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Terps midlands

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Terps midlands

Postby fitzi22 » Thu Dec 31, 2015 12:50 am

I was really looking forward to midlands this year. A really young team (mixed with vetetans begging for solid W's) needing some confidence building wins after 18 straight days of nothing but practice, what better than the midlands tournament right? I was hoping for Midlands to be a turning point for the season and a way to answer and put to rest many of this teams questions, unfortunately this tournament didn't do any of that and in fact created even more questions.
125- no entries at all. Are there injuries here or did we figure no one on the roster could compete here so we would rather save the money on entering/traveling a wrestler. Both are good possibilities.
133- Alexander had a great seed and seemed to be healthy and have some momentum coming in. After his tough loss in the championship bracket (one he definitely should have won) he forfeited in the consis. Is he hurt or is this another case of the always frustrating MFF to save yourself?
141- Baby J no show. Injury? Hopefully it's not something big. I think he had the most to gain from this tourney and I was really disappointed when he didn't show. Rappo looked ok not great or even good.
149- so I guess shy is back? Maybe, maybe not I have no idea what the deal is. He looked very unimpressive and honestly I would have rather seen Hodges here.
157- Lou had a great tourney here last year making a great run in the consis showing his exciting wideopen style. He did not show that this year. He seemed very conservative (a trait that has plagued our wrestlers in general the last few years) and walks away without placing or getting any remarkable wins.
165- I was excited to see what Burnham could do especially after his impressive wrestling thus far but both he and Evanovich wilted away unimpressivly and 165 remains a weak coin flip
174- no entries. ??? Injuries? I don't get it
184- Jaron was clearly overmatched. It's too bad collabucci got injured, Smith really could have used the redshirt, but at least we entered a guy at the weight right? Snook looked poor again and showed how uncanny his performance was here last year.
197- once again Wesneski was overmatched and this level of wrestling is out of his class but once again at least we entered someone.
285- so Peck is here, peck is gone and he is so out of favor with the coaches that they pull hemidas redshirt, then here we have Peck again.... I am so confused. Peck end up being our only placer(6th) and provided more than half of the teams points (18 of 33). So is Peck here to stay or is this a tease?

As a team we finished 21st behind North Dakota state, South Dakota state, American, Arizona states freshman class, northern Illinois and an NAIA school. Had Peck not wrestled (and he is obviously a question mark down the road) we would have by far had the lowest score of any team entering at least 10 wrestlers and behind George mason, eastern Michigan, wisconsins 5 wrestlers, Columbia, buffalo, and David Taylor. Is this a freaking joke??? What the hell is going on?? If we enter a team that looks anything like this at Big Tens there won't be any NCAA's. I had hope this team would be better than last years( it's hard to be worse) but I seriously don't think we are any better. We had several placers last year and still had the hope of Myers coming in after the break. We had 1 placer this year and exactly 0 signature wins this year. Come on even Polacek got a good win here last year. This tourney was a total waste of our time and this is a poor team that didn't have a single wrestler rise to the occasion. Is there an end to this futility?
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Re: Terps midlands

Postby terpfanatic » Thu Dec 31, 2015 8:18 am

Fitz, I agree with most of your assessment, however must disagree with Mascola's. I think he definitely opened up his game in the quarters vs Walsh. Was up like 16-2 with riding, when he was caught with some sort of a reach back lat throw with like 30 seconds left. Definitely the best match he's wrestled all year. Should have faced NC State in semis.
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Re: Terps midlands

Postby fitzi22 » Thu Dec 31, 2015 8:59 am

Yes I stand corrected, Lou did open up and look aggressive in one of his 4 matches. His performance was probably second best on the team only behind the enigma Peck. Please we are talking about semantics here. After 18 days of no competition, preparation, and rest... This is the team we get. 2 no show weights, a 6th place finish by a guy who by all accounts was written off by the staff, and exactly 0 signature wins. I was hoping to see a jump in focus and performance after 3 straight weeks in the room, this looked like the opportunity this team needed to have some breakthroughs. Instead we got just the opposite. They look to have regressed over this period of time and were clearly one of the worst teams on the mat. So what does that tell you?
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Re: Terps midlands

Postby EngineerLehigh » Thu Dec 31, 2015 11:38 am

Had chance to see UMD at Grapple in Garden live and thought they improved "a lot" over last year. The roster is big so I too do not understand the personnel selection for who were taken to Midlands. There is most definitely talented wrestlers on the team, except they are all in the 141/149 range, somebody is going to have to grow into a higher weightclass next year. The nature of the doghouse is that eventually you get unleashed and out. Seems Dawson wrestled at an inspired level. I too was impressed with Mascola who was an offensive non-stop against Walsh, but with all the Walsh's you have to watch out because they will go for the pin when down from ANYWHERE!

