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  • Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Collegiate Wrestling Duals: Red Pool Preview

    3x NCAA champion Spencer Lee (photo courtesy of Tony Rotundo; WrestlersAreWarriors.com)

    Monday marks the opening dual of the first Collegiate Wrestling Duals, presented by Journeymen. 12 teams from six conferences have been divided into two pools for competition. On Monday, each team will wrestle a pair of prearranged duals. Based on the results, teams from the same pool will meet each other on Tuesday.

    This event features six of the top ten dual teams in the country and seven of the top-11, so many of the best teams and individuals will be in action. Our first preview will focus on wrestlers from the Red Pool. Then we'll move on to the Blue Pool.

    The Red pool features four ranked teams, including #1 Iowa. The other group of three had one of the most anticipated matches on Monday, as #5 NC State meets #10 Missouri. Provided rankings hold up, one of those squads could meet Iowa the following day.

    Below are potential lineups for each Red Pool dual on Monday, along with notes about each dual, and a projected team score.

    Central Michigan vs. #21 Lehigh

    Possible Matchups:

    125 lbs - Brock Bergelin vs. #11 Jaret Lane

    133 lbs - Vince Perez/Ja'Kerion Merritt vs. #24 Malyke Hines

    141 lbs - #7 Dresden Simon vs. Connor McGonagle/Dan Moran

    149 lbs - Corbyn Munson vs. #30 Manzona Bryant

    157 lbs - #19 Johnny Lovett vs. #10 Josh Humphreys

    165 lbs - Tracy Hubbard vs. #27 Brian Meyer

    174 lbs - Jake Lowell vs. Jake Logan

    184 lbs - Ben Cushman vs. AJ Burkhart

    197 lbs - Aaron Bolo vs. JT Davis

    285 lbs - #9 Matt Stencel vs. #8 Jordan Wood

    Yesterday, in our five questions article, I mentioned that this was a possible place for an upset. While Central Michigan only has three wrestlers currently ranked, they have a handful of others that are close to the top-33 and capable of a big performance or two.

    Obviously, the big match takes place at the largest weight class as two past All-Americans are set to clash again. Matt Stencel and Jordan Wood met earlier this season at the Journeymen Collegiate Classic, a bout won by Wood, 3-1. Both are sixth-year seniors that have won their respective conference four times and made the NCAA podium in 2019. That, along with the 157 lb match, will be the most nationally relevant. Johnny Lovett and Josh Humphreys were set to meet at the Journeymen Collegiate Classic, but Humphreys medically forfeited.

    The only other two in this dual that have a history with each other are Corbyn Munson and Manzona Bryant at 149. Though Bryant is in the rankings, Munson got the head-to-head win.

    Another highly competitive bout should take place at 125 lbs, where undefeated Jaret Lane meets Brock Bergelin, who spent a few weeks in the rankings earlier this year.

    Pick: Lehigh (18-12)

    Central Michigan vs. #1 Iowa

    Possible Matchups:

    125 lbs - Brock Bergelin vs. #1 Spencer Lee/Jesse Ybarra

    133 lbs - Vince Perez/Ja'Kerion Merritt vs. #3 Austin DeSanto

    141 lbs - #7 Dresden Simon vs. #2 Jaydin Eierman

    149 lbs - Corbyn Munson vs. #8 Max Murin/Cole Siebrecht

    157 lbs - #19 Johnny Lovett vs. #8 Kaleb Young

    165 lbs - Tracy Hubbard vs. #1 Alex Marinelli

    174 lbs - Jake Lowell vs. Nelson Brands

    184 lbs - Ben Cushman vs. #28 Myles Wilson/Abe Assad

    197 lbs - Aaron Bolo vs. #7 Jacob Warner

    285 lbs - #9 Matt Stencel vs. #6 Tony Cassioppi

    The heavyweights in this three-team round-robin are no joke. Each of the three dual meets will feature a top-ten matchup. This one is between All-Americans Stencel and Tony Cassioppi. These two have some history between them, as they met at the 2018 and 2019 Midlands. Stencel pinned the redshirting Cassioppi in 2018, but Cassioppi returned the favor with a 6-2 win a year later.

    141 lbs looks like a marquee bout as two of the top-seven wrestlers in the nation will meet. However, the last time they were on the mat together, the 2021 NCAA Championships, Jaydin Eierman pinned Dresden Simon in the quarterfinals.

