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Top Ten Matches of the 2018-2019 Wrestling Season

A countdown of my 10 favorite matches from the 2018-19 season.

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Since we’re deep in the wrestling offseason, I thought I’d put together a list of the top 10 matches from the 2018-19 wrestling season. Let’s dive in.

10. Nick Piccininni vs. Pat Glory — Princeton Dual

This match wasn’t maybe as high profile as the others on this list, but it was amazing. Piccininni came into the match undefeated and the freshman Glory, who went on to be an All-American, certainly had some hype behind his name at the time. Glory came out on fire on his feet, but Pich battled back with his dominant top game to take the match 9-4.

9. Preston Weigel beats Patrick Brucki 7-1 to finish 3rd at the NCAA tournament

This one maybe didn’t have the same exciting level of action that some of these other matches had, but the storyline set it up well. Weigel’s career was nearly ended after a major quadricep injury mid-season. He bounced back to win a Big 12 title and get the 3 seed at the NCAA tournament over Brucki. The Princeton staff was very vocal about the fact that they felt Brucki should’ve got the 3 seed over Weigel. Ultimately Weigel got the comfortable win which not only gave him his highest NCAA tournament finish, it also vindicated any nay-saying regarding the seed Weigel was given.

8. Dakota Geer beats Shakur Rasheed 4-2 at NCAA Tournament

Dakota Geer picked up a “Neutral Danger Zone” takedown against Penn State’s Shakur Rasheed to beat the No. 2 seed and move on in the NCAA tournament. Geer finished seventh and became an All-American as a sophomore.

7. Derek White beats Anthony Cassar 3-2 in Southern Scuffle Final

In a preview of the NCAA final, Derek White took out eventual NCAA champ Anthony Cassar 3-2 with this nasty slide-by.

6. Jacobe Smith beats NCAA Champ Drew Foster 8-4

Part of the reason I included this one is on the list is how Drew Foster finished out the season. With a lot of lineup shuffling going on throughout the season, Jacobe Smith wrestled 184 for a time. In the dual vs. UNI he knocked off eventual NCAA champion Drew Foster 8-4.

5. Daton Fix over DeSanto 2-0 in the Iowa dual

The buildup for this one was big. The likable Fix vs. the maligned DeSanto in a matchup of the Nos. 2 and 3 ranked wrestlers in the country. Boos reigned down from the packed GIA crowd as DeSanto’s name was announced, and Fix took the match 2-0 with a ton of riding time. This put OSU up 9-0 early in the dual and delighted the packed OSU crowd.

Crying Desanto

4. Chandler Rogers pins Mitch Bowman in the Iowa dual

OSU picked up three huge wins to open the dual with Iowa. Then Iowa slowly started creeping back into the match with wins from 149-165. Rogers shut that down with a huge fall over Mitch Bowman.

3. Kaden Gfeller over Jarrett Degen 6-5 for the Big 12 Title

I’m absolutely convinced that Kaden Gfeller doesn’t know how to wrestle a boring match. I could’ve included a number of his matches on this list. This back and forth battle that finished with Gfeller as the Big 12 champ at 149 was insane. The highlights start at about 1:20 into this video. Degen went on to be an All-American at the NