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treep2000

Mark Hall at OTTs

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Since this forum typically highlights the young "up n' comers" like Snyder, Pico, etc., I figured I'd kick off a Mark Hall thread.  He's young, that's for darn sure, just having graduated high school last month.  I really like Mark Hall, how he wrestles, his level of "class", etc.  However, after watching the matches on Live Stream over the weekend, I have a few observations and questions:

 

1.) Mark Hall still looks small for a 74kg'er

 

I don't know if it's his build, or what... but when he lined up against Howe and Hall, he appeared to be significantly smaller than his opponents.  He's stated in the interviews that making 74kg would be "tough", but what does that mean?  I feel that his size and overall strength, in wrestling these men, definitely hurt his chances.

 

2.) Did Mark Hall even want to be there? 

 

Granted, Mark has never shown alot of emotion before, during, or after a match.  But... based on his facial expressions, as well as his performances against Hall and Howe, I have to question the purpose of him being there?  Here's why:

* Howe teched him... quick.  When Hall is "on", even someone as good as Howe shouldn't be able to tech Hall.  That result blew me away.

* Adam Hall beat him 14-5.  Mark came out of the gate quick, got the first two in pretty convincing fashion, and then appeared to have just "given up"?  He was taken down at will in the 2nd period.

 

3.) Was Mark Hall just "testing the waters", prior to going full-bore into Juniors? 

 

My gut tells me that this was the case, knowing that he wasn't going to be Top 3.  He wanted to get a few wins in (Massa, Godley), and see where he was at vs. the Top 8-10.  But... if this IS the case, I don't think this bodes well for Mark at Junior Worlds, assuming he makes the team again.  Top tier Junior performances tend to translate well over to Seniors, meaning, he's going to most likely run into guys at Juniors that are on Adam Hall's level already, if not higher.  If this is the case... ???

 

At any rate, I wanted to get the forum's thoughts.  For a 19 year old kid, in a tough as nails weight class, anyone should be proud and impressed with what he is able to bring to the table.  However, this performance also showed that he is NOT at the same level as 19 year old Pico, or 19 year old Snyder. 

 

Thoughts?

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#1 Howe is absolutely HUGE for 74kg, he made  Burroughs look small. 

 

#2 Howe got the tech late in the match. Hall gave him fits trying to score with his rubber knee.

 

You have a boy wrestling men, he did fine and will be fine. His focus hasn't been full freestyle like Snyder and Pico at that age.

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A couple of mental notes I made watching Hall this weekend:

 

1. He looked like he didn't really want to be there. I don't know if he wanted to get a few extra matches in, or test his merit against the proven guys - but he didn't look particularly interested in any match he was wrestling in.

 

2. He did look small. Howe is huge and cutting a lot of weight to make 74. Still, Hall did not look very large compared to Godley or anyone else.

 

3. I believe he may have hurt his knee in one of his matches but continued to wrestle on. That may have played a factor in his loss to Adam Hall.

 

I don't know if I can see Mark medaling at Junior Worlds. He could, but that's a tough bracket with some real all stars mixed in. Pico hasn't won it yet, and I think he's light years ahead of where Hall is atm. Hopefully Hall stays with it and looks to keep improving, he could be the man for the US in a few years.

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He had a reasonably good showing for a recent HS grad. My key takeaway was simply that he is not yet physically mature. He got horsed by Howe, who is an absolute monster at 74 kg, and then just seemed shot for the rest of the day. It's a brutal grind for a young up-and-comer not used to that level of strength and toughness.

 

His key asset appears to be a very stingy defense, but I think he needs to learn to let guys in on his legs less instead of relying so much on his ability to deflect attacks once they're past his head-hands defense. He is the best wrestler while hopping on one leg I've ever seen at his age.

 

I wonder if he's going to be at this weight for good or will be stuck in no-man's land like so many others between 74 and 86 kg. He mentioned cutting to 74 kg was going to be the key challenge for the summer and has reportedly come down from as high as mid 180s. Given his age, I'd expect him to grow a bit more.

Edited by wrestlingnerd

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1. High school weight cutting is not the same thing as open level weight cutting (and thankfully so).  Andrew Howe is a professional athlete who has to make weight a couple times a year and probably has a trusted team of coaches to help him get there.  I was a little surprised that he held up as well strength wise as he did,  to be honest. This kid with a year in a college weight room is going to be a freak.

 

2. Howe is a freaking stud, but Hall looked pretty game the rest of the matches save the last one against Adam.  Mark was winning most of the match, but Adam Hall locked up a trapped leg gutwrench (not sure how else to explain that move) and definitely tweaked the knee.  At that point, it did look like Hall was pretty worn out from the day and wanted to just get out of there without sustaining an injury.

