As we mope around for the next couple of months, twiddling our fingers, biding our time waiting for the start of the season, there just isn’t much going on until we get closer to wrestle-offs and weights are announced. For the most part, we can start to paint a Bob Ross-like picture of what our starting lineup will look like and it’s beautiful. But with so many big question marks surrounding teams like Penn St., Rutgers, and Okie St. it’s hard to determine our expectations at specific weights. There are some real hammers in those lineups that can and will shake up the wrestling landscape.
Let me riddle you a tale: If Nick Suriano from Rutgers and junior world champion Dayton Fix from Okie St. both go 133, Spencer Lee has very little resistance at 125. There’s not really anyone left that can keep a match with Lee to a decision. If this happens, he’ll be the front runner for the Hodge Trophy. But if both those guys drop/ stay down, which I don’t think they will, we’ll be looking at a serious log jam and a scrap come March. Obviously, if both these goons go up then Austin DeSanto will have to deal with them.
Likewise, if we shift our attention up the charts to 197 we should have Jacob Warner sliding in. A few weeks ago most experts were considering him a title contender, especially after his showing this spring/ summer on the junior freestyle circuit where he literally obliterated the field. Sadly, Bo Nickal from PSU is being a turd and jumping up from 184 to 197 (thank you for the correction, kavija66). He instantly becomes the outright favorite and this drastically dampens our hopes of a potential NCAA champion this season in Warner. Warner has the talent and the pedigree to get it done, but Nickal is Nickal and we know what to expect from him. On the flipside of that coin though, jumping up a weight class is difficult and there is no guarantee of success. So let’s hope Nickal falls apart and struggles with the increased weight and strength from every single opponent he encounters.
Rumor has it our own Michael Kemerer is climbing two weight classes as well. Per the updated Hawkeye roster they still have him listed at 157, but he isn’t expected to stay. The hubbub emerging from Iowa City is he’ll make the climb to 174. I suppose similar questions can be said for Kemerer as they are Nickal, but that’s not fair because we actually like KemDawg. So, we’re not going to ask those questions just yet.
Let’s shift gears to the Hawkeye Wrestling Club because they deserve all the praise we can throw their way. If you recall Mark Perry sent five members to the Ziolkowski Memorial Tournament in Warsaw, Poland and they did what no other club team did. The men’s freestyle went 3 for 3 in the medal round. Every. Single. One. Of them brought home some beautifully colored hardware to show off in Iowa City.
Cory Clark and Brandon Sorensen both brought home a bronze, while Sammy “The Mullet” Brooks reached the finals, but fell short 2-2 on criteria, and received the silver. The highest honor by any American freestyle wrestler at the tournament. All 3 of our former Hawkeyes looked good, especially Brooks. He was always the “Go Big or Go Home” type in college and for the most part that hasn’t changed, but he is wrestling smarter, which is good. He looks bigger, quicker, and technically more sound than in years past. To honor Brooks and his silver medal I would like for us all to relive the greatest interview in sports history. You’re welcome.
On the women’s side Forrest Molinari was her normal dominate self and also came back with a bronze. Unfortunately, Alli Ragan lost a high scoring match in the opening round and was eliminated, but we look for her to rebound and kick ass next month in Budapest at the World Championships.
The HWC is quickly proving they are here to stay as they boast one the largest, most competitive, rosters in the country. And let’s not forget that Jacob Warner (92kg) is representing the USA in the Junior World Championships this weekend. The tournament kicked off Monday, but Warner has yet to receive his draw. He begins his world domination tour this Saturday at 3:30am GT. So keep your eyes and ears open for good news to start coming in soon after. If Warner can medal he’ll be our 1st HWC member to do so since Thomas Gilman bronzed in 2014.
You can watch it all live at Trackwrestling ($)
Once again, the Hawkeyes will have an open practice at Carver this Saturday at 10am God’s Time. If any of you local residents or folks traveling in for the Wisconsin Beat Down in football want to get amped up before the tailgating I strongly encourage you to head on over and watch. This is also acting as a recruiting visit for some big guns we’re targeting for 2019/2020. Here’s a list of the attendees and thank you to Todd Conner and The Hawkeye Report for dropping the names before anyone else.
Class of 2019- National Letter of Intent signing day is Nov. 14
Abe Assad- He committed to Iowa on August 7 and is a huge pickup for us. He bronzed in the Cadet World Championships and is currently #1 at 184lbs in Flowrestling prospect rankings.
Zach Glazier- Flo checks him in at #8 at 184lbs in the prospect rankings and is a senior at Albert Lea, MN. Glazier gave a verbal to the good guys back on June 17. He’s looking to claim his 2nd state title this year.
Brevin Balmeceda- He is also the current #1 at 157 and #12 overall in the Flo prospect rankings, but is uncommitted. He had Ohio St, Oklahoma St, Virginia Tech, and NC State on his list. Though allegedly Flo just announced it's now down to us and NC State. He was supposed to visit there last week, but the hurricane made that an impossibility. If this rings true, Iowa is now in the driver's seat. Balmeceda is from the same high school, South Dade in FL, as current Hawkeye, Pat Lugo. Here's to hoping Lugo can be a swing vote. Let’s lock this kid up now so he’s not tempted to go elsewhere. Get. It. Done.
Julien Broderson- He’s an Iowa native from Davenport. He’s a two-time state champ, looking for his 3rd this year at 182lbs. He’s a Junior Iowa Freestyle and Greco champ and received All-American Greco honors at Fargo this year.
Cobe Siebrect- Cobe is another Iowa native hailing from Lisbon, IA. He’s a two-time state runner up and bulked up considerably in size from 106 to 126lbs. He’s 5’10” and has a lot of room to grow, so predicting a weight for him is a bit shaky.
Class of 2020
Cullan Schriever- He’s arguably the top wrestler in the state of Iowa and is currently #3 at 106lbs nationally per Intermate Wrestling. He won a cadet national title in 2016 and followed it up with a junior national title at Fargo this summer. He’s going to get an insane amount of attention of the next year, so we need to make a lasting impression on this kid. He could be Spencer Lee’s replacement 3 years from now.
Colby Schriever- Colby is a state qualifier and placed 7th last year at 126lbs. He also has two Junior Iowa Freestyle and Greco titles, which he won this summer. I’m jumping the gun, because that’s what I do, but I want to remind everyone about another set of twins we had cough, cough, Tom and Terry, cough cough.
Jesse Ybarra- Ybarra hails from Tucson, AZ. Flo has him #8 at 120lbs. He’s a two-time state champ and then made news when he won a Cadet National Title this summer at Fargo.
These eight guys could be the future faces of Hawkeye Wrestling. Let’s show them a good time Saturday and if they attend the football game, may the Saturday night lights under Kinnick cast it’s magic spell. Lock em’ up now!!!