Second Season Column 9

A great first 30 days, a wild Vegas weekend, Countdown for Chatt-town, The boys from Bethlehem suffering so far, duals that did and didnt say much and The All Name team, 1st iteration…

WHOO-HOO barely cuts the mustard for a descriptive of the college wrestling seasons first 30 days, which culminated in an amazing CKLV Las Vegas tournament and some some scattered duals results, some significant, some not so. Lets look…

GULLO GULLO HAS IT GOIN’ ON

Utah Valley roared out of Orem apparently still p-o’d about last seasons late injury-laden collapse, and the Wolverines have been taking it out on everybody in biting distance. They took a chunk out of and put a big scare in perennial top 10 power Nebraska, dropped a double digit beat down on Rutgers, swept the NIU Duals and put 5 wrestlers on the podium at the CKLV. Only tourney champ Ohio St and 3rd place Nebraska had more medal winners from the 40+ team field. Go to last months archives from TheMat.coms Takedown TV for a brief, insightful interview with Wolverines head coach Gregg Williams, where he lays out UVUs growth and plans for success. Good stuff, #GangGreen!

BEATING A BADLY INJURED HORSE*

Peruse the college wrestling injury list so far this season. It’s not a combined M*A*S*H*/St. Elsewhere script idea roll call, but it’s close. Now add Clarions best hope for a high AA slot, Brock Zacherl, injury defaulting out of his last match at the CKLV. And who had Hayden Hidlay, NC States national finalist, being shut out by Larry Early of ODU? Yeah, right, not even Early.  Hidlay (and again, folks, its HIDE-lay) got tweaked at the U23 world championships, so he came in slightly off form. Doubt he’s better now. Oh, and 2x Iowa AA Mike Kemerer is done for the year. The Scribes semi-voluminous notes from an earlier column on the walking/limping wounded heading into and occuring in the seasons 1st month drives home a 3 headed point. Our sport is the TOUGHEST on soul, mind, and body. Here’s a stolen idea or three: go to the RUDIS wrestling website for Ben Askrens Mental Mondays and the ASK KOLAT podcasts for excellent viewpoints and advice on preparing the minds and souls of young athletes for what wrestling should and can be and, mostly, is. As to the body component: Kyle Dake, National Director of Wrestling Health/Functional Patterns has a nice ring,  don’t you think?

THE BIG 10 IS REALLY GOOD AT WRESTLING, A.K.A., VATICAN TRENDING CATHOLIC 2ND NOTICE

The Cliff Keen Las Vegas saw:

A Champ, Ohio St, from the Big 10

5 Big 10 teams finish in the top 10

14 of 20 finalists from the Big 10

All 10 wt class champs from…wait for it…the Big 10

The Big 10 is the hold my beer conference of wrestling, and, while the EIWA, the Big 12, and the ACC, among others, are getting some sips, nobodys knocking it back like the big boys. Credit to whats brewing (c’mon, you saw that coming) in places like Raleigh, Cedar Falls, Cheyenne, Ithaca, et al, through various time frames, the point of view is still a large hairy posterior attached to a furry, fast, furious four legged force. With a number 10 tatooed on both cheeks.

A DUAL THAT ENDED UP NOT MEANING MUCH

Speaking of big and hairy, PSU Nittany Lions 42, Bucknell 3. At newly modernized Sojka Pavilion, home of the Bison. In front of over 4200 fans, biggest home crowd ever for Bison wrestling. The second and third sentences are wonderful things. The first, not so much.

A DUAL THAT MEANS SOMETHING NOW, MAYBE MORE LATER

Ohio University 26, Appalachian St 15. The 2nd disturbing defeat dropped on Coach JohnMark Bentleys Mountaineers, with a now awake and angry Pack from NC St. coming to Boone. Soon. Sad. Come on, SoCon, you’re better than this. We know/think/hope. Circle the most appropriate answer.

