The second weekend of the Division 1 college wrestling season gets rolling in Troy, New York this Saturday and Sunday. The 2017 Journeymen Northeast Duals are on the 11th, and the 2017 Journeymen Collegiate Classic follows it on the 12th.
For the mat assignments and matchups of the dual event on the 11th, click here. For a complete list of every ranked wrestler participating in the round robin pool event on the 12th, click here.
You've got a few days to prepare yourselves for the excellent field in the collegiate classic, so here's our short primer on the half dozen matches you should bookmark for appointment viewing.
133: #3 Kaid Brock (Oklahoma State) vs #4 Scotty Parker (Lehigh)The highest ranked matchup you'll see this weekend, anywhere (unless Bo Jordan wrestles Zahid Valencia). This one was going to be equally as fantastic last year in the Scuffle finals before Parker got hurt. Brock rolled through the OCU Open last weekend with three techs, albeit against non-D1 competition. Outside of Jason Nolf and maybe a couple other guys, Brock could have the most dynamic and varied offensive repertoire in the country. Parker meanwhile utilizes a highly effective and clean finishing neutral game to put himself in position to win both the takedown battle and earn riding time.
149: #4 Solomon Chishko (Virginia Tech) vs Geo Martinez (Oklahoma State)Oklahoma State is in a very interesting place right now, with Joseph Smith redshirting, coach John Smith saying he's "half pissed off" at his 184 pounder, and All American Geo Martinez losing to teammate Boo Lewallen last week at the OCU Open. We knew from jump street that the Cowboys would have one of the nation's most interesting roster battles at 149, and Martinez's results this weekend will factor heavily into the coaching staff's decision.
Chishko looked vulnerable in a 5-3 overtime win over Requir van der Merwe of Stanford, but was that just one close match? Is he hurt, or still rounding into season form? It's only one match of course, but probably not the type of performance you want to see right before having to wrestle Geo Martinez.
165: #6 David McFadden (Virigina Tech) vs #10 Chance Marsteller (Lock Haven)For my money, few guys live in the "must watch" category as much as Marsteller. It's easy to get excited when you see him put up 17 points a match at the Clarion Open in his "return," even though we saw him wrestle unattached last year, as well as a ton of freestyle this summer.
Marsteller's Clarion finals match
McFadden is also making his return to varsity competition, and has a 7-3 win over Marsteller from the finals of January's Franklin & Marshall Open. Marsteller will need to negate the reach of the 2016 All American.
174: #6 Jordan Kutler (Lehigh) vs #15 Jacobe Smith (Oklahoma State)Perhaps my personal favorite anticipated matchup of the weekend, for several reasons. Firstly, is Jacobe Smith the real deal? The Oklahoma State staff raves about him, and he has proven himself by beating All Americans Zac Brunson and Daniel Lewis.
That Lewis win came at University Nationals, where Smith made the finals but ultimately ended up losing to Kutler (match below). Though it was freestyle, that title back in June led many to believe that Kutler would be just fine if he bumped up two weights from 157 last year.
184: #7 Zack Zavatsky (Virginia Tech) vs #8 Ryan Preisch (Lehigh)If you talk to our resident rankers Christian Pyles and Andrew Spey, they are overjoyed this match will happen this weekend. Zavatsky fell in the Hokie Open semis to Nick Reenan, and Preisch has bumped up from 174.
285: #8 Mike Hughes (Hofstra) vs #19 Jordan Wood (Lehigh)This will be an excellent litmus test for the freshman Wood. The top heavyweight recruit from the class of 2016, he is considered to be the guy who has the most potential to rise in the rankings, and quickly. A win over Hughes would only accelerate that, but he would have to reverse a 9-0 major from the Jonathan Kaloust Open last year.
If you aren't familiar with Hughes yet, he won the National Collegiate Open a year ago and might be the "off the radar" All American come time for the national tournament in Cleveland.