Guys, wrestling season is. Finally. Here! Though we’re still 10 days away from the official kick-off party against Tennessee at Chattanooga on Nov 17, we have a little somethin’ somethin’ brewin’ inside the Dan Gable Wrestling Complex this afternoon and spilling over into Friday. IMO, these are the two best days of this week.

Over the next two days, 17 preseason intrasquad matches are on the docket and folks, there’s some good ones.

Thursday, Nov 7 at 3:30PM

  1. Aaron Cashman / Spencer Lee
  2. Paul Glynn / Gavin Teasdale
  3. Carter Happel / Justin Stickley
  4. Zach Axmear / Pat Lugo
  5. Cobe Siebrecht / Vince Turk
  6. Michael Kemerer / Jeremiah Moody
  7. Sam Cook / Connor Corbin
  8. Zach Glazier / Jacob Warner
  9. Tony Cassioppi / Aaron Costello

Friday, Nov 8 at 3:30PM

  1. Austin DeSanto / Aaron Meyer
  2. Winner #4 / Winner #5
  3. Zach Axmear / Kaleb Young
  4. Joe Kelly / Alex Marinelli
  5. Nelson Brands / Jeremiah Moody
  6. Abe Assad / Cash Wilcke
  7. Jacob Warner / Winner #7
  8. Cade Brownlee / Steven Holloway

Per the words of Master Head Coach Tom Brands, these technically are not wrestle-offs (contrary to what the schedule says), but we can still gauge the future of our line-up based off the results of these matches. Both days are cram-packed with familiar faces squaring off against the fresh, new, young bloods that look to crack the starting lineup for the first time.

Notable Notables:

Lee vs Cashman: Starting things off, and we wouldn’t have it any other way, is Spencer Lee taking on Aaron Cashman. This is a particularly fun match to keep our eyes on because Mr. Cashman will be in our starting lineup, dispelling Mr. Lee when he’s on the road kicking ass in freestyle. During Iowa’s Media Day, they dove into Lee’s schedule this season and specifically his path to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Our concerns were immediately set straight, Lee will not be taking an Olympic redshirt this year and is doing double duty, similar to what we witnessed with Kyle Snyder during his 2016 run to gold. Lee will be splitting time between the Hawks and getting himself qualified for the Olympic team trials on April 4th and 5th of next year.

Lee is perhaps the biggest piece to a title run this year, but we cannot and will not do it with Aaron Cashman. I’m anxious to see how the former cadet world team member has progressed. Cashman is a helluva talent and if he’s closed the gap with Spencer, then that’s great news for us.

Glynn vs Teasdale: By now everyone has heard the rumors and questions and speculations. Is Gavin Teasdale going 133? Is Austin Desanto going 141? Or are they flippy flopping? If they’re both in, what happens to Max Murin at 141? There are questions smacking us in the collective face and I have no answers for you, but this is, without a doubt, an interesting matchup. Glynn is a former starter at 133 and even filled in a few times last year. Teasdale is the all-world stud that has transferred in from Penn State. Teasdale will undoubtedly crack this lineup and be a force to reckon with in the coming years. He will be a multi-time All-American and potential title contender, but will it be this year? Glynn is a savvy veteran with a lot of experience, he’d be an NCAA qualifier if he cracked the lineup, but can he?

Siebrecht vs Turk: Cobe Siebrecht is a name that many local Iowans will recognize. This will be the first time we’ve seen CB at the collegiate level, and I’m interested to see how he’s developed over the summer. The Lisbon native is going head-to-head with the senior, Vince Turk. For Turk, this is his last shot at glory. He’s busted into the lineup a handful of times and even qualified for the NCAA’s in 2018, going 3-2 before bowing out. Turk has been a bit of an enigma. When he’s on, focused, and aggressive, he has the firepower to take on anyone in the country, but it’s getting to that level consistently that’s been the issue. But what stands out is Turk is now listed at 149lbs, which means…

#4 vs #5 (Lugo vs Turk): We’re going to see Turk battling it out with returning All-American Pat Lugo. Lugo is also a senior and looking to cap off his career with a title at 149. Two different styles will be on display when these guys clash. Lugo has the ability to open it up, but he’s more along the lines of a Brandon Sorenson and tends to wrestle closer, more calculated, low scoring matches. On the other hand, Turk wants to open it up and attack. I’m anxious to see how Lugo handles the firepower and his own re-attacks. And if he gets in on Turk’s legs, can he improve his position and find a way to finish, which was an issue last year. Lugo can be a finalist, but right now his immediate threat is in his own wrestling room. I love it.

Kemerer vs Moody: Former All-American, Michael Kemerer, is making his long-awaited return to the lineup and we can’t be more excited. But this time he’s officially up at 174lbs and he LOOKS IT. The NCAA landscape is amped to see what/ how KemDog looks at his new weight and what kind of run he can make in March. I absolutely love Moody’s energy, flare, and humor he brings to this team. He’s been hovering around 165lbs for the past couple years as well, so I’m assuming he’s bulked up and can potentially fill in if KemDog needs any rest while he works his way back into the lineup.

Cassioppi vs Costello: This will be Big Tony’s spot to lose this season, but I want to see how he does with the sophomore Costello. Cass is a big-time talent with lofty expectations, both by us and himself. He’s a pinner and is aiming for the school record, well, I want to see that on display Friday.

DeSanto vs Meyer: So, this is the 2nd half to the Teasdale dilemma. ADS is still listed at 133, whereas Meyer is 141. What exactly does this match? With all due respect to Meyer, I don’t expect this to be much of a contest, but I am fascinated between these two and GT vs PG and how these two weight classes shake out.

And speaking of these weights, where is Max Murin? He isn’t schedule to make an appearance during the next two days and has me wondering why. Perhaps he’s nursing an ailment, he’s out of town, or has a Call of Duty tournament. I don’t know, but it’s a development that should be monitored.

If Murin is the odd man out, perhaps he bumps up to take on Pat Lugo or Vince Turk. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps. We haven’t had this type of depth in quite some time and it’s a good thing.

Assad vs Wilcke: Assad is our big freshman recruit that will undoubtedly be the future at 184lbs. But Wilcke is a 3x NCAA qualifier that’s looking to make the podium in his final year. Wilcke has the tools to compete with anyone in the country, but to make us believers we need to see it on display Friday afternoon.

All of our expected starters are going during these not wrestle-offs wrestle-offs, expect the aforementioned Max Murin. All-Americans Kaleb Young, Alex Marinelli, and Jacob Warner will also be on display.

If anyone is in the Iowa City area or has access to a teleporter, I encourage you to swing by and check it out. Unfortunately, I cannot be there, and this will not be broadcasted in any way. For those of you that would like to follow along, I know Cody Goodwin will be tweeting out live updates.

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