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A Week of Wrestling is Celebrating Renewed Penn State Dominance

One fanboy’s thoughts on the wrestling week that was, and on the wrestling weeks to come.

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

Penn State unveiled their 2023 starting lineup last week in beating down PA-fan-favorite program Lock Haven 44-3, and it is every bit as beast on screen as it looked on paper. If you missed it, you can catch back up by reading Cari’s spot-on prediction preview, Bubba’s play by play and BSDWrestle’s commentary here. And you can read my postview and view new BSD Photographer Scott Pilutik’s pics here.

Thus Spake Cael Sanderson

On Tuesday, November 15, PSU Wrestling met the local media in a hallway scrum, and posted a few videos of that availability to twitter.

In Video 1, Coach Cael spoke briefly about the new redshirt rules that allow more wrestlers to compete and allow the coaches to corner them in opens.

In Video 2, Coach described his relative lack of surprise at how their wrestlers compete in competition, after getting to know them so well in practice.

They also made available for questions 141 Beau Bartlett, 157 Terrell Barraclough & 285 Greg Kerkvliet.


2022 1115 NWCA Coaches Poll via

Just a few changes from last week, but one is in the Top-5 and another in the Top-10.

Arizona State, by virtue of their 25-16 (6 bouts to 4) win over Rutgers, leapt over 2-win Michigan for 5th.

Oklahoma State, with their dominant 25-6 (8-2 in bouts) win over Lehigh, jumped Virginia Tech to sit in 10th place.

Fyre Duals

New Mountain Hawk and former Penn Stater Michael Beard was one of the few bright lights for Lehigh, winning a 10-7 decision over OkSt’s Luke Surber.

Meanwhile, Virginia Tech battled Ohio State well, with big wins from newcomers Caleb Henson at 149 and Tom Crook at 141. Sasso has finished 5th & 2nd in the past two national tourneys, and Bouzakis is a highly-heralded recruit who Tom Ryan hopes can be a key part of one day unseating PSU.

Alas, those were only 2 of Tech’s 4 bout wins, which was not enough to outpoint the well-balanced Buckeyes.

Speaking of coaches who have been building in hopes of overtaking Penn State, Arizona State’s Zeke Jones has again fielded a strong & broad lineup. And deep, as well! At 125, they have 2x AA Brandon Courtney and former stud recruit Richie Figueroa, and at 133, they have 2x AA Michael McGee and former stud recruit, Julian Chlebove.

At 141, another stud recruit, Jesse Vasquez, wrestled an impeccable match against #6 Allan Hart. In the third period, after Hart had locked up a Riding Time point, Vasquez escaped to make it 1-1. Knowing he needed a takedown to combat the inevitable RT point, he patiently, and distantly, set up his lone and final shot, got in deep and finished with a clutch finish just before time expired.

Unfortunately, 157-pounder and 2x All-American Jacori Teemer is injured and likely to miss the postseason, putting a damper in Sparky’s title hopes.

Still, they took 6 of 10 bouts from previous #3 Missouri last night in the desert, in a thrilling dual that came down to their great heavyweight, Cohlton Schultz. Mizzou’s middle weights put on a bonus-point show to try to climb out of a lower-weight hole, but in the end, it was not enough.

A super fun dual to watch, when the Pac12 Network feed behaved properly!

Tomorrow is a Mystery

Upcoming Duals

A few of my favorite duals this weekend:

Friday, November 18:

  • Illinois at NC State, on Flo. This is the second year in a row that Penn State does not wrestle Illinois, which is a bummer because Ed Ruth’s little brother, Edmund, wrestles for them.
  • Maryland at Pitt, on ESPN+. The Terps are improving extremely rapidly, and Pitt fields a number of well-coached scrappers.

Saturday, November 19:

  • Wisconsin at Cornell, on ESPN+. Wiscy bounced back from their mauling at the hands of Kevin Dresser’s Cyclones, by whuppin Chattanooga & Buffalo, but how will they fare against #7 Cornell?

Sunday, November 20:

  • Ohio State at North Carolina, on ESPN+. UNC likely doesn’t possess the firepower to win enough bouts to outpoint brutus here, but Ohio State’s new 157-pounder, highly-regarded freshman Paddy Gallagher, faces off against 2021 National Champion (at 149) Austin O’Connor. Tune in to see what the new kid’s got?

Full live streaming guide, courtesy of the Earl of Mat.

Today is a Gift

The wrestling community turned its eyes and hearts to Charlottesville, VA this week, in the wake of another school shooting. Robbie Wendell, writing in his role of ACC Correspondent on Intermat this week, provided some helpful words:

When I moved to Virginia from Nebraska after college, I came with the expectation of living here for two years before moving on to my next adventure. Fast forward 16 years and now, Charlottesville has been my home for more than a decade. All three of my children have been born and raised here; it’s a part of their identity and mine. Waking up to the news yesterday morning was nothing short of crushing. I have lived in Charlottesville through the highs of everything that makes this town special and the lows of murders and riots painting our town in the national spotlight. Three young men lost their lives. Life will never be the same for their families, their friends, their teammates and their classmates. This has become all too common and an unfortunate reality. In my years as a teacher and a coach, I have lost students and athletes to violence, and have seen them on both sides of the weapon. It is a feeling you cannot describe, and one you hope others will never have to feel.

I ask that we turn to the UVA community with support, understanding and compassion in this incredibly difficult time. I don’t know what UVA athletics and the wrestling schedule will look like in the coming days and weeks; but it takes a backseat to the safety and healing of the athletes, coaches, students and staff of the university. Say a prayer if you pray, and keep the UVA community in your thoughts as they reckon with this tragic event.

Thanks, Robbie.

Be well, and take care of each other, friends.

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.