The Panthers crowned three champions in the opening competition of the 2019-2020 season. Micky Phillippi notched three consecutive two-point decisions to earn his title, Nino Bonaccorsi put up 49 points in his four wins, and Cole Matthews compiled four solid victories in the freshmen/sophomore division.
“We had some great competition at this tournament and our guys wrestled hard throughout the day,” said head coach Keith Gavin. “It was a good way to start the season.”
Cole Mattin (Michigan) and Jordan Crace (Michigan State) fell to Matthews in the semis and finals. They are both respectable D1 wrestlers, and Matthews is off to a fast start in his freshmen campaign. The coaching staff is expecting big things from him.
Micky took down Quinn Kinner, a young stud for Ohio State, Travis Piotrowski, a three-time NCAA qualifier from Illinois, and 24th ranked Anthony Madrigal from Oklahoma.
Bonaccorsi’s victims included Bobby Striggow (UM), Jacob Gray of Central Michigan, NCAA qualifier Brit Wilson of Northern Illinois, and talented Michigan wrestler Jelani Embree with a cool 7-1 decision.
It was a day of mixed results, however. Taleb Rahmani lost to unranked Zac Carson (Ohio) and to 22nd ranked Will Lewan (UM). Jake Wentzel returned after missing most of last season with three decisive victories before forfeiting out of the tournament with an injury. There is no word on the severity. Kellan Stout lost to two unranked wrestlers, and Demetrius Thomas got majored by 9th ranked Michigan sophomore Mason Parris.
Making the finals in the freshmen/sophomore division along with Matthews was Luke Kemerer. He earned wins of 16-4, 15-5, and 2-0 before falling 5-2 in the finals.
Uncertainty at 125
As Gavin alluded to in Pitt’s official preview, the 125 situation is still fluid.
Brendon Fenton, Louis Newell, and Colt Camacho all entered the freshmen/sophomore division at this weight. They all made the semis.
Fenton got pinned by Chris Cannon from Northwestern in the top half while Newell and Camacho squared off in the bottom. Newell won 3-1 in OT, the second time he’s beaten Camacho in as many weeks (Newell was victorious in the preliminary wrestle-off).
To complicate things, Fenton beat Camacho in the third place match.
Fenton beat Newell at the Blue-Gold match, but Newell placed higher at the MSU Open.
It’s worth noting Fenton and Camacho wrestled unattached, signaling they may be in line to redshirt this year, making Newell the starter. We’ll see.
Other notable results:
Gregg Harvey lost a close bout to Kaleb Romero of Ohio State, the eventual champ, 4-3.
Camacho beat Jacob Decatur from Ohio State, a blue chip freshman for the Buckeyes.
Meech, Camacho, and Fenton had four wins; Kellan, Harvey, Newell, and Taleb had three.
Next up for the Panthers is the first home dual meet of the year against the Campbell Camels, Saturday at 2pm.