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  #11  
Old 11-02-2019
ChiefIllini1 ChiefIllini1 is offline
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Some additional observations:

This is a tough tournament! You will wrestle multiple hammers in every weight class. 165 - 184 are all much tougher brackets than I expected.

Pio at 133! He is still gonna be tall for the weight.

As big as Duncan looked for team pictures, I half expected him to be at 149 this year. He's wrestling 141 here.

Could not find Mike Carr on a bracket, and Joey Guns got the two seed but had to MFF out after two wins. I don't like that!

Wrobo-cop had a couple of good matches.

Trying to work through Trackwrestling brackets on a 2009 flip phone that is no longer a flip phone because a dog chewed off the top part is now Hell. This is where bad people will go when they die.

Looks like the ILLINI came to wrestle!

GO ILLINI!!!
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  #12  
Old 11-03-2019
ChiefIllini1 ChiefIllini1 is offline
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TRAVIS PIOTROWSKI: Wrestled unattached at 133. Pretty cool singlet. The guys doing the trackcast sounded like "The ZOO FM Morning Show on WIZZ 95.3 FM." Pio looks like he belongs at this weight. He looked really slender last year at 125. Now, he can eat another sprout per meal, and he can add 8 pounds of muscle.

THIRD PLACE MATCH: 4-1 over Quinn Kinner of Ohio State. Pio was in on a leg almost at will. He shoots to the outside, and his long reach ends up with a single. He had Kinner in a cradle for about two minutes. Kinner rode Pio the entire third period, but so what? The unattached ILLINI had almost two minutes of riding time and was winning by a count of 4-1. Pio did exactly what I would've done. Kinner was a Flowrestling top twenty recruit and was 16-2 during his redshirt year. Piotrowski used his brain to win this match.

VERSUS MICKEY PHILLIPPI: This was in the semi-finals. The Pitt wrestler is ranked #7 by Flo, and he had a very good season last year. Pio struck first with great hand-figthing leading to a kind of knee tap takedown. The ILLINI is taller than all these 133 pounders! After an escape from Phillippi, Pio is again in on a good shot, but ends up in a whizzer stalemate. First period ends, 2-1 ILLINI. The Pitt wrestler escapes in the second. Phillippi tries a shot, and Pio came within an erg of cow-catching him to his back. (That close!). The second period ends 2-2.

Regulation ended still at 2-2. Pio had probably the best cheering section during the whole tournament. SV ends at 2-2. Pio is within 4 seconds of keeping Phillippi down, but he escapes. Pio escapes with :02 left in OT3. In SV2, Pio went with the double overhooks and the inside trip, but it didn't work. Nice idea, needed better leverage.


PIO EVALUATION: He is the great Indestructible Piotrowski! What's not to love? He has excellent leg attacks, is a good hand-fighter, and he has awesome leverage and wing span. Pio was in shape for this tournament. Will he end up taking a redshirt or wrestling at 125 or 133? I don't know. Maybe he wants another year to hang out with his brother? He's earned it. He pretty obviously belongs now at 133, and he would be a definite threat to AA.

The coaching staff also must consider that next year, with the additions of Lucas Byrd at 125, Luffman at 285, and D.J. Shannon at 174, as well as senior years for Carr and Duncan and a year of seasoning and experience for the Braunagel monsters and Wrobo-cop, having Pio at 133 scoring major points at the Big Show could be the difference between top ten and a team podium spot.

ILLINI WRESTLING SEASON IS HERE!
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  #13  
Old 11-04-2019
ChiefIllini1 ChiefIllini1 is offline
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LUKE LUFFMAN: Big Luke Luffman wrestled in the Freshman/Sophomore division. He's a three-time state champion from ILLINOIS, a Fargo killer, and he has a wrestling mat in his basement.

CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: His opponent was Jordan Earnest from Ohio University, a young John Lockhart look-alike in face and physique. Earnest finished with a 19-14 record last year during his redshirt season. His claim to fame was giving up only a major decision to PSU's Anthony Cassar at the Southern Scuffle. The Bobcat won a state championship in Ohio in high school and wrestled for years on Ohio age-level freestyle squads.