 

3.  Crazy high level mat time is a very limited resource and you have to take it when you can get it.  He will likely learn a lot from the experience.  I think his placing at Junior Worlds just depends on whether Iran or Russia has a true phenom at the weight or not.  His mind will be right, but he just isn't a professional athlete like Pico, Snyder (at OTC), and any foreign world-beater.

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Don't forget his match with Logan Massa.

 

Everyone talks about Hall but Massa is not far behind. That match showed a lot about both guys. They are extremely talented for their age, but they are also far from the level they need to be to become consistent threats at the senior level. Because of that, the match was an incredible spectacle for fans. Definitely one of the matches I will look to watch again once replays are available.

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A couple of mental notes I made watching Hall this weekend:

 

1. He looked like he didn't really want to be there. I don't know if he wanted to get a few extra matches in, or test his merit against the proven guys - but he didn't look particularly interested in any match he was wrestling in.

 

2. He did look small. Howe is huge and cutting a lot of weight to make 74. Still, Hall did not look very large compared to Godley or anyone else.

 

3. I believe he may have hurt his knee in one of his matches but continued to wrestle on. That may have played a factor in his loss to Adam Hall.

 

I don't know if I can see Mark medaling at Junior Worlds. He could, but that's a tough bracket with some real all stars mixed in. Pico hasn't won it yet, and I think he's light years ahead of where Hall is atm. Hopefully Hall stays with it and looks to keep improving, he could be the man for the US in a few years.

Pico should have been in the finals of Jr Worlds last year.  He would have rematched Fujinami from their Cadet World finals.  Doesn't help that they had the Azerbaijani guy in there that was around 26 and not even close to the age group that beat him at the last second.

 

I think Hall will be fine at Jr Worlds.  He can't have another mental lapse like he did against Nagy or he'll be coming home empty handed again.

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Don't forget his match with Logan Massa.

 

Everyone talks about Hall but Massa is not far behind. That match showed a lot about both guys. They are extremely talented for their age, but they are also far from the level they need to be to become consistent threats at the senior level. Because of that, the match was an incredible spectacle for fans. Definitely one of the matches I will look to watch again once replays are available.

 

Agreed, that was a heck of a match

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Don't forget his match with Logan Massa.

 

Everyone talks about Hall but Massa is not far behind. That match showed a lot about both guys. They are extremely talented for their age, but they are also far from the level they need to be to become consistent threats at the senior level. Because of that, the match was an incredible spectacle for fans. Definitely one of the matches I will look to watch again once replays are available.

How much has Massa improved from a few years ago?  I haven't really seen much of him because I don't follow Michigan.  The last match I remember watching him in was against Pico at Cadet Nationals and Pico pretty much ragdolled him all over for the tech.

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How much has Massa improved from a few years ago? I haven't really seen much of him because I don't follow Michigan. The last match I remember watching him in was against Pico at Cadet Nationals and Pico pretty much ragdolled him all over for the tech.

A lot. He is competitive with Hall now and I truly believe Massa could've mid- to high-AA'ed this year. He famously hung tough and even beat Jake Herbert in the room during practice matches (I know, practice, but anytime an 18-year old kid takes out an Olympian, even if it's at checkers, it's notable).

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A lot. He is competitive with Hall now and I truly believe Massa could've mid- to high-AA'ed this year. He famously hung tough and even beat Jake Herbert in the room during practice matches (I know, practice, but anytime an 18-year old kid takes out an Olympian, even if it's at checkers, it's notable).

Ahh ok.  I missed the Hall vs Massa match as well.  Interesting to hear.

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Not to turn this into a Pico thread but will he be on the Junior world team with Hall? It would be nice to see him walk away with a junior world championship. He was the best junior last year, but a 26ish year old was able to take him out in the closing seconds as stated above. He would have beat the silver medalist (again) had he gotten that far.

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Adam Hall has been a beast at the last few national and international tournaments he's entered.  The 14-5 loss to A-Hall seems about right based on the rest of Mark Hall's results.  A-hall is vastly underrated when we talk bout 74's.  

 

And as others have said, Howe is a MAN.  He was probably our 3rd, 4th, or 5th best guy pound-for-pound from about 2011-2013 when he still had some speed before multiple knee/ankle injuries (see his attacks against burroughs circa 2012); and based on his international results, he's very likely a multiple world-medal winner by now if he's not in the Burroughs era.  No shame at all in losing and getting worn down at the end by Howe at age 19 at this weight.

Edited by maligned

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Don't forget his match with Logan Massa.

