A Winner Is You! 2011 Iowa Wrestling Preview: 165 lbs.

Come January, when the Iowa football team again goes into hibernation for another nine months, what's a Hawkeye fan to do?  Well, pay attention to our preseason consensus cellar dweller up and coming basketball team... but you could also give a little time to the wrestling team and their quest for a fourth national championship in the last five years.  It is the one sport we're really, really good at, after all.  In the spirit of our Assume the Position series for football, we bring you A Winner is You!a weight class-by-weight class breakdown of the Iowa wrestling team, counting down each Thursday (ish) from the weight class we have the most confidence in to the weight class we have absolutely no clue about.


PREVIOUS ENTRIES: 125 | 141 | 157 | 184 | 133 | 174 | HWT | 197

THE KNOWN QUANTITY and THE POSSIBLE OPTIONS
Just as I did at HWT, I'm lumping these two categories together here because this a two-horse race: it's either going to be Nick Moore or Mike Evans.  There are a few other guys listed at 165 on the roster (Joe DuCharme, Patrick Rhoads, Walt Gillmor) but... it's not going to be one of them.  None of the guys at this weight have much in the way of experience -- Moore, Evans, and Gillmor are redshirt freshmen, Rhoads is a true freshman, and DuCharme is the grand old man as a redshirt sophomore.  Moore and Evans were both blue chip recruits -- per d1collegewrestling, Evans was the #4 overall recruit in the nation and Moore checked in at #11 -- and both guys did well during their redshirt years (Moore went 19-4 while splitting time between 157 and 165, while Evans went 22-2 at 174). 

Thus far, they've been pretty evenly matched in head-to-head competition this season.  Evans won 4-2 at the wrestle-offs and 3-0 in the finals at the Joe Parisi Open this past weekend.  The book on Evans is that he's excellent on the mat and great at turning guys (as evidenced by the 13 pins he had last year and the three he grabbed this past weekend), but still a little raw on his feet.  While he occasionally struggles to finish his own shots, he's good at fending off opposing wrestlers' shots.  Of course, Moore is also a very fine wrestler -- he's probably not as good on the mat as Evans, but he might be slightly better on his feet.  Unfortunately, it looks right now like he might be unable to get past Evans, but this is one weight to watch over the next month or so.  Evans is leading the race for the moment, but he hasn't locked anything up just yet.

THE POTHOLES IN THE ROAD
The good news is that the top four finishers from last year's NCAA Tournament aren't in the picture this season.  Defending champion Jordan Burroughs is off to try and dominate the international scene, while 2nd and 3rd place finishers Tyler Caldwell (Oklahoma) and Andrew Howe (Wisconsin) are both redshirting this season.  4th place finisher Colt Sponseller is also gone.  The bad news is that the other four All-Americans are back and there's a certain sainted unicorn in the mix here now with David Taylor (Penn State) moving up to 165 from 157.  Taylor doesn't appear to have missed a step -- he mauled nationally ranked Cody Yohn (Minnesota, 8th) via 16-1 tech fall this past weekend.  Taylor is the obvious king of the mountain at this weight (both in the Big Ten and nationally) this year, but Yohn, Nebraska's Robert Kokesh, and Wisconsin's Ben Jordan will be significant competition in the Big Ten.  Nationally, returning All-Americans Shane Onufer (Wyoming), Josh Asper (Maryland), Brandon Hatchett (Lehigh), and P.J. Gillespie (Hofstra) should be in the mix come March, as well as Andrew Sorenson (Iowa State) and Scott Winston (Rutgers). 

THE REASONABLE EXPECTATION
A year ago, Aaron Janssen emerged from a similarly close battle for the starting spot (with Jake Kerr) and put together a decent season: 28-9, 3rd place at the Big Ten Tournament, and R12 at the NCAA Tournament (just missing out on All-American status).  Can either Moore or Evans trump those numbers this year?  It's hard to say until we see them go against some legitimate competition (right now the best opponent either guy has faced is... each other), but right now I think it's possible.  Taylor is the odds-on favorite to win the Big Ten, but the race for 2nd place is wide open.  Yohn hasn't exactly looked like a world-beater over the last few seasons and Kokesh and Jordan have some question marks.  Taylor is also the odds-on favorite to win the NCAA title and (as noted above) there are some returning All-Americans that will be favored to repeat that this year.  Can Evans or Moore crack into that upper crust?  I think so.  So let's say 2nd or 3rd in the Big Ten and 6th-8th in the NCAA.

