2022 PA States

BrockBronson

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I agree Jefe knows his stuff. Thanks for the insight.
Did anyone else see the Faith Christian recruiting booth at Hershey? Is this normal. I know Becca hands out fliers
 

5q

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Definitely a high motor. He is quick, but nobody has RBY type quickness.

He’s super polished on top. His grandfather, Mike Ciasulli, founded Red Hawk wrestling, which produced basically every really good top kid in the Lehigh Valley and western NJ in the 2000s (Hudson Taylor, Kellen Russell, and Mike McMullen were his most successful
pupils in college; Tim Darling, Mike Rogers, and his three sons were majorly successful in HS, amongst others). But all of those kids were great with legs, fabulous sense of balance, and super physical.

The club and that system have been resurrected by Desmond’s uncle, Seth (R12 at Lehigh and a 2x PA silver medalist). Nate is the platonic ideal of the style they teach there. He’s not elite on his feet yet, and will need to get there to be elite at the next level. But he’s super comfortable on the mat, has a million turns, great on bottom. That part of his game is developed way beyond a freshman.
I lived in Lehigh valley 2002-2007
Mikey rogers. 2 of the ciasulli kids. (One Leigh , one a 3 time champ (I think Seth). Oplinger and the other 2 time champ at his school. Haines I think. Man at that time , I thought they would all excel at college as they dominated D11 and states, but they didn’t do much. I was shocked.
 

RoverNation05

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I lived in Lehigh valley 2002-2007
Mikey rogers. 2 of the ciasulli kids. (One Leigh , one a 3 time champ (I think Seth). Oplinger and the other 2 time champ at his school. Haines I think. Man at that time , I thought they would all excel at college as they dominated D11 and states, but they didn’t do much. I was shocked.
Haines had some major injury issues that ended his college career before it got started. That wasn’t a talent or development problem, that was blown out discs in his back and was never the same problem.

Oplinger got caught between weights. Had a huge pull to 197, but was too small to wrestle heavy, particularly in that era. Was a blood round guy, but never fill came together for him.

Matt was the 3x champ of the Ciasulli’s. I think Desmond wrestled EXACTLY like him
in a way I find kind of jarring. Matt forever changed how I evaluate kids coming out of high school - he was such a good mat wrestler, but never developed enough on his feet to be elite. I thought he’d be a slam dunk, and just wasn’t because he couldn’t take down the elite guys reliably enough. That is what I think Desmond will need to overcome if he is going to reach his potential. Both he and Seth were blood round guys at Lehigh, which was probably Seth’s ceiling but an underachiement by Matt.

Rogers had what I’ll generously call character concerns. He was a academic non-qualifier out of HS had had to go the JUCO route and was just not disciplined or focused enough to wander that path. The great what if for me is what would have happened had he actually made it to Nebraska with all that talent, then Jordan Burroughs coming in as a training partner the next year. He and Gregor Gillespie were remarkably similar wrestlers, and had he not pissed it away I think could have had remarkably similar results.

The moral of the story, EVERYTHING has to go right for you to make it. Talent alone absolutely isn’t enough.
 

El-Jefe

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A few stats:

Champs by regional:
AA: NE 5, SE 5, SW 3, NW 0
AAA: SW 7, NE 4, NW 2, SC 0, SE 2

Medalists by regional:
AA: NE 27, SE 27, SW 26, NW 24
AAA: SW 34, NE 19, SC 18, NW 17, SE 16

Champs by year:
AA: SR 6, JR 4, SO 4, FR 1
AAA: SR 2, JR 7, SO 2, FR 2

Medalists by year:
AA: SR 43, JR 29, SO 23, FR 9
AAA: SR 49, JR 25, SO 20, FR 10

25 of 26 champs were regional champs. Watters was a regional runner-up.

20 champs were previous medalists. 3 are freshmen (Desmond, Perry, Seidel). 2 (Watters, Finnerty) are returning SQs who had never placed before). Manville is the only first-time qualifier, though he was a MN state champ in 7th grade and last year was NW-3 (which qualifies every year except 2021).

2 SR champs remain uncommitted (Bradley, Cory); plus 5 SR runners-up (Palmer, Pierce, Alderfer, Morrison, Collins). (As far as I know they're still uncommitted.)
 

