Week 1 Roundup: Freshmen Impress And #1 Goes Down!

Pletcher Demas

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The first week of the 2019 NCAA season brought us high-level action from top teams, a glimpse at some up-and-coming schools, and exciting upsets including one over a #1-ranked wrestler. 

Here are a few top stories from the weekend.


Wisconsin Tested but Remains Unbeaten, Seth Gross Maintains 100% Bonus Rate

The #4 Badgers won a trio of duals on Friday against Fresno State, Army, and Navy, but not without some challenges. Army made it a one-point match due in part to an overtime upset by PJ Ogunsanya over #11 Cole Martin. Read more about the Badgers' opening weekend in Nomad's Trophy Hunters article.

Also of note, Seth Gross started his Hodge campaign with a fall and two major decisions on the weekend.

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Good Start for Gopher Freshmen

Minnesota fans have been excited for Pat McKee and Brayton Lee to get into the lineup at 125 and 149, respectively. McKee and Lee started their Gopher careers with wins on Friday night in their dual against Cal State Bakersfield.

Pat McKee showed off the dynamic style fans expect from him while Brayton Lee picked up a tight victory over his first ranked opponent of the year in #17 Russell Rohlfing. These victories contributed to a 28-9 Minnesota victory over Cal State Bakersfield.


Rutgers Rolls Out 6 Freshmen

The Scarlet Knights used six freshmen in Saturday's duals against LIU, Centenary, and Pitt-Johnstown. All eyes were on true freshmen Sammy Alvarez and JoJo Aragona. Alvarez picked up a win in the opening dual against LIU but fell at the hands of NCAA Division II champ Tyler Warner in the UPJ match.

JoJo Aragona looked dominant in his three matches on Saturday and may lead the NCAA in number and intensity of mat returns.


Northern Colorado Won Five Elite Cowboy Open Titles

Before this weekend, a lot of intrigue surrounded this year's Northern Colorado team, especially its most recent recruiting class. After one weekend, this team is already turning heads. 

The Bears got titles from super freshmen Theorious Robison at 133 and Andrew Alirez at 149. In addition, Chris Sandoval at 141, Jimmy Fate at 157, and App State transfer Alan Clothier at 184 also won their brackets. Robison's title was the most impressive as he knocked off Wyoming All American Montorie Bridges in one of the most exciting matches of the weekend.

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Pletcher Over #1 Demas Headlines MSU Open

Luke Pletcher looked outstanding at the MSU Open racking up four bonus-point wins in addition to an upset over top-ranked Dom Demas of Oklahoma. Pletcher was one of five Buckeyes to win an MSU Open title as described in Nomad's second Trophy Hunters article

In addition to Pletcher, tOSU had champs in Sammy Sasso at 149, Carson Kharchla at 165, Kaleb Romero at 174, and Kollin Moore at 197. Sasso was especially impressive racking up three falls and two tech falls.

Pitt had two champs in 133-pounder Micky Phillippi and 184-pounder Nino Bonaccorsi. The remaining three MSU Open champions were Indiana 125-pounder Brock Hudkins, Purdue 157-pounder Kendall Coleman, and Michigan 285-pounder Mason Parris. Coleman shined brightest of that group knocking off #22 Will Lewan, #8 Anthony Artalona, and #6 Eric Barone en route to his title.


Zacherl Rolls Plus PSU Depth Insight at Clarion Open

Whenever there are Nittany Lions on the mat, people pay attention. The Clarion Open was no exception as it featured a hand-full of Penn State backups.

A trio of high profile PSU freshmen made the finals. Joe Lee dominated in his 165-pound final over Michael Bartolo of Clarion by major decision, and Carter Starocci pulled off a 2-0 win over Lock Haven's Jared Siegrist. 

Michael Beard fell in the 197 finals by an 11-8 decision at the hands of #23 Greg Bulsak. With this win, Bulsak avenged his loss to Beard from last season.

