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A Week of Wrestling, 2021 1231: Happy New Year, Wrestling

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One fanboy’s thoughts on the wrestling week that was and the ones that will be.

Artwork courtesy of Penn State alumnus Ross Bendik, The Foundation for Wrestling Art & Innovation. You can follow Ross’ fun work on twitter @WrestleChicago.

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.

Yesterday is History

Been a crazy week, gonna keep it short & sweet.

Collegiate Duals Residue

Arizona Wrestler is a new channel on the Rokfin($) platform. I don’t yet know the person behind the account, but he posted two interesting interview videos recently. Aside from an insistence on referring to Arizona State as “Arizona” and the Collegiate Duals as the “National Duals”, they were good really good interviews.

Here is one ($) with Arizona State Head Coach Zeke Jones, before the Penn State dual, in which Jones walks through each weight of the matchup in a calm and confident manner:

Just you know, recapping yesterday, you know, I liked how we wrestled, obviously. You know, wrestling Virginia Tech in that last dual and get an opportunity to compete, you know a couple times really showed us where we were at. We went 17 and three on the day I think we wrestled, well scored a lot of points. Got a lot of riding time I really liked.

I think you know, as we look forward to tomorrow, you know, we got obviously Penn State you know, winner of many national championships. These guys know how to wrestle, they got four national champions in their line up and six other guys that are really good. You know, I think if you’re looking kind of for the insight of what the dual is, is— I think it’s going to be a dual meet of bonus points, you know, it could be 5-5; 6-4. And I think we’ve got to be able to manage bonus points on both sides, whether we’re in position to get one or in a position to not give up one.

This one ($), with Assistant Coach Lee Pritts, after the Penn State dual, reveals just how confident the Sun Devils were before facing Penn State.

AZ Wrestling:

So what do you think Arizona needed to do differently as a whole in order for a different outcome against Penn State?

Lee Pritts:

Yeah, and I haven’t watched the video yet right. So that’s number one. I haven’t watched the video. But I can tell you my feelings prior to is I was a little concerned because ... I don’t even know I want to say it out loud. But I thought they thought it was going to be easy. Right? Because we were wrestling great, right? They wrestled great. And the day before I know the message was, hey, these teams are gonna fight you these teams are coming to fight and be ready, you know, be ready for Hofstra you know, I don’t know what they have now, but I know they started the year with, you know, five or six guys that were nationally ranked. And I said, Guys don’t think you’re not going to get their best. You’re getting their best. And the same with (Va) Tech. You know, we knew we were going to get their best and our guys came out and outfought them. They felt—and it wasn’t easy—but they felt like it was at the end because you know, there was a pretty big margin in the score. So I think they felt it was easy, and I feel that was the mindset we kind of let go, and thought it was gonna be easy the next day, even though we know it’s not, but I think they were a little little. I think we need to be a little more high alert, going into that match. Ready to get punched in the mouth a little more. You know.

Wow!

I think we all pretty much knew Bonus Points were going to be the deciding factor, like Jones said above. And like I said last week about the PSU win, “The team finished with 7 wins, 5 of them by Bonus, and won the takedown battle 21-12. It was a fantastic and perhaps surprisingly dominant win over a strong and hopeful Sun Devil squad.”

If we were surprised by the 7 wins and 21-12 score, imagine the Arizona State wrestlers who were wrestling so well they may have thought that beating Penn State might be easy?

Before anybody dunks too hard on Sparky there, remember that Coach Pritts was really hesitant about sharing that part. Thanks for the candor, Coach, and AZ Wrestling for sharing it with us.

Matmen Tourney

After Midlands got canceled, a couple of experienced wrestling folk put their minds & efforts into a replacement tourney that went pretty well and which hosted a lot of teams Penn State’s not scheduled to face until the postseason. Geography-adjacent Pitt took home the team title.

For team scores, let’s go to our new friend Tournaflex, whose praise I will not stop singing, especially when they give us these beautiful score breakouts!

Via Tournaflex

Penn State’s Big Ten schedule this year has the Lions missing Wisconsin, Illinois & Purdue, who all finished in the Top-10. Check out Wiscy’s 24 Bonus Points (with 8 athletes), 6.5 more than second-place bonuser, Rutgers. Impressive showing from Coach Reader’s boys.

We were all pretty busy this week doing IRL things, but BSD Wrestle’s Frank O’Brien at least took some time to volunteer this recap:

I didn’t watch just going by what’s in the brackets. If you watched any of it, tell us what you saw.

Looks like Illinois, Wisconsin, Rutgers and Pitt among others had most of their starters compete.

Carter Bailey, Lehigh, I believe he’s redshirting, pinned Sammy Alvarez at 133 then lost to Mickey Phillippi in the Semis. Byrd, Illinois beat Phillippi in the finals.

Sebastian Rivera rolled the field at 141, TF Pin Major TF.

Harvard’s Conigliaro beat Pitt’s Wentzel 1-0 in the 165 semis then lost by TF to Wiscy’s Hamiti in the finals. Wentzel came back to take 3rd.

Edmond Ruth, unattached, beat the field at 174.

Mark Hall and Miles Amine cruised to the 184 final. Amine finally beats Hall, 4-2.

New Rutgers 197, Greg Bulsak, probably had the best day of the tournament today. He beat Braxton Amos in the semis then Nino Bonaccorsi in the finals. Bonaccorsi came in ranked 2nd by Intermat.

Other Matmen Recaps

The Illinois Wrestling Blog & Forum

I’m brand-spanking new to this guy, Greg German, but many Penn State fans might feel at home with his brand of Iowa distaste. Link navigates to a very bloggy recap, with tons of technique content. Enjoy.

The Links

Mark Hall now retired from Folkstyle:

Cinci Football Coach Luke Fickell’s wrestling losses still haunt him:

“The thing about wrestling is, it’s not just about the best athlete or the most skilled guy,” Fickell explained recently. “It’s really the guy that dedicates the most, that works the hardest who’s going to be the best in the long run. Guys who grind their butts off and work their craft, they have a chance to be better than some of the others.”

Tomorrow is a Mystery

2022 Southern Scuffle

A few weeks ago, Casey Cunningham told us that Penn State would be sending a few athletes to the Scuffle, some attached and some not. Now we know who they are:

Thanks, Frank. Your contributions remain mighty dank.

Scuffle Links

Flo preseeds listing, on Flo (Free).

Flo Hub, with 3 free links to previews (Spey, Rader & Kozak).

Intermat preview (Earl) on Rokfin ($)

Let’s Scuffle Twitter

Today is a Gift

Congrats to Pierson Manville, younger brother of current Penn Stater Mason Manville and Mac Stout, younger brother of former Penn Stater Kellan Stout, for continuing the family tradition of winning the Powerade Tourney.

This picture reminds me of my easiest-to-attain 2022 New Year Resolution: to hang out with my brothers more! We’re starting next Friday, when Penn State travels to College Park to wrestle Maryland, pandemic willing.

That’s all for this week. I hope to see you back here next week!

As always, I invite feedback of all flavors. Please feel free to engage in the comments below or on twitter @JpPearson71. Also please consider bookmarking this link to BSD Wrestle’s Home.