Archive for March, 2018

Retherford Wins Second Consecutive Hodge Trophy

| March 27, 2018 | 0 Comments

Three-time Penn State national champion Zain Retherford won his second straight Hodge Trophy as the most outstanding wrestler in Division I.

Retherford tallied 35 out of a possible 48 first place votes, and also garnered 52 percent of the fan vote. The Penn State senior becomes just the third wrestler to win the award in back-to-back years, and just the fourth multiple winner.

Retherford finished his career on a 95-match winning streak. Of his 31 matches this season, Retherford won 26 by bonus for an 84% bonus rate. He racked up 17 pins, five tech falls and four majors. The Nittany Lion will go down as one of the best collegiate wrestlers ever, with a 126-3 career record.

Bo Nickal finished second in the voting after a 31-0 season with 16 pins, a tech and six majors en route to his second career national title. Seth Gross of South Dakota State won the 133-pound crown and wound up third in the voting. Zahid Valencia of Arizona State finished his sophomore season 32-0 with the 174-pound NCAA title and finished fourth.

All-Time Hodge Trophy Winners

Year Name School
2018 Zain Retherford Penn State
2017 Zain Retherford Penn State
2016 Alex Dieringer Oklahoma State
2015 Logan Stieber Ohio State
2014 David Taylor Penn State
2013 Kyle Dake Cornell U.
2012 David Taylor Penn State
2011 Jordan Burroughs Nebraska
2010 Jayson Ness Minnesota
2009 Jake Herbert Northwestern
2008 Brent Metcalf Iowa
2007 Ben Askren Missouri
2006 Ben Askren Missouri
2005 Steve Mocco Oklahoma State
2004 Emmett Willson Mont. State-Northern
2003 Eric Larkin Arizona State
2002 Cael Sanderson Iowa State
2001 Cael Sanderson Iowa State
2001 Nick Ackerman Simpson College
2000 Cael Sanderson Iowa
1999 Stephen Neal CSU Bakersfield
1998 Mark Ironside Iowa
1997 Kerry McCoy Penn State
1996 Les Gutches Oregon State
1995 T.J. Jaworsky North Carolina

Pre-Order the Champions: The Terrific Ten and Their Quest for PIAA Gold

| March 26, 2018 | 0 Comments

Pre-order the Champions book today and get free shipping and a special bonus chapter. You can order by clicking on the PayPal button below or mailing a check to:

Brian Carson
4 Green Tree Lane
Lewistown, PA 17044

PayPal Ordering:

Pre-Launch for My Book ‘The Champions’ is Live on GoFundMe

| March 26, 2018 | 0 Comments

My Book is in the Pre-Launch phase. It will be released in June on Amazon. If you order during the pre-launch, you’ll get a bonus chapter not included in the Amazon release. The cost of the book is $20 with free shipping. Just go to the GoFundMe link at to pre-order.

USA Tops PA 23-21 at Dapper Dan; Hidlay Comes Up Short

| March 25, 2018 | 0 Comments

Trent Hidlay lost 5-2 to Travis Wittlake of Oregon and Team PA dropped a 23-21 decision to Team USA at the Dapper Dan Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic on Sunday.

After a scoreless first period, Hidlay chose down and escaped to take a 1-0 lead. Wittlake scored the first takedown of the match with 22-seconds left in the middle period. Hidlay escaped late in the period to even things up at 2-2 heading into the final frame.

Wittlake, a four-time Oregon state champ, escaped making it 3-2 and then cashed in on a takedown with just eight seconds to go in the match to seal the win.

Team USA won seven of 13 bouts to eke out the victory. Team Iowa defeated the WPIAL 36-6 in the preliminary match.

Dapper Dan Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic Results

USA 23, Pennsylvania 21

220: Zach Elam, USA dec. Anthony Walters, PA, 3-0.
285: Gable Steveson, USA major dec. Isaac Reid, PA, 17-8.
120-B: Jaret Lane, PA pinned Kyle Biscoglia, USA, 4:20.
120-A: Patrick McKee, USA dec. Logan Macri, PA, 6-4.
132: Real Woods, USA dec. Jack Davis, PA, 9-2.
138: Cole Matthews, PA dec. Quinn Kinner, USA, 5-4.
145: Sammy Sasso, PA dec. Brock Hardy, USA, 9-8.
152: David Carr, USA dec. Zach Hartman, PA, 14-8.
160: Shane Griffith, USA major dec. Caleb Clymer, PA, 12-4.
170: Travis Wittlake, USA dec. Trent Hidlay, PA, 5-2.
182: Cody Mulligan, PA dec. Jake Jessen, USA, 5-2.
195: Gavin Hoffman, PA dec. Brandon Whitman, USA, 3-1.
126: Gavin Teasdale, PA dec. Patrick Glory, USA, 5-4.

