SECOND SEASON COLUMN 15

WHATS JUST AHEAD IS JUST WHATS BEHIND

After a triple header of tournaments/dual events that led the college wrestling season into 2019, we get…a duals tournament event. Not saying its a bad thing, but after 39 years you’d think the VA Duals would have a better grip on things like timing, event format, etc. Down from a 4 pool grouping of 3 to 4 teams each, this years 8-team winner v winner, loser v loser for 1st through 8th place seems a little anti-climactic. GREAT teams are present, sure, but after the Midlands will Arizona St. bring all their starters to defend their title? Will VA Tech win out with the divided squad they split between the Southern Scuffle and the Franklin and Marshall Open? The Scribes beloved UTC (GO MOCS!) and his newest hottest team Lock Haven are beaten and bruised more than a bit after a tough 2 days in Chattanooga mid last week. And, the bad part of using a blind draw gives us a Sun Devils-Oklahoma Sooners matchup in the first round. Oh well, its still D1 college wrestling, and that still falls on the all-good list somewhere between Shania Twain, bbq, Chattanooga and fried cheese curds. Maybe, in this case, JUST outside those curds. From up around Pike Lake, Wisconsin, BTW. Anyway, brackets for the Duals can be found on their site, and congrats to the folks from the Peninsula Wrestling Association. They’re continuing a multi day, multi division wrestling event for all ages and both sexes thats well run, reasonably priced, and competitive. One ESPECIALLY nice touch: near half price tickets for our incredible military men and women. Thank you, PWA! Miss the wonderful nomenclature from past years though. Poquoson River pool, we hardly knew ye.

BY THIS TIME LAST YR., WE KNEW…

That Penn St. and Ohio St. would battle 3 times, once in a dual, once for the Big 10 conference tournament title, and for the national championship.

That South Dakota St. was on a tear and that OK St. was on a slide.

That change was in the air at West Virginia and Indiana.

That nobody except Barry Alvarez knew that change was in the air at Wisconsin.

That Kyle Conel was back, all in, and that he’d seriously threaten for a podium spot.

That Kevin Dresser was not looking for investment opportunities in Charlottesville.

This year, at the halfway point, we see…

A full half season yet. There was/is/probably will be lots of talk, plans, talk of plans and more about a 1 semester season. If it’s on the horizon, the Scribe can’t see it from here…but

“Invisible! The blasted things invisible!”-Warren Stevens to Leslie Nielsen in “Forbidden Planet”, as the Id beast made its presence known if not seen. Just ’cause you can’t see it, doesn’t mean its not there…

D1 is still trying to escape zero sum growth status. Lose a Boise, gain a Fresno. Gain a Little Rock, lose an Eastern Michigan. Gary Abbott, a champion in the battle for wrestlings growth in every possible way, says 100 D1 teams is an achievable goal. Yes, but with or without the RTC (regional training center) concept?

That theres still a chance for an undefeated national champion at every weight class, and only 157 is minus an underclassman without a loss.

That Ok St is on a tear and South Dakota St…

That the Scribes beloved Mocs (UTC, baby!) are taking well to “The K.R. Initiative” (new coach Kyle Ruschells plans for short and long term success)

That Cornell and UNI need much better luck and/or better strength/conditioning programs.

That people better watch out for this years Wyoming Cowboys. And next years. 1 senior starter, 165lb star Brandon Ashworth, depth, and high profile recruits from all over headed to Laramie. GO WYO! Just watch the speed when you do. #politestticketwritersEVER

That Chris Bono, Jon Reader and company can motivate. And recruit. And coach. And outreach. And we knew this last year. Year before that, too. Do NOT miss Jump Around Mondays on the Wisconsin wrestling website.

That wrestling podcasts are popping up all over, and thats a GOOD thing. Examples: “Higher Ground”, Princeton, “The Coleman Scott Show”, North Carolina.

Enjoy this AMAZING 4 day weekend of wrestling duals [JERZEY, BABY] and see you next week, or maybe sooner!

Ted Carreras