42 IS FOR PSU, OR, YOU ONLY HURT…WHEN THE ONE YOU LOVE GETS BLANKED

The Scribe has freely and openly admitted admiration/bias/concern/devotion/enthusiasm/feelings (continue through z, any positive word applies) for The Lehigh Mountain Hawks and the UT-Chattanooga Mocs. It is what it is, and so far this season it’s been tough. in Lehighs case, its a schedule the Marquis De Sade turned down due to its depravity. The most recent set of numbers for Pat Santoros Bethlehem, PA based matmen: O-3, 6 of 10 starters out, short or long term, and 0-42. As in the shutout beatdown defending National champ Penn State laid on Lehigh this past week. Whats next? You had to ask. Iowa, North Carolina, Missouri, Minnesota, Cornell, Arizona State, VA Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State….yeah, they scheduled that. Goodness, even Bucknells a challenge now. After all, the Bison won a match against PSU. One. One more than, well, you get it. OUCH. The Scribes love for Lehigh will never fade, but so far this season its a painful one. As to the Southern passion of this website, new UT-C mentor Kyle Ruschells plan is 90 degrees different, with no difficult duals. In fact, no duals at all till this months 3rd week.  Its been a slow, steady climb in placements and progress for the Mocs from the Hokie Open to the Wolfpack Open to this past weekends Cougar Clash hosted by SIUE. 9 Mocs placed in the top 6, highlighted by the lower weights 3 straight silvers from  Fabian Gutierrez, 125, Jake Huffine, 133, and Chris Debien at 141. Last season UTCs upperweights carried the load through the post season. This year its looking like the script has flipped.

-SHAMELESS FANPLUG ALERT-

You’ll flip for the fun, the food, and the festivities at the 2019 Southern Scuffle Jan 1st-2nd in beautiful downtown Chattanooga! Dozens of teams, All Americans, restaurants, coffee shops, historic sights and so much more in the Scenic City. Its a sweet Southern start to anyones New Year.

ANNOUNCING THE 1ST, SEMI COMPLETE, FULLY OPTIMIZED,  ALL NAME TEAM, DIVISION 1 WRESTLING

125  Rayvon Foley, Michigan St/ Arick Shankles, Edinboro/Audey Ashkar, Binghamton/Perez Perez, Iowa/Iowa

133. Trevon Majette, Old Dominion/Tucker Sjomeling, Nebraska/Yoshihito Funakoshi, Cal Poly

141. Yianni Diakomihalis, Cornell

149. Requir Van Der Merwe, Stanford, defeats Sa’Derrian Perry, Old Dominion, Syllables 6-6/SV Vowels/Consonants 7/10 to 5/9 (Honorable mention: Morgan Fuenffinger, Navy, Brock Zacherl, Clarion, Kalani Tonge, CSU-B, Jeren Glosser, Iowa

157 Padraig Lupole, Binghamton/Angel Najar, App. St.

165 Brawley Lamer, Cal Poly, Colston DiBlasi, George Mason

174 Zahid Valencia, Arizona State

184 Prince Hyeamang, American/Shwan Shadaia, Michigan St

197 Sawyer Root, the Citadel/Casey Jumps, Air Force/Essshape Boatwright, Navy (only 1 of these is fake)

285 Odgerel Batkhishig, Campbell

 

*NO HORSES (OR CAMELS) WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF THIS COLUMN

See you next week!

Ted Carreras

 

 

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Season 2 Column 8

Thank you, Cliff, for the Keenness,  a little Chattanooga chatter, and some other stuff…..

The Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational takes place today and Saturday, with over 40 teams from around the nation descending on Sin City for the first mega-event of the 2018 college wrestling season. Stories abound, but the lifestory of the tournaments namesake is hard to top.

Cliff Keen was born in Oklahoma near the turn of the century before last, an all around scholar athlete with a lifelong unrequited passion for the law and its practice and near unmatched skill on the mat. Amazed that a much smaller wrestler defeated him while working out he bent his considerable will towards our sport for the rest of his life and we are all the better for it. Everything from specific moves to equipment to clothing, practices, and of course even tournaments bear his name and uphold his legacy. His tenure as coach of Michigans wrestling team was the longest of ANY coach of ANY sport at ANY university EVER. Capitals the Scribes, and warranted. He made an Olympic team, coached championship teams and individuals at every level, battled hatred as a Naval commander in WWII, and somehow never got around to opening that law practice. Thank goodness for that and thank God for Cliff Keen!