* * *
BONUS!  As expected, Iowa dominated the competition at the Joe Parisi Wrestling Open at Lindenwood University this past weekend.  As I noted last week, that was precisely what we expected would happen with Iowa sending virtually its entire team and the rest of the competition coming from lower-division teams or back-ups.  There were also several Iowa vs. Iowa matchups, a testament to the depth of the Iowa lineup and a nice way to see how guys compare to one another at several weights.  The results aren't hugely meaningful, but they do give us a few hints about how the lineup might shake out.

125
Matt McDonough (5-0, Champion at 125 lbs.)
1) W, PIN (1:00), Blayne Shockley (Lindenwood University)
2) W, PIN (2:25), Eddie Ortiz (Cumberland University)
3) W, PIN (2:40), Andre Sanders Jr. (Indiana Tech)
4) W, PIN (1:49), Prentice Thomas (Lincoln College)
5) W, DEC (7-1), Jeff Vesta (Neosho Community College)

Matt Gurule (5-1, 3rd place at 125 lbs.)
1) W, DEC (8-6), Terrel McKinney (Maryville University)
2) W, DEC (14-8), Sean Mccormick (Unattached Affliction Wrestler)
3) W, MAJ DEC (16-7), Connor Hughes (Indiana Tech)
4) L, PIN (4:50), Jeff Vesta (Neosho Community College)
5) W, MAJ DEC (16-5), Sean Mccormick (Unattached Affliction Wrestler)
6) W, DEC (6-3), Prentice Thomas (Lincoln College)

VERDICT: Matt McDonough is really good.  This is not exactly news, right?  He pinned his way to the finals, and while he only managed a decision win there, it's not worth dissing him for that too much: five matches in one day is a pretty heavy workload and it's not like he was not in any real danger of losing.  He had a match or two like that in the early season last year, too; things turned out just fine (until he got ROBLES ROBLES ROBLES'd anyway).  Gurule had a pretty decent showing as well.

133
Tony Ramos (5-0, Champion at 133 lbs.)
1) W, PIN (2:12), Anthony Henely (Wentworth Military Academy)
2) W, TECH FALL (23-8), Denny Kleinschrodt (Unattached University of Missouri)
3) W, TECH FALL (22-7), Travis Barroquillo (Indiana Tech)
4) W, MAJ DEC (17-6), Brandon Wright (Iowa Central)
5) W, DEC (4-1), Ty Clark (Iowa)


Ty Clark (4-1, 2nd place at 133 lbs.)
1) W, MAJ DEC (11-2), Dennis Welch (Missouri Valley College)
2) W, PIN (3:18), Erik Leonoudakis (Unattached Independent)
3) W, MAJ DEC (18-8), Eric Wilson (Unattached University of Missouri)
4) W, DEC (8-2 2OT), Aldon Isenberg (Unattached University of Iowa)
5) L, DEC (4-1), Tony Ramos (Iowa)

Aldon Isenberg (5-1, 3rd place at 133 lbs.)
1) W, PIN (2:24), Jakob Weis (Unattached Missouri Valley College)
2) W, PIN (1:14), Simos Kitzis (Unattached University of Missouri)
3) W, DEC (10-6), Wesley Dallas (Missouri Valley College)
4) L, DEC (8-2 2OT), Ty Clark (Iowa)
5) W, PIN (6:28), Mike Schmidt (Unattached University of Missouri)
6) W, MAJ DEC (10-1), Eric Wilson (Unattached University of Missouri)

VERDICT: Well well well... it looks like Ramos has slipped back into the lead in the race to man the 133 spot in Iowa's lineup.  Not only did he secure the victory in their head-to-head showdown in the finals (reversing the trend of Clark besting him in their matchups), but he looked more impressive in the run-up to the finals, too: he picked up two tech falls, a pin, and a major decision compared to Clark's two major decisions, a pin, and a regular decision.  Head-to-head they're obviously very evenly matched, but Ramos' ability to pick up more bonus points could earn him the starting nod (just as it did last year).  Aldon Isenberg was a pleasant surprise here, too: the standard caveat about level of competition applies, but he dominated that competition (three pins, one major decision win) and wrestled Clark very tightly.