I was disappointed in not seeing faces you would expect to do fairly well there or at least make it look interesting. 133 was a weak weightclass so Alexander not placing there is a head scratcher.

I do not think UMD is bad as last year, nor do I think they can place in Top 10 at Big 10, but they are improved and have some depth and new faces coming in next year. There are good coaches and the work in progress continues. I do think it is critical for the program that at least 3 wrestlers qualify for Nationals this year, else it makes recruiting harder with how Old Dominion, American are doing in that DC/MD/VA region.
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Re: Terps midlands

Postby turtlehead » Thu Dec 31, 2015 1:25 pm

fitzi is fired up and I cant blame him. A couple things that I have heard. The flight was delayed and they arrived late. Bannister and Hodges made the trip but failed to weigh in, presumably because they couldnt get to weight. Perhaps the same reason Snook went 84. I think Mascola had a very good tourney. He is wrestling better than ever before and we can't get hung up on him getting caught in a match he was dominating. My question there is why wasn't he told to cut Walsh and hand fight the rest of the way. In his wrestleback there was a very questionable call for the OT takedown, but in fairness so was Lou's pin over Berger. Alexander frustrates me but he has tons of talent. To me Shy has gone backwards in development which unfortunately seems to be a pattern. I am not a Peck fan but credit him for placing. The rest was downright ugly. My hope is that Mascola rebounds because as i see it he is the only legit AA shot we have.
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Re: Terps midlands

Postby meats » Thu Dec 31, 2015 5:30 pm

I agree with Fitzi, the team performance at Midlands was most disheartening. I love this sport and really got back into Terps wrestling when Santoro arrived and the excitement level increased. I expected big things when Kerry came aboard. However, I am going to refrain from expressing my current feelings about the state of the program and its leadership until the end of this season. Kerry has been at the helm now for almost a decade. Time is flying by folks.
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Re: Terps midlands

Postby MadHatter » Fri Jan 01, 2016 2:38 am

To me, the most upsetting thing isn't necessarily the poor performances. As a sports fan, sometimes you have to accept the fact that your team is simply not as good as some others. Through 30 years of watching NFL, MLB, NHL, and high school and college sports, I have witnessed many, may poor performances and poor seasons. Such is life.

But what really irks me about this MD program the last few years is what appears to be, at least from a total outsider's perspective, total chaos in the lineup and outside the room. From week to week, we fans have zero idea who is and who is not in the lineup, and who is starting. This past weekend is a great example, as Fitzi pointed out. Where were our 125ers? Tough tournament of not, we have a starter at this weight. Why wasn't he there? Where were Baby J and Hodges? What the heck is going on with Shy? Is he or is he not in the lineup? How about heavy? Peck seems to be wrestling well, but we pulled Hemida's redshirt. Who is the starter here? It looks like Alexander is back, but what about Ty Goodwin? I'm pretty sure you can have multiple school entries in the same weight; why not give him a shot? Did he fall off the earth when Alexander finally made it back?

Of course, this weekend is just the tip of the iceberg. I first started to scratch my head 3 years ago when Shane Gentry just disappeared from the roster, more or less in a puff of smoke. Then there were the issues with Diehl- one of the hottest recruits in the country, and for still unexplained reasons it took him 2 years to make it onto campus. Of course, Josh Lopez is a similar story, and God knows if/when he will make it. The random medical forfeits, the entire team forfeiting out of a tournament in November, Shy's grades/ineligibility, Peck's behavior, Myers playing football, the utter inability to sign a 197 (when we used Fitzgerald last year he hadn't even wrestled the year before; how Bad News Bears is that?) etc., etc., etc. Now I am reading about a late flight and possible weight issues with J and Hodges. I swear to God, my high school team was run better than this mess; heck, my Beltway team was run better. And through everything, all we fans get is periodic updates assuring us that everything is great and the team is in a good spot.

