football

WRESTLING: Southern Scuffle preview

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Penn State's attention is constantly fixated upon the NCAA Championships in March. Of course the team emphasizes its weekly dual meets -- the Nittany Lions are 7-0 on the season -- but as Cael Sanderson has said many times, "It's all about the national tournament."
The NCAA tournament in Oklahoma City, Okla., is more than three months away, but Penn State will get a taste of big-time tournament wrestling Jan. 1-2 at the Southern Scuffle in Chattanooga, Tenn.
The Scuffle, although an individual tournament, utilizes the same team scoring format as the NCAA tourney. But it does not have the talent permeating the weight classes like at nationals.
But it certainly comes close. This won't be the minor leagues. The Scuffle has slowly separated itself as the most difficult regular-season tournament, and this season, it might be more challenging than ever.
Said Sanderson, "This is probably the toughest Scuffle in the history of the event."
Other than the top-ranked Nittany Lions, Minnesota (2*), Oklahoma State (4), Cornell (10), Missouri (12), Iowa State (13) and Pitt (19) are scheduled to participate at the event, among others.
Penn State won the event last year, outscoring the second-place Cowboys, 178.5-158. The Nittany Lions also won the two previous Scuffles, and not as a coincidence, went on to win NCAA titles each year.
The Scuffle (along with the Midlands, which Iowa won Monday with 187.5 points, compared to second-place Edinboro's 85) is known to be an accurate measuring stick for the national tournament. This year appears to be no different.
"There's a lot of good teams coming; it's going to be good competition," Sanderson said. "We get plenty of competition in the Big Ten, and being on this side of the country, but (the Scuffle) is a great tournament and its a pretty good indicator (for the NCAA tournament.)"
Action begins Jan. 1 at 9 a.m., and concludes Jan. 2. Here's a look at the tournament's pre-seeds and participating PSU wrestlers:
125
1.  Nahshon Garrett - Cornell (2)
2.  Nico Megaludis - Penn State (3)