    157 lbs will feature a meeting between a pair of top-20 opponents with #8 Kaleb Young and #19 Johnny Lovett. Young is as consistent as they come. He generally beats the guys he's supposed to beat. Lovett made a splash in the first round of the 2021 NCAA Championships when he knocked off #7 Jarrett Jacques (Missouri), 3-2.

    Other intriguing bouts from this dual include 125 and 149. Assuming Spencer Lee doesn't start here, it's a winnable bout for Brock Bergelin. Although he suffered a loss in his most recent dual appearance, Bergelin is 9-4 on the year and fresh off a 5-1 showing at the Cleveland State Open. Speaking of the CSU Open, Corbyn Munson was the champion at that event. If Max Murin doesn't get the nod, he'll undoubtedly have a chance to win. Even if Murin goes, Munson could keep the match close and steal one late.

    Pick: Iowa (33-6)

    #21 Lehigh vs. #1 Iowa

    Possible Matchups:

    125 lbs - #11 Jaret Lane vs. #1 Spencer Lee/Jesse Ybarra

    133 lbs - #24 Malyke Hines vs. #3 Austin DeSanto

    141 lbs - Connor McGonagle/Dan Moran vs. #2 Jaydin Eierman

    149 lbs - #30 Manzona Bryant vs. #8 Max Murin/Cole Siebrecht

    157 lbs - #10 Josh Humphreys vs. #8 Kaleb Young

    165 lbs - #27 Brian Meyer vs. #1 Alex Marinelli

    174 lbs - Jake Logan vs. Nelson Brands

    184 lbs - AJ Burkhart vs. #28 Myles Wilson/Abe Assad

    197 lbs - JT Davis vs. #7 Jacob Warner

    285 lbs - #8 Jordan Wood vs. #6 Tony Cassioppi

    As mentioned before, the heavyweights in this dual will prove to be the main event. Wood and Cassioppi have never met in collegiate competition, though both are decorated internationally. Cassioppi recently won a U23 world title, while Wood was a Cadet World silver medalist in 2014.

    Another top-ten matchup here takes place in the middle of the dual as #8 Kaleb Young and #10 Josh Humphreys meet. Though Young has the slight advantage rankings-wise and a longer track record, it's basically a toss-up between these two. This would be the kind of match Humphreys needs to win to elevate himself into a higher tier of contenders at 157.

    Generally, you'd expect this to be a route in the Hawkeye's favor. Nine-time-out-of-ten, I'd agree. But, just bear with me for a second. Iowa doesn't send out Spencer Lee at 125 and/or Max Murin at 149. Those are both huge swings and turn into winnable matches for the Mountain Hawks. Maybe, just maybe, a bonus point-win for Jaret Lane. Now, you give Lehigh the toss-ups at 157 and 285, things start to get interesting. Those results are certainly possibilities and not even stretches, at that, but give Lehigh an upset at 174 or 184. Things could get realllly interesting. Especially if Lehigh can avoid or limit bonus points where Iowa's heavily favored (133/141/165/197). But, as I said, the majority of the time, you'd have to expect Iowa runs away with this one and that's what we'll forecast.

    Pick: Iowa (29-10)

    Binghamton vs. #10 Missouri

    Possible Matchups:

    125 lbs - Micah Roes/Nick Curley vs. #15 Noah Surtin

    133 lbs - Anthony Sobotker vs. Trey Crawford/Matt Schmitt

    141 lbs - Michael Zarif vs. #14 Allan Hart

    149 lbs - Nick Lombard vs. #18 Josh Edmond

    157 lbs - Logan Gumble vs. #15 Jarrett Jacques

    165 lbs - Brevin Cassella vs. #3 Keegan O'Toole

    174 lbs - Jacob Nolan vs. #14 Peyton Mocco

    184 lbs - Sam DePrez vs. #11 Jeremiah Kent

    197 lbs - #12 Louie DePrez vs. #4 Rocky Elam

    285 lbs - #22 Joe Doyle vs. #16 Zach Elam

    First things first, respect must be given to Binghamton head coach Kyle Borshoff, his staff, and his wrestlers for agreeing to jump into this event on only a couple weeks notice. Borshoff told InterMat, he didn't even need to think twice before accepting an invitation. Well, Binghamton is in an absolutely brutal grouping, alongside #5 NC State and #10 Missouri. With the CKLV Invitational in the rearview and duals against Virginia Tech, Lehigh, and Cornell looming, it's safe to say that Binghamton will be battle-tested for the postseason.

