WRESTLER SPOTLIGHT: UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA’S LIAM CRONIN

As found on University of Nebraska’s website, below is Liam Cronin’s bio. Read about this wrestler’s career:

2020-21 (Senior)

NCAA Championships – DNP (1-2) – 125 pounds

  • First Round: #13 Liam Cronin (NEB) pinned Jake Ferri (KENT), 6:29
  • Second Round: #4 Drew Hildebrandt (CMU) dec. #13 Liam Cronin (NEB), 2-1
  • Cons. Second Round: #14 Jaret Lane (LEH) dec. #13 Liam Cronin (NEB), 13-12

Big Ten Championships – 9th (2-2) – 125 pounds

  • First Round:  BYE
  • Quarterfinals: No. 7 Devin Schroder (PUR) dec. Liam Cronin (NEB), 3-1 SV1
  • Cons. Second Round: No. 8 Michael DeAugustino (NW) dec. Liam Cronin (NEB), 4-1
  • 9th-Place Semifinals: Liam Cronin (NEB) dec. No. 13 Dylan Shawver (RUT), 9-5
  • 9th-Place Match: Liam Cronin (NEB) pinned No. 6 Eric Barnett (WIS), 2:02

Regular Season – 125 pounds

  • 7-1 overall and dual record
  • Bonus Points: One pin, one major decision
  • Defeated #14 Patrick McKee (Minnesota) by decision, 4-1, in his first match as a Husker on Jan. 8
  • Finished 2-1 on the season against ranked opponents
  • Closed the season on a 6 match win streak, defeating Wisconsin’s Ethan Rotondo in a 7-6 decision after scoring a last-second reversal to take the match.

Before Nebraska

  • Wrestled three seasons, including redshirt year, at Indiana, where he compiled 41 collegiate victories 
  • 2020 NCAA Qualifier 
  • Placed fifth at 2020 Big Ten Championships
  • 9-3 dual match record, including 6-3 in Big Ten dual matches as a junior
  • Compiled a 17-13 overall record as a sophomore in 2018-19 with two pins, four technical falls and two major decisions
  • Won seven of his final eight bouts and earned a first-place finish at the Purple Raider Open at the University of Mount Union (Ohio) to cap redshirt season in 2017-18. 
  • Made five appearances in the starting dual meet lineup in addition to seeing action at several open tournaments as a true freshman in 2016-17. 
  • U23 World Team Trials champion in 2019 (Greco-Roman),
  • Placed third at the 2018 U23 Nationals (Greco-Roman)
  • Finished runner-up at the United World Wrestling Junior Nationals in 2017 (Freestyle). 
  • Prior to enrolling at Indiana, Cronin wrestled four seasons under head coach Alan Clinton at Servite High School, where he set Servite records for single-season takedowns, career takedowns, bonus point wins, and winning percentage.
  • Cronin helped his team win four CIF team state championships during his prep years.
  • Became the first high school state finalist from Servite (a feat he accomplished in both 2015 and 2016)
  • Named the 2015 Wrestler of the Year by the Orange County Register. 
  • Seven-time Junior Fargo All-American, split between Freestyle and Greco-Roman
  • Won gold at the FILA Junior Greco World Cup
  • Named to the National High School Coaches Association All-America team in 2016. 

Personal

  • Born November 17, 1997
  • Parents: Shannon and Jeff Cronin
  • Brothers: Riley”

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WRESTLER SPOTLIGHT: UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING’S WARREN CARR

As found on Wyoming’s website https://gowyo.com/sports/wrestling/roster below is Warren Carr’s bio. Learn about this wrestler’s career: 

Weight: 157

Year: Sophomore

Major: Architectural Engineering

Hometown: Gillette, Wyoming

High School: Thunder Basin

2020-21: 3-5 

Career: 3-5

 2020-21: Competed in four events for the Cowboys in his first season for Wyoming… Went 1-1 at the Cowboy Challenge Tournament getting a 7-6 win over Brayden Roberts (WVU) … Notched two wins at the UVU Round Robin Tournament highlighted by a 4-1 win over James Emmer (UVU) 

 High School: Carr finished his high school career as a four-time state placer and a three-time finalist while also being crowned a state champion once while at Thunder Basin High School. While being a three-time team captain for the Titans, Carr was named the 2020 Spirit of the Bolt winner and the Most Outstanding Senior while also receiving the 2020 US Marine Corps’ Scholastic Excellence honor. Carr was also a decorated football player while at TBHS.”

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COACH SPOTLIGHT: PENN STATE UNIVERSITY’S CAEL SANDERSON

As found on Penn State University’s website, below is Cael Sanderson’s bio. Learn about this coach’s career:

On April 17, 2009, Penn State named national wrestling legend Cael Sanderson as its 12th head wrestling coach and immediately the nation looked East. Since that time, the wrestling landscape across the country has changed as Penn State has claimed eight NCAA championships and numerous Big Ten regular season and tournament titles, all while crowning numerous individual champions and maintaining the highest of academic standards.

A career begun in the Midwest…

At just 29 years old, Sanderson came to Penn State after three very productive years as the head coach at his alma mater, Iowa State.  Sanderson’s teams did not finish any lower than fifth at the NCAA Championships and  he never had a wrestler not qualify for nationals, getting 30-of-30 grapplers through to the championship tournament. 

After graduating from ISU in 2002, Sanderson spent 2003 and 2004 as a special assistant in the athletic department at Iowa State before joining the ISU coaching staff as an assistant coach in 2004-05. He was promoted to the assistant head coach position the next year and then became the Cyclones’ head coach for the 2006-07 season.

In 2007, during Sanderson’s rookie campaign, he led ISU to a 13-3 dual meet record and the first of three-straight Big 12 Championships. An outstanding NCAA runner-up finish in Detroit capped off a wildly successful year as the Cyclones crowned one National Champion and Sanderson was honored as Big 12 Coach of the Year, National Rookie Coach of the Year and National Coach of the Year. The next year, Sanderson led ISU to a 16-4 dual meet mark, another Big 12 title and a fifth place finish at nationals. Iowa State’s seven All-Americans in 2008 were the most at the school since 1993.

In 2009, Sanderson’s team went 15-3 in duals, won its third-straight Big 12 title and took third place at the NCAA Championships in St. Louis (just 12 points out of first place). The Cyclones also crowned another National Champion. In three years at Iowa State, Sanderson’s teams went 44-10, won three conference crowns, qualified all 30 wrestlers for nationals, earned 15 All-American awards and two individual national titles.

A move East and a rapid ascent…

His first season at Penn State was solid. Sanderson led Penn State to a 13-6-1 dual meet record, much improved over the prior year’s 8-12-2 mark. After a year outside the top 10, Sanderson led the Lions back to their place among the nation’s elite with a ninth-place finish at the NCAA?Championships and a No. 10 final dual meet ranking from the NWCA Coaches. Sanderson picked up three more All-Americans (including a national finalist) and a Big Ten Champion in younger brother, Cyler Sanderson.

In 2010-11, Sanderson reached the pinnacle of the collegiate coaching mountain by guiding Penn State through a stunning season filled with records, championships and memories that thrilled the Penn State faithful. Sanderson led the Nittany Lions to their first-ever Southern Scuffle Co-Championship and first Virginia Duals Championship since 1991. While guiding Penn State to a 6-1-1 conference mark, Sanderson equaled the highest Big Ten dual meet wins in Penn State history (1998). He led Penn State to the school’s first ever Big Ten Championship and was named 2011 Big Ten Coach of the Year. He became the first coach in NCAA history to be named both the Big Ten and Big 12 Coach of the Year. Saving the best for last, he led the Nittany Lions to the 2011 NCAA National Championship in Philadelphia, Penn State’s first since 1953 and Sanderson’s first as a collegiate head coach. 