NEWS, NOTES AND JFF (Just for fun) STUFF

Nearly 30 All Americans are competing at the tournament with 5 at 133 lbs and 6 entered at 184. Ohio State, the 2X defending champ, will face stiff tests from conference foe Michigan and 6X MAC champion Missouri.  Rutgers comes in 5-1, and the Scarlet Knights, #Redteamupstream, are legit threats to have multiple champs. Sneaky-good North Carolina and Northwestern will both put multiple men on the podium. Cornell, Nebraska, VA Tech, and the Scribes beloved far west powers Wyoming, Utah Valley, and North Dakota State will suprise only if they don’t take home medals, plural.  Good for them. How about some other folks who deserve notice? Glad you asked. An alphabetical semi inclusive log of some of those “other” teams follows.

American University-the Eagles had their best ever CKLV last year and Josh Terao, 133, and Michael Sprague, 149, both placers, return. Terao hasn’t wrestled yet this season but Sprague has placed at tournaments  twice so far. Add 2017 national championship qualifier Gage Curry at 125 and new Eagle, JUCO national champ Tanner Harvey at 184, plus promising young heavyweight Niko Camacho, and A-U, if Terao wrestles, is a lock for top 20.

Binghamton-Brother, Brother is the Bears theme, with 1st year Head Coach Kyle Borshoff and his brother, Associate Head Coach Jasen Borshoff, lead a NY-state born, bred and proud team (28 out of 32 wrestlers hail from the Empire State). Among their athletes, the talented starting trio of Vincent, Lou, and Anthony Deprez. The Brothers D and 125lb star Audey Ashkar #EmbracetheGreen, for sure, and have a shot at 3 of them placing. Audey has Bearkat bragging rights for the college season so far, taking the title at Binghamtons own prestigious opening event, the Jonathan Kaloust BearKat Open. A belated congrats to Binghamton for their highly successful 50 year celebration of wrestling, and a tip of the headgear to one of the TRGLOW, True Real Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, Sidney Harbaugh, for all Bearkat-centric information.

Brown-the Bears bring several years of positive growth under Coach Todd Beckermans tutelage, and several deep growls of warning from 165lb star Jonathan Viruet and the wonderfully named Ian Butterbrodt at heavyweight. Viruet is quietly lethal, copping two tournament titles so far this season. Brown promoted Matt Meuleners to the Head Assistant Coach position and added former Lehigh assistant/NC St All American Darius Little to the staff in the offseason. Toss in former Bucknell and OK St wrestler Austin Miller, fresh from a stint at the Buffalo Valley Regional Training Center, as the Volunteer Assistant, and Brown is bearing down on continued success. Quite the varied roster, BTW, with 11 states and a foreign country represented. As always, SHOUT OUT to grapplers from the Scribes adopted states: Bryce Rogers, Orlando FL, Lake Highland Prep, and Noah Sims, Frisco, TX, Centennial.

Cal Poly-Coach Jon Sioredas (Chattanooga ’05, just sayin, ALWAYS sayin) and the #RideHigh Mustangs are in the middle of a 6 tournaments in 8 weeks run. LOTS of youngsters getting a thorough introduction to the rigors of D1 wrestling. Two of a few seasoned stars, Yoshihito Funakoshi, 133, and double-tough Tom Lane, 197, have had some modest success so far, with Funakoshi placing twice with 1 tournament title. Good, past: the Mustangs have placed twice in the top 8, nationwide, in the NCAAs A.P.R. (Academic Progress Rate). Good, present: multiple tournament placings throughout the lineup in an up from ground level season. Good, future: a 10 man recruiting class with 4 top 100 stars and 9 out of 10 being home grown CA talent. GO ON, COACH JON! And BTW, its J-O-(no h, please) N  Suh-REE-dus. Thank you.

Cal Baptist-They’re in their 1st year in D1 but the Lancers are no strangers to the top level of competition. They caught Cal Poly looking ahead and snatched a double digit win from the Mustangs earlier this season. CBU boasts an 11 state, 1 foreign country (sort of, its Guam) roster. SHOUT OUT, Slater Johnson, Amarillo TX, Tascosa, high school of Olympic Gold medalist Brandon Slay, BTW. CBUs coaching staff is primo, also, Head Coach Lenny Zalesky, 3X AA, Iowa, Mike Mena, 4X AA, Iowa, top assistant Derek Moore, AA, national champion, UC-Davis. Moores a 6 year Army vet, Field Artillery Officer, former member, WCAP (The militaries World Class Athlete Program) with his UC Davis undergrad degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology! Mena was the first 4x undefeated state champ in Illinois illustrious hs wrestling history. Zaleskys Indiana University masters degree: Slavic Linguistics and Literature.  The Cal Baptist program: #reallygoodatwrestling,#reallygoodatsmart,#reallygoodatlife.

