Ah, wrestling season, the most wonderful time of the year. As the new guy here at AAE, I’m going to be writing a little more each week about one of my favorite sports. What better time to start than right after the Black Knight Invitational and the Navy Classic?
I’ll go team-by-team breaking down performances, rankings, and what’s up next to help you keep up with service academy wrestling.
Army Black Knights (3-1)
The Black Knights are leading the charge in this young wrestling season. They’re 4-1 in dual meets, with the only loss coming at the hands of Wisconsin at the Battle on the Midway. Army has since rattled off three straight wins against Fresno State, Illinois, and Tennessee Chattanooga.
They kept the hot start rolling right into the Black Knight Invitational, where they placed 1st of 8 teams with 140 total points. The Black Knights beat top-ranked Penn State(!!!) who came second with 127.5 points and Central Michigan rounded out the top three with 107.5 points.
Senior Cael McCormick went 3-0 on the day en route to the 165 lb. title, Noah Stewart recorded two technical falls on his way to the 184 lb. crown, and J.T. Brown and Alex Hopkins faced off against each other for the 197 lb. title. Brown secured the win in a tight 2-1 decision.
The Black Knights then continued their winning ways, dominating West Virginia 35-4 on November 24. Ben Harvey picked up a technical fall at 174 lbs, and P.J. Ogunsanya grabbed his second pin of the year at 149 lbs.
There are currently 3 Black Knights individually ranked in the Intermat rankings: No. 11 Cael McCormick at 165, No. 13 Ben Harvey at 174, and No. 14 Noah Stewart at 184.
Army will be competing in the Patriot Open at George Mason on December 7 followed by the Midlands Championships at Northwestern on December 27.
Air Force Falcons (0-2)
The Air Force Falcons have had a bit of a slow start to the season. They’ve dropped both dual meets against Wyoming and Hofstra. The Falcons rebounded November 23 at the Navy Classic in Annapolis, placing 3 wrestlers in the top 6 of their weight classes. Overall, Air Force finished in 10th place of 18 teams.
Jared Van Vleet upset No. 18 Collin Gerardi of Virginia Tech on his way to a 4th place finish at 133 lbs. Kayne Hutchinson took 4th place at heavyweight, and Sidney Flores finished 6th at 125 lbs. The Falcons had 4 other wrestlers finish one win away from a top-6 place, which would have made a huge difference in points and team placement.
No Air Force wrestlers are currently in the top 20 Intermat rankings.
Air Force is now off until January 1, when they will compete in the Southern Scuffle in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Navy Midshipmen (2-2)
The Mids have had a mixed start to the season, with wins over Fresno State and California Baptist. Navy has also suffered a pair of losses to Wisconsin and a 45-0 blowout at Penn State. They returned home to host the 42nd annual Navy Classic on November 23, placing 7th of 18 teams.
Tanner Skidgel finished 2nd at 165 lbs, falling to 7th ranked David McFadden of Virginia Tech. Spencer Carey earned two wins by major decision and one tech fall on his way to an appearance in the finals. Carey was injured in the finals against Edinboro’s Jacob Oliver and was unable to complete the match, finishing 2nd. Jacob Koser captured 3rd place at 197 lbs. after winning his first 3 matches with a 31-4 combined score.
Navy currently has 3 wrestlers in the Intermat top 20: No. 10 Tanner Skidgel at 165 lbs, No. 16 Spencer Carey at 174 lbs, and No. 14 Josh Roetman at 197 lbs.
The Midshipmen stay in Annapolis to face Maryland on December 6 before facing Lock Haven on December 13 to finish the 2019 calendar year.
Stay tuned for further wrestling news, AAE is a wrestling blog now whether everyone else likes it or not.