Sunday, November 19, 2023

JT#1's Dual Highlights For Week 4 Of the 2023-2024 Collegiate Wrestling Season

 Another great week of collegiate wrestling has gone down! I cannot believe how much exciting action can take place in such a short period of time.  Before I take a dive into everything that stuck out at me concerning this week in college wrestling, let me make like Michael Jackson & say, "I am only human!"  A few got on me about somethings I missed last week & the week before.  That's gonna happen.  I am gonna miss things.  Never mean to, but when 10,000 things are happening all at the same time, my brain cannot process all of that. 

For what I may end up missing, may I highly recommend also following Aaron "Swayz" Sweazy, as well as The Portillo Brothers via Twitter & Facebook.  You know how Christians say that God knows each hair on your head? Well Swayz seems to be that way with wrestling results. I swear nothing gets past this man.  I do my best to keep up with NAIA, DIII, DII & DI, while also trying to add in some NJCAA. Swayz is all that plus Women's & CCCAA.  Duals, tournaments, Hell, he even seems to know what's happening in the practice rooms.  He probably even knows who wins in card games on the bus rides home.  I'm telling you, Swayz KNOWS why kids love Cinnamon Toast Crunch.  

Portillo's also run a great website & they give a ton of dedication to the smaller divisions & the smaller schools within the bigger divisions.   

Also check out D3wrestle aka Andy for D3 happenings.  Like I said, JT#1 does his best to catch all the action, but there's also some that I miss. 

With that said, there's a lot I don't miss too....

Let's look at what happened in the Dual World.....

Golden Gopher Underclassmen Perform With Upperclassman Leading The Way

Since coming out of retirement, the 6th year senior, Michael Blockhus improved his season record to 6-1, with a 7-1 victory over Nick Delp in the dual against the Bucknell Bison.  A senior among youth, three of the younger Gophers stepped it up with notable victories for the maroon & gold.  Freshman Tyler Wells scored a very nice 11-5 decision over NCAA qualifier Kurt Phipps. Sophomore Drew Roberts squeaked by NCAA qualifier Dylan Chappell 2-1 & fellow sophomore Bennett Tabor had a victory over an NCAA qualifier himself with a 7:21 fall over Dorian Crosby. 

Army Freshman Makes Like McDonald's And Has "His Way" With #18 Ranked Wrestler

The two time Georgia High School State champ pretty much flipped or perhaps better stated Filipowiczed the #18 Alex Faison all over the mat, scoring a 15-7 major over the Wolfpack member in the Army Vs North Carolina State dual.  Army in general has been looking fairly tough this season, but this particular match really stuck out to me. 

Devin Griffen Scores Huge Upset As the Eagles Put Out the Fire Of Southeastern 

In one of the best NAIA duals of the week, Reinhardt was able to take out Southeastern in a tight 19-17 dual.  While there were other matches that contributed to Reinhardt's victory, the key match was sophomore Devin Griffen scoring a huge 3-1 upset over #12/two time NAIA All American/National Champ Andreus Bond.   #7 Angel Banda securing bonus points in an 11-3 major decision over #9 Esau Bazilme was also a huge contributing factor. 

John Poznanski Shows Signs of Being "Back" 

An All American in 2021, there have been some setbacks & challenges for John Poznanski.  Before the season began, I wrote in a preseason writeup that I was anxious to see if we'd see the Poznanski of yesteryear who earned that All American honor.  I think we got a good glimpse of him this week.  Andy Smith of Virginia Tech is very worth opponent, a great test  & Poznanski won a hard fought 4-2 battle.  

He wasn't the only Scarlet Knight to shine in the team's tough loss to Virginia Tech either.  Dean Peterson wrestled a very calculated match, scoring a huge 2-0 victory over All American Eddie Ventresca.  Rafael Hipolito took out Anthony White 13-7 as Yaraslau Slavikouski won a 4-1 battle with Hunter Catka. 

Luke Jenness 100 Career Wins 

Luke Jenness garnering 100 career wins is really a testimony to just how far the Northwestern Wrestling team has come over the past years.  During my time there, the wrestling team had some good kids, but I don't think anyone was winning 100 matches back in those days.  I realize things are different today.  The extra year, then of course so many more competitions that what there used to be.  Nevertheless a great milestone for one of the best Red Raiders of all time, who is looking to end his career as an All American. 

