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wrestlingnerd

Dark Horse Finalist Team

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By dark horse, I'm not talking about a guy ranked top 6 or 7. An expected low AA making the finals is surprising but not overly so. I'm talking about marginal top 9ish/10ish guys who might have an outside to decent shot at AA but even their moms don't think they'll make the finals. Guys who need to get hit with the proverbial lucky stick a few times and wrestle out of their minds to make the finals but conceivably could.

 

Here's my team.

 

  • Co-Captains: Sam Brooks and Dylan Palacio.
  • 125: Sean Boyle, UTC. Experienced and dangerous 5th-year senior. Moved to UTC from Michigan for a last shot at glory, presumably since he couldn't make the team. Has wrestled a Socon schedule so is relatively fresh and is fundamentally sound enough to put himself in a position to win a low-scoring affair with anyone, as he showed in defeating Gilman at the National Duals.
  • 133: Zane Richards, Illinois. That he made my 133 slot is a condemnation of how badly he has done since the Midlands and not because he is some diamond in the rough. We all know the kid can wrestle. Maybe Ryan Taylor beat the confidence out of him or something when they met up. He is wrestling like crap relative to his potential but if he runs hot, he has the skills to wrestle on Saturday.
  • 141: Anthony Ashnault, Rutgers. I know, I know, he wrestles for Rutgers. It's hard to argue with the results, he has underperformed relative to how great he looked in the summer and early season. If he can find some luck in seeding and keep the action and scores low, he has enough technical variety to score on anyone once. Admittedly, this is one of my weaker selections, but someone had to make my team.
  • 149: BJ Clagon, Rider. He has 9 or so losses if I recall correctly but just beat Habat to win EWLs. He has some pretty bad losses but also a few "good" losses that make you think, like his loss to Tsirtsis where he showed he had the athleticism and skill to pull an upset but just not the tank. I think the tank will be less of an issue now that we're in March and he appears to be peaking at the right time. Very exciting wrestler with insane athleticism and big-move potential. Reminds me a little of the Altons or Hofstra multi-AA Jon Masa. Hot and cold but if he gets hot, he can beat anyone.
  • 157: Cody Pack, SDSU. When he made the Midlands finals and hung tough with LIMarty, I immediately thought what everyone thought: weak field, overrated IMart. Hindsight is 20-20 now that IMart turned out to be a beast from hell, isn't it? Maybe Pack hung tough because he IS tough?? What a concept. His losses are very respectable: IMart (6-3), Ian Miller pre-elbow injury flare-up (7-3), Lavallee (4-2 in OT), and Ness (6-3). And even though he wrestled an SDSU schedule, he sure puts up a ton of points and beats the crap out of a lot of people. Realistically, is he going to make the finals in the weight that features the most fireworks among the top six guys? Probably not. But much weirder things have happened.
  • 165: Dylan Palacio, Cornell. When your style includes a ton of junior high moves, you can run a near 4-minute mile, and you work out with Kyle Dake and big Realbuto a lot, you are guaranteed to be dangerous. When guys like Palacio run hot, they can do a lot of damage because half the time, you don't even know what the hell just hit you. Bojo needs to be reeling from the monster cut, IJo needs to wrestle not to lose like he often does, Sulzer and Moreno have to be a little off, etc. But Palacio has the attitude and chops to be in the finals. He also has a heart-attack style that could mean no AA.... We'll see.
  • 174: Blaise Butler, Virginia. He is good but moved up two weights and wrestled a soft schedule so is not getting much respect. Wrestling with Jordan Leen and Sulzer every day, I have to believe he's going to be as ready as possible at NCAAs. His few losses are all respectable, Kokesh (6-2), Wilps (6-2 and 4-1 at ACCs), Alex Meyer (Iowa backup, 9-8). Wouldn't it be something if he made the finals but lost to a backup, even if from Iowa? Meyer is going to be good next year.
  • 184: Sam Brooks, Iowa. Putting any Iowa wrestler who was seeded 1 at B1Gs on this list is probably reaching, but to be fair, there's another thread out there asking when the last time the B1G had zero AAs at 184. This is not exactly a weight where being in the B1G holds any weight. He also just lost to McCutcheon. He probably won't even get seeded in the top 10. So why is he on the team? He wrestled a barn-burner with Dechow at Midlands in losing 6-5, lost a stinker to Boyd of Okie State 9-6 (I thought he wrestled poorly), lost close to Abounader 3-1, got handled by Dean 6-2 (no surprise), then lost to McCutcheon in OT. Other than against Dean, I would be 50/50 (or better, against McCutcheon) in a rematch against any of the guys he lost to. 
  • 197: This is the one weight where I just don't see it, no matter how much I try. I suppose if I picked Ashnault at 141, I need to pick someone at 197. But are guys like Huntley or Bennett from Cornell or Ayala from Princeton or Fox from Harvard really going to make the finals even at 100:1? I don't see it. So I'll cheat a little and pick Conner Hartmann of Duke who is going to be seeded pretty low but is a returning AA and has wrestled such a cakewalk schedule that he has the element of surprise going for him. He'll need that and ten million bucks worth of bribes to have a real shot at the finals, though.
  • HWT: Jimmy Lawson, PSU. I'm assuming he defaulted to 6th at B1Gs as a precautionary and not because he literally coudn't wrestle. I chose him because he has the size to not get physically horsed even by Telford, has occasionally shown some tank issues that I'm hoping Cael can work on while he rests the injured arm, and because he can sometimes manage a very legit shot that will topple anyone when timed well given his size. Really long shot, but who else am I going to pick?
Edited by wrestlingnerd

