This Week in Wrestling #6….12/22-12/28

Happy Holidays everyone !!!  I hope that all of you have been a lot smarter than me and have managed to finish all of your shopping.  I am about 97 percent complete.  However, I still need to buy a gift for my father.  While I know what I am going to pick up, I am in no way looking forward to having to wait on the infinitely long checkout lines. 

This past week of wrestling was one of the best thus far in the still young season.  While I was never able to actually make it to the MacArthur gym to watch the much anticipated dual, I did follow the action attentively on the LHW live blog. Much thanks to Bill Miller for giving so freely of his time so that all of us unable to attend could still enjoy the festivities…On Thursday, I spent the time between 6pm-10pm clued to my laptop so listening to the semifinals and finals of the Reno Tournament of Champions.  While the overall quality of the tournament was somewhat tarnished by the decision of Boise State to send mostly backups (it certainly compromised my predictions), I still enjoyed having the opportunity to listen as wrestlers that I admire, such as Anthony Robles (Arizona State-125), and Gregor Gillespie (Edinboro-157) busted their butts in claiming titles in their respective weight classes.  Anthony’s title meant the most to me for personal reasons…  As someone who was born with a spinal cord ailment (surgically corrected at age four) as well as diagnosed with a learning and speech disability at a young age, it holds a very special place in my heart when I see others beating the odds in much the same way that I was fortunate to be able to so.  Anyone who does not already know the story of Anthony Robles, I suggest you research it.  Reading it may just brighten your holidays just a tad bit more…In much the same was as Thursday evening, all of Saturday and Sunday (with the exception of the the time spent watching the Giants clinch home field throughout the playoffs) was dedicated to concentrating on the Beast of the East tournament….In other words, I saw my fair share of wrestling this weekend, and yet, I was still left disappointed because I missed the opportunity to see one of my favorite high school teams, Monsignor Farrell, compete against Wantagh due to Friday’s horrible weather….DARN SNOW !!! 

For the most part, this week’s column will in all liklihood be one of the shortest of the season, because, to be honest, there is not a whole lot of wrestling going on with the holidays being in full effect.  In fact, there is not a single top-25 team on the DI level that will be seeing action this weekend.  Therefore, unlike previous weeks, there will not be a “prediction” portion this week. 

The Good thing, is that next week is jam packed with top flight wrestling events.  Therefore, anything you lose this week, will be more than compensated for next week.  Starting next monday, 2008 wil be escorted out with three top flight events that any wrestling fan should make it a priority to check out.   For you enthusiasts of the collegiate scene, be sure to divide your time between the Midlands and the Southern Scuffle.  The finals of Midlands will be televised on the Big-10 network, while UNC-Greensboro, the hosts of the Scuffle are usually good about offering a two webcast for a modest price. Takedown Radio is also a safe bet to be covering one, if not both, of these premier college tournaments.  Hence, you have no excuses for not following the action…On the local high school scene, Levittown MacArthur will bring to us the next chapter of the Long Island Challenge, an event that I attended religiously for the first two years, but have not made my way back to recently.  This year, I’ll be there for certain.  Featuring five NYS ranked teams (MacArthur, Brentwood, Glenn, Monsignor Farrell, and Sayville), there truly will be no easy bouts all day. Be on the lookout for my predictions on all three events. 


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