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New Year Catch-up with #6 NC State Wrestling

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FloSports: FloWrestling Southern Scuffle Andy Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a bit since I’ve posted an update on the wrestling team, but with the holidays over and the New Year rung in, I’ve decided to do a refresher, speed-round style. My New Years Resolution is to post more in honor of the hot & heavy dual schedule that we’ll see over the next two months. I know something like 90% of resolutions are broken, but this is one I intend on honoring so get off my case, alright?

Southern Scuffle

The team traveled to Chattanooga, TN for the 17th annual Southern Scuffle - one of the premier mid-season tournaments in college wrestling. This is not a single-entry tournament like CKLV, so the coaching staff brought along 17 wrestlers, including 9 of 10 starters. Overall, the team placed 2nd (109), finishing seven points behind the winners Oklahoma State (116). Eight Pack wrestlers made it onto the podium, with the Hidlay brothers making their respective finals. There are still concerns with some individuals - namely Tariq, Camacho, and Reenan - but overall this was a more focused effort than what we saw in Vegas.

Placers:

133 - Kai Orine (RS) 4th

141 - Tariq Wilson 8th

157 - Hayden Hidlay 1st

165 - Thomas Bullard 4th

174 - Daniel Bullard 3rd

184 - Trent Hidlay 2nd

197 - Nick Reenan 8th

285 - Deonte Wilson 7th

Takeaways:

  • The Bullards seem to have found their groove. They are both beginning to slot into the range that I felt they could reach in my season preview - outside All-American threats. They know their identity - good scramblers, tough on top - and are starting to get better at dragging their opponents into matches that suit their style. My biggest concern is their lack of a go-to takedown when they need one, but if they keep racking up near-fall points like they have been, there may be no need for it.
  • Trent Hidlay faced a familiar foe in the finals: Lou Deprez of Binghamton. Trent won this matchup in the dual earlier this season, but Deprez exacted his revenge in Chattanooga. With Deprez being a sophomore, and Hidlay a freshman, expect to see this rivalry continue to grow over the next few years.
  • The season may be two months along for most of the team, however Nick Reenan just returned to action a few weeks ago, and you can tell he is still acclimating to the live action. Nick made it to the quarterfinals of his bracket before losing a slim 1-0 decision to stud freshman Michael Beard of Penn State. He would win one more in the consolation bracket before medical forfeiting out the rest of the tournament to 8th place. I haven’t heard any news on the injury front, so this looks like more of a pitch count scenario. Once Reenan is fully returned and optimized, I would expect him to run through a bracket like this.
  • Heavyweight, which has been an issue for this team the last couple years, may be starting to take a turn in the right direction. Deonte Wilson claimed 7th place at the Scuffle, and took out a few ranked guys to do so. This heavyweight field lacked some of the country’s elite wrestlers, but it was a deep entry list, and a 7th place finish is better than I’d hoped for. More encouraging than the actual placement, however, was watching the way Deonte wrestled. He seemed to wrestle with more confidence and in turn, opened up, which is the hardest adjustment for heavyweights to make when coming to the college level. If this is any indicator for what’s to come from Deonte, then the coaching staff will be very happy.
  • A couple of under-performers for me were Jakob Camacho & Tariq Wilson. Not trying to sound like a broken record here, but I just expect more out of these guys. Camacho took 3rd at this tournament last year, and this year he DNP’d. It is concerning that he didn’t place at either of the big tournaments so far this campaign. The toughest part for Jakob is he keeps taking losses to guys he shouldn’t, in matches that he is in control of. He did manage to gather a couple of ranked wins in the consolation bracket, but this should have been a coming-out party with a chance to face and prove himself against some higher-tier opponents. However, those opportunities evaporated when he took an opening match loss. And as far as Tariq, he continues to let inferior opponents drag him into slow-paced, one-takedown matches. You can see their intent, and for whatever reason the always-attacking Tariq of 2018 just hasn’t been there consistently enough this season. This is what he can do to anyone in the country, but we’re still waiting to see it match to match.

New Rankings

FloWrestling released their newest edition of collegiate rankings on Tuesday and here is where our guys lie:

  • 125 - Camacho #19 (last week: NR)
  • 141 - T. Wilson #18 (#11)
  • 157 - H. Hidlay #2 (#2)
  • 165 - T. Bullard #10 (#10)
  • 174 - D. Bullard #21 (NR)
  • 184 - T. Hidlay #3 (#2)
  • 197 - Reenan #14 (#13)
  • 285 - D. Wilson #23 (NR)

Upcoming Dual vs. Princeton

The Pack will return to Reynolds this Saturday, January 11th @ 1:00PM to face the #12 Princeton Tigers (2-2). This dual will feature some elite matchups so you should try to make it there! Probable lineups are below along with my predictions in parentheses:

  • 125- #19 Jakob Camacho vs. #3 Patrick Glory (Glory decision; 0-3 PRINCETON)
  • 133- Jarrett Trombley vs. Ty Agaisse (Trombley decision; 3-3)
  • 141- #18 Tariq Wilson vs. Marshall Keller (Wilson major; 7-3 NCSU)
  • 149- AJ Leitten vs. #9 Mike D’Angelo (D’Angelo decision; 7-6 NCSU)
  • 157- #2 Hayden Hidlay vs. #5 Quincy Monday (Hidlay major; 11-6 NCSU)
  • 165- #10 Thomas Bullard vs. Grant Cuomo (Bullard major; 15-6 NCSU)
  • 174- #21 Daniel Bullard vs. #25 Kevin Parker (Bullard decision; 18-6 NCSU)
  • 184- #3 Trent Hilday vs. #24 Travis Stefanik (Hidlay decision; 21-6 NCSU)
  • 197- #14 Nick Reenan vs. #3 Pat Brucki (Brucki decision; 21-9 NCSU)
  • 285- #23 Deonte Wilson vs. Aidan Conner (Wilson decision; 24-9 NCSU)

Let’s Pack Reynolds!