Monday, November 14, 2022

JT#1's Notes, Thoughts & Observations for Week 3 of the 2022-2023 Wrestling Season!

Not even a full month into the season & already upsets, upsets, upsets!! With the mass amount of surprises, parity & other outlandish things that happen in this sport, you never know what to expect. A ton happened this past week, let's take a look....


Virginia Tech freshman Caleb Henson continues to impress.  Last week it was winning a Southeast Open Title with nice win over Sam Hillegas of West Virginia. This week it's even MORE impressive as he knocks off two time All American Sammy Sasso 5-3 in the dual with Ohio State. 

Schreiner Crowns First Champion in School History!! 

While Schreiner had much success during their seasons as an NCWA affiliate, 197 lbs'er Austin Cooley won the Mountaineers their first ever varsity wrestling tournament when he was crowned champion at the Viking Open!  The Allen, Texas native defeated a very tough David Willoughby of Wayland Baptist in the finals. 

Air Force Seniors Looking Good! 

I said before the start of the season that both Cody Phippen & Dylan Martinez were two tough seniors who had yet to make the NCAA tournament. I minced no words as I made it clear that both were going to have to step it up a notch if they were going to make a trip to the dance in their final attempt. Both showed tremendous stride this weekend. Phippen I believe after years at 125 & one season at 141 has finally found his weight at 133.  A fall over Stanford's Jackson DiSario in the semis & then just manhandling Appalachian State's Sean Carter for a Mountaineer Invite championships. 

I was even more impressed with Martinez.  He first pulls off a well fought 7-5 victory over Virginia's Jarod Verkleeren. Then in the semi-finals he does the impossible & pins All American Jaden Abas of Stanford in the first period!!  What an impressive showing by the Falcon! 

Miranda Impressive at Mountaineer Open 

The Air Force seniors weren't the only two to impress me at the Mountaineer Open. Stanford's Jason Miranda was also quite impressive.  Here's what I said about him back in September...

"I was expecting a little more out of Jason Miranda than what we received last season but only a sophomore he's still young with plenty of time to improve. Potential wise, I think he has a lot to offer. It'll be interesting to see how he fares this season."  

 And he delivered!  He not only won a title, he did so with an 11-1 major decision over Appalachian State's Heath Gonyer in the finals. 

The Apprentice School Represents USCAA at Cougar Open 

On JT#1 I've covered about every form of collegiate wrestling there is to cover. An astronomical amount of NCAA DI. I've done what I can to increase coverage of DII, DIII & the NAIA. Even though it's tough, a little NJCAA. Even though I'd have an easier time looking for & finding the Loch Ness Monster as well as Big Foot, CCCAA.  I've done women's & I've done NCWA.  What I haven't done any of is USCAA.  Matter of fact, I'm not sure if anyone covers USCAA wrestling.  For one, there isn't a whole heck of a lot to cover. Secondly, the Apprentice School does compete in the NCWA nationals. So you can group it all together, but none the less they are still a USCAA school. 

And as a USCAA school, they had a pretty good showing at the Cougar Open.  Zach Ortega at 149 & Peter Cortapasso at HWT both took runner-up honors, as Josh Seaton placed 8th at 174 & David McElravy was 3rd at 184. 

Chris Stiltner Earns Pikeville's First Placing At Varsity Tournament 

In their first season as a varsity program, Pikeville crowned their first place-winner at a major tournament when Chris Stiltner earned a 4th place finish at the Georgia Open. 

DePrez steps out of brother's shadow 

With a brother as good as Louie, an All American who will be going for his fourth EIWA title this season, it's easy to get overlooked & overshadowed.  Truth is, Sam DePrez hasn't had the success of Lou or even brother Vincent yet. That's why it was rewarding to see him wrestle well as the Bearcat Open this weekend. He took runner-up honors in a fairly competitive bracket that saw him with a very nice 11-3 major over Lennox Wolak of Columbia in the semi-finals. 

He may be the third, but he's also the first! 

Malcolm Wiley III made history this weekend as he became the Blue Hose's first individual champion at a major DI tournament as he was crowned #1 at the Battle At The Citadel this weekend. 

The Injured List 

If there's anything I hate in collegiate wrestling with a passion, it is injuries. I absolutely HATE injuries with a passion. Caught word that Grand View's Aden Reeves will be out the rest of the season with an injury.  I also saw that Kyle Parco of Arizona State had to medical forfeit into one of his matches at the Journeymen Classic. I really hope it's nothing serious & simply a dinger that can be healed up soon.  Hate to see guys hurt. 


More I could talk about as there always is, onward to week 4!!! 

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