SEASON 5, COLUMN 14: STAFFS, ROSTERS SETTLING IN; ALL OVER-LOOKED AND UNDER-RATED TEAM, 184LBS; WORLD TEAM TRIALS TEASE; AND SO COOL, SO HOT, SOCON

GETTING A GRIP ON THIS YEARS GROUP OF GRAPPLERS, GUIDES & GOINGS-ON

ARMY WEST POINT 2O21-2022

•11/14 @ Journeyman Tournament

•11/18 @ Penn State

•11/26 @ Iowa State

•11/28 @ Cyclone Open

•12/10 @ Rutgers

•12/29-30 @ Midlands Tournament

•1/7/2022 @ David H. Lehman Franklin and Marshall Open

•1/15 @ Cornell

•1/29 @ Bucknell

•2/6 Lehigh

•2/18 @ Navy STAR Match

34 men, Army strong, are ready to roll with easily one of the Nations toughest slates. The Cadets, in a scheduling oddity, have exactly the same number of home visits as a dead man. How this happened is anybodys best guess. Treasure that Lehigh match, Army, because its the only time the crowd will be fully behind you all year. Not that the Black Knights ever cared about cheering. Army always does its best work on the road, anyway. Leading the warriors will be seven of the ten men who “Marched” into the post season (1) last year. Only 141lb Lane Peters, 184lb Logan Brown and excellent heavyweight Bobby Heald have moved on and into their real, really dangerous World keeping our World safe. Last year seven of Armys ten post season stars matched or exceeded expectations at the E.I.W.A. Tournament. They set their all time Conference points record as well. They earned their second straight third place team medal. All of which still left a slightly sour aftertaste as Army lost the STAR Match versus Navy for the first time in five years and finished, well, poorly at NCAAs. Head Coach Kevin Ward successfully reset his staff in the off season bringing in Scott Green and Jesse Delavecchia to tune up the recruiting and the recruits. That group along with Associate Head Wrestling Coach Joe DeAngelo will go to the mats with 3 senior standouts. 149lb P. J. Ogunsanya, 157lb Markus Hartman and 197lb J.T. Brown have hit the post season ten times between them. This years competitions will be overloaded with fifth, sixth, and even a seventh year senior or two scattered across the country. Ogunsanya, Hartman and Brown will all be battling in weight classes chock full of All Americans where five of six 2021 National finalists return. Tough to see more than one of the Cadets making the podium, tougher to not see all three make a serious run through the whole post-season. Ditto for 174lb Ben Pasiuk, an E.I.W.A. champ as a freshman last year. 141lb Logan Brown [SHOUT OUT, Allen, TX Eagles] picked up some big wins early last season before 2021 senior star Lane Peters redeployed to the position. Brown faces competition this season from a former two year 141lb starter. Corey Shie was 40-24, placing at E.I.W.A.s. in both 2019 and 2020. He’s listed at 141 again this season after wrestling at 149 a few times last year. In fact it looks like there’s some real battles at two of the three lower weights for West Point. There’s just one registered 125lber, though, junior Ryan Chauvin. Chauvin [SHOUT OUT, Orlando, FL Lake Highland Prep] is hunting his first winning season in three campaigns after an 8th place finish at last years E.I.W.A.s. To be fair a break even campaign at this weight, this year, in the E.I.W.A. Conference will likely produce a really high overall winning percentage and a guaranteed trip to Nationals. Five E.I.W.A. 125lb competitors are ranked in the preseason. Obviously Chauvin isn’t one of them, but opportunites to prove you belong amongst that group will be plentiful. Rostered at 165, a total of three wrestlers who combined for a 4-4 record in 2021 with one of them at 174. Army has also deftly listed a couple of guys between classes, one at 155 and one at 160. Adapt, improvise, overcome on the field and on the scale, it seems. Seems likely, too that 184lb Sahm Abdulrazzaq and Hvt. Ben Sullivan have the inside tracks to hit the mats first at their slots this season. Abdulrazzaqs 16-6 in two years at the weight and undefeated in dual meet competition. 1-0 is undefeated, folks. Big Bens been a starter twice, gone 41-26 on varsity, and gone down with injury two years back as Heald held down the spot last season. A healthy Sullivan is a happy situation to have for Coach Ward and company. Squad, Platoon, Company, Battalion, Regiment, Brigade, Division, Corps, doesn’t mattter. Big, small, and in between, Army will be ready for their season. Now so are you.

