Sorry it took me an extra day to get this update out. We took the redeye back and I expected to write it on the plane flight back. Unfortunately Delta Airlines chose to play an evil joke upon me by wedging me between Damion Hahn and Taylor Moore. I attempted to reach my computer, which was under my seat, but my arms were tightly pinned to my side by Damion and Taylor’s massive girth. Taylor prides himself on his weight gain now that he has moved up to 285. Damion on the other hand still claims to be hovering around 200 lbs. This claim is accuratel; however, it is based on what he would weigh on the planet Mars. Despite terrible travel, 28 hours of travel time to get there and a redeye back, the team wrestled very well finishing a point shy of first place.
125 Frank Perrelli (So.)
Frank placed fifth and won four matches along the way. His two losses were to returning All-Americans. Frank has great speed and is developing into one of the country’s finest 125 pound wrestlers. At the beginning of the season our goal for Frank was to develop his riding skills. I was pleased to see Frank get ridding time in all four of his victories.
133 Mike Grey (Jr.)
Mike dominated the competition up to the finals. In the finals Mike lost a close 5-3 decision. Mike also has been working on his top work and it showed as he also gained ridding time in all four of his victories. In order for Mike to get back to the podium in March he needs to continue to improve on top and continue to improve his attacks from the ties. In the past he has struggled when he attacks from too far outside. He has done a much better job this year and he will continue to improve.
141 Kyle Dake (Fr.)
Kyle showed that he is as capable as anyone in his weight class of winning the NCAA title. He did lose two overtime matches this weekend. One was to the returning national runner-up and the other to an opponent he had already beaten in the tournament. He also defeated a 2x All-American who is currently the #3 ranked wrestler in the US.
I am not saying he will win the title, only he has the ability to win it this year. Considering he is only a freshman I see no reason why he will not continue to improve throughout the season.
149 Corey Manson (Jr.)
Corey is wrestling much better this year up a weight at 149. He went 3-2 in the tournament, beating a couple very good wrestlers in the process. Corey needs to improve on top and bottom. He is a strong as an ox but still struggles against leg riders. Over the next month he will be working on bottom and hopefully by the Southern Scuffle we will see improvement in this area.
157 Derek Schreiner (So.) and 165 Cody Hutcheson (Fr.)
Derek and Cody both went winless in their first significant college tournament. These two are physically very powerful young men who need to see a great deal more competition.
John Basting will be back in the line-up at 157 for the Southern Scuffle. John is a natural 157 pound wrestler and was wrestling behind DJ Meagher. John went up to 165 for the Maryland match when Justin Kerber injured his knee. Justin is back on the mats but only had a couple practices under his belt and we did not believe he was prepared to wrestle in Las Vegas. He will wrestle at the Scuffle, our next competition.
It is unlikely that Meagher will be able to return to the mats due to suffering another concussion in the Body Bar tournament. He has had a couple and we hope that an extended period of rest will allow him to ultimately return to the mats.
174 Mack Lewnes (Jr.)
Mack won five matches on his way to the title. None of these matches were particularly close. Mack has not had an offensive point scored on his thus far, and I would not be surprised if he does not have one scored on him the entire season.
184 Steve Bosak
Steve is 13-3 on the season and quickly establishing himself as on the top 184 pound wrestlers in the US. He placed fifth but this could have easily been higher as he let one match slip away in OT. Steve wrestles at a ridiculously fast pace and I expect he will improve greatly as he continues to wrestle himself into better shape.
197 Cam Simaz (So.)
It is hard to be disappointed in Cam’s third place finish. Although he did get upset in the quarter-finals he came back to take third by pinning or tech falling five of his opponents. Cam makes adjustments faster than anyone I have ever coached. After his loss, I asked him to focus on defense. He was giving up his legs too much and once his opponent got to his legs he did not punish his opponent. Over the next couple matches came made everyone who touched his legs “pay the price”. Although I seldom believe in losses are a good thing, I will make an exception in this case. Cam is one hundred percent better defensively this year than last but this is still one of his weaknesses. After this weekend it is much less weak.
285 Taylor Moore (Sr.)
Taylor scored a fall but then dropped his next two matches. We need Taylor to develop quickly due to the absence of Josh Arnone. I expect to get Josh back for the Southern Scuffle and National Duals but he will be used sparingly.