An Early Look at Mizzou Wrestling

Once upon a time, in a land where I had fewer employees, fewer children and more time on my hands, I would spend a decent amount of time chronicling a sport near and dear to my heart, which is wrestling.  Though times have changed, my boss is out today and so I hope to be able to devote a little time to the squad who has just completed four dual meets and a couple of tournaments.  Mizzou has already taken on (and fallen to) #10 Illinois, then placed extremely well in the lightly contested CMU Open before taking on three opponents this past weekend in dual competition.  After a shutout of Lindenwood, the Tigers took a win over Hofstra before falling to #17 Oregon State.  Let's go weight to weight so far this season to see where we stand.

As a qualifer to writing this piece...I am SURE I am missing some information regarding this team.  This piece is being written from a very face-value extrapolation of information from  I strongly encourage anyone reading this with other info to step up and set me straight.

125:A weight class which has long plagued the dual lineup of the Tigers appears to finally have some stability.  True freshman Alan Waters has started his first campaign 14-0 and is quickly moving up the national rankings.  This past weekend, he had a pin against an over-matched LU opponent before grinding out close wins against the #21 and #10 ranked wrestlers in the country.  In both cases, Waters used a strong ride to accumulate the riding time which would be the difference in the match.  Look for Waters to continue to rise in the rankings and he stands to be a very exciting grappler to watch this year.

133: Another weight class of issue for the Tigers since the graduation of Tyler McCormick, but unlike 125, it is still in some flux.  Currently, sophomore Nathan McCormick is holding down the spot and a top-25 ranking in some poll.  McCormick did run the table in the CMU tournament, but has struggled otherwise, though against other ranked competition.  This past weekend, McCormick pinned his LU opponent before falling to the #6 and #10 wrestlers, the last by a major decision.  McCormick should be good for some wins this season, but is also likely to fall out of the rankings after this past weekend.

141: Senior NCAA qualifier Todd Schavrien has returned and has only wrestled so far this season in duals, going 2-2 which is just about where he should be given the opponents he has faced.  His two wins have been against either an unranked or barely ranked opponent, while his two losses have come against top-11 competition, including the #1 (6-3 decision loss). Schavrien has struggled at times in his career, but is likely to hang around 15-20 all season and get some decent wins for Mizzou in the coming months.

149: RS freshman Kyle Bradley has seen the mat in the duals, and is also 2-2 so far, with both wins coming yesterday, with one against his Oregon State opponent in sudden victory OT.  Brandon Wiest saw action in the CMU Tournament, so I suppose we could see both getting time this year, but right now this appears to be the weakest class for the Tigers, simply because we dont know a ton about who we have in place.

157: Transfering in from Virginia, junior Danny Gonsor, who I believe was an NCAA qualifier last season.  He started the season ranked at #20, but quickly fell after an opening loss to his unranked IU opponent.  Since then, Gonsor picked up some wins at the Lindenwood Open, and went 2-1 yesterday with wins against Lindenwood and Hofstra.  True freshman Drake Houdashelt was the champ at the CMU Open, but I am guessing he redshirts this season before potentially having a chance to crack the lineup next year.

165: Even with the loss of Nick Marable, RS frosh Zach Toal came into the season ranked pretty highly and with a lot of potential.  Toal has struggled just a bit out of shoot, with a 2-2 dual record.  Both losses came yesterday, and while one was to the #7 wrestler in the nation from Hofstra, the other was to an unranked opponent to finish his day against Oregon State.  Still, it is believed Toal is a very solid wrestler and I would believe he will be in the NCAA's when all is said and done after a learning, but productive year.

174: Here is where things appear to be getting interesting for the Tigers, and I am not quite sure why.  Two wrestlers have seen time at this weight so far this season.  Junior Dorian Henderson was (at least to me) the expected starter at this weight, but junior Patrick Wright has also seen time.  This is odd to me because Wright was at 157 last year, so this is quite the climb.  Both have been OK, but more on that in a second.

184: OK, the second is both have seen time at this class as well.  That means Wright is potentially wrestling WELL above this weight, and Henderson is also doing the same to a lesser extent.  Adding in a third wrestler in this class is transfer sophomore Mike Larson, who has also split time at 197, which brings us to the heart of the strangeness issue.

197: Of all the spots in the Mizzou lineup coming into this season, few seemed as cemented as sophomore Brent Haynes, who was coming off of an NCAA appearance and boasting a very high national ranking.  And while Haynes tore through his competition at the CMU tournament, he has not wrestled in a dual meet.  This has meant Larson has had to jump up, or the Tigers have trotted out sophomore Jake Glore.  The Illinois dual meet was likely lost because Haynes did not wrestle, and the same could maybe be said for Oregon State because of all the people having to wrestle out of class.  In the end, dual meet results from a team won/loss standpoint does not count for much, but if anyone knows why Haynes has been out most of the year so far, I would welcome the info.

{edit} More on Haynes - According to this link, Haynes wrestled this past weekend in a tournament up in Omaha.  While I cannot speak to the competition level there (it does not appear really high), I can comment that it looks like he wrestled unattached.  When you see this in wrestling, I believe it typically means the wrestler is in the midst of a redshirt season.  It means the wrestler can go to tournaments and enter them and compete, but not in duals or conference/championships.  So, unless I am incorrect, it appears Haynes is going to redshirt this season, which is a bit of strange call to me without any sort of other information.

HWY: Bringing up the rear for the now departed (and national champion) Mark Ellis will be junior Dom Bradley, who himself is very highly rated and currently 8-0 on the season.  His best win to date was to close the action against Oregon State, as he defeated the #10 wrestler 2-1.  He has a HUGE match against #1 Zach Rey of Lehigh coming up this weekend, so big things are ahead for Bradley.  I expect him to be very much in the mix for the top spot in the country all season.

Another busy day for the Tigers on Saturday (11/27), as they will take on American, Maryland, #24 Rutgers and #13 Lehigh in duals.  Hopefully I will get a chance to check back in with the team in the coming weeks to update our progress.

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