There are a couple of important things to consider before going over the scrimmage results. First it's extremely tough to look outstanding wrestling someone you're wrestling everyday in practice who is familiar with your technique. Second this was the first time, as far as I know, that the wrestlers were required to make flat weight at their weight class, which the first time of the year can be tough.
An impressive crowd of 3000 showed up to Rec Hall to watch the scrimmage this year, which really says something since I remember past matches against Big Ten teams where they didn't bring in 3000 people. Also Jeff Byers the voice of Penn State Wrestling announced the starting lineup over the weekend on the scout message board so I will include those names at each weight.
At Heavyweight Cameron Wade took on local product Jon Ginrich from Bald Eagle Area in the first match. Ginrich could be a decent project for the future but I didn't expect him to give Wade many problems and that proved to be the case, with Wade winning 10 - 1. It's good to see Wade scoring some points from his feet, but a little disappointing he wasn't able to do more from the top position which is supposed to be his strong suit.
Starter: Cameron Wade
125: I wasn't sure what to expect of these two freshman but it looks like Frank Martellotti has the upper leg over Nate Morgan at this point. Martellotti controlled the whole match from start to finish getting an early taking down and building up a good lead in the first period. Morgan stayed aggressive throughout the match which is good to see I think these guys will have some good battles in wrestle offs the next few years. It's important to remember Penn State is expecting Pataky back at this weight at some point this season.
Starter: Frank Martellotti
133: Consider this the first surprise of the scrimmage as far as I'm concerned. I really thought Sherlock would get the better of Pearsall who struggled most of last year. But it's a pretty big jump from high school to college for a lot of these guys, which is one of the reason Cael is a big supporter of redshirting most freshman. Pearsall won the match by riding Sherlock essentially the entire 3rd period. Mat wrestling is one area where kids moving up from high school often struggle. It was disappointing to not see more scoring from neutral for either guy. Hopefully Pearsall has improved over last season, but I have a feeling this spot will be contested throughout the season. It's also possible Martellotti could move up when Pataky returns as his redshirt will have been burned at that point.
Starter: Bryan Pearsall
141: This was another surprise in wildly entertaining bout. Cael said after the scrimmage that he was concerned Dylan would have trouble making 141 consistently and that Lynch and Andrew Alton would be wrestling off for the 141 spot. This match was back and forth from the beginning with Alton jumping out to a 6 2 lead, only to see the first period end 6 5. From there out they exchanged the lead until the end when Lynch started to gain control and finished with a 14 10 win. In the other 141 pound match Andrew Alton made quick work of Kyle Moran with a first period pin. Apparently in the wrestle offs in the room Andrew Alton got the better of Lynch.
Starter: Andrew Alton
149: Frank Molinaro could be back in time for the opener but James English and David Church battled for the interim starting spot. This match was pretty much all English from start to finish who picked up the 8 2 win. Nothing to remarkable to not here as this one went about as expected. Don't be surprised if English starts at least the first match of the year, I think Penn State might be wise to let Molinaro heal for a few more weeks.
157: For at least one night David Taylor lived up to the hype. After a slow start Taylor picked up a takedown at the end of the first period. In the second period he notched an escape and another takedown before pinning James Vollrath. Not much more to be said about this one I think everyone is excited to see what David does this weekend and the rest of the year.
Starter: David Taylor
165: This weight was supposed to be one of the most hotly contested in the room, although Cael hinted that he believed Kemerer would turn it on under the lights and that seemed to be the case. After ending the first period down 2 0 Kemerer turned it on in the 2nd period with an escape followed by a 4 point takedown. The match was still in doubt in the 3rd when Kemerer countered a Fischer shot that would have brought the match to within 1. The final score of 10 4 is a little more lopsided than the match seemed. But at the same time Kemerer is a good scrambler and extremely difficult to score on. In the other 65 pound match Dirk Cowburn easily handled Brandon Phillips.
Starter Jake Kemerer
174: Ed Ruth made his Penn State deubt in a big way. He absolutely destroyed senior Mike Lorenzo with a 2nd period technical fall. The impressive thing from Ruth was that his scoring came from both neutral and the top position, he should be fun to watch this year.
Starter: Ed Ruth
184: Quentin Wright was finally back on the mat for the Nittany Lions and picked up right where he left winning a 10 0 decision over Andrew Church. I think a few people expected more from Quentin in this match but like I said it can be tough when you wrestle someone everyday, there's also no sense in running up against your teammate. He got a quick lead and controlled the match throughout.
Starter: Quentin Wright
197: Ugh that's all I really have to say. Any hope that Ortega's move up in weight would somehow improve his style were quickly dashed. What happened to the guy who looked so impressive beating Dave Erwin last year at the scrimmage. Ortega beat true freshman Nick Ruggear 2 - 1 on the back of a riding time point. Tough to gauge from the radio call but I'm not sure that Ortega took a single shot in this match. It could be another long year at 197.
Starter: Justin Ortega
So going through the expected opening line up without Molinaro you have:
3 red-shirt freshman
2 true freshman
Needless to say it's an extremely young but exciting team.
Penn State will finally be taking the mats this weekend in matches that count against Bloomsburg and Lehigh. Bloomsburg is 3 - 0 after "big" wins over Southern Maine, Bridgewater State, and Boston University. Lehigh won their first match of the year over Drexel. Later in the week I'll breakdown some of the matchups and give previews for each of this weekends bouts.