New letter from Casey Cunningham

creamery freak

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Penn State Wrestling Fans!!!!!!!!

Just like that the season is over and we are already looking forward to what is next. Before we move on though let’s try to highlight some of the accomplishments of these guys over the last year. Winning never gets old but it never gets easier either. It takes an army of people to make this happen and each season has its challenges but time and time again the guys show up at the national tournament and let it rip! Five of our guys accomplished their goal of becoming a National Champion which is awesome but that means five other guys did not accomplish their ultimate goal so there is always something to strive for.

The Big Ten Tournament was a good start to our teams post season and they wrestled well only losing one match on the final day of competition. This put us in position to win the tournament, but it was not to be that day. In that process though we got 9 of our 10 guys through to nationals with hopes of our 10th getting in based on his season success. Unfortunately, the committee decided to take someone else but that is how it goes sometimes so 9 is what we went to battle with. We came out of the Big Ten tournament relatively healthy, so we were set up to have a great National Tournament based on how our training was going and how our guys competed in that tournament.

A week out from the National Tournament the seeds came out and there were a lot of mixed thoughts on the way some of the weights were seeded. There are seeds every year that do not make much sense, but our guys try not get wrapped up in it and just wrestle whoever is in front of them. It is hard to say if the seeds would have been different in a few weights if the outcomes for those guys would have been different, but ultimately it does not matter you just have to compete as hard as you can regardless. Our guys competed hard.

As the first round of the national tournament began our guys went out trying to score points and because of that bonus points got us out to a good start in the first couple rounds of the Nationals. All 9 of our guys scored for the team which is super important when trying to win a team Title. Then on Saturday morning even though Big Greg was banged up he laced up his shoes and went to battle for his team as the match was a 9-point swing regarding team points. With that match the team Championship was secured so the five guys in the finals did not need to focus on the team score but rather on just giving their best performance. Those five guys in the finals wrestled great and finished the National Tournament with a bang.

These Penn State Teams over the past decade have accomplished some pretty cool things including: 9 of the last 11 National Titles, 32 individual National Champions, 5 National Champions in the same year for the second time in school history and had 3 undefeated National Champions in the same year which has only happened 1 other time in NCAA wrestling history (2012 Penn State). Those are a few of the highlights but the point again is the guys have shown up time and time again on the biggest stage and competed fearlessly. There are many people who had a part in these guys success so thank you for all the support and the future support as it is very important part of keeping this going.

Up next are some freestyle events for several of our college guys and for our post grads that train in the RTC. We will have several young guys competing in the UWW Jr nationals in Las Vegas at the end of the month alongside some of our Senior level guys. Generally, we allow guys to decide on their own if they are going to compete in the freestyle events, so it varies from tournament to tournament who is competing. Some guys need recover and/or heal, some guys need to focus on school, and some guys are ready to compete, so we look at it on an individual level with each guy and help them make a good decision for themselves. It has been quite a year and it does not slow down because the season is over, but we would have it no other way.

Thank you again for all the support and we look forward to seeing what the future holds.



GO LIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

Callthestall

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Coaches were obviously upset with some seeding as was the fan base. The NCAA seeding committee has to add more adjustment for previous years results and short season adjustments. It truly is just some common sense. The SEEDS should reflect the wrestlers estimated status at the weight entering the tournament. Not the accumulation of what a wrestler accomplished earlier in the year. The current system is ok to determine who is in the field but it is flawed in regarding the proper placement of wrestler for seeding.
 

McScoreley

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Glad Casey is honest about the seeds. I don't think it makes a huge difference with Drew but I think Brady could have been an AA with another draw potentially and I know the coaches are heartbroken because that's what he came back to do. Drew went 0-2 at Big Tens but Brady placed third and warranted a single digit seed, certianl no worse than low teens. Drawing an AA (including the guy who upset the 1 seed and a guy who would not lose again until the 3/4 match) in 2/4 matches you wrestle is pretty unlucky.
 

okinburg1

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Confirmed by Casey: 9 SCORING WRESTLERS needed.
My understanding is the PSU administration is considering giving the NC trophy and title back, since we did NOT, in fact, have 9 SCORING WRESTLERS. Maybe next year...
 

okinburg1

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Check your facts, we did IN FACT, have 9 scoring wrestlers. DH won his first wrestleback match, Beau won his first match, and Brady won 2 matches on the back side.
Totally forgot about Drew's 1/2 point - my bad. Whew! Glad they don't have to send that trophy back. Shipping alone would have been a bitCh!
 
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Ian

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Casey forgot to mention that over the last 8 NCAA tournaments PSU won 6 of them because they have 15 guys who have won 26 titles compared to the exact same for Iowa, O$U, OkSU, Cornell, and scUM combined!

Of those 15 guys only Cassar and Dean were not a top 10 recruits!

It’s recruiting, coaching, performing, and recovery. They have become a National team!

Iowa and OkSU have actually sent more guys to the tournament.
 

mcpat

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Casey forgot to mention that over the last 8 NCAA tournaments PSU won 6 of them because they have 15 guys who have won 26 titles compared to the exact same for Iowa, O$U, OkSU, Cornell, and scUM combined!

