Late post here this week - apologies. Holidays and POWERade make for one exhausted group of coaches - not to mention wrestlers and parents. But in any case, here we go!
WEEK 9 PREVIEW
This week, much like last week, Varsity is focused on one thing: Cheesehead.
First, a few key bits of information: Varsity will leave for the tournament on Friday morning - stay tuned for the specific time! Coach Oster will tell them about 25 times. Wrestling begins Friday night at 5pm and continues until about 10pm (Kaukauna is already back in school, hence the late start). On Saturday morning, wrestling begins at 8:30am, with the finals slated to begin at 5:30pm. It is a day and a half of a lot of wrestling - expect 6-8 matches per wrestler - it's a grind. If you'd like to follow along, you can follow along live on TrackWrestling!
The Cheesehead is almost always considered a top-ten tournament in the nation, and usually a top-five tournament. This year looks to be no exception! Much like with POWERade, someone else already wrote a preview, so click here to read it on IllinoisMatmen. This article is great in that it includes rankings from the three major national rankings (InterMat, FloWrestling, and The Open Mat). Taking all three into account, the only weight class lacking a ranked wrestler, is 132 provided everyone shows up healthy and ready to wrestle. 160 looks to be the toughest weight class, with three very highly ranked wrestlers, including Brady Berge, the unanimously top-ranked wrestler at the weight. The only other weight to have a unanimous number one choice is 285, with Apple Valley's Gable Steveson. 195 is the only other weight class featuring three ranked individuals, including the very familiar Patrick Brucki of Sandburg, who has a unanimous #2 ranking.
Note that the rankings in that posting were as of January 1, 2017. New rankings came out Tuesday, January 3, and ther was a lot of movemet for the Porters - some of which makes zero sense but it is what it is. Rankings mean nothing, results matter.
For those curious, however, on a team level, Lockport has been named the #1 team in Illinois by IllinoisMatmen for the first time in the program's history. Nearly all of the starters are ranked or honorable mention, but, again, some of these rankings are highly suspect. Matt Ramos, for example, is ranked 9th at 106. Last week he was 7th. He took 3rd at the 2nd hardest tournament in the nation since then, his only loss coming to a world champion. Yet because of the in-state competition lacking, combined with a weight change or two, he dropped down. That's a recurring theme. Additional rankings include: Anthony Molton - 5th @ 113; James Pierandozzi - 7th @ 120; Abdullah Assaf - 5th @ 132; Brendan Ramsey - HM @ 132; Brandon Ramos - 5th @ 138; Baylor Fernandes - 3rd @ 145; Zach Reese - HM @ 152; Trevell Timmons - 1st @ 160; Chandler Proszek - 12th @ 170; Payton Fernandes - 10th @ 182; Yousif Salah - HM @ 195; Ronald Tucker - 2nd @ 285.
JV has two events taking place this weekend. JV1 will be at Bolingbrook for an invite that begins at 9:00am. The JV2 team squad will be heading over to Naperville Central for their invite as well. Wrestlers will be informed of where they're going by the end of the week - although most should know where they will be.
On the freshman level, the starters will be at the Downers Grove South High School for their invite, which also begins at 9am. As usual, the coaches will let wrestlers know who is going, and what time to be at the school.
WEEK 8 RECAP
Varsity headed out to Pennsylvania to compete in the infamous POWERade tournament. Lockport came in 3rd place, earning 128 points to the second-place finisher's 129 points. Ronald Tucker placed 2nd for Lockport at 285, earning the highest Porter placement for the second straight year. Matt Ramos (106) finished third, while James Pierandozzi (120) and Trevell Timmons (160) earned a 4th place finish. Rounding out the placers was Chandler Proszek, who placed 8th at 170. Click here to get a full recap of the tournament!
We had a handful of alumni competing this weekend, but it was not a banner weekend for any of them, unfortunately.
Out of four potential Midlands Competitors, only two of our alums found themselves taking the mat. Shayne Oster (149, Northwestern) won his first match by 24-8 technical fall - scoring 20 straight points after finding himself down 8-4. Oster then took a 12-5 loss to 5th seed Sam Speno of NC State, currently ranked 13th nationally.. In the third match, Oster lost by fall to Wisconsin's Andrew Crone, putting an end to Shayne's tournament after a 1-2 performance.
Brad Johnson, wrestling at 197 for Oklahoma, came away with a 2-2 record himself. After dropping his opening matchup by major decision to Wisconsin's Mason Reinhardt, Johnson picked up a 7-2 decision followed by an 8-0 major decision in the wrestlebacks. Johnson came up just short in his next bout, dropping a 4-3 decision to Blake Rypel of Indiana.
Two other Porters were in attendance but not competing - Shaun'Qae McMurtry of NIU was out with an injury at 165, while Tyler Johnson was unable to compete for NC State (but got some quality time in the coaching chair).
Elsewhere, Brian Rossi made his season debut for Stanford at the Southern Scuffle, taking the mat competitively for the first time since a knee injury in April. Rossi also posted a 1-2 record on the tournament. After an opening round bye, Rossi squared off against 2nd seed Darian Cruz of Lehigh, ranked 6th in the nation, and lost by fall in the second period. In the wrestlebacks, Rossi won 6-1 over Tyrone Klump of North Carolina in the first round. In the second round, Brian squared off against UNI's Jay Schwarm. Rossi held a 4-2 lead after the first period, but after a reversal and cradle, he found himself down 8-4 heading into the third. Schwarm, skilled on top, chose to stay in the top position for the third, where he locked up another cradle and picked up a third period fall over Rossi.
Going undefeated this weekend was Vince Dietz, who went 1-0 with a forfeit win as St. Cloud State shut out Concordia College (MN.) by a score of 47-0.