Cal. St. Bakersfield-the Roadrunners and 3rd year Head Coach Manny Rivera (a former team captain and All American for Minnesota) have had a middling season so far, winning and losing where expected. RS Sr Sean Nickells 2nd place showing at 133 at their own Roadrunner Open was a bit of a downer, after making the finals as a two time champ. Nickell and RS Sophomore Russell Rohlfing, 141, received pre seeds for the CKLV. CSU-B beefed up their coaching staff this offseason with the addition of accomplished hvwt. mentor Chad Hanke, a former Oregon State star. What to expect from the Roadrunners at the CKLV? Some wins, more losses, maybe a placer and hopefully a healthy exit.

Central Michigan-Tom Borrellis Chippewas are one of the enigmas of this wrestling season. As noted by many, including the Scribe, NO team has had more defections over the past 2 years then the men from Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. ‘NUFF SAID about that (miss you, Stan Lee!) as CMU, with no chance to equal last years showing, brings only 2 upper class starters to one of the countries toughest events. Realistically, only Soph. star Hvwt. and Scribe favorite Matt Stencel has a legit shot at finishing top 6. With Michigan always being Michigan, Michigan State improving, and with national power Missouri showing NO sign of relinquishing the MAC crown, CMU perhaps needs to look further beyond its borders for improvement, short and long term.

The Citadel-a non-power from the Scribes beloved Southern Conference, the military matmen from Charleston are out of their league in more ways than one here. Expect a quick exit, as upperweights Sawyer Root, 197, and Michael McAleavy, Hvt, having shots at a win or two based only on where they are in the brackets. Coach Rob Hjerling, 22 years in, has seen a steady downward trend for some time. The good news: new assistant coach Cody Cleveland should bring some fire to the wrestling room and the recruiting trail. And he has the excellent taste to be owned by an Australian Shepherd. OK, its a mini, but still. The bad news: the Southern Conference continues to improve rapidly, and Coach Hjerling is entering his 22nd year. Shades of Tom Minkel and Duane Goldman. Come back and help coach, Aaron Walker and Turtotogh Luvsandorjh. Please. SHOUT OUT TO TX: Timothy Gillette, El Paso Franklin, Kyle Kletzer, League City. SHOUT OUT TO FL: Sawyer Root, St. Cloud, Harmony, Brennan Hunt, Jupiter, Michael Lopouchanski, Hollywood, Cardinal Gibbons.

Campbell-exhibit A of the Southern Conferences rise in respectabilty is the little (in name recognition, changing rapidly) BIG (in coach cachet, world level tactician and tough guy Cary Kolat, roster size, 40 plus, facilities, check em on line) team from Buies Creek, North Carolina. Yes, they are the Camels. Yes, #RollHumps is a thing. Yes, they will win lots of matches and put people, not person, on the podium, here AND at the Southern Scuffle [Jan 1st-2nd in beautiful, hospitable, reasonable Chattanooga-y’all come!] AND at the Southern Conference Tournament. At the NCAAs? We will see. What you’ll see in Vegas this weekend is a very well coached, conditioned, confident group with self belief born of skills and earned past success. Count the Camels out of the national conversation at your ignorance, or your peril. Your choice. SHOUT OUT to: Quentin Perez, Arlington, TX, Cole Maddox, Marianna, FL, Troy Nation, Land O’ Lakes, Tampa Prep, John Weiss, Ft. Lauderdale, St. Thomas Aquinas. The high school where Missouri HC Brian Smith won his 2nd FHSAA title. And the Scribe saw him do it. And saw his title win for Oviedo, too. Have the VHS tape to prove it. Have the VHS tapes to prove LOTS of things. That’s a different column.