 

Everyone talks about Hall but Massa is not far behind. That match showed a lot about both guys. They are extremely talented for their age, but they are also far from the level they need to be to become consistent threats at the senior level. Because of that, the match was an incredible spectacle for fans. Definitely one of the matches I will look to watch again once replays are available.

Massa had hall pinned. I believe the ref tried to call for it but the mat chairman was not looking and was talking to the girl working for trackwrestling at the time. The fans behind the table couldn't believe he wasn't paying attention.

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Adam Hall has been a beast at the last few national and international tournaments he's entered.  The 14-5 loss to A-Hall seems about right based on the rest of Mark Hall's results.  A-hall is vastly underrated when we talk bout 74's.  

 

And as others have said, Howe is a MAN.  He was probably our 3rd, 4th, or 5th best guy pound-for-pound from about 2011-2013 when he still had some speed before multiple knee/ankle injuries (see his attacks against burroughs circa 2012); and based on his international results, he's very likely a multiple world-medal winner by now if he's not in the Burroughs era.  No shame at all in losing and getting worn down at the end by Howe at age 19 at this weight.

Adam Hall has been a beast at the last few national and international tournaments he's entered.  The 14-5 loss to A-Hall seems about right based on the rest of Mark Hall's results.  A-hall is vastly underrated when we talk bout 74's.  

 

 

I was impressed with A Hall. He was very technical and had Halls defense and funk figured out.

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A few points, as I think this is an important thread. 

 

First, Hall is not so superior to several other juniors that his spot is secure. All of the following could show up at Junior Nats and WTTs: Jason Nolf, Alex Valencia, JoJo Smith, Logan Massa, Chance Marsteller. Hall has beaten all of them at least once but they are all good and in the case of Nolf and Smith, he beat them a year ago and they both had a year of NCAA Div I competition as well as practicing in very tough rooms with very high level competition. Yes, Hall beat Valencia yet again but it the kind of match that makes you think a rematch could go either way. So, despite Hall being my favorite of the bunch, his spot on the junior team is not assured.

 

Next, as far as Hall's performance at the OTTs goes, it's really hard to say what it means. On the one hand, he beat everyone who is approximately his age to get there and while he was there, namely Alex Valencia and Logan Massa. Logan Massa for what it's worth beat Kevin LeValley and Dan Vallimont 

 

To put this in perspective, let's not forget that John Smith didn't AA his true freshman year of college, which was March 1984 when he was just shy of 19 years old (he was born in August 1965). I believe that is Mark Hall is the same as now as Smith was as a freshman in college (b/c Hall repeated 7th grade). In the 1984 NCAAs Smith went 1-1. He lost to the guy from Cleveland State in the round of 16 by a score of 6-2 and that guy didn't place. So I am guessing at that point John Smith was not going to do much at the 1984 Olympic trials. Also, John's older brother Leroy was in his prime at that time and was at that point the number one contender to make the Olympic team (though he lost to Randy Lewis, who he had defeated five of six times up to then). My point is that Smith had that kind of high-level training and exposure up to that point. In 1984 I doubt Smith could have won any matches at the Olympic trials even though he was three years away from being a world champion and two years away from being senior national champion. But most people never wrestle so far out of their depth at such a young age so we never get to see how in most cases even people who are a few years away from being at the highest level are not quite there yet. 

 

We see that also with Burroughs: JB did not AA his freshman year. and yet immediately after his senior year he was world champion up a weight. IMart lost to Valencia three times (including two 10-0 tech falls) in the Junior WTTs the summer before he became the first undefeated freshman NCAA champ since Cael. Snyder was unable to win junior worlds the year before he became senior world champion. And so on and so on.

 

Finally, none of this is to say Hall is destined for greatness because he got teched by Howe and beaten up by Andrew Hall. What I am saying is that the losses tell us virtually nothing about his future. Had he won, it would have been exciting of course. But his losses are kind of non-information for me.

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BIgTimeFan -- you are one of my favorite posters on the board. Thanks for your insights, research and realization that all these guys are people with back stories and their own challenges in life, not machines to serve as whipping posts for message board tough guys/trolls.

 

To many people on this board want to deal in absolutes and firm declaratives. Life isn't like that.

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BIgTimeFan -- you are one of my favorite posters on the board. Thanks for your insights, research and realization that all these guys are people with back stories and their own challenges in life, not machines to serve as whipping posts for message board tough guys/trolls.

 

To many people on this board want to deal in absolutes and firm declaratives. Life isn't like that.

Why thank you. I don't think life is like that either. On the other hand, to be fair, I think the boards need a mix of different approaches. Nothing gets a conversation going quicker than someone saying "A will beat B 100 out of 100 times. No question about it." And hey, all of us have to stick together and keep wrestling alive and well.

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