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Thread: Zeke Jones: State of the U.S. Men's Freestyle Program

  1. #1
    Super Moderator Dart Shark's Avatar
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    Default Zeke Jones: State of the U.S. Men's Freestyle Program


  2. #2

    Default Re: Zeke Jones: State of the U.S. Men's Freestyle Program

    The man is doing a tremendous job. I can see the US picking up a couple of metals this coming World's.
    Lets go Brent!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Zeke Jones: State of the U.S. Men's Freestyle Program

    He's a cool dude. Multiple meDals should be on the way.
    To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Zeke Jones: State of the U.S. Men's Freestyle Program

    Quote Originally Posted by vaisforlovers View Post
    He's a cool dude. Multiple meDals should be on the way.
    What do you think viasforlovers, which weight classes do you see medals in? Obviously it's early to say given we don't know who is on the team yet, but just wondering how you see things unfolding.

    55 kg looks like Simmons is at the top. I can't imagine Felix will be around much longer and Cejudo figures to be coming back at 60 kg. Simmons has done well internationally previously, but I don't see him medaling just yet at the worlds.

    60 kg I would have to say we have a nice top 3 on the US ladder, with Cejudo being one of those to go with the top 2 guys. I could see Henry come out of that group but again, it's hard to pencil him in, (or any of the guys at 60) for a medal just yet. I have to see how he looks out there. if Henry hits top form, I like him for a medal.

    66 kg is an interesting weight. our current guy has a ton of experience but I just don't see him getting a medal at worlds. the old guard seems to be on its way out and the new guard doesn't look to be ready or capable yet. I don't see a medal here just yet.

    74 kg could be a very deep weight domestically and I look for who ever emerges from it to really challenge for a placing. Now really challenge doesn't mean win a medal, it means be in the thick of things to get there. Of course the draw is huge and who wins the spot will determine everything. I don't believe our rep is a top 3 guy in the world thus we'll need some breaks in order to get a medal.

    84 kg our world silver medalist finds himself on a 2 match losing streak to the Russian 3rd or 4th stringer. Never a good sign. I'd love to see Herbert get back in there and really peak for worlds. I believe he can and will medal again. I don't see him improving on his placement from last year though.

    96 kg Jake Varner the class of the USA at the weight class should really make strides once college is over and he can dedicate himself to the freestyle game exclusively. He has the toughest weight class in the world but he has valuable experience and was very competitive in winning some matches at worlds. It will be very difficult to place given the insane competition at 211 pounds, but given the right draw and no injuries, I can see a medal out of Jake. I wont write it in stone just yet, lets see how he looks in the tournament leading up to the world tournament.

    120 kg it should be very interesting between Tervel and the rest of the USA heavies trying to knock him off. I'm beginning to believe that he may have put some distance between himself and Mocco. As a long time fan of Mocco, I hope Steve is able to close the gap. USA can and should medal here.
    Lets go Brent!

  5. #5
    World Champ ODH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zeke Jones: State of the U.S. Men's Freestyle Program

    Nice analysis

    Whoever is at Heavy should fall into the likely to medal category..though Gold is still a long shot. I see Cejudo, Varner, and Herbert as medal contenders.
    And every few years a US wrestler pulls a medal out of nowhere, see both Zadicks, Slay, Eggum as falling into this category.

    So I think three medals, and none of them being Gold, would be a great haul for the US team.
    The emergence of MMA has hurt US Freestyle and as long as we wrestle folkstyle in college we will never get the international results we want.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Zeke Jones: State of the U.S. Men's Freestyle Program

    Good analysis Adolf, I agree. A motivated Cejudo definitely has a medal shot.

    As regards Herbert, guess we'll see if he's got the ability to win numerous medals. In his silver medal run, he didn't have an easy draw but he did avoid Aldatov (who lit him up last year) and the 2x runner up who placed 5th. He'll need to improve his defence to consistently beat world level guys.

    I wish Zeke Jones had commented on the technical skills the US wrestlers need to improve. IMO clinch defense, ground offense and mat awareness on the out-of-bounds are key, but I'm sure Zeke knows better than I what needs to be worked on.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Zeke Jones: State of the U.S. Men's Freestyle Program

    55-You are right about Felix I believe. Regardless of who we send it will be a weak weight comparatively. I am of the opinion that Sam Hazewinkel will occupy this spot soon, if not this world team cycle then the next. Simmons I have never been that high on personally but he's got a move that thus far has been difficult to stop. Henry would absolutely obliterate this group.

    60-Zadick is my boy, but he's not the future or current best option at this weight. I really like Shawn Bunch's style for freestyle and if he keeps with it he'll be the man for a few years. Shawn could get a medal for us in the next few years. Henry would fit in nicely(as would brother angel) Henry would be my pick in this weight, as would angel, but it appears neither will be competing anytime soon. Not seeing a medal this time around w/o henry or angel though.

    66-Schwab cannot hang at this level anymore in my opinion. And the newcomers lack the experience to make it happen. Paulson shuts down far too often, Metcalf and Caldwell both need more experience. No medal this time around either.

    74-I like Askren if he decides to come back I think he obliterates the US field. (especially Dustin Schlatter) If he can dedicate himself to wrestling and wrestling alone I think he can bring home some hardware, but I dont see many others who will contend(paulson, schlatter, gavins passivity present a microchasm of why USA struggles internationally) I like one guy to get a medal possibly.

    84-Herbert will be the man at this weight for as long as he wants it. If Jake dedicates himself to winning Gold Medals I think he will win some before he hangs up the shoes. If Hrovat comes back down then perhaps he challenges Jake, but that seems unlikely.

    96-Varner has the pedigree to be the man here for awhile. Hrovat is very dedicated and his studiousness(word?) will keep him competitive and a worthy adversary for Varner. I think Andy and jake both have great chances at medaling.

    120-Two studs. Mocco is one of my favorite wrestlers/people ever. Dlagnev is phenomenal too. I really dont know who is truly better but I think both can win World gold medals and whoever wins the spot will represent us well.

    So I know i said I see some medals coming...That may be a bit off at this point but I see 2 weights we should(84,120) and 2 we could(74,96)

    Not bad, but we will really see the job zeke is doing this cycle I believe.
    To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Zeke Jones: State of the U.S. Men's Freestyle Program

    Henry would be my pick in this weight, as would angel, but it appears neither will be competing anytime soon. Not seeing a medal this time around w/o henry or angel though.

    I thought the word was Henry would be out there competing this coming season at 60 kg. What have you heard?
    Lets go Brent!

  9. #9

    Default Re: Zeke Jones: State of the U.S. Men's Freestyle Program

    Some serious self-promotion time.

    I spent an evening with Henry this fall. He is doing boxing/mma training right now. Still in phenomenal condition but I think he's looking to get some money while he can.
    To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.

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