I know, I know things change but as of my recent conversations with the coaches from these programs here’s where they stand as of now:
I recently talked with Coach Favia about this year’s team. Favia is a young and driven person that is leading the program forward in the Centennial Conference. I’ve talked with Coach Favia a couple times over the last year and the one thing that always is clear is that he loves his job. Coaching wrestling is his dream job. They have a tough schedule by design. They have a tough schedule facing 16 of the top ranked teams. If you want to be the best you need to wrestle the best. Stevens graduated 3 conference champs the question is: can they reload?
125lbs Rob Murray
133lbs 2 freshmen will battle it out until one of them demonstrates the competition is over. Mike Derin and Joey Borai are your players here.
141lbs Ryan Wilson is the returning starter.
149lbs Zach Wilhelm is a returning starter.
157lbs Tom Pokikuha will start the season here but look for some competition at this weight in the future.
165lbs Colin Navickas
174lbs Phil Woods is dropping down from 184 last season.
184lbs Danny Moore is the front-runner with pressure from Kalen Gans
197lbs AJ Kowal will start the season here but he may drop down to 184 later in the season. For those that follow my coverage you know that I’m high on Kowal. He’s very talented, knocking off a D1 All American last season at the ESU Open.
2985lbs Tyler Maher is the guy.
“We’ve got a returning All-American in Eddie Klimara. And you look at him returning as a senior this year, his fourth year, he has a redshirt year, but he’s coming off of being an All-American last year and the possibilities of the team – it might be our best in several years. We’re going to see Eddie definitely start the season with us. Right now, I’m not sure if he has a challenger. I know that Eli Hale has shown good improvement and Zac Gentzler has been solid. Connor Cline had an injury this summer that he might not be able to wrestle again. That’s disappointing for him and disappointing for us. He’s a great kid. With Eddie, he showed great improvements last year, but he’s just got to continue with his offense. At 125, it’s about offense. It’s about speed. It’s about attacking, and I think as he gets in that attack mode he’s realizing that he gets better and better, so 125 gives us a good start in every dual meet.”
“Last season, Gary Wayne Harding took the starting spot for us and he did a decent job. In his matches last year, he gave up too many takedowns, but it’s going to take a little more than just being a great competitor at this weight. Kyle Garcia, Brian Crutchmer are guys that can wrestle this year and have the year to wrestle. Boo Lewallen is a guy we’re going look to redshirt, as well as Kaid Brock. I mean Kaid Brock is a 125/133 guy, but if I had my pick it would probably be 133 as both of those guys, Lewallen and Brock, will go through a redshirt year.”
“We’ve got a returning All-American in Dean Heil. He’s had a pretty interesting career. At one point last year we thought we lost him and here we find him as one of the top 141-pounders in the country. He’s been really a great kid to work with since his problem with his weight at 133 last year and moving him up. He seems to have the right frame of mind and knows that things could get a bit tougher considering what he did in the past. But he’s preparing for that tough season and mentally he’s asking a lot of the right questions. I don’t see anybody challenging him on this team. Dusty Hone and Lincoln Lemon are solid guys that will probably have an opportunity to wrestle this year, but as of right now Dean Heil appears to be the guy that we’re going to focus on.”
“At 149, we made the move with Anthony Collica from 157 to 149. He was never really a 157-pounder so I’m sure he’s excited to wrestle in a weight class where he feels he’s at his best. He had a solid year for us at 157, came a round away from placing at the weight, and most of the guys who beat him ended up being a lot bigger-bodied and it did make an impact in the final outcome of the match. With Anthony, he’s got great penetration shots. He’s a shooter. His conditioning has always been good and he’s a good worker. You can look for guys like Jonce Blaylock and Davey Dolan as well as Joe Schumacher. I look at those guys like the other several weights. I’m really pleased with the depth in the lower weights right now. Just real healthy right now. You don’t always have it, but you’ve got to feel fortunate when you do have it and we have depth at these weights right now. We could see Schumacher make a move down, we could see Davey Dolan make a move down. For now, until they show that 141 is a possibility, I would list them at 149.”
