Inside Northwestern Wrestling #5
This past weekend, the entire coaching staff learned a lot about our team’s resolve. On Friday evening we lost to the University of Michigan, it was our first dual loss of the season after winning the first 14. Of course, in the Big Ten, you need to suck it up and do it all over again just 36 hours later. That is what we did. Michigan State loomed on Sunday at 2 p.m.
As a staff, we reflected on the loss to Michigan and we used it as catalyst for over-all team improvement. Your travel day in the Big Ten can also be used as a day for weight management and technical assistance. We performed both activities. At 10:30 a.m. on Saturday morning we packed up and headed to the Michigan wrestling room. During our time at practice, individual needs were met and we worked one-on-one with our athletes in several technical areas. Mainly, controlling the center of the mat and realizing the importance of wrestling hard on the edge of the mat. Our adjustments were calculated and we wanted everyone on the team to be in a positive state of mind as we headed to East Lansing.
Upon our arrival at the Radisson Hotel in Lansing, we had a team meeting and discussed more work-out plans for the evening and the following morning. What may be a little different than high school is that in college, we have the philosophy that you need to fuel your body to cut weight. Meaning, you can’t deplete yourself of water for 48 hours straight and expect to perform well after a one hour weigh-in. If you get four pounds off in a work-out, then we expect you to gain 1.5 in the form of water and foods with protein in them. It’s a process and it’s one that many of our guys have mastered during their time at Northwestern. For the freshmen on the team, it’s a process that many are still figuring out but by this time of the year, everyone has a good handle on what they are expected to do.
The match vs. Michigan State was typical in that they wrestle on a raised platform, almost exactly the same set-up as mat #1 at Fargo. So, it was important for our guys to get the feel of that before we warmed up. In fact, we made all of our guys go out and stretch, jog and just get used to the unfamiliar feel of the mat.
We started at the 125 weight class where Brandon Precin worked hard to get a major decision. It seemed as though his opponent was not opening much so Brandon had a difficult time turning his guy. At 133 Mele hit a beautiful single that turned into a leg turk and ultimately a fall in the first period. Bobby Joyce came in at 141 and dominated his way to a 4-0 win. Andrew Nadhir had a close match at 149 and came out with a hard earned 6-5 victory. Welch followed with another shut-out win. At the break, we had built a 19-0 advantage and things were rolling. The momentum continued when Kevin Bialka came out with a 5-1 victory at 165. Kellogg looked the best that he has all year and lost a narrow 8-6 decision to a nationally ranked wrestler. At 184 and 197, both Jones and Schoen wrestled extremely well and were in on takedowns at the final buzzer sounded. Wrestling at this level is truly a sport of inches and final seconds. We learned that again this weekend.
However, what I was most impressed with was our team’s ability to respond from our defeat on Friday night. We need to wrestle from difficult situations and I believe that we did a great job of that against the Spartans. Now, our thoughts and training turn to our dual vs. Iowa.
Dual vs. Iowa on Friday Night: 7 p.m. at Welsh Ryan Arena
#12 Northwestern (15-1, 3-1 Big Ten): Probable Starters
125: Brandon Precin, (25-0, RS Sr.) Orland Park, Ill.
133: Levi Mele (14-4, So.) Vernal Utah
OR Bobby Joyce (8-5, RS Sr.) Arlington Heights, Ill.
141: Kaleb Friedley (20-5, Fr.) Kansas City, Mo.
149: Andrew Nadhir (23-3, RS Sr.) Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
157: Jason Welch (20-2, RS So.) Walnut Creek, Calif.
165: Kevin Bialka (10-10, So.,) Lockport, Ill.
174: Brian Roddy (8-3, RS So.) Highland Heights, Ohio
OR Robert Kellogg (3-12, RS Jr.) Sioux City, Iowa
184: Aaron Jones (14-7, Sr.) Macomb, Ill.
197: John Schoen (15-7, RS Jr.) Homer Glen, Ill.
285: Ben Kuhar (11-11, RS Jr.) Concord Township, Ohio
#8 Iowa Hawkeyes (9-0-1, 2-0 Big Ten): Probable Starters
125 Matt McDonough So. Marion, IA/Linn-Mar 14-1
133 Tyler Clark Jr. Bettendorf, IA/Iowa State 5-3
OR Tony Ramos *Fr. Carol Stream, IL/Glenbard North 11-3
141 Mark Ballweg So. Waverly, IA/Waverly-Shell Rock 13-3
149 Matt Ballweg Sr. Waverly, IA/Waverly-Shell Rock 2-3
157 Derek St. John *Fr. Parnell, IA/Iowa City West 11-2
165 Aaron Janssen Sr. Emmetsburg, IA/Emmetsburg 15-4
OR Jake Kerr Sr. Oskaloosa, IA/Oskaloosa 5-3
174 Ethen Lofthouse *Fr. Avon, UT/Mountain Crest 12-4
184 Grant Gambrall So. Iowa City, IA/Iowa City West 12-4
197 Luke Lofthouse Sr. Avon, UT/Mountain Crest 11-3
HWT Blake Rasing Jr. New Hampton, IA/New Hampton 10-3
- Drew Pariano
Head Wrestling Coach