The Ohio State Cobra Kai Eyes 

Holy cow, after upsetting the Virginia Tech Hokies in a dual where none of us were all that surprised the under-ranked team won, the Ohio State Buckeyes have been on a terror.  Must have taken a chapter out of the John Creese/Terry Silver Handbook, because these guys are showing absolutely no mercy to their opponents. A 53-0 shutout over Edinboro last week, it was a 49-0 shutout against Columbia & a 51-0 shutout against Hofstra this week.  I really though that in the least maybe Dylan Ryder at 125 would give a tough match, but he was pinned at the 4:19 mark by Brendan McCrone.  It's hard to miss much of anytime in this sport. Especially at this level.  Two years away from the mat is a long time.  I think it's a matter of rust & hopefully he can work it out.  Love to see him finally qualify in his final (or maybe not??) try. 

Spencer Moore Continues To Impress Since Coming Off Of Redshirt 

Sometimes wrestlers make a ton of adjustments and improvements over their redshirts & it's obvious to me that has been the case with North Carolina's Spencer Moore.  He had two very notable wins this weekend.  Picking up an 8-5 victory over Sean Spidle of Central Michigan, Moore was then able to secure another nice win with a 5-2 victory over Illinois' Justin Cardani. 

Hawkeye True Freshman Once Again Steals The Show 

He impressed the heck out of me last weekend at Luther.  He was even more impressive Sunday in the dual against Oregon State.  Gabe Arnold, the true freshman out of Georgia, scored a huge 4-2 victory over All American Travis Wittlake. While certainly the match of the night, it was far from the only match worth talking about in the dual between Beavers & Hawks. 

Brandon Kaylor scored a very important 7-6 victory over Draka Ayala at 125 lbs.  It's thus far been a rough start for the 2023 All American & winning this match should be huge for his confidence.  When you can pull off a win over that good of an opponent, in a hostile environment where 10,000+ are screaming against you, it shows you know how to win in tough situations. 

Brody Teske in his 18-8 major over Whisenhunt looked sharp & Real Woods tech'ing Cleveland Belton 18-3 was just unreal.  Fans sometimes complain that Iowa lacks the meanness they had under Gable. Exclude Real Woods from the conversation if you're one of the ones that say that, cause he ain't lacking a damn thing. 

Was hoping to see Brennan Swafford give Trey Munoz a bit more of a fight, but Munoz is tough.  Perhaps even National Champion tough.  Still a lot more of the season left & I still think Swafford is a top 12 wrestler. 

Sergio Lemley Techs MAC Title Contender

It just floors me how good some of these guys are right out of the gate. Hell, sometimes it doesn't even take that long.  I mean look at all of the great wrestlers we've already seen this season, STILL in high school.  Nevertheless, Sergio Lemley of Michigan just dominated McKenzie Bell of Rider, who I do believe could very well contend for the MAC title later this season.  A 19-4 technical fall.  Unbelievable. 

I also gotta point out how well Michael Wilson of Rider wrestled Shane Griffith.  I've always said you can be impressed by someone in a loss, and this is a classic example of what I'm talking about. Wilson has been around for a while & he has yet to make it to the NCAA championships.  Last year was his first winning record full season, after suffering two full season losing records.  Griffith is a three time All American, two time finalist & NCAA champion.   Chalk it up as not 100%, sick, dying, out of body experience or whatever, Wilson still gave the NCAA DI champ a 5-3 match.  This included scoring the final takedown of the bout.  It never feels good to lose, but damn, you can't tell me that his coaches weren't proud of that effort. 

Cyclones Are DenyClones

I could not believe how the Iowa State Cyclones just took it to the Wisconsin Badgers.  I suppose what opened up my eyes the most was Kysen Terukina nearly scoring a tech over two time All American Eric Barnett in a 14-3 major decision. This is a guy who beat him last season.  Talk about a turn of events!  Then Casey Swiderski with a nice 9-4 victory over Joe Zargo.   The Badgers greatest chance after that was the plausibility that D.J. Hamiti might pull off the upset against David Carr, but Carr was able to hold off the Badger in a 2-0 decision.  


On the dual front, that's what I got that really stuck out to me.  Look for reviews/recaps of tournaments to come out later.  Probably write more than I normally do as due to Turkey Day, I only work a three day workweek. 

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