“CALMATE, CALMATE, CALMATE, QUIERES LUCHAR HOY?”*
No, you do not want to wrestle today, you want to be wrestling on Saturday in Pittburgh. That means you have triumphed over the longest, toughest season in all of collegiate sports, and that you are an all-American wrestler. Literally millions of kids, whether they began rolling around on the front lawn, living room, gym, or club, are pared down to just a few thousand at the Division 1 collegiate level, and that select few see only 330 of their group make the season ending tournament. Then, 3 days of Hell and Heaven combined hurtle 80 towards their ultimate goal: a spot on the podium as one of the 8 best in the nation at their weight. The event has grown from something barely noticed and in the news, if at all, weeks later in passing, to a multi network 3 day extravaganza in front of millions of eyes and ears. There’s no bad way to enjoy the National championships, but there are less expensive ones. Such as a sports bar or restaurant with friends, food and drink, and a big screen and multiple outlets for your laptop. And maybe even some good barbecue.** Had a chance to look at advance ticket prices for the 2020 championships at a 60,000 seat football stadium. Saw some really good seats for about 1350 apiece. Thats 4 numbers with a comma in between the 1 and the 3. And a decimal point after the zero, but before taxes. Hmmm. A blue collar sport has evolved a white collar price tag that would leave a lot of wrestling fans budgets in the red. Thank goodness for sites like Intermat, TrackWrestling, Flowrestling, The Open Mat, and others, networks like ESPN and FOX, W.I.N. Magazine, and even the venerable NCAA itself. The Scribe is 100% Capitalist all day long, its just wished that more could afford to see the greatest show on Earth once, in person. At least we have the next best thing. Experience that amazing, wonderful, incredible, maddening, marvelous, heartbreaking, soul uplifting event this Thursday-Saturday, however you choose. CAN’T WAIT!!!
NEWS & NOTES LOOSE ENDS
There is no time! THERE IS NO TIME!!!***
The past few months, and especially the past few weeks, saw earnest effort by the Scribe to provide you with a reason or three to appreciate this seasons efforts by some of the lesser covered teams in the D1 wrestling world. The beautiful reality of a non-media life has simply taken away the time necessary to give some squads, pre Nationals, their just due. Que lastima, here are a brief few notes on some squads not yet noted….
NORTHERN ILLINOIS-The Huskies had a #worklikeadog year, facing teams from every conference but the ACC in an 18 dual meet, 3 tournament season. A just under .500 record in and out of conference was highlighted by multiple place winners at the Michigan St Open to start the season, two on the podium at the Midlands, and a duo headed to Nationals this weekend. RS freshman 174lb Brit Wilson is the bomb-diggity in the Huskies arsenal this year. 14 bonus point wins in his 25 victories on the season, and 3 of his 5 losses are to 2nd ranked Daniel Lewis of Missouri and Northern Iowas 8th ranked Taylor Lujan. Wilson and fellow RS freshman 125lb Bryce West will test the field in Pittsburgh starting Thursday. Coach Ryan Ludwigs squads streak of qualifying a wrestler, or 2, or 3, for Nationals got extended this year to a staggering 48 seasons in a row. The last time Northern Illinois DIDN’T have a wrestler competing at Nationals the Vietnam War was going on, per gallon prices for milk and gas were $1.18 and 36 cents****, respectively, and G. Gordon Liddy was exercising his commercial plumbers license.***** Multiple freshmen at Nationals and just 4 seniors leaving a 31 man roster show the youth movement is being served in DeKalb.
OLD DOMINION-The ODU Monarch MatCast, on The Mat TalkOnline Podcast Network. Hosted by 3X National Wrestling Broadcaster of the year Jason Bryant. An Old Dominion alumnus. Really no sense in saying anymore, Jason’s already said it better. Well, maybe just this little….ODU was a tough out, going 9-7 with a 1 point loss to Top 10 ranked NC St. and laying a 30-10 beatdown on Northwestern. 4th at the 16 team Navy Classic, minus 2 starters! 3rd out of 22 at the Reno Tournament of Champions. They hosted and finished 4th at the MAC Tournament with 4 finalists and a 2x champ, true sophomore 125lb Michael (thats MahKALE, please) McGee. That result might be seen as a let down after tying for 2nd in the regular season. Still, ODUs small in quantity, big in quality contingent should perform well in Pittsburgh. Placing? Hmmm. SHOUT OUT, 141lb (and, may we add, 2018 all-American) Sa’derian Perry, Lake Gibson, FL, 165lb Juwan Robinson, Allen, TX.
PENN-The Quakers are a unique squad, an old-school (and we mean OLD-SCHOOL) Ivy Leaguer in the rough and tumble E.I.W.A. They have a hard core cross street rival for Philadelphia wrestling affection in Drexel. Just across the River, budding powerhouses in Princeton and hard charging Rider. Oh, and theres that BIG10 squad close by. You know, that Top 15 Jersey State champion #RedTeamUpstream, Rutgers? To say nothing of just being in PA, the toughest wrestling state in the U.S. of A.^ Where there are Mountain Hawks and Eagles and Nittany Lions, oh my. Quakers give not a whit for these foolish concerns, Good Sir or Madam. They have the Roger Reina Class of ’84 Head Coach on their side. That would be Head Coach Roger Reina. No, not the son, THE MAN. Yeah, its like that at Penn where Roger is the once and future King of Penn Wrestling. He became the most successful coach in Quaker wrestling history after starting as their youngest ever head coach. Then Senior Associate Athletic Director. Now back for a second run at all things good in Penn wrestling. Which, to Reina and company, is one thing: excellence. And youth. LOTS of youth, as in 6 out of 10 starters being freshmen, the youngest team in their conference. 8 first year starters overall, and still Penn finished top 10 at the EIWAs. OK, 10th, but still. Now some Penn notes that truly warm the cockles of the Scribes heart (much like the Pinot Noir reviewed below) : SHOUT OUT: 149lb freshman E.I.W.A. Champion Anthony Artalona, Seffner, FL, Tampa Prep. The Scribe watched your Uncle Chris kick butt for powerhouse Brandon, FL HS as a finalist and two time placer before his career as a UTC Moc. SHOUT OUT, 141lb Grant Aronoff, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, St. Thomas Aquinas. And one final SHOUT OUT: to Brandon Slay, 2X Quaker AA, Director, the Penn Regional Training Center and Freestlye Olympic Gold Medalist, straight outta Amarillo, TX. Go ON with your bad self, you Tascosa HS Rebel, you!
WINE-DING DOWN WITH THE SCRIBE-2017 Meiomi Pinot Noir. Rating, 4.0 glasses, properly chilled to about 55 degrees. An extra half glass of rating points for the artificial stopper. #Savethecorktrees
*Benicio Del Toro asked this about death, not wrestling, in the shattering bridge scene from “Sicario”. Simply one of the truest films ever. EVER.
**there’s a place on Blanco Road in San Antonio where the briskets more on point than Brad Pitts spear in Troy. And there’s an outside big screen. Just sayin.
***Martin Sheen as General Robert E. Lee, dressing down Joseph Fuqua as Cavalry Commander Gen. J.E.B. Stuart, in “Gettysburg”.
****when did THIS ratio go so wrong?
*****read his book “WILL”. Powerful and startling.
^Knowable, measureable, and unarguable.
ITS MARCH MATNESS, BABY!!