Sunday, January 9, 2022

JT#1's Notes, Thoughts and Observations For Week 10 of Collegiate Wrestling (1/3-9/2022)

 Our first full, official week in the year of 2022 and what a great week for College wrestling! Although we did have one tournament, we are clearly in the dual season! 

Michael McGee, H-O-L-Y C-O-W! I was expecting a good match between him and CKLV champion Dylan Ragusin, but man oh man, he just lit Ragusin up! I was NOT expecting a 10-0 major decision. 

Virginia Tech True Freshman Cooper Flynn sure looked good at the Lehman Open didn't he? Pinning Cody VomBaur of Air Force, a 9-0 major decision over Jared Van Vleet of Air Force and a 12-3 major decision over Jacob Allen of Navy in route to a title.  

Injuries and whatnot, it's been a while since Sidney Flores has been on top of the heap. It was rewarding to see him take home a Lehman title. 

North Carolina's Max Shaw has had a rough go of it thus far this season and it was rewarding to see him have a good weekend by winning the Lehman title. 

So let's put this into perspective.  Michael Kemerer has been out all season long. His first match of the season he nearly majors Minnesota's Bailee O'Reilly, who himself looked very solid in a 3rd place finish at the Southern Scuffle, by a score of 9-2.  Then Gerrit Nijenhuis of Purdue pulls off a HUGE upset, defeating Mikey Labriola 6-4.  Kemerer tech's Nijenhus 17-1.  Some people claim that there is no such thing as talent in wrestling. BOLOGNA. I have no doubt of the hard work, dedication, devotion, sacrifice, + that Kemerer has, but to do that after being out for so long? Yeah, talent. A lot of talent. 

It begs the question though. Why if Kemerer was coming back so long, did they pull Swafford's redshirt? No judgement or criticism from me. I know they did what they feel is best for Iowa & that I respect. Curiosity begs the question though. 

Speaking of Boilermaker's that pulled off upsets this weekend, Max Lyon looked very good in his 7-2 victory over Taylor Venz of Nebraska. 184 lbs in the BIG 10 is going to be rather competitive and every win from here on out is vital. 

Northwestern's Michael DeAugustino sure looked good this weekend didn't he? Knocking off two All Americans.  A 9-5 victory over Eric Barnett of Wisconsin & then an 8-7 decision over Patrick McKee of Minnesota.  For that matter, Iowa's Drake Ayala proved that he's going to be a pretty good replacement for Spencer Lee after all. A 6-1 decision over Purdue's Devin Schroder.   DeAugustino and Ayala will meet this upcoming week. 

A lot of interesting things happened in the Princeton Vs North Carolina State Dual. Most notable Aiden Conner's 2:44 fall over Isaac Trumble. That's twice now this season that a Tiger has pulled off a huge win via fall Vs a top opponent.  Ed Scott's 6-4 decision over Quincy Monday is a bit more revealing than his win alone.  While he's on top of the world with yet another huge victory, teammate A.J. Kovacs (who by the way is STILL Scott's only loss on the season) went 0-2, with a 5-4 loss to Jake Marsh and a 15-3 loss to Blane Bergey.  It just goes to show you how quickly one guy's career can skyrocket while the other's takes a nose dive. I do hope to see Kovacs bounce back from the slump that he is in.  I've been watching wrestling for 30 years and I know sometimes once a guy gets into a slump it can be very difficult to get out. I sure hope that isn't the case with Kovacs. He's way too talented of a wrestler to let that happen. 

It had to be very rewarding for Wisconsin's Andrew McNally to avenge his loss to Jackson Turley of Rutgers.  Last season Turley upended McNally 7-5 for All American honors at the NCAA championships.  McNally turned that loss into a 6-1 win. 

Sick of seeing these signs? I know I sure am. Man, I am sick of this. Make no assumptions, read into this no further than what I come out and say. I'm just ready for this to be over. I'm tired of missing out on quality wrestling.  That's all. 

The last thing I'll say about this week and I know I'll lose some friends over it, is that Bugs Bunny was right in his war with Daffy Duck. It is DUCK season.  We don't need that in wrestling. It helps protect rankings and seeds, but in the long run of the health and longevity of wrestling it is severely detrimental to the sport. No use of calling it out, cause we all know when and where it happened.  Not a fan of it, not silent in my criticism of it.  Yet what do you do? It's here. It's not going anywhere. 

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