141
Montell Marion (5-0, Champion at 141 lbs.)
1) W, MAJ DEC (13-4), Derek Dowdy (Rend Lake College)
2) W, DEC (5-2), Ethan Raley (Lincoln College)
3) W, MAJ DEC (14-3), Danny Ries (Unattached Affliction)
4) W, MAJ DEC (11-3), Jake Ekster (Unattached Missouri Valley College)
5) W, DEC (4-1), Nick Trizzino (Unattached University of Iowa)

Nick Trizzino (4-1, 2nd place at 141 lbs.)
1) W, MAJ DEC (15-5), Scott Chene (Oklahoma)
2) W, DEC (8-3), Tahlor Fowlkes (Missouri Valley College)
3) W, DEC (4-0), Trevor Jauch (Unattached University of Missouri)
4) W, PIN (6:31), Jacob Wadley (Unattached Independent)
5) L, DEC (4-1), Montell Marion (Iowa)

Mark Ballweg (5-1, 3rd place at 141 lbs.)
1) L, PIN (1:43), Jacob Wadley (Unattached Independent)
2) W, DEC (9-5), Ethan Raley (Lincoln College)
3) W, PIN (1:44), Derek Lunsford (Cumberland University)
4) W, MAJ DEC (14-4), Trevor Jauch (Unattached University of Missouri)
5) W, DEC (13-6), Jake Ekster (Unattached Missouri Valley College)
6) W, PIN (0:19), Jacob Wadley (Unattached Independent)

Charlie Joseph (1-2, DNP)
1) L, MAJ DEC (13-1), Mike Togher (Lincoln College)
2) W, DEC (12-7), Jordan Hinton (Central Missouri)
3) L, PIN (2:51), Brendon Benvenuti (Unattached Affliction Wrestling)

VERDICT: Marion won (as expected), but didn't look quite as dominant as you might have hoped/expected -- his five wins were comprised of three major decisions and two regular decision wins.  Hopefully he was just bored.  The most pleasant surprise at this weight was Nick Trizzino, who followed up his strong showing at last weekend's wrestle-offs with a good showing here.  The competition for the 141 starting spot will be fierce next year when Marion's gone, but with the way Trizzino is wrestling now, he's going to have a definite say in that race.  Conversely, the most unwelcome surprise at this weight was Mark Ballweg's shocking R1 loss.  It sounds like he simply got caught in a hold and pinned (and, according to some observers, choked out), but he can't afford mental lapses like that.  To his credit, he fought back to third place with five straight wins after that loss (including two pins and a major decision).

149
Brody Grothus (5-0, Champion at 149 lbs.)
1) W, DEC (4-2), Keenan Hagerty (Unattached Maryville University)
2) W, PIN (1:05), Corey Duncan (Unattached Lindenwood University)
3) W, DEC (5-2), Jake Cyr (Unattached University of Missouri)
4) W, PIN (3:30), Kyle Williams (Unattached McKendree University)
5) W, PN (2:13), Kellen Bounous (Unattached University of Missouri)

Jake Ballweg (6-1, 3rd place at 149 lbs.)
1) W, PIN (4:07), Oshea Smith Taylor (Rend Lake College)
2) W, DEC (8-3), Ryan Maus (Truman State University)
3) L, MAJ DEC (14-4), Kyle Williams (Unattached McKendree University)
4) W, DEC (10-9), Mark Marianovich (Lincoln College)
5) W, DEC (6-0) Ethan Owens Owens (Unattached University of Iowa)
6) W, MAJ DEC (17-3), Shay Shive (Missouri Valley College)
7) W, DEC (5-4), Guy Kirby (Illinois)

