Following a great showing at the Collegiate Duals last week, NC State (5-1) held onto the #5 spot in the latest NWCA Coaches Poll. The Pack won duals against Binghamton (35-7) and #10 Missouri (19-12), and nearly pulled off the shocking upset of #1 Iowa (15-19). This Iowa team is stacked top-to-bottom, and thought to be nearly unbeatable in a dual setting, but somebody forgot to tell Pop and the boys. A couple crucial calls go the other way, and we may be sitting in that #1 spot right now. But as it went, we took our first loss of the year and now look ahead to the Southern Scuffle.
With some of our guys getting the signature wins they’ve been looking for, we finally started to see some movement in the individual rankings. And for those, I’ve decided to switch over to using the Intermat rankings going forward. Most broadcasts are using these this season, and I feel like they’ve been more accurate and reliable than Flo’s lately. See where our guys check-in below:
- 125 - Camacho #13 (previous: 5)
- 133 - Orine #18 (17)
- 141 - Jack #16 (16)
- 149 - T. Wilson #3 (3)
- 157 - Scott #11 (23)
- 165 - Bullard #19 (18)
- 174 - H. Hidlay #5 (5)
- 184 - T. Hidlay #3 (3)
- 197 - Trumble #13 (15)
- 285 - Trephan #20 (28)
Finally guys like Ed Scott and Isaac Trumble got opportunities at higher-ranked opponents and made them count. Scott went 3-0 in Florida, including wins over then-ranked #15 Jacques of Missouri, and a pin over #8 Kaleb Young of Iowa. This was good enough for USA Wrestling’s Athlete of the Week honors. I’m really excited to see how he continues to progress throughout the year.
Ed Scott PINS Kaleb Young with his signature headlock.— Sam Herring (@SamWise2006) December 22, 2021
Headlocks work on a high level, folks! pic.twitter.com/ME5FwBXo5g
Isaac Trumble actually went 1-2 at the Collegiate Duals, but all of his opponents were in the top-15. He took losses to then-#12 Lou DePrez & #7 Jacob Warner, but beat #4 Rocky Elam to clinch the Missouri dual. These were all winnable matches for the freshman, so he is clearly right in that All-American mix.
The Southern Scuffle is one of the premiere midseason tournaments in the country, which offers many opportunities for ranked wins in a two-day tournament format. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like we will be sending a full squad. According to the GoPack preview, we’re only sending eight guys to compete.
Thomas Bullard will be making the trip and entering into a loaded 165-pound field that features #3 Keegan O’Toole & the returning National Champ, #4 Shane Griffith. There will also be familiar foes in West Virginia’s Peyton Hall (#13) and App State’s Will Formato (#24), who have both beaten Thomas this season. Plenty of opportunities for some signature wins to turn his season around.
#LetsScuffle x @NCAAWrestling pic.twitter.com/rYUBgBkVtg— Southern Scuffle (@LetsScuffle) December 31, 2021
At heavyweight, it looks like we’ll be sending the entire trio of Owen Trephan, Deonte Wilson, and Tyrie Houghton. All three of these guys look to be so closely-contested with little to separate them. None of them have really just taken the reigns on the heavyweight spot yet, so whoever places highest in Chattanooga may just gain the favor of the coaching staff heading into our ACC dual schedule.
In addition to those mentioned above, we’re sending four freshmen - AJ Kovacs (157), Donald Cates and Jake Null (165), and Joey Milano (184) - to get some quality matches and see what our depth guys have to offer.
Overall, it’s a disappointment that we’re not sending our fully-loaded lineup to such a quality event. There is going to be tons of ranked competition there who we would otherwise not matchup with until NCAAs, so it would have been nice to get those wins that come in handy during seeding for the national tournament. I guess the guys deserve a break after the thrill of the Collegiate Duals, but I’m a selfish fan - I want more juicy matchups!!
You can catch the action all day Saturday & Sunday on FloWrestling or follow along with updates from the PackWrestle Twitter account. Go Pack!