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Thread: Ohio State wrestle offs line-up

  1. #10

    Default Re: Ohio State wrestle offs line-up

    Ohio State Wrestling: 141 Pound Preview
    By Kevin Schlosser
    www.the-ozone.net

    Ohio State is blessed with a wealth of experience and talent at 141 pounds. Junior J. Jaggers is one of four returning All Americans for the Buckeyes and the projected starter. Injuries prevented Jaggers from competing in the 2006 NCAA Tournament and starting last season on time, but Jaggers worked his way into shape and finished the year on the medal stand. Jaggers is expected to enter the season healthy and in shape and will look to return to his 2006 regular season form before making another run at an NCAA title.
    Sophomore Reece Humphrey and senior T.J. Enright have both experienced their greatest success at 133 pounds; however both would find certifying at 141 pounds much easier than making the cut back down to 133 pounds. Unless one of them steps up to challenge and unseats Jaggers, the likely scenario is their winner wrestles 133 pounds and the loser becomes the back up for both weight classes.
    Irregardless of weight; Jaggers, Enright, and Humphrey will be expected to place at the Big Ten Tournament and qualify for the NCAA Tournament. Unlike last season, each will be expected to enter the season injury and rehabilitation free so Buckeye lineup will be survival of the fittest as all three have used their redshirts.
    Sophomore Lance Palmer has created a glass ceiling at 149 pounds keeping some wrestlers down and forcing another to move up. Enright, Jaggers, and Humphrey could be starters at 133, 141, or as high as 149 pounds while junior Jason Johnstone may have been a natural 149 is at 157 pounds to crack the varsity lineup. Livingston and Schafer are listed as depth at 141 pounds as they could still certify at 133 pounds. The lower the weight the harder the cut, but each starter will be expected to do well in St. Louis.
    The Front Runner: 141 pounds
    J. Jaggers (junior; Northfield, OH)
    Redshirt junior J. Jaggers is the prohibitive favorite to take this weight class heading into the season. Jaggers, a four time Ohio state champ, is one of four returning All Americans for Ohio State and a two time NCAA qualifier. While one of the wrestlers at 133 may move up and challenge him at 141, Jaggers is expected to be the starter barring injuries or an upset. “A healthy J. Jaggers is trouble for anyone in the country,” Tom Ryan.
    After cracking the varsity lineup as a freshman at 141, he was forced to take a medical redshirt after an early season knee injury. As a redshirt freshman at 149, Jaggers went 26-7 before injuring his elbow in the consolation semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament. Instead of wrestling for third, he ended the year defaulting to sixth place and did not compete at the NCAA Tournament. As a redshirt sophomore, Jaggers returned to lineup at 141. After battling early season injuries and conditioning issues, he steadily improved to end the year with a 21-10 record, took seventh place at the Big Ten Tournament, and earned All American status by placing seventh at the NCAA Tournament.
    Jaggers boasts a 50-20 career record and was named 2007 Academic All Big Ten and a 2007 NWCA Academic All American
    Known in the wrestling room as “The Matrix” because of his flexibility and uncanny funk, Jaggers has the experience and the potential to make another tournament run this year. When he is on Jaggers can beat any wrestler in the country and when he is not you can still count on him to hang with any wrestler he will face.
    The Contenders: 141 pounds
    Reece Humphrey (sophomore; Indianapolis, IN)
    Reece Humphrey was redshirted last year and returns this season with three years of eligibility remaining. Tom Ryan resisted the temptation of wrestling Humphrey when Enright and Jaggers went down with early season injuries. With the possibility of both returning and Humphrey losing a spot in the lineup, the decision was made to save his eligibility.
    As a true freshman, Humphrey tied J. Jaggers for the team lead in victories; finishing with a 26-16 record and eighth place in the Big Ten. Humphrey was named an alternate and competed at the NCAA tournament but did not finish place. Prior to Ohio State, Humphrey was a three time state champion from Lawrence North High School and the 2005 Junior National Greco Roman champion and freestyle runner up.
    Reece is the third wrestler in his family to wrestle at Ohio State as both his brother Jordin and father Jim wrestled for the Buckeyes. Look for Humphrey to challenge Enright throughout the season and provide depth at both 133 and 141 pounds. Humphrey will have a hard cut but be considered the early favorite to replace Enright next season.
    Will Livingston (sophomore; Stillwater, NY)
    Will Livingston was the starter for the Buckeyes last season at 125 pounds going 17-20 overall and placing eighth at the Big Ten Tournament. Livingston struggled physically and technically at times; but grew as the season progressed and gained valuable experience along the way. Highlighting the year for Livingston was a 10-7 victory over Frank Gomez, the four seed, at the Big Ten Tournament. The win knocked Gomez out of the tournament; securing Livingston’s placement and avenged a 15-0 tech fall loss in the Michigan State Dual.
    While a return to 125 is unlikely, Livingston is a prime candidate for a redshirt with Reece Humphrey on the clock. Livingston may not wrestle varsity this year, but he will be counted on to push Triggas, Enright, Humphrey and Jaggers at practice. With the graduation of T.J. Enright, Livingston is expected to challenge Humphrey for the spot next season.
    Owen Schafer (junior; Sandusky, OH)
    Owen Schafer is a transfer student from Heidleberg College. Last season, Schafer cracked the Ohio State lineup when Enright was injured and Humphrey was held out. Schafer finished with a record and was named a 2007 Academic All Big Ten. Over the next two years, Schafer can be expected to provide depth at 133 and 141 pounds.
    Ohio State in 2006-2007: 141 pounds
    J. Jaggers went 21-10 on the season for Ohio State placing seventh at both the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments. He did not place at the Las Vegas Invitational, defaulted out of the Southern Scuffle, and did not compete at the Eastern Michigan or Michigan State Opens. In dual meet competition, Jaggers went 10-4 overall and 5-3 record in Big Ten.
    Jaggers’ decision win over James Kohlberg were the last points for Ohio State in their dual meet upset of Northwestern. He also had the second fastest pin in Big Ten Tournament history when he stopped Purdue’s Nick Bertucci in twenty-five seconds.
    2007-2008 Big Ten Outlook: 141 pounds
    Northwestern senior Ryan Lang is the defending Big Ten champion and the 2007 NCAA runner up. A four time state champion for Lakewood St. Edward, Lang will be the favorite at 141 pounds and a top contender at 149 if he moves up. The only other Big Ten wrestler to earn All American honors at 141 pounds in 2007 was Ohio State junior J. Jaggers. After a seventh place finish at 133 pounds last season, Penn State junior Jake Strayer is anticipated to make the move to 141 pounds this year. Iowa senior Alex Tsirtis earned All American honors with a seventh place finish at the 2006 NCAA Tournament but failed to place last season.
    Two other wrestlers in contention and looking to improve their NCAA Tournament showing are 2007 Big Ten place winners Kyle Ruschell (Wisconsin; sophomore) and Manuel Rivera (Minnesota; senior). Ruschell went 6-2 in duals and knocked off the fourth and first seeds before falling in the conference finals. Manuel Rivera won thirty five consecutive matches before being upset by Ruschell at the Big Ten Tournament and seeing injuries mar a dominating season.
    In replacing graduating seniors, two wrestlers are looking to wrestle 141 pounds after wrestling at 149 pounds last season. Michigan State is expected to start junior Jeff Wimberly and Illinois is anticipating junior Troy Tirapelle making the drop. Barring a lineup shift from below, Indiana sophomore Scott Kelly should return as their starter. Purdue is expected to start sophomore Matt Redmond. Michigan sophomore Justin Chrzanwski will be challenged by true freshman Kellen Russell, a three time National Prep champ and 2007 NHSCA Senior National champion.
    Heading into the season healthy, a healthy Jaggers will look to regain the consistency he showed in 2006 and improve upon his 2007 All American finish. Jaggers biggest obstacle may be Ryan Lang, but he won’t see him or Troy Tirapelle until the Big Ten Tournament as Ohio State misses both Northwestern and Illinois this year. Lang won a 3-1 overtime decision over Jaggers in the conference semifinals; while Tirapelle dropping renews a personal rivalry that goes back to high school. Ohio State will be counting on Jaggers to have a strong regular season and Big Ten Tournament. Expectations will not change with either T.J. Enright or Reece Humphrey as a starter at 141 pounds.
    2007 Big Ten Tournament Place Winners (2008 Class Rank)
    First: Ryan Lang (Northwestern; senior) NCAA: 2007 second; 2006 fourth
    Second: Kyle Ruschell (Wisconsin; sophomore)
    Third: Alex Tsirtis (Iowa; senior) NCAA: 2006 seventh
    Fourth: Andy Simmons (Michigan State) Graduated; NCAA: 2006 fifth, 2005 sixth
    Fifth: Manuel Rivera (Minnesota; senior)
    Sixth: Casio Pero (Illinois) Graduated
    Seventh: J. Jaggers (Ohio State; junior) NCAA: 2007 seventh
    Eighth: Bryan Heller (Penn State) sophomore
    DNP: Scott Kelly (Indiana; sophomore); Justin Chrzanowski (Michigan, junior); and Nick Bertucci (Purdue; senior)
    2007-2008 NCAA Outlook: 141 pounds
    Senior Derek Moore upset Northwestern’s Ryan Lang in the finals last season to become the first national champion and the only All American in the history UC Davis. While Moore has graduated, Lang returns as a preseason favorite at 141 or 149 pounds. If Lang moves on, Hofstra senior Charles Griffin is the highest returning place winner after taking third last season. Oklahoma State senior Nathan Morgan and West Virginia junior Brandon Rader will be attempting to become three time All Americans this year after placing each of the last two seasons.
    Rounding out the field of returning All Americans looking to repeat or improve are Rider senior Don Frisch, Ohio State junior J. Jaggers, Penn State junior Jake Strayer, and Iowa senior Alex Tsirtis. Last season both Frisch and Jaggers won honors at 141 pounds; Strayer at 133 pounds; while Tsirtis was a 2006 All American at 141 pounds.
    Other wrestlers looking for an improved finish in a return at 141 pounds are Minnesota senior Manuel Rivera, Wisconsin sophomore Kyle Ruschell, and Northern Colorado junior Kenneth Hashimoto. Wrestlers anticipated making the move to 141 pounds include Harvard senior Robbie Preston, Cornell sophomore Adam Frey, and Iowa State sophomore Nick Gallick. Last season at 133 pounds Gallick went 2-2 at the NCAA Tournament, Preston reached the round of twelve going 3-2, and Frey won one match as the third seed. Frey was the only wrestler to fail to make weight the second day of the tournament and was disqualified from the tournament. Illinois junior Troy Tirapelle will also be seeking redemption of sorts after failing to qualify for the NCAA Tournament last season.
    J. Jaggers will be expected to qualify for his third NCAA Tournament this season. After not being able to wrestle in 2006, Jaggers was a surprise All American last season. While he was ranked in the top eight all season at 149 pounds as a freshman, his sophomore effort was inconsistent and injury plagued before the strong finish. As a junior, Jaggers will return to 141 and will be counted on to improve his finish during the Big Ten and NCAA Tournaments. While he flew somewhat under the radar last season, Jaggers was wrestling his best in March and would like to carry that over to this season. Jaggers will be counted on to score and place at the NCAA Tournament.
    2007 NCAA Tournament Place Winners (2008 Class Rank)
    First: Derek Moore (UC-Davis) Graduated
    Second: Ryan Lang (Northwestern; senior) NCAA: 2007 second; 2006 fourth
    Third: Charles Griffin (Hofstra; senior)
    Fourth: Nathan Morgan (Oklahoma State; senior) NCAA: 2007 fourth; 2006 sixth
    Fifth: Don Fisch (Rider; senior)
    Sixth: Brandon Rader (West Virginia; junior) NCAA: 2007 sixth; 2006 sixth
    Seventh: Jeff Jaggers (Ohio State; junior)
    Eighth: Max Meltzer (Harvard) Graduated
    DNP: Andy Simmons (Michigan State) Graduated; NCAA: 2006 fifth, 2005 sixth