Earnest gets a typical heavyweight knee pick push down for two. Luffman escapes quickly. The Ohio wrestler shoots another shot, and Luffman matrixed out of it. That is some 285-pound ballet there, my friends! Not only does he successfully spin away from Earnest's shot, he also spins behind him for the two. Luffman rides him out the rest of the 1st period. 3-2, ILLINI. The ILLINI escapes in 8 seconds to start the second stanza. During short time, Luffman shoots a very quick head-outside single and puts Earnest on his back. For some reason, back points weren't awarded, apparently because back points are not polite? There's no scoring in the third, so Luke wins a 6-4 championship (really 8-4).

SEMI-FINAL MATCH: I don't know what to say about this Mitchell Bischoff from Akron. It's like Luke was told to go to a circus in Romania, and wrestle the biggest, most unconventional guy under the Big Top. The first period ends 0-0, but Luffman did attempt a foot sweep. LOVE THE SWEEP! Luffman with the escape in the second and another foot sweep! (Why don't people do more of those?) Luffman adds a point when Bischoff flees the mat. Luffman rides him out in the third period and gets a stalling point on the Zip. I can't find anything about Bischoff on the internet, so I'm going with the He's-a-Circus-Performer-from-Romania theory.


LUKE LUFFMAN EVALUATION: This young man is as wide as an Amish barn and just as well-built. He has very surprising quickness, agility and flexibility, as well as a wrestling mat in his basement. While you are eating Doritos and playing Call of Duty in yours, he is working on some alien wrestling-fu in his. You want him in your program for five years, and this would be the year to take the shirt. A fifth-year senior Luffman will be a title contender. Moreover, he can take the year to add some man-muscle and work on technique with some incredible coaches.

Brian Burns did not make the trip to East Lansing. He's the guy that most penciled in as the starter. Ramin Abraham, a true freshman, also did not make the trip. What's going on with those fellows? I don't know. I still expect Burns to be the starter come Big Ten season.

GO ILLINI!!!
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  #14  
Old 11-04-2019
ChiefIllini1 ChiefIllini1 is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,592
D.J. "THE FUTURE" SHANNON: Although a freshman, Shannon wrestled unattached in the Open Division. He spent last year wearing a gray shirt for USA Wrestling’s Elite Accelerator Program (EAP).

CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: His opponent in the finals was Kaleb Romero of Ohio State. Romero benefited from a medical forfeit from the ILLINI's #2 seed Joey Gunther to get to the finals. But he did beat the #3 seed from Indiana, Jacob Covaciu. Similarly, Shannon benefited from a medical forfeit from Purdue's #1 seed Dylan Lydy, but he did beat the #4 seed from Oklahoma. Romero has a career 28-7 record starting his third year for the Buckeyes. He doesn't have a bad loss. He wrestled Gunther in the dual last year and lost 3-1. Romero was a four-time Ohio state champ in high school, going 104-0 his last two years.

In the first period, Romero pulled off the old veteran move: Eye poke to a double leg. Although explosive from the bottom, it took Shannon 1:08 to finally gramby out of there. With an escape in the second, the ILLINI tied the match at 2-2. Romero escaped in the third and added a riding point for a 4-2 win. DJ will want to watch out for those face swipes in the future.

SEMI-FINAL MATCH. DJ Shannon faced Anthony Mantanona of Oklahoma in the semis. The Sooner is in his third year in college, his second season as a starter. Shannon beat Mantanona worse than the Sooner got beat by Taylor Lujan and Jordan Kutler (2x). After a scoreless first period, the Sooner shot in and--bang--DJ locked up the cradle for two and three back points. Add a couple escapes for each wrestler, and you get the final 7-2. Mantanona would go on to pin Jacob Covaciu of Indiana in the third-place match.


