197lb Weight Class Overview: Stan Smeltzer or Cody Howard

2018/2019 Season

Tom Sleight (r-SR, Dubois PA) was a grad transfer from Bucknell where his record as a Bison was 86-39. With the Hokies, his record was a solid 23-8 (4-1 ACC). He would finish third in the ACC Tournament and thus qualify for the NCAA Tournament. Here, he would make it to the quarterfinals before finishing 2-2, with a loss to last year's 197lb finalist Kollin Moore (Ohio St.). His best win as a Hokie was against Dakota Greer (Ok St.) who was ranked 9th at the time before moving down to 184lbs.

2019/2020 Season

Stanley Smeltzer (r-SO, Smithfield VA) is listed as a 184lbs, but will wrestle this season at the 197lbs weight class. Last year, he went 4-3 before his season was shut down due to a knee injury. During the 2017/2018 season, where he took a redshirt, his record was 22-8 unattached with 12 of those wins being a major decision or better.

Smeltzer has shown lots of upside. For offense he has shown to use a duck under, high-C shot when he wants to tie up. If he is hand fighting, he will shoot a sneaky low sweep single. I have concerns for Stan Smeltzer in referee's position though. He is noticeably smaller than a typical 197lber, and against seasoned competition he is gonna struggle getting out from bottom and keeping opponents down when on top. But he has shown great strength in his take downs during the wrestle off.

Dakota Howard (r-FR, Berea OH) went 9-4 in his redshirt year which was at 197lbs as well. He is a stocky wrestler. His offense consists of a inside single leg shot and then doubles up the free leg to drives his opponents perpendicularly. Howard could improve his shot by clearing the opponent's hands better. Many times he can be caught forcing the shot and pretty much telegraphs it. Howard does pressure his opponents though, and shows to have good conditioning.

In the Intrasquad Wrestleoff, Smetlzer got the best of Howard, winning 6-5. But if you ask those who watched the match, the results could have gone either way. If we go with the wrestleoff results, Stan Smeltzer will get the nod to start the season. But this does not mean that we wont see Cody Howard participate in some tournament. He also could challenge Smeltzer through out the season (they will meet in the Southeast Open) or if Smeltzer does not look fully recovered from his knee injury.

Regardless of what wrestler starts there prediction would be the same, 2-3 in ACC duels with a disappointment against either UNC or Pitt. But I think one of these hard losses will be beneficial in the ACC tournament where either would avenge their loss.

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