  2. #11

    Default Re: Ohio State wrestle offs line-up

    Ohio State Wrestling: 149 Pound Preview
    By Kevin Schlosser
    www.the-ozone.net

    Many are touting 149 pounds as the most competitive weight class in college wrestling. Ohio State heads into the season confident that they will have someone to contend with three wrestlers having the potential to earn All American status. As one of the two true freshmen to earn All American status last season, Lance Palmer returns as the likely starter at 149 pounds. Jason Johnstone and J. Jaggers are anticipated starters at other weights, but they are secondary options or competition at 149 pounds if injuries, strategy, or competition facilitate a shuffling of the projected Buckeye line up.
    Lance Palmer’s credentials speak for themselves; four time Ohio State Champion, Walsh Ironman champion, Beast of the East champion, NHSCA Senior National champion. While the coveted NCAA title eluded him as a freshman, he did earn All American honors and is a member of an elite group of wrestlers expected to contend this season. Palmer turned the corner midway through his first season and did not look back. Welcoming high expectations, he set the bar last season for which his future accomplishments will be measured.
    With a number of lessons learned, Palmer will be looking to pick up where he left off last season and put together a consistent and sustained drive towards a Big Ten and NCAA championship. Wrestling against a field littered with past champions and NCAA All Americans, Palmer will be constantly challenged and a seasoned veteran by the time he arrives in St. Louis. Jaggers and Johnstone will be counted on to back up Palmer and each would be expected to be in placement contention if the Buckeyes want to improve in the team standings at the Big Ten or NCAA Tournaments.