DJ "THE FUTURE" SHANNON EVALUATION: What a bright future this man has! He is explosive but can also wrestle strategically. Shannon likes to wrestle off his knees, and he has a little "Ali Shuffle" that I think all the ILLINOIS kids are going to start emulating. The ILLINI gave up his legs too much to Romero, but he has really good defense and solid hips. He can also sweetly gramby out of some takedown attempts. Of the two matches I watched, DJ seemed to be a lot smaller than Romero and Mantanona.

He's been working on straight freestyle for a year--even won an International Junior Freestyle tournament and earned a bronze in another--so he'll need to regain his riding and escaping abilities. He's got the talent, quickness, smarts and athleticism to do just that. Moreover, I bet that he will provide a lot of great simulations for IMAR as he preps for the Olympics. I think Shannon redshirts this year and then gets multiple AAs and possibly a title shot or two. The question that we have is why did Joey "Guns" Gunther MFF out of the MSU Open after two wins. Is he okay?
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  #15  
Old 11-04-2019
ChiefIllini1 ChiefIllini1 is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,592
LUCAS BYRD: One of the future building blocks of the ILLINI team comes from Ohio. He's somebody who has seen a lot of success in his wrestling career and will look to build on that here. He is no stranger to winning state titles, but he ended up facing wrestlers who had won at least six state titles in the Freshman/Sophmore division at 133.

CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: Four of those state championships were won by Jordan Hamdan in Michigan. Can't report too much about the match other than it was a 7-5 win for the Spartan. The video stops at 3:22, and so we don't get to see Byrd's furious comeback. We don't even get to see Hamdan's first takedown and back points, as they occurred off camera. Hamdan got 2 more near fall, and then Byrd gramby-ed the crap out of him (the crowd went "oooh") and almost had the pin. That's about when the video stopped.

SEMI-FINAL MATCH: Lucas Byrd faced Cayden Rooks in the semis. Rooks is a freshman at Indiana with one of the other state titles. The ILLINI got the score in the first period with a shrug by. He rode out the Hoosier for the last 14 seconds of the first period. Rooks got an escape in the second period, but his freedom was short-lived. Byrd hit him with a sweet ankle pick. When was the last time you saw a little fella hit an ankle pick! Love it!

They go neutral in the third, and by gum, Byrd hits another ankle pick. The ILLINI gifts the Hoosier an escape to go for the major. He falls a little short, as the final is 7-2 with 2 1/2 minutes of riding time. In the waning seconds in neutral, Byrd put on a show that had me laughing out loud. Rooks shoots a single, and Byrd cartwheels away! Rooks was thinking he'd get a takedown, and instead, he got Gymkata-ed!


EVALUATION OF LUCAS BYRD: This young man is an aggressive dynamo, a little powerpack of energy with a strong will and great athleticism. If he goes the redshirt route and builds up even more muscle, he will be vying for AA awards right off the bat. But with Pio wrestling unattached at 133, and with Byrd wrestling unattached at 133, who will fill the slot? Duncan is up to 141 now, and it looks like 133 is in his rearview mirror. This is another one of those guys who could do really, really big things as a fifth-year senior.

Byrd will wrestle on his knees, likes to move his feet (better for angles!), and he's already a good hand fighter and rider. He has some innovative Gymkata moves and a real nice ankle pick. He can gramby with the best of them. He can also follow the other guy's gramby. Lucas Byrd will be a very exciting wrestler for the ILLINI!
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  #16  
Old 11-04-2019
dadudaman4 dadudaman4 is offline
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Thanks for the info, Chief, for those of us who couldn't see the matches.
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  #17  
Old 11-05-2019
ChiefIllini1 ChiefIllini1 is offline
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TREY SIZEMORE: Folks, we have some absolute beasts who will be fighting for starting slots in the future. Sizemore is one of them. He wrestled in the Freshmen/Sophmore division of the MSU Open at 174 pounds, and he put on a show.

QUARTERFINAL MATCH: I clicked on this match by accident, but found a very interesting story. Sizemore won state in Ohio last year at 182. His opponent in this match, Brad Mendoza from Ohio University, was the #1 ranked 170 pounder in Ohio Division III for most of the season.