Look at a program like Iowa. Aside from the obvious talent differences, Iowa just had it's act together. Everyone knows who their starters are, and they start every match. The redshirts are announced well before the season. When they land a recruit, he actually shows up to campus in the fall. Their starters wrestle through graduation. They don't have 1/3 of the lineup out with mysterious injuries any given week. Of the 10 wrestlers who started in the win vs. Ok State at the Gridiron event, 9 competed at the Midlands. The same thing can be said of Penn State, Ohio State, Minnesota, or any other major program. Why do we MD fans have to suffer through such shenanigans? Who is running this show???
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Re: Terps midlands

Postby fitzi22 » Fri Jan 01, 2016 8:57 am

Madhatter, you hit the nail right on the head. I was a little emotional after Midlands and couldn't quite find the right words, thank you for putting it all together for me. I think we have good talent on the team, better than last year. I know the coaching staff can coach. The problem is putting it all together and that comes from leadership, organization and proper management. What is the saying, messy room messy head? I think that's what we have here. I think it started with the departure of Beckerman a few years ago and we have struggled mightily to fill and keep assistants since. Heck we even lost Josh Asper (one of UMD's best wrestlers in the last 40 years) to instate rival Navy for unknown reasons and didn't fill his position until mid October, a month and a half into the practice season. No legit program deals with this. It is hard to expect 20 year old young men to have everything together in terms of academics, personal life, weight management.... when the program is in such flux. To me it seems the current team issues and assistant coaching issues are the direct result of management problems that obviously wont be resolved soon, so I guess it is more of the same for the time being. On another note both Diehl and Whisler won their weights at the F&M Open so the weekend wasn't a total loss. Always a supporter of the program even if they frustrate me to no end. Go Terps!!!
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Re: Terps midlands

Postby EngineerLehigh » Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:43 pm

As an outsider, my view is that Maryland has enough talent from 133 to 165, plus now 285 to be competitive in the Big 10 dual season. A little weak for Big 10 standards at 125, 174, 184, 197 which will have to be figured out next year by recruiting or someone putting the work in the weight room to move up 2 weighclasses.

Leadership and focus for the team will need to emerge from within, principally the Seniors and Juniors on the team.

The coaches collectively have decades of experience at high level programs as either head coaches or assistant coaches. I know they know what they are doing. Kearns is a UMD insider that has been there throughout to help guide them through the AD bureaucracy.

There are 23 wrestlers between 133 to 165 who were darn good high school wrestlers. 5 have to emerge who want to represent the team by year end, which means putting in the work to differentiate themselves in performance as well as attitude.

Kerry was at Lehigh a long time. Like Strobel, he is very laid back, but internally very competitive. Sometimes a management team needs the Hammer guy who brings the wrath when needed. Kind of like in boot camp in the Marine Corps. The Senior Drill Instructor was the wrath of last resort and very infrequently who took you to the sand pit as his goal is to be mentor and team developer, thus has to have some level of likability. The daily hammers were the junior Drill Instructors who you never saw their good side until Week 12, the last.
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Re: Terps midlands

Postby ne125 » Sat Jan 02, 2016 10:05 am

Here are my thoughts …..the good, the bad and the ugly at the mid way point in the season
First, let me clear up a few things:
1. Shy Brown is academically ineligible for the year. He will not be starting during the 2nd semester. He has one year of eligibility left.

2. The team did have travel issues which caused them to get in much later than expected. Because of that, Josh Snook, Bannister & Hodges all missed weight. Well, let me rephrase that, this contributed to their missing weight. I don’t think it’s an excuse but it provides some explanation. It always seems like something comes up to disrupt progress. Hodges and Bannister could’ve really benefitted a lot from this experience. Snook placed here last year

3. Idris White will join the team for the spring semester. I like his potential but he’s still very raw. No word on Josh Llopez at the moment.