    The Favorite: 149 pounds
    Lance Palmer (sophomore; Lakewood, OH)
    Lance Palmer returns for his sophomore season as the man to beat at 149 pounds. The former four time state champion led the Buckeyes in wins last season posting a 34-15 record en route to his All American finish. At times, Palmer struggled with the transition to college wrestling before coming into his own as the season progressed.
    In terms of quality wins and losses, Palmer went 15-13 against NCAA qualifiers last season. Of Palmer’s fifteen losses, all were quality losses except an injury default to Steve Brown and a 6-5 decision loss to teammate Jason Johnstone at the Michigan State Open. Of the returning All Americans, Palmer went 0-2 against Dustin Schlatter, Jordan Leen, and; losing 2-1 at the Southern Scuffle and 1-0 in the consolation finals at the NCAA Tournament; and 1-3 against Josh Churella winning the dual match 6-4 in overtime and losing in the championship semi finals of the EMU Open, Big Ten, and NCAA Tournament 3-0, 4-2, and 5-2.
    Palmer was not an ordinary freshman and his success was the culmination of years of training and competition against the best that was out there. Palmer dominated non NCAA qualifiers last season and while he started the year off slow going 3-9 against ranked opponents, he got stronger as the season went on and finished the year on a 12-4 run against NCAA qualifiers.
    The Contenders: 149 pounds
    Two options if something happens and Palmer is not in the starting lineup, wrestlers go down or wrestlers go up. The first option is for Jason Johnstone to drop down and moving freshman Sean Nemec into the lineup at 157. Going the opposite way, J. Jaggers could wrestle up enabling TJ Enright and Reece Humphrey to start at 133 and 141 pounds. Johnstone and Jaggers may be a push at 149 pounds, so the Buckeyes will have to ask if they are better off with the experience of both Humphrey and Enright versus a true freshman and only Enright.
    Jason Johnstone (junior; Massillon, OH)
    Jason Johnstone is a two year returning letterman that bumped up to 157 pounds last season. While bumping up meant he did not he no longer had to cut weight, it created an adjustment period in training and philosophy. Johnstone had an up and down year winning over eighty percent of his bouts against non-qualifiers, but struggling at times in losing fifteen matches to NCAA qualifiers. Despite a poor record against top competition, Johnstone lost ten matches by three points or less. While he has been training for over a year to wrestle 157 pounds, many would argue that his more natural weight would be 149 pounds. As it stands; circumstances must occur to warrant a drop by Johnstone.
    J. Jaggers (junior; Bedford, OH)
    J. Jaggers wrestled 149 pounds as a freshman and became an All American when he dropped to 141 pounds last season. Jaggers had his best regular season success wrestling at 149 pounds as he battled injuries, rehabilitation, conditioning issues before wrestling his best at the end of the year at 141 pounds. As a freshman, Jaggers took sixth at the Big Ten Tournament after medically defaulting in his last two matches. The injury ended his season as qualified for the NCAA Tournament but did not wrestle. After his performance as a redshirt freshman and without having to cut weight, Jaggers may flourish in a return to 149 pounds. Barring unforeseen circumstances, Jaggers only moves up if other issues arise.

    2007-2008 Big Ten Outlook: 149 pounds
    Minnesota junior Dustin Schlatter is the two time defending Big Ten champion at 149 pounds, a two time All American, and the 2006 National Champ. A Massillon Perry graduate and St. Paris Graham alumni, he was a four time Ohio state champ before winning the 2006 NCAA title and finishing 2007 in third. Schlatter is on another level, but returning All Americans Michigan senior Josh Churella and Ohio State sophomore Lance Palmer are close behind.
    Purdue junior Jake Patacsil finished seventh at the 2007 Big Ten Tournament and won two matches at the NCAA Tournament. While Troy Tirapelle finished eighth last season and did not qualify for the national tournament, the Illinois junior was the 2006 Big Ten Tournament runner up. Tirapelle is rumored to be heading down to 141 pounds setting up redshirt freshman Sean Reynolds to enter the lineup.
    Penn State sophomore Bubba Jenkins is anticipating dropping down to wrestle at 149 pounds while junior Dan Valimont is expecting to move up to 157 pounds. Jenkins took sixth at the 2007 Big Ten Tournament at 157 pounds; winning two matches at the NCAA Tournament before winning the 2007 Junior World freestyle gold medal in Beijing, China this summer. Valimont took fourth at the 2007 Big Ten Tournament at 149 pounds and won four matches at the NCAA tournament and finished a match short of All American status. Both wrestlers will be expected to contend in whatever weight classes they enter.
    Iowa will start redshirt sophomore Brent Metcalf in his first year eligible for the Hawkeye’s after transferring from Virginia Tech. An undefeated four time Michigan state champion, he was considered one of the top recruits in the country his senior year. Metcalf split with Minnesota’s Dustin Schlatter winning at Median and losing in the finals of the NHSCA Senior Nationals. After a successful redshirt season, it would not be a surprise to see Metcalf earn All American status.
    Indiana is anticipating sophomore All American Matt Coughlin to move up to 165 pounds this season opening the spot for Kurt Kinser to step in. Wisconsin also replaces an All American when Trevor Bowers takes over for graduate Tyler Turner. Northwestern junior Marty Gould will be pushed all season by redshirt freshman Keith Sulzer. Both could be pushed out of the way if two time All American Ryan Lang moves up. Michigan State senior Jeff Wimberly will have to beat returning letterman Eddie Skowneski and Tim Hammer to represent the Spartans at the 2008 Big Ten Tournament.
    Lance Palmer is one of the top returning All Americans and a potential finalist. Palmer will be expected to finish in the upper half of the place winners and qualify for the NCAA Tournament. As a team, the Buckeyes will be counting on Palmer to be one of their primary scorers at both tournaments.

    2007 Big Ten Tournament Place Winners (2008 Class Rank)
    First: Dustin Schlatter (Minnesota; junior) NCAA: 2007 third, 2006 first
    Second: Josh Churella (Michigan; senior) NCAA:2006 second; 2005 eighth
    Third: Lance Palmer (Ohio State; sophomore) NCAA:2007 third
    Fourth: Dan Valimont (Penn State; junior)
    Fifth: Tyler Turner (Wisconsin) Graduated; NCAA: 2007 sixth
    Sixth: Matt Coughlin (Indiana; sophomore) NCAA: 2007 seventh
    Seventh: Jake Patacsil (Purdue; junior)
    Eighth: Troy Tirapelle (Illinois; junior)
    DNP: Alex Grunder (Iowa; junior), sophomore; Jeff Wimberly (Michigan State, senior) junior; and Marty Gould (Northwestern; junior)

    2007-2008 NCAA Outlook: 149 pounds
    Edinboro junior Gregor Gillespie is the defending national champion and preseason favorite if he returns at 149 pounds but is more likely moving up to 157 pounds this season. Last year, Gillespie defeated defending national champion Dustin Schlatter in the championship semifinals and Josh Churella in the championship finals. While the brackets will separate the returning All Americans; Michigan senior Josh Churella, Harvard sophomore J.P. O’Conner, Cornell junior Jordan Leen and Lance Palmer will be in contention to repeat if not improve their finish. O’Conner and Palmer were the only two true freshmen to earn All American status at the 2007 NCAA Tournament.
    Jordan Lean and Gregor Gillespie are reportedly moving up to 157 pounds while Northwestern senior Ryan Lang remains a possibility to move up from 141 pounds. Lang is a four time Ohio state champ from Lakewood St. Edward and a three time All American.
    Three wrestlers that qualified for the round of twelve return this season hoping to win the match that assures them of placing. Iowa State sophomore Cyler Sanderson and Penn State sophomore Dan Vallimont are expected to move up to 157 pounds while Appalachian State senior Scott Ervin is slated to start the season at 149 pounds. Look for national qualifiers Penn State sophomore Bubba Jenkins and Iowa State sophomore Mitch Meuller to contend if here.
    Other wrestlers looking to compete for first time All American status include returning qualifiers CS-Fullerton; senior Morgan Atkinson, West Virginia; junior David Jauregui Purdue junior Jake Patacsil, Iowa sophomore Brent Metcalf, Missouri senior Josh Wagner, Oklahoma junior William Rowe and Illinois senior Troy Tirapelle. Jauregui, Patacsil, and Wagner each won two matches at the 2007 NCAA Tournament while Lang, Metcalf, and Tirapelle (could be at 141) have the credentials to merit mention.
    With an All American finish as true freshman, Lance Palmer set the bar for his own expectations. Anything less than an All American finish will be disappointing and anything short of a national championship leaves room for improvement. When