“At 157, this is probably our most competitive weight class from the standpoint of guys. None of them have proven anything and they’re a long ways from helping at this point. I think as they develop work ethics, they’ll learn what it’s going to take to be successful at this weight. I think we’ve got a great opportunity to have somebody that can help us in the end. You have Chance Marsteller, a redshirt freshman, along with Ryan Blees, Hestin Lamons and Tyler Mann. These guys are all redshirt freshmen. Dalton Moran, who’s a transfer from South Dakota State, will be at this weight and then you have Joe Smith, who we hope to redshirt. You have to give the nod right now to Ryan Blees and Chance Marsteller. One of those guys probably will come out on top, but I can’t overlook guys like Hestin Lamons. Lamons is a guy who has matured and developed from last year and has played an important role in the program along with Tyler Mann, but we will keep this weight under consideration and we will wrestle our very best guy whether he’s redshirting or whether he’s not. We have to try to put the best team on the mat this year.”
“When you look at the roster we’ve got one guy and that’s Alex Dieringer. We’ve got a guy who is a fifth year senior and everybody in the house knows that this guy is going to start no matter what happens. That’s why we’ve got six guys at 157. For Alex, it’s about doing something only a handful of guys have ever done. We all know that he’s a two-time national champion and he’s going for his third and to be one of very few people to do that. His win-loss record is pretty impressive. He ranks up there in possibly the top-5 all-time in Oklahoma State’s history. This guy deserves to be there. He’s been dominant. I don’t think it’s going to be an easy season. I do think he’s got some pretty good kids that he’s going to have to stay focused on and continue to train with the mentality of putting points on the board. Definitely a big year for him to put his name in the record books.”
“Kyle Crutchmer is a returning All-American and really developed through the year last year and was one of those guys at the end that everyone was talking about. I want to see Kyle start where he finished off last year. There was a lot of development that happened through the year. He’s a junior this year and he’s gone through some tough experience that he probably didn’t expect in his first two years of eligibility and really grew from it at the end of the year last year. He realized the effort he needed and was able to put it out on the mat and for that reason he was in every match and an eyelash away from maybe being a finalist in the NCAA Championships. He’s going to need to continue to do a lot of that. Chandler Rogers is obviously a freshman that I believe could push Kyle. He’s won a lot of matches in his career and he’s been pretty impressive in doing so, but I don’t think that he’s willing to give up that weight at this time in the season. I think his size is a little bit small for the weight, obviously moving up from 165, he might be more comfortable as a 165-pounder but I think he looks at it as his best shot of making the team. I think he has the body type to build that size that he needs. A good two solid guys at this weight going into the season gives us a good opportunity.”
“At 184 pounds, we’ve used several people over the last few years and it’s been a while since we’ve had an All-American at this weight. Hopefully through some of the lessons that these guys have learned they can wrestle with a little bit more maturity and they can have a more clear sense of what needs to take place on the mat. Both Nolan Boyd and Jordan Rogers are two guys that are the same age – juniors. Landry Chappell is a junior. Luke Bean, who is going to make the pull down to 184, is going to give us some depth at this weight, and I think that Bean seems to be the one that has a lot of balance in understanding match strategies and mat composure. I would say he’s probably one of the better guys that I’ve seen in these 184 and 197 weight classes over the last couple of years. I do know that guys really develop through adversity, if they stay in the fight. So Rogers, Boyd, Bean and Chappell, those four guys, we could see and it wouldn’t be a surprise that any of those four came out wrestling with a lot of maturity and things we haven’t seen in the past.”
“197 pounds is another weight class that is kind of fighting for people to win matches. I think that’s the way we need to look at it right now. We need to win matches at this weight and if you look at Austin Schafer, who started part of the season last year, and Luke Bean took over the weight the second half of the season. Schafer needs to mature into a little bit more of a stable wrestler on the mat and not be so sporadic at times that he seems to set himself back months. This is going to be the key for him to have a solid season is to show some stability in his thinking and his maturity level because I do believe he has potential. Preston Weigel, who went through a redshirt year last year, put a good year in last year and finished up wrestling in several freestyle events and ended up being a freestyle All-American this summer. He needs to make sure he stays healthy and stays intense at practice. I think he’s got great upside. He’s been real disciplined as far as what he does in the weight room and in the room. We can see several guys wrestle here as well as the possibility of Ben Laures, who’s one of our seniors. But Schafer and Weigel are the two off the top of my head that we’ll probably see in this weight class throughout the year. We will look to redshirt Andrew Marsden at 197.”
