To the East Coast the Badgers go! Wisconsin landed in Pennsylvania Friday to get some training
in before doing battle with Ryder and Drexel on Saturday. Two duals, two separate locations,
one weigh in. We talked with Bono who explained they’ll be weighing in at Lawrenceville NJ to
wrestle Ryder first at 11AM CST. After that, they’ll head back to the hotel for a brief
intermission before driving about 40 minutes down the road to dual Drexel at 5PM CST.
There will be a representative on site for Drexel to verify weigh ins for the Badgers so they will
not be weighing in twice as some may have wondered. It’s close to a simulation of the first day
of the NCAA tournament coming in March where the first session starts at 11AM and the
second session at 6PM. Smart move by the coaching staff if you ask me.
One thing coach Bono is looking for out of the young men in the lineup is consistency. The
veterans of the squad are coming of a great performance against Bucknell and will be on the
bonus point hunt once again for these two duals. Let’s get straight into to some key match ups.
Wisconsin vs. Ryder:
125 – Barnett vs. Betancourt
Betancourt wrestled at Ohio St. as a true Freshman, then to Penn St. and now landed at Ryder
near his home in Lancaster PA. He was a Pan Am silver medalist, so no easy bonus for Barnett
here but at least a major is my prediction.
141 – Lettini vs Bell
Bell is an NCAA qualifier who looks for bonus points often, big opportunity for Lettini to have a
break through performance here and get some serious momentum.
149 – Zargo vs Kinner
Former Ohio St. wrestler, 2x NCAA qualifier and solid opponent for Zargo. Another great
opportunity for Zargo vs. a ranked opponent, his millionth of the year it seems like. Kinner will
be a good matchup, but we’ll see if he can handle the pace in the 3 rd from Zargo.
Overall, Ryder is going to need an upset somewhere in the lower weights along with pins in
order to keep this dual in reach. The Badgers are looking highly favorable as we move up weigh
classes. Nicolar and Mechler also could be in bonus point positions in this dual after coming off
some losses against Bucknell.
Notes: We’re not entirely sure what we’ll see at 197 from the Badgers. Will we see the triple
bump from Hamiti, Maylor and Leigel again?
Wisconsin vs. Drexel
157 – Mechler vs. Wilson
Wilson took 8 th at the EIWA championships and is a fifth year vet for the Dragons.
Mechler will look to get his offense going against Williams who was 11-13 last year.
174 -Maylor/Hamiti vs. O’Malley is a huge one in this dual.
O’Malley is a NCAA qualifier who took out the #10 seed in the opening round of the
tournament. Maylor has only wrestled about 1 minute this year, but this will likely go all
7 minutes and be a solid test. Although, we could see the triple bump in place again and
get Hamiti vs. O’Malley.
Notes: Badgers are favored but Drexel has nothing to lose especially in the match ups against
our young guns. They’ll have a good amount of time between duals to fuel up and rest before
going back to war. Drexel is also a very young team with a lot of NJ/PA natives, they also held
the highest GPA in the NCAA last year at 3.6117.