#NextLevel notes — December 2

Like their high school counterparts in the Northeast Florida Matmen area, college wrestlers largely took a break last week.

That is, of course, except for the one collegian competing not for a varsity letter or for a partial funding of his education, but for the sheer love of the sport.

Central Florida senior Chris Fox (Fleming Island ’10) used the holiday weekend to pick up a win for the Knights on Saturday in Fort Myers against Florida Gulf Coast.

Fox, competing at 125 pounds for UCF, defeated FGC’s David Nguyen 4-0 as part of the Knights’ 30-18 dual victory.

Fox wasnt alone on the winning side of things, though. Coker College freshman Robert Parland (University Christian ’13) contributed a significant 6-5 decision at 197 pounds last Monday as the Cobras won the first home dual in college history, knocking off St. Andrews College 25-13.

Speaking of Coker wrestlers, fellow Cobra freshman Shane Carpenter (Creekside ’13) tweeted earlier Monday that he is brace-free and stitches-free following surgery to repair a torn meniscus. With any luck, Carpenter should be back in the Coker starting lineup in just a few weeks.

Otherwise, most wrestlers were idle and remain that way until this weekend, with the following #NextLevel dates on the map:

  • Edinboro — home to Scots freshman Victor Espana (Fleming Island ’13) — hosts the University of Iowa on Thursday night and will host the PSAC Championships on Saturday.
  • Ohio State — home to Buckeye redshirt freshman Josh Fox (University Christian ’12) — will travel to the Cliff Keen Invitational in Las Vegas this Friday and Saturday.
  • Coker — fresh off the home win mentioned earlier — will compete in a trio of duals hosted by in-state rival Newberry, all on Saturday.
  • North Central — home to Cardinal freshman Coll Robertson (Ridgeview ’13) — will travel to the Wisconsin Open in Madison on Saturday.
  • Hannibal-LaGrange — home to Trojan freshman Kyle McClinton (Middleburg ’13) — also goes to Wisconsin, with a dual Friday at Maranatha Baptist and a tournament hosted by the Milwaukee School of Engineering on Saturday.
  • Indiana Tech — home to Warrior first-year Ben Galloway (Fleming Island ’13) — will head far out west as well, competing in this weekend’s Battle of the Rockies Open in Great Falls, Montana.
  • Bacone College — home to Warrior first-year Frank Giordano (Ponte Vedra ’13) — will compete in duals at Wayland Baptist Friday night and at the Red Raider Duals in Amarillo, TX, on Saturday.
  • Iowa Western — home to Reiver first-year Jamarius Jackson (Ridgeview ’13) — will compete in Saturday’s Buena Vista Open in Storm Lake, Iowa. Jackson has yet to start for the Reivers.
  • Washington & Lee — home to Generals senior Daniel Igel (Bolles ’10) is off until December 20. Likewise, UCF and Chris Fox have a long break, with no competitions scheduled until December 21.

#NextLevel notebook — November 25

It’s been a long road for Ohio State University redshirt freshman Josh Fox.

A history of injuries — most recently a shoulder recently damaged while drilling with U.S. Olympic Team hopeful J.D. Bergman, a Buckeye graduate — have dotted Fox’s wrestling career over the past several years.

Last weekend, Fox got his chance to compete as a Buckeye in something other than open competitions, making the most of it in duals Saturday night and Sunday.

With family from Jacksonville making the 520-plus roadie to southern North Carolina, Fox (University Christian ’12) went 1-1 against Duke and Davidson, falling 9-1 Saturday night and taking a 9-0 win over Davidson’s Michael Moore.

Those four team points Sunday helped Ohio State build a 40-6 victory over Davidson on a day in which Buckeye coach Tom Ryan secured his 200th victory.

Fox’s loss on Saturday night was to Conner Hartman of Duke, ranked 19th nationally at 197, a weight up from where he normally competes.

“The weight difference was notable,” Bishop Kenny assistant coach Zach Fox said of his brother’s performance against Hartman. “He got ridden for 3:34 (in a 7-minute match) but he looked good on his feet, though.”

— North Central’s Coll Robertson (Ridgeview ’13) went 1-2 on Saturday at the Concordia (WI) University Open in the 149-pound weight class. Robertson decisioned Wabash’s Patrick Parham 7-2 for his lone victory.

— Hannibal-LaGrange’s Kyle McClinton (Middleburg ’13) went 1-2 at the Joe Parisi Open, hosted by Lindenwood (MO) University on Saturday. McClinton had a 35-second fall over Rock Kassebaum of Lincoln College for his win.

— In Coker College’s first dual meet in school history last Thursday, Robert Parland (University Christian ’13) fell by a 3-1 decision at 197. Parland and the Cobras host St. Andrews College tonight, Coker’s first home dual.

— NCWA senior wrestler Chris Fox (Fleming Island ’10, competing for Central Florida’s club team) was 1-2 on Saturday at the Shorter College Open in Rome, Georgia. He’ll be in Fort Myers this weekend for competition against Florida Gulf Coast University.

