Screw football, It's time to wrestle

Wrestling season kicks off 7:00 tonight in Rec Hall with the Intrasquad Dual. Last chance for challengers to win spots in the 2 time defending National Champion lineup. One small consideration is that four of the top wrestlers will not compete due to the NWCA All-Star match, Saturday night in DC.

No matchups have been announced for the Intrasquad but here's what you'll want to see:

133, Frank Martellotti battles to keep his spot in the lineup. Frank came on strong at the end of last season, picking up a couple of points in the NCAA tournament. Speculation is that he'll face up and coming rsFr Jordan Conaway. Jimmy Gulibon, true freshman and 4 time PA high school champ, is expected to redshirt. Frank should win this one.

141, Bryan Pearsall faces either rsFr Luke Frey or true Fr. Zack Beitz. Buzz is that Pearsall is looking good and will hold off the oompetition.

HWT, Jimmy Lawson, fresh out of the Monmouth football team, returns to wrestling and battles Jon Gingrich and Nick Ruggear for the starting spot. This appears to be the most contested spot in the lineup. Jeff Byers was on the Goon Show last week and claimed that Lawson is a beast but it may take a while to hone his wrestling skills and over take the solid Gingrich.

The four top wrestlers bypassing the Intrasquad match for the All-Star match include Nico Megaludis, 125 returning finalist. Nico faces Delgado from Illinois. It should be close early with Nico pulling away in the 3rd.

Dylan Alton, 3rd last year at 157, takes on Jason Welch, Northwestern. This is a rematch of the NCAA third place match, DA won 6-2. Considering the PSU wrestling room is loaded with guys competing to be National Champs, Alton should separate himself from Welch.

At 165 it's the Battle of the Century of da Week. David Taylor, Magic Man on a unicorn, faces Kyle Dake of the Cornell red menace. Last season Taylor received the Hodge Trophy, wrestling's equivalent of the Heisman, while Dake won his 3rd straight title at a 3rd different weight class. He's moving up a weight class with a legitimate shot at becoming the first 4 time, 4 different weight class individual champion. The best part of this match-up is that this may be the first of 3 matchups between the two including the Southern Scuffle in January and the NCAA tournament in March. Taylor and Dake are good friends and have been mildly trash talking on twitter. Also of note, Dake beat Taylor in this summer's Olympic trial Freestyle qualifications but Taylor is recognized as a better Folkstyle wrestler. The format used by the NCAA. Taylor will be aggressive and try to amass points, Dake will be defensive and try to score on counter attacks. I've seen Taylor lose only twice in the last two years and both times his opponent caught him with a pin off a counter attack. You know Dake will patiently look for this opportunity.

Quentin Wright moves up to 197 lbs this year. He'll face Matt Wilps, Pitt. Q's been erratic in previous early season matches but he's a senior this year and coming off an OT loss in the NCAA championship last March. Q's exciting, attacking style will be fun to watch against bigger opponents this year. I'll go with the homer pick and take Q with a couple of takedowns to win this one.

Jeff Byers will be providing radio coverage of the All-Star Dual on the usual outlets. The only live video is by subscription on Flowrestling and Fox Sports will air later on tape.

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