Clarion-the small school from the small PA town of the same name has big aspirations for this season, with enough better than average D1 talent to pull it off. Defining “it” for the Golden Eagles will hinge on near absolute health all season long for their top guns, Tyshawn White, 125, Ty Bagoly, 184, Greg Bulsak, 197, and top 10 ranked, undefeated Brock Zacherl, 149. Toss in a little of Head Coach Keith Ferraros sleight of hand, and good work from his fine staff, and Clarion will again challenge for a title at the EWL tournament. At the CKLV, not quite. Zacherl on the podium, Bulsak to follow, and some quality wins from the rest of the crew sounds right. After all, this IS the alma mater of one of the Gods of American wrestling, Wade Schalles. If you did not know this to be so, ask him. He will be glad to tell you. And rightfully so. And accurately so. And then he will pin you. SHOUT OUT, Max Wohlabaugh, Winter Springs, FL

Drexel-the Dragons call Philadelphia their home and a consistent top 20 national finish their target. After all, with a premiere shared RTC (Regional Training Center, the MUST HAVE accessory these days for every team aspiring to greatness), a fantastic work program that pairs Drexel students with internships and job opportunities, and West Coast rooted, Midwest polished, Internationally tested coach Matt Azevedo, the Dragons are doing brave things.  A bold prediction for their showing this weekend would say Sr stars Hvt Joey Goodhart and 197lb Stephen Loiseau make the podium with Ebed Jarrell and another Dragon or two with some quality Ws. Lets be bold. BTW, Azevedo is 8 yrs in after replacing the 35 year legend of Drexel wrestling, Jack Childs. As ANY coach of ANY sport will tell you, replacing the guy who replaced the legend is the easier route. Azevedo and crew, apparently, are unaware of easy. Good for them. Speaking of good, Drexels GPA, 8th best in the country last year. That’s All Anerican status, too. SHOUT OUT, Dakota Greene, Brandon, FL. The Eagles held the record for the longest winning streak of any hs sports team. ESPN documented this, BTW…

SOME RANDOM QUICK HITS

Illinois and Northern Iowa would be cinches for top 15 finishes, but come in too banged up and bruised up to show out. Oklahoma, Virginia, and Purdue have a great chance this weekend to show they’re closer to whats expected of them than whats been seen so far. Pittsburgh, Navy, Hofstra, Stanford, Fresno State, Air Force, Oregon State, and Duke each have one or two high quality folks, but not enough depth to challenge for high placement. Harvard, Western Wyoming, Nebraska-Kearney, North Idaho, and Highline College are at the tournament, tough to say more than that.

So, there you have it, a thumbnail sketch of The Cliff Keen Las Vegas  College wrestling tournament, from a far away fans eye view. If you’re there, enjoy! If not, enjoy the story, or both, if you’d like.

See you next week!

Ted Carreras

 

 

Season 2 Column 7

A mission for Mr. Clark and Co.

There is a school you do not know, but should. It’s one of the newest 4 year institutions based in one of the oldest faiths and reaping new found rewards in one of the oldest sports. It boasts big time mentors from big time conferences with big time resumes. Read: 3 men, 12 NCAA appearances, with multiple AA status. A full 40 man roster from 10 states and a familiar foreign country (IS RUSSIA, Vy udivleny?) Know who they are yet? No, you do not. S’ok. Its motto: Inspiring Minds, Unleashing Hearts. Its head coach, sharing the same name and mantra as the deadliest Tom Clancy character ever, is 2 years into a complete reconstruction job. Maybe their hashtag should be #doubletaps/doubleunderhooks. OK, maybe a bit much for a good Catholic school with good wrestlers getting better and good coaches with great personal stories and skills to match. Fairfield, Connecticut is where you’ll find Sacred Heart University and, if this season ended today for them, it would be their most successful one in years. Hint: it won’t, and the Pioneers wont stop until they’ve established themselves as THE wrestling power of New England. Hear that, B-U and BC? Shots fired at your heritage. Wait, that’s right, you’re already dead. Sacred Heart is beating strong and getting stronger every day. Witness their  wins at the Princeton Open, where Ryan Burns, Gerard Daly, and Patrick O’Donell all secured victories for the Pioneers. Daly repeated his success 2 weeks later at the Keystone Classic, where his teammates Mark Blokh, Anthony Falbo, Brandon Levesque, and Will Schmidt shared victories. Sandwiched in between these two showings was a stellar effort at  the Journeymen Classic where the Pioneers won two of three duals on the day. Sacred Heart beat  Bloomsburg from the EWL and a Socon foe, The Citadel. So, where from here for the Pioneers? With coaches John Clark (Ohio St), Braden Atwood (Purdue) and newly named assistant coach Jon Fausey (Virginia) and a geographic region all to themselves, Sacred Heart is taking strong, positive steps on the road to wrestling relevance.

