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#5 PackWrestle pass first road test in Boone, beating App State 25-10

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Andy Mead/ACC

In what is quickly becoming a heated in-state wrestling rivalry, NC State (3-0) went on the road and took out a very tough App State (0-1) team by a score of 25-10. The Pack won seven of ten bouts, with four for bonus points. But this wasn’t always a comfortable dual - in fact, things were tied up 10-10 after six matches. Then NC State’s upperweights took over and put this one to rest.

I wasn’t able to make the trip to Boone, but it looks like their Varsity Gym was packed for this North Carolina showdown. The crowd rowdiness certainly came through the screen on my Rokfin stream, and that boiled over into several post-match taunts and antics. Nothing crazy, just some fun gesticulating to get things fired up. This all started at 125 with Jakob Camacho getting his hand raised in a tight one. This match did not lack action, as Jakob and App State’s Caleb Smith were scrambling and pushing the pace throughout. Camacho squeaked out a 5-3 victory and proceeded to flex on the App State supporters who had been giving him a hard time. This set the tone and you could feel the tension in the air. It was wonderful - I wish I could have been there.

At 133, the staff rolled out Jarrett Trombley, and things did not go so great for him. He has never been the best at creating his own offense and that plagued him in this one. It felt like if he really committed to an attack, he could have stolen this one, but an escape each was all we got in regulation and they went to overtime. In the extra frame, App’s backup, Carter secured the golden takedown for the 3-1 victory. I’m not sure why Trombley was the pick for this dual, but this result seems to further strengthen Kai Orine’s claim to the starting spot at this weight.

Ryan Jack didn’t look great in his past two dual showings, but turned that around here. He was dominant over a redshirt senior and cruised to a 10-3 victory. As expected at 149, we were all deprived of a really juicy matchup between 2021 All-Americans Jonathan Millner and Tariq Wilson. Instead, Tariq sat and Matt Fields was the guy. Fields had some moments where he battled, but in the end just wasn’t quite up to the level of Millner. The 12-3 major decision victory actually put App up temporarily, 7-6 on the team score. This was NC State’s first deficit of the season, but it didn’t last long as Ed Scott came out and blitzed 2021 SoCon Champ, Cody Bond. Ed quickly got a takedown and a couple sets of back points to open up a lead he would never relinquish. The final was an 18-7 Scott victory. I am super excited to see him against some ranked guys. He could really be a breakout star this year.

At 165, App was able to tie the score back up at 10 when Will Formato took out Thomas Bullard. Formato just looked a step ahead in every scramble and appeared to have a strength advantage that was a huge factor. He clearly had this matchup circled on his calendar and quite honestly thoroughly looked like the better guy this time. App has always gameplanned well for the Bullards, and they were well-prepared once again. This is not a matchup I like for Thomas. He’ll have better days.

Four bouts remaining, dual tied at 10. Situations like these can be scary - underdog teams sometimes are able to catch a wave of inspiration that they can ride to an improbable finish. Especially at home. App just scored a huge upset and won two of the last three...oh what’s that...bah gawd, that’s Hayden Hidlay’s music!!

Enter the Brothers of Destruction to take care of business. Hayden kicked it off with a dominant 14-4 major decision over 2x NCAA qualifier Thomas Flitz, and Trent followed with a major decision of his own to push the team score to 18-10. These two are a luxury to have, and it’s only exacerbated by them now being back-to-back. What a way to kill momentum and steal it for yourself.

Trent loves bonus and he loves raising the roof. And he made sure to let the Mountaineer fans know that this was now his roof to raise after his match. This dialed up the heat a little bit in Varsity Gym and Isaac Trumble followed in-kind with a stare-down into the crowd during the final ten seconds of his own major decision victory. I like the attitude that the back-half of our lineup brings. It’s not cocky. They get the job done first, and then they’re not afraid to party on you if you had the gall to open your mouth. These boys don’t take crap, and more times than not, they will get the last laugh.

At heavyweight, Deonte Wilson got the nod again. I think he’s starting to earn the favor of the staff again following his tough start to the season. He looks confident and there has absolutely been a mental shift to being more offensive-minded. By no means has he locked the spot down, but I personally think he has the upper-hand in that roster battle right now. If the season were to end today, I think he would be our postseason representative. Hopefully we continue to see him open up and improve. He has shown he has a high floor - in my opinion, higher than Trephan.

#5 NC State 25-10 App State

  • 125: #11 Jakob Camacho (NCSU) dec. Caleb Smith (App); 5-3 (3-0 NCSU)
  • 133: Sean Carter (App) dec. #17 Jarrett Trombley (NCSU); 3-1 SV1 (3-3)
  • 141: HM Ryan Jack (NCSU) dec. Anthony Brito (App); 10-3 (6-3 NCSU)
  • 149: #10 Jonathan Millner (App) major dec. Matt Fields (NCSU); 12-3 (6-7 App)
  • 157: HM Ed Scott (NCSU) major dec. Cody Bond (App); 18-7 (10-7 NCSU)
  • 165: HM Will Formato (App) dec. #14 Thomas Bullard (NCSU); 6-1 (10-10)
  • 174: #4 Hayden Hidlay (NCSU) major dec. Thomas Flitz (App); 14-4 (14-10 NCSU)
  • 184: #3 Trent Hidlay (NCSU) major dec. Barrett Blakely (App); 12-4 (18-10 NCSU)
  • 197: #17 Isaac Trumble (NCSU) major dec. Mason Fiscella (App); 12-2 (22-10 NCSU)
  • 285: Deonte Wilson (NCSU) dec. Mike Burchell (App); 7-2 (25-10 NCSU)

The Pack passed their first real challenge of the season, and arguably could have showed-out even better seeing as they didn’t roll out starters at 133 & 149. Either way, this was another good chapter in the NC State-App State wrestling series - a series that I sincerely hope continues on an annual basis. Both programs benefit from a relationship like this, and even during away years, Boone isn’t too far of a drive for local Pack supporters.

The boys return to action in Florida for the Collegiate Duals on December 20th & 21st. The schedule for that is below, and should offer some great tests for the team. Go Pack!