Jake Kadel (2-2, DNP)
1) L, DEC (8-6), Jake Cyr (Unattached University of Missouri)
2) W, PIN (2:50), Brent Hentz (Unattached Independent)
3) W, DEC (7-4), Carson Beebe (Unattached Lindenwood University)
4) L, DEC (10-7), Mark Marianovich (Lincoln College)

Ethan Owens (4-2, DNP)
1) W, DEC (7-2), Reece Lefever (Indiana Tech)
2) L, DEC (9-8), Shay Shive (Missouri Valley College)
3) W, DEC (9-2), Espen Conley (Unattached University of Missouri)
4) W, MAJ DEC (12-0), Oshea Smith Taylor (Rend Lake College)
5) W, DEC (8-1), Jake Cyr (Unattached University of Missouri)
6) L, DEC (6-0), Jake Ballweg (Iowa)

Dylan Carew (1-2, DNP)
1) W, DEC (2-1), Kennan Hagerty (Unattached Maryville University)
2) L, MED FFT, Kellen Bounous (Unattached University of Missouri)
3) L, MED FFT, Mark Marianovich (Lincoln College)

VERDICT: A whopping five Iowa wrestlers competed at this weight, although only two did anything of note.  One of those two was Brody Grothus, the true freshman who's been turning some heads so far this year.  He got tripped up by Jake Ballweg in the wrestle-off finals, but had an excellent outing here -- he rattled off five wins to claim the title, including three pins.  His length makes him an awkward matchup for many opponents, and he's also pretty strong and funky.  True freshman basically always redshirt under Brands, but Grothus is making an intriguing case to start this year.  His two main challengers (for now) appear to be Jake Ballweg and Dylan Carew.  Ballweg had a decent showing (5-1, 3rd place), but didn't look quite as impressive as Grothus (he had just one pin among his wins and, tellingly, the guy he lost to -- by major decision, no less -- was pinned by Grothus).  Carew, meanwhile, wrestled only one match (a narrow 2-1 win) before injury defaulting in his other two matches.  Supposedly this was the plan and they're simply easing Carew back into competition; time will tell.

157
Derek St. John (5-0, Champion at 157 lbs.)
1) W, TECH FALL (17-2), David Wilson (Unattached Lindenwood University)
2) W, MAJ DEC (11-1), Justin DeAngelis (Unattached University of Oklahoma)
3) W, MAJ DEC (21-8), Josh Cyr (Unattached University of Misouri)
4) W, DEC (8-3), Mike Kelly (Iowa)
5) W, MAJ DEC (10-1), Joey Trizzino (Unattached University of Iowa)

Joey Trizzino (4-1, 2nd place at 157 lbs.)
1) W, DEC (8-1), Grayson Smith (Indiana Tech)
2) W, PIN (1:56), Brandon Isbell (Cumberland University)
3) W, DEC (4-2), Jacob Gingerich (Illinois)
4) W, DEC (4-1), Patrick Rhoads (Unattached University of Iowa)
5) L, MAJ DEC (10-1), Derek St. John (Iowa)

Mike Kelly (5-1, 3rd place at 157 lbs.)
1) W, PIN (2:52), Ryan Packard (Missouri Valley College)
2) W, DEC (5-3), Austin Lindsay (Unattached University of Missouri)
3) W, DEC (3-1), Joseph Moorhouse (Maryville University)
4) L, DEC (8-3), Derek St. John (Iowa)
5) W, DEC (2-1), Justin DeAngelis (Unattached University of Oklahoma)
6) W, DEC (8-5), Patrick Rhoads (Unattached University of Iowa)

Patrick Rhoads (4-2, 4th place at 157 lbs.)
1) W, DEC (5-1), Almondo Conner Jr. (Unattached Maryville University)
2) W, MAJ DEC (16-5) Walker Slaughter (Unattached Lindenwood University)
3) W, DEC (14-7), Joe Ducharme (Iowa)
4) L, DEC (4-1), Joey Trizzino (Unattached University of Iowa)
5) W, DEC (14-9), Josh Cyr (Unattached University of Missouri)
6) L, DEC (8-5), Mike Kelly (Iowa)