During the 2011-12 season, the nation watched as Sanderson led Penn State to a 13-1 dual mark, including a school record 7-1 Big Ten dual record to earn a share of the 2012 Big Ten dual meet championship. Sanderson then made it two in a row by leading Penn State to the 2012 Big Ten Championship at Purdue. He was named 2012 Big Ten Coach of the Year, earning the honor for the second-straight season. Two weeks later, Sanderson led Penn State to a second-straight NCAA crown, helping Penn State to become the fifth team in NCAA history to win back-to-back titles.  He was named NWCA National Coach of the Year for the second time in his career at the conclusion of the championships in Des Moines.

In 2012-13, Penn State posted an identical 13-1 mark, 7-1 Big Ten dual record and won its third-straight Big Ten Championship in Illinois in March. Sanderson earned his third-straight Big Ten Coach of the Year honor (co) in the process. Two weeks after that, Sanderson guided Penn State to a thrilling third-straight NCAA crown, helping Penn State to become just the third team in NCAA history to win three-straight team titles. At the tournament’s end, he was named NWCA National Coach of the Year.

In 2013-14, Penn State went 15-1 overall and won a share of the Big Ten dual meet title with a 7-1 record. The Nittany Lions won their fourth-straight Big Ten Championship in Madison, Wisconsin, helping Sanderson win his fourth-straight Big Ten Coach of the Year honor. Two weekends later, the Nittany Lions won their fourth-straight NCAA title, becoming the third team in NCAA history to win four-straight NCAA titles.

In 2014-15, Sanderson led Penn State to an 11-4 dual meet record, a fifth-straight Southern Scuffle title, garnering five All-Americans and another individual National Champion at the NCAA Championships.

In 2015-16, he added a sixth-straight Southern Scuffle championships, a third Big Ten dual meet title (co-) and the 2016 NWCA National Dual Series championship. He led Penn State to its fifth Big Ten Championship in six years in Iowa City and followed that up with his fifth NCAA National Championship in six years in New York City’s Madison Square Garden.

In 2016-17, Sanderson led Penn State to its second-straight NCAA title and sixth in seven years.  Penn State posted a perfect 14-0 dual meet record, won the 2017 Big Ten regular season (dual meet) title and the NWCA Dual Championship Series crown for the second-straight season. Sanderson’s team posted a gaudy 35-6 record at NCAAs and won five-straight individual championships to close out the national finals.

In 2017-18, Sanderson led Penn State to its seventh NCAA title in eight years and third- straight. Penn State posted a perfect 14-0 dual meet record and won the Big Ten regular season (dual meet) title yet again. Sanderson’s team posted a superb 39-9 record at NCAAs. Penn State ended the season riding a 45-dual win streak and set an NCAA record for attendance at an indoor dual meet with 15,998 in the BJC for a win over Iowa.

In 2018-19, Sanderson closed  out a decade as Penn State’s mentor by leading Penn State to its eighth NCAA title in nine years and fourth-straight for the second time in his first ten years as head coach.  Penn State posted a perfect 14-0 dual meet record for the fourth-straight year, won the Big Ten regular season (dual meet) and Big Ten tournament championship. Sanderson’s team posted a 35-11 record at NCAAs and had the team title clinched before the finals began Saturday night.  Penn State ended the season riding a 59-dual win streak. Sanderson was named Big Ten Coach of the Year and InterMat National Coach of the Year.

In 2019-20, the Lion mentor led the team to a 12-2 overall record and a near-perfect 8-1 Big Ten dual meet mark.  Penn State dropped two duals by a total of three points.  Penn State crowned two more Big Ten Champions in true freshman Aaron Brooks and senior Mark Hall.  Brooks was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year. The Nittany Lions advanced seven wrestlers to the 2020 NCAA Championships before the NCAA cancelled the event in reaction to the COVID-19 virus’ outbreak. The NWCA named the top eight seeds at each weight First  Team All-Americans after the tournament was cancelled, giving Sanderson five more All-Americans.

In 11 years as Penn State’s coach, Sanderson led the Nittany Lions to eight Southern Scuffle titles, six B1G dual meet titles, six Big Ten Championships, eight NCAA Championships, collected 58 All-Americans, 23 National Champions, including an NCAA record-tying five in 2017, four Gorriaran winners, five NCAA Tournament Outstanding Wrestlers, one CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year, one NCAA Elite 89 winner, one NCAA Top 10 Award winner and five Hodge Trophy winners. Sanderson, who has coached 78 total All-Americans and 25 total National Champions (including his three years at Iowa State), grabbed his 100th win as Penn State’s head coach in its 36-6 victory over Stanford in Rec Hall on 11/13/16.

A coaching career after the most storied collegiate wrestling career ever…

To this day, Sanderson is considered the most dominant collegiate competitor in NCAA history. In four years, Sanderson never lost. From 1999-2002, Sanderson posted a 159-0 career record (going 39-0, 40-0, 40-0 and 40-0); won four individual National Championships; won four Most Outstanding Wrestler awards at the NCAA Championships (the only wrestler in NCAA history to do so); became the first freshman in NCAA history to win the Outstanding Wrestler honor and won three Dan Hodge Trophies as the nation’s best collegiate wrestler (also a collegiate first). He wrestled his first three years at 184 and then moved to 197 as a senior.

The four-time All-American’s four-year streak of perfection was called the No. 2 most outstanding achievement in collegiate sports history by Sports Illustrated. The NCAA called his final win (in the 2002 NCAA 197-pound championship) one of the NCAA’s “25 Defining Moments” for its Centennial celebration. His wrestling career culminated in 2004 when the Heber City, Utah, native won the 84 kg Olympic Gold Medal in Athens, Greece.

THE SANDERSON FILE

Full Name:    Cael Norman Sanderson

Birthday:     June 20, 1979

Birthplace:    Provo, Utah

Hometown:    Heber City, Utah

Alma Mater:    Iowa State ‘02

Spouse: Kelly

Children:    Tate, Teag

COACHING HONORS

*    2007 NWCA Coach of the Year

*    2007 Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year

*    2007 Amateur Wrestling News Rookie Coach of the Year

*    2007 RevWrestling.com Coach of the Year

*    2011 Big Ten Coach of the Year

*    2012 Big Ten Coach of the Year

*    2012 InterMat National Coach of the Year

*    2013 Big Ten Coach of the Year (co)

*    2013 NWCA Coach of the Year

*    2013 W.I.N. Magazine Coach of the Year.

*    2014 Big Ten Coach of the Year

*    2016 Big Ten Coach of the Year

*    2016 InterMat National Coach of the Year

*    2017 InterMat National Coach of the Year

*    2018 InterMat National Coach of the Year

*    2019 Big Ten Coach of the Year

*    2019 InterMat National Coach of the Year

*    Only person in NCAA history to earn both  Big Ten and Big 12 Coach of the Year honors

*    Coached 25 National Champions (23 in 11 years at PSU)

*    78 All-Americans in just 14 years (63 in 11 years at PSU)

*    123 of 140 of his wrestlers qualified for NCAAs

*    Coached 30 Big Ten Champions in 11 years in the conference.