The Bobcat actually got the first takedown, but Sizemore escaped pretty quickly. Mendoza shot in for another takedown, but Trey gramby-ed out, and then almost immediately hit a trapped arm firemans on the mat for a beautiful takedown. Then, he worked a power half with a leg trapped for back points.

In the second period, the ILLINI added an escape, a takedown and 2 more back points with the trapped-leg power-half. In the third, Sizemore added additional near fall points twice, with the final 3 points coming on a cheap tilt that ended with the tech fall. I highlight this match because that was a tech with over 2 minutes of riding time against a very good wrestler.

SEMIFINAL MATCH: His opponent was Bryson Alsteen from Buffalo. Alsteen was a three-time state placer in Wisconsin where he also wrestled in the Cheesehead and on many of that state's age-level teams in freestyle. The first attack is an ankle dive by Sizemore. Again, he does not have a problem getting flat on the mat. This ended in a "Delgado knot," with no points, but Trey showed the awareness of how to work through that kind of puzzle.

Trey got the quick escape in the second and eventually scored a takedown on another ankle dive. After Alsteen gets an escape to start the third, Sizemore continues to shoot and control the mat. He fights off the one legitimate attack at the end from the Buffalo wrestler and comes away with the 3-2 win.


TREY SIZEMORE EVALUATION: This young ILLINI loves the shrug-by, and he will do some vicious snaps. He is a mini-Hulk, with a very solid frame and a lot of muscle. Trey likes to ride trapping his opponent's right leg, and from there he can work the wrists and that power half. He is not afraid to shoot and get flat on his stomach. The ILLINI has excellent defensive skilz. He can be a dominant rider and score a lot of back points for the home team.

There is some concern for Sizemore's status because in the championship finals, he was dumped on his head by Donnell Washington of Indiana. Trey was down on the mat for some time; the ref called it flagrant and disqualified the Hoosier, a kid who has replaced Jason Nolf as my least favorite wrestler in college. Hope Trey is all right!
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  #18  
Old 11-05-2019
ChiefIllini1 ChiefIllini1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dadudaman4 View Post
Thanks for the info, Chief, for those of us who couldn't see the matches.
Thanks, dadudaman4!
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  #19  
Old 11-05-2019
ChiefIllini1 ChiefIllini1 is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,592
ZAC BRAUNAGEL: You've waited a year for this, and now it is finally happening. Lock your doors, close the shades, and hurry everybody into the panic room because the Braunagel monsters are loose! The twins had an excellent off season in freestyle and greco. Now, they turn their attention to folkstyle.

CONSOLATION SEMIFINALS: This was against Cameron Caffey because of course I was gonna start with that match. Zac gets on the board early with a knee grab from a front headlock that almost ends up with a locked near-side cradle. Caffey wisely gives up the takedown. Caffey escapes, but Braunagel uses a re-shot off an MSU attack to slide by for two more. Caffey escapes and the period ends.

In the second period, Caffey escapes, so it is 4-3 when the ILLINI hits a front headlock cow-catcher that puts the Spartan on his back. Caffey wiggles free eventually, but not before the score becomes 10-3, ILLINI. Caffey gets a point for "unecessary roughness" from Zac, and an escape to make it 10-5. At that point, Cameron comes alive, but that still doesn't stop a Braunagel go-behind to make it 12-7. The ILLINI hit a shrug to grab a single leg, held it up in the air, and when Caffey tried to roll out of it, got the takedown. With the riding point (1:47), the score is 15-7.

I can't pretend to dislike Caffey. He's from ILLINOIS and seems like a very cool cat! But relentlessness won this match.

CONSOLATIONS-5TH ROUND: I wanted to see the match that Zac lost on the Championship side of the bracket, but there is no video. I also had to choose for this next summary between two opponents who were state champs in high school, starters on their team last year, and were beginning their third years with their schools. I went with Jared Florell of Purdue.

With a minute to go in the first, Zac converts a sweet duck into a single for the takedown. Even the Purdue wrestler had to think that that was pretty. They trade escapes so that in the third period, with the ILLINI ahead 3-2, and just as Braunagel secures this absolutely gorgeous duckunder takedown ...