3.  Josh Martinez - Air Force (6)

4.  Corey Keener - Central Michigan 

5.  David Terao - American (9)

6.  Anthony Zanetta - Pittsburgh (11)

7.  Nathan Kraisser - North Carolina (15)

8.  Evan Silver - Stanford (17)

9.  Earl Hall - Iowa State (18)

10.  Eddie Klimara - Oklahoma State

11.  Jerome Robinson - Old Dominion

12.  Paul Petrov - Bucknell
Other PSU participants: None
133
1.  Jon Morrison - Oklahoma State (5)

2.  Ryan Mango - Stanford (8)

3.  David Thorn - Minnesota (7)

4.  Joe Roth - Central Michigan (15)

5.  Shelton Mack - Pittsburgh (13)

6.  Nick Soto - Chattanooga (16)

7.  James Gulibon - Penn State (11)

8.  Mackenzie McGuire - Kent State

9.  Colton Rasche - Navy (18)

10.  Jamel Hudson - Hofstra

11.  Joe Martinez - Virginia

12.  Jordan Conaway - Penn State
Other PSU participants: none
141
1.  Chris Dardanes - Minnesota (3)

2.  Zain Retherford - Penn State (4)

3.  Evan Henderson - North Carolina (5)

4.  Mike Nevinger - Cornell (7)

5.   Undrakhbayar Khishignyam - Citadel

6.  Chris Mecate - Old Dominion (8)

7.  Zach Horan - Central Michigan (14)

8.  Luke Vaith - Hofstra (6)

9.  Anthony Collica - Oklahoma State (17)

10.  Edgar Bright - Pittsburgh (19)

11.  Lavion Mayes - Missouri

12.  Joe Spisak - Virginia
Other PSU participants: Nate Morgan
149
1.  Nick Dardanes - Minnesota (1)

2.  Drake Houdashelt - Missouri (2)

3.  Josh Kindig - Oklahoma State (5)

4.  Chris Villalonga - Cornell (8)

5.  Scott Sakaguchi - Oregon State (11)

6.  Augustus Sako - Virginia

7.  Dyllan Cottrell - Appalachian St. (17)

8.  Ray Borja - Navy

9.  Matthew Frisch - Citadel

10.  Luke Frey - Penn State
11.  Alex Johnson - Navy

12.  Cody Ruggierello - Hofstra
Other PSU participants: Zack Beitz
157
1.  Alex Dieringer - Oklahoma State (2)

2.  Dylan Ness - Minnesota (4)

3.  Kyle Bradley - Missouri (8)

4.  Brian Realbuto - Cornell (9)

5.  R.J. Pena - Oregon State (11)

6.  Ian Miller - Kent State (13)

7.  Nestor Taffur - Boston (12)

8.  Tristan Warner - Old Dominion (15)

9.  James Vollrath - Penn State

10.  Thomas Gantt - North Carolina St (18)

11.  Raamiah Bathea - Penn (19)

12.  Alex Hudson - Chattanooga
Other PSU participants: None
165
1.  David Taylor - Penn State (1)

2.  Tyler Caldwell - Oklahoma State (2)

3.  Nick Sulzer - Virginia (3)

4.  Michael Moreno - Iowa State (6)

5.  Corey Mock - Chattanooga (7)

6.  Zach Toal  - Missouri (8)

7.  Turtogtokh Luvsandorj - Citadel (10 @ 174)

8.  Daniel Zilverberg - Minnesota (16)

9.  Casey Kent - Penn (19)
10.  Dylan Palacio - Cornell

11.  Joe Booth - Hofstra (20)

12.  Jim Wilson - Stanford (14)
Other PSU participants: Garrett Hammond (unattached)
174

1.  Chris Perry - Oklahoma State (2)

2.  Matt Brown - Penn State (3)

3.  Logan Storley - Minnesota (5)

4.  Tyler Wilps - Pittsburgh (8)

5.  Stephen Doty - Virginia (10)

6.  Mike Ottinger - Central Michigan (17)

7.  Mathew Miller - Navy (12)

8.  Tanner Weatherman - Iowa State (13)

9.  Kevin Radford - Arizona State

10.  Lelund Weatherspoon - Iowa State (13)

11.  Mike England - Missouri

12.  Joe Latham - Oregon State
Other PSU participants: None
184
1.  Ed Ruth - Penn State (1)

2.  Kevin Steinhaus - Minnesota (4)

3.  Gabriel Dean - Cornell (7)

4.  Max Thomusseit - Pittsburgh (6)

5.  John Eblen - Missouri (10)

6.  Lawrence Thomas - Penn (14)

7.  Boaz Beard - Iowa State (11)

8.  Jonathan Fausey - Virginia (13)

9.  Sam Wheeler - Kent State (16)

10.  Blake Stauffer - Arizona State

11.  Nolan Boyd - Oklahoma State (18)

12.  Brett Pfarr - Minnesota
Other PSU participants: Wes Phipps; Matt McCutcheon (unattached)
197
1.  Scott Schiller - Minnesota (1)

2.  Kyven Gadson - Iowa State (3)

3.  Morgan McIntosh - Penn State (6)

4.  Daniel Mitchell - American (8)

5.  Taylor Meeks - Oregon State (4)

6.  Phillip Wellington - Ohio (15)

7.  J'Den Cox - Missouri (10)

8.  Brandon Palik - Drexel (14)

9.  Jake Rosholt - Oklahoma State

10.  Francis Mattiace - Penn (18)

11.  Conner Hartmann - Duke

12.  Zach Nye - Virginia
Other PSU participants: None
285
1.  Tony Nelson - Minnesota (1)

2.  Nick Gwiazdowski - North Carolina St. (5)

3.  Jeremy Johnson - Ohio (10)

4.  James Lawson - Penn State (12)

5.  Austin Marsden - Oklahoma State (15)

6.  Joe Stolfi - Bucknell (16)

7.  Amar Dhesi - Oregon State (18)

8.  Blake Herrin - American

9.  Josh Marchok - Stanford

10.  Jonathan Gingrich - Penn State

11.  Devon Mellon - Missouri

12.  P.J. Tasser - Pittsburgh
Other PSU participants: None
(*) - All rankings from FloWrestling.com
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