Flying_Tiger

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I lived in Lehigh valley 2002-2007
Mikey rogers. 2 of the ciasulli kids. (One Leigh , one a 3 time champ (I think Seth). Oplinger and the other 2 time champ at his school. Haines I think. Man at that time , I thought they would all excel at college as they dominated D11 and states, but they didn’t do much. I was shocked.
Wrestling is so popular in the Lehigh Valley that you have a huge pool of kids wrestling from the age of 5 up, getting elite coaching & training and going to excellent camps, many are near their ceiling by the time they go to college. I remember the 2000s and how many guys that had great success in high school that didn't do much in Division I.
 

Callthestall

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Particularly kids from his alma mater. And the next kid Cael gets out of the Lehigh Valley will be his first, which remains the weirdest thing in Pennsylvania recruiting.
I have brought up the issue a few times about not recruiting well in the Lehigh Valley. It is documented that he has tried a few times. I believe about every high school cycle (4 years or so our area produces 1-2 kids that could be real good at a top college program.) It is well posted about my thoughts concerning Sasso and my disappointment that we did not recruit him. If we had him in line up the last 2 years we possibly had enough last year and would be in better shape this year to keep the domination continuing.
Let's hope Cael and Co. goes after Desmond. Maybe the M2 connection helps. Ciasulli's connection to Lehigh will certainly counter some of that. If Crookham does well and Lehigh starts to flirt Top Ten,I think you are going to see some of the young talent we saw at this year states wearing Brown and White. Rath and Campbell being examples. Obviously it is very early in the process but I spoke to a guy that knows Santoro well and he knows the young Valley base is real good coming up.
 
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royboy

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Wrestling is so popular in the Lehigh Valley that you have a huge pool of kids wrestling from the age of 5 up, getting elite coaching & training and going to excellent camps, many are near their ceiling by the time they go to college. I remember the 2000s and how many guys that had great success in high school that didn't do much in Division I.
Interesting point. Sounds like Texas HS Football. They produce many 4 and 5 star recruits who then don't improve much in college. Not sure if this is happening in Lehigh Valley, but in some of the biggest football towns in Texas (and some other places) kids are held back in school before entering high school and have the advantage of more physical development.
 

mhs103

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I have brought up the issue a few times about not recruiting well in the Lehigh Valley. It is documented that he has tried a few times. I believe about every high school cycle (4 years or so our area produces 1-2 kids that could be real good at a top college program.) It is well posted about my thoughts concerning Sasso and my disappointment that we did not recruit him. If we had him in line up the last 2 years we possibly had enough last year and would be in better shape this year to keep the domination continuing.
Let's hope Cael and Co. goes after Desmond. Maybe the M2 connection helps. Ciasulli's connection to Lehigh will certainly counter some of that. If Crookham does well and Lehigh starts to flirt Top Ten,I think you are going to see some of the young talent we saw at this year states wearing Brown and White. Rath and Campbell being examples. Obviously it is very early in the process but I spoke to a guy that knows Santoro well and he knows the young Valley base is real good coming up.
Could Darling's PSU experience have an impact on D11 recruiting success?
 

El-Jefe

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Could Darling's PSU experience have an impact on D11 recruiting success?
This is implausible because:
1. His arrest was in 2009 -- 13 years ago -- what parents remember that?
2. This year's seniors would've been in kindergarten then
3. Darling admitted to the crime -- forging Adderall prescriptions
4. Cael was still at Iowa State then

It would be far more recent and with greater consequence to associate Pitt with hookers and fentanyl because of Racciato -- and no recruit is doing that either.
 
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jschrantz

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I have brought up the issue a few times about not recruiting well in the Lehigh Valley. It is documented that he has tried a few times. I believe about every high school cycle (4 years or so our area produces 1-2 kids that could be real good at a top college program.) It is well posted about my thoughts concerning Sasso and my disappointment that we did not recruit him. If we had him in line up the last 2 years we possibly had enough last year and would be in better shape this year to keep the domination continuing.
Let's hope Cael and Co. goes after Desmond. Maybe the M2 connection helps. Ciasulli's connection to Lehigh will certainly counter some of that. If Crookham does well and Lehigh starts to flirt Top Ten,I think you are going to see some of the young talent we saw at this year states wearing Brown and White. Rath and Campbell being examples. Obviously it is very early in the process but I spoke to a guy that knows Santoro well and he knows the young Valley base is real good coming up.
Expect a Kasak verbal to PSU in the next 2-3 weeks to flip the script. A few People in Hershey seem to think so
 

RoverNation05

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There’s merit to the over developed argument, to a point, but I think that’s an argument against mid-tier Valley kids, not the top of the heap. The kids who are Division I, but not top ten program caliber (like the slew of D11 kids who go Ivy) tend to be pretty maxed out.