AS A WRESTLER…

*    The only wrestler in NCAA history to never lose a bout over four years

*    Four-time NCAA National Champion

*    Four-time NCAA Most Outstanding Wrestler

*    2004 Olympic Gold Medalist

*    159-0 as collegiate wrestler

*    Four-time Big 12 Champion

*    Sports Illustrated called unbeaten streak #2 most outstanding achievement in collegiate history

*    Three-time Hodge Trophy winner

*    Final NCAA win named one of 25 Defining Moments by NCAA

*    ESPY Award for Best Male Collegiate Athlete

*    ESPN SportsCentury special on his career

*    One-time appearance on Wheaties cereal box”

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WRESTLING TOURNAMENTS IN FLORIDA, NORTH CAROLINA & TENNESSEE – JULY AND AUGUST 2021

Here’s a round-up of tournaments and events happening around the southeastern area of the country during the month of July and August:

FLORIDA

SUNSHINE STATE SHOWDOWN

When: July 16, 2021 – July 18, 2021

Where: Alan Jay Arena, 781 Magnolia Ave., Sebring, FL 33870

Who: 6U (2015-2016), 8U (2013-2014), 10U (2011-2012), 12U (2009-2010), MS (2007-2008), HS (born Sept 1, 2001 and after, plus enrolled in grade 9-12)

Weight Classes

6U: 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, HWT 

8U: 43, 45, 49, 53, 56, 62, 70, 85, 95, HWT 

10U: 49, 53, 56, 59, 63, 67, 71, 77, 84, 93, 105, 120, 130, HWT 

12U: 58, 63, 67, 70, 74, 78, 82, 86, 92, 98, 108, 117, 135, 160 

MS: 73, 79, 85, 89, 94, 99, 105, 112, 121, 127, 132, 138, 151, 167, 189, 252 

HS: 106, 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 145, 152, 160, 170, 182, 195, 220, 285 

Weigh-Ins: Saturday Divisions: Early weigh in on Friday, July 16, from 5-7 pm; Saturday at 7:30 am – 8:30 Sunday Divisions: Early weigh in on Saturday, July 17, from 5-7pm; Sunday 7:30 am – 8:30

Schedule: ALL registered athletes get a clinic on Friday at 7:30pm – 8:30pm with Chris Bono, Jon Reader and Seth Gross. Autograph session following clinic. 

6U, 8U and 10U on Saturday, July 16th – Wrestling starts at 9:30 AM 

12U, MS & HS on Sunday, July 17th – Wrestling starts at 9:30 AM 

Registration: Fee is $40 per wrestler

Register on Trackwrestling.com or http://bit.ly/ShowdownReg 

For more information: https://www.trackwrestling.com/tw/uploads/O-630377132-Sunshine_State_Showdown_Flyer.pdf

BACKYARD BOYZ SUMMER DUALS #2

When: July 30, 2021 – July 31, 2021

Where: Jupiter High School, 500 N. Military Trail, Jupiter, FL 33458

Who: High School Duals Teams, Up to 14 Wrestlers Per Team

Weigh-Ins: 7/30/21 at 7:00 a.m.

Schedule: 7/30/21 Start Time: 10:30 a.m.

      7/31/21 Start Time: 10:30 a.m.

Clinic: Technique Clinics with JohnMark Bentley & Jeff Prescott

7/30/21 Clinic with JohnMark Bentley, Appalachian State Head Wrestling Coach – 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

7/31/21 Clinic with Jeff Prescott, Penn State 2x National Champion – 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m

Registration: $550 per team (up to 14 wrestlers per team)

Teams over 14 wrestlers – $15 each additional wrestler

Wrestlers not on a team competing – $25 per clinic

Register on Trackwrestling.com  

For more information

https://www.trackwrestling.com/tw/uploads/T-630114132-NEW_BACKYARD_BOYZ_SUMMER_DUALS_2_FLYER.pdf 

RUMBLE IN THE STREETS: STREETLIGHT EDITION

When: July 30, 2021

Where: Legacy Church at North East Park, 3737 1st St. NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33704

Who: K-8, High School, & Adult/Open Divisions

Weigh-Ins: One hour prior to each division’s start time

Schedule: Tournament starts at 5:00 p.m.

Registration: Early Registration $20, Pre-Registration $25, at the Door $30

Register on Trackwrestling.com 

For more information:  Contact Inhisimage414@gmail.com or 727-488-1651

https://www.facebook.com/events/6316482688377396?acontext=%7B%22event_action_history%22%3A[%7B%22surface%22%3A%22group%22%7D]%7D

USA WRESTLING YOUTH DUALS

When: August 28,  2021

Where: Seminole County Wrestling Club, 1648 N. Ronald Reagen Blvd, Longwood, FL 32750

Who: 6U, 8U, 10U, 12U, 14U

Registration: Register on Trackwrestling.com 

For more information: Event Director Steven Price – stevenprice608@yahoo.com

https://usawrestlingevents.com/event/2100104802 

NORTH CAROLINA

CAROLINA CHALLENGE

When: July 17, 2021 – July 18, 2021

Where: Overhills High School, 2495 Ray Road, Spring Lake, NC 28390

Who: 6U, 8U, 10U, 12U, 14U, 16U

Weight Classes

July 17

16U AND JUNIOR WILL BE COMBINED TO FORM BRACKETS. 

THERE WILL BE A MALE AND FEMALE BRACKET. 

WEIGHTS WILL BE: 88,94,100,106,113,120,126,132,138,145,152,160,170,182,195,220,285 (MALE DIVISION) 94,100,106,112,117,122,127,132,138,144,152,164,180,200,225 (FEMALE DIVISION) 

WEIGHT CLASSES MAY BE COMBINED TO HELP ENSURE COMPETITION AND ROUND ROBINS MAY BE USED

July 18

THERE WILL BE A MALE AND FEMALE BRACKET IN EACH OF THE FOLLOWING AGE GROUPS. 

14U- 71,77,83,87,92,97,102,106,110,114,119,125,130,136,149,165,187,250 (MALE DIVISION)            72,79,85,92,97,101,105,110,119,127,136,145,185 (FEMALE DIVISION) 

12U- 58,63,67,70,74,78,82,86,92,98,108,117,135,160 (MALE DIVISION) 65,70,75,80,85,90,95,100,110,120,130,145 (FEMALE DIVISION) 

10U- 49,53,56,59,63,67,71,77,84,93,105,120 (MALE DIVISION) 50,55,60,65,70,75,80,90,100,110 (FEMALE DIVISION) 

8U- 43,45,49,53,56,62,70,85 (MALE DIVISION) 

45,50,55,60,70,85 (FEMALE DIVISION) 

6U- 43,45,49,53,56,62,70,85 (MALE DIVISION) 

45,50,55,60,70,85 (FEMALE DIVISION) 

WEIGHT CLASSES MAY BE COMBINED TO HELP ENSURE COMPETITION AND ROUND ROBINS MAY BE USED

Weigh-Ins: July 16 –  8:00-9:00 a.m. at Sleep Inn and Suites* – 16U and Juniors

      July 17 – 7:00-8:30 a.m. at Overhills High School – 16U and Juniors

      July 17 – 8:00-9:00 p.m. at Sleep Inn and Suites* – 8U – 14U

                   July 18 – 7:00-8:30 a.m. at Overhills High School – 8U, 10U, 12U, 14U

*Sleep Inn and Suite ($84.00 per Night) 102 Sleepy Drive, Spring Lake, NC 28390

Schedule: July 17 – Tournament start time – 9:00 a.m.

                     July 18 – Tournament start time – 9:00 a.m.

Registration: Fee is $20 per wrestler if registered and paid by July 12, $35 if registered and paid after July 12 or at door

Register on Trackwrestling.com 

For more information: 

https://www.trackwrestling.com/tw/uploads/O-630540132-O-630540132-CAROLINA_CHALLENGE_(1)_(1).pdf 

MORTAL COMBAT CHAMPIONSHIPS

When: July 31, 2021

Where: Davie County Recreation & Parks, 151 Southwood Dr., Mocksville, NC 27028

Who: Grades K-2, 3rd-5th, 6th-8th, 9th-12th, Women’s Division – Grades 7th – 12th

Weight Classes

K-2nd: 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 80, 90

3rd-5th: 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, 100, 108, 118, 128, 140, 155, 175

6th-8th: 76, 83, 90, 98, 106, 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 145, 152, 160, 170, 182, 195, 220, 285

9th-12th: 106, 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 145, 152, 160, 170, 182, 195, 220, 285

Women’s Division: 106, 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 145, 152, 160, 170, 182, 195, 220, 285

Weigh-Ins: 7/30/21 – 4:00-6:00 p.m.