Here’s my ‘balanced’ look at each weight…take it for what it’s worth as I am just an outsider.
25-I’d guess Kerry sent all our 125 pounders to F&M open to win some matches and gain some confidence. However, the plan backfired as our starter, Simmons went 0-2 at that event. Beck took 3rd but won his last two wins by forfeit. We really need one of the freshmen to come in next year and take control of this weight class. Things are just not coming together here. I’d also look at the transfer wire as well if our new guys aren’t ready. We can’t have another season next year where we win zero or one big ten wins at this weight. I like some of the new freshmen joining the program next year but I don’t think any would be ready to transition into the big ten from day one and win their fair share of matches. They could all benefit from a redshirt. So where does that leave us next year? This is unacceptable.
2016 starter: Beck/Simmons again?
33- Alexander is still dinged up some and Goodwin should be back soon. If Geoff is healthy, he can do some damage at the NCAA’s but that is a BIG IF right now. Goodwin is exciting & capable but needs to be more mentally tough and stingy with the points he gives up to get into the top 20. Goodwin is a senior next year so all of a sudden I think 133 is a big recruiting need as we have not recruited a 133 but Casella and he is up at 141 and struggling. Bottom line is we have two good guys at this weight and both are injury prone. Our program’s injury problem is off the charts. We need more rugged guys.
2016 starter: Goodwin (what happens when he is inevitably injured at some point next year? Who can we put in there? Think about that for a second)
41- I really wanted to see Bannister compete in the midlands. The competition was good and I wanted to see if he could still beat kevin jack (who he knocked off last year). Big opportunity lost with him missing this event as he could’ve gotten ranked. I thought he was a leader in this program so this is a disappointing outcome.. He’ll get a ton of competition in the 2nd semester but midlands is a mini-national type tournament and the experience of wrestling 6-7 matches would serve him well in March. Whitesell is proving to be a solid depth piece. Rappo is a solid back up. Maybe Rappo can get down to 133 and compete with Goodwin
2016 Projected Starter: Bannister
49- Hodges is really big right now and should be a 57 next year. I think him and Diehl will both share matches in the 2nd semester and the best guy will goto the big tens. I think Hodges has been a bright spot for us this year. He’s shown he can be successful at this level and I bet he places in time. Diehl struggled earlier this year but just won the F&M open (though the competition was pretty weak). I’d expect Diehl to start next year at 49. We really need him to recapture his old magic. He knows how to wrestle…obviously. . Again Brown is ineligible for the year and has another year left. He hasn’t improved the way I would’ve hoped. He had a very good first two years here and then has faded. I think a big problem in our program has been a lack of development of some key guys.
2016 Projected Starter: Ryan Diehl (Brown in the mix if he is focused and eligible)
57- I think Lou can place this year if he has a good weekend in March. He’s one guy who has gotten better over the years. It looks like he got caught at midlands and then lost in OT against a good Nebraska kid. He needs to be more consistent in order to get on the podium but overall he’s having solid season. Rastrepo has disappointed so far. He has lost to guys in opens that I would’ve thought he could beat and he’s been injured a ton. That darn terps injury bug again. I think Gerish is proving to be a solid depth guy.
2016 Projected Starter: Hodges (if he doesn’t redshirt), Rastrepo or Justin Alexander.
65- Burnham has been a bright spot and I hope he gets to wrestle the rest of the season in the lineup . Nothing againt Evanovich but I’d rather see the young guy who has already had some big wins and shows a lot of potential. He’s probably the biggest surprise of the season so far. Ugalde had a bad, bad F&M Open. He lost 5-0 to a kid who didn’t place in PA last year. Think about that- A top 60 national recruit getting dominated by a kid who can’t place in PA. He then gets pinned in the first period against a kid who placed 6th in the PA state tourney last year. I still have high hopes for Ugalde but how is he gonna step up and be successful in the big ten next year if he is only going 1-2 at the F&M open? The kid has talent but needs to step up and show that competitiveness that made him a stud in highschool. Work ethic, focus , getting better o n his feet and adding strength is key for him.