“At heavyweight, Austin Marsden is going into his senior year as an All-American two years ago and really from the middle of the season after he won the Southern Scuffle, he just had a real letdown. I think it’s just a matter of discipline and recognizing that you have to sustain your energy and attitude for the entire season and not just part of it. It just seems like he started off well and you’re hoping that in his senior year you see some things that show a sense of urgency. I’ve seen all those things so far at the beginning of the year. That doesn’t always translate into something special, it just shows that he’s got the right frame of mind as he’s starting his final season. Austin has a lot of potential to be a lot better, it’s just a matter of how aggressive he wants to be to bring out that potential. His toughness needs to be shown throughout the season. Tanner Allen is the backup in the division to Austin. Garrett Beier, from Perry, Okla., definitely needs a redshirt year. So those are our three heavyweights that we have and I’m pleased with what Tanner Allen has done in developing his body over the last couple of years. It’s been a nice surprise to me.”
I just talked with coach Scott Moore. Here is the Lock Haven Bald Eagle tentative line up. A few of the returners are sliding down a weight class this season.
125 lbs Jake Field is the returning starter and front-runner. Field had some nice wins last season. Derek Gulotta will challenge him.
133 lbs Bobby Rehm took 2nd at EWL’s last season.
141 lbs Dan Neff returning All American is dropping down a weight class.
149 lbs Cody Wheeler is the front-runner but will be challenged by Kyle Shoop.
157 lbs Aaron McKinney is dropping down from 165.
165 lbs Dillon Gavlock
174 lbs Tyler Wood
184 lbs Tristan Sponseller and Adam Makie will battle it out here.
197 lbs Phil Sprenkle came into the EWL championships as the #1 seed.
285 lbs Brad Emerick
Lehigh will have a very good team this season and if they can stay healthy could finish with a lot more points at Nationals this March. They had a lot injuries at the end of last season.
125 lbs Darian Cruz
133 lbs Mason Beckman. Scotty Parker looks to Redshirt and slot in at 133 next season.
141 lbs Randy Cruz is a very good wrestler from top position which makes him exciting.
149 lbs Gardner, Longo and Cutler are all fighting it out here.
157 lbs Mitch Minotti is back from an injury that he suffered at EIWA’s last season
165 lbs Preisch or Milonas will battle it out here. Both wrestlers are coming back from injury but are at 100% right now. The loser will go up to 174 to challenge.
174 lbs Elliot Riddick has certified at this weight but did the cut affect him? Can he wrestle and keep his cardio while holding the weight?
He will face either Milonis or Preich for this position.
184 Nate Brown stud
197 lbs John Bolich
285 lbs Max Weisle will start the season here. Doug Vollaro is coming back from an injury suffered at the EIWA Championships last season and should be ready to compete for the spot a few weeks into the season.
If Lehigh’s team stays healthy the Cornell dual and EIWA championships are going to be extra fun to see.
Projected Drexel Dragon Lineup
125 lbs Zach Fuentes
133 lbs Kevin Devoy, was Drexel’s 1st EIWA Champion in my memory. Last year’s 125 lbs after Fuentes got hurt, Tanner Shoap has a Redshirt to use if Devoy is 133.
141 lbs David Pearce
149 lbs Matt Cimato, national qualifier last season. His unique style is a tough matchup for many foes.
157 Richie Viruet & Mike Comunale will fight it out for this spot. Both are young talented wrestlers; Viruet is coming back from a couple of injuries his RSFr season.
165 lbs Austin Rose is the front-runner but Dakota Green, a talented freshman, will challenge for the spot. Ryan O’Connor & Willie Davis will be involved here.
174 lbs Nick Elmer is moving up a weight from last season.
184 lbs Stephen Loiseau is also moving up a weight class from last season. Returning starter Alex DeCiantis is leaning towards a Redshirt year.
197 lbs Nezar Haddad, is coming back from injury and a redshirt season. Joshua Murphy will be in the mix here as well.
285 lbs Returning starter Joey Goodhart looks like the front runner but Alex Foley will be in the mix.
Tentative line up for Coach Troy Nickerson’s Northern Colorado crew. During the off-season Nickerson picked up Nikko Reyes two-time NCAA Division I National qualifier as a transfer from Illinois. UNC also had a couple other transfers this off-season. Northern Colorado is on an upward trajectory. Nice work
125- Trey Andrews is a returning national qualifier.
133- Sonny Espinoza
141- Colton Orrino
149- Timmy Box is the front runner and another transfer coming in from Cal State Bakersfiled. Ben Polkowske/ Nick Adams
157- Eleazar DeLuca/ Joe Grable
165- Keilan Torres
174- Dylan Gabel/ Nikko Reyes
184- Nikko Reyes/ Dylan Gabel, Nikko is big and is more likely at 184.