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125 Klimara is really good. Gives waters a run for his $ every time. 157 I can't count out miller even though he's 5 to 6 in the rankings atm. 184 I'll throw miklus (win over dechow once) and pfarr out there. 285 marsden has impressed me quite a bit when I've seen him. Others have been mentioned already.

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  • 197: This is the one weight where I just don't see it, no matter how much I try. I suppose if I picked Ashnault at 141, I need to pick someone at 197. But are guys like Huntley or Bennett from Cornell or Ayala from Princeton or Fox from Harvard really going to make the finals even at 100:1? I don't see it. So I'll cheat a little and pick Conner Hartmann of Duke who is going to be seeded pretty low but is a returning AA and has wrestled such a cakewalk schedule that he has the element of surprise going for him. He'll need that and ten million bucks worth of bribes to have a real shot at the finals, though.

 

 

It would be pretty hard for Fox from Harvard to pull it off... He didn't compete at EIWAs due to injury.

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125 - Sean Boyle - UTC

133 - Mason Beckman, Lehigh

141 - Joe Spisak, Virginia

149 - Zack Bietz - Penn St

157 - Cody Pack - SDSU

165 - Jackson Morse - Illinois

174 - Jack Residori - SIUE

184 - Brett Pfarr - Minnesota

197 - Jace Bennet, Cornell

285 - Denzel Dejournette, Appalachian St  

Edited by HurricaneWrestling

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125 - Sean Boyle - UTC

133 - Mason Beckman, Lehigh

141 - Joe Spisak, Virginia

149 - Zack Bietz - Penn St

157 - Cody Pack - SDSU

165 - Jackson Morse - Illinois

174 - Jack Residori - SIUE

184 - Nathaniel Brown, Lehigh

197 - Jace Bennet, Cornell

285 - Denzel Dejournette, Appalachian St  

I'll take that list! 

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A multiple all-star match participant and a #2 ranked wrestler........

 

Beckman is currently ranked 10th and Spisak 16th, so they meet the OP's criteria. That said, you nailed

me on Brown, so I may have to swap him out (sorry lu-alum, you can't pull anything over on these guys).

Edited by HurricaneWrestling

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I didn't realize LiMarty was competing. For newer posters Long Island Marty was a long time bizzaro poster who i think eventually got banned.

I thought LiMarty retired when Nickerson graduated and Ryan left Hofstra for tOSU.

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Sorry. CV was long ago written off as an All American, much less my finalist prediction. Which would be seriously AWESOME for Cornell's team points.

 

 au contraire,   CV got me into the LMS top-5 earlier this season

Edited by gromit

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