Archive for October, 2013

Taylor Faces Off Against Moreno at NWCA Classic

| October 10, 2013 | 0 Comments

Penn State three-time All-American and 2012 NCAA champion David Taylor will meet Michael Moreno of Iowa State in the 165-pound match at the NWCA All-Star Classic in November.

Taylor brings a career record of 100-3 into his senior season with eyes on the prize of a second national championship. He was a two-time runnerup, losing to Arizona State’s Bubba Jenkins as a freshman and Kyle Dake of Cornell last year.

Taylor defeated Lehigh’s Brandon Hatchet for the national championship in 2012. He also received the Hodge Award that year for outstanding collegiate wrestler.

Moreno, a junior, placed sixth at nationals to earn All-American status last season. He sports a career record of 35-23.

Follow Up to Mifflin County Recruiting Story

| October 9, 2013 | 2 Comments

I wanted to touch base with everyone about the column I wrote a few days ago.

First off, I wanted to apologize publicly to the Milliken and Wert families.  Sometimes when you take a few days away from something you wrote and then re-visit it, you see things in a different light.

I did with this column and I’d like to address those.

Number one, some of my comments were attacking and insensitive to both boys. I regret that. I’m passionate about this sport, but sometimes passion can get in the way of clarity, reason and common sense. I never met to cause them any distress.

I wish nothing but the best of luck to both boys, not only in wrestling but everything they do in life. I cheered for Buck Dippery at Central Dauphin and I will do the same for Quentin and Andrew at Trinity.  I just wish they would be wearing purple and silver, that’s all.

Number two, I spoke (through email) with Don Milliken last night and I appreciate his candor and honesty with me. He told me things that really were none of my business and I respect him for that. I promised him I wouldn’t discuss what was said during our correspondence and I will abide by his wishes.

I will say this. The job he was offered is legitimate and I don’t blame him for taking it. Any of us would. He’s a decent human being.

What I won’t apologize for is the real reasons I wrote the piece – the blatant recruiting going on in high school wrestling (and all sports for that matter) and to tell the doubters that Mifflin County will still be a solid team, despite the losses.

One thing Don and I do disagree on is Chris Bentley. I still believe, from what I’ve heard from my sources, that he is using the Renegade Force Club to recruit and I will continue to call him out on it.

In closing, once again, I wish both families nothing but good will and best of luck in all their future endeavors.

Thanks for reading.

Penn State Number One in Preseason Intermat Poll; Nine Individuals Ranked

| October 9, 2013 | 0 Comments

The Penn State Nittany Lions are back in an all-too familiar spot – No. 1 in the nation.

Cael Sanderson and crew occupy the top spot in the Intermat Preseason Wrestling Poll. The rankings highlight a team’s potential tournament strength based on Intermat’s individual rankings, not dual meet strength, show Penn State with 100.5 points. The Lions are looking to capture their fourth consecutive national title.

Iowa is second, followed by Minnesota, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. Rounding out the top 10 are Oregon State, Nebraska, Iowa State, Wisconsin and Edinboro.

Individually, Penn State has nine ranked in their respective weight classes. Leading the way are seniors David Taylor and Ed Ruth, No. 1 at 165 and 184.

Taylor is a two-time NCAA runnerup and a 2012 national champion, while Ruth is riding a 68-match win streak and looking for his third consecutive national championship. Ruth has a chance to become the first three-time national champ in Penn State history (Andy Matter in 1971-72; Jeff Prescott in 1991-92, and Kerry McCoy in 1994 and 1997, each won two).

Taylor, looking to become the first four-time finalist in school history, comes into the season with a career mark of 100-3, while Ruth sports a 102-2 record.

Others wrestlers ranked for the Nittany Lions include: Nico Megaludis (No. 2) at 125; Matt Brown (No. 3) at 174; Morgan McIntosh (No. 4) at 197; Dylan Alton (No. 6) at 157; Andrew Alton (No. 8) at 149; Jimmy Lawson (No. 10) at heavyweight, and Jimmy Gulibon (No. 11) at 133.

Megaludis is a two-time NCAA runnerup, while Brown also took second last season. Gulibon is a four-time PIAA champion who redshirted as a freshman last season. McIntosh is a sophomore coming off a redshirt year as well. He takes over for two-time national champion Quentin Wright.

Other individual wrestlers ranked at the top are Jesse Delgado (Illinois) at 125; Tony Ramos (Iowa) at 133; Logan Steiber (Ohio State) at 141; Kendric Maple (Oklahoma) at 149; Derek St. John (Iowa) at 157; Andrew Howe (Oklahoma) at 174; Taylor Meeks (Oregon State) at 197, and Tony Nelson (Minnesota) at heavyweight.

 

Carson’s Corner: Don’t Worry Folks, Mifflin County Wrestling is Alive and Well

| October 6, 2013 | 10 Comments

MugI wasn’t going to comment about the transfers of Quentin Milliken and Andrew Wert, two up-and-coming freshmen, from Mifflin County to Trinity (District 3) High School until the cat came out of the bag recently on the District 6 Wrestling Forum.