197- Trent Noon
285- Brian Macchione
For weights not yet settled, they will use the Northern Colorado Open (Nov. 1) and Cowboy Open (Nov 7) as wrestle offs.
I caught up with Coach Alex Tirapelle of UPenn today. Official practice starts on the 15th of October. This is the beginning of the 2nd season for Tirapelle at Penn. Everyone is fresh this time of year and aspirations are high. Penn has produced more than 20 All Americans since the mid 1990’s. Last season they also had 4 Academic All Americans, the most since they started this type of recognition. If you’re in the neighborhood November 22 Penn hosts the Keystone Classic. Lots of top wrestlers and programs will be there. Fans can intermingle with wrestlers and coaches in the hallways of the historic Palestra.
Here is coaches projected lineup, before official practice starts, so things can change.
125 lbs Jeremy Schwartz- last year’s starter is back, Ken Bade was a starter 2 years ago and is back this season. Bade may have a slight advantage at this point in the season but it’s close.
133 lbs Caleb Richardson is a returning national Qualifier and the front-runner at this weight.
141 lbs is wide open. Marc Mastropietro is coming up a weight class from last season. Eric Friedman is dropping down from 149. Freshman AJ Vindici is looking tough. Check back in after the Binghamton Open.
149 lbs CJ Cobb is a 2 x national qualifier. Last season he made it to the round of 12. He’s the clear frontrunner.
157 lbs is wide open and will be another good battle to get into the lineup. Brooks Martino is the returning starter and frontrunner. However May Bethea will have something to say about who’s starting and so will Joe Olive who missed last season due to injury and is moving up from 149. Again the Binghamton Open may determine the starter.
165 lbs Ray Bethea just missed being a national qualifier last season and seems to be the frontrunner. Joseph Velliquette will be bumping up from 149 to challenge for the weight class.
174 lbs Casey Kent is coming off a medical hardship year and moving up from 165 where he was a national qualifier two seasons ago.
184 lbs Lorenzo Thomas is a former All American and 2x NQ. Joe Heyob is moving up from 174 and will challenge for the starting spot.
197 lbs Frank Mattiace is returning after a year off and is the frontrunner.
285 lbs Pat Garren is the returning starter after doing well last season starting at this weight as a true freshman.
There it is. If everyone stays healthy and keeps up with their schoolwork Penn has a chance for multiple All Americans and a top 20 finish. This is something that has happened quite often in the not so distant past. Penn is facing some competition for Philly bragging rights from neighbor and ‘wannabe’ rival Drexel. Penn won their dual with Drexel last season by 6 points and hasn’t lost to them in a very long time. Penn finished 5th at EIWA’s last season, while Drexel finished 6th. The upstart Dragons might be able to turn this inter-city dual into a true rivalry this season. That would be great for the sport of wrestling in this basketball-centric city.
Ohio State Lineup
Tom Ryan told me that with Kyle Snyder taking an Olympic waiver season, injuries, complexity of redshirts and lots of weights unsettled this is the most complex and interesting start to a season that he’s faced to date. Things won’t be settled for some time but this is where things stand right now.
125lbs Nathan Tomasello
133lbs JDJ AKA Johnni DiJulius
141 Micah Jordan is dropping down and will likely challenge for the weight class against Ke-Shawn Hayes
149lbs Hunter Stieber but he’s not likely to be back before the New Year. So the loser of the 157 lbs weight class will most likely drop down and fill this spot until Stieber comes back. He’s had major surgery and I hope to get more on his recovery soon
157 Jake Ryan will face Cody Burcher for the spot with the loser dropping down to fill in at 149.
165lbs At the start of the season it looks like Seth Williams will fight it out with Justin Kresevic. This may be a temporary thing as BoJo may descend to the weight during the season.
174lbs Bo Jordan will likely start the season here. Myles Martin will slot in here when and if he’s 100% ready. Jordan would then drop down to 165.
184lbs Kenny Courts, the lead candidate, will be challenged by Jack Rozema for the starting spot.
197lbs Mark Martin is the leading candidate but will be challenged by Kollin Moore. Martin has a redshirt to use and depending on how the team starts to solidify, may be in play. Moore is an OHSSA state champion hammer.
285lbs Nathan Tavanello vs. Thomas Haines. Both wrestlers are coming back from injuries. Haines’ injury was more significant. Haines lost most of his RSFr year to injury and may not be as far along in the college wrestling game as other RSFr. Tav has had more mat time and is ahead of Haines at this point.
