Monday, December 12, 2022

JT#1's Notes, Thoughts & Observations for Week 7 of the 2022-2023 Collegiate Wrestling Season

 With Christmas & the new year coming up, we have some huge end of first semester/beginning of second semester tournaments coming our way. Week 7 in a way sort of feels like the calm before the storm, but there was still some great wrestling that happened this past week. Here are my thoughts concerning...

Jared Franek Gets A Win Over Brayton Lee 

Granted Brayton Lee hasn't looked his best as of late, but nonetheless for Jared Franek to prevail over him in a 2-1 tiebreaker this weekend was huge for the Bison. I've been saying about him for quite some time now that he's one of the best in the nation yet to All American. At this level of wrestling, strength, technique, ability and talent so many of these wrestlers are on par with one another. So many times, it is the mental aspect of the sport where matches are won. This is a big win for him. 

Edinboro's Ohl & Pail Pull Off Big Upsets 

Let's face it, the glory years of Fighting Scott wrestling at this point seem like a long, long ways away. Yet, when you're at the bottom the only way is up & the way you get up is by doing exactly what Amonn Ohl & Jacob Pail did this weekend.  Ohl scored a 3:42 fall over Kyran Hagan & then Jacob Pail really pulled off a huge upset with his victory.  Coming into the bout 0-7, no one was expecting him to stand a prayer against Alec Hagan who recently finished 6th at the CKLV championships in Vegas. Yet Pail was able to take him into sudden victory & secure the takedown for a 3-1 decision. 

Rocky Jordan Finally Figures Out Nelson Brands 

Perspective is everything in this life.  On the one hand, it's difficult to figure out someone you've never gotten your offense to work on in two matches. On the other hand, it's difficult to beat someone good thrice. Rocky Jordan must subscribe to the latter philosophy.  After 3-0 & 5-2 losses to the Hawkeye, he finally secured a win, 3-1. 

Julian Valtierrez win North Central Invitational and Perhaps the Starting Spot

Looking at Julian Valtierrez, you'd think collegiate wrestling was like the NFL and we could recruit kids before graduation. He doesn't look like a sophomore in college, he looks like a 7th grader. Despite his deal win Ponce De Leon, he wrestled extremely well this weekend. This included defeating NCAA DIII qualifier Derek Steele of Augsburg in the finals. I thought Christian Guzman would be the starter come time for Regions, but now I'm thinking it'll be Valterriez. 

Wolak with Another Upset 

Columbia's Lennox Wolak must be a big fan of The Who's Squeeze Box  because he goes in and out and in and out and in and out of the rankings. Currently unranked, he pulled off another upset this weekend over Pittsburgh's Luca Augustine 3-2. 

Hepner Stock Goes UP!! 

One of the biggest questions at the moment is who will Ohio State end up going with at the BIG 10's. One minute it seems that Carson Kharchla is the answer & the next it seems like Bryce Hepner is the answer. If they're waiting till that day in March to decide, Hepner just upped his stock.  A Cleveland State title with a very impressive 6-4 win over two time All American Cam Amine of Michigan. 

Unseeded to a Cleveland State Open Title! 

Current redshirt Ryan Michaels of Pittsburgh looked outstanding this weekend.  Going in unseeded, he opened up toying with Cleveland State's Caleb Rea in an 18-0 technical fall. It was all up hill from there as he walked out as an unseeded champion. 

Kalen Napier Pulls off Lindenwood's First Big Win As a NCAA DI Institution 

Now this one is debatable for a couple of different reasons.  First, some may argue that Lindenwood has already done some noteworthy things this season in their first year as a DI program.  Other's may argue that you can't really count "fluke" wins when assessing a program's pros and cons.  I argue that you can. A win is a win.  Kalen Napier scored a huge 34 second fall over All American Jake Bergeland of Minnesota.  Granted he was then pinned himself in 4:08 by Cal Poly's Lawrence Saenz, who then lost to Bergeland by an 8-6 score. Take it for what it's worth, I'm counting it as the Lion's first huge moment as a DI team. 

Bedlam Does Not Disappoint! 

I thought this year's Bedlam was exceptionally good.  Despite going in as an unranked team, the Sooners came to do battle.  Heindselman, Schwartz, Moore, Nijenhuis & Prata really stepped it up a notch & performed well for their team, winning some extremely hard fought battles.  I even hand it to Penner for taking Wittlake into sudden victory.  From the Oklahoma State side of things, Luke Surber sure did save the day with his 34 second fall over Keegan Moore.  I'll tell if what, if Henson could have kept his match to a decision & if Roberts could have held on for just a little longer, this could have turned out to have been a huge upset for Oklahoma. It astonishes me and frankly it annoys me to listen to fans moan and whine after a performance like this. I don't get how the people of Norman can sometimes be so pessimistic and negative. The Sooners looked very good against the #11 team.  As far as I'm concerned this is a reason to be optimistic and hopeful! You do know that Oklahoma wrestles Oklahoma State again right? 2-13-2023.  Oklahoma wrestles like they did here & avoid getting pinned in the last match, we could very well be looking at a Sooner victory. 

As always there is more I could say, but I gotta stop myself at some point.  Onward to week 8!! 

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