Saturday, November 19, 2022

Best Matches To Look Forward To Week of Thanksgiving NAIA (22'-23' Season)


Due to the Holiday this will be a short week for collegiate wrestling but there will still be plenty of great action that takes place before Turkey Day my wrestling friends!  Today we take a look at the best matches that will be happening in the NAIA. 

149 lbs
#18 Seth Johnson (Marian) Vs U.R. Chris Sorrow (Siena Heights) 

This strikes me as a potential match to look out for.  An NAIA qualifier Vs a wrestler who I feel will fight for NAIA qualification status himself by season's end. To my knowledge these two have not met before. Johnson has the obvious advantage but I think in the dual with Marian, Sorrow will Siena Height's best bet at knocking off a ranked opponent.  This match takes place later tonight. 

165 lbs
U.R. Isaiah Burks (Concordia NE) Vs #22 Kaleb Bigelow (Dakota Wesleyan) 
U.R. Isaiah Burks (Concordia NE) Vs #9 Caleb Connor (Morningside) 

In my opinion senior Isaiah Burks is one of the best wrestlers in the nation yet to qualify for the NAIA championships & one of the best who is not currently ranked.  Thus far in three GPAC appearances he has been 5th-5th-4th.  Against #22 Kaleb Bigelow of Dakota Wesleyan he dropped a very tight 6-5 decision. Against #9 Caleb Connor of Morningside, he dropped a 1-0 decision.  Burks has the opportunity to put himself on the map & showcase himself as a wrestler who deserves recognition & respect. He can win both of these matches. 

125 lbs 
?? Luqman Masud (Joliet Junior) Vs #20 Mike Chagnon (St Ambrose) 

I've been getting request to do more NJCAA coverage but I tell you what, I can't even find any current NJCAA rankings. What I can tell you is that Joliet's Luqman Masud is looking really good this season. He recently won the Millikin Open & he'll have another opportunity to shine on Tuesday as he takes one #20 Mike Chagnon of St Ambrose. 

174 lbs
#13 Jakob Francksen Small (Northwestern IA) Vs #10 Michael Scarponi (Doane) 

Gawd I love these rubber matches don't you?  In the dual it was all Red Raider as JFS defeated the Tiger 9-5. Yet at the GPAC championships, it was Scarponi who got the best of the Raider in a 7-2 decision. Who will win in their third encounter? 

184 lbs
#13 Luke Jenness Vs #23 Garrett Cornwell 

Here's another match I really look forward to in the Northwestern Vs Doane dual on Tuesday.  I believe that Luke Jenness is the Red Raider's best hope for an All American this season & Garrett Cornwell will be an excellent test for him this week. Should be a really good match. 

133 lbs
#17 CaRon Watson Vs #6 Daniel Vargas 

To my knowledge these two have never met.  We have CaRon Watson a three time GPAC bronze medalist Vs two time NAIA All American Daniel Vargas. Obviously Vargas goes into this match favored, but I think Watson who is gunning for his first AA this season will be ready to go. There have been a ton of upsets so far this season & this could be one of them. 

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