A pair of brothers completed impressive wrestling seasons in Pennsylvania and Ohio last week.
The Alton brothers, Andrew and Dylan, are a pair of junior twins from Central Mountain. They both won state titles last week and both finished the season undefeated. Dylan won the 145-pound weight class in the AAA division and finished the year with a 47-0 record. Andrew, meanwhile, captured the 140-pound class and ended the year at 46-0.
In Ohio, Monroeville sophomore Hunter Steiber won the 119-pound weight class in Division III and finished the year with a 47-1 record. His older brother Logan, a junior, won the 130-pound class and finished the year 35-0.
Both Andrew and Dylan Alton finished the season ranked No. 1 in the nation in their respective weight classes while Logan Steiber also finished No. 1. Hunter Steiber is ranked sixth in the nation.
The strong finishes by the pair of brothers got us to thinking about other great brother combinations in wrestling. Here’s a look at our top 10 high school wrestling brothers.
10. Josh and Ryan Churella, Novi, Mich.
Josh Churella was a three-time state champion at Novi while older brother Ryan won 198 matches and was a national champion his senior year. Their father Mark is a member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and was a three-time All-American at Michigan, where both Josh and Ryan attended and joined their father as three-time All-Americans.
9. Rob, Scott, Jeff, Michael, Chase and Kyle Cuthbertson, Scottsboro, Ala.
When it comes to wrestling in Alabama, the Cuthbertsons are the first family. The six brothers have combined for 20 state championships and over 1,000 career wins. Michael and twins Chase and Kyle each won five state titles apiece with Chase and Kyle combining for 542 career wins, the most by a set of twins in national history. Chase had a 267-9 career mark while Kyle was 275-9. Kyle also holds the state record for wins with 61 and the national record for pins with 58.
8. Nick and Andy Simmons, Williamston, Mich.
No set of brothers can boast of a better career mark than the Simmons brothers. Nick is second in the nation in all-time consecutive wins with 211. Andy, meanwhile, is first in consecutive wins with 219. Neither brother lost a match in their career while winning four straight state championships. Nick also held the national record for career falls with 178 and is second in consecutive pins with 54. His back-to-back seasons of 57 pins rank No. 1 in the nation. Nick is currently ranked No. 3 on Team USA at 55 KG and was a four-time All-American at Michigan State. Andy was a two-time All-American for the Spartans.
7. Troy, Kirk, Cory Wallman, Freeman, S.D.
Coached by their father Gary, who was the first four-time state champion in South Dakota history while at Miller, Troy, Kirk and Cory all won at least four state titles apiece. Troy had a career record of 138-2 from 1985 to 1988 while Kirk was 201-0 in his career between 1984-89 with six state titles. Cory went 264-8 in his career between 1990 and 1995. Among the all-time Class B wrestlers in South Dakota history, Kirk is ranked No. 1, Cory No. 3, Gary No. 5 and Troy No. 8. Kirk wrestled at Minnesota and Cory wrestled at Wisconsin, where he earned All-American status.
6. Joe and T.J. Williams, Mount Carmel, Ill.
Joe Williams is one of the more decorated wrestlers in U.S. wrestling history. A six-time U.S. National Freestyle Champion, Williams was also a three-time NCAA champion and a gold medal winner at the 2003 World Cup and Pan American Games. He was a four-time All-American in the NCAA and was the Outstanding Wrestler at the 1998 NCAA finals. He had a 129-9 record in college and lost just one match in high school, which came by a disqualification for an illegal slam. He was a four-time Illinois high school state champion with a career record of 171-1 while at Mount Carmel. Younger brother T.J. was a three-time All-American and a two-time National Champion at Iowa and holds the school record for career winning percentage with a record of 98-1. Like Joe, T.J. was a four-time state champion at Mt. Carmel.
5. Gerry, Norman and Steven Abas, Canyon Springs, Moreno Valley, Calif./James Logan, Union City, Calif.
Stephen Abas ranks as one of the all-time great wrestlers in California history. He started at Canyon Springs but finished his career at James Logan of Union City. In high school, he won three state championships and had a 190-10 record. He also set national records for takedowns in a season (406) and a career (1,246). In college, Abas posted a 144-4 record at Fresno State and was undefeated over his final two seasons while winning three national championships. He is currently a member of Team USA. Brother Gerry also was a four-time All-American at Fresno State and was three-time finalist. He held the career record for wins at Fresno state before Stephen surpassed him. For good measure, brother Norman also won a California state high school championship.
4. Adam, Alex, Troy Tirapelle, Clovis, Calif.
Adam Tirapelle was a three-time All-American at Illinois and was a national champion in 2001. He was also a two-time California state champion (once at Hiram Johnson and once at Buchanan) and was a national high school champion as a senior. Alex was a two-time All-American at Illinois and is the all-time wins leader at the school, breaking the mark set by Adam. He was Big Ten Wrestler of the Year in 2004 and was a three-time state champion in high school at Clovis. Like Adam, Alex won a national high school championship as a senior. Youngest brother Troy is also a three-time California state champion and placed third at the senior nationals. Troy is in his senior year at Illinois and is coming off an injury-plagued junior season.
3. Terry and Tom Brands, Sheldon, Iowa
Although not necessarily highly-regard coming out of Sheldon High School in Iowa, the Brands blossomed at the college level. Terry Brands did win a pair of state titles in Class 2A in high school while Tom won one, however neither was ranked as an All-American at the prep level. At Iowa, Tom finished with 158 career victories and was a four-time All-American with three NCAA championships. He also won one world and one Olympic gold medal. Terry won two NCAA titles and two world championships. Tom is the coach at Iowa while Terry is a coach for Team USA.
2. John, Pat, Lee Roy and Mark Smith, Del City, Okla.
Not many college wrestlers rank better than Pat Smith, who won four straight NCAA tournament titles. Brother John won 90 straight matches in his NCAA career and finished with a 154-7 record. He won two NCAA championships, was a two-time Olympic champion and a six-time World Champion. He has coached Oklahoma State to five national titles. Lee Roy and Mark were also college All-Americans. In high school, John, Lee Roy and Mark were each two-time state champions while Pat won three state titles.
1. Dave and Mark Schultz, Palo Alto, Calif.
Dave Schultz overcame obesity as a youth to become one of the greatest wrestlers in U.S. history. During his senior year in high school, Schultz won a state title and also defeated two-time NCAA champion Chuck Yagla to win the Great Plains Championship. Schultz also competed for the U.S. International team in Soviet Georgia and earned a silver medal – the highest placing of any American wrestler. According to Wikipedia, Schultz’s senior season is considered by experts as the greatest senior season in U.S. high school wrestling history. In college, he was a three-time NCAA All-American. He went on to win seven World or Olympic medals (including a gold medal in the 1984 Olympics). Brother Mark did not wrestle until his senior year in high school but he still managed to win a state title. Mark also is a three-time NCAA champion and a two-time World Champion with a gold medal in the 1984 Olympics. Mark and Dave are the only two brothers to ever win both an Olympic and World gold medal.