So, Beef, BIG weekend for the Tigers at the Southern Scuffle was just completed. Lets chat about it!
Heres our finishers and the ranked opponents they took down:
125 Waters - 1st
Beat: #2 Garrett 3-1
#11 Kilmara 5-4
#20 Boyle (TF) 15-0
141 Mayes - 1st
Beat: #17 Martinez 6-4
#14 Ward 5-3
149 Houdashelt - 2nd
Beat: #17 Beitz 3-2
#15 Rocciato 11-7
174 Eblen - 3rd
Beat: #5 Wilps 7-3
#7 Weatherman 7-3
197 Cox - 1st
Beat: #5 Hartmann 6-1
#4 McIntosh 2-1
#16 Nye (MD) 12-4
184 Miklus - 6th
HWT Mellon - 4th
Lots to be excited about coming out of Tennessee from last week. Loved seeing Waters and Cox get some wins over some good/top talent. Really excited to see Mayes grind through a bracket he should have won and win it. And the performances of Eblen (new to 174) and Mellon (back to HWY after being out the first semester) were also very encouraging. What else do you want to get all starry-eyed about?
I'd agree with all of those performances. The only I might include is Houdashelt placing 2nd and putting in a solid performance against a fellow top 5 wrestler in the finals. I'd have to say I was a bit disappointed with Miklus. I thought he might have it in him to pull off a top 3 finish but he showed how raw he is still even though he has plenty of promise left to fulfill.
Anyone you were disappointed in? How does this performance set these individuals up going forward through the conference season?
Sounds like Houda and Kindig had a pretty wild scramble that ultimately led to him dropping the match. That certainly can and does happen. As for Miklus, I think he probably had some wide-eyes at the competition level in that group.
For me, I was disappointed to see there is some potential instability at 133. I think Zach Synon did a pretty decent job there, but I was hoping for better from the weight (via Matt Manley improving on some recent performances). I don’t know if it was injury, coach’s decision or something else, but it will be interesting to keep an eye on it. Also, England at 165 did not quite have the bang I hoped it would, though certainly it is still early in that trip.
As for the rest of the season, you have high-level duals against Cornell, Okie State and then (provided we can beat American U, which we absolutely should) at least one or more matches as part of the National Duals Tournament in late Feb. In between, you have the rest of the conference season. I think we are certainly set up fine to that end. For people like Mellon, England and Eblen (and perhaps Synon depending on the issue at 133 with Manley), there is plenty of time to rack up some wins to help with MAC Tournament seeding. I expect MAC allocations to be such that we really should have a good shot at bringing the full team to STL, and if we want ANY shot at a high-finish, we need all ten. For the rest of the folks, this next two months should be some treading water at times with some of the conference duals against lower teams and ramping up for some of the higher level matches that might come their way which are important for national seeding
Well put on 165 and 133. Those are weight classes that we certainly need more from. I forgot to add earlier just how pleasantly surprised I was to see Mellon come back as strong as he did. He is still a fringe AA candidate who at the very least could do some damage at the NCAA's and give the team good points.
Anything from the big dogs of Waters, Mayes, Houdashelt or Cox that you'd like to see (aside from staying healthy) through the next 2 months?
Also, HERE is part of that scramble in the Kindig vs Houdashelt match, turn OFF the sound, its terrible.
First off…holy crap that was an insane move by Kindig there. Houda needs to be quicker once he has the double underhooks set, but I’ve never seen that before. Lesson learned.
Mellon coming back to place 4th was very encouraging for me. I am still a tick below you on where I think he can place in the NCAA’s, but this was a nice first step for him to get to where you have him in my own mind.
For Waters, he will potentially see Garrett (of Cornell) and Klimara (of Okie State) again, so he needs to keep the wins flowing to make sure he is locking in #2 in the nation (at worst). Mayes needs to continue to wrestle to the ranking which he will have. I think the ranking FEELS high for me, but if you keep winning, then it is what it is. Just keep winning. I want to see Drake bounce back against Kindig later this month and even the score. As for Cox, I want to see him start crushing folks now that he should be back and STABLE at 197.
What about you? What pie-in-the-sky hopes and dreams do you have for the team?
I'm excited to see some more top flight competition for some of those lighter weight guys. We'll also get plenty of chances for Miklus, Cox & Mellon to stay healthy and as you said, hopefully crush guys. WIN Magazine just released their rankings and we have a lot of guys that are in AA spots as of their rankings right now. This is of course super subjective and all, but I'd like to see Mayes especially keep it up as I think he can be the kind of wrestler that is the difference between 7th and 3rd for this team.
As of right now, I'm crazy all in on this team. I feel like I started to do after the 2007 football team got their first loss. I think we learned so much more in a 2nd place finish than if we had rolled out and won by 20 points in a tournament like the Midlands. I think this team has top 5 finish written all over it and is the best shot at a team title maybe ever. Talk me down Beef!
First off…the Midlands had a pretty terrible lineup this year. Iowa and MN…sure…but really no one else after that.
I was asked at a bar where I thought the team would finish (yes…I was at a bar and yes, someone actually asked me this). I said I felt like their range of team finish was 3-6 at the NCAA’s. Now, I think they have a heck of a shot to be the National Duals champion because I think the lineup is conducive to winning that, but their tournament lineup continues to come around. Like we talked about during the Scuffle, the difference between the top-5 and champions are often depth and bonus points. I think our depth is getting there, as is our ability to earn bonus points (something which Eblen excels at, so it is nice to have him back in the lineup). When we get to STL, these guys cannot take a match off and just win 6-1. It has to be ruthless and rolling people over and over with the attempted pin on the last roll before the Tech comes. Could it break right and could we win it all? I think it is possible. Realistically, I think our ceiling is probably 3rd, and I will walk away disappointed if we are not top-5
Holy crap, I needed to be at this bar. Dammit, no one ever asks me about anything even remotely related to something I am knowledgeable at when I'm at the bar. Damn the man.
I agree that we are most likely in the 3-5 team range in STL and we have a legit shot at the Duals title. I think Penn State kind of jobbed the system a bit at the Scuffle to win the way they did and that if it were more of an NCAA style event we'd have won. I suppose we'll find out soon enough.
It was someone I know who is a volunteer coach at St. Charles West and who wrestled in college. Truth be told, he knew I would know about such things J
I still would not mind getting down to Scottrade to see one of the sessions. The Friday night session is the best one to go to, with the semi final matches and the high-level wrestle-backs. 6 mats going, mostly with people who will be All-Americans. So if anyone is reading this and wants to make that happen for me, you have my requirements
Thats all for today, we are hoping to have some more info about the Fighting Smiths upcoming dual vs Cornell for y'all tomorrow.