2016 projected starter: Ugalde (Burnham redshirt)
74- Snook is snook. Hopefully he can place in the top 8 in the big ten though that’s probably a longshot. Another guy who has been injured for half the season. Sam Rowell has shown some promise though he had a pretty bad F&M open himself. Between Burnham, Ugalde, Idris White, Rowell and maybe even Rastrepo, 65/74 should be well covered.
2016 Projected starter: Idris White/Rowell (toss up)
184- Jaron Smith has wrestled pretty well but he still has a lot of improvement to do-especially on his feet. However, I think the future is bright with him. He’s had some big wins this year and has a pretty big upside. Whisler finally got on the mat and showed why he might’ve been the best incoming recruit this year. Again, the terp injury bug hit him as well this fall.
2016 Projected Starter: Whisler (Jaron Smith redshirts)
197- Weneski is improving but has a ways to go. I give him a lot of credit though. He’s always in the lineup and has wrestled a ton over the past two years. If everyone was consistent like him in terms of wrestling as much as possible/being reliable, we’d be much better off as a program.
2016 Projected Starter: Weneski
HWT- Peck is an enigma. It sounds like he was on the brink of screwing up his 3rd college wrestling opportunity only to come back and place at midlands. The staff DID NOT mess up in pulling Hemida’s redshirt. Him and Peck overlap by 2 years so he’d be on the bench atleast a year if he couldn’t beat out Peck. Hemida is small at HWT and has struggled some but should get better in time. Throw in Mansur Abdul Malik coming into the program in 2017 and we should be all set at HWT. Malik just won the beast a few weeks ago.
2016 Projected Starter: Peck (if he’s here)….if not, Hemida
Our recruiting is solid but not great for 2016 (no blue chips)…..we’re adding Nick Mcshea (97), Nikko Coppello (84)), Brandon Cray (25), Hunter Lucas (25), Brady Ford (57) Vin Deflippo (65) and Alex Vargas (25)
In 2017- Mansur Abdul Malik and Quinn Devaney
Here’s the bottom line…..we have a TON of guys in the program with potential …..our depth next year and beyond is going to be really good BUT the million dollar question is will 4-5 of these guys step up and become top 20 national wrestlers? Will 5-6 more become capable starters? We’re not getting blue chip recruits so it’s a big unknown right now. We don’t have any Hudson Taylor’s or Mike Letts in the program-guys who come in and are legit top 20 guys on day one. We need guys to step up and make our program competitive again. We need the staff to get these guys to the next level. 100% commitment all around. The holes we’ve had in our lineups lately have killed us. We’ve had D2 level guys starting for a big ten team. Everything rides on this freshmen class which has had mixed results. Honestly, guys haven’t gotten as many matches in open competition as I had hoped. That’s the big problem….if all our key freshmen got 30 bouts (like Apser, Sheptock, Bannister, Shy Brown and Weneski did) , I’d feel a lot better about the future. Too many guys have been injured which has become a trend in the program. Also, the injury defaulting out of tournaments is a HUGE problem in our program. That’s one place I’ll blame the staff as they have to set the expectation that you wrestle unless have a serious injury. These wrestlers are taking the easy way out and it’s just going to hurt their ability to succeed at this level. How are they going to learn to wrestle back and place at nationals if they just forfeit out of the wrestle backs all the time? That’s inexcusable. The good news is there is a lot of good depth and solid talent in the program so there is hope that some guys step up and get us into the middle of the big ten as a program. Examples of this are Jaron, Burnham and Hodges. Bannister is very good obviously but hasn’t quite had the season I’d hoped. It’s still early. Recruiting has improved and I suspect with more success, the blue chips will come. We need to keep the staff intact and also look to add 2 good club coaches to beat kids up in the room. That’s my honest, critical look at the state of program right now.
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Re: Terps midlands