 

 

Second Season Column 6

Carolina goes (Pod) Casting, Why the Cliff Keen Weekend, AWL, USA overperforms at U23s, multi-year matchups hot out the box, and an OO-RAH mat message…..

The ACC schools intense competition is flooding the national rankings, and now it’s spilling over to the broadcasting world. 3x National Wrestling Broadcaster of the Year (forever shortened to 3XNWBOTY) Jason Bryant led the way, as per usual, with his now 5 years young Inside VA Tech Wrestling. NC St Head Coach Pat Popolizio followed suit with Pack Mentality Pop ins, Brian Reinhardt hosting. BTW, the excellent online media guide for the Wolfpack bears his signature. Muy bueno, senor Brian! And now the Scribe has found and is enjoying the Coleman Scott show. Two episodes in, it’s a tight, clean, one on one approach, about 20 or so minutes in length, featuring Joe Weider (no, not him, the Master Blaster is 5 years gone, R.I.P.), Coach Scott, and some hard to find honesty in between all the coachspeak. Bonafide AA hvwt  candidate Corey Gilliland-Daniel was the first guest, highlighting episode 2. BTW, the Tar Heels have a good shot to enter the South Beach Duals Dec 29-30th tested AND unbeaten. In fact, the Scribe is of the belief Appalachian St poses a greater challenge to the Tar Heels than Coach Mark Mannings currently confused and off form Cornhuskers squad. And, Nebraska has to come to Chapel Hill. More on the marvelous Mountaineers from Boone, NC, at a later date. Suffice to say App St is the team to beat in the SoCon again this year, and not many will.

TIMING IS EVERYTHING, AND THE A.W.L. NEEDS A NEW CALENDAR

1. The AWL, American Wrestling League, is the newest, latest, shiniest iteration of real for pay wrestling in the U.S.

2  So far the number of these leagues formulating and maintaining success is exactly equal to the number of times the Scribe has gone the distance with Sergei Beloglazov. IS RUSSIA; said with heavy accent and not even a shrug.

3. Said shiny new hopeful league settles on Nov. 30th as its inaugural night of competition, hoopla, and hoped for successful start.

4. Said date is exactly the same date that the largest, 2nd oldest, and HIGHLY well established college wrestling tournament, begins its 37th appearance.

5.???@!#$%*???

6. CKLV, Cliff Keen, Las Vegas AWLCR  American Wrestling League, Cedar Rapids (Iowa). Now, even to the most ardent wrestling fan, let alone your average hard core sports fan (your best hope for growing interest in this sport) what sounds like more fun? Just for the record, the Scribe LOVES Iowa. Its purity, honesty, strength, teams, coaches, wrestlers, past, present, and future, its food, its drink, its women…the latter past tense, but still applicable…BUT…

7. Why, A.W.L., why?

THE GOLDEN AGE OF AMERICAN WRESTLING

Is right now, baby, and how sweet it is. The latest super-good showing by Team “US” happened in Bucharest, Romania, where a boatload of young studs and studettes served notice they too, are a force to reckoned with. Fine showings and fine metal were accumulated in abundance. Better still, all but two of the mens squad now transitions back to college action. Colton McChrystal has exhausted his eligibility while Virginias Jack Mueller is redshirting this year for 2 more shots at NCAA greatness.  However, those competing this season: David Mcfadden, VA Tech, Hayden Hidlay and Sean Fausz, NC St, Youssif Hemida, Maryland (what were we saying about the ACC?) Ohio States Kollin Moore and Myles Martin, Purdues Christian Brunner, Buffalos Alex Smythe…CAN’T WAIT! As to our amazing women, Korihane Bullock and Alex Glaude brought home precious metal and even more glory for the burgeoning USA womens wrestling program. There’s really only 1 thing to say…USA! USA! USA!