Joe DuCharme (2-2, DNP)
1) W, MAJ DEC (12-2), Darrin Dunn (Lincoln College)
2) W, DEC (3-1), Gary Lindsay (Unattached University of Missouri)
3) L, DEC (14-7), Patrick Rhoads (Unattached University of Iowa)
4) L, DEC (11-8), Justin DeAngelis (Unattached University of Oklahoma)

VERDICT: If there was one weight that was utterly dominated by Iowa, it was this one: Iowa had all four semifinalists and claimed 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place.  St. John took home top honors and looked pretty good in doing so -- all but one of his wins (an 8-3 decision win over teammate Mike Kelly) were of the bonus point variety, including three very lopsided major decisions.  Joey Trizzino followed his brother's lead this weekend and placed 2nd, while Kelly took 3rd and true freshman Patrick Rhoads took home 4th.  Granted, as long as St. John stays at this weight they're all going to be consigned to the bench, but it's nice to see some decent-looking depth here.

165
Mike Evans (5-0, Champion at 165 lbs.)
1) W, PIN (3:50), Cody Bleaken (Cumberland University)
2) W, PIN (1:24), TJ Parker (Unattached University of Missouri)
3) W, MAJ DEC (14-2), Dimitri Willis (Unattached Maryville University)
4) W, PIN (1:25), Ty Prazma (Unattached University of Missouri)
5) W, DEC (3-0), Nick Moore (Iowa)

Nick Moore (4-1, 2nd place at 165 lbs.)
1) W, PIN (0:40), Andrew Elmore (Cumberland University)
2) W, PIN (4:13), Andy Bader (Unattached Team Bulldog)
3) W, MAJ DEC (20-7), Christian Loges (Unattached Maryville University)
4) W, DEC (8-7), Jordan Gagliano (Unattached University of Missouri)
5) L, DEC (3-0), Mike Evans (Iowa)

Walt Gillmor (1-2, DNP)
1) L, DEC (11-8), Nicolas Haferkamp (Unattached McKendree University)
2) W, DEC (7-1), Conner Lefever (Indiana Tech)
3) L, DEC (8-1), Seth Vernon (Unattached Independent)

VERDICT: It's still a two-horse race and Evans is still the favorite.  He beat Moore in the finals (again) and looked slightly better in the other matches (he had three pins and a major decision versus Moore's two pins, major decision, and regular decision).  Much like the Ramos-Clark battle at 133, this appears to be a weight where Iowa has two very capable options; it's a shame that one of them will have to sit on the bench, but that's the way it works.

174
Ethen Lofthouse (4-1, 2nd place at 174 lbs.)
1) W, DEC (10-3), Isahi Gonzola (Unattached Independent)
2) W, TECH FALL (24-9), Tyler Rice (Southern Illinois University)
3) W, PIN (3:00), Kelly Burch (Lindenwood University)
4) W, DEC (9-7), Todd Porter (Unattached University of Missouri)
5) L, DEC (3-1), Pat Wright (Unattached University of Missouri)

Kris Klapprodt (2-2, DNP)
1) W, DEC (7-2), Cody Johnston (Unattached University of Missouri)
2) L, DEC (8-3), Brett Rosedale (Maryville University)
3) W, PIN (0:53), Brett Bader (Unattached Missouri Valley College)
4) L, DEC (3-2), Nathan Downs (Hannibal-LaGrange University)

Josh Haug (0-2, DNP)
1) L, MAJ DEC (12-0), Todd Porter (Unattached University of Missouri)
2) L, MAJ DEC (12-2), Nathan Downs (Hannibal-LaGrange University)

VERDICT: This weight was perhaps the lone disappointment of the tournament, as Ethen Lofthouse took home 2nd place, losing in the finals to Pat Wright, a backup on the Missouri squad.  That's, um, not really good.  Granted, it doesn't mean anything now -- it's much better to have slip-ups like this now than in March, after all -- but it's also a sign that Ethen might need to sharpen his game in a hurry.  He also struggled with another Mizzou wrestler (a 9-7 win in the semis) and had just two bonus point wins here.  There's no real competition for Ethen at this weight with Evans dropping to 165 (Klapprodt had a so-so 2-2 showing here and is clearly redshirting this season), so the onus is on him to get things sorted out.