    2007 NCAA Tournament Place Winners (2008 Class Rank)
    First: Gregor Gillespie (Edinboro; junior) NCAA: 2007 first; 2006 seventh
    Second: Josh Churella (Michigan; senior) NCAA:2006 second; 2005 eighth
    Third: Dustin Schlatter (Minnesota; junior) NCAA: 2007 third; 2006 first
    Fourth: Lance Palmer (Ohio State; sophomore)
    Fifth: J.P. O’Conner (Harvard; sophomore)
    Sixth: Tyler Turner (Wisconsin) Graduated
    Seventh: Matt Coughlin (Indiana; sophomore)
    Eighth: Jordan Leen (Cornell; junior)

  3. #12

    Default Re: Ohio State wrestle offs line-up

    Ohio State Wrestling: 157 Pound Preview
    By Kevin Schlosser
    www.the-ozone.net

    Ohio State junior Jason Johnstone returns for his fourth season as a two year letterman and is the projected starter at 157 pounds. After starting as a true freshman at 141 pounds and taking a redshirt season as a sophomore, Johnston entered last year as the favorite to start at 149 pounds. An early season injury to projected 165 pounds starter Ryan Patrovich triggered Coach Tom Ryan bumped up senior Chris Vondruska to replace him and freshman Lance Palmer was named starter at 149 pounds and Johnstone was moved up to 157 pounds.
    The Buckeyes had high expectations for Johnstone last season after he put together a great off season and they expected him to start at 149 pounds. Johnstone beat Lance Palmer in the first varsity wrestle off and competed in the EMU and MSU Opens at 149 pounds. Johnstone and Palmer defaulted in the consolation finals at Eastern Michigan while Johnstone won a 3-2 decision against Palmer in the consolation quarterfinals at Michigan State. Johnstone made the bump to 157 pounds when Ohio State began the regular season. Unfortunately his greatest success came against his own teammate as he struggled with the additional weight and his consistency. Palmer went onto to become an All American while Johnstone took one for the team and experienced mixed success.
    With an off season to get stronger and add additional bulk, Johnston should enter the season more comfortable and prepared to compete at 157 pounds. While the starting spot has not been anointed to Johnstone, he can expect to be challenged and pushed by true freshman Sean Nemec. The Buckeyes will be counting on Johnstone to take the next step this season and place at the Big Ten Tournament to qualify for the NCAA Tournament.

    The 2007 Front Runner: 157 pounds
    Jason Johnstone began his Ohio State career at 149 pounds as a true freshman before finishing the year at 141 pounds. After posting a 13-20 record his first year on campus, he was given a redshirt in 2006. Johnstone returned to the varsity lineup last season at 149 pounds before bumping up to 157 pounds for the remainder of the year and finishing the year with an 18-19 record.
    A former two time Ohio state champion for Massillon Perry and an accomplished freestyle wrestler, Johnstone had high aspirations entering last season. While he may not have been an All American at 149 pounds last season, he may have better suited to wrestle at 149 pounds as opposed to 157 pounds. Johnstone struggled at times with the difference in size, power, and style but gained experience. With another year under his belts, Johnstone needs to continue beating the field and step his game up against top level competition.

    The 2007 Contenders: 157 pounds
    Sean Nemec (freshman; Lakewood, OH)
    Sean Nemec from Lakewood St Edwards became the second Eagle wrestler in as many years to come to Columbus. Battling injuries his senior year, Nemec made the state finals for the fourth year and won his third OHSAA division one state championship. In national competition, Nemec is a former Cadet National champion and a two time Junior National All American in freestyle.
    While he is a prime candidate for a redshirt this season, Nemec is expected to compete in the 157 pound weight class initially at Ohio State. Nemec also could emerge as a player at 165 pounds if he can beat out his fellow freshman. If something happens and Sponseller is not in the lineup or at 174 pounds, Nemec would have an opportunity at 165 pounds while Johnstone would still be in the lineup at 157 pounds.
    Tyler Meek (freshman; Warren, OH)
    Ross Ambrose (freshman; Strongsville, OH)
    Brendan Beucler (freshman; Reading, MA)

    Ohio State in 2006-2007: 157 pounds
    Jason Johnstone wrestled every varsity match for Ohio State in 2006-2007. As a redshirt sophomore, he posted an 18-19 overall record; placing third at the MSU Open and fifth at the MSU Open. Johnstone did not place at the Big Ten Tournament. In dual meet action, he went 5-10 overall and 2-6 against the Big Ten. Johnstone wrestled sixteen matches against fifteen different NCAA qualifiers; finishing 1-15 in quality matches and 17-4 against the field.
    Johnstone tied for second on the team in pins, finished third in reversals, and tied for fifth in takedowns and near falls. His decision victory against Cornell and his pin against Northwestern helped propel the Buckeyes to one point wins in dual meet competition. Wrestling at 149 pounds at the MSU open, his signature win of the season was a 6-5 decision over teammate Lance Palmer in the consolation semifinals of the MSU Open.

    2007-2008 Big Ten Outlook: 157 pounds
    Minnesota senior C.P. Schlatter will look to defend his Big Ten champion against a field of All Americans. The four time Ohio state champion for St Paris Graham became a first time All American last season. Schlatter upset Indiana senior Brandon Becker 1-0 in the conference finals and knocked the two-time All American out of the consolation bracket with a 3-2 decision at the NCAA Tournament.
    Wisconsin senior Craig Henning became the second two time All American in this weight class when he won the bottom half of the bracket and finished second in the NCAA finals. Illinois junior Michael Poeta finished fourth at the Big Ten Tournament and improved to third at the NCAA Tournament. Poeta defeated Schlatter in the championship quarterfinals before falling to the eventual champ and rebounding to finish third.
    Returning place winners in this weight class are Iowa sophomore Ryan Morningstar and Purdue junior Jake Murphy. Penn State sophomore Bubba Jenkins is anticipated to drop to 149 pounds with Dan Valimont moving up to wrestle here. Valimont took forth at the 2007 Big Ten Tournament at 149 pounds and was knocked out of the NCAA Tournament a match short of All American status. Bubba Jenkins spent his summer winning a Junior World freestyle gold medal in Beijing, China.
    All three wrestlers that did not place last season return, but will face challenges from their teammates before they are assured of competing in Minnesota. Ohio State junior Jason Johnstone will be favored over freshman Sean Nemec; Michigan State senior Tony Greathouse will defend against former 165 pounder Rex Kendle; and Northwestern junior Dominic Marella will face stiff competition from redshirt freshman Kyle Bertin. (Lakewood St. Edwards) Michigan is expected to start senior Jeff Marsh, a two year letterman.
    This will be an important and challenging weight class for Ohio State. In a deep and veteran weight class, the Buckeyes will measure their success by whether or not they get through to the NCAA Tournament. Ohio State will miss both Minnesota and Illinois so the Buckeyes will not see returning All Americans C.P. Schlatter or Mark Poeta. While Jason Johnstone may not make the conference finals, he has the experience and talent to place with the right draw or a strong performance. If Sean Nemec is wrestling well enough to sit Johnstone, the Big Ten Tournament will be the next challenge.


