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McScoreley

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Cael Sanderson recommits to Penn State Wrestling

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December 11, 2021

University Park, PA – "I'm here to stay" Those four words allowed Penn State wrestlers and fans alike to breathe again. Cael met with his team and several administrators after the release of the article "Tenure of Penn State's Sanderson in Doubt" to clear the air. He wasn't sure where the rumors were coming from and said "Now you see why I don't give interviews." According to that article published earlier today, Cael Sanderson's tenure at Penn State was in doubt between the transfer from Evan Wick allegedly being blocked, NIL issues giving him doubt about his ability to bring in the best talent and mandatory vaccination. As a result of his "pissed off" state, he started missing practices and bringing a ton of negativity when he was there. Turns out, all of that was false. When asked how can someone make up something that specific and negative without it being true, Cael smirked and said "Is it much different than implying a kid might be injured when he isn't?" People seemed confused by that statement but heavyweight Greg Kerkvliet seemed to smirk a little bit when he heard that.

Some would call the last two seasons disappointing by Cael Sanderson standards that might lead to some frustrations that compound. Penn State finished 4th in the Big Ten tournament in 2020 before finishing 2nd in 2021 at NCAAs. Lost in context of the fourth place Big Ten finish is other teams only needed severely debilitating injuries or season-ending injuries to four expected starters (Brody Teske, Brady Berge, Shakur Rasheed and Anthony Cassar) for Penn State to fall that far. As one might imagine, losing 30% of your expected team and having another starter severely injured could have a major impact on a team's ability to perform. In 2021, Cael again was unable to bring home the big prize and finished 2nd. Despite that, Cael once again showed what made him special as a coach as he led four individuals to championships, despite only one of them being seeded to win. Ultimately, for an individual sport, one might argue having 40% of the National Champions feels like a championship itself but Cael Sanderson disagrees though he acknowledged it feels good helping some special kids reach their individual goals.

Despite a summer of alleged behind the scenes turmoil, wrestling fans everywhere only saw Cael's program at it's peak as the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club brought home 5 Olympic medals including Olympic Gold from David Taylor, who fulfilled a vision that was 20+ years in the making. Former Penn State college rivals Thomas Gilman and Kyle Snyder joined from Hawkeye Wrestling Club and Ohio Wrestling Club respectively to bring home Olympic medals as well. Bekzod Abdurakhmonov (Clarion) brought home Olympic Bronze at the 74KG weight class after years of commitment at NLWC and Helen Maroulis even stopped by for a few months to train before capturing Olympic Bronze in an amazing comeback from what were once considered career ending injuries. Gilman has mentioned multiple times that his move to NLWC has helped him rediscover his love for wrestling and helped him grow as a human being as well.

All NLWC wrestlers subsequently opted into their spots for the 2021 UWW Worlds and found similar success. This time, Thomas Gilman won World Gold while David Taylor and Kyle Snyder both brought home Silver. Thomas Gilman, who was pinned by Zach Sanders in a NLWC event earlier this year, said he finally understands Cael's plan. Although it was disappointing for Snyder and Taylor, they both acknowledged that World Silver was nothing to be disappointed about and they "had fun" because there is more to life than wrestling. That being said, they plan to get back to the drawing board to move to the top of the podium for 2022. Kyle Snyder even visited Dagestan with Jason Nolf and was seen doing the Lezginka dance with Abdulrashid Sadulaev.

There is no doubt Penn State wrestling feels in somewhat of an awkward spot right now. Since Cael came to Penn State, fans tended to only wait 1 year tops until Cael Sanderson goes on one of his infamous 4peats. Right now, it looks like it could be a three year wait. Dan Gable himself had a 4 year drought so it turns out this winning National Championship thing is hard. Despite that, fans don't seem to know how to react to bringing home trophies that don't have 1st on it. This is despite the fact that a 3rd place finish in 2008 felt as good as it gets with the program back then. Cael Sanderson has made finishing 2nd feel like weirdness rather than something to be proud of. But rest assured, Cael has dealt with many behind the scene frustrations during his tenure here that he hasn't let us know about and always pressed on.

Cael agreed to give a media interview to clear up the rumors. Not surprisingly, the media didn't get the in depth answers they were looking for. When asked if losing a major transfer that could swing a team race could really was enough to make him "pissed off" enough to resign, he said "Respectfully, I don't think I'm allowed to talk about a kid on another team's roster like that" When asked about how much longer he actually plans to stay in coaching, he smirked and said "Could be two years, could be ten, we'll play it by ear okay?"
 

Dogwelder

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Only one reply for good news, 30 plus for rumors. Oh well ,such is the current state in times in which we live. Lighten up eveyone.
An under-appreciated funny, winking post!!

Because, you know, “news” and “rumors” have as much to do with the threads in question as “pizza” and “burgers”. :) (One thread is Onion satire, and the other is a brand new art form.)
 
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