184
Jeremy Fahler (3-1, 2nd place at 184 lbs.)
1) W, MAJ DEC (13-3), Michael Johnson (Lincoln College)
2) W, MAJ DEC (14-4), Joshua Boots (Rend Lake College)
3) W, DEC (6-3), Tanner Martin (Indiana Tech)
4) L, DEC (6-3), Clarence Neely (Unattached University of Missouri)

VERDICT: Grant Gambrall sat out this event while he continues to work his way back from a concussion and Vinnie Wagner sat out after suffering a knee injury at wrestle-offs, which left Jeremy Fahler to man the spot for Iowa here.  And he did alright: after a bye in the first round, he grabbed a pair of major decision wins and made his way to the finals, where he lost a decision to Clarence Neely.  It wasn't exactly a head-turning performance, but it wasn't a disappointing one, either.  Given the brutal depth at this weight (nationally and in the Big Ten), we really need to hope that Gambrall can make it back to the mat soon.

197
Tomas Lira (6-1, 3rd place at 197 lbs.)
1) L, DEC (7-6), Matt Dwyer (Lincoln College)
2) W, TECH FALL (22-7), R Cooney
3) W, PIN (1:29), Helmut Rentschler (Truman State University)
4) W, PIN (1:17), Jared Korte (McKendree University)
5) W, PIN (1:03), Justin Heberlie (Unattached University of Missouri)
6) W, PIN (3:23), Matthew Baker (Maryville University(
7) W, MAJ DEC (11-2), Ryan Robinson (Unattached University of Missouri)

VERDICT: An odd tournament for Lira.  He lost a tight decision in R1, and then steamrolled the competition in the consolation bracket to grab 3rd place.  Seriously, he strung together six wins after that early loss and all of them were of the bonus point variety (four pins, one tech fall, and one major decision).  Aggressive wrestling like that is very nice to see.  I'm still not sure what to expect from Lira this year, but he's clearly going to give max effort, which is great to see.

HWT
Bobby Telford (5-0, 1st place at HWT)
1) W, PIN (1:55), Jake Hare (Hannibal-LaGrange University)
2) W, PIN (4:39), Nicholas Taul (Missouri Valley College)
3) W, PIN (2:01), Gabi Musallam (Unattached Missouri Valley College)
4) W, DEC (5-1), Ike Okenwa (Unattached Independent)
5) W, DEC 1(1-0), Blake Rasing (Iowa)

Blake Rasing (4-1, 2nd place at HWT)
1) W, PIN (0:35), Tyler Cook (Hannibal-LaGrange University)
2) W, PIN (1:09), Joel Geders (Truman State University)
3) W, DEC (5-0), Daniel Mueller (Missouri Valley College)
4) W, DEC (2-1), Carl Lawrence (Missouri Valley College)
5) L, DEC (1-0), Bobby Telford (Iowa)

Thomas Flood (2-2, DNP)
1) L, MAJ DEC (16-5), Jorcell Davis (Unattached Iowa Central)
2) W, DEC (2-1), Marshon Eddings (Unattached Maryville University)
3) W, PIN (7:00), Reece Simmons (Missouri Valley College)
4) L, DEC (2-1), Zach Weber (McKendree University)

VERDICT: Another Iowa vs. Iowa final, another Rasing vs. Telford match, and another Telford win.  Once again, there were no takedowns between them (Telford won 1-0 on an escape) and once again Telford looked slightly better against other competition (he had three pins and a decision to Rasing's two pins and two decisions).  This still looks like Telford's spot to lose.

Next up: The Iowa City Duals and the opportunity to see Iowa put a whupping on Baker College, Cornell College, and Iowa Central Community College.  They start at 3pm CT on Friday, so if you're in Iowa City you can hop on over to CHA after the Iowa-Nebraska game wraps up.  There's no point doing any sort of extensive preview for these meets because we know what the outcome is going to be: lopsided massacres. 

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