Prelims: Iowa 36, WPIAL 6

Retherford, Nickal Up For Hodge Trophy

| March 22, 2018 | 0 Comments

Two of Penn State’s best have been nominated for the 2018 WIN Magazine/Culture House Hodge Trophy.  The Trophy, presented by ASICS, is considered the Heisman Trophy for amateur wrestling and has been presented to the nation’s best wrestler since 1995.

This year’s nominees are Lion senior Zain Retherford (Benton, Pa.), Lion junior Bo Nickal (Allen, Texas), Seth Gross from South Dakota State and Arizona State’s Zahid Valenica.

Criteria for the award includes a wrestler’s record, number of pins, dominance on the mat, past credentials, quality of competition, sportsmanship/citizenship and heart. The first four criteria are the primary criteria. Number of pins is an extremely important criteria. Part of the reason the award was created was to elevate the importance of the pin, and to motivate top collegians to go for the fall. The Hodge Trophy is a single-season award. However, if you have two candidates who are virtually equal, consideration can be given to past credentials, which is criteria No. 5. The last two criteria should be used to help guide voters to select a winner who also is a good representative of the sport.

Fans can play a part in selecting the winner as part of the fan vote portion of the award process: Visit to cast votes. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, March 27th. The winner of the fan vote will earn two first-place votes among the total ballots from a group of formal voters which includes each former Hodge Trophy winner, national media, representatives of national wrestling organizations and retired former college coaches from different regions.

Retherford, last year’s Hodge Trophy winner, is coming off a third straight NCAA title last weekend in Cleveland.  Retherford rolled to a 5-0 mark at NCAAs, including a 6-2 win over Lock Haven’s Ronnie Perry in the 141-pound finals.  Retherford ends his season with a 31-0 mark and a 126-3 career record. He finishes his Penn State career riding a 94 match win streak dating back to his true freshman year. His 19 career NCAA tournament wins is alone in second on Penn State’s all-time list (Ed Ruth had 21). He is a four-time All-American and Penn State’s second three-time NCAA Champion (joining Ruth).

Nickal, the last of five straight NCAA finalists for Penn State, picked up his second straight NCAA crown and clinched the team title for the Lions by pinning Ohio State’s Myles Martin at the 2:31 mark in the 184-pound title tilt.  Nickal’s title, the fourth individual crown of the night for Penn State, capped off a 5-0 tournament for the Texas native. Nickal ends his season with a 31-0 record and heads into next year with a 90-3 career record.  He is a three-time All-American, a two-time National Champion and a three-time finalist.

A Nittany Lion has won the Hodge Trophy four times: Kerry McCoy won Penn State’s first in 1997, David Taylor won in both 2012 and 2014 and Retherford won last year (2017).  Nittany Lion head coach Cael Sanderson is the only wrestler to ever win three times (2000, 2001 and 2002).

The Nittany Lions are coming off a stellar 2017-18 campaign that saw them continue their national dominance.  Penn State went 14-0 in dual meets, 9-0 in the Big Ten, winning yet another Big Ten Regular Season (dual meet) title.  Head Coach Cael Sanderson’s squad then roared into Cleveland and stormed a talented field featuring 330 of the nation’s best wrestlers to win its seventh NCAA National Championship in the last eight years.  The Lions crowned four champs, had five finalists, notched eight All-Americans and had all nine of its qualifiers score team points.  Penn State heads into next year returning seven of its school-record tying eight All-Americans this year, including a combined seven national championships.  The Nittany Lions have won 45 straight dual meets dating back to the 2014-15 season.

The 2017-18 Penn State wrestling season is sponsored by The Family Clothesline. Penn State Fans are encouraged to follow Penn State wrestling via twitter at @pennstateWREST, on Penn State Wrestling’s Facebook page at and on Instagram at