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#3 PackWrestle: New Rankings & Gardner-Webb Preview

NC State senior, Nick Reenan, takes the mat for his NLWC exhibition bout
Photo by Carie Dernlan @ Dec 22 NLWC Event

New Rankings

We’re heading into the opening weekend of the wrestling season. It’s been delayed quite a bit from the typical November start, but hey, at least we’re getting a season at all. And with that, we have a fresh batch of preseason rankings to capture weight changes and guys removed who won’t be competing this year. As a team, the Pack checks in at #3. See where our individuals rank below:

  • 125 - Camacho #3 (previous: 5)
  • 133 - Trombley #18 (20)
  • 141 - T. Wilson #13 (14)
  • 157 - H. Hidlay #2 (2)
  • 165 - T. Bullard #6 (7)
  • 174 - D. Bullard #11 (12)
  • 184 - T. Hidlay #3 (3)
  • 285 - D. Wilson #16 (19)

That’s a good looking team there - three in the top-3 of their weight classes, six in the top-15. We should be a formidable roster once again this year.

Gardner-Webb Dual

How to Watch: ESPN+

Wrestling Rules & Scoring

The boys kick off 2021 with a short trip to Boiling Springs, NC where they’ll face the Runnin’ Bulldogs of Gardner-Webb. Initially, this looks like a major mismatch on paper, but considering the likely restrictions that were placed on scheduling as well as the abbreviated nature of the season, you can see why Coach Popolizio booked this one to start the year. This season, every win will matter. There just simply won’t be a whole lot of data available to the selection committee for NCAAs, so if you need to schedule a couple easy wins, by all means, get them on there. This looks like one of those moves.

Gardner-Webb finished last season with a 5-9 record and did not qualify anyone for NCAAs. They return seven starters, although it looks like there will be some weight shuffling. Regardless, this should be a blowout. The most interesting part of this dual will probably be what guys get rolled out there by the NC State coaching staff. With such an abbreviated schedule, you would assume the favored guys will see action in order to bolster their records for seeding. See my projected lineups and predictions below:

  • 125: #3 Jakob Camacho vs. Aedyn Concepcion (Camacho tech fall; 5-0 NCSU)
  • 133: #18 Jarrett Trombley or Ryan Jack vs. Trevon Majette (Trombley major; 9-0 NCSU)
  • 141: #13 Tariq Wilson vs. Brandon Bright (Wilson major; 13-0 NCSU)
  • 149: Ed Scott or AJ Leitten vs. Jacson Muldrew (Scott pin; 19-0 NCSU)
  • 157: #2 Hayden Hidlay vs. Taylor Parks (Hidlay pin; 25-0 NCSU)
  • 165: #6 Thomas Bullard vs. Rodrick Mosley (Bullard major; 29-0 NCSU)
  • 174: #11 Daniel Bullard vs. Kyle Homet or Samuel Mora (Bullard major; 33-0 NCSU)
  • 184: Jacob Ferreira vs. Evan Schenk (Ferreira decision; 36-0 NCSU)
  • 197: Nick Reenan or Isaac Trumble vs. Jack Trautman (Reenan decision; 39-0 NCSU)
  • 285: #16 Deonte Wilson or Owen Trephan vs. Anthony Perrine (Wilson decision; 42-0 NCSU)

This is typically where I would highlight the key matchups, but as you can see, I don’t anticipate this being a close dual - more of just a tune-up for the Pack. But, as mentioned above, the thing to keep an eye on for this dual is which guys get the starting nod, particularly at 149 & 197. Could be an indicator of who we can expect to be the representative for this season. I’m also hearing rumblings of some competition for the 133 and heavyweight starting jobs. Word has it that true freshman Ryan Jack may try to squeeze into the lineup a weight lower than we had anticipated. He is said to be wrestling-off with Trombley some time soon - so keep your eyes on that. At heavyweight, I would certainly expect Deonte to be our guy, but it is worth noting that him and Owen Trephan had a tight wrestle-off. This doesn’t necessarily mean anything, as when you get two guys who wrestle every day at practice, you often don’t get to see the separation in skill during a head-to-head as you would against other competition. I’ve got Deonte, but something to be aware of.

Also of note, Trent Hidlay underwent an emergency appendectomy in mid-December, which caused him to miss the NLWC event on the 22nd. This is expected to sideline him for a couple more weeks, so we’re probably looking at Jacob Ferreira or Christian Knop until we can get the Hoagie Boy back.

Tune in on Sunday at 1PM to finally see the boys hit the mat. Go Pack!