“BE SEEING YOU”, SAID #6…AND 7, AND 8, AND….

With all due respect to the late, great TV show “The Prisoner” (the 1960s classic, NOT that garbage modern remake) it’s good to see someone, matside at least, again and again. Career long rivalries at high levels make this great sport even more exciting. The renewed for next year multiple showdown set between Jack Mueller and the human buzzsaw, Iowas Austin DeSanto. Add Tariq Wilson of NC St. and Montorie Bridges of Wyoming for another bunch of top ranked matchups at 133 lbs. for seasons to come. The now 3 year running rivalry at 174 lbs between nat. champs Mark Hall of Penn St. and Zahid Valencia of Arizona St. The burgeoning (goodness, theres that word again) hvt. round robin between Gable Steveson of Minnesota, Chase Singletary of Ohio St., Mason Parris of Michigan, and Tony Cassioppi of Iowa, conference foes due to bang heads for at least 3 years running. 157 lbs has already given us a years worth of amazing clashes between Hayden Hidlay (thats HIDE-lay, BTW) of NC St and Kennedy Monday of UNC. The Scribe is especially juiced for this potential 4 year long series between the Wolfpacks national finalist and the Tar Heels uber talented middleweight. Mondays from Texas, just sayin, and his father is 3x Olympian, Gold Medalist, Kenny “Puma” Monday. These showdowns and others like them are the wrestling gifts that just keep on giving.

“NEVER SACRIFICE THE THRILLS OF LIVING FOR THE SECURITY OF EXISTENCE”…

Reads the tatoo on the massive arms of Sgt. John Stefonowicz of the All Marine wrestling team. He and the rest of the USMCs tip of the spear squad compete in the Greco Roman style for the training aspects, the conditioning, the honor, and because they’re just a bunch of bad men who can. Stefonowicz and 2nd Lt. Jamel Johnson perfectly explain the fighting spirit of these amazing warrior-athletes in Sgt. Timothy Smithers 4 minute video doc. Catch it on line and you’ll want to drop and give yourself 20. Or, as the video quotes Socrates…”By Zeus, I swear an outstanding runner cannot be the equal of an average wrestler.”

See you next week!

Ted Carreras

 

 

 

 

Second Season Column 5

Devils are blessed, an injury bug infestation, JerzeyBoyz take a tumble, and “HERE COMES THE INCREDIBLE HULK”….*

The hits keep a comin for Coach Zeke Jones and his Arizona State Sun Devils. That team from Tempe is picking up top recruits left and right and seems poised to become the epicenter of West Coast wrestling. With the PAC 12 sitting on the edge of conference status loss ASU will become one of two things: the anchor to a revitalization of the sport for an entire geographic area, or  a jewel to be plucked for the Big 12s coast to coast crown. The former will need more than Cal Baptist going D1 and a second Pacific Northwest team (looking at you,  Wazzou and U-Dub). The latter already has a viable model. Troy Steiners Fresno State Bulldogs put 4,000+ in the stands this season…..FOR THEIR WRESTLE-OFFS! As a Big 12 team. So, what happens? Do the Devils set up shop atop a reconfigured PAC 12 or will they have conference showdowns with the likes of  Oklahoma St, Northern Iowa and West Virginia? Must be nice to be so widely wanted….

OUCH, THAT HURTS

John J. Chavez and Ben Darmstadt, Cornell.  Scotty Parker, Ian Brown,  and Connor Schram, Lehigh. Kyle Conel, Kent State. Jacob Warner and Michael Kemerer, Iowa. Stefan Micic, Michigan. Connor Brown, Martin Mueller, and Seth Gross, S. Dakota St. Taylor Lamont, Utah Valley. Boo Llewallen, Oklahoma State. Jacob Holschlag, Northern Iowa. There’s more. Injuries are a driving factor in the push towards a one semester college wrestling season, and 2018 so far has been a munitions factory for those seeking ammo for calendar adjustments.