You did have that stretch 20 years ago where D11’s college results did not match their high school ones, which interestingly came immediately after their one of the best performing generation of colleges guys (the Trenge, Snyder. Billman, Dillon, Killar, Stuart, Doto, Vitale, Frick). But that 01-08 generation that only saw Ecklof and Krom AA and while I pointed out some individual reason for why some guys didn’t blossom, but there was definitely structural stuff in place too - I’ve been critical in other places of Northampton’s development and style (and Saucon’s now) for getting guys ready for the next level, and I think other programs/clubs had an over emphasis of top wrestling in a way that didn’t translate. Also, a lot of those kids (many of whom I’ve know for a long time and like personally) were nuts.

But has the “Lehigh Valley studs aren’t good in college” thing been true since? Starting with Oliver, there have been good college careers with podium appearances from Cruz, Lizak, Labriola, Sasso, Moisey, Minotti. We’ll see on the Condomitti, Pinto, Handlovic group that is just getting started, but they feel more college ready than that group twenty years ago. What you haven’t seen is the multi year medalist who maybe makes finals or wins a weight without a superstar then blossom into a legit guy in college, which you probably can attribute to the over development angle (a kid like Danny Moran or Travis Stefanik comes to mind), but Penn State isn’t and shouldn’t be in on those kids anyway.

Taking this back to states, in the underclassmen group, I’d be on Rath, Desmond, Kinney if I’m Penn State, in that order. I think Rath is the best athlete of the three in a way that gives him upside beyond how polished he is for a freshman. Desmond is the best now, but he’d be the one I’d have the closest eye on to see how he jumps levels developmentally. Kinney is very skilled for his size, and I think he probably has the highest floor, but I do have some ceiling questions. Campbell I think is a guy that’s going to be maxed out pretty early, I don’t think he’ll be a Penn State level kid at all. Parkins I have no idea, he’s gotta actually wrestle.
 

RoverNation05

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This is implausible because:
1. His arrest was in 2009 -- 13 years ago -- what parents remember that?
2. This year's seniors would've been in kindergarten then
3. Darling admitted to the crime -- forging Adderall prescriptions
4. Cael was still at Iowa State then

It would be far more recent and with greater consequence to associate Pitt with hookers and fentanyl because of Racciato -- and no recruit is doing that either.
In a weird way, maybe, but not in a “Tim wasn’t successful at Penn State, so we won’t send kids there” kind of way. But I think Darling was one of a large group of guys in that generation that had red flags that then flamed out in college due to off the mat stuff, that gave the Lehigh Valley a reputation for guys who partied and got in trouble and relied on talent that has taken a while to shake. I think that plays back in Sasso’s recruitment for one. Is it a major factor? Of course not. But I think that rep still persists a little.
 

El-Jefe

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Taking this back to states, in the underclassmen group, I’d be on Rath, Desmond, Kinney if I’m Penn State, in that order. I think Rath is the best athlete of the three in a way that gives him upside beyond how polished he is for a freshman. Desmond is the best now, but he’d be the one I’d have the closest eye on to see how he jumps levels developmentally. Kinney is very skilled for his size, and I think he probably has the highest floor, but I do have some ceiling questions. Campbell I think is a guy that’s going to be maxed out pretty early, I don’t think he’ll be a Penn State level kid at all. Parkins I have no idea, he’s gotta actually wrestle.
Kinney strikes me as another Nick Nevills -- a tremendous HWT wrestler who can be a 3x/4x AA in college, but will likely struggle with a nimble athletic college HWT like Cassar or Snyder or Gwiz.

Of course there are very few nimble athletic college HWTs like Cassar or Snyder or Gwiz coming up. Feldman, Mullen, who else exactly? They don't grow on trees.

