A wrestler being included in the annual Brakeman report means only one thing - they're among the best of the best in the state of Ohio.
So when a school can boast eight different grapplers ranked in the top 20 in that report, it's definitely been some kind of a season.
Such has been the 2011-12 wrestling season for the Caldwell Redskins, who have eight wrestlers projected to finish in the top 20 in the Brakeman.
Caldwell has four wrestlers ranked in the top eight, which equates to a spot on the podium, including senior Jeremy Border who is a projected state champion at 132 pounds.
"For him (Brian Brakeman) to predict having four guys on the podium, that's something I don't believe we've ever done here at Caldwell," said Caldwell wrestling coach Tom Brown.
The Brakeman report, published annually by longtime wrestling guru Brian Brakeman, ranks wrestlers across the state and is aimed at generating interest for the upcoming state tournament.
Last year the Brakeman report successfully predicted 30 of the 42 state champions. Eight more predicted state champions were runners-up while one was third and three finished lower than fourth.
In 2009, the Brakeman report correctly predicted 29 of the 42 state champions and in 2008 it selected 28 of the 42 champions correctly, so the report is considered one of the foremost guides for high school wrestling in Ohio.
Having four projected state placers is nice, but Brown and his team have no plans to rest on their laurels.
"We know we're not going to rest on that. We can't just say we're going to get it. We have to go out and earn it," Brown said.
Predicted as state placers in the Brakeman report for the Redskins are senior Border at 132, Zac Cline at 138, junior Kale Rayner at 170 and senior Tim Schenkel at 220.
Caldwell also has freshman Jaden Border ranked 20th at 106, sophomore Kameron Rayner 18th at 126, junior Jared Leasure 19th at 152 and junior Chance Stoffel 17th at 195.
Jeremy Border is certainly at the top of the list after finishing as the runner-up at 125 pounds a year ago.
"Border, the senior, is a three-time state placer finishing second to the otherworldly (Stephen) Myers last year after three easy wins. He won handily at Barnesville and he won't see too many challenges along the river," the Brakeman report says.
Jeremy Border's 2011-12 season hasn't exactly been the easiest.
Suffering a broken arm during football season, he needed some time at the start of the season to get into wrestling condition, but even then he has still been posting wins without fail.
"He just hasn't acted like it happened. He's just gone about his business how we normally do it," Brown praised.
The leadership of the elder Border has certainly helped the Redskins, who boast a quartet of seniors on the roster.
Three of those four seniors are predicted by the Brakeman to be on the podium this year.
Both Rayners, Jeremy Border, Schenkel, Cline, Stoffel and Leasure qualified for the district meet last season, further cementing their stock across the state as one of the best.
"It's nice for a small school like us to be able to accomplish those things," Brown said.
Cline is projected 8th by the Brakeman report, but could fare much better and is somewhat of a wild card according to the report.
"The key element may be the rapidly improving Cline who could score well on a hot weekend," the Brakeman report reads.
Like Cline, Schenkel is also projected to finish eighth in his weight class.
Schenkel was a state alternate in 2011 and is expected to surpass that this year as he is predicted to get on the podium. Schenkel could fare better than predicted as there are many question marks surrounding the top of the field in the 220 weight class due to injuries.
Kale Rayner, who qualified for the state tournament as a sophomore but lost both matches, is slated in seventh at 170. Rayner had a bad draw in 2011 as he had B.J. Toal of Troy Christian and Brandon O'Neill of Bellville Clear Fork back-to-back.
Though Caldwell has just 13 wrestlers they are able to fill 11 weight classes.
And the 11 grapplers on the mat have been exceptionally strong.
At the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference meet Jan. 19 to 21 the Redskins opened competition on the first night with 11 pins in 11 matches.
"They really do feed off each other in the (practice) room and actual competition when we're wrestling," Brown said.
Along with pushing each other to get better, the Redskins also get pushed by their competition.
Caldwell finished second to Parkersburg South in Pool A at the West Virginia Duels, and actually won five out of the 11 matches against the potent Patriots, who are the three-time defending AAA state champions in West Virginia. Ripley, which was third in AAA last year, also took part.
"That's why we go down there to the West Virginia Duels. It's a very good competition where they bring in schools like Ripley and we see South," Brown said.
That competition both in the practice room and on the mats has led Caldwell to becoming one of the most widely respected wrestling teams in Division III.
With four wrestlers projected for the podium and eight ranked by the Brakeman report, now they simply have to prove they're deserving.
"I think we have potential to put more than that on the podium. I think this could be a really good time for our program," Brown said.
The Redskins aren't the only team to have wrestlers recognized by the Brakeman report, but they do have far and away the most of the local schools.
Warren and Marietta each had a pair of wrestlers ranked in the Brakeman report while Morgan had one.
Marietta seniors Caleb Brown and Justin Hasley were both projected in the top 20 in the report, with Hasley ninth at 160 while Brown was 15th at 152.
"Brown has scored well for Marietta," the Brakeman report reads.
In front of Brown in the projected standings is Morgan senior Dirk Ponchak, whom the Brakeman report has predicted to finish eighth at 152.
"Ponchak won big at Nelsonville and has placement potential," the Brakeman says.
Hasley is Marietta's top-ranked wrestler, and has previously qualified for the Ohio state meet. Injuries have slowed him down this season, but he remains a legitimate contender for a spot on the podium in 2012.
"Hasley was also a state qualifier and is one of the best wrestlers that Marietta has produced in the past few years. He went "two and out" last year, but has podium potential," the Brakeman report says.
The Warriors have two wrestlers ranked in the top 20 in the Brakeman report, but none are projected in the top 10.
Warren senior Dustin Harlow is projected 11th at 182 while junior Cory Parsons is ranked 16th at 113.
Like Schenkel, Harlow was also a state alternate in 2011.
"An aggressive, scoring wrestler he should qualify this time," the report says.
Parsons is part of a trio of returning state qualifiers in the Goshen district, but the trio went 2-6 at state last year.
Lyle Plummer of Dayton Chaminade-Julienne and Brody Hooks of New Richmond join Parsons as state qualifiers out of the Goshen district.
"Parsons wrestles in a kind of out of the way area, but beat Plummer 13-5 at last year's districts and lost to (Beau) Minnick, 10-9 at state," the Brakeman report says.
While local schools have several wrestlers projected to fare well at state, the Brakeman report does not have any teams placing in the top 11.
The Redskins, which have eight grapplers in the report, are hoping they can surpass even the high expectations of the Brakeman.
"We definitely as a team have decided that we want to be on what they call the board, the top 10 at state," Brown said.