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#3 PackWrestle take down Gardner-Webb in season opener, 42-0

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NC State wrestling senior, Tariq Wilson
Photo by Carie Dernlan @ Dec 22 NLWC Event

The NC State wrestling team (1-0) kicked off their 2021 campaign with a dominant win over Gardner-Webb on Sunday. This wasn’t a Pack squad at 100%, but they still made it look easy with victories in all ten bouts - seven of them by bonus points.

The dual started at 125 pounds, where returning ACC Champ Jakob Camacho saw his first action. He started off slow, surrendering the first takedown, but followed that up by putting on a clinic and earning a 21-8 major decision. This started an avalanche of five straight bonus point victories for the Pack. Jarrett Trombley began his sophomore season with a major decision at 133 and Tariq Wilson kicked it up a notch in the next bout, winning by technical fall. This was the Tariq we like to see, attacking attacking attacking. If he keeps this mentality and pace in all of his matches, he will contend for the 141 title.

At 149, we saw the first of our key roster decisions to watch, as Pat Popolizio rolled out true freshman Ed Scott. And Scott delivered, one-upping (BAM!) Tariq Wilson’s tech fall with a second-period pin. This kid is a killer, and as we highlighted in the season preview, he is a pinner. He had 105 career pins in high school, so I expect this won’t be the last we see of the mat slappin’. In fact, it wasn’t the last of the mat slappin’ we would see in this dual as Hayden Hidlay only needed 53 seconds to record his first pin of the year. HH is on a mission once again, and I expect this level of dominance to carry on well into the national tournament.

With the dual well in-hand, the staff sent out true freshman Donald Cates at 165 instead of Thomas Bullard. I am not sure if this was a strategic move or injury-related, but either way it is a little unnerving to not see the sixth-ranked senior out there. Regardless, Cates, a two-time NC high school state champ answered the call with a solid win in sudden victory.

At 174 we did get to see the expected Bullard, and Daniel delivered with a dominant 13-3 major decision. Then in relief of the recovering Trent Hidlay, Jacob Ferreira stepped up to earn a victory at 184.

Just behind the intrigue surrounding the 149 decision, 197 was my next most eagerly-awaited contest. I was curious to see how Reenan would look, and he answered emphatically with a major decision. This may have been a mismatch in skill, but Nick still looked pretty good. He came out of the gates firing and scored numerous takedowns. Overall, he was dominant and that type of tune-up match may be just what is needed to boost his confidence for the upcoming year.

Deonte Wilson closed out the dual with a blueprint Deonte Wilson victory. He held good position, played it patiently, and waited for his openings to score the crucial deciding points. I expect a lot of matches to go this way for Deonte in 2021.

#3 NC State 42-0 Gardner-Webb

  • 125: #3 Jakob Camacho (NCSU) major dec. Austin Wadlow (GW); 21-8 (4-0 NCSU)
  • 133: #18 Jarrett Trombley (NCSU) major dec. Todd Carter (GW); 12-2 (8-0 NCSU)
  • 141: #13 Tariq Wilson (NCSU) tech fall Conrad Schiess (GW); 17-2 (13-0 NCSU)
  • 149: Ed Scott (NCSU) pin Jacson Muldrew (GW); 3:24 (19-0 NCSU)
  • 157: #2 Hayden Hidlay (NCSU) pin Chase McKinney (GW); 0:53 (25-0 NCSU)
  • 165: Donald Cates (NCSU) dec. Rodrick Mosley (GW); 5-3 SV2 (28-0 NCSU)
  • 174: #11 Daniel Bullard (NCSU) major dec. Samuel Mora (GW); 13-3 (32-0 NCSU)
  • 184: Jacob Ferreira (NCSU) dec. Evan Schenk (GW); 12-6 (35-0 NCSU)
  • 197: Nick Reenan (NCSU) major dec. Jack Trautman (GW); 19-7 (39-0 NCSU)
  • 285: #16 Deonte Wilson (NCSU) dec. Anthony Perrine (GW); 8-2 (42-0 NCSU)

Overall, it was not a surprising result, as this was expected to be a beating. But it achieved its purpose of getting our guys back out on the mat and into the win column. The biggest storyline to come out of this dual is what is going on with Thomas Bullard, so we will keep an eye out for news on that. Otherwise, it’s on to the next: App State in Raleigh on Friday.