January 31, 2011

Wrestling Wreport: that’s what I call a disaster

Pic from my crappy iPhone camera
For most of the season the Penn State wrestling team has been far exceeding expectations to the point that they've climbed all the way to #1 in the polls. With a few small exceptions the lineup from top to bottom has been getting better and better all year and although they are very young they've got 7 wrestlers ranked. Going into Sunday's sold-out dual, Penn State had a pretty clear cut path to beating defending champ Iowa: win the matches where they were ranked higher, limit the damage where they were not, and get some bonus from their big guns. None of that happened and in fact the exact opposite did. Penn State could manage only one major while giving up a pin and a major of their own. They also lost three duals where they were ranked higher. In a word Sunday was a disaster.

Bout By Bout scoring

Wt.Bout ScoreTeam score
125#2 Matt McDonough IOWA pinned Nathan Morgan PSU, WBF (4:16)0-6
133#10 Tony Ramos IOWA dec. #5 Andrew Long PSU, 3-20-9
141Montell Marion IOWA dec. #5 Andrew Alton PSU,11-9 0-12
149#5 Frank Molinaro PSU dec. #15 Mark Ballweg IOWA, 10-33-12
157#3 David Taylor PSU maj. dec. Derek St. John IOWA, 12-47-12
165#14 Aaron Janssen IOWA dec. Jake Kemerer PSU,6-27-15
174#2 Ed Ruth PSU dec. #13 Ethan Lofthouse IOWA, 10-310-15
184#16 Grant Gambrall IOWA dec. #6 Quentin Wright PSU, 8-310-18
197#14 Luke Lofthouse IOWA maj. dec. Justin Ortega PSU, 17-610-22
285#5 Cameron Wade PSU dec. Blake Raising IOWA, 1-013-22
The Good

Ruth, Molinaro, and Taylor all wrestled well but only Taylor was able to get the needed bonus points. That's more of a product of the Iowa system (stall, stall, and stall some more when you are the underdog) and poor officiating then it was an evaluation of effort. All three wrestlers wrestled hard but when your opponent doesn't engage you at all its difficult to score points.

The white out was amazing and the participation was there, but the crowd was taken out of it from the start. That's all I have good to say about this turd of an effort.

The Bad

This team has legitimate dreams of winning a National and Big Ten Championships but they are FAR away from there. Alton, Long, and Quentin Wright had no business losing to their opponents and all three looked bad. Montell Marion is a great wrestler but he was seeing some of his first action since returning from his suspension for a drunk driving arrest. He should have been the wrestler that was gassed but it was Alton who faded late in the bout. All three wrestlers faded in the third period, that won't get you far in the nationals.

Cameron Wade was facing an unranked wrestler and had the match been close we would have needed more effort than a 1-0 squeaker. Wade is hard to figure out this season, sometimes he looks like he could challenge for a national championship and sometimes he looks like he's going through the motions.

The Ugly

It's apparent that the injury to Pataky at 125 is far more serious than we have feared. If they burned a redshirt for freshman Nathan Morgan than things must be grim. If Pataky can't get healthy in the next month it will seriously jeopardize Penn State's chances in the championship. Pataky was very close to All-American status the last two seasons and that could really help the Lions. Otherwise Penn State will basically have to go with a 3rd string true freshman wrestler. Not good.


I originally wrote this article yesterday but waited till today to finish it because the tone was decidedly more negative and I'm glad I did. This one hurt about as bad as any football lose I've seen (think Penn State losing to Notre Dame and you've got my feelings). The silver lining in this debacle is it happened during a dual meet when things really don't count like they do at the end of the season. If Long, Alton, and Wright would have lost to the Iowa guys in the Big Ten or Nationals, I would have been on a very long bender. They didn't and there's still time to work out the problems including their lack of stamina. Penn State can bounce back but they have a LOT of hard work ahead if they want to challenge for a national championship this season.


  1. It just had to be frickin' Iowa, huh? Any team, any team at all, would have been better to lose to than Iowa.

    So this is when the "FireCael.com" domain gets registered, right? LOL

  2. "FireCael.com"

    Ha ha, now that's funny. Yeah it was heart-breaking but, like I said, if it had to happen I'm glad it didn't happen in the Big Ten's. Hopefully this is an eye opener. But why Iowa?!??! Damnit!