Postby meats » Sat Jan 02, 2016 2:25 pm

ne125, quite a thorough analysis and I believe on the mark. Thanks for the time and effort. No doubt we have more talent in the room this year but those injuries and consistent MFF 's seem never ending. What is happening in that room? I have been biting my tongue and plan to do so until seasons end...but it's not easy. I had heard that another NJ junior at 120 was a heavy Terp lean , Shane Metzler and currently highly ranked in that tough state. I never saw any official UMD announcement regarding the Fall commitments. I plan to take a deep breath, sit back the watch how the season progresses with special interest as to how these many young kids develop. With the B1G schedule approaching, put on your seatbelts as we could be in for a bumpy ride. And a thank you to all for the very thought provoking comments from everyone.
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Re: Terps midlands

Postby ne125 » Sun Jan 03, 2016 1:38 pm

Meats, I forgot about metzler. I think he is really good. He's a little under the radar nationally but everyone in jersey knows he's a stud. Eiter & kerry have picked up their recruiting a lot though it's tough getting the blue chips with our lack of success. Again, I think we've got some good 25 pounders coming into the program. Cray is a stud and lucas (who beat cray at super 32 2 yrs ago in a tight bout) isn't far behind him. Vargas is a hard nosed scrappy kid too but didn't place in NY last year. Add Metzler and we're looking better but next year we'll still likely struggle at 125. If I were to guess, the staff is probably gonna add a 133 in the spring and I'd hope a dark horse 97. Mcshea is a nice addition but not a sure thing. There should be some money available to get a few more decent guys as there's always attrition and others who don't make it into school. hodges works his tail off and hopefully many of the other freshmen do or will follow his lead. I don't have that much transparency into the situation. The talent is there, it's now upto the guys to decide they want to become all Americans
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Re: Terps midlands

Postby John Henning » Thu Jan 07, 2016 1:44 pm

"lack of success" shouldn't be necessary to successful recruiting for the University of Maryland. UMD is a B1G program now and located in fertile recruiting country near PA and NJ.....plus it's a great campus close to DC. What's missing?

Rutgers didn't have big success, yet they parlayed their entry into the B1G to bust a move. So, it can be done and can be done quickly. In RU's case, they went out and signed Pritzlaff...a crucial move: NJ legend and former B1G assistant. Above all, I think that's what Kerry needs to copy. Santoro proved it can be done in College Park and Kerry is a good coach. Support your program with donations that build up your club to attract the right kind of work-out partners and coaches. Go Terps.
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Re: Terps midlands

Postby CJC » Thu Jan 07, 2016 5:49 pm

John Henning wrote:"lack of success" shouldn't be necessary to successful recruiting for the University of Maryland. UMD is a B1G program now and located in fertile recruiting country near PA and NJ.....plus it's a great campus close to DC. What's missing?

Rutgers didn't have big success, yet they parlayed their entry into the B1G to bust a move. So, it can be done and can be done quickly. In RU's case, they went out and signed Pritzlaff...a crucial move: NJ legend and former B1G assistant. Above all, I think that's what Kerry needs to copy. Santoro proved it can be done in College Park and Kerry is a good coach. Support your program with donations that build up your club to attract the right kind of work-out partners and coaches. Go Terps.



Maryland should be able to produce AA's every year.

I'm surprised by the apparent regression under McCoy. I can't quite figure out why Maryland isn't a top 20 program.

Location, funding, academics, nice campus, etc.

Maybe, we should get Ficker's opinion!
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Re: Terps midlands

Postby EngineerLehigh » Fri Jan 08, 2016 12:44 am

John Henning hit one thing on the head which is the need of a proven Big 10 assistant. East Coast wrestling is and continues to be influenced by finesse and funk. Big 10 style is about defense, power and riding, sometimes to a dreadfully boring level. Rutgers now has the look and feel of a Big 10 team. Maryland is not there yet. Kerry has the PSU connection...I would go looking in those parts for a volunteer or paid assistant coach. There are quite a few at NLWC who are likely in the last year of their cycles for trying to make an Olympic team. I suspect you could land a very high level assistant coach, proven in Big 10 come August.

Wrestling is still moving its way down South. The epicenter is still likely somewhere north of the Mason-Dixon line with lots of competition nationally for those wrestlers. Pat found a way to land them. Kerry landed some of his own, most notably Sheptock. High school coaches like commitment from college coaches, if you take one, they want you to come around again. In the Lehigh Valley, Kerry should focus on recruiting Bethlehem Catholic, Easton, Nazareth, Parkland every year to land at least 1 per year out of the Lehigh Valley. He should likely also focus on a core group of private and public schools that are proven producers in NJ, plus he knows the Long Island wrestling community well also. Stick with what you know and leverage it.

I also think UMD should be a Top 20 yearly with an All-American every year. Do not know that they will ever be in the Top 5 within the Big 10 (14).
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