What to watch this week in college wrestling

Jaydin Eierman and Sa'Derian Perry met last season and could meet again on Sunday (Photo/Mark Lundy,

Note: All times listed are Eastern (ET).

The 2018 NCAA Championships were eight months ago. College coaches and wrestlers were itching to knock off the rust when November's opening week rolled around. Though it's hard to believe, that week has already come and gone, and we're heading into the second week of the season.

Though the second week will see 20 of InterMat's top-25 teams in action, there won't be any top- 25 dual meets this weekend. But that's not to say that we won't be treated to some great matchups, as several top tier teams will be wrestling at the same open tournaments.

I like to call the first month of the season "open season" because it's rare to see coaches waste a calendar date on a dual meet where the win potential is one as opposed to an open tournament that gives wrestlers an opportunity to rack up multiple wins and build their resumes before conference dual season rolls around.


Frenzy at the Field House (4 p.m.)

Kent State hosts the Frenzy at the Field House on Friday starting at 4 p.m. The Golden Flashes will open with CSU Bakersfield, then face Wisconsin and conclude with Iowa at 7 p.m. Returning NCAA champion Spencer Lee (125) will be in action for the Hawkeyes. Look for a potential matchup at 197 pounds between returning All-American and fan-favorite Kyle Conel (Kent State) and Jacob Warner (Iowa).


No. 11 Nebraska vs. Utah Valley (10 a.m.) and Virginia (2 p.m.)

The 11th-ranked Huskers head to the Northeast Duals. They meet Utah Valley on Saturday morning, and we'll be treated to a pair of middleweight ranked matchups. First up at 165 pounds where Nebraska's ninth-ranked Isaiah White will take on No. 16 Demetrius Romero (Utah Valley). Right after that, at 174 pounds, it'll be No. 12 Mikey Labriola taking on Utah Valley's 14th-ranked Kimball Bastian.

The Huskers will also take on Virginia later in the day on Saturday.

Of the 10 matchups, the most intriguing match of the dual meet comes at 125 pounds where two-time All-American and NCAA finalist Zeke Moisey (Nebraska) could meet No. 7 Louie Hayes (Virginia).

That is a hard "could" because last weekend Virginia's Louie Hayes missed weight at 125 pounds, forcing the Cavilers to forfeit the weight in their first dual of the season against Indiana. Virginia ended up winning the dual, but if Hayes can't make the weight, the Cavaliers may have to throw in true freshman Ben Kamali. Kamali finished last weekend with a 4-2 record and left the Hokie Open with a sixth-place finish..


Journeymen Collegiate Classic (9 a.m.)

This weekend's premier tournament is Sunday's Journeymen Collegiate Classic in Troy, N.Y. The field includes 14 NCAA Division I teams, highlighted by No. 8 North Carolina State and No. 10 Lehigh.

Individually, there will be 30 top-20 wrestlers competing in their respective weight classes, with at least two ranked wrestlers scrapping at each weight. Even more impressive, 133 pounds and 157 pounds both have four wrestlers who currently sit in InterMat's top 20.

Though there's talent at each weight class, the Journeymen Collegiate Classic bracket to pay attention to has to be 133 pounds. This weight class features three returning All-Americans who bring a top-10 ranking into the weekend. They are No. 4 Tariq Wilson (NC State), No. 7 Scott Parker (Lehigh), and No. 8 Montorie Bridges (Wyoming).

Wilson nearly stunned eventual champion Seth Gross of South Dakota State in the NCAA semifinals, but lost in overtime and finished the NCAA tournament in third place. Parker defeated Bridges 5-2 in the seventh-place bout.

Another wrestler to keep an eye on in the weight class is Matt Schmitt (WVU).

Returning NCAA finalist Hayden Hidlay (NC State, 157) and previous All-Americans No. 7 Jordan Kutler (Lehigh, 174), No. 6 Justin Oliver (NC State, 149), and No. 14 Connor Schram (Lehigh, 125) will also compete at the Journeymen Collegiate Classic this weekend.

Aside from open tournaments, there will be a few duals that I'll be looking forward to.

No. 10 Missouri at Old Dominion (1 p.m.)

Missouri heads to the East Coast on Sunday looking for their 21st consecutive dual meet win when they take on the Monarchs of Old Dominion in Norfolk, Virginia.

The feature matchup of the dual is between returning All-Americans Jaydin Eierman (Missouri) and Sa'Derian Perry (Old Dominion) at 141 pounds.

This will be the second time these two have met. In their previous meeting, the two-time All-American Eierman stuck Perry in the second period.

No. 8 Arizona State at South Dakota State (2 p.m.)

Reigning NCAA champions in Seth Gross (South Dakota State) and Zahid Valencia (Arizona State) will be wrestling in the same dual meet on Sunday (1 p.m.) in Sioux Falls (.S.D.) when the eighth-ranked Sun Devils take on South Dakota State. SDSU first-year head coach Damion Hahn will look to get his first win and beat a ranked team in the process.

No. 6 Michigan at Central Michigan (2 p.m.)

As a Michigan native, I selfishly want to see the sixth-ranked Wolverines head to Central Michigan to take on the Chippewas because there's a bunch of questions surrounding both teams.

For Central Michigan, who is going to step up into that leadership role in their first home dual without sixth-ranked Justin Oliver who transferred to North Carolina State and Mason Smith?

And for the Wolverines, there are two weights that I'll be paying attention to. The first will be at 157 pounds. The reason being, last weekend at the Michigan State Open, Michigan's true freshman Will Lewan beat teammate and two-time All American Alec Pantaleo in the finals to claim his first college open title.

Does that Michigan State Open finals win raise questions for the Michigan coaching staff about who should start at this weight class? Though it's a promising win, I doubt think they've thought about pulling Lewan's redshirt when they have a guy like Pantaleo in the lineup.

Another weight class I'll be watching in this dual meet is 285 pounds. Michigan has true freshman Mason Paris who is coming off a win at the Michigan State Open. Unlike 149 pounds, Michigan does not have much of an option at 285 pounds aside from Paris. I don't really think it's the question is 'Will Michigan pull Paris' redshirt this season? But more likely, 'When will Michigan pull Paris' redshirt?' The sample size for college success is only one tournament, so I doubt they do it this early, but don't be surprised if they do it.


Login or Register to post a comment