But Nick did wrestle a lot of low-scoring matches in college. He was very good at them, but that does give much less margin for error, and it did come back to bite him occasionally (for example, Dhesi). Kinney would likely have the same risk.
 
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El-Jefe

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In a weird way, maybe, but not in a “Tim wasn’t successful at Penn State, so we won’t send kids there” kind of way. But I think Darling was one of a large group of guys in that generation that had red flags that then flamed out in college due to off the mat stuff, that gave the Lehigh Valley a reputation for guys who partied and got in trouble and relied on talent that has taken a while to shake. I think that plays back in Sasso’s recruitment for one. Is it a major factor? Of course not. But I think that rep still persists a little.
D11 could have more of a partier reputation than some other places. Doubt that impacts a lot of coaches -- they need to evaluate individuals if they're gonna keep their jobs. But could see coaches applying more scrutiny to D11 athletes for that reason.

D11 has more guys with East Coast attitudes, which isn't the PSU stereotype. But we've had any number from New Jersey -- Cael didn't reject Robbie Howard, for example.

Rather than the behavioral stuff, PSU could have a reputation within D11 for simply not being interested in D11 athletes. We didn't pursue Kindig or Sasso, didn't push really hard for Labriola, etc. From a PSU perspective there were really good reasons for each of them (many of them roster driven), but I could see a cumulative effect from the D11 perspective.

Hopefully we land Kasak and all of this dies.
 
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vjk

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A few stats:

Champs by regional:
AA: NE 5, SE 5, SW 3, NW 0
AAA: SW 7, NE 4, NW 2, SC 0, SE 2

Medalists by regional:
AA: NE 27, SE 27, SW 26, NW 24
AAA: SW 34, NE 19, SC 18, NW 17, SE 16

Champs by year:
AA: SR 6, JR 4, SO 4, FR 1
AAA: SR 2, JR 7, SO 2, FR 2

Medalists by year:
AA: SR 43, JR 29, SO 23, FR 9
AAA: SR 49, JR 25, SO 20, FR 10

25 of 26 champs were regional champs. Watters was a regional runner-up.

20 champs were previous medalists. 3 are freshmen (Desmond, Perry, Seidel). 2 (Watters, Finnerty) are returning SQs who had never placed before). Manville is the only first-time qualifier, though he was a MN state champ in 7th grade and last year was NW-3 (which qualifies every year except 2021).

2 SR champs remain uncommitted (Bradley, Cory); plus 5 SR runners-up (Palmer, Pierce, Alderfer, Morrison, Collins). (As far as I know they're still uncommitted.)

Great compilation of stats! Once again, the WPIAL (SW District 7) dominated the AAA Medal stand! Over the years--- the WPIAL doesn't always compete for a PIAA TEAM title but always has lots of depth--- with champions coming from solid programs such as Franklin Regional, North Allegheny, West Allegheny, Kiski Area, Canon-Mcmillan, Waynesburg, Mt. Lebanon, trinity, Latrobe, Kittanning, Connellsville, Central, Penn Trafford, Chartiers-Valley, Seneca Valley, hempfield and more---
Looking forward to watching all the PA wrestlers compete next week at Nationals!
 

El-Jefe

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"WPIAL dominance" always cracks me up. Of course they do -- it's a hotbed of wrestling, also at least twice the size of D11 geographically and with greater population density and many more schools.

I'd bet those numbers would be significantly different if D11 swallowed Berks (Reading), Luzerne (W-B), plus the northern half of Bucks, Montgomery, and Chester Counties.

D3 ... well, they don't have that excuse. Also in AAA they somehow are allowed to have an extra week of recovery after regionals.

districts_map.png
 

RoverNation05

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D11 could have more of a partier reputation than some other places. Doubt that impacts a lot of coaches -- they need to evaluate individuals if they're gonna keep their jobs. But could see coaches applying more scrutiny to D11 athletes for that reason.

D11 has more guys with East Coast attitudes, which isn't the PSU stereotype. But we've had any number from New Jersey -- Cael didn't reject Robbie Howard, for example.