BUCKNELL 2021-2022

•11/13 @ George Mason Patriot Duals

•11/20 @ Navy Classic

•12/3 Michigan State

•12/18 Buffalo & Lock Haven

•12/29-30 @ Midlands Tournament

•1/8/2022 @ LIU & Hofstra

•1/14 @ Harvard

•1/15 @ Brown

•1/22 Sacred Heart

•1/23 @ Drexel

•1/29 Army West Point

•2/4 @ Navy

•2/6 American

•2/12 @ Lehigh

•2/18 @ Oklahoma State

•2/20 @ Rider

The Bison announced Zach Hartman, Darren Miller and Brandon Seidman as captains for the season. Obvious choices, as noted by Assistant Coach Eric Morrill: “Those three guys have exemplified what we preach: sacrifice, passion and commitment to this program and their own personal goals. This is a year-round sport, not a YMCA. In order to continue to grow and raise the bar of expectations with over all committment, there needs to be the right individuals in place who live it day in and day out.” Think the Bucknell staff nailed it with this trio. They need to have their hammers out the box early, too. Two tough tournaments to start the season, their own and the Navy Classic a week later. Then its three top 30 duals in a row. The saving grace there: the match with that growing Green and White threat out of East Lansing, Michigan State, and a following week, same day donnybrook (2) with MAC monsters Buffalo and Lock Haven are all at the Bisons home in Lewisburg, PA. The Midlands are rarely, if ever, a tournament for a rising team to find their footing at. Nonetheless, that’s the post-Christmas pre-New Years present the Bison gave themselves. Come January Bucknell shakes that massive head and charges full speed into E.I.W.A. competition. 10 straight Conference foes in a row before the Bison catch a breather. Breather? Breather? Bucknell don’t need no stinkin BREATHER. What they need, not sure. What they GET is a Hell-bound plane trip to Stillwater, Oklahoma. Where the 34 time National Champion Oklahoma State Cowboys will be looking to throw some Bison steak on their chuck wagon fire. YO. Get back home in one piece and two days later it’s a visit to the third best team in New Jersey. Rider doesn’t like that description, and they wrestle like they’re fixin to (3) change that. Lets explain…no, lets sum up (4): The Bison start the season with two two tournaments full of powerful squads and wrap up the regular campaign facing three straight conference champs, co champs, or contenders. #RayBucknell!

CAMPBELL 2021-2022

•10/23 Orange & Black Wrestle-Offs

•11/3 Montreat

•11/6 @ Oregon State/Lehigh

•11/14 @ NC State WolfPack Open

•11/20 @ Virginia

•11/21 @ North Carolina

•12/19 @ Gardner-Webb/Ohio University

•12/29-30 @ Midlands Tournament

•1/1-2/2022 @ Southern Scuffle

•1/9 @ Presbyterian/Bellarmine

•1/16 @ Central Michigan/Cal St. Bakersfield/American University

•1/23 The Citadel

•1/30 UTC/VMI

•2/6 Davidson

•2/13 @ Appalachian State

HOFSTRA 2021-2022

The Pride has grown in Dennis Papadatos’ seven seasons and year eight sees a 25 strong group heavy with experience and ever improving results. Papadatos promoted Jamie Franco to Associate Head Coach and the Hofstra brain trust is overseeing a team with 6 wrestlers ranked preseason. Grad students and seniors, nearly a third of the team, are skewed heavy in the middle and upper weights. Papadatos and crew have successfully leveraged the Covid-19 produced extra year into a crew capable of equaling last seasons seven NCAA Championship participants. That’s even taking into account the return of all the Ivy League squads. Yes, you just read that. It starts with 165lb Ricky Stamm who will at least pick up his third NCAA qualifying season and third 20 plus win campaign, fourth if you acknowledge his stellar 29-11 redshirt year. It is hereby fully acknowledged, sir. Clustered around Stamm it’s a trio of Heller brothers, 157lb Conference champ Holden, Reece, who’s wrestled multiple weights, and returning from redshirt 174lb brother Sage. Up top it’s Hvt. Grad student Zachary Knighton-Ward, going for a third NCAA qualifying season. He earned an undefeated 220lb NY state title, starred for four years in HS football, and ran down opponents and rung up scores for 2 years playing Lacrosse. His 24-4 junior college record was at 197, and he’s been eating for years, folks. He’s been fourth and third at the E.I.W.A. Tournament the last two seasons. One of Hofstras “Magnificent 7” NCAA qualifiers from 2021, expect similar results at conference and more at Nationals from ZK-W in 2022. There’s four rostered wrestlers at 197, but no doubt who’s the main man, mat and classroom wise: Senior Trey Rogers. #TR4yr was an undersized underclassman starter at a grown-@ss man weight class, wrestling a brutal 38 match season his first year out of high school. Nearly broke even at 18-20 though, then had a breakthrough 15-9 sophomore campaign in 2020 going undefeated in E.I.W.A. duals. Last season Rogers went 1-2 at NCAAs after finishing fifth at E.I.W.A.s. Look for big results this year from the Pre-Med major with the 3.92 gpa. And, speaking of big, at 184 it comes in a Small package. As in soon to be three year starter, former NJCAA National Champ, NCAA Qualifier Charles Small. A state champ for Bradenton, FL. Manatee Hurricanes Hall of Fame Coach Andrew Gugliemini, Small showed BIG at the NJCAAs. He took the 2019 title with a 34-12 mark and kept getting better. He’s won the Hofstra Newcomers award, made the Deans List, and is the wrestling rep on the Student Athlete Advisory Committee. Oh yeah, he’s also the first release this year on the Hand Raised “ALL OVERLOOKED AND UNDERRATED TEAM.” The 20 men on this prestigious pre-season list (5) are, barring injury, disease, or that random meteorite strike, LOCKS to finish 8-16 spots higher than where they are ranked entering the season. It’s also a certainty that Hofstras upperweights will be getting better faster with the arrival of former Rider star and Penn RTC athlete Mauro Correnti III as Assistant Coach. In addition to some fine mat skills, the dapper big man out of Massapequa, N.Y., drops knowledge bombs and humor equally @ maurosmash1. Point getters from the middle down for Hofstra will include 149lb Greg Gaxiola. He started his career at Cal Baptist before becoming a Fresno State Bulldog making the NCAAs for the first time from there. The bureaucratic idiocy that undid the Fresno State program put a 3,000 mile cross country trip on Gaxiolas itinerary. It turned out well for all parties involved. After all, what former Fresno St. star wouldn’t want one more chance, or two, to make the Nationals and party on the Left Coast pencil pushers and their media yard dogs? Exactly. One more thing: when you go to a Hofstra dual, please show up on time. If not you may miss the 125lb fireworks when senior Dylan Rider takes the mat. He’s a fine 38-20 performer overall the past 3 years and an absolute manster in duals meets. Riders record across three seasons of Hofstra versus that other squad? An astonishing 30-6. Make no mistake, there’s a lot of noise coming from the Pride this year.