    2007 Big Ten Tournament Place Winners (2008 Class Rank)
    First: C.P. Schlatter (Minnesota; senior) 2007 NCAA sixth
    Second: Brandon Becker (Indiana; senior) 2006 NCAA sixth; 2005 NCAA fifth
    Third: Craig Henning (Wisconsin; senior) 2007 NCAA second, 2006 NCAA eighth
    Fourth: Michael Poeta (Illinois; junior) 2007 NCAA third
    Fifth: Ryan Morningstar (Iowa; sophomore)
    Sixth: Bubba Jenkins (Penn State; sophomore)
    Seventh: Jake Murphy (Purdue; junior)
    Eighth: Rob Sulaver (Michigan) GRADUATED
    DNP: Jason Johnstone (Ohio State; junior), sophomore; Tony Greathouse (Michigan State, senior) and Dominic Marella (Northwestern; junior)
    2007-2008 NCAA Outlook: 157 pounds
    The Big Ten Tournament finals may be a preview for the NCAA Tournament finals. With the graduation of Iowa State national champion Trent Paulson, the Big Ten returns four All Americans. Craig Henning leads All Americans senior(s) Matt Kochner (Pitt), C.P. Schlatter, Josh Zupancic (Stanford), Ryan Hluschak (Drexel) and junior Michael Poeta. After not placing at the 2007 tournament, two-time All American Brandon Becker will be expected to contend. In one of the deepest and most competitive weight classes, any one of these wrestlers could be potential finalist.
    Despite losing the national champion to graduation, Iowa State will reload by bumping Cyler Sanderson up a weight. Sanderson came up one win short of earning All American status at the 2007 tournament at 149 pounds. The biggest target in this weight class will be Edinboro junior Gregor Gillespie, the defending national champion at 149 pounds. Cornell junior Jordan Lean is also considering a move to 157 pounds after finishing eighth in 2007 at 149 pounds.
    Other wrestlers looking to become first time All Americans are Nebraska; junior Chris Oliver, Northern Iowa junior Moza Fay, Missouri junior Michael Chandler, and Kent State junior Kurt Gross. Either Penn State starter Dan Vallimont (2007-149) or Bubba Jenkins (2007-157) will be expected to have a strong showing. Virginia Tech transfer Jon Bonilla-Bowman, the 2007 ACC champion, replaces All American James Strouse at Hofstra.
    The Buckeyes have two goals in this weight class; qualify someone for the NCAA Tournament and have them score at the NCAA Tournament. Both are attainable goals, but each will be a challenge taken one step at a time.



    2007 NCAA Tournament Place Winners (2008 Class Rank)
    First: Trent Paulson (Iowa State) Graduated; NCAA: 2007 first; 2006 fourth; 2005 fourth
    Second: Craig Henning (Wisconsin; senior) NCAA: 2007 second; 2006 eighth
    Third: Michael Poeta (Illinois; junior)
    Fourth: James Strouse (Hofstra; senior) Graduated
    Fifth: Matt Kochner (Pitt; senior)
    Sixth: C.P. Schlatter (Minnesota; senior)
    Seventh: Josh Zupancic (Stanford; senior)
    Eighth: Ryan Hluschak (Drexel; senior)
    DNP Brandon Becker (Indiana; senior) NCAA: 2006 sixth; 2005 fifth

  4. #13

    Default Re: Ohio State wrestle offs line-up

    Ohio State Wrestling: 165 Pound Preview
    By Kevin Schlosser
    www.the-ozone.net

    Ohio State begins the year anticipating starting a true freshman at 165 pounds for the second consecutive year. Ryan Patrovich was the preseason projected starter last season before a knee injury ended his year and his Ohio State career. Senior Chris Vondruska bumped up to replace Patrovich and qualified for his third NCAA Tournament but did not place. Patrovich was issued a medical redshirt while Vondruska graduated and exhausted his eligibility.
    Tom Ryan recruited Ryan Patrovich while a coach at Hofstra and as the head coach at Ohio State. Ryan was also very familiar and close with Patrovich family as he has coached his older brother Mike for four years with the Pride. When Patrovich wanted to transfer to Hofstra to be closer to home, Ryan was disappointed but understood and did not stand in his way. One of the last actions as head coach at Hofstra was to approve the transfer of Mike Pucillo so he could also move closer to home. Patrovich enters the season as the projected starter for Hofstra at 165 pounds.
    Chris Vondruska was a short term solution and Ryan Patrovich was the long term solution. In trying to build depth across the board, Ohio State continued recruiting middleweights and landed two of the best in the country; Colt Sponseller and Sean Nemec. With Vondruska and Patrovich out of the equation this year, both Sponseller and Nemec will have the opportunity to wrestle this season. While the Buckeyes may have preferred to redshirt and mature both recruits, at least one is likely to be the starter when the season begins. Sponseller enters the year as the projected starter at 165 pounds but could see action at 174 pounds while Nemec is more likely to begin at 157 pounds or as a second option at 165 pounds.

