What a lineup! Hugely entertaining wrestling last night with some highly anticipated match ups. The media was there in full force and True Wrestling was there covering and tweeting (@truewrestler1) the action. But where were the fans? The Palestra wasn’t sold out for this event and looked about 60% full. There have to be 100,00 serious fans and 7,000 middle and high school wrestlers with in a 90 mile radius of Philadelphia that could afford the tickets. Wrestling will never be a successful revenue generating sport if it can’t fill the Palestra with this type of line up. Are wrestling fans like baseball fans? Not tuning in if it’s not their team playing? Very disappointing. Don’t miss great wrestling; bring someone with you, a younger wrestler. Not one of these wrestlers went to high school in Iowa.
Showcase matches worth noting:
133 Drexel’s, Kevin Devoy, looked really good and could be climbing the rankings soon.
141 C.J. Cobb lost to Devin Carter but if his cardio was improved he could easily be an All American this year. He took down Carter 3 times and he was beating him into the 2nd period and seemed gassed. Carter then dominated him 17-11. Was it the weight cut or early season. If you don’t know anything about Cobb here is some information. 2012 freshman season Cobb wrestled several matches but was injured, and received a medical hardship wavier for the year. 2013 Cobb Sophomore season (25-9) wrestled at 141 pounds. He won the Keystone Classic, finished top 12 at the Midlands, was the runner up at EIWA’s and went 2-2 at the NCAA Tournament.
2014 Cobb did not compete and has two seasons of NCAA eligibility remaining. This could be a semi final match up in March with lots of action.
184 UPenn’s returning All American Lorenzo Thomas was dominating against an unranked opponent. Penn could have a couple All Americans come March.
55kg #3 Helen Maroulis easily teched the 4th ranked Jillian Gallays (10-0 tech) and looks to be in strong contention for a world medal next year and the Olympics the following year.
The All Star Match started here
165 Alex Dieringer won 4-2 but looked like the most dominate wrestler in the dual. He went up a weight class and he said that has helped his energy level. Wrestlers at 165 should be ready for an even better Dieringer this season.
174 Brock Gutches Southern Oregon University got a quick takedown on Robert Kokesh but was then dominated for the rest of the match. Gutches could have been successful at the D1 level. I’m sure that we’ll see him competing at senior level soon.
184 Gabe Dean is one of my favorites out there. He almost gave up wrestling early last season and now he’s the best at his weight class. He was able to widen the margin of victory from last years NCAA’s 3rd place match.
197 Scott Schiller like I talked about in my preview, is a tough match up for Cox. Just like MM from PSU is a tough match up for Schiller. Cox needs to make adjustments to win that match later in the season.
285 Mike McMullan had a very good game plan coming into the match. His controlled aggression took an early lead and then scored on Gwiz’s funky game plan. I don’t think that Gwiz will wrestle the same wide-open risky style in March. It should be a great rematch. I love heavyweights that wrestle like they are 100lbs lighter.
125 Alan Waters beat Joey Dance in a close match. Dance’s strategy might change in a future meeting. A good win for Water but didn’t dominate. Nico Megaludis was rather beat up when he beat Dance 6-1 for 3rd place. Did Water’s make a leap to get into he finals conversation this year? I don’t think so but he’s got all season to prove me wrong.
133 AJ Schopp beat Mason Beckman in a tight match. After an opening takedown Beckman had no answers for Schopp’s funky style on top or tied up in neutral. These two guys have been splitting matches for several years. I see that trend continuing.
141 Logan Stieber was medically ruled out. Word was that he had blood in his urine?
149 Tsirtsis beat Kindig 4-1 but the match wasn’t as entertaining as I thought a rematch of last year’s finals would be.
157 Green beat Miller 6-4, it was an entertaining match. Green is explosive and Miller missed a couple of big moves at the line. I’m looking forward to a rematch. Both of these guys are fun to watch and I hope that we get a rematch in March.