It was great to see so many friends come out on Sunday for the Penn match. Sunday also marked our seniors final home competition. This year’s seniors include: Steve Anceravage, Drake Hovis, Zach Hammond, Tim Ironman and Jordan Leen. We wrestled in the always Cornell friendly confines of the Friedman Wrestling Center. If you have never been to a match at the Friedman Center you are missing out on one of the country’s great wrestling experiences. The sold-out gym is hot, cramped, and loud; a true wrestlers paradise!
On the weekend we won seventeen out of twenty matches. Although I am pleased with the way our guys wrestled I am sincerely disappointed that we did not win all twenty. I am proud that in every match our guys were the aggressors. Here is my update:
125 Troy defeated #11 Rollie Peterkin 8-4. It is a good sign when Troy does not have one of his better days and he still defeats a very good opponent. Troy has not been tested in some time and I believe his overconfidence caused him to get out of position a couple times on his feet. Generally he keeps perfect position so this is something tangible that we can work on in practice.
133 Mike looked much more like himself in his 10-3 victory. Mike is at his best when he is attacking nonstop. For this reason we have been training Mike in a brutal fashion. Mike’s coaching workout partners include Travis Lee and Cory Cooperman. They make Mike attack from the moment practice starts until it ends, the same way he has to wrestle every match.
141 Corey outwrestled his opponent from whistle to whistle but came out on the short side of a 5-4 decision. Corey was in on the winning takedown for the last thirty seconds of the match but could not get the official to give him the takedown. I am so proud of how hard Corey continues to train and compete despite losing many close matches to outstanding opponents. Because he does not have a good win/loss record he may not get seeded at the EIWA tournament. If he does not get seeded he will be one of the all time worst draws for a seeded wrestler in the history of the EIWA tournament.
149 DJ led his opponent, who was last year’s EIWA Outstanding Wrestler, for most of the match but faded late in the final period. DJ made a freshman mistake by trying to “win easy”. What makes matters worse is that DJ is a sophomore. He tried to catch his opponent in a standing cradle, a move that seldom works against poor opponents and never against good wrestlers. The move failed, his opponent escaped and DJ lost. When DJ gets tired, he gets sloppy. He has gotten much better in this area and he has three weeks to continue to improve.
157 Jordan defeated #19 Matt Dragon 4-1. Jordan scored a takedown, escape and riding time point. After Jordan scored the takedown Dragon did not do much. He seemed to be content losing close and Jordan accepted his decision.
165 Mack defeated Zach Shanaman 6-4SV. Mack relaxed on the edge of the mat and gave up a takedown. After that Mack chased Shanaman for the remainder of the match. He finally caught up to him in overtime gaining the winning takedown. Mack has had trouble with wrestlers not being made to wrestle. He will need to make his opponents passivity more obvious. That being said he is 28-0 and ranked #1 in the country.
174 Steve won 8-3 but spent too much time going for the fall and not enough time scoring. He injured his elbow half way through the match and he stopped wrestling at that point. The good news is he is fine and will wrestle this weekend.
184 Justin wrestled a solid match winning 8-5. I was never too worried about this match although the score was close.
197 I made the call early in the season that Cameron would be this year’s surprise and he is making me look pretty good. Cam got into an early scramble that resulted in him giving up a takedown. From that point on it was all Cameron. He goes so hard that good things happen. In this case the “good thing” was a third period fall! Cam has finally put on some weight after weighing in at 184 for half the year. He finally looks like a full sized 197 pound wrestler.
285 Zach jumped out to a 4-0 lead but gave up a reversal, an escape and riding time to put the match into overtime. Zach took an all or nothing shot and got nothing. Zach can wrestle with anyone on his feet. Unfortunately he has no confidence on bottom. We will work to change this attitude from now until the Easterns. We need Zach to qualify and win matches at the NCAA tournament. Anything less is unacceptable, and I am confident that Zach will get it going over the next couple weeks.