Season 5, Column 40; Sundays SoCon Showdown, MAC gets all Chippy, and still more weight class conundrums

Part 1 of two SoCon titles gets settled Sunday on the slopes up in Boone, a same-day MAC mashup between Bulls and Braves, and past the Champ, confusion reigns supreme at 157.

For the 3rd yr. running and 4th out of 5 the SoCon regular season title will go to the winner of Sundays App. State-Campbell dual. The Mountaineers hope their host team status brings them more health, more luck and less misfortune than their last match. This columns adopted team UTC oh so nearly upended App. States title chase, but the Mountaineers exploited the Mocs inexperience in the last match of the night, winning by pin to take a 2 point victory. App. State Coach JohnMark Bentley: “Everything that could go wrong did go wrong in that dual, but sometimes that’s what winning championships is about. You got to find ways to win ugly.” Ugly for the host Mocs but beautiful indeed for the Mountaineers was App. State hvt. Michael Burchells 2nd period pin of promising Moc freshman Matthias Ervin. Burchell was fully cognizant of the moment. “I definitely knew what was at stake and I knew what I had to do.” Which was not just post a comeback, not just find a way to win, but to win in dominant fashion. That was the requirement for a team victory, and Burchell delivered with his fifth straight win over a UTC opponent. The streak in the series stands at seven straight for App. St. with two by two points, one by tiebreaker, and only one by more than 7 points. Yosef (1) has been on point with his bird shot lately. So it’s Sunday, App. State vs. Scotti Sentes Campbell Camels for the regular season SoCon title. Title tussle part two will be same place, different date as App. State will host the SoCon Tournament Saturday March 5th. Expect a terrific battle for the top 5 spots. More on that event at a later date.

The title tussle for the MAC definitely did an addition by subtraction move when the conference bid bye-bye to Brian Smith’s mighty Missouri Tigers. Mizzou ripped off 9 straight regular season and tournament titles in 9 years before returning to the Big 12 for this season and beyond. This years regular season MAC title should be decided Sunday when front running Central Michigan hosts John Stutzmans Buffalo Bulls. Tom Borellis Chippewas are hotter than: 1. A pepper sprout. 2. A Sofia Vergara TikTok fashion show. 3. Damn near any D1 wrestling team not named Penn State. Last weeks MAC West Division title tying 32-9 road win over Jim Andrassys improved Kent State squad was the 10th Chips win in a row. Folks, they haven’t lost since the 3rd week of December, and only powerful Lehigh and defending National Champions Iowa have gotten past CMU this year. They’ve set that streak by breaking other teams streaks and will. Their average conference score, 29-8. They took down Bakersfield from the PAC 12, American and Binghamton from the E.I.W.A., 3X SoCon title champ Campbell and BIG 12 power South Dakota State. And, CMU will ABSOLUTELY have their hands full with the Bulls. Stutzmans Buffalo bunch have a 6 match win streak of their own. Last loss for the Bulls? December 23rd. They’ve already broken their team record for conference wins in a season. They’ve had 5 matches decided by 3 points or less and stand a sparkling 4-1 in those contests. In a fascinating season so far note no athletes from these teams have crossed paths at any of the multi squad events they have each entered this year. Both teams are chock full of bonafide tough guys who most folks don’t know or don’t give enough credit to.(2) Buffalo is 11-5, CMU 11-2. First one to a dozen gets it done.

DUH. David Carr. Next question. Well, that next question is real, real interesting, folks. Pretty much everybody from Providence, Rhode Island (3) to Chattanooga, Tennessee to Corvallis, Oregon has accepted this years 157lb title is Iowa States undefeated defending champ to lose. Who comes next is like a good George Clooney movie, though, it’s all up in the air. Prior to the season starting most predictors had Northwesterns Ryan Deakin as Carrs primary challenger. Carrs 2021 Finals foe, Riders Jesse Delavecchia, chose coaching over a final season of competition. NC ST 4X AA Hayden HIDE-lay moved up and out from 157 to 174. As to Deakin, weird goings-on at his college, Northwestern, have seemingly bled over into an inconsistent season. Deakin tore through the CKLV, the seasons 1st big tournament, earning his 3rd title there. Then he went MIA till January and has been in and out of the lineup since. When he’s in, hes Deakin. That’s both a name and an adjective denoting domination. So OK, he’s a safe #2. Or is he? What about super smooth, undefeated Sun Devil Jacori Teemer? He’s been all in all year long and has definitely found a new gear in the new year at 15-0. Last seasons undefeated 149lb champ, North Carolinas Austin O’Connor, is 15-1 with 12 bonus point wins at his new weight class. Minnesota’s Brayton Lee was 6th last year, 17-1 this season with 7 bonus point wins and a victory over Teemer at last years NCAAs. Josh Humphreys of Lehigh missed last year. He’s missed one win in 15 opportunities so far in 21-22. Nine bonus point wins for Josh and that loss was by one point coming off a weeks worth of medical forfeits. North Dakota States Jared Franek is 19-2 with 11 bonus point wins. He strung SIX in a row together at one point this season, folks. His losses? Carr and Minnesotas Brayton Lee. 4 of Princetons Quincy Mondays 13 wins have come with bonus points and his three losses are to Deakin, Teemer, and O’Connor. About those losses? 35 other elite athletes have had the same issues. Just sayin. Down Raleigh way the NC State crowd sings the praises of “Head Lock” Ed Scott, flattening fools and taking names to the tune of 12 bonus point wins in an 18-2 season. Those two losses are by one point each. Iowas Kaleb Young is a two time AA who’s kicking around the mid teens this year. There’s last years suprise AA, Wyatt Sheets of Oklahoma State. Minnesotas Peyton Robb is just 9-5, but 4 of those losses are to Carr, Deakin, Lee and Monday and he’s O’connors only defeat. That’s more AA quality guys at 157 than podium spots, and do NOT overlook Michigans Will Lewan, CMUs Johnny Lovett, Michigan States Chase Saldate, Penns Doug Zapf (Humphreys of Lehighs only loss), and 23-6 Andrew Cerniglia of Navy, who’s put together 3, 4, 5, and 10 match win streaks this season. The beat goes on at 157. NEED to petition the NCAA for All American status for 1-12 this year, not just 1-8.

See you sometime soon!

Ted Carreras

(1) The giant, hairy, affable but fierce musket wielding mascot of the Mountaineers. Those mountain based college teams have some great mascots.

(2) Well, most. This column has long pegged both Chippewas and Bulls as regular members of the Hand Raised “All Overlooked and Underrated” Teams. There’s one from each squad on this years edition. Just sayin.

(3) Exciting news out of the HQ of the Brown Bears as the Scribe is working on a possible feature length story on the Ivy League long timer, its stellar Coach Todd Beckerman, the staffs deep roots in Cornhusker country, and perhaps even a NERTC update. Keep fingers crossed!