Of those 15 guys only Cassar and Dean were not a top 10 recruits!

It’s recruiting, coaching, performing, and recovery. They have become a National team!

Iowa and OkSU have actually sent more guys to the tournament.
RBY wasn’t a top 10 PBP recruit.
 

Rick Sanchez

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The three undefeated champs is cool but with guys barely wrestling 20 times it’s not as impressive imo
 

AndEEss

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The three undefeated champs is cool but with guys barely wrestling 20 times it’s not as impressive imo

They could go the Mizzou route and send people to the Southwest Missouri State open to pas their stats a la Ben Askren. But, they don’t. Get better practice at home.
 
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Callthestall

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They could go the Mizzou route and send people to the Southwest Missouri State open to pas their stats a la Ben Askren. But, they don’t. Get better practice at home.
I personally wish that they wrestled a few more matches a year. Maybe one more home match or one more Northeast bus trip road trip. If you add a home match make one of them a non season ticket event in Rec Hall. Offer high school and youth programs the chance to attend in mass with the ability to buy group tickets.
It would be a great opportunity to market and grow PSU wrestling. Take advantage of what truly is a special event seeing the best program in the country in a great setting.
 
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lions#1

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2011-2012: 14 Dual Meets
Frank Molinaro 33-0, Southern Scuffle winner added 5 matches
Ed Ruth 31-0, Southern Scuffle winner added 6 matches
David Taylor 32-0, Souther Scuffle winner added 5 matches

2021-2022: 17 Dual Meets with addition of Northern Iowa, Cornell, Az St.
RBY 22-0
Nick Lee 22-0
Carter 23-0

I didn't go back to see which guys missed dual matches due to injury or coach's decision for either year. I know Carter missed a few with with his wrist injury. AB was one SV from joining this year's undefeated group.
 
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GogglesPaizano

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The three undefeated champs is cool but with guys barely wrestling 20 times it’s not as impressive imo
Hmmm. Hard to impress? Seems so. I can't really help you with that.

Count me in the camp who is incredibly impressed. We completed in the collegiate duals and the big10s and saw teams #2-7.

3 undefeated champs
5 champs in a 10 slot sport
9 of the last 11 for the team
5 champs twice, 4 champs once, ....

Go over to HR, or Bucknuts, or... and find something that really impresses you over there, then tell us what it is. My heart palpitates with anticipation, because it would have to be something truly spectacular.
 
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creamery freak

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2011-2012: 14 Dual Meets
Frank Molinaro 33-0, Southern Scuffle winner added 5 matches
Ed Ruth 31-0, Southern Scuffle winner added 6 matches
David Taylor 32-0, Souther Scuffle winner added 5 matches

2021-2022: 17 Dual Meets with addition of Northern Iowa, Cornell, Az St.
RBY 22-0
Nick Lee 22-0
Carter 23-0

I didn't go back to see which guys missed dual matches due to injury or coach's decision for either year. I know Carter missed a few with with his wrist injury. AB was one SV from joining this year's undefeated group.
That's some good info lions#1. I think the elephant in the room that people forget about is the Covid factor. It was touch and go for conferences to even have sporting events for 2020-21. I think that contributed to guys having fewer matches this year too.
 
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AndEEss

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I’ll add this to my previous statement:

While our guys get better practice at home, going to an event where they’ll see another ranked opponent or two, along with a couple other matches on the day, would be good for guys who are low on matches and could improve their NCAA seed by being 20-3 vs 15-3. Being the 10th vs the 16th seed matters in a tight team race.
 
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mcpat

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Maybe some of the reason for fewer matches this season was Covid related? Maybe not. But I wonder - did they not want to wrestle as many tournaments because of the potential exposure?
 
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nitlion6

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Maybe some of the reason for fewer matches this season was Covid related? Maybe not. But I wonder - did they not want to wrestle as many tournaments because of the potential exposure?
Just guessing, but the lack of a tournament probably had more to do with the placement on the schedule of the duals.
 
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98lberEating2Lunches

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Maybe some of the reason for fewer matches this season was Covid related? Maybe not. But I wonder - did they not want to wrestle as many tournaments because of the potential exposure?
I think Cael addressed this topic in an early season presser. I seem to recall him saying they were maintaining flexibility due to perceived continued uncertainties. But honestly since March 2020 a lot has seemed to blur together for me.
 

RoarLions1

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Maybe some of the reason for fewer matches this season was Covid related? Maybe not. But I wonder - did they not want to wrestle as many tournaments because of the potential exposure?
They wrestled more duals than any year since 2011-12. Some only counted as one competition date because multiple duals were held on one day. The timing of the Scuffle wasn't good because there was a double dual weekend (Jan. 7 & 9) coming up ... so it was replaced with the Collegiate Duals which gave the wrestlers more holiday time with their families. This doesn't answer your question exactly, but does explain fewer matches. A wrestler could get 6 at the Keystone Classic or Black Night Invitational, same or more at the Scuffle and didn't this past season. Coach wants the kids fresh in March, maybe we've seen the new model?
 

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