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Couple of #NextLevels

I have been alerted to Christian Tejada (Orange Park ’14) wrestling for Newberry (new roster not updated on college’s website) and that Travis Laxton (Suwannee ’10) will be at Coker for his final season while he’s in graduate school. Laxton is not on the Coker episode yet, but I’m told he will be.

That gives me four for-sures in Josh Fox, Robert Parland and now Tejada and hopefully Laxton. Not sure about whether Coll Robertson (Ridgeview ’13) will return to North Central (IL) College. I’d heard a few things in the air about Anthony Hauser (Oakleaf ’14), but nothing concrete…who else will be competing next year?

On a related note, I did hear that Charles Cuthbert (Fleming Island ’14) won the U.S. Naval Academy’s “Plebe Smoker” event at 141 pounds this summer. Cuthbert pinned an Indiana state runnerup to win the event. His graduating class, so I have been told, has 20 state placewinners and one additional qualifier in Thomas Monaghan (Fernandina Beach ’14).

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Next Level Note 11/4

FRIDAY MORNING UPDATE: Hannibal-LaGrange freshman Kyle McClinton (Middleburg ’13) did not start in Thursday night’s HLG dual victory over Benedictine. McClinton said on Twitter that his previous competition last weekend at 149 pounds left him weighing too much for the dual, but he would be at 141 pounds for the Trojans when they travel to Galesburg, Illinois, for the Knox College Invitational on Saturday.

I have not yet been able to determine if Frank Giordano (Ponte Vedra ’13) is on the wrestling roster still for Bacone College. Giordano did not start for Bacone in its 31-6 loss to Baker on Wednesday night.

As for the rest of the wrestlers in the @NEFloridaMatmen coverage area, the 2013-14 college wrestling season kicked off last weekend, with four wrestlers seeing action right away. Two others went through wrestle-offs prior to their seasons beginning later this week and weekend.

In Charleston, SC, Coker College freshmen Shane Carpenter (Creekside ’13) and Robert Parland (University Christian ’13) were part of the Cobras’ inaugural squad competing at The Citadel Open on Saturday.

Carpenter went 4-2 on the day at 184 pounds, with a quarterfinal loss to the eventual bracket champion Jared Holiday of Newberry, 5-1. Carpenter had one pin and three decisions, including a wrestleback quarterfinal 4-1 win over Division I opponent Alex Kruklinski of Appalachian State. Carpenter’s bid for a place-finish fell just short, with an 8-5 loss to Jesse Masters of King in the wrestleback semis.

Parland was 2-2 at 197, losing by fall in the first round to eventual bracket champion Jacob Dempsey of Life University. Parland then had one pin and one decision in the wrestlebacks before Division I wrestler Kacee Hutchinson, also of Appalachian State, eliminated him with a 4-1 decision.

Coker’s next wrestling will be next Saturday at the UNC-Pembroke Open.

Also competing at The Citadel on Saturday for Central Florida’s club team was Chris Fox, a senior (Fleming Island ’10), who was 1-2 at 125 pounds. UCF is an NCWA-sanctioned club team.

Indiana Tech freshman Ben Galloway (Fleming Island ’13) saw his first action of 2013-14 at the Baldwin-Wallace Open in Berea, Ohio, on Saturday. Galloway, competing at 174 pounds, lost by major decision to the eventual bracket champion and went 0-2 on the day.

Galloway might get a chance to catch up with fellow freshman and FI Class of 13 grad Victor Espana, now at Edinboro University, as Edinboro and Indiana Tech will be at the Michigan State Open next Saturday. It’ll be the Fighting Scots’ season-opener.

Speaking of locals who could debut at Sparty, count Ohio State redshirt freshman Josh Fox (University Christian ’12) in that mix. Fox was held out of last Sunday’s competition at Clarion (Pa.) University’s open event after he sustained what brother Zach Fox termed either a broken rib or torn cartilage after Josh sparred with Buckeye alum and U.S. Olympic hopeful J.D. Bergman in practice last week.

McClinton did make his collegiate debut for Hannibal-LaGrange last Saturday as HLG defeated Illinois State University’s club team by a 33-18 count. McClinton came up short at 149 pounds against Redbird junior Kyle Carstens, falling by an 8-3 decision.

We’ll see two more locals make their season debuts this weekend. Washington & Lee co-captain Daniel Igel (Bolles ’10) will kick off his senior season along with the Generals at the Washington & Jefferson (PA) Invitational on Saturday. Additionally, Iowa Western freshman Jamarius Jackson (Ridgeview ’13) will open at the Loras Open on Saturday. Jackson is ranked 10th by InterMat at 133 pounds in the NJCAA preseason national rankings list.

North Central (IL) College freshman Coll Robertson (Ridgeview ’13) competed in the Cardinals’ wrestleoff event last weekend. North Central will not begin its season until November 16th at the Trine University Open.

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Next Level

Next Level Note 10/29

The @NEFloridaMatmen area will have at least two wrestlers starting at the collegiate level later on this fall.

We learned a few days back about Washington & Lee senior Daniel Igel (Bolles ’10), who’ll be a co-captain for the Generals in his senior season at W&L. That was our first area college starter news.

