South KoreaSeoul American Falcons2012 Far East tournament finish — Fifth in individual freestyle, fourth in dual-meet.Coach — Ben Pak, first season.Wrestlers to watch — Jack Barnes, So., 215-Hwt (2nd at 215 at Far East last year); Joseph Durham, Sr., 215-Hwt (fifth at 180 at Far East); David Chong, Sr., 148; Christian Calimlim, Jr., 115; Alex Pannullo, Sr., 135 (won in Europe two years ago).Outlook — Rebuilding, but could be contending if things fall the right way and the talent rises. Pak becomes Falcons’ third head coach in five seasons.
OkinawaKadena Panthers2012 Far East tournament finish — Seventh in individual freestyle.Coach — Justin Armstrong, first season.Wrestlers to watch — Ryan Marshall, Jr., light; Justin Duenas, Jr., light (defending 101-pound Far East champion); Cole Milburn, So., light (fifth at 115 at Far East); Peter Unpingco, Jr., middle; Alex Rojas, Sr., middle (Alaska state champion at 125 last year); Elijah Takushi, Jr., middle; James Alexander, Jr., heavy (sixth at 168 at Far East); Kyle Milburn, Jr., heavy.Outlook — Reloading. Armstrong makes the fourth head coach in four years. Enough experience, including four Far East medalists and one state champion, to get the Panthers off the deck and back into contention, Armstrong feels.
Kubasaki Dragons2012 Far East tournament finish — Fourth in individual freestyle.Coach — Ron Geist, third season.Wrestlers to watch — Steven Walter, Sr., 115 (won 101-pound gold in 2011, 108-pound gold in 2012 Far East); Kento Eyre, Sr., 135; Austin Cyr, Jr., 141 (fifth at 135 at Far East); Nick Pagel, So., 158; Mike Sink, Jr., 158; Aaron Stravers, Sr., 180 (transfer from Nile C. Kinnick); Fred Suniga, Sr., 215 (defending 215-pound Far East champion); Josiah Allen, So., Hwt.Outlook — Contending. As deep and experienced a lineup as the Dragons have sported in several seasons, perhaps enough to get them back to the top for the first time since 2009.
JapanYokota Panthers2012 Far East tournament finish — Second in individual freestyle, third in dual meet for second straight year.Coach — Brian Kitts, ninth season.Wrestlers to watch — Shintaro Clanton, Jr., 108 (fifth at 101 at Far East); Zach Esteron, So., 115 (sixth at 108 at Far East); Jake Jackson, Sr., 215 (fifth at Far East); Jesse Hogan, Sr., Hwt (fourth at Far East); Kalik Battle, Jr., 135; Jacob Davis, Fr., 180.Outlook — Contending, demonstrated when the Panthers lost by two points to two-time defending Far East champion St. Mary’s International in Wednesday’s season-opening dual meet. Every weight class is filled. Battle is proving to be a revelation early on.
Nile C. Kinnick Red Devils2012 Far East tournament finish — Third in individual freestyle, second in dual meet.Coach — Gary Wilson, third season.Wrestlers to watch — Eddie Sheridan, Sr., 108 (third at 101 at Far East); Nathan Abrinilla, Jr., 115 (transfer from Guam High); Brady Yoder, So., 122; Givon Connor, Jr., 129; Marvin Newbins, Jr., 135 (fifth at 129 at Far East); Brendan Yoder, Jr., 141; Zach Yoder, Sr., 141 (sixth at 135 at Far East); Keith Grogg, Fr., 148; Charlie Gann, Jr., 158; Dustin Wilson, Jr., 158; Alex Banks, Sr., 168 (third at 158 at Far East); Ian O’Brien, Jr., 180; Daniel Costello, Jr., 215.Outlook — Contending, contending, contending. Two deep at all weights, three deep at six of them. Wilson’s Red Devils taking dead aim at dethroning St. Mary’s, winning Wilson’s second Far East team title in four seasons.
JapanRobert D. Edgren Eagles2012 Far East tournament finish — Individual freestyle, dual-meet champion.Coach — Justin Edmonds, ninth season.Wrestler to watch — Joel Loy, Sr., 158-168 (sixth at 158 at Far East).Outlook — The mother of all rebuilding jobs. Almost a full cleaning of house as Loy looms as the only remnant of Edgren’s fourth D-II title in three years.
E.J. King Cobras2012 Far East tournament finish — Third in individual freestyle, dual-meet.Coach — Joe Cockerel, second season.Wrestlers to watch — David Jackson, So., 129; Thomas McGrath, So., 135; Drake Rollins, Sr., 168; Dell Embry, Sr., 215 (transfer from Nile C. Kinnick).Outlook — Rebuilding, as usual. But instead of just seven, the Cobras expect to fill 10 of 13 weight classes, a great improvement over the last two seasons.
Zama American Trojans2012 Far East tournament finish — Second in individual freestyle, dual-meet.Coach — Steve Scott, second season (has assisted every year except two since 1999).Wrestlers to watch — Samuel Bishop, So., 129; Josh Elliot, Sr., 141; Jacob Scott, So., 148 (sixth at 129 last year); Chad Wilder, Sr., 158 (141-pound champion, Outstanding Wrestler at Far East); Mitchell Harrison, Sr., 180 (third at Far East for last two years); Ian Pope, Sr., 215; Josh Collier, Sr., Hwt.Outlook — Contending. Strong returning class features enough firepower to challenge for second D-II title sweep in three seasons, led by reigning Far East Outstanding Wrestler Wilder.
Matthew C. Perry SamuraiCoach — Kevin Peterson, first year.Wrestlers to watch — Connor Hadlock, Sr., 168; Steven Brown, Sr.; Zachary Traylor, So.Outlook — Still building, now in first year as varsity program.
South KoreaOsan American Cougars2012 Far East Tournament finish — Fourth in individual freestyle.Coach — Duke Allen, second season.Wrestlers to watch — Preston Blakley, Sr., 168 (4th at Far East); Jacob Collins, So., 141.Outlook — Rebuilding. No all-star standouts like graduated Brett Hammontree (yet), but plenty of solid kids and an almost-full lineup, the result of much recruiting on Allen’s part.
Daegu Warriors2012 Far East Tournament finish — Fifth in individual freestyle, fourth in dual-meet.Coach — Kevin Jackson, first season as head coach; served as assistant for two seasons under Luke Spencer.Wrestlers to watch — Xavian Washburn, Sr. 148 (2nd at Far East); Morgan Baek, So., 141; Kaleb Gavino, Jr., 135; Shane Parrotte, Jr., 158; Josh Lear, Sr., 168; Jorge Algarin, Sr., 180; Alona Paja, So., 101 (transfer from Guam High).Outlook — Contending in D-II. Led by Washburn, motivated to take care of unfinished gold-medal business, the Warriors have a solid veteran core of leadership and experience to help bring along a team that’s young overall, but with a high level of energy, Jackson says.