Rather than the behavioral stuff, PSU could have a reputation within D11 for simply not being interested in D11 athletes. We didn't pursue Kindig or Sasso, didn't push really hard for Labriola, etc. From a PSU perspective there were really good reasons for each of them (many of them roster driven), but I could see a cumulative effect from the D11 perspective.

Hopefully we land Kasak and all of this dies.
(Whispers) “Kasak is from District One”
 

El-Jefe

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(Whispers) “Kasak is from District One”
Ha!

It would be exceptionally petty to say Kasak lives in Doylestown and that's why Cael was interested.

Then again, how petty is too petty for some parents of HS athletes? Or for some coaches ... thinking George Curry's decades of steering Berwick football players away from Joe.
 
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GogglesPaizano

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Ok, with State's in the bank, what is someone in the know's crystal ball say in terms of the top 4-5 uncommitted kids from any graduating class that look like they have the 'Elite' ability to fit well with our program, in weight classes where we have a need.

It always amazes me how friggin dominant some highschool wrestlers were, only to be just average or less in college.

At the NCAA level, it seems every top 25-50 kid was a state champ somewhere, many even multi time champs. Or guys like Pipfer on our squad who are 'mostly' room guys. I think he was a 3xer known for being a devastating pinner. Great kid, but State champion medals alone can be quite deceiving.

I saw many of the individual comments above, and I expect Dice/Richard's spreadsheet will see adjustments in short order, but a consolidated PA States key takeaways summary from a PSU only point of view would be interesting.
 
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El-Jefe

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Ok, with State's in the bank, what is someone in the know's crystal ball say in terms of the top 4-5 uncommitted kids from any graduating class that look like they have the 'Elote' ability to fit well with our program, in weight classes where we have a need.

It always amazes me how friggin dominant some highschool wrestlers were, only to be just average or less in college.

At the NCAA level, it seems every top 25-50 kid was a state champ somewhere, many even multi time champs. Or guys like Pipfer on our squad who are 'mostly' room guys. I think he was a 3xer known for being a devastating pinner. Great kid, but State champion medals alone can be quite deceiving.

I saw many of the individual comments above, and I expect Dice's spreadsheet will see adjustments in short order, but a consolidated PA States key takeaways summary from a PSU only point of view would be interesting.
I took a shot at it in Post # 115 above.

Though I doubt any of them have "Elote" ability.

xqfpbb8fhyhujirkccgx.jpg
 

RoverNation05

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Ha!

It would be exceptionally petty to say Kasak lives in Doylestown and that's why Cael was interested.

Then again, how petty is too petty for some parents of HS athletes? Or for some coaches ... thinking George Curry's decades of steering Berwick football players away from Joe.
I don’t think coaches steer kids away from Penn State. I think it’s mostly roster fit. But I also don’t think there is a relationship there either. Certainly Bryan Snyder has great ones for obvious reasons. I know you all hate Tan Tom, but he does a tremendous job nurturing a relationship with Steve Powell, dating back to when he was at Hofstra, it’s my understanding it’s the same with Dave Crowell. Frank Pop is another guy that everybody in the Valley likes and seems to be around all the time doing clinics and generally creating good will.

Penn State doesn’t need to do any of that stuff (and doesn’t) and just because your high school or club coach likes a guy doesn’t mean you should go to college there. But it’s something that has an affect on the margins.
 

El-Jefe

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But in all seriousness -- it's great to be on top of the toughest state in the country, but being a college AA means being on top of all the other states too.

So it's really important to see how these kids do at the major offseason events -- Fargo, Super 32, Disney, etc. -- and in major in-season multi-state tourneys like Ironman, Powerade, Beast, Escape the Rock, etc. (though in fairness, the kids can't control if their teams get invited to these).

For example: Tan Tom no doubt got a really good one in Welsh. And I'm really hoping to see him at Fargo against Barr. Got a feeling we're gonna be happy with Cael's choice.
 

nitlion6

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Wrestling is so popular in the Lehigh Valley that you have a huge pool of kids wrestling from the age of 5 up, getting elite coaching & training and going to excellent camps, many are near their ceiling by the time they go to college. I remember the 2000s and how many guys that had great success in high school that didn't do much in Division I.
Jason Nolf, Cenzo and DT all had elite early training and were at the ceiling of high school elite. Not that Cael can coach or anything, but all three of these between work ethic and learning environment just kept getting better and better.
There have been a ton of elite HS kids from D11 who for whatever reason did not develop into elite kids in college, but it is really rare any kid reaches a developmental peak in HS. One who I always believed physically peaked early was Shik's Anthony Rivera.
 

nitlion6

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But in all seriousness -- it's great to be on top of the toughest state in the country, but being a college AA means being on top of all the other states too.