    The last two matches in this dual should provide some of the most heated competition. Missouri's Elam brothers (Rocky/Elam) will close out the dual with contests against ranked opponents. Returning All-American Louie DePrez is fresh off a seventh-place finisher at the CKLV, in one of the tournament's deepest brackets. Both losses came to the eventual second and third place finishers and in each bout, the margin of decision was two points. Heavyweight Joe Doyle also got on the podium in Vegas and is coming off a big win over #23 Brandon Metz (North Dakota State) in dual competition. While the Elam's, both Junior world medalists, should be favored in both matches, each should be a dogfight.

    The third Vegas placer for Binghamton was 133 lber Anthony Sobotker, who was seventh. Sobotker has established himself as one of the more dangerous Bearcat wrestlers. He is the definition of all or nothing, as he has pinned in eight of his nine wins. Sobotker could find himself in a decent position for such a loaded Mizzou lineup. The Tigers have been sending out freshman Trey Crawford, while veteran Matt Schmitt works his way back in the lineup.

    Pick: Missouri (34-6)

    Binghamton vs. #5 NC State

    Possible Matchups:

    125 lbs - Micah Roes/Nick Curley vs. #5 Jakob Camacho

    133 lbs - Anthony Sobotker vs. #17 Kai Orine/Jarrett Trombley

    141 lbs - Michael Zarif vs. #16 Ryan Jack

    149 lbs - Nick Lombard vs. #3 Tariq Wilson/Matt Fields

    157 lbs - Logan Gumble vs. #23 Ed Scott

    165 lbs - Brevin Cassella vs. #18 Thomas Bullard

    174 lbs - Jacob Nolan vs. #5 Hayden Hidlay

    184 lbs - Sam DePrez vs. #3 Trent Hidlay

    197 lbs - #12 Louie DePrez vs. #15 Isaac Trumble

    285 lbs - #22 Joe Doyle vs. #28 Owen Trephan/Deonte Wilson

    It's the “Pat Popolizio Bowl!” The NC State head coach got the opportunity to move on to take the reins in Raleigh after taking an 0-12 team and finishing in the top-15 at the 2012 NCAA Championships, after only six years on the job.

    As you'll note from their first match, Binghamton's strength is at the back end of their lineup. Opposed to Missouri, these spots may be a little more manageable for Coach Borshoff's team. While Isaac Trumble is on the rise, Louie DePrez has to be the favorite. Heavyweight is a little more interesting. Deonte Wilson has the longer track record and has been more successful against outside competition. Owen Trephan has a pair of wins against his teammate. While both have seen action in duals, Trephan has lost his most recent outing and that's led to Wilson getting the nod in the following two. Just to make things more complicated, Doyle and Wilson met during the 2019-20 season and Doyle prevailed with a fall in just :22 seconds.

    Other possible matches of note are at 125, 149, and 174 lbs. #5 ranked Jakob Camacho was pushed by Appalachian State's Caleb Smith in his most recent match, so maybe returning NCAA qualifier Micah Roes can do so, as well. The Wolfpack staff haven't wanted to overwork their veterans, so sixth-year stars like Tariq Wilson and Hayden Hidlay have been used sparingly. If that's the case here, Michigan graduate transfer Nick Lombard is capable of getting his hand raised. The same goes for returning NCAA qualifier Jacob Nolan at 174 lbs.

    Pick: NC State (26-6)

    #5 NC State vs. #10 Missouri

    Possible Matchups:

    125 lbs - #5 Jakob Camacho vs. #15 Noah Surtin

    133 lbs - #17 Kai Orine/Jarrett Trombley vs. Trey Crawford/Matt Schmitt

    141 lbs - #16 Ryan Jack vs. #14 Allan Hart

    149 lbs - #3 Tariq Wilson vs. #18 Josh Edmond

    157 lbs - #23 Ed Scott vs. #15 Jarrett Jacques

    165 lbs - #18 Thomas Bullard vs. #3 Keegan O'Toole

    174 lbs - #5 Hayden Hidlay vs. #14 Peyton Mocco

    184 lbs - #3 Trent Hidlay vs. #11 Jeremiah Kent

    197 lbs - #15 Isaac Trumble vs. #4 Rocky Elam

    285 lbs - #28 Owen Trephan/Deonte Wilson vs. #16 Zach Elam

    This is one of the duals we've had circled since the pairings were first released! 19 of the 20 probable starters are currently ranked, and six are in the top ten. Truly an excellent dual. A loss to Virginia Tech, dropped Missouri in the dual rankings, but they were as high as #4 at one point.