    The Front Runner: 165 pounds
    Colt Sponseller (freshman; Millersburg, OH)
    Colt Sponseller was a consensus top five wrestler in the country and a three time OHSAA division two state champion for West Holmes. After winning junior nationals in 2006, Sponseller repeated this spring as the senior national champ and was named the National High School Athlete of the Year in wrestling. Sponseller is considered the early favorite to wrestle varsity at 165 pounds for the Buckeyes.
    The Contenders: 165 pounds
    Wes Bergman (senior; Oak Harbor, OH)
    Wes Bergman returns as a potential 165 .Last year, Bergman wrestled at 174 pounds and finished with a 2-5 record. After winning his first two matches, Bergman lost his last three bouts. Bergman lost both matches in quick he wrestled nationals qualifiers, dropping and 8-0 decision to Northwestern senior Nick Hayes and a narrow 4-0 decision to three time All American Navy senior Matt Stolpinski. Wesley is the younger brother of Ohio State senior J.D. Bergman.
    Sean Nemec (freshman; Lakewood, OH)
    Sean Nemec from Lakewood St Edwards became the second Eagle wrestler in as many years to come to Columbus. Battling injuries his senior year, Nemec made the state finals for the fourth year and won his third OHSAA division one state championship. In national competition, Nemec is a former Cadet national champion and a Junior National All American in freestyle. While he is a prime candidate for a redshirt this season, Nemec is expected to compete in the 157 pound weight class initially at Ohio State.
    Ohio State in 2006-2007: Chris Vondruska
    Fifth year senior Chris Vondruska went 30-16 in his lone season for Ohio State. He began the year by placing third at the EMU Open at 157 pounds before moving up to 165 pounds and take third at the Las Vegas Invitational and placing fifth at both the Southern Scuffle and the Big Ten Tournament. In dual meet competition, Vondruska went 9-6 overall and 4-4 record in Big Ten. He wrestled eighteen matches against thirteen different NCAA qualifiers; finishing 8-10 in quality matches and 20-6 against the field. Vondruska qualified for his third NCAA Tournament and did not place.
    The highlight of the season for Vondruska was his nine match dual win streak. After losing his first two duals against ranked opponents, Vondruska defeated three ranked wrestlers in his streak. In the last match of the streak, his 2-0 decision over Rocky Cozart guaranteed Ohio State’s dual meet victory over Michigan State. Vondruska tied for second on the team in wins, third in takedowns, and fourth in team points.
    2007-2008 Big Ten Outlook: 165 pounds
    The Big Ten features the highest two returning All Americans in this weight class, Iowa senior Mark Perry and Michigan senior Eric Tannenbaum. Both wrestlers met in the Big Ten finals last season and both are three time All Americans. As the defending NCAA & Big Ten champion, Perry is the preseason favorite. Ohio State’s Chris Vondruska is the only Big Ten starter from last season that is not expected to be in a division one line up somewhere.
    Indiana sophomore Matt Coughlin is anticipated moving up to 165 pounds after finishing seventh at both the 2007 Big Ten and NCAA Tournaments to replace national qualifier Max Dean who transferred to Oklahoma. Returning place winners expected to repeat or improve their performance include Minnesota junior Tyler Safratowich, Purdue sophomore Justin Fraga, Illinois, sophomore Roger Smith-Bergsrud, and Penn State sophomore Dave Rella. Rella was the only place winner not to qualify for the NCAA Tournament and the only one to compete without taking a redshirt season.
    Additional wrestlers looking for a stronger showing at the 2008 Big Ten Tournament consist of Michigan State sophomore Rocky Cozart, Northwestern; senior Greg Hagel, and Wisconsin; senior Jake Donar. Cozart is expected to return to 165 when Rex Kendle drops to 157 pounds. Depending on wrestle offs and weight management, Northwestern could bump Hagel up to 174 pounds and start sophomore Dominic Marella or true freshman Mike Benefiel.
    Ohio State freshman Colt Sponseller is the early option for 165 pounds. There is a clear separation between the returning All Americans and the returning place winners, so there is a window for the Buckeyes to earn some points. Ohio State is hoping that Sponseller can score and place high enough to qualify for the 2008 NCAA Tournament.
    2007 Big Ten Tournament Place Winners (2008 Class Rank)
    First: Mark Perry (Iowa; senior) NCAA: 2007 first; 2006 third; 2005 second
    Second: Eric Tannenbaum (Michigan; senior) NCAA: 2007 fourth; 2006 eighth; 2005 fourth
    Third: Tyler Safratowich (Minnesota; junior)
    Fourth: Justin Fraga (Purdue; sophomore)
    Fifth: Chris Vondruska (Ohio State) Graduated
    Sixth: Roger Smith-Bergsrud (Illinois; sophomore)
    Seventh: Max Dean (Indiana; senior) fifth year transfer to Oklahoma
    Eighth: Dave Rella (Penn State; sophomore)
    DNP: Rex Kendle (Michigan State; junior), Jake Donar (Wisconsin; senior), and Greg Hagel (Northwestern; senior)
    2007-2008 NCAA Outlook: 165 pounds
    The Big Ten Tournament finals may be a preview for the NCAA Tournament finals. Iowa senior Mark Perry and Michigan senior Eric Tannenbaum are both three time All Americans. As the defending national champion, Perry paces a field that includes three other returning All Americans and a number of wrestlers looking to make the next step. Ohio native Mike Miller was a three time state champ for Uniontown Lake and an All American as a redshirt freshman for Central Michigan last season. Indiana sophomore Matt Coughlin is making the move to 165 pounds after an All American redshirt freshman season.
    Leading the field of returning qualifiers are Arizona State senior Patrick Pitsch and Oklahoma senior Max Dean. Pitsch was one match short of All American status last season, but his tournament resume included wins over Chris Vondruska (Ohio State), Tyler Safratowich (Minnesota), and Roger Smith-Bergsrud (Illinois). After transferring from Indiana, Dean will be counted on to fill a hole in the Sooner lineup and develop the consistency needed to contend at the NCAA Tournament. Smith-Bergsrud and Safratowich will be joined by Purdue sophomore Justin Fraga and Penn State sophomore Dave Rella and be expected to vie for first time honors with a return trip. Other wresters looking for a strong showing are Edinboro junior Jarrod King, Cornell junior Steve Anceravage, Bucknell sophomore Andrew Rendos, and Hofstra freshman Ryan Patrovich.
    The Buckeyes have two goals in this weight class; qualify someone for the NCAA Tournament and have them score at the NCAA Tournament. Both are attainable goals, but each will be a challenge taken one step at a time. Of the two freshmen expected to start for Ohio State, Sponseller may have the easier path to earn All American status but the challenge is just as great.



    2007 NCAA Tournament Place Winners (2008 Class Rank)
    First: Mark Perry (Iowa; senior) NCAA: 2007 first; 2006 third; 2005 second
    Second: Johny Hendricks (Oklahoma State) Graduated; NCAA: 2007 second; 2006 eighth
    Third: Matt Pell (Missouri) Graduated; NCAA: 2007 third; 2005 seventh
    Fourth: Eric Tannenbaum (Michigan; senior) NCAA: 2007 fourth; 2006 eighth; 2005 fourth
    Fifth: Travis Paulson (Iowa State) Graduated; NCAA: 2007 fifth, 2006 sixth; 2004 sixth
    Sixth: Mike Patrovich (Hofstra) Graduated; NCAA: 2007 sixth; 2006 fourth
    Seventh: Deonte Penn (Edinboro) Graduated; NCAA: 2007 seventh; 2006 fourth
    Eighth : Mike Miller (Central Michigan; sophomore)

  5. #14

    Default Re: Ohio State wrestle offs line-up

    Ohio State Wrestling: 174 Pound Preview
    By Kevin Schlosser
    www.the-ozone.net

    Ohio State did not expect to have an opening at 174 pounds when Tom Ryan took the Ohio State job. Blake Mauer, a four time IHSAA state champion, appeared to have a lock on the weight class after qualifying for the 2006 NCAA Tournament as a redshirt freshman. Mauer struggled with injuries before having to shut his season down in January. After the year, he applied for and was granted a medical waiver. As a result, Mauer will no longer be competing for the Buckeyes and Ohio State has another hole in their lineup.
    Redshirt senior Alex Picazo is a three time letterman and the preseason projected starter for Ohio State. Last season as a returning starter, he was the preseason favorite to start at 184 pounds. Picazo would have been pushed by transfer Mike Pucillo before a broken hand at the MSU Open ended his season. Picazo was granted a medical redshirt while Pucillo went on to earn All American honors.
    Picazo is known as a work out warrior with a training regiment that is second to none. If coaches Tommy Rowlands and Joe Heskett are following his workout routines, it is safe to say Picazo will not be out conditioned and should not be overpowered. With three years varsity experience, Picazo will be looking to make a statement in his final year of competition. With only one returning All American in the Big Ten at 174 pounds, Picazo will have an opportunity to make a statement.
    Like Vondruska last season, Picazo is a one year solution at 174 pounds. Although he is cutting his teeth at 165 pounds this season, Colt Sponseller will probably be seen at 174 pounds before he is finished. Look for both wrestlers to be in the Ohio State lineup this season. Picazo will have the opportunity to accomplish his individual goals and have the opportunity to help the team improve. The Buckeyes did not score at 174 pounds at the Big Ten and NCAA Tournaments. If Picazo can win a couple matches at both, Ohio State should be in a position to move up in the standings if others live up to their expectations. While All Americans get the headlines and score the most points, teams that get contributions from everyone tend to finish higher.