So OSU has at least 3 potential starters coming back from injury and is missing Kyle Snyder. Will they try to reload or stock up a bit a la Penn State last season? Only time will tell.
Look for a True-Wrestling interview with Coach Ryan shortly.
I recently talked with Minnesota coach J Robinson. He’s got a young team and the starting lineup isn’t close to being settled. Minnesota starts the season with tough early season opponents, including Lehigh, Okie State, the Cliff Keen and Southern Scuffle all under their belt by early January.
125 lbs E .Lizak is the leading candidate with S. Petry and S. Polakowski in the mix too.
133 lbs. S. Brancale might be the leading candidate but N. Thomas and B. Morgan are right there too.
141 lbs. T Thorn is the leading candidate
149 lbs. J. Short is the leading candidate
157 lbs. B Kingsley is the leading candidate
165 lbs looks wide open
174 lbs looks wide open
184 lbs C. Pfarr, W. Balow are likely among a wide open field
197 lbs B. Pfarr is leading the way
285 lbs M. Kroells
If I left any names off it wasn’t intentional coach was dishing a lot of info.
Coach Robinson told me that due to the wide open nature of some of the weight classes a combination of wrestle offs and early season competition will be used to determine the eventual starting lineup.
Talked with Tim Flynn about this year’s Fighting Scotts. They are still not clear on what they’re doing with a talented group of freshman: Korbin Myers, Tyler Vath, Nate Hagen and Pat Lugo. Coach Flynn is looking for some “divine intervention” in the decision making process. If you want to see wrestle offs check out their coaches clinic Oct 23 & 24. Wrestle offs are right after the clinic Saturday afternoon.
125lbs S Russel
133lbs A Rivera leading candidate but very open
141lbs J. Lorea leading return candidate – open, depends on redshirts
149lbs Redshirt dependent P. Jennings
157lbs 1st semester is wide open. 2nd semester A. Matthews is still recovering from off season surgery.
165lbs C. Fuller & T. Schoffstall are leading candidates.
174lbs P. Jennings
184lbs V. Avery
197 V. Pickett & W. Bosch-dropping down from 285 last season.
285lbs Billy Miller
I talked with coach Goodale today. This is the Rutgers projected lineup:
125lbs S. McCabe
133lbs A. Giraldo won the spot two years ago over DelVecchio. DelVecchio has a redshirt to use.
141lbs A Ashnault was an All American as a RSFr. Taking 8th last March.
149lbs T. Dippery might have a slight edge here. Last year’s starter K. Theobold has a redshirt to use. Don’t overlook freshman R. Gentile but also has a redshirt to use.
157lbs R. Lewis Fr. is the front runner with J. Van Brill in the hunt
165lbs A. Perrotti was an All American two years ago.
174lbs P. Bakuckas is the returning starter but A. Pafumi is dropping down to his natural weight class to challenge him.
184lbs N. Gravina is the guy here
197lbs Camp is back. A. Campolattano was a rd of 12 at Ohio State his freshman season. He spent time out of the line up last year. Coach says that he’s ready and committed this season.
285lbs B. Smith returning starter
Coach Rob Koll
125- Dalton Macri (Fr) Canon-McMilan, PA
133- Nahshon Garrett (Sr) 2015 NCAA 5th Place, 2014 NCAA Runner-Up, 2013 NCAA 3rd Place. This move should ensure that he doesn’t miss weight again this season.
141-Mark Grey (Jr) 2015 NCAA Qualifier, 2014 NCAA Qualifier–Round of 12.
149-Taylor Simaz (Jr) or Joey Galasso (Fr).
157- Chris Dowdy (Sr) John Jay Chavez then Dylan Palacio (Jr) still in recovery from off season surgury.
165- Duke Pickett (Sr) He’s coming down from last season. 2015 NCAA Qualifier. Pickett never overwhelms me with his talent but his heart/desire is compelling.
174- Brian Realbuto (Jr) is coming up from 157 lbs last season. 2015 NCAA Runner-Up.
184- Gabe Dean (Jr) 2015 NCAA Champ, 2014 NCAA 3rd Place finisher.
197-Jake Taylor (Jr) Steve Congenie (Jr) and Jake Anderson look to fight it out.
285-Jeremy Sweaney (Fr) Took 2nd at the Jr. Greco Roman World Team Trials last year. Greco is a great base for the big men when they get to the college level.
Jacob Aiken-Phillips (Sr) 2015 NCAA Qualifier-2nd Semester. Aiken-Phillips only has one semester of eligibility so he’ll try to get back in the line up in January.