    Right off the bat is a good one. Noah Surtin has established himself as the guy for Mizzou and he shined in the Virginia Tech dual, pinning their returning All-American Sam Latona. Last year, Latona defeated Camacho in their memorable dual meet and in the ACC finals.

    If 2021 MAC champion and Round of 12 finisher Matt Schmitt is in the lineup, it would tilt this in the Tigers favor. However, Schmitt has yet to appear in 2021-22 for Missouri. NC State can counter with either Kai Orine or Jarrett Trombley. Either is capable and could get their hand raised opposite Crawford.

    The contest at 141 lbs is generally a toss-up, though Allan Hart is ranked slightly higher and has the big-match experience. Hart is a two-time national qualifier and was a match away from earning All-American honors last year. Jack is 10-1 on the year and is fresh off a win over 2021 SoCon champion Anthony Brito (Appalachian State).

    With such a close dual expected, it's hard to imagine Tariq Wilson not going, short of an injury. Wilson has only appeared twice this year, but has registered bonus points on both occasions. Missouri's young star, Josh Edmond, will be the opponent. A loss to the mercurial Bryce Andonian (Virginia Tech), accounts for the only loss on Edmond's record dating back to last year.

    157 may be the low-key best match of this dual. Ed Scott has come on like gangbusters in his second year in Raleigh. Up a weight from 2021, Scott has logged bonus points in almost 85% of his matches this season. Three-time national qualifier Jarrett Jacques will be Scott's opponent. Jacques is only 6-3 this year, though two of those losses came to top-nine opponents. This could be the opportunity for Scott to establish himself as a podium contender for the Wolfpack.

    The first of Missouri's two Junior world champions will take the mat at 165 as Keegan O'Toole will face Thomas Bullard. O'Toole may be the most impressive 165 lber in the land this season. His 12-4 win over Clayton Ulrey (Virginia Tech) represented the first and only time he's gone the full seven minutes this year. He started the year by pinning returning Big 12 champion Luke Weber (North Dakota State). Bullard is looking to rebound after losing to Appalachian State's Will Formato on Sunday. This could be an interesting style matchup, as Bullard is more defensive, but has solid scrambling skills. Scrambling (and cradles) happen to be O'Toole's calling card.

    The last time we saw Peyton Mocco, he took 2019 NCAA champion Mekhi Lewis to tiebreakers before falling, 9-6. Unfortunately, that day he also suffered a loss to Northern Iowa's Pat Schoenfelder, 11-9. Generally, being able to hang with an opponent like Lewis bodes, well for Mocco against Hayden Hidlay. Even though Hidlay moved up two weight classes this year, there have been no ill effects. He's been victorious in both of his appearances and collected bonus points along the way.

    The bigger and younger Hidlay brother, Trent, is waiting at 184 lbs. Like his brother and their classmates, Trent has been used sparingly during the early going this season. He's 3-0 and has looked excellent. The returning NCAA finalist is 3-0 against a really solid schedule, thus far. Jeremiah Kent comes in with a 4-1 record. The only blemish came at the hands of Hunter Bolen (Virginia Tech), an opponent all-too-familiar to Hidlay. Bolen has gotten the better of Hidlay, historically, but Hidlay won their most recent meeting, at the 2021 ACC Championships. Kent was a MAC runner-up last season and earned the ninth seed at his first NCAA Tournament.

    A pair of second-year freshmen are on a collision course at 197 lbs. Rocky Elam suffered a pair of losses at the 2021 NCAA Championships on his way to a fifth-place finish. Those defeats have been his only of this year and last year. Like O'Toole, Elam won a Junior World Championship over the summer. He'll face an undefeated (or possibly undefeated based on his match with DePrez) Isaac Trumble. Last year, Trumble stormed on the scene and picked up a win over eventual NCAA runner-up Nino Bonaccorsi (Pittsburgh), but didn't get the start in the postseason. Trumble had notched bonus points in seven of 11 matches this year.

    Wrapping up the meet will be someone from the Trephan/Wilson tandem against Zach Elam. Against Virginia Tech, the dual was riding on Elam's bout with Nathan Traxler. Expect this one to be similar! Since the stakes will be high, it's likely will see a low-scoring, tactical match between the Elam and whomever NC State sends out.

    Pick: NC State (18-15)

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