      7/31/21 – 7:00-8:00 a.m.

Schedule: Wrestling starts at 9:00 a.m. on 7/31/21

Registration: Fee is $30 per wrestler until 7/27/21, $35 after 7/27/21

Register on floarena.org

For more information: 

https://events.flowrestling.org/event/b98bfe35-3fec-426a-a7d5-0de67ad04050/registration 

TENNESSEE

SUMMER BASH

When: July 24, 2021

Where: Harpeth High School, 170 East Kingston Springs Rd., Kingston Springs, TN 37082

Who: Middle and High School boys and girls

Weight Classes

Boys Middle School (6-8): 72, 82, 90, 98, 106, 114, 122, 130, 138, 148, 158, 175, 190, HWT

Girls’ Middle School (6-8): 60, 70, 80, 90, 105, 120, 140, 160, 200

Boys’ High School (9-12): 106, 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 145, 152, 160, 170, 182, 195, 220, 285

Girls High School (9-12): 103, 112, 119, 125, 132, 140, 150, 160, 170, 190, 285

Tournament director reserves the right to change/combine weight classes and divisions to maximize the opportunities for the wrestlers.

Weigh-Ins: July 24, 2021 at 8:00 a..m.

Schedule: Wrestling starts at 9:00 a.m.

Registration: Fee is $25 per wrestler

Register on Trackwrestling.com or http://bit.ly/ShowdownReg 

For more information: Contact Joe Whitlow at Harpethtakedownclub@gmail.com 

TYRANT SMOKE SHOW

When: August 7-8, 2021

Where: LeConte Center, 2986 Tester Lane, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863

Who

DUALS:

Elementary School: 3rd grade & under

Elementary School: 6th grade & under

Middle School: 8th grade & under

High School: 8th-12th grade

Girls: K- 12th Grade

OPEN (age as of 8/7/21):

BOYS: 8U, 10U, 12U, 14U, 16U, 18U

GIRLS: 8U, 10U, 14U, 16U, 18U

Weight Classes (for Open Tournament)

BOYS:

8U: 40 44 48 52 56 60 64 68 72 78 84 90 (+1)

10U: 48 52 56 60 64 68 72 76 80 84 88 92 96 100 110 130 (+1)

12U: 48 52 56 60 64 68 72 76 80 84 88 92 96 100 110 130 (+1)

14U: 72 76 80 84 88 92 96 100 105 110 115 120 130 140 160 210 (+1)

16U: 98 106 113 120 126 132 138 145 152 160 170 182 195 220 285 (+3)

18U: 106 113 120 126 132 138 145 152 160 170 182 195 220 285 (+3)

GIRLS:

8U, 10U, 12U, 14U, 16U, 18U: madison system

Weigh-Ins

Duals Weigh-Ins:

Friday, August 6, 2021

Duals weigh-in will be used for open tournament

2:00-4:00pm Early weigh-ins ($20 per wrestler)

6:00-8:00pm Weigh-ins

Open Weigh-Ins:

Friday, August 6, 2021

2:00-4:00pm Early weigh-ins ($20 per wrestler)

6:00-8:00pm Weigh-ins

Saturday, August 7, 2021

12:00-1:00pm Weigh-ins (Pre-registered only, for anyone that did not weigh-in on Friday)

Schedule

DUALS

Friday, August 6, 2021

2:00-4:00pm Duals early weigh-ins ($20 per wrestler)

6:00-8:00pm Duals weigh-ins

Saturday, August 7, 2021 – Duals

7:00am Doors open

7:30am Coaches meeting

7:30am Score Keeper Education

8:00am Wrestling begin

Sunday, August 8, 2021 – Duals

7:00am Doors open

8:00am Wrestling begins

Awards at the conclusion

Teams are to report to the awards area

OPEN

Friday, August 6, 2021 – Open

Duals weigh-ins will be used for the open

2:00-4:00pm Early weigh-ins ($20 per wrestler)

6:00-8:00pm Weigh-ins

Saturday, August 7, 2021 – Open

12:00-1:00pm Weigh-ins (for anyone that did not weigh-in on Friday)

1:30pm Bracket check-in (no changes will be made after 2:00pm)

3:00pm Wrestling begins

Registration: Duals – $895 per team ($100 non-refundable deposit)

                       Open – $40 before July 12, $50 after July 12, $60 walk-in on Friday

Register at https://tyrantwrestling.regfox.com/2021smokeshow for duals

                  https://tyrantwrestling.regfox.com/2021smokeshowopen for open

For more information: https://www.tyrantwrestling.com/smoke-show/  

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WRESTLER SPOTLIGHT: IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY’S DAVID CARR

As found on Iowa State University’s website, below is David Carr’s bio. Learn about this wrestler’s career:

“Weight: 157

Hometown: Canton, Ohio

Class: Redshirt Sophomore

High School: Perry

Awards and Accomplishments

2021 Hodge Trophy Finalist

2021 NCAA Champion

2021 NCAA All-American

2021 Big 12 Wrestler of the Year

2021 Big 12 Champion

2021 Second Team Academic All-Big 12

2020 Senior Freestlye Nationals (Sixth Place)

2020 NCAA All-American (First Team)

2020 NWCA Scholar All-America Award

2020 Big 12 Champion

2020 Second Team Academic All-Big 12

2019 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational (Third Place)

Big 12 Wrestler of the Week

2019 Junior World Champion

2019 UWW Junior National Champion

2018 Dave Shoultz Memorial International (Fourth Place)

2020-21

2021 157-pound NCAA Champion… 2021 All-American… finalist for the Dan Hodge trophy, finishing third… 2021 157-pound Big 12 Champion… 2021 Big 12 Wrestler of the Year… Academic All-Big 12 Second Team… Iowa State’s 50th individual to win a national championship and the 70th individual national champion overall in program history… Iowa State’s 300th All-American in program history… 86th two-time All-American in Iowa State history… compiled a 20-0 record, becoming Iowa State’s first undefeated champion since 2011… 14 of his 20 wins came by bonus-point variety for a 65 percent bonus-rate… won five matches by major decision, four by technical fall and four by fall… defeated 12 opponents ranked in the top-20… did not surrender a takedown at the NCAA Championships, outscoring his opponents by a 40-10 margin en route to the title… 60-1 takedown differential during the 2021 campaign… went 12-0 in duals, racking up 171 total match points… led the team in duals in takedowns (44), four-point near-falls (15) and total back-points (66).

2019-20

Became Iowa State’s first ever Junior World Champion (74kg)… won the 2019 UWW Junior National Championship to earn a spot in the Best-of-Three Finals for the Junior World Team spot. Wrestled to an 18-1 record, 9-0 in dual, during his redshirt freshman season… qualified for the NCAA Championships at 157 pounds and was seeded third for the national tournament before the season was ended early due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus worldwide… named First Team All-American by the NWCA… earned NWCA Scholar All-America honors… won the Big 12 Championship at 157 pounds, defeating OSU’s Wyatt Sheets by 6-4 decision in the finals… Iowa State’s 213th individual conference champion in school history… first freshman Big 12 champ since David Zabriske (2007)… Iowa State’s fifth freshman Big 12 Champion… named Second Team Academic All-Big 12… earned Big 12 Wrestler of the Week honors after his 6-1 victory over Iowa’s then-ranked No. 2 Kaleb Young… took third place at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational behind a 5-1 record… led the team in total dual points scored (121), takedowns per dual (4) and total dual back points (34)… posted two wins by fall, two by technical fall and five by major decision.

