Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.
Penn State unveiled its 2023 starting roster last week beating fan-favorite AP Lock Haven 44-3, and it’s just as silly on screen as it looks on paper. . If you missed it, you can catch up by reading Cari’s prediction preview, Bubba’s play-by-play, and BSDWrestle’s commentary here. And you can read my postview and see photos from new BSD photographer Scott Pilutik here.
So spoke Cael Sanderson
On Tuesday, November 15, PSU Wrestling met with local media in a lane scrimmage and posted some videos of that availability to Twitter.
In video 1Coach Cael spoke briefly about the new redshirt rules that allow more wrestlers to compete and allow coaches to squeeze them into openings.
In video 2Coach described his relative lack of surprise at how their wrestlers perform competitively, after getting to know them so well in training.
They also made available for questions 141 Beau Bartlett, 157 Terrell Barraclough and 285 Greg Kerkvliet.
Just a few changes from last week, but one is in the Top-5 and the other is in the Top-10.
Arizona State, by virtue of its 25-16 (6 fights to 4) victory over Rutgers, overtook Michigan 2-win for 5th place.
Oklahoma State, with its dominating 25-6 (8-2 in fighting) victory over Lehigh, skipped Virginia Tech to sit in 10th place.
New Mountain Hawk and former Penn Stater Michael Beard was one of the few shining lights for Lehigh, winning a 10-7 decision over OkSt’s Luke Surber.
Meanwhile, Virginia Tech has battled Ohio State well, with big wins from newcomers Caleb Henson at 149 and Tom Crook at 141. Sasso has finished 5th and 2nd in the last two national tournaments, and Bouzakis is a much-heralded rookie that Tom Ryan hopes can be a key part of one day overthrowing PSU.
Alas, those were just 2 of Tech’s 4 fight wins, which wasn’t enough to top the well-rounded Buckeyes.
Speaking of coaches who built in hopes of overtaking Penn State, Arizona State’s Zeke Jones once again fielded a strong, wide lineup. And deep too! 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 rookie, Jesse Vasquez, had a flawless match against No. 6 Allan Hart. In the third period, after Hart locked in a point from Riding Time, Vasquez escaped to make it 1-1. Knowing he needed a takedown to fight the inevitable RT point, he patiently, and with distance, set up his one and last shot, went deep and finished with a clutch finish just before the expiry of the allotted time.
Unfortunately, the 157-pound, 2x All-American Jacori Teemer is injured and likely to miss the playoffs, putting a damper on Sparky’s title hopes.
Yet they won 6 of the former Missouri No. 3’s 10 fights last night in the desert, in a thrilling duel that ended with their heavyweight great, Cohlton Schultz. The Mizzou middleweights put on a bonus point show to try and get out of a lower weight hole, but in the end it wasn’t enough.
A super fun duel to watch, when the Pac12 network stream behaved correctly!
A few of my favorite duels this weekend:
Friday, November 18:
- Illinois at NC State, on Flo. This is the second year in a row that Penn State hasn’t wrestled in Illinois, which is too bad because Ed Ruth’s little brother, Edmund, is wrestling for them.
- Maryland at Pitt, on ESPN+. The Terps improve extremely quickly and Pitt presents a number of well-trained scrappers.
Saturday November 19:
- Wisconsin at Cornell, on ESPN+. Wiscy bounced back from being mauled by Kevin Dresser’s Cyclones, whipping Chattanooga and Buffalo, but how will they fare against No. 7 Cornell?
Sunday, November 20:
- Ohio State in North Carolina, on ESPN+. UNC likely doesn’t have the firepower to win enough fights to outmatch Brutus here, but Ohio State’s new 157-pound freshman Paddy Gallagher takes on 2021 national champion (at 149) Austin O’Connor. Tune in to see what the new kid has got?
Complete guide to live streaming, courtesy of the Earl of Mat.
The wrestling community turned its eyes and hearts to Charlottesville, Va., this week following another school shooting. Robbie Wendell, writing in his role as ACC correspondent on Intermat this week, provided some helpful words:
When I moved from Nebraska to Virginia after college, I came with the hope 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 over a decade. My three children were born and raised here; it is part of their identity and mine. Waking up to the news yesterday morning was just overwhelming. I’ve lived in Charlottesville through the highs of everything that makes this city special and the lows of murders and riots painting our city in the national spotlight. Three young men lost their lives. Life will never be the same for their families, friends, teammates and classmates. It has become all too common and a sad reality. In my years as a teacher and coach, I have lost students and athletes to violence, and I have seen them on both sides of the gun. It’s a feeling you can’t describe and hope others never have to experience.
I ask that we turn to the UVA community with support, understanding and compassion at this incredibly difficult time. I don’t know what the UVA athletics and wrestling schedule will look like in the days and weeks ahead; but that takes a back seat to the safety and healing of athletes, coaches, students and university staff. Say a prayer if you pray and keep the UVA community in your thoughts as they reckon with this tragic event.
Be well and take care of each other, friends.
As always, I invite comments of all flavors. Feel free to engage in the comments below or on Twitter @JpPearson71. Please also consider bookmarking this link for BSD Wrestling Home.