    The Front Runner: 174 pounds
    Alex Picazo (senior; Grandview, OH)
    If not for a redshirt season last year, Picazo would be finished at Ohio State. Luckily for the Buckeyes and for himself, Picazo will get one more shot this season to end his career on a high note. He enters the season with a 48-52 career record and is the probable starter at 174 pounds. Picazo is also a three time Academic All Big Ten wrestler
    As a true freshman, Picazo cracked the Ohio State lineup at 174 pounds and went 11-11 before an injury ended his season. Moving up to 184 pounds, he went 14-24 as a sophomore and turned the corner as a junior posting a 22-17 record with wins over 2007 All Americans Mike Tamillow and Tyrell Todd. Picazo was granted a medical redshirt in 2006-2007. While not folk style college wrestling, Picazo placed fourth at the 2007 University Freestyle Nationals this summer.
    Although his career record is not eye popping, Picazo has experience and can be a stabilizing force in the Ohio State line up. He has faced top level wrestlers in practice and in competition, wrestled in every Big Ten arena, competed in the Southern Scuffle, Midlands, National Duals, and Big Ten Tournaments. Picazo has seen the Buckeyes at their best and at their worst and should not be intimidated by anyone he faces or anywhere Ohio State wrestles.
    The Contenders: 174 pounds
    Tommy Priestley (senior; Mount Rainier, MD)
    Tommy Priestley joined the Ohio State varsity wrestling team last season and finished the year starting at 174 pounds. When returning starter Blake Mauer was shut down for the season, Priestly finished out the year and wrestled at the Big Ten Tournament. Priestly posted a 5-12 record on the season and his 5-1 overtime decision victory over Purdue sophomore Jason Martin was the Buckeyes only dual meet win all season at 174 pounds. Priestly wrestled for the Ohio State University club team as a freshman and sophomore; earning NCWA All American honors in 2006.

    Jon Savia (sophomore; Uniondale, NY)
    Jeremy Sanders (freshman; Columbus, Ohio)
    2007-2008 Big Ten Outlook: 174 pounds
    Michigan senior Steve Luke is the defending Big Ten champion and early favorite to repeat. A Massillon Perry graduate, Luke is the only returning All American at 174 pounds. Minnesota’s Gabe Dretsch lost in overtime in both the Big Ten semifinals and the consolation finals. Dretsch went 2-2 at the NCAA Tournament; losing to NCAA champion Ben Askren by fall and dropped a 2-1 overtime decision to Steve Luke to exit.
    Returning place winners in this weight class are Indiana sophomore Trevor Perry, Wisconsin senior Matt Maciag, Illinois sophomore Nick Winterhalter, and Northwestern senior Nick Hayes. Michigan State sophomore John Murphy and Purdue sophomore Jason Martin both competed at last years Big Ten Tournament and did not place.
    Iowa looks to replace All American Eric Luedke with either sophomore Jay Borschel or Chad Beatty. Penn State expects redshirt sophomore David Erwin to start. Erwin, a St. Paris Graham alum, went 23-8 as a true freshman at 165 pounds and has a 37-10 career record. Illinois sophomore John Dergo is rumored to be making the drop to 174 pounds this year after starting as a true freshman at 184 pounds and placed fifth at the Big Ten Tournament last season.
    Tommy Priestley finished the season for an injured Blake Mauer did not place at the Big Ten Tournament. This season, the Buckeyes are expected to start redshirt senior Alex Picazo at 174 pounds. With three years of varsity experience, Ohio State will be counting on Picazo to place and qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
    2007 Big Ten Tournament Place Winners
    First: Steve Luke (Michigan; senior) NCAA: 2007 sixth
    Second: James Yonushonis (Penn State) Graduated NCAA: 2006 eighth
    Third: Eric Luedke (Iowa) Graduated NCAA: 2007 third
    Fourth: Gabe Dretsch (Minnesota; senior)
    Fifth: Trevor Perry (Indiana; sophomore)
    Sixth: Matt Maciag (Wisconsin; senior)
    Seventh: Nick Hayes (Northwestern; senior)
    Eighth: Matt Winterhalter (Illinois; sophomore)
    DNP Tommy Priestley (Ohio Sate; junior), John Murphy (Michigan State; sophomore), and Jason Martin (Purdue; sophomore)
    2007-2008 NCAA Outlook: 174 pounds
    With the graduation of two time defending champion Ben Askren, the master of funk has left the building and this weight class will be wide open when the 2008 NCAA Championships come to St. Louis, Missouri. Pitt senior Keith Gavin leads the field after qualifying for the finals last season. Coming off a redshirt season, Gavin beat every opponent he faced except Askren. Navy senior Matt Stolpinski will be an early favorite as one of five returning three time all Americans. Stolpinski lost his first bout in overtime before winning six consecutive matches to reach the consolation finals. Rounding out the field are Steve Luke, Oklahoma State junior Brandon Mason, and Central Michigan senior Brandon Sinnott. Last season each earned All American status in their second trip to the NCAA Tournament.

    Wrestlers expected to be in contention for first time All American status are returning national qualifiers Michael Letts (Maryland; sophomore), Brandon Browne (Nebraska; junior), Josh Weitzel (Oklahoma; senior), and Lloyd Rogers (UT-Chattanooga; senior). Weitzel qualified for the round of twelve before dropping the match that would have made him a first time All Americans. Other Big Ten wrestlers in the hunt include Gabe Dretsch, David Erwin, Nick Hayes, and John Dergo.

    Missouri junior Josh Garrity is expected to replace Askren and Iowa sophomores Jay Borschel or Chad Beatty will try to take over for Eric Luedke. Hofstra freshman Justin Danz took second at the 2007 NHSCA Senior Nationals. Kent State freshman Dustin Kilgore is also a name to remember.
    Ohio State is expecting senior Alex Picazo to qualify for the NCAA Tournament. In a wide open weight class, he has the experience and ability to score for Ohio State. With the right seeding and brackets, Picazo could emerge as a dark horse All American candidate.


    2007 NCAA Tournament Place Winners
    First: Ben Askren (Missouri) Graduated; NCAA 2007 first; 2006 first; 2005 second; 2004 second
    Second: Keith Gavin (Pitt; senior)
    Third: Eric Luedke (Iowa) Graduated; NCAA: 2007 third; 2006 eighth
    Fourth: Matt Stolpinski (Navy; senior) NCAA: 2007 fourth; 2006 eighth; 2005 fourth
    Fifth: Brandon Mason (Oklahoma State; junior)
    Sixth: Steve Luke (Michigan; junior)
    Seventh: Brandon Sinnott (Central Michigan; senior)
    Eighth: Matt Palmer (Columbia) Graduated; NCAA: 2007 eighth; 2005 eighth

  6. #15

    Default Re: Ohio State wrestle offs line-up

    Ohio State Wrestling: 184 Pound Preview
    By Kevin Schlosser
    www.the-ozone.net

    Mike Pucillo transferred to Ohio State after a redshirt season at Hofstra. Pucillo came with all the credentials and was going to have to wrestle off to be a starter with the season on the clock. When senior Alex Picazo went down with a broken hand, the redshirt sophomore became the starter by default. Pucillo responded with one of the best freshman seasons in Ohio State history.
    While injuries were a concern for Pucillo, he missed very little competition time. Pucillo began the year by becoming the first Buckeye in five years to win an individual title the Las Vegas Invitational. He won his first sixteen matches before suffering his first defeat at the hands of the defending NCAA champion Jake Hebert. Pucillo started another winning streak that lasted until he was injured in the Big Ten semifinals and forced to default out of the tournament.
    Pucillo had a strong but disappointing showing at the NCAA Tournament. While he won five matches, his first two losses were winnable matches and had he defeated Tyrell Todd twice last season. With Jake Hebert taking an Olympic redshirt season, the favorites will be returning finalist Jake Varner and Roger Kish. Varner was runner up in 2007 for Iowa State and Kish was a finalist for Minnesota in 2006. Pucillo will be the favorite when matched up against any other wrestlers and will be expected to repeat as an All American.