2018-19

Redshirted his initial season at Iowa State… posted a 23-1 record while wrestling unattached… competed at the Dave Shoultz Memorial International in freestyle, taking fourth place… won four out of the five tournaments he competed in, taking third in the other… claimed titles at the Grand View Open, Lindenwood Open, UNI Open and Dave Edmonds Open… recorded 14 bonus-point victories, including a team-high eight major decisions.

High School

Noted as one of the nation’s top recruits out of high school… pegged as the No. 2 overall recruit in the class of 2018 by FloWrestling and No. 1 at his weight… competed for his dad, Cyclone legend Nate Carr while wrestling for Perry High School… five-time high school state champion… Cadet World Bronze Medalist… Fargo National Champion… Flo Who’s #1 Champion… IronMan Champion… compiled a high school record of 246-7.

Personal

Born on March 28, 1999… son of Nate and Linda Carr… has six siblings… majoring in Communication Studies.”

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SOUTH CAROLINA SOCIAL MEDIA TALK: WHERE TAKEDOWNS OCCUR REGULARLY

On June 28, at 5:45 a.m. Kip Charles posted on The South Carolina Wrestling Room Facebook page:

“Do you know that feeling your wrestler gets when they walk into their local South Carolina tournament that has four or five mats set up? Well, after Fargo even the states look small. It could be one of the reasons why so many young people that go to Fargo come home and perform exceedingly well. It’s still not too late if you want your wrestler to experience this.”

Joe Lovier replied, “Gee, that’s neat.”

George Dixon replied, “There are plenty of tournaments that take place on multiple mats. Super 32 on 26, NHSCA Nationals on 40+, NHSCA National Duals on 51, most NuWay tournaments on 20+, Tyrant Wrestling tournaments on 15+ and WAR tournaments on 10-15 mats. There are a lot of “off season” opportunities for wrestlers to get mat time at “big” tournaments. Personally I feel that Fargo is the pinnacle for freestyle and Greco-Roman while the pinnacle for folkstyle is the Super 32! The bottom line is getting out there and getting it done!”

David Maholtz replied to Dixon’s comment with, “George Dixon God I hate saying this on public forum…. but I agreed 100% with george on this one”

Kip Charles replied to Dixon’s comment, “George Dixon lets get them to them all.. I completely agree.”

The Wrestling Whisperer added, “George Dixon Having coached and competed at the Fargo level I’ll explain why Fargo is different than the tournaments you listed:

1: Freestyle & Greco Roman are two different styles that add too &. expand technical wrestling abilities. They both can carry over to Folkstyle.

2: Both styles expand the ability to compete against higher levels of competition both nationally & internationally. And at a young age internationally.

3: Many of your top NCAA Champions & All Americans have a expanded wrestler IQ in Freestyle & Greco that separates them experience wise when they compete in Folkstyle.

4: Freestyle is a faster pace style and a lot of technique has carried over to Folkstyle, while Greco focuses on inside control wrestling, body attacks & throws that also have technical transitions into Folkstyle

5: Both Freestyle & Greco Roman styles ultimately lead into having a head start training on the Senior level for the Olympics.

6: If the top high school kids in the country are training in 3 styles of wrestling and yours only one, eventually you see the gap in competition at the college level D1, D2,D3.

7:Finally, the top colleges at all levels go to Fargo to recruit. That’s D1, D2, D3.

Jennifer Wingard commented, “Kip Charles I appreciate you giving our boys am opportunity like this. I know for one my son had a great time practicing on Saturday and is excited about going to Fargo. Thank you again!

Kip Charles replied to Wingard’s comment, “Jennifer Wingard It’s pretty amazing watching these kids transform right before my eyes. Everyone is getting better.”

Jen Griffin-Richey Hornsby posted, “Kip Charles thank you for everything. I am excited for these kids and how much they are learning”

Kip Charles replied, “Jen Griffin-Richey Hornsby, they are, and at a fast pace it would seem. The environment is ripe for learning, and growth is inevitable. I can’t wait to see what their regular season looks like. They will all be better wrestlers for sure Freestyle & Greco will only compound their success.”

Seth Allen wrote, “Fargo was a great experience for me as a youngster.”

The Wrestling Whisperer replied to Allen with, “Seth Allen spread the word, it will only improve an athletes wrestling.”

Chris Brock added this comment, “Fargo makes a statement that all major programs/coaches want to hear. Kid’s commitment is real and wrestling is life. There is no other tournament that is as Indicative and predicts the future on a national or international level. The world medalists and Olympians make it there via Fargo. Not absolute, but generally speaking.”

Bailey Wilkins posted, “The best trip I’ve been on no doubt. It definitely makes all the other National tournaments easier to compete at. Not everybody will get the results they want but one key thing I learned is when you are done wrestling, soak it all in. Watch the wrestling, there’s a lot you can learn by just watching how the top guys compete.

You definitely get better by competing there, but the training leading up to it is what benefits you the most. Different looks, different partners, and just the overall fun you have between sessions. I’ve made lifetime friendships on this trip. So if you’re debating on sending your kid, it is a must.”

 

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JUST A QUESTION: THE NFL RAN TV COMMERCIALS PROCLAIMING THAT THE “NFL IS GAY, LESBIAN, QUEER & TRANSGENDER” BUT LEFT OUT “HETEROSEXUAL” – IS THAT HOW WRESTLERS IDENTIFY TOO?

By JIMMY THE SAINT and PARKER COMODE

Jimmy The Saint and Parker Comode duel, with responses to the NFL’s currently controversial TV commercial, providing alternative articles that ultimately relate to wrestling. First up: Jimmy The Saint’s piece:

In an NFL TV commercial – run on the NFL Channel the past few days – the NFL proclaimed that:

“Football is Gay”

“Football is Lesbian”

“Football is Beautiful”

“Football is Queer”

“Football is Life”

“Football is Exciting”

“Football is Culture”

“Football is Transgender”

“Football is Heart”

“Football is Power”

“Football is Tough”

“Football is Bisexual”

“Football is Strong”

“Football is Freedom”

“Football is American”

“Football is Accepting”

“Football is Everything”

”Football is For Everyone”

The above is, verbatim, the text from the NFL TV commercial.

Now, the following are just questions, so no one should get their panties wrapped up in a bunch—because these are just inquiries, quandaries, fact-finding missions and the like. People who freak out over mere questions are people who (1) are closed-minded weaklings; (2) zeros; (3) losers; (4) clowns; (5) strive to force their narratives in others’ faces with no facts to support their positions; (6) are opposed to science; (7) are of moderate to lower levels of intellect; (8) are of moderate to lower levels of intelligence; (9) do not understand the difference between intellect and intelligence; and (10) comprise the very unfortunate bastion of propagandists who, through their hysteria, falsehoods, fabrications, canards, lies, and outright irrational and illogical propositions, have sought to destroy the fundamental fabric of American values, mores, and culture. Those who are truth-seekers, obviously, should embrace questions – otherwise, how does one get to the truth without having questions answered with factually-supportive answers? Those who are truth-tellers should welcome, with open arms, questions. Why? Because if they are actually telling the truth, they should be elated to answer those questions with factually-supported answers, so that any naysayers will be shut down. Questions do not take positions; to the contrary, questions, simply, look for the truth. With that, let’s see how truth-seekers – and truth-tellers – react to these mere questions:

The NFL, itself, has declared that “football is gay.” So, the natural inquiry follows: How is football “gay”?

