All Hokie, All the Time. Period.

Virginia Tech Wrestling Board


Joined: 06/15/2020 Posts: 454
Likes: 1161

Some thoughts from the weekend

Happy Monday, Hokies! Man, was it great to see our guys (especially the young ones) get out on the mat and scrap.

After a crisp morning walk through downtown this morning, I collected my thoughts from the weekend:

•The way our junior guys competed on Saturday kind of exceeded my expectations. I had no idea how they were going to look going up against competition that wasn’t one of their teammates for the first time in months. Some of these weights were loaded but others were a little soft before the quarters. We saw a lot of techs and pins and I couldn't really gauge how they were going to look in the later rounds. Regardless, our guys went out there and competed great out of the gate.

•On Sunday, we turned in a second-place team finish in Juniors (one point behind Mizzou). That is fantastic and it shows how far our RTC and freestyle program have come. We’re now bringing in guys that are competing for spots on world teams, not just top eight at NCAAs. That’s what the blue chippers want to see. Nine guys placed overall in Juniors and U23s. I’ll take that.

•Prata and Borst – I’ll tie these two together because their weekends were brief (one sad, one not so good). I hope that Joey is okay. Looks like he tweaked something on that four-point throw against Aguilar from Rutgers. As for Borst, what we saw this past weekend is what we saw last season – stagnant offense and mind lapses late in matches. We’ve been discussing on this board how we could potentially see Catka at heavyweight this season with this being a “free year” in regards to his eligibility. @hokietony even posed bringing him in late in the season; getting him a few matches in time for ACCs and NCAAs. It’s all interesting and I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw it happen at this point. Too many scenarios to sift through right now though.

•Gerardi – Not a bad showing for Gerardi. I don’t see much freestyle in his future but it was good to see him place at this tournament. With Collin, it’s all about getting to that next level. He had a tight match with Phillipi, but what’s it going to take for him to get past guys like from Arizona State (Kramer) and Michigan (Mattin)? I’ve heard that Collin is a great kid, an excellent student and a hard worker. I think that goes a long way. I’m rooting for him to get to that next level.

•Howard – I’m pretty encouraged by what we saw out of Cody Howard this weekend. Got two late takedowns to win on criteria in R16, beat an NCAA qualifier at 174 (Wyoming’s Hastings) and teched UVA’s starter last year at 184. He’s still unpolished in some areas, but when he gets in on a double leg there’s a good chance that he finishes. He still lets it fly and he still has a great motor; two things that we were worried about when it came to him dropping down to 174.

•Smeltzer – I think we were all impressed and surprised by Andy Smith but Stan came out and quietly had a decent showing. Despite getting teched by two All-American-level guys in Lujan and Caffey, Stan took care of business otherwise. Would’ve been nice to see him wrestle in the fifth-place match but Harvey from Pitt unfortunately defaulted out. I think it’ll be interesting how this shakes out at 197. Stan was inconsistent last season but it’ll certainly come down to a wrestle-off between him and Smith.

Time to talk about the Juniors! I think we were all looking forward to seeing these guys scrap. It was great to finally see these highly touted recruits out there together representing the SERTC.

•Brady – At first I was slightly disappointed with Connor’s performance but looking back at the scores and the film I’m okay with it. O’Toole was the tournament’s OW and looks like a really special talent for Mizzou. McCoy from UVA just got Connor in a really tight lace and finished it off. That happens in freestyle. It wasn’t like Connor broke down and McCoy kept scoring on him. Did Brady get himself into that position? Yes, but I don’t think we should overanalyze. Brady’s leg attacks were clean and he had the cross ankle pick really working.

•Ulrey – Meanwhile, Brady’s teammate really overshadowed him at 70kg. Ulrey was also fortunate that he didn’t run into the tournament’s OW like Brady did in the quarters (FYI, there were no seeds at this tournament). With that said, that should NOT take anything away from Ulrey and his performance. He looked fantastic. He was quick, strong and really sound offensively with a good top game. It looks like we got a gem in Ulrey. I’m excited to see how he develops.

•Following the results from weekend, our 157 spot has been on here discussed briefly today. I believe that it’ll still be Brady starting for us this season. As many of you have noted, I think it comes to the different styles. Brady is stronger in folk. Ulrey is stronger in free. Ulrey is strong in folk, too, but not as strong as Brady. All in all, it’s a great problem to have. Robie and co. have been breeding this culture of competition and bringing in guys that push one another to be the very best. Our “problem” here with Brady and Ulrey is a perfect example of that.

•Smith – Man, I was not expecting this out of Andy Smith. All I had heard about him (outside of being a Christiansburg kid and seeing some of his matches in high school) was that he was a hard worker and a good room guy. I did not anticipate him beating a Hawkeye and making it to the third-place match. Kudos to him. His offense and counter offense looked sharp and, overall, looked quick for a guy his size. He’s shed some bad weight since I last saw him, too. We’re all excited about him but, as I stated above, I think it’ll come down to wrestle-off between him and Stan. Let’s see how it translates to folkstyle.

•Hillegas – To me, the most impressive guy from this weekend was Sam Hillegas. Frayer has really coached up this young man when it comes to short offense and scoring off of the chest wrap. He had to have scored 75 percent of his points off of exposure. Combine that with his nasty top game and he seems to be lethal in freestyle. His only loss of the weekend came against 2020 NCAA qualifier Matthews from Pitt, who lost by one point in the finals. Sam took that loss in the quarters and wrestled back for third. Good for him.

•Andonian – Bryce is the most exciting wrestler that we’ve had in the program since…??? His win over Alvarez was as advertised; two guys that let it fly and put up a ton of points. It’s a shame that his run ended essentially on two 50/50 four-point exchanges. But that’s freestyle for you. You live by the sword, you die by the sword. It’s tough to tell a kid like that he needs to be more conservative against certain guys when being the opposite is what got him there in the first place. I think it’s a different match if Bryce faces Edmond again in folkstyle.

•Catka – The future is bright at heavyweight. Just gotta keep the kid healthy. Outside of the finals, Hunter was super smooth in all areas. Now comes the million-dollar question: will Hunter start for Virginia Tech this upcoming season? If he were to wrestle Borst when healthy in a best of three series for the spot, I think Hunter wins the first two matches. However, there are so many scenarios and circumstances that it’s impossible for us to come to a conclusion at this moment. We’ve discussed some options already on this board. For right now though, I’m just excited about the future at heavyweight and I’m excited about the future of this program with Catka laying the hammer down at the end of every dual (unless there’s a draw, of course) like Walz used to do.

Let me know what you all think. Have a good week. Go Hokies.
[Post edited by AllenHokie732 at 11/16/2020 2:31PM]

Posted: 11/16/2020 at 2:29PM


Insert a Link

Enter the title of the link here:

Enter the full web address of the link here -- include the "http://" part:

Current Thread:
Some thoughts from the weekend -- AllenHokie732 11/16/2020 2:29PM
  Andonian....most exciting since Pete Yates. ** -- HokieLifer2 11/16/2020 3:25PM
  It's a different type of exciting..... -- HokieLifer2 11/16/2020 4:27PM
  BA -- VTwinsdad 11/17/2020 12:15PM
  Hard as hell to officiate ** -- AirborneHokie96 11/18/2020 1:14PM
  They are so similar (to me) -- AirborneHokie96 11/17/2020 10:28AM
  Long, lean and mean -- HokieLifer2 11/17/2020 12:47PM
  Touche! -- AllenHokie732 11/16/2020 4:06PM

Our Sponsors