Petite, top, works over Upper Arlington's Ayden Boothby during their Division I 138 pound preliminary match on day one of the OHSAA State Wrestling Tournament at the Jerome Schottenstein Center on Friday.
Nordonia's Israel Petite, top, works over Upper Arlington's Ayden Boothby during their Division I 138 pound preliminary match on day one of the OHSAA State Wrestling Tournament at the Jerome Schottenstein Center on Friday.

Petite comes in as a two-time state qualifier and one-time state placer after finishing seventh in Division I last season. He’s projected to finish fourth, so seeing him in a state semifinal isn’t a stretch at all.

Wadsworth's Nick Humphrys, left, wrestles Nordonia's Gino Perrine, right, during their 144 pound match in the quarterfinal round of the Grizzly Invitational wrestling tournament on Saturday.
Wadsworth's Nick Humphrys, left, wrestles Nordonia's Gino Perrine, right, during their 144 pound match in the quarterfinal round of the Grizzly Invitational wrestling tournament on Saturday.

19. Nick Humphrys, Wadsworth, 144, sr.

Humphrys took a huge step forward last season with a fourth-place finish at state. He showed incredible poise after losing in the quarterfinals to bounce all the way back to wrestle in the consolation final. Expect to see that poise throughout the season this year.

20. Lukas Stiles, Highland, 215, sr.

Stiles is easily the best wrestler never to make state, although he would have likely placed last season. A two-time alternate, Stiles was a lock to make the state tournament last season until a torn pectoral muscle kept him from the postseason.

Wrestlers who were also considered

Jack Dinwiddie, Wadsworth; Steven Duffy, Woodridge; Joey Vazsonyi, Highland; Roosevelt Andrews, Barberton; Davian Greenlee, Buchtel; Teddy Gregory, Stow.

Contact Brad Bournival at bbournival@gannett.com and follow him on Twitter at @bbournival.

This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Ranking the top 20 Greater Akron wrestlers of 2022-23