SECOND SEASON COLUMN 16

Leading with some Jerzey love, Great grappling by and within the Commonwealth, and writers and sites you should get to know

N-J, UP, UP AND AWAY….YOU GOTTA PROBLEM WITH THAT?

Riders (NJ) EWL (Eastern Wrestling League) is probably the second toughest small D1 wrestling conference (the Scribes love of the SoCon is duly noted here, blinding but not blinded by if you get the drift). Coach John Hangeys Broncos took on their across the river rival Drexel out of Philadelphia and the E.I.W.A., dumping the Dragons 21-13. Especially satisfying was Jesse Dellavecchias win over Drexel stalwart Ebed Jarrell at 165. Rider caught a break at 197 when stud Dragon Stephen Loiseau stood down (still nursing an injury from a Southern Scuffle defeat by VTs Tom Sleigh, perhaps) but Rider made plenty of breaks of their own*. Next up was a downing of EWL rival Edinboro. The Scots travails since last season have been amply documented in earlier columns, and Rider showed their PA. foes no mercy in a 25-11 smackdown. Dellavecchia picked up another quality win, beating Edinboros Fritz Hoehn 6-4, and finishing with an EWL wrestler of the week award. A not realistically winnable dual vs. Iowa State is set for Thursday, and an away dual against Minnesota probably fills that same place on the won-loss scale. Still, from here it looks like the EWL crown comes down to either Rider or Lock Haven, with George Mason third.

When Princeton beat Rider 23-21 it was the second massive win for Coach Chris Ayres Tigers this season. As noted in Column 12 earlier this season there was that small matter of a win over Lehigh. And, adding to their 2018-19 portfolio were Princetons two, count em two, individual championships at the Midlands. #1 149lb Matt (MK Ultra) Kolodzik and #3 197lb Patrick Brucki earned Princetons first ever Midlands crowns. The Tigers matched tourney champ Iowa, powerful Northern Iowa (#panthertrain!) and Northwestern in having two champs each at college wrestlings oldest in season event. Catch Patricks interview on Ep. 2 of “Higher Ground”, the Tiger Wrestling podcast, BTW. Good stuff. Yes, Princeton had a tough time with OK St. this past weekend. News Flash-those guys from Stillwater are REALLY good at wrestling this yr. And every d@mn year except last yr. AND will be, barring any more injuries, Big 12 Champs and podium bound in Pittsburgh. Not really news this year. Just sayin.

Unfortunately for Jerzey wrestling fans, John Smiths Cowboys basically rode roughshod over the Garden State on their East Coast swing, shutting down Rutgers 26-5 Sunday after Saturday’s defeat of Princeton. It was more of an OK ST REALLY GOOD vs a Rutgers BAD, though a couple of matches that coulda/maybe shoulda gone the Scarlet Knights way just didnt. It was the second of two double tough duals for Coach Scott Goodales Rutgers squad, as the #redteamupstream took a thrilling 17-16 criteria win from Wisconsin on Friday. Attendance at the OK ST dual neared 8,000 as fans soaked in a rare top 10 non conference match, probably along with an adult beverage or three. And they were loud. Jerzey loud. It’s a good thing. Also good, Rutgers roster is well blended with only 3 senior starters. The big one, 149lb 6th yr and 3XAA Anthony #saltySchnaulty Ashnault, stayed unbeaten with a decision over fellow top 5 ranked Kaden Gfeller. Gfeller (DONT ask, the Scribe has read and heard more pronounciation variations of this fine young mans name than lines in a Groucho Marx-Margaret Dumont routine)** lost twice this weekend after a 19-0 start. Oh, you say, his road trip losses were to the #1 and #2 guys in the country? There is that little detail. Someone on a wrestling message board somewhere said Gfellers first name should have been Jolly. Good, eh?

VIRGINIA IS FOR LOVERS, PEANUTS, AND WRESTLING

Virginia Tech, Virginia, and Old Dominion all made the semis of the Virginia duals, with VT slamming UVA in the first ever all-Commonwealth championship match 37-5. The Hokies were dominant through all 3 rounds, finally hitting their stride with a full squad and a full head of steam into the ACC schedule. The author is still of the belief that all 6 ACC teams will finish top 25 at the Nationals, with a shot at top 20. H@ll of a change from just 10 years back when the conference, like the sport as a whole, seemed to be on life support. Now, Clemson football Coach Dabo Swinney, you know championship caliber when you see it. Coach, can we get you on board with some down South, East Coast Tiger Style wrasslin? I(d)PTAY for that, Coach. As to the Duals, Coach Lou Rosellis Oklahoma Sooners came back strong for a 3rd place win over Arizona State after the Sun Devils won a round one matchup with O-U before suffering the first of two consecutive upsets, to Virginia, in the semi finals. The Scribes beloved UTC (GO MOCS!!!) and his sneaky team-on-the-side Lock Haven looked like they just finished a brutally tough tournament last week. Suprise, suprise, each won just once but wrestled hard throughout to finish 6th and 7th respectively.

HIGH LEVEL INFOTAINMENT HERE, FOLKS

To be clear, the Scribe in no way can begin to list even a smidgen of the sights/sounds/sites that help bring our great sport to life every day across the land. Having said that, the following small list, to be added to in the future, notes some of THE most capable/knowledgeable/entertaining people/places on the Web….

Jason Bryant, Mat Talk Podcast Network-apparently bitten at a young age by the werewolves that ate Milo of Croton, 3XWBOTY Bryant churns out podcast after podcast, lists, data points, guides and more on a seemingly endless basis. His site is amazing for its breadth, depth, and just plain old school broadcast fun.

David Mirikitani, TrackWrestling-fanboyitis set in after the Scribes very first encounter with Mirikitani, a St. Louis based broadcaster/writer/reporter/coach/ who, along with fellow media stars Andy Hamilton, Alex Steen, et al, produce excellent work with “Weighing In”, “Mat Chat”, rankings presented by Resilite, “7 minutes” and straightforward fun.

Mark Palmer, Intermat-one of two locus points (along with former UTC coach Heath Eslinger) who helped reignite the Scribes 35 year buried love for the greatest sport, Palmer is the past master of features with an incredible range of subject matter.

See you next week!

Ted Carreras

*much Rider success this match may very well be attributable to the presence of the Scribes nephew, his fellow coaches, and their youth team.

**these two were hilarious, ask your parents