Don Milliken, father of Quentin, said on the forum, “I’m not sure who will be where @ MC. A lot has happened since the week before school started.  I was offered a great opportunity and our family will be relocating to the Camp Hill /Mechanicsburg area. Since we are in the process of selling & buying a home, Q is cyber schooling this year in the 8th grade. Wert is following the same path. They are focused on becoming scholar athletes, not dumb jocks (thank you Ken Chertow).”

Hello. Scholar athletes? Are you kidding me?

Look, the parents of Milliken and Wert have every right to take their kids wherever they want them to go, but don’t insult our intelligence by saying the move was for academic reasons.

If that’s the case, why are Quentin and Andrew cyber-schooling as eighth graders when they should be going into ninth at Mifflin County?

I’ll tell you why in one word – redshirt.

It’s a practice all-too common in high school wrestling but it doesn’t make it right. Redshirting in college I understand. The maturity level of a true freshman and a fifth-year senior is like night and day. Most kids aren’t ready to jump into athletics and academics their first-year of college.

Maybe it’s just me, but deliberately holding a kid back doesn’t sound like you’re focusing on their academics. The move happened so when Quentin and Andrew get to Trinity next season, they will have four years of eligibility when it should only be three. Sounds like an athletic move to me.

This brings us to Chris Bentley, head coach of Trinity and the Renegade Force wrestling club. Quentin and Andrew wrestle for Renegade Force and he obviously is a good recruiter because they all are drinking the Shamrock Kool-Aid.

And make no mistake; recruiting is exactly what he did to entice both boys to come to a school that was 0-12 last season. How could it be otherwise?

I have a serious beef with high school coaches who run summer wrestling clubs because of what just happened here. I don’t want to sound like our socialist president but high school coaches shouldn’t be running their own clubs. Most will use it for what Mr. Bentley is doing now.

Let’s look at this from an athletics standpoint. How are Quentin and Andrew going to be better off at Trinity?

The Shamrocks have never been a wrestling power…they are a basketball school. Coach Bentley obviously can’t win with home-grown talent (let me repeat, they were 0-12 last year), so who are Quentin and Andrew going to have in the wrestling room to make them better?

Answer: No one. Unless he brings in more recruits.

The Huskies are the power team right now in District 6 and are close to making the jump to becoming a regional and hopefully, a state power. Methinks Quentin and Andrew would have better competition in the Mifflin County wrestling room than Trinity. Competition makes you better. Without competition there’s no barometer to gauge what you have to do to improve yourself.

Unfortunately, like a lot of coaches these days, Mr. Bentley will try and mooch off the hard work of others and recruit his lineup, just so he can pile up the W’s and be credited with changing the fortunes of the unlucky Shamrocks.

Make no mistake, the coaching these kids received in Mifflin County was high level stuff, despite what the nameless idiot, who keeps emailing me about how great Renegade is, thinks.

The junior high coaches – Bill and Justin Shafranich, Mark Cavanaugh and Dave Wray – are the best in the state and have been voted so by their peers. The varsity coaches get what the elementary and junior high coaches molded and polish it up.

Which brings me to my third and final point. This one bothers me the most. I have people, too many in my opinion, texting me or calling me and saying Mifflin County could have been dominate this season, but now they aren’t so sure.

The loss of Milliken and Wert, plus the ACL injury to Brandon Wilson, does weaken the Huskies some but by no means are they about to fall off the wrestling map.

No offense to Quentin and Andrew, but Mifflin County didn’t lose Chance Marsteller or Thomas Haines. They are, or would have been, freshman and there are no guarantees in wrestling. Success at the PAJW states doesn’t necessarily translate into high school success – just ask Sam Brownlee (4x champ), John Ferens (5x champ) or Nico Cortese (8 x champ) if it does. None of them lived up to their reputations or expectations.

Those who tell me the Huskies are in trouble must have forgotten we still have Hayden Hidlay, Ike Underhill, Kyle Kahley, Noah Stewart, and Wilson when he comes back. Youngsters like Noah Meyers, Trey Hartsock, Mike Bielski and Kyle Smith are on the way with more coming through the pipeline at the elementary level.

Hidlay had a monster summer season, placing second at the Cadet Nationals in both Freestyle and Greco; Kahley is a returning state qualifier, and Stewart and Wilson are defending District 6 champions, who were one win away from states. The cupboard is far from bear. The only real question marks are at 106 and 285. The rest of the lineup is solid.

I do believe Quentin and Andrew will be successful and I wish them all the best.  I hope they win multiple state titles. I really do. They are good kids. I like Don Milliken. He seems like a nice guy, but I feel it’s a mistake to leave Mifflin County right when there is a wrestling renaissance happening.

In closing, there is an old saying that goes like this, “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” However, in real life, most of the time, it isn’t.

Thanks for reading.

 

Ed Ruth, Sheptock to Face Off at All-Star Classic

| October 5, 2013 | 0 Comments

Penn State two-time national champion Ed Ruth will face Maryland All-American Jimmy Sheptock in the 184-pound match at the NWCA All-Star Classic in November.

Ruth comes into the season with a career record of 102-2 and riding a 68-match unbeaten streak. His last loss occurred in March of 2011. He was third in the country as a freshman and won back-to-back national titles his sophomore and junior seasons.

Sheptock is 73-16 for his career and placed sixth in the nation at 184 last season. Ruth is 2-0 lifetime against Sheptock.