Does this mean that all the players are gay? That a substantial portion of them are gay?

Does it mean that all the coaches, staff, and personnel are gay? That a substantial portion of them are gay?

Does it mean that all the fans are gay? That a substantial portion of them are gay?

The NFL, itself, has declared that “football is lesbian, queer, and transgender”, as well.

How many NFL football players are “lesbians”, “queer”, and “transgenders”?

How many NFL football coaches are “lesbians”, “queer”, and “transgenders”?

What percentage of football fans are “lesbians”, “queer”, and “transgenders”?

What percentage of fans watched this TV commercial and thought to themselves – “I identify with this commercial”?

What percentage of players and coaches watched this TV commercial and thought to themselves – “I identify with this commercial”?

Was this brilliant marketing by the NFL, wherein they pegged exactly who all/substantial majority of their players, coaches and fans are – gay, lesbian, queer, and transgender people?

Is there a reason why “heterosexual” people were left out of this NFL TV commercial that ended with “football is for everyone”?

Is there such a small percentage of heterosexual NFL players that they are akin to irrelevant, wherein the NFL sought to leave them out of the spot because there is no point to market to a such a miniscule group of people?

Is there such a small percentage of heterosexual NFL coaches that they are akin to irrelevant, wherein the NFL sought to leave them out of the spot because there is no point to market to a such a miniscule group of people?

Is there such a small percentage of heterosexual NFL fans that they are akin to irrelevant, wherein the NFL sought to leave them out of the spot because there is no point to market to a such a miniscule group of people?

If the actual truth, however, is that the vast majority of football players, coaches, staff, and fans are heterosexuals, would it have been honest, genuine, fair – and in concert with the truth – to have included “heterosexuals” in this TV commercial that ended with “football is for everyone”?

Would non-bigoted and honest people have left out heterosexuals from this TV commercial – or would it be bigots and propagandists/fabricators who left out heterosexuals from this TV commercial spot?

What percentage of people walked away from this TV commercial spot thinking, “You know what, football is indeed gay, lesbian, queer, and transgender. I didn’t realize it before, but the presentation of this spot, in its brilliance, has alerted me to it and now I see the truth in that. It’s not that I’m a robotic sheep, whose mind is easily manipulated by propagandists/fabricators – I actually believe that ‘football is gay, lesbian, queer, and transgender.’ And I don’t think that heterosexuals should have been included in the spot because, well, there are almost zero (or no) heterosexual football players/coaches/fans and, more so, heterosexuals are not worthy to be included in the NFL’s wrap-up statement that ‘football is for everyone’?”

Conversely, what percentage of people walked away from this TV commercial spot thinking, “Wow, that was an insanely bigoted spot, which is completely out of touch with reality”?

All those questions asked, would the wrestling community believe that it would be a fair, genuine, honest, non-bigoted – and truthful – circumstance if the same exact commercial run by the NFL was, instead, run for wrestlers?

Or would the wrestling community think that the following TV commercial would be a fair, genuine, honest, non-bigoted – and truthful – spot, representing who wrestlers and their fans are?

Wrestling is for everyone – heterosexuals, homosexuals, a-sexuals, and whatever-sexuals.

Commonsense dictates who the vast majority of wrestlers are – and who the vast majority of wrestling fans are. But wrestling doesn’t need to talk about people’s sexuality because it is irrelevant. 

What’s relevant is dedication, physical strength, mental strength, skill, conditioning, integrity, truth – and who performs best on the mat.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Below is Parker Comode’s take on Jimmy The Saint’s article:

While Jimmy The Saint shrouds himself in the protection of “questions” versus the deliverance of outright editorialized opinion, the sarcasm of his questions is obvious. His questions, in great part, however, are, admittedly, legitimate. What exactly is meant by that “football is gay” or “bisexual” or “lesbian” or “queer” or “transgender”? If someone who didn’t know what football is, like a person from a foreign country who doesn’t have football as part of her/his culture, she/he would naturally interpret what those statements say on their face: that “football is gay.” They would naturally conclude that everyone or nearly everyone involved in this “football” group is gay—because that’s what the statement is saying. In the reverse, they would also naturally conclude that “heterosexuals” are not part of this “football” group because heterosexuals were very obviously omitted from the TV commercial.

But people in America, and most of the world, know better. They know what football is, and they know that most people in football are not gay/lesbian/queer/bisexual/transgender. They know that most people involved in football are not LGBTQ+. They know, very well, that most people involved in football are straight, that they are heterosexuals. This is why heterosexuals were omitted from the TV commercial. There was no need to include them.

The point of the TV commercial was to say that LGBTQ+ persons are welcomed to the football community. This is what is meant by that “football is for everyone.” Heterosexuals do not need to be represented, specifically, in this commercial. If this is offensive to straight people, that is just too bad. Heterosexuals have historically dominated in American and worldly societies, leaving people in the LGBTQ+ communities marginalized. It’s time to make all aware of their involvement in every facet of society, including football. And including in wrestling, whatever amount of LGBTQ+ people are actually involved. If people conclude, from the commercial, that football or wrestling is chock full of LGBTQ+ people or even that the sports are largely dominated by them, so what. So what if the commercial makes it sound like football is largely gay/lesbian/queer/bisexual/transgender. So what if heterosexuals are omitted. Let people perceive that “football is gay.” The statement, on its face, may not be accurate or honest, but it’s to help a greater cause.

A wrestling TV commercial should mirror the NFL’s TV commercial.

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IVAN ARGUELLO, ANGEL BANDA, AND KOBY MILNER MAY BE BATTLING FOR 125 POUND SPOT AT REINHARDT

By ROCCO ARTESIAN

Per Reinhardt University’s website, the Eagles appear to have three wrestlers coming back for the 2021-2022 season who will be battling for the starting spot in the 125 lbs. weight class. Ivan Arguello, Angel Banda, and Koby Milner will square off in the wrestling room to ultimately determine who lands the coveted lead role. And who knows, they may also face challenges from new freshmen joining the team.

Ivan Arguello, last year a redshirt freshman, hails from Pepperell High School in Rome, Georgia. He was a three-time state placer.

Last year a true freshman, Angel Banda is from Adairsville, Georgia. In high school, he was a Georgia state champion and a two-time state placer.

The elder statesman of the group, Koby Milner, may not even be in for the battle, that is if he just graduated; he is listed on the Reinhardt website as a senior. If he is still around next season, he’s likely to be the winner of the wrestle-offs for the 125 lb. weight class, given his impressive resume, as reported on the Eagles website:

“Junior: NAIA All-American (7th), AAC Conference Champion, NAIA Scholar-Athlete

Sophomore: NAIA All-American (6th), AAC Conference Champion

Freshman: NAIA National Qualifier, AAC Conference Champion

Previous to Reinhardt: 3-time GHSA State Champion, 2-time Triple Crown Winner, Dapper Dan Team Member (GA), 2x Georgia National Team Member, Honor Graduate”

NEW JERSEY SOCIAL MEDIA TALK: WHERE TAKEDOWNS OCCUR REGULARLY – JULY 6, 2021 EDITION

Compiled By DANIEL SONNINSHINE

The recent NCAA policy change, which allows college athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness, has opened the door for athletes to make deals for endorsements, advertisements, and more. This has certainly made for interesting developments in wrestling, as well as other sports. Here’s what New Jersey wrestling enthusiasts from the New Jersey Wresting Forum Facebook page are saying about it:

On July 1, at 2:00 p.m., Mike Abromitis shared the following comment and link to an article about two college wrestlers’ new endorsement deals , “Gable Steveson and A.J Ferrari already with business deals, it’s a whole new world for College athletes !” https://www.twincities.com/2021/07/01/gable-steveson-tanner-morgan-are-first-gophers-to-have-business-deals-in-new-era/?fbclid=IwAR3YKYleQYFWIsAhFd4MuW9_tngcQtO1V5pvIFdbV0h4T52ZTxp2wY5snXM