DOWN GOES RUTGERS/DOWN GOES PRINCETON!*

*OK, we expected one of these. Not even the most hardened Jerzey expat (San Antonio by way of Monmouth Junction, BTW) would have picked Chris Ayres young, hungry Tigers to walk out of Carver-Hawkeye Arena with a W, and they didn’t. 31-10, Iowa, was the final, and while Princeton should be unsatisfied with the result, they can take some pride in the effort. Not so much for a Rutgers squad that has legit expectations for a top ten finish, multiple AAs, and a pair of national championship contenders. The Scribe has loved UVU for a while, BUT….minus their top gun, and 2 time zones out of place, the Wolverines had no business beating a top BIG10 team and a top Big 12 team on the same day. And they damn near did. Utah Valley 15, Nebraska 19, and it WAS that close. Utah Valley 25, Rutgers 14 and it wasn’t that close, as #GangGreen, straight outta Orem, Utah, took 6 straight matches from  R-U to win by double digits.

*A MAR-VEL-OUS SING ALONG

You know the tune, the words have been changed to protect the copyright…

Gable Steveson,

Bolstered by training days,

Changed into the…..

OK, so maybe he wont become the unstoppable Green rage monster after all, but something big is going to happen when Minnesotas Gable Steveson gets his redshirt pulled this weekend, just in time to face #3 ranked Derek White of Oklahoma St. All sorts of experts have predicted all sorts of lofty results for the true freshman, from AA status lock to National Champion. Lets see if White, the unbeaten Cowboy heavy, is going to be an Abominable matchup for Gable. And on that note, the Scribe will just say thank you, Stan Lee, for everything, and Excelsior!

WhatEVER happened/is happening to….

Mr. Headlock and the Coaches pronounciation guide?

Bo Nickals Salon 21 Commercials?

Matt Kolodziks disrespected status?

David Mirikitani as “The Bachelor?”

The AWLs sense of timing?

Austin Meyers sense of relief?

Anthony Robles and Chris Bonos

Pullup challenge?

“The REAL True Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling Calendar”, with Julia Salata, Leah Howard, Adeline Gray, Michelle Van Dorn, Tamyra Mensah-Stock, Sidney Harbaugh, Helen Maroulis, and featuring a Jason “Burt Reynolds” Taylor foldout centerfold?

YO, MAMA…..

See you sometime soon!

Ted Carreras

 

Second Season Column 4

The Taping of Pelham 1 2 3

Young Mr. Pelham is a fine student athlete toiling for Tom Borellis CMU Chippewas (yes, CHIPPEWAS, Goodness, we love that) The powerful 197 sophomore starter for the Chips walked us through a video tour of the impressive facilities in Mt. Pleasant extolling all the virtues of student athleticism there.  We think, as the Scribe and other fans of CMU, Coach B, his team, and the MAC in particular, were asleep by the third minute. The monotonic delivery of young Mr. Pelhams earnest infomercial cried out for mass media assistance and had the scribe wondering was the Exodus from the 11 time MAC Champions program a sign of ennui? We KNOW its not the town, the conference, the coaching, right, money? Is it money? Probably not that either.  Truth be told, what has shaken and reshaped the totality of the MAC wrestling world for both better and worse can be summed up in two words:

BRIAN SMITH. The uber coach/recruiter removed the Missouri Tigers flag from the failing heart of a four team Big 12 and jammed it directly into the most powerful MAC muscle going. Since then, its been tough going for Coach Tom and all the rest of the MAC masters. Missouri is only getting better, the MAC MUST follow suit. This seasons early results, unfortunately, so far indicate otherwise. Keep watching.

ONLY 45 DAYS TILL THE

2019 SOUTHERN SCUFFLE

IN BEAUTIFUL DOWNTOWN CHATTANOOGA!

More at a later date!

Ted Carreras

 

 

 

2nd Season Column 3 Correction

The Scribe accidentally attributed SIUE success to NIUs excellent program, saying Jake Residoris AA campaign in 2017 was a Huskie thing. Jake won the SoCon title and split matches at the 2017 NCAAs with OK St AA and budding MMA star Kyle Krutchmer, with Jake finishing on the podium in 8th place. For SIUE. Not NIU. The Cougars. Not the Huskies. Whoops.

Mea Culpa,Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa. Knew that Latin would come in handy.

Incorrectly (somewhat) but enthusiastically (fully) yours,

Ted Carreras