Sammy Sasso compiled a record of 24-3 as a freshman (Photo/Sam Janicki, SJanickiPhoto.com)
Sammy Sasso, Ohio State redshirt freshman originally from Pennsylvania, has been named 2020 InterMat Freshman of the Year, the amateur wrestling website announced on Thursday.
This award, presented each year since 2006 to the best college freshman wrestler in all divisions for his/her college wrestling performance during the 2019-2020 season, is based exclusively on the balloting of writers at InterMat. Each writer is asked to select five freshman wrestlers and rank them from first to fifth. Point values are assigned to each placement, ranging from one point to a wrestler listed fifth on a voter's ballot, up to nine points for a first-place vote.
Sasso received four first-place votes (out of ten) from the InterMat staff, for a total of 60 points to put him No. 1 in this year's InterMat Freshman of the Year voting. In second place was Shane Griffith of Stanford, who was the top choice among three InterMat staffers, earning a total of 53 points. Two other freshmen who earned at least one first-place vote: David Carr of Iowa State, taking fourth place with 45 points, including two first-place votes ... while Stanford's Real Woods received one first-place vote, for a total of 25 points.
During his shortened 2019-20 season, Sasso built an impressive overall record of 24-3. In the win category, Sasso notched 13 regular-season victories and a 9-0 record in Big Ten competition. The Buckeye 149-pounder scored five pins, four wins by major decision, and four technical fall victories. He defeated Iowa's Pat Lugo on Jan. 24 in a dual meet, giving the Hawkeye All-American his only loss of the season.
.As for Sasso's losses ... two were during the regular season (to Minnesota's Brayton Lee by decision and Virginia Tech's Brent Moore by fall) with the third loss coming in the 2020 Big Ten finals to Lugo, 2-1.
Thanks to his performance as a redshirt freshman during 2019-20 season, Sasso found himself in the upper reaches of the InterMat college rankings at 149 pounds for much of the season, most recently residing in the top spot for a number of weeks, then concluding the shortened season ranked No. 3 immediately after the 2020 Big Ten Championships.
Prior to coming to Ohio State, the native of Nazareth, Pa was a two-time Pennsylvania AAA state champion for the Nazareth Blue Eagles, placing within the top three all four seasons. Sasso compiled an overall prep record of 180-11.
In the 15-year history of InterMat Freshman of the Year balloting, Sammy Sasso is the second Ohio State wrestler to have earned the honor, joining Buckeye mat great Logan Stieber, who received the award in 2012.
2020 InterMat Freshman of the Year Voting Results
1st-5th Place Votes: 9-7-5-3-1
Total Votes/(First-Place Votes)
1. Sammy Sasso, Ohio State 60 (4)
2. Shane Griffith, Stanford 53 (3)
3. Aaron Brooks, Penn State 48
4. David Carr, Iowa State 45 (2)
5. Real Woods, Stanford 25 (1)
6. Tony Cassioppi, Iowa 14
7. Travis Wittlake, Oklahoma State 3
8. Brayton Lee, Minnesota 2
InterMat Freshman of the Year Past Winners
2019: Mekhi Lewis, Virginia Tech
2018: Spencer Lee, Iowa
2017: Mark Hall, Penn State
2016: Jason Nolf, Penn State
2015: Isaiah Martinez, Illinois
2014: Jason Tsirtsis, Northwestern
2013: Alex Dieringer, Oklahoma State
2012: Logan Stieber, Ohio State
2011: David Taylor, Penn State
2010: Kyle Dake, Cornell
2009: Andrew Howe, Wisconsin
2008: Mike Grey, Cornell
2007: Jake Varner, Iowa State
2006: Dustin Schlatter, Minnesota