SCHENECTADY, NY – One of the significant Folkstyle events in the country took place this weekend in New York at the always rugged Journeymen Fall Classic. Known as the prequel to the Super 32 tournament, many grapplers from Golden State found success. Cael Valencia (Sunkist Kids/Monster Garage) and Jaden Le (Rancho Bernardo) each advanced to the finals of their respective weight classes.
Cael, the younger sibling of NCAA Champion Zahid Valencia, is becoming more and more of a danger for the opposition. Competing at 145-pounds, Valencia finished with a (4-0) record as he defeated wrestlers from New Jersey, New York, and Missouri. In the semifinal round, Valencia defeated 2018 New Jersey state champion Lucas Revano (4-3) to advance to the finals in the round robin event. In the finals, he took on two-time Missouri state champion Devin Schwartzkopf. A tough individual well known for his ability to scramble out of tough situations.
Valencia controlled the tempo throughout the entire match as he was able to go up 2-0 in the first period as he scored a lighting takedown in the match. Schwartzkopf put the pressure on Valencia and hold on to him like a leach to ride him the entire second period. The third period, Schwartzkopf chose bottom and was successful in escaping the grip of Valencia to go up (3-2), Schwartzkopf recorded a two-point reversal call in the first period. With the match being so close, Valencia shoot deep on a single and was triumphant in claiming the second takedown on the match to win (4-3) and claimed a hammer of his own.
Jaden, a well-known wrestler in the Golden State, but an up-and-coming grappler in the national scene, looked great throughout the tournament as he placed second at 140-pounds. Jaden went (4-1) in the event by defeating wrestlers from New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. Jaden got to the finals by obtaining a (9-1) major decision in the semifinal round over three-time Connecticut state champion Sean Johnson. His win set him up with Delaware state champion and 2018 Fargo All-American Jackson Dean.
In the Championship finals, after a scoreless first period, Dean obtained the takedown and two-point near fall points in a wild scramble started by Jaden. A reversal and an escaped for Jaden ended the second period with a (4-3) advantage for Dean. In the third period, Dean chose bottom and racked up more points by taking down Jaden once again to lead (7-3). Jaden reacted fast to get the escape and takedown to close the gap to (7-6). Nevertheless, another escape and takedown for Dean seal the match (10-6).
Complete brackets can be found here: 2018 Journeymen Fall Classic.
- Maxximus Martinez (Sunkist Kids/Monster Garage) – 5th place
- Timothy Levine (St. John Bosco) – 6th place
- Brenden Johnson (USA Gold) – 4th place
- Frank Abacherli (Martin Luther King) – 9th place
- Jaden Le (Rancho Bernardo) – 2nd place
- Elijah Blake (USA Gold/Del Oro) – 13th place
- Cael Valencia (Sunkist Kids/Monster Garage) – 1st place
- Sonny Santiago (Sunkist Kids/Monster Garage) – 3rd place
- Aaron Gandara (Wrestling Prep/ Poway High School) – 3rd place
- Noah Blake (USA Gold/Del Oro) – 4th place
- Nathan Hass (St. John Bosco) – 5th place