Monday, November 7, 2022

JT#1's Notes, Thoughts & Observations for Week 1 & 2 of The 2023 Collegiate Wrestling Season!

 Ah!!!!!!!  Holy Cow, only two weeks into the collegiate wrestling season and already a TON has happened!!  Where does one even start?  Well, let's take a look. 

TENACITY - Sometimes things aren't always going to go your way & you have to figure out ways to bounce back from disappointments.  York's (NE) Harley Williamson suffered a tough loss to Hunter Bennett of Doane in a dual  & came right back to win the York Open. 

An All American Loses His Spot - There were actually a lot of surprises in this year's wrestle-off results, but I think this one takes the cake.  I highly doubt the saga between Bryce Hepner & Carson Kharchla is over.  Whoever ends up being the starter come BIG 10 tournament time will have to earn the spot more than once. Yet for right now, Hepner is the man & Kharchla sits backup. 

How Bout Them Clones? - Did the Iowa State Cyclones step it up a notch this weekend or what? They keep wrestling like that, the Hawks better start worrying about Ames as much as they do State College. Man did they look good this weekend.  Kysen Terukina with a hard fought 9-7 s.v. over two time All American Eric Barett. Zach Redding nearly majoring All American Taylor LaMont.  Casey Swiderski taking it to Austin Gomez 9-4 & Sam Schuyler pulling out a very nice 3-2 victory over Trent Hillger. They keep showing up like this, who knows what's in store for the Cardinal and gold? 

Don't Forget Army!! - They had some individuals look pretty good this weekend too. It's often easy to get overlooked and overshadowed, but let's point out that Ethan Berginc defeated All American Brandon Kaylor 3-1 s.v. & Dalton Harris had a very nice 5-1 victory over Matt Olguin. 

Guilty As Charged - Virginia Tech's Tom Crook is apparently appropriately named. He went into the Southeast Open and completely stole the spotlight from fellow freshman Lachlan McNeil of North Carolina. The Florida native defeated EIWA champ Matt Kazimir 3-1 in the quarter-finals, McNeil 3-2 in the semis & Virginia NCAA qualifier Dylan Cedano 7-3 in the finals. 

Man on Fire - Did you check out Will Feldkamp at the Clarion Open?  In one of the tougher brackets of the championships he kept one of those bracket sheets at home in fashion.  A major decision followed up by three falls. 

Rookie of the Year -
Way too soon to be thinking of that sort of thing, but if Ohio State's Jesse Mendez keeps wrestling as he has, he'll certainly be in contention.  Very nice win over two time All American Lucas Byrd of Illinois to win his first Michigan State Open. 

Up a Weight? No problem - Zach Braunagel proved this weekend that he's already adjusted to 197 lbs weight class just fine.  A Michigan State Open title with a 4:20 fall over All American Gavin Hoffman of Ohio State in the finals. 

UPDATE!!! They have been found - Been wondering for a long time what became of 2021 NCAA Division II champion Abner Romero. Discovered this weekend that he is now competing for St Cloud State. Looking good as he won a Yellow Jacket title.  Also found out where Riley Smucker has been hiding. The former Cleveland State Viking is now at Life where he took a runner-up finish at the Patriot Open this weekend. 

NCWA In The House -  Both Washington State & Liberty had excellent representation this weekend as the Cougar NCWA program participated in Eastern Oregon Mountain Open & the Flame NCWA program participated in the Messiah Invite.  Washington State had six place-winners & Liberty not only had five place-winners but also a champion. 


Here's to week 3!! 

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