My plan was to write this update on the red-eye flight back to Ithaca. Unfortunately Jet Blue decided to see how much weight I could lose by cranking the temperature on the plane up for the five hour return trip. They thought they could break me but they failed to understand how much weight I’ve cut in the past, and how much extra weight I been able to add to my undercarriage over the past couple years. However I did make one concession to the heat. I didn’t want to add the heat of my computer to my already somewhat sweaty lap. I’m sure I am giving far more detail than most of you desire but I just want to make sure anyone who missed the trip does not have to miss out on our action packed travel. Sadly I have to admit I enjoyed a somewhat twisted sense of joy in seeing our two largest travelers, Damion Hahn and Jacob Aiken-Phillips, “JAP” nestled snugly next to each other. JAP is not only our most prolific sweating machine, but was unable to compete this weekend due to a nasty skin infection on side of his neck. The side adjacent to Damion. I realize I must sound cruel but it was 4 am EST, I was tired, wet and the idea that someone was more uncomfortable than me gave me great comfort!
As for the actually wrestling we experienced a mixed bag of results.
125 It has become commonplace for Nahshon Garrett to dominate the competition. It’s truly thrilling to watch Nahshon develop. He receives a great deal of attention for his athleticism but this is almost an insult to his outstanding technique and mental toughness. There are plenty of great wrestling athletes, but few who have the ability to splice multiple combinations together so smoothly that they look like one move.
133 We did not have an entry at this weight
141 Mark Grey went 1-2. Mark suffered a disappointing tournament. He hasn’t enjoyed the success that we expect from him and he will be competing at 133 at the Southern Scuffle.
149 Chris Villalonga was dominate despite being slightly banged up. I’m excited that we can give Chris a little time to mend so that he is 100% healthy for our next competition.
157 Taylor Simaz went 3-2. Taylor always wrestles hard but he is struggles against physically powerful wrestlers. In order to fix this problem we are going to bring Taylor down to 149 to see if he can be more effective. We have Realbuto, Eifert and Dowdy coming back at this weight so we have many great options in his absence.
165 Jesse Shanaman went 1-2. Jesse suffered a loss to the eventual champion then fell victim to a headlock in the consolation match. Although he was able to avoid the pin the match was downhill from that point on.
174 Duke Pickett went 3-2. Duke lost his first match by giving up two controversial/ridiculous penalty points. He scored the only offensive points but lost with five seconds to go when one of his finger got stuck in his opponents headgear. The ref said it was intentional, (one of poorest calls I’ve seen in a couple years), and so Duke was off to the consolations. In the consolations Duke ripped off three impressive victories before being eliminated. Although I would have liked to have seen Duke place I was pleased with how he wrestled. He has always been good on his feet but he won one of his matches by being tenacious on top. This skill will help him greatly over the next couple months.
184 Gabe Dean placed 4th. Not the results we want or expected. Gabe looked tired and lost two tough matches. I’m not going to over analyze or worry about this setback. Gabe needs to take a little break and let his body rest. More is not always more and Gabe has a problem with the concept of taking a mental and physical break. The old Gabe will be on display on December 21 at Madison Square Garden.
197 Jace Bennett placed 4th and went 4-2 with three falls. Jace had a very nice showing and he is going to score a lot of points for us in the post season.
285 Jacob Aiken-Phillips did not pass the skin test… And he studied for it.