The star of this tournament was Clarion's fourth-ranked 149-pounder Brock Zacherl who kept the helmet at home with a 7-6 win in the finals over Scott DuBois.


Southeast Open Surprises

In a field that included three teams ranked in the top 20, Campbell won the contest for the most Southeast Open champs, taking home four weight class titles. Eighth-ranked Noah Gonser at 133 and 16th-ranked Josh Heil at 141 may not have surprised anyone, but Andrew Morgan's title at 184 was not as predictable.

The 165 title was decided in one of the most exciting matches of the tournament as #24 Quentin Perez held off North Carolina's Kennedy Monday.

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One other interesting result was Virginia Tech true freshman Sam Latona's 125-pound finals win over #25 Fabian Gutierrez of Chattanooga. The win itself is not surprising as Latona was a highly touted recruit, but it might build momentum toward the possibility that he starts for the Hokies this year.

NLWC Event Match Notes And Takeaways

Bo Nickal

A wonderful Saturday night of wrestling in the books. The Nittany Lion Wrestling Club hosted an event taking on a variety of competitors, most from the Cliff Keen Wrestling Club in Ann Arbor, Michigan. All-in-all it was 13 fun matches involving high level competitors.

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#1 220, Nick Feldman's, School List

91. D1 Dual Rankings + Feldman School List

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The current #1 wrestler in the country at 220 lbs, #11 on the Class of 2022 Big Board — although I expect that to improve when David Bray updates the ranking — and the #14 P4P high schooler, Nick Feldman, is a National Prep champion out of powerhouse PA high school Malvern Prep. The Friars finished in third at both Ironman and National Preps behind historic programs in Blair and Wyoming Seminary. Feldman will put his #1 ranking on the line against Oklahoma State commit Kyle Haas October 3rd in Austin, TX, at Who’s #1.

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The Biggest Loss For Each MAC School & How They'll Fill The Void, Part I

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The Mid-American Conference will be teeming with returning talent next season as it welcomes back seven of its champions and 28 NCAA qualifiers. 

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#2 Heavyweight In The Country, Chase Horne, Commits To NC State

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The #2 heavyweight in the country, Chase Horne, has made his college decision. 

FRL 551 - Recapping The Beat The Streets Card

551. Beat The Streets Recap

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On episode 551 of FRL, the boys discuss all of the action from an awesome Beat The Streets card.

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Beat The Streets Match Notes

Yianni vs Kinchegashvili Hype

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Beat the Streets is here! The virtual benefit is finished up and now it's time to watch some wrestling, or if you're only able to or so inclined, read about wrestling while I live blog all six matches from my home in Austin, Texas. Wrestling begins at 7:30 PM ET. Be sure to refresh frequently for second by second match updates. The blog in its entirety will be uploaded post-event as "match notes" if you would like a recap or see what you missed.

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Cyclones, Hawkeyes & More With Iowa State Assistant Derek St. John

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A four-time All-American and one of the most decorated wrestlers in Iowa history, Derek St. John has found a home coaching within the Iowa State wrestling program, but his journey isn’t as clear-cut as just traveling west on Interstate 80. 

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FRL 550 - 8-Man Bracket Announcement, Beat The Streets Predictions

550. 8 Man Bracket Announcement

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On episode 550 of FRL, the boys talk about the 8 man bracket announcement, make their Beat The Streets predictions, and talk about the recruiting dead period being extended until January 1, 2021.

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$20k On The Line For FloWrestling's 195-Pound Tournament

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On October 31, FloWrestling will be hosting an eight-man 195-pound tournament with over $41,000 in payouts. The champion will earn $20k, the runner-up will be awarded $10k, third-place will get $5k, fourth-place $4k, and fifth-eighth will all be awarded $1k. 

Super 32 Moving To Myrtle Beach

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Super 32 2020 is headed to the beach. Due to concerns regarding COVID-19 regulations, the tournament announced its decision to move to the Myrtle Beach Convention Center in South Carolina via Twitter Wednesday evening.