— There were no appearances for: Ben Galloway (Fleming Island ’13) for Indiana Tech at the Comet Duals hosted by Olivet (MI) College Saturday; Daniel Igel (Bolles ’10) for Washington & Lee in the Generals’ 47-0 dual loss to Division I George Mason Saturday; Jamarius Jackson (Ridgeview ’13) in Iowa Western’s win over Iowa Lakes last Wednesday. Additionally, no report was available at publication time on Iowa Western’s dual Sunday against Baker, or on Bacone College’s dual with Oklahoma City University Saturday.


November 20 Roundup Story

First-year coaches can often struggle to create a good fit with their new charges in any sport.

But after building a Stanton wrestling team that was solid enough to finish second in Class 2A District 2 a year ago, John Evans has taken his plan to Mandarin, and the results are paying off for the Mustangs.

Wednesday night, Northeast Florida Matmen honorable mention listed-Mandarin swept to convincing victories in its home opener, turning the spotlight on Lee and Englewood with 66-12 and 63-12 dual wins, respectively.

Eight Mustang wrestlers were double winners on the night, with Joshua Harris (113), Chase Mattox (120), Ian Winton (126), John Perrone (160), Samuel Hernandez (182) and Codie Miller (285) all recording two falls. Richard Gagnon (170) had one pin and one technical fall, while Camilo Calderon (138, in his first varsity matches) had one pin and one forfeit for Mandarin (7-3).

Englewood (3-2) opened the night with a 48-24 victory over Lee before running into the Mustang buzzsaw later. The Rams had two double winners on the evening, as Kevin Herrera (132) and Eric Hill (220) each had two pins.

Lee got its season underway Wednesday night, with Tony Belle (152) as the Generals’ lone unbeaten wrestler. Belle had a pair of pins on the night.

Bishop Kenny 54, Ponte Vedra 12: A second dose of home cooking proved as good as the first for the NEFLM HM-listed Crusaders, who improved to 7-1 with the victory.

Ryan Timmons (106), Christian Barakat (120), Nick Toney (132), Logan Bote (145) and Kuba Kaszuba (170) all recorded pins for Bishop Kenny, which also secured four additional forfeit victories against a shorter-handed Sharks side.

Ponte Vedra (1-7) did pick up falls from Anthony Giordano (113) and Colin Peaks (152) for its dual points.

Next Level note: Speaking of Ponte Vedra, Sharks coach Mike Ostlund noted earlier this week that Class of 2013 team member Frank Giordano is still practicing with Bacone College (Okla.) after getting hurt during wrestleoffs.

Also, Iowa Western CC first-year wrestler Jamarius Jackson (Ridgeview ’13) has yet to appear for the Reivers after not cracking the lineup in Iowa Western’s 25-15 victory over Iowa Lakes CC Wednesday night.


#NextLevel notebook — November 18

North Central (IL) freshman Coll Robertson (Ridgeview ’13) is still getting used to calling the western suburbs of Chicago a “sweet home.”

It got a little sweeter for Robertson, however, at Saturday’s Trine University Open, where Robertson picked up his first intercollegiate victories at 149 pounds while wrestling unattached for the Cardinals.

Robertson defeated wrestlers from Alma and Olivet, both Michigan colleges, to reach the quarterfinals at 149, where his path to advancement came to an end. Robertson went 2-2 on the day, two matches short of a place finish.

Robertson and the Cardinals will swing into action next this coming Saturday at the Concordia Open in Mequon, Wis.

Coker College freshman Robert Parland (University Christian ’13) picked up his third win of 2013-14 on Sunday at the North Carolina State Open, knocking off a Division I wrestler from Davidson in sudden victory, 3-1, at 197 pounds. Parland went 1-2 on the day, facing three D1 wrestlers.

Other than Robertson and Parland, it was a quiet week for @NEFloridaMatmen #NextLevel wrestlers. Coker freshman Shane Carpenter (Creekside ’13) sustained a torn meniscus and is hoping to compete in the Cobras’ home dual, along with Parland, on Thursday against Limestone. Washington & Lee senior Daniel Igel (Bolles ’10) missed Saturday’s dual against Manchester. The Generals’ next match is this coming Saturday with a home date against George Mason. Indiana Tech freshman Ben Galloway (Fleming Island ’13) did not compete in Saturday’s Eastern Michigan Open in either the duals or open competitions. Tech next competes in the Comet Duals at Olivet College this coming Saturday. Iowa Western CC first-year Jamarius Jackson (Ridgeview ’13) did not compete at the Harold Nichols Open, hosted by Iowa State, on Saturday, but Jackson could see action in the Reivers’ duals Wednesday against Iowa Lakes CC and Sunday against Pratt. Hannibal-LaGrange was idle this weekend, but freshman Kyle McClinton (Middleburg ’13) and the Trojans will be at the Joe Parisi Open this coming Saturday.

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.
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!