Thursday, February 23, 2023

2023 NCAA DIII Central Regional Preview (Feb 25th-26th)


As I have for the Upper Midwest, Lower Midwest, Southeast & Mideast Regionals, I will now take a look at the Central Regional & try and decipher who at each weight I think will fight for a top 3 NCAA Division III qualification spot.  Enjoy. 

125 lbs 

If I were a betting man, I'd say our final here is gonna be 2022 NCAA Division III champion Jacob DeCatur of Baldwin Wallace (20-1 on the season) Vs 2022 NCAA DIII R12 Jack Stanley of Mount Union (20-4 on the season).  I think the battle for bronze here will be between James Day of Wabash  (Currently 23-2) & Colin Mellott of Ohio Northern (22-5 on the season).  Day defeated Mellott earlier this season 4-0. 

133 lbs 

I tell you what I'm anxious to see here at 133 lbs.  I want to know if Jaden Hinton, an NCAA D3 qualifier last season in his own right can once again upend last year's D3 Runner-up Andrew Perelka. Hinton defeated the Blue Streak 10-6 earlier this season.  Looking very forward to the rematch that I'm predicting we see in the Central Regional finals. 

As to who takes 3rd here? My pick is Desmond Diggs of Mount St Joseph. Ever since moving down to 141 lbs back the first of December he has looked very sharp. Currently 22-7 on the season. 

141 lbs 

Our champion here is 99.999% likely to be 36-0 Jacob Reed of Ohio Northern who was 3rd in the D3 nation last season.  As to silver & bronze?  I think it's gonna be a war between three guys.  Evan Burge of Wabash who is 20-8 on the season, Art Martinez of CWR who is 30-6 on the season & Zach Anderson of Baldwin Wallace who is 19-6.  Anderson owns a 5-4 decision over Martinez. 

149 lbs 

We have three returning NCAA Division III qualifiers here & I say all three make it back this year.  Michael Petrella who was a D3 runner-up last season is currently sitting at 25-0, looking to keep that 0 in tact.  Chase Sumner of Ohio Northern was one match shy of All American honors last year & we also have Daniel Uribe of Wabash. 

157 lbs 

Here's another likely final that I am looking very forward too.  Tommy West of Baldwin Wallace defeated Patrick McGraw of John Carroll  earlier this season 2-0 & I'm anxious to see if he can beat the Blue Streak once again.  West is 22-3 on the season & McGraw, an NCAA DIII R12'er last year is currently 31-6.  Our bronze? I think Nick Nettleton of Mount Union has a good shot. 

165 lbs 

In what order they'll finish in, I do not know, but what I can tell you is that if I have to try and pick the three I think will take home the gold, silver & bronze, these are the three I'm picking.  We have Luke Reicosky of John Carroll, 7th in the D3 nation last year. Currently 22-1 on the season, he has both a 2-1 win over Ryan Whitten of Otterbein & a 4-2 s.v. over Jordan Hardrick of Ohio Northern.  Whitten, an NCAA DIII qualifier in '20 is 23-6 on the year.  Hardrick is 30-5 & that one loss on Reicosky's record? Handed to him courtesy of Hardrick 3-2. 

T.J. Rhamy
174 lbs 

Not a whole lot of opinions regarding 174 other than I think T.J. Rhamy, who is also a star on the football field of Heidelberg wins the weight.  He's 17-3 on the year. 

184 lbs 

First off I have to say that thinking about this weight class brings tears to my eyes. There's nothing I hate more in this sport than to see it end early for someone for reasons that are out of their control. I think regardless of who ends up qualifying at this weight, they ought to walk up to Cornell Beachem of Mount St Joseph and shake his hand. Cause if he were entered in this tournament, one of them wouldn't be going to the NCAA Division III tournament.  Take issue with my statement if you will, but it's how I feel. It breaks my heart to know that his career ended prematurely. 

With that out of the way, I think our three qualifiers here will be the three I have listed above. Chase Baczek of Wabash, 16-2 on the season was 6th in the D3 nation last year.  Gavin Layman of Ohio Northern Has looked very good, currently at 31-5. Blake Williams of Adrian hasn't had near as many matches, but currently holds a 9-2 record. 

197 lbs 

Three 2022 NCAA D3 qualifiers here & I think all three stand a far chance at returning to the this season, but there is another among them more than capable of stealing a spot. 

First and foremost no one is touching Doug Byrne of Baldwin Wallace. As far as the Regional is concerned the Yellow Jacket has paralyzed just about everyone with his paralyzing sting. 11-0 (25-1 overall) within the Regional, 10 of those 11 wins have been via fall.  9 of those 10 falls, within the first period. The only one that wasn't? A 15-5 major over Jarrod Setliff of Otterbein.  The other two challengers for NCAA D3 qualification at this weight in my opinion will be Dylan Wellbaum of Adian, an NCAA DIII qualifier last year & Jesse Kanatzr of John Carroll who owns a 8-3 decision over Setliff. 


No strong feelings on who takes bronze but man oh man am I excited to see who takes gold & who takes silver! We have two returning NCAA D3 runner-ups likely to do battle!  Donovan King of Olivet, currently 23-3 & Jack Heldt of Wabash, currently 32-0.  Perhaps the best match of the tournament. We'll soon find out. 

No comments:

Post a Comment