    The Front Runner: 184 pounds
    Mike Pucillo (sophomore; Cuyahoga, OH)
    Mike Pucillo considered Ohio State out of high school but chose to go to Hofstra and wrestle for Tom Ryan. Pucillo accepted a redshirt as a freshman and elected to transfer after the year to somewhere closer to home. When Tom Ryan became the head coach at Ohio State and coaches Tommy Rowlands and Joe Heskett came on board, the Buckeyes offered everything Pucillo desired.
    Pucillo was a three time finalist and an Ohio state champion his senior year for Walsh Jesuit High School and a NHSCA Senior National champion. Pucillo won the CSU Open his freshman season at Hofstra. Pucillo was well prepared the day he committed Ohio State and exceeded most expectations with an All American finish. During the regular season, Pucillo’s only loss came to the defending and eventual national champion as he posted a 20-1 record entering the Big Ten Tournament.
    Injuries were a concern for Pucillo last season. Last year he started the season late missing the Eastern Michigan and Michigan State Opens to rehab from off season surgery, he was held out of the Southern Scuffle, and he defaulted from the Big Ten Tournament after being injured in the championship semifinals. Mike returns this completely healthy and hungry to improve.
    The Contenders: 184 pounds
    Wes Bergman (senior; Oak Harbor, OH)
    Wes Bergman returns to start this season at 184 pounds. .Last year, Bergman wrestled at 174 pounds and finished with a 2-5 record. After winning his first two matches, Bergman lost his last three bouts. Bergman lost both matches in quick he wrestled nationals qualifiers, dropping and 8-0 decision to Northwestern senior Nick Hayes and a narrow 4-0 decision to three time All American Navy senior Matt Stolpinski. Wes is the younger brother of Ohio State senior J.D. Bergman.
    Alex Picazo (senior; Grandview, OH)
    Alex Picazo is a three year letterman and three time Academic All Big Ten wrestler. Picazo accepted a medical redshirt last season and enters this year as projected starter at 174 pounds. Picazo has a 48-52 career record and competed at 174 pounds as a freshman and 184 pounds as a sophomore and junior. At Ohio State, he has competed at the Las Vegas Invitational, National Duals, Southern Scuffle, Big Ten Tournament and every arena in the Big Ten. Picazo could see time at 184 if he is strategically bumped up or as a back up if he is not in the lineup at 174 pounds.

    Tommy Priestley (senior; Mount Rainier, MD)
    Tommy Priestley joined the Ohio State varsity wrestling team last season and finished the year starting at 174 pounds. When returning starter Blake Mauer was shut down for the season, Priestly finished out the year and wrestled at the Big Ten Tournament. Priestly posted a 5-12 record on the season and his 5-1 overtime decision victory over Purdue sophomore Jason Martin was the Buckeyes only dual meet win all season at 174 pounds. Priestly wrestled for the Ohio State University club team as a freshman and sophomore; earning NCWA All American honors in 2006.
    Domini Mehling (junior; Columbus, OH)

    Ohio State in 2006-2007: 184 pounds
    Mike Pucillo wrestled every varsity match for Ohio State in 2006-2007. As a redshirt freshman, he posted a 26-5 overall record; placing first at the Las Vegas Invitational and sixth at the Big Ten Tournament. Pucillo did not wrestle the EMU Open, MSU Open, or the Southern Scuffle as a result of injuries. In dual meet action, he went 14-1 overall and 7-1 against the Big Ten. Pucillo wrestled eighteen matches against thirteen different NCAA qualifiers; finishing 13-5 in quality matches and a perfect 13-0 against the field.

    2007-2008 Big Ten Outlook: 184 pounds
    The finals of the 2007 Big Ten Tournament featured Northwestern’s Jake Hebert, the defending champ at 174 pounds, against Minnesota’s Roger Kish, the 184 pound 2006 champ. After winning the Big Ten and NCAA Championship; Hebert has elected to take an Olympic redshirt this season.
    Minnesota senior Roger Kish and Ohio State sophomore Mike Pucillo are the early favorites to make the conference finals. Wisconsin sophomore Trevor Brandvold, Illinois sophomore John Dergo, Iowa sophomore Phil Keddy and Indiana senior Marc Bennett all qualified for the 2007 NCAA Tournament. Also returning are Michigan State senior Joe Williams; Penn State junior Philip Bomberger, and Purdue senior Nick Skinner.
    Outside of Hebert sitting out the year, every starter in this weight class in 2006 returns in 2007 in some capacity. If senior Nick Hayes does not move up for Northwestern, look for junior Mark Graves to start. Illinois senior David Gleissner may step into the lineup if John Dergo drops to 174 pounds. Purdue has a battle brewing as senior Nick Skinner will have his hands full redshirt sophomore David Pisarcik.

    2007 Big Ten Tournament Place Winners: (2008 class rank)
    First: Jake Herbert (Northwestern; senior) NCAA: 2007 first, 2006 second, 2005 fourth
    Second: Roger Kish (Minnesota; senior) NCAA: 2007 third, 2006 second
    Third: Tyrell Todd (Michigan; junior) NCAA: 2007 fifth
    Fourth: Trevor Brandvold (Wisconsin; sophomore)
    Fifth: John Dergo (Illinois; sophomore)
    Sixth: Mike Pucillo (Ohio State; sophomore) NCAA: 2007 sixth
    Seventh: Phil Keddy (Iowa; sophomore)
    Eighth: Marc Bennett (Indiana; senior)
    DNP: Joe Williams (Michigan State; senior); Philip Bomberger (Penn State; junior); and Nick Skinner (Purdue; senior)
    2007-2008 NCAA Outlook: 184 pounds
    Jake Hebert’s Olympic redshirt affects the NCAA field just as it does the Big Ten field; the weight class becomes wide open. Iowa State redshirt sophomore Jake Varner is the returning finalist but he is expected to receive competition from returning All Americans Roger Kish, Tyrell Todd, Mike Pucillo, Harvard junior Louis Caputo, and Cornell sophomore Josh Arnone. Early reports have Arnone out for the season with a shoulder injury.
    Wrestlers looking to make a name for themselves who had a strong performance last year include Marc Bennett, Missouri sophomore Raymond Jordan, Lehigh sophomore David Craig, and Central Michigan senior Christian Sinnott. All four wrestlers qualified for the round of twelve before dropping their final match. Other wrestlers seeking first time All American status include Trevor Brandvold, John Dergo, CS-Fullerton senior Ian Murphy, Nebraska sophomore Vince Jones, and Hofstra junior Joe Rovelli.
    After placing sixth as a redshirt freshman, Mike Pucillo will attempt to improve his finish. Pucillo needs a good showing during the regular season and at the Big Ten Tournament to earn a high seed at the NCAA Tournament. While it seemed like injuries and the length of the season wore him down as last year came to a close; a healthy and experienced Pucillo would like to peak at the end of the year and step it up during the post season. No one will be overlooking Pucillo this season and he is a legitimate title contender and threat to repeat as an All American.



    2007 NCAA Tournament Place Winners: (2008 class rank)
    First: Jake Herbert (Northwestern, senior) NCAA 2007 first, 2006 second, 2005 fourth
    Second: Jake Varner (Iowa State; sophomore)
    Third: Roger Kish (Minnesota, senior) NCAA: 2007 third, 2006 second
    Fourth: Alex Clemson (Edinboro) Graduated
    Fifth: Tyrell Todd (Michigan; junior)
    Sixth: Mike Pucillo (Ohio State; sophomore)
    Seventh: Louis Caputo (Harvard; junior)
    Eighth: Josh Arnone (Cornell; sophomore)

  7. #16

    Default Re: Ohio State wrestle offs line-up

    Ah!

    The controversial OZONE with Mr. Schlosser.

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