He then shared this link to college wrestler AJ Ferrari’s tweet announcing his partnership with an apparel company, “https://twitter.com/mrfasttwitch/status/1410629223862181894

Nelson Dilone commented, “Ferrari knew what he was doing this whole time lol”

Scotty Moore added a gif of a violin player and commented, “Played them like this. I knew what he was doing but can’t make reckless comments to grown folks”

Jimmy Palo replied to Dilone’s comment with, “Nelson Dilone so what. For years college’s and the ncaa owned these kids and reaped all the benefits. The student/ athlete was gone a long time ago. The ncaa could give two shots about these kids as long as they brought in revenue. It’s about time thing have changed”

Nelson Dilone’s reply was, “Jimmy Palo it’s 2021. That’s it lol”

Jimmy Palo replied with, “Nelson Dilone exactly. Let them get there’s. They are the face of the product”

Angela Binetti Varga wrote, “Awesome”

Jennifer Whitney Correa commented, “Nice. Good for them.”

Yvonne Dailey posted, “Good for them!”

Philip Bocchino commented, “Wow”

Lou Cooke added, “Two very smart student athletes. Y’all better get on this gravy train!”

Bobby Ayala said, “I can only imagine how guys like Reggie bush, etc feel lol”

Clee Torres stated, “Good for them”

Tom Martin added “Beginning of the end.”

Mike Kennedy said, “Rudy…Rudy…Rudy!”

No doubt, there will be ongoing talk about wrestlers’ moves as a result of this new ruling.

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SPOTLIGHT ON NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY COACH PAT POPOLIZIO

By DANIEL SONNINSHINE

As found on North Carolina State University’s website,  below is Pat Popolizio’s bio. Learn about this coach’s career:

“The 2020-21 wrestling season marks Pat Popolizio’s ninth at the helm of the NC State wrestling program, as he was named head wrestling coach of the Wolfpack on April 10, 2012.

 In the Spring of 2018, Popolizio was awarded a contract extension through June of 2025. 

Popolizio was named the 2018 Dan Gable co-NCAA Coach of the Year and the 2016 National Coach of the Year by FloWrestling. He has also been a finalist for the NWCA Division I National Coach of the Year each of the last three years in 2018, 2019 and 2020. He has twice been named ACC Coach of the Year, in 2018 and again in 2020.

 In eight seasons under Popolizio, NC State Wrestling has had:

  • 3 National Champions
  • 5 NCAA Finalists
  • 18 All-Americans
  • 15 ACC Champions
  • 5 ACC Wrestlers of the Year
  • 2 ACC Rookies of the Year
  • 3 ACC Scholar-Athletes of the Year

He has led NC State to a school record six straight top-20 finishes at the NCAA Championships. Over the last six NCAA Championships, NC State has finished 19th in 2014, 16th in 2015, 11th in 2016, 17th in 2017, 4th in 2018 (earning its first-ever team trophy), and 17th in 2019 (2020 was canceled due to COVID-19).

NC State has earned 18 All-America honors in the last seven years, a new school record for most in a seven-year span all-time. In 2018, NC State set a school-best with four All-Americans, including an all-time ACC-best two NCAA finalists, and betterd that mark in 2020 with six All-Americans named by the NWCA.

In his eight seasons overall, Popolizio has had 57 NCAA qualifiers, highlighted by a school record 10 in 2017. In the last five seasons, NC State has qualified 44 of its 50 starters.

Popolizio has won both a trio of ACC Championships (2016, 2019 and 2020) and three ACC Regular season titles (2018, 2019 and 2020). The Wolfpack went back-to-back winning both conference team trophies in 2018-19 and again in 2019-20 for the first time since the 2001 and 2002 seasons, and three straight regular season titles for the first time since 2000-02.

NC State has also posted five straight seasons finishing in the top-10 in the NWCA Coaches’ Poll. The Wolfpack has been ranked in the top-10 in 73 straight polls over the last five seasons. The Pack was a school-best No. 2 following a 23-1 campaign in 2015-16, No. 8 in 2016-17 with a 13-2 mark, No. 6 with a 15-2 record in 2017-18, No. 10 in 2018-19 with a 16-3 record, and No. 3 for the 2019-20 season (as one of only two undefeated teams nationally – Iowa).

In 2019-20, NC State posted its first-ever undefeated dual season, going a perfect 15-0. The Pack posted five ranked wins, including three straight weekends of top-10 ACC victories. Over the last three seasons, NC State is a league-best 14-1 in ACC duals.

NC State has won 82 of its 90 duals (91.1 percent) the last five seasons. That winning percentage sits second-best in the NCAA, and the 82 dual victories leads the nation (the next closest is at 72).

On the recruiting trial, NC State’s 2016 12-person signing class was ranked the nation’s best by both FloWrestling.com and InterMatWrestling.com. In that class, the Pack signed two of the top-six ranked wrestlers in the 2016 recruiting class, and five in the top-66 overall.

NC State’s 2018 class was ranked No. 3 nationally and featured five wrestlers ranked in the top-100 nationally by InterMat, including four in the top-55, and two in the top-25. The class was also No. 6 by both FloWrestling and TheOpenMat.

The signing class in 2019, was ranked No. 16 by InterMat and No. 17 by FloWrestling. Four from the nine-member class were ranked in the top-100 nationally.

The Wolfpack put together another top-10 class that will be freshmen in 2020-21, as FloWrestling ranked the Pack’s class of 2020 No. 8 nationally. It marked the third time in the last five years the Wolfpack has been ranked in the top-10 nationally, and this is the third straight class ranked in the top-20 by FloWrestling.

Following his first campaign, Popolizio and his staff signed a top-rated recruiting class in the spring of 2013. The Pack’s signees were ranked: No. 4 according to D1collegewrestling, No. 10 by both WIN Magazine and InterMat, No. 13 by the Open Mat/AWN and No. 14 by Flo Wrestling. NC State made it two-for-two with another nationally ranked recruiting class in 2014, cited No. 19 by FloWrestling, No. 20 by TheOpenMat.com, and No. 25 by InterMat.

 In the classroom, NC State had its first-ever ACC Wrestling Scholar-Athlete of the Years, as Nick Gwiazdowski won the award in 2016, Michael Macchiavello followed suit in 2018. and Hayden Hiodlay was named in 2020 The Pack has also had 26 Academic All-America selections, including a school record six in 2020, and 28 placed on the All-ACC Academic Team over the last seven years.

For the first time in school history, the NC State Wrestling team was named a National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) Top-30 Scholar All-American Team in 2020. The Wolfpack ranked 16th nationally with a 3.25 team GPA.

In May of 2018, Popolizio served as the head coach for the USA at the Cadet Pan American Championships in Guatemala City, Guatemala. The U.S. dominated, winning the team title with 9 of the 10 wrestlers winning Gold.

The 2019-20 season was cut short due to COVID-19, but the season will still go down as one of the best in school history as the Pack finished #3 in the final NWCA Coaches’ Poll as one of only two undefeated schools nationally. The Pack repeated as both ACC Champions and ACC Dual Championships, while posting the first-ever undefeated season in school history (15-0). With the NCAAs canceled, NC State had six named All-Americans. The Pack claimed the ACC Wrestler of the Year (Hayden Hidlay), Rookie of the Year (Trent Hidlay), Coach of the Year (Popolizio) and Scholar-Athlete of the Year (Hayden Hidlay).

