Every year I come up with a wish list. 10 things that I want to see happen during the season. Last year I went 2-10. This year I hope to go at least 3-9. We'll see what happens. In countdown order, here is what I wish to see this season.
10. Attend Duals and Tournaments
I hope to attend a lot of duals and tournaments this season.
9. Ben Thornton of Purdue has a standout senior season
Always a fan of the underdog under the radar, the fiery, always give it Hell Thornton has grown to be a favorite of mine. Numerous times last season, including finishing round of twelve at CKLV and Midlands, Thornton came within one match shy of placing at two of the nations most prestigious tournaments. Hope to see him medal at both, as well as have a great BIG 10 and NCAA run this season.
8. History is made
I have no idea if this is officially a potential record in the making or not. What I do know is that their are eight wrestlers who made All American for universities that they no longer compete for. Therefore a potential for eight wrestlers to be All Americans at two different schools. The history lover in me, is excited.
Joey McKenna already did it. After a third place finish as a freshman in 2016 for Stanford, he had a disappointing tournament in 2017 that saw him not place. Transferring to Ohio State as a junior, he found himself once again, and had a repeat third place finish. He'll go for his third All American honor and first NCAA title this season.
Ryan Milhof took 7th place honors for Oklahoma in 2016 and will try and earn a second All American honor this season for Arizona State.
Sean Russell a 7th place finisher in 2017, leaves Edinboro for Minnesota in route to capture his second All American honor.
Zeke Moisey, who finished 2nd in 2015 and 8th in 2018, will go for his third All American honor while wrestling for Nebraska this season.
Conor Schram who took 8th in 2016 for Stanford has been granted a sixth year of eligibility, where he will try and make the award stand for Lehigh this season.
Justin Oliver who took 7th in 2016, and has missed the award stand by one match the past two seasons, will try to make it one final time. This time for North Carolina State.
Sa'Derian Perry earned an 8th place finish this past year for the Eastern Michigan Eagles, and would be more than happy to earn another three All American finishes for the Eagles. However the school could care less about him, or better put Scott Wetherbee could care less about him. Idiotic, selfish, and cruel decisions, based on false information and outright lies has led to the elimination of four sports at EMU, one of which includes wrestling. Therefore Perry has no decision but to continue his wrestling career elsewhere. He'll go for his second of what could potentially be four All American honors at Old Dominion.
7. The Tommy Thorn Redemption
Some of my favorite memories in collegiate wrestling the past seasons have come via the Thorn brothers of Minnesota. Mike and David were both a treat to watch and thus far, so has been Tommy. The end of his junior season was quite the disappointment but I have faith that he'll come back better than ever for his final season as a Gopher. It'll be interesting to see how he does at 149 lbs.
6. Fresno State Crowns an All American
A wish from last year that I didn't get that I'll ask again for this season. Not sure who it'll be but right now my confidence is in one of three Bulldogs. Khristian Olivas, Greg Gaxiola or A.J. Nevills. None are shoe-ins but all three have shown potential. I would also add Emillio Saavedra to the list as well, but as of right now his name is not on the roster.
5. Air Force Takes Flight at the NCAA's
It's going on 17 years since the Falcons impressive run at the 2002 NCAA championships in Albany, New York and its about time they had another one. The scene is set similar. In 2002 you had seniors Scott Frohardt and Terry Parham at 149 and 174 lbs respectively. Both had their best seasons yet, with Frohardt taking 8th place as the #12 seed and Parham taking 7th unseeded. 2019 seniors, Isaac Jimenez at 133 lbs and Alex Mossing at 157 lbs have the potential to repeat history. Jimenez showed what he could do at the Southern Scuffle last season, knocking off two time All American Scotty Parker of Lehigh in route to an 8th place finish. Mossing showed off his capabilities with a 5th place finish at RENO, which included an impressive win over All American Paul Fox of Stanford. Add in potential from Anthony McLaughlin as well as Alex Loupanchanski and Air Force could tie, maybe even break school records.
4. Colston DiBlasi becomes George Mason's First Division I All American
While I'm glad my time as a member of the wrestling media has come to an official end, there are things that I'll miss about it. One of those things was getting to know individuals who are as much champions off the mat as they are on it. One of those guys for me is Colston DiBlasi. I covered a lot of Iowa State wrestling during the 2016-2017 season and DiBlasi was one of my favorites to watch as well as interview. With his unorthodox style, free spirit attitude and put the fun in wrestling mentality, I think getting out of Ames during the intense coaching changes was the smartest move that he could have made. George Mason provides him an environment to be himself and I'm excited to see what he can do as a Patriot.
3. Dante Rodriguez has made a full recovery and is back 100%
While the coaching changes in Ames aren't for everyone, I do think they will be for some of the Cyclones. Obviously for Jarrett Degen, but I think another wrestler who will embrace the changes is Dante Rodriguez. Rodriguez's career has been plagued by a series of injuries, but if he can get healthy, I'd love to see what Brent Metcalf and Psycho Miko Zadick can do with him. D-Rod is a go getter and furthermore a pinner. He's got his strength, stamina and confidence back he'll thrown a monkey wrench into the whole thing.
2. Anthony Ashnault becomes Rutgers First Four Time All American
Another wish from last year. I'm curious as well as anxious to see where Ashnault's health is this season. If anyone deserves to be the Scarlet Knights first four time All American, it's him. He has to earn it, and there is no doubt in my mind he'd have already earned it, if it weren't for injuries. I only hope that do or don't, he's at 100%. He's at least earned that much.
1. David Bolyard finds a new home
Did I mention how much of a piece of crap I think Scott Wetherbee is? If not, I think Scott Wetherbee is a huge piece of crap. What David Bolyard has done at Eastern Michigan should be celebrated and rewarded. Instead, it is punished in the ultimate way through elimination. He's proven himself in a multitude of ways. He's a phenomenal coach and I'd love to see him at a variety of places continuing to hone his craft as a head coach. Where is he going to end up? I'd like to see him in Little Rock. I'd love to see UALR start off strong and can think of few others who would get the Trojans on the right track immediately. I'd love to see Bolyard go to any struggling program and build them the way the did the Eagles. The guy deserves to be in a place where his work ethic and positive attributes in creating great men on and off the mat will be rewarded. It's a shame that EMU doesn't realize what a tremendous talent they lost.