So it's really important to see how these kids do at the major offseason events -- Fargo, Super 32, Disney, etc. -- and in major in-season multi-state tourneys like Ironman, Powerade, Beast, Escape the Rock, etc. (though in fairness, the kids can't control if their teams get invited to these).

For example: Tan Tom no doubt got a really good one in Welsh. And I'm really hoping to see him at Fargo against Barr. Got a feeling we're gonna be happy with Cael's choice.
Barr is going to be a beast, but I really would have liked seeing Welsh and his high attack rate develop inside Lorenzo.
 
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STAND with PRIDE

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Thanks again Jefe for all the great results and info!

Ok, I gotta ask, how did you do on your predictions?
 

dunkej01

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I don’t think coaches steer kids away from Penn State. I think it’s mostly roster fit. But I also don’t think there is a relationship there either. Certainly Bryan Snyder has great ones for obvious reasons. I know you all hate Tan Tom, but he does a tremendous job nurturing a relationship with Steve Powell, dating back to when he was at Hofstra, it’s my understanding it’s the same with Dave Crowell. Frank Pop is another guy that everybody in the Valley likes and seems to be around all the time doing clinics and generally creating good will.

Penn State doesn’t need to do any of that stuff (and doesn’t) and just because your high school or club coach likes a guy doesn’t mean you should go to college there. But it’s something that has an affect on the margins.
For the record we don't hate Tan Tom.

We actually enjoy him..... a lot!

He is very good for us.
 

Callthestall

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D11 could have more of a partier reputation than some other places. Doubt that impacts a lot of coaches -- they need to evaluate individuals if they're gonna keep their jobs. But could see coaches applying more scrutiny to D11 athletes for that reason.

D11 has more guys with East Coast attitudes, which isn't the PSU stereotype. But we've had any number from New Jersey -- Cael didn't reject Robbie Howard, for example.

Rather than the behavioral stuff, PSU could have a reputation within D11 for simply not being interested in D11 athletes. We didn't pursue Kindig or Sasso, didn't push really hard for Labriola, etc. From a PSU perspective there were really good reasons for each of them (many of them roster driven), but I could see a cumulative effect from the D11 perspective.

Hopefully we land Kasak and all of this dies.
Also I think it's an area that a couple of other major programs work a little harder than Penn State. Obviously Lehigh for logistics, Nebraska (Snyder) and Ok.St.(Oliver,Kindig roots).
 
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El-Jefe

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Thanks again Jefe for all the great results and info!

Ok, I gotta ask, how did you do on your predictions?
Accountability? What's that?

I think I did OK but will let others pass judgment.

Here's what the numbers say:

Predicted champs: 17 of 26 = 65%
# predicted 2nd finishing 1st: 5
# predicted 3rd finishing 1st: 3

# predicted champs finishing 2nd: 4
# predicted champs finishing 3rd: 3

# predicted both finalists: 10 of 26 = 38%
# missed both finalists: 1

The one I messed up badly was AAA 126 -- my top 3 finished 5-7-DNP, and I had neither the 2 or 4 in my top 5. Woof. I really liked both Perry and Shaw (who finished 1st and 3rd), but thought Hershey experience would win out. Was wrong on that one.
 
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El-Jefe

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Yeah, we held a board retreat to Aruba a few years back and took a vote. Will have to check the records but Im pretty sure it was unanimous at the time.
I'm sure there's a still pic of that somewhere, where maybe video evidence might not agree.

But yeah, he's been great for us. So much unintended comedy in exchange for 1 title in Cael's 12 years.
 
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Callthestall

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El Jefe Thanks for the time and effort.
It amazes me the effort and knowledge some of the posters have about high school.
Rovernation and Brockbronson loaded with knowledge. It makes for a good read. I just bring most things up by memory and once in while need to be corrected about my recall.
Thanks.
 
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