Hokies Wrestling Team Smashes Clarion at Cassell Coliseum

Sunday night, the #4 ranked Hokies wrestling team took on Clarion at Cassell Coliseum. In my preview of the match I said that the match should be fairly competitive. I said this based on the team I watched lose to #25 ranked Iowa State at the Salem Civic Center in November. The Hokies could not have proven me more wrong. With only a few changes in the lineup and one starter out (Tommy Spellman), the #4 ranked Hokies blew Clarion out of the Cassell with a dominating 39-3 win.

The Hokies came out of the gate quick and 125 pound wrestler #13 ranked Jarrod Garnett got a quick two period 17-1 technical fall*. Freshman sensation #8 ranked Devin Carter followed with a dominating 1:04 pin. The other notable match of the night was between #5 ranked Hokie Jesse Dong, who was upset just the day before at UNC, and #12 ranked Kyle Braddock. When these two stepped on the mat I turned to a friend and said, "This will be the match of the night." Once again, I was proven wrong by a Hokie. Jesse came after Braddock off the whistle, took him down, and recorded the pin for Tech in just :29 seconds. The lone loss of the night for the Hokies was at 197 pounds, Alex Thomas of Clarion picked up a 12-8 win over Chris Penny.

Though the Hokies had just picked up wins over #2 ranked Oklahoma State and #4 ranked Wisconsin a week earlier, I still figured this as a decently competitive match. The January team just has this swagger about them that I did not see in the Hokies in November. It seemed to me that the Hokies went on the mat expecting to dominate, and they did just that. My excitement for the Hokies wrestling program has only grown after Sunday night and I am looking for big things out of the Hokies in the next two and a half months and throughout the ACC Championships and NCAA Championships.

The Hokies wrestling squad will hit the mat again this weekend for two duals. They will see #18 ranked Rutgers in New Jersey at 7:00 p.m. on Friday. After that the Hokies will go to College Park and take on ACC foe Maryland Sunday at 2:00 p.m. The Hokies will hit the mat again at the Cassell on Friday January 28 at 7:00 p.m when they will take on Lehigh.

*A technical fall is when one wrestler goes ahead by 15 points or more in the match. At this point, the match is stopped and the wrestler ahead is declared the winner.

DISCLAIMER: Blog posts may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.


So what you're saying is we're silly good? Are there any pictures from the meet available? Any idea why Spellman was out? Is the ACC a strong wrestling conference? Apologies in advance for the 20 questions.

Yes, That is What I Am Saying...Kind Of

Wrestling is a different sport and there are two main ways that teams compete. There are head to head dual meets, like the National Duals tournament (Hokies took 2nd) and the Clarion match, and then there are tournaments where wrestlers compete for their teams individually and they are seeded in a bracket and they just wrestle whoever is put in front of them. The Hokies are definitely a solid dual meet team, rankings on ESPN now put us at #3. But, another website, intermatwrestle.com, puts the Hokies all the way down at #16 as a tournament team. Meaning this is their ranking in tournaments like the ACC tournament and the NCAA Championships. As you advance rounds by winning individually in these tournaments, you score points, the further you get in the tournament, the more each match is worth. To keep it simple, i'll use this example, if you win your first match your team gets 1 point, second match your team gets 2 points, third 3 points etc. Basically this means that InterMat Wrestle thinks many of our wrestlers will get beat in early rounds and drop to the consolation (loser's) bracket, where point values diminish per match. So as a dual meet team, YES, we are silly good, as a tournament team, that is yet to be seen, the first time the Hokies see a tournament style competition will be ACC's.

As for pictures for the match, I didn't take any; I would be terrible at that. But hokiesports.com has them at http://www.hokiesports.com/wrestling/gallery/ .

As for Spellman, there is no word on him being injured, so I don't think that is the case. But, I did find out before the match that Clarion did not bring a few of their top wrestlers. Maybe, one of these was their 184-pounder, and Coach Dresser decided to get John Dickson some mat-time. While this is not usually an issue at the collegiate level, he could have also had issues making weight. So short answer, no, I have no idea why he didn't answer. But, I do have theories.

As far as the ACC, traditionally we are fairly strong, but not elite. I thought the Hokies had a chance of winning them last year, but fell short. This year, the Hokies are the only ACC team ranked in the dual meet top 25. They are also the highest ranked tournament team, with the next two being NC State and UVA. So, I would say this is an off year for the ACC, but as the ACC's is an individual tournament style competition, anything can happen. I still look for Coach Dresser to get his first championship this year.


That makes much more sense now, very interesting. I like that the team comes out through smoke, it's so "SEC recruiting". I am going to do my damnedest to try to see them wrestle this year.

The Smoke is Sweet...

But if they could kill the lights, that would set it off for sure.