InterMat senior writer T.R. Foley answers reader questions about NCAA wrestling, international wrestling, recruiting, or anything loosely related to wrestling. You have until Thursday night every week to send questions to Foley's Twitter or email account.
Do you want to read a past mailbag? View archives.
Wrestling lost a great leader this week. Jeff Blatnick, 55, passed away after heart failure. He was a cancer survivor, Olympic gold medalist and two-time NCAA Division II champion. Blatnick was a son of wrestling, but after the Olympics went on to become a UFC commentator and respected MMA judge. He worked with several state commissions and leagues to bring about new rules for help legitimize the sport. But even as Blatnick moved on to become a big name in MMA, he remained a hero of the wrestling community.
Below is a video to remind you of Blatnick's accomplishment on the mat and his character off it. I found it tough to watch. Blatnick will be missed.
I'll be writing a piece about Blatnick's life for the December issue of FIGHT! Magazine. Please send me your personal stories this weekend and I'll try to include your anecdotes in the piece.
On to your questions ...
Q: I would first like to thank InterMat for the coverage and you for the awesome mailbag week in and week out. You guys have been able to keep me up to date on all the big news as I am currently forward deployed on the USS IWO JIMA, wrapping up an 8-month deployment. Unfortunately, I am not going to be back stateside to watch the All-Star Classic; I would have loved to drag my wife up to DC to watch it. I am a PSU fan, and with that being said I'm sure you know where I am going with this. For the Taylor/Dake matchup, do you would think it will to end up on Youtube or someplace to watch it well after the match is over. It has to, right? Just trying to figure out how I'm going to be able to catch the match in the mid December time frame. Thanks again for everything!
-- Kelin F.
Foley: Thanks to you, sir. It's nice to know we have an international following, though you didn't specify where you were deployed overseas. As the son of a Marine, I still remember he excitement of getting a postcard from my father when he was deployed. Do you send your family handwritten notes, or are you on FaceTime? Does it depend on where you are deployed?
You could sign up for Flo's broadcast, but it's $20 and you have to remember to cancel the subscription after you're finished watching. Failing to do so could cost you an additional $220 with automatic monthly renewal! The company's decision has come at the cost of some fan support, but assuming they hire good commentators, have graphics and don't screw up the feed you might find it worth your money. Fox Sports has also agreed to air the Classic on tape delay.
Have a great time on deployment and make it home safely!
Q: What happened to Destin McCauley, don't hear anything about him anymore after he graduated from high school.
-- Jeff P.
Foley: McCauley originally committed to Wisconsin in 2010 to start competing in 2011-2012. Like many of the top wrestlers in an Olympic year McCauley chose to take an Olympic redshirt and train to make the Olympic team. He didn't and in the meantime the situation at Wisconsin changed dramatically with head assistant coach Donny Pritzlaff leaving to take a position at Michigan.
At the end of the summer McCauley found that he'd rather not attend Wisconsin and out himself back on the market, eventually choosing to wrestle at Iowa State in 2012-2013. However, he later decided to forgo college to stay in Colorado Springs and train to make the next Olympic Games.
I don't know what his academic situation was, or if it influenced him to stay off campus, but I DO like the idea that one of our most talented freestylers is going to commit to international wrestling. Again, I don't know what his academic situation is, but college is not for everyone and I'm happy to see some guys chasing their dreams.
Q: It's great to see you quote M E S.
How about All-Star Classic predictions?
Dark horse D1 teams for the coming season?
Your AA predictions or Dark horse AA's?
-- Mike S.
Foley: I love Man, Economy & Sports. We are in a great time for sports information. The economics of sports, the statistical analysis, and the breadth of information available to fans has never been better. The amount of information can be over-indulgent, but on average we're damn lucky.
As for the predictions, we'll be getting to all these over the next few weeks. I can tell you I'm pretty big on 174-pound superhero/wrestler Matt Brown from Penn State.
The man who posted this video was eventually fired from NBC, though I think he should have been given a significant raise! Excellent comedy.
The logo for "Back Points w/ T.R. Foley" has been finalized. I'm lucky to have gone to high school with one of the best graphic designers in the world. Seriously, she's incredible. Who can recognize this type of wrestling jacket?
The new Podcast was scheduled to premiere this week, but will instead come in next week. Interviews are done, but the sound quality is subpar. I'm going to try and fix it (It sounds like I'm calling from the headquarters of MIB). If all goes well I'll be improving the sound quality AND adding a second, late week podcast.
Q: Did Cody Wiercioch drop to 170 to face Chance in PA finals or for college next year?
-- Chuck F.
Foley: I reached out to the very best high school analyst in the country, our very own Josh Lowe. This is what he wrote ...
Cody was an in-season 170 last year, and I sense he would be favored to win AAA state at either 170 or 182. That obviously presumes Chance Marsteller stays at 160 again this year. I am hearing that is more likely than not to be the case.
If Wiercioch stays at 170, which may just be an optimal weight for him, we saw the de facto state final in the Super 32 final; Wiercioch beat Brett Harner (Norristown) 5-3.
Up at 182 in AAA is fellow Super 32 champ Jacob Taylor (Bald Eagle Area). 195 in AAA has two-time Super 32 champ Matt McCutcheon (Kiski Area), who won state last year, as well as returning runner-up Jake Hart (Hampton). Two-time state champion Thomas Haines (Solanco), only a junior, is up at 220.
At 160, Marsteller is likely to have yet another state champion in his weight with
Garrett Peppelman (Central Dauphin). Remember that Chance beat defending state champ Brian Brill 17-7 in last year's state final.
In what should not be breaking news to anyone, the quality depth and breadth of talent in PA (class 3A in particular) is staggering.
Q: I follow Jordan Burroughs on Twitter and he can sometimes come off as a little arrogant about his abilities and accomplishments (i.e. alliseeisgold). Do you think he should tone it down a little and be more humble about his accomplishments or do you think the sport of wrestling needs a flamboyant and colorful personality (similar to Muhammed Ali and the sport of boxing).
-- Casey L.
Foley: I absolutely think he comes across as arrogant, but heaven bless that man and his accomplishments! Burroughs is a rare talent and though he has been very honest about his abilities, I find it refreshing that he does it WITHOUT the humblebrag. I hate the #humblebrag. Though it's linked right above these words, I will go ahead and explain by linking to a funny video.
His post last night read: "It's flattering to see how many wrestlers out there want to be me for Halloween. Thanks guys!"
Humblebrag: "I wrestle for the love of the sport so it's still weird for me to think someone would dress up as me for Halloween."
Burroughs is an honest and I think sweet man. We should let him live it up. He also posted this photo on Twitter last week. I'm sold.