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  • Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Photo: Tony Rotundo

    The Week the Freshmen Shined

    From time to time, during the middle or end of a season, you may hear a coach say something like, “They aren’t freshmen anymore.” However, the phrase is uttered, it’s meant to illustrate the fact that they’ve been with the team, practicing for months, experienced multiple competitions, and need to come up big for the team. Maybe some mental and physical errors early on in their season can be tolerated and learned from, but at some point coaches need results. 

    It just so happened that a handful of talented freshmen earned huge wins over the last week. Wins that may change the trajectory of their entire careers. After beating an All-American (or a ranked wrestler), beating another one doesn’t seem like such a daunting task. They have that tangible evidence that the work they’ve put in has paid off, in terms of wins and losses. 

    Not everyone is in that same boat. Some freshmen were thought to be really good, but just didn’t have a high-level opponent to validate such expectations. The schedule finally broke right so they got tested. 

    However the scenario, during the last week of action, plenty of freshmen shined brighter than ever before in the 2023-24 season. And they all did it during a couple of day span. Here’s more about their big wins:

    Cody Chittum (Iowa State)

    In our “27 Key Matches to Watch This Weekend” article, we stated that “Chittum has been good thus far, but is still looking for a first signature win.” I think beating two-time All-American Jacori Teemer (Arizona State) qualifies as a “signature win.”

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