Quote:
RANT
... the ref has to stop the match because the Trackcast idiots were talking about getting food and didn't award an earlier escape. These bozos spend half their time talking about getting food, what kind of food to get, what kind of food they got, what kind of food they'll get next and the other half of the time having to stop a match and say "my bad" because they didn't see who scored the point because their face was full of pizza. In this case, a sharp-eyed ref stopped the match because the scoreboard was wrong. RANT TERMINATION IN 3 ... 2 ... 1.
Brawny 1 ended up winning 3-2, but it was tight as the Boilermaker did get a single and lifted his leg up in the air. Zac kept his composure and broke the hold.


ZAC BRAUNAGEL EVALUATION: The wait is over! The monsters are free, and they are hungry! Zac was dwarfed in size by Cameron Caffey. Some of that had to do with his Questlove hair stylings, but, no, most of it had to do with Caffey being bigger. Purdue's Florell was much bigger as well. Zac is a tough guy and aggressive, but he is also cool under pressure.

He keeps up the pressure and has some very nice ducks and knee grabs. Even though he's shorter than his opponents, he keeps weight on their heads. I especially liked his calmness when another wrestler seemed to have an advantage with a hold. We get four years of them, boys!
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  #20  
Old 11-05-2019
ChiefIllini1 ChiefIllini1 is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,592
DANNY BRAUNAGEL: The other half of the monster twins, he's the one at 165. As a redshirt freshman, he wrestled in the open and only had one loss to Pitt's Jake Wentzel. Wentzel was a starter two years ago for Pitt. He also started last year but his season was cut short by injury. He had a 3-2 loss to Joey Gunther and his last match was a 6-3 loss to Mekhi Lewis of Virginia Tech.

QUARTERFINAL MATCH: Danny spent the first minute of the match with Pitt's Wentzel leaning on his head with an underhook. The next minute was spent with both wrestlers in a "Delgado Knot." Eventually, Wentzel came out on top for two. That takedown happened near the end of the first, leaving Braunagel no time to get his escape point.

Wentzel rode hard with legs in during the second period. Braunagel attempted to stand three times and fall back gently to shake loose. He'll want to practice some counter techniques for the future. After about 1:58 of riding time for Pitt, the ILLINI leaned back into him and untangled the legs and got the reversal. It was 2-2 on the scoreboard, but Wentzel had riding time. Braunagel was riding him real tough, and had eliminated riding time and then let the Pitt wrestler up.

And with :45 seconds left in a 3-2 match and Braunagel attacking relentlessly, the video ends. Is Trackwrestling setting their TiVo wrong?

CONSOLATION SEMIFINALS: The opponent for this match was Michigan's highly touted Cameron Amine. In the feud between the Braunagels and the Amines, it would be Danny who drew the first blood. Amine was a four-time state finalist and three-time champ in Michigan.

The first attack goes to Amine with a single. He held it up, and Braunagel hand fought him for about 40 seconds, but finally gave up the takedown. The ILLINI was up and out within seconds, but Amine then hit him with a double leg. The good guy escaped before the period ended. Going into the second, it was 4-2 Michigan with :52 of riding time.

Amine escapes immediately (5-2), Braunagel escapes in the third (5-3), but now Amine has 1:13 of riding time. With :19 seconds left in regulation, Danny scores a takedown with a beautiful re-shot double. His first shot missed wildly, but he's relentless! The ILLINI holds him down for the last :19 seconds, and we get overtime. Amine tries a fireman's in SV but gets stuck. Danny almost locks up the near-side cradle, but instead the Wolverine gives up the takedown!



DANNY BRAUNAGEL EVALUATION: Likes to run the underhook series. My bet is that he'll find some good coaching on it in the ILLINI room. He has beautiful technique and most of it is smooth like muscle memory. He's a relentless attacker, and he'll load the weight on your head. He is already a very good rider, but he'll need to work on getting out when legs are put in.

We could see Cameron Amine versus Danny Braunagel for four years! Next year, I hope to see a duel between both Brawnys and both Amines. These men are going to be four-year warriors for the ILLINI!
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