However, on Monday, I received a message via Twitter that 2013 Creekside state champion Shane Carpenter will be Coker University’s starting 184-pounder when the Cobras travel to Charleston for The Citadel’s open tournament on Saturday. Carpenter defeated Joseph Holland, a freshman from South Carolina, for the spot.

A few other notes from around the area:

  • Robert Parland (University Christian ’13) is 1-1 in his wrestleoff at 197 pounds for Coker, going up against junior transfer Alex Green, who dropped down from 285 to contend for the spot at 197. I expect a tiebreaker match soon, given Coker’s first competition on Saturday. I have reached out to Coker’s SID (sports information director) for more information from last weekend’s Blue & Gold meet.
  • Kyle McClinton (Middleburg ’13) will be the backup at 141 pounds for Hannibal-LaGrange University, an NAIA program in Missouri. McClinton will be the #2 behind HLGU sophomore Caleb Shuck. The Trojans will face Illinois State University’s club program for their season opener on Saturday.
  • Freshmen Coll Robertson (Ridgeview ’13) and Frank Giordano (Ponte Vedra ’13) will go through wrestleoffs this week. Robertson let me know on Twitter that his wrestleoff at North Central College (IL), a Division III program, is scheduled for Saturday, while the website for Giordano’s school, Bacone (Okla.), also an NAIA program, indicated that intrasquad competition is set for Wednesday evening. Bacone’s competitive season begins on Sunday at the Baker/OCU Open.
  • Indiana Tech freshman Ben Galloway (Fleming Island ’13) went through an intrasquad meet Thursday night according to that wrestling team’s Twitter account; I do know that NAIA-level program will begin competition Saturday at the Baldwin-Wallace (Ohio) Open, so Galloway should see some mat time.
  • Also, no new word on either Edinboro freshman Victor Espana (Fleming Island ’13) or Ohio State sophomore Josh Fox (University Christian ’12) at the Division I level. I would expect Fox to get some mat time on Sunday at the Clarion (PA) Open.
  • Lastly, I have no updates on either Jamarius Jackson (Ridgeview ’13) or Cody Hankerson (University Christian ’13) competing in Iowa. Jackson is at Iowa Western, which opens competition on November 9, and Hankerson had signed with Morningside, which begins on November 15, but as of now does not appear on its roster.
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Next Level

Next Level note 10/14

Updated Friday, October 18, 9 a.m. —

For now, fomer University Christian standout and 2012 state champion Josh Fox will have to wait his turn at 184 pounds for Ohio State.

Fox lost by technical fall in the third period to 2012-13 Ohio State University starter Kenny Courts in Thursday night’s wrestleoffs at French Fieldhouse in Columbus, Ohio. Wrestleoffs have traditionally determined at least the initial starting lineup for a Division I wrestling team. As of now, by virtue of Fox’s Tuesday night preliminary victory, he is the No. 2 at the weight.

We’re continuing to monitor our other wrestlers who’ve gone on to compete at the collegiate level. Coker College is holding its intrasquad Blue & Gold competition on October 26, and Division III teams began practice this week.

Interesting note — in researching Iowa Western’s schedule to see when Ridgeview 2xer Jamarius Jackson’s season would begin — I saw a familiar name. Jackson’s head coach is Josh Watts, whom I covered back when he was in high school in Iowa. Interviewed him a couple of times, a long, long time ago.

Watch this space for more Next Level news and notes!

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Next Level

NE Florida Matmen — The Next Level

Right now, as far as I know, there are 10 wrestlers within the NEFM area that are competing at the collegiate level. Here’s the list as it stands right now. Practices have already begun, and we should start to see who might make an impact right away.

Two wrestlers are in Division I programs. University Christian’s Josh Fox (’12) is at Ohio State and Fleming Island’s Victor Espana (’13) is at Edinboro.

There are two wrestlers in Division II, both at first-year program Coker College in Hartsville, S.C. Creekside’s Shane Carpenter (’13) is one of four freshmen at 184 and UC’s Robert Parland (’13) is battling with three other Cobras for a shot at the starting berth at 197.

Right now, I know of just one wrestler in Division III, where Ridgeview’s Coll Robertson (’13) made the long jaunt to Naperville, Illinois (just two hours from where I came from before moving here) to compete for North Central College.

There are four wrestlers in NAIA programs, all 2013 grads, and all in Midwestern programs. Cody Hankerson of UC is at Morningside College, while Middleburg’s Kyle McClinton is at Hannibal-LaGrange. Ben Galloway of Fleming Island is at Indiana Tech and Ponte Vedra’s Frank Giordano is at Bacone College.

Lastly, but not least, 2A two-time champion Jamarius Jackson (Ridgeview ’13) is a first-year competitor at Iowa Western Community College, which was ranked fifth nationally in the last NJCAA nationwide rankings.

If you have knowledge of other NEFM-area wrestlers competing at the next level, let me know here! I’ll be updating their progress once the season begins in just a few weeks. That’s a very good thought…the season beginning in just a few weeks…