AMERICA ASSEMBLE!!

The Red, White and Blues best are gathering in Lincoln, Nebraska for the World Team Trials the 11th and 12th of September. The recency of the August Olympics proved far more of a boon for this event than a bust. The majority of Americas Olympic wrestlers said yes, please to donning their capes again to chase mat glory for God, Country, and Apple pie. Not to mention some well earned cold hard cash. Please consult the USA Wrestling website with Gary Abbott and Taylor Miller-Gregorios superb brackets and breakdowns. Here it will be kept simple with the Hand Raised predictions for Team USA. A * indicates a Tokyo medalist who accepted their spot and will compete for America. All other weight classes will be competed with only predicted champions listed.

MENS FREESTYLE

•57KG *Thomas Gilman

•61KG Nick Suriano

•65KG Yianni Diakomihalis

•70KG Alec Pantaleo

•74KG *Kyle Dake

•79KG Jordan Burroughs

•86KG *David Taylor

•92KG J’Den Cox

•97KG *Kyle Snyder

•125KG Mason Parris

•Prediction: 7 medals

WOMENS FREESTYLE

•50KG *Sarah Hildebrandt

•53KG Emily Shilson

•55KG Jacarra Winchester

•57KG *Helen Maroulis

•59KG Maya Nelson

•62KG Kayla Miracle

•65KG Forrest Molinari

•68KG *Tamyra Mensah-Stock

•72KG Kennedy Blades

•76KG *Adeline Gray

•Prediction: PAIN. 8 medals. And PAIN.

MENS GRECO-ROMAN

This column simply does not have enough knowledge on the field depth of the Greco-Roman team to make even a semi-educated guess. It will be offered that our Olympic reps, Ildar Hafizov, Alejandro Sancho, and G’Angelo Hancock should probably be considered favorites at their weights. The Jesse Porter-Peyton Walsh led 77KG wt. class could provide serious fireworks. It would also be suprising if anyone besides Cohlton Schultz captures the 130KG title. Beyond this little will be said except “Welcome” to new Greco-Roman Team Leader Josh Weintraub and new Assistant Team Leader Bill Kloos. According to USA Wrestling they will retain these positions through the 2024 Paris Olympics.

SO COOL, SO HOT, SOCON

App State spun their 2021-2022 schedule out to the public in a fun way, with a different Mountaineer wrestler delivering an opponent/date combo in brief Twitter soundbites 20 minutes apart. Nice!

Bellarmine is closing in on their schedule release and naming a coach (coaches?) to assist Ned Shuck in his first season in Lexington. More soon @SwordsUp!

Campbell-the schedule release above seems to indicate split squad action at both the Southern Scuffle and the Midlands. The Camels have matches scheduled with teams from four conferences as well as their SoCon schedule.

See you sometime soon!

Ted Carreras

(1) At least one of these is allowed every other column. It’s in the contract.

(2) Anytime you get more than two quality teams, or individuals, throwing each other around, you have one of these.

(3) Official verb of TX. Valid in all 50 states, Mexico, Central America, all of Canada except Ontario, Nunavut, Antartica, parts of Asia and Africa, but NOT currently in South America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and almost never in the Virgin Islands.

(4) Mandy Patinkin as Spanish swordsman Inigo Montoya cut to the chase with this phrase and his blade in “The Princess Bride”. Believe the Scribe, not the Dread Pirate Roberts: you can NEVER know too many Spaniards.

(5) Two per weight class, because good folks get, well, you know. Not here, though.