In 2018-19, the Wolfpack posted its school record sixth straight top-20 finish at the NCAA Championships, placing 17th overall. Hayden Hidlay became only the third wrestler in school history to earn All-American honors as both a freshman and sophomore after he placed fourth. NC State also won the ACC Championship with three individual titles and won a share of the ACC regular season title for the second straight year.

In 2017-18, NC State brought home its first-ever team trophy, as the Wolfpack finished a school and ACC-best fourth at the 2018 NCAA Championships. R-Sr. Michael Macchiavello won a national title at 197 pounds, and R-Fr. Hayden Hidlay placed second at 157 pounds. NC State became the first ACC school with two NCAA Finalists. The Wolfpack also had a school record four All-Americans with R-Fr. Tariq Wilson placing third and Sr. Kevin Jack taking sixth.

The Pack went 15-2 in duals, and finished sixth in the final NWCA/USA Today Coaches’ Poll. For the second straight season, NC State took second at the ACC Championships, with three individual champions and five in the finals.

NC State went a perfect 5-0 in ACC duals, marking the Pack’s first ACC regular season title since 2004 and the first undefeated conference season since 2000.

NC State led the ACC and ranked 12th nationally in attendance with over 1,800 fans per dual, including over 3,900 fans versus Ohio State – both marks are school records.

Following the season, Popolizio was named ACC Coach of the Year and Macchiavello was named ACC Wrestler of the Year.

In 2016-17, NC State finished eighth in the final NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll after a 13-2 mark in duals, placed second at the ACC Championship with five reaching the finals, and took 17th at the NCAA Championships behind two-time All-American Kevin Jack and 10 NCAA Qualifiers.

The Pack defeated #16 Michigan, 23-15, in the NWCA National Duals, becoming one of only three schools to win their matchups each of the first two years in the event.

The 2015-16 season will go down as one of the best in school history. NC State won the 2016 ACC Championship, the first at NC State since 2007. Four individuals were crowned conference champions, and six made it to the finals overall.

Following the conference title, the Pack had eight NCAA Qualifiers, including six seeded grapplers and for the first time ever; four were seeded fifth or better. As a team, NC State finished in 11th place at the NCAA Championships, the best finish since a school-best seventh in 1993. The Pack tied the school record with three All-Americans in 2016: Tommy Gantt (5th – 157), Pete Renda (3rd – 184) and Nick Gwiazdowski (2nd – 285).

NC State finished the regular season ranked #2 in the final NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll, the highest ranking in school history. The Pack went 23-1 in dual matches, setting a new single season school record for most wins. NC State also set a new school record with 21 consecutive wins to start the 2016 season, as the previous best was nine. Included in the dual wins were road victories at national powers Oklahoma State and Iowa – making NC State the first school ever to win at both in the same season.

Following his fourth season at NC State, Popolizio was named the 2016 National Coach of the Year by FloWrestling.

Redshirt-senior Nick Gwiazdowski was named the 2016 ACC Wrestler of the Year, the third consecutive season he has won the conference’s top award. He is only the second wrestler in ACC history to be named Wrestler of the Year three straight times. During his three-year career at NC State, Gwiazdowski won two NCAA titles (2014, 2015) and finished runner-up in 2016, in addition to winning three straight ACC heavyweight titles and finishing his NC State career a perfect 55-0 in duals.

In 2015, the Pack placed 16th at the NCAA Championships. NC State had a pair of All-Americans for the first season since 1993, as Gwiazdowski repeated as NCAA Champion at 285 pounds and became the first wrestler in school history to win multiple NCAA titles, and only the third ACC wrestler all-time to do so, and the first since 1995. He finished the season undefeated, going a perfect 35-0. Freshman Kevin Jack went from unseeded to a fifth place finish at 141 pounds. Gwiazdowski repeated as ACC Wrestler of the Year, while Jack was named the ACC Freshman of the Year.

NC State finished 2015 with a dual record of 16-6, with all but one of the losses coming to top-10 teams at the time of the dual. The 16 wins are the fourth-most in a single season at NC State. The Pack finished the regular season ranked 17th nationally in the final USA Today/NWCA Coaches Poll. NC State was also ranked #14 by InterMat.com and #18 by FloWreslting.com in their final regular season polls.

In just his second season in 2014, Popolizio added to the Pack’s storied tradition with NC State’s sixth individual national champion. Gwiazdowski became NC State’s third heavyweight to win the NCAA title. Gwiazdowski, who finished the year with a 42-2 record, won the ACC heavyweight title and then plowed through the NCAA field, winning five straight matches and defeating the No. 1 seed in the tournament, two-time NCAA champion Minnesota’s Tony Nelson, to win the title. He became the first ACC wrestler to win a national championship since the Wolfpack’s Darrion Caldwell in 2009. He was named the ACC Wrestler of the Year.

In all, five NC State wrestlers qualified for the 2014 NCAA Championships, combining for a 10-8 record. Three wrestlers, Gwiazdowski, Gantt and Sam Speno, each won at least two matches. As a team, the Pack finished 19th overall, the second highest finish among all ACC schools.

In his initial season as head coach for the Pack, NC State had three wrestlers qualify for the 2013 NCAA Championships, placing 63rd overall.

Prior to coming to NC State, in six seasons at Binghamton University (2007-12), Popolizio transformed the Bearcats into a national contender after inheriting the program that went 0-12 following its reinstatement in 2005-06. Among his highlights with the Bearcats:

  • 14th at the 2012 NCAA Championships
  • 21st at the 2010 NCAA Championships
  • 2010 CAA Champions
  • Two-time CAA coach of the year (2012 and 2010)
  • Candidate for national coach of the year in 2010
  • Four All-Americans and 21 NCAA qualifiers over six seasons
  • CAA Wrestler of the Year and CAA Rookie of the Year in both 2012 and 2010
  • 15-4 dual meet mark in 2011-12 was a school record .789 winning percentage
  • School record 16 wins in 2010-11

Binghamton’s meteoric rise on the mat has been mirrored in the classroom. Popolizio substantially improved the program’s Academic Performance Rate (APR) from 727 to 957 between 2006 and 2011. In his final season, the Bearcats earned individual 2012 National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) All-Academic honors and boasted 10 CAA Commissioner’s Academic Award honorees. In 2009, Popolizio’s team ranked 17th in the country academically. BU wrestlers also placed a high priority on community service, recently helping residents at emergency shelters and in their neighborhoods after historic flooding hit the area.

Prior to his stint at Binghamton, Popolizio was the lead assistant and recruiter at American University for two seasons, helping that program finish 17th in the country. At American, he coached seven NCAA qualifiers and the school’s first All-American. Prior to that, he served as an assistant coach at Army (2003-04) and Sacred Heart (2002-03). His team at Sacred Heart achieved the highest grade-point average of any wrestling program in the country.

Prior to entering the coaching ranks, Popolizio was a decorated wrestler during his student-athlete career for Oklahoma State coach John Smith, a six-time world champion. Among his highlights during his collegiate career:

  • Three-time NCAA qualifier
  • Won greater than 90 matches
  • Ranked No. 1 in the country at 184 pounds during senior year
  • Helped lead Oklahoma State to Top 5 national finishes (second, third, third and fifth) at NCAA Championships in each of his four seasons in Stillwater
  • Big 12 runner-up in 1998 and 2002
  • Fifth at the World Team Trials in 2003
  • 2002 Oklahoma State Hustle Award

Popolizio graduated in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education. He was a two-time Big 12 All Academic selection and five-time recipient of the Oklahoma State Student-Athlete Award.

At the prep level, Popolizio was a New York state scholastic champion for Niskayuna High. He was named Most Outstanding Wrestler at the 1996 state prep meet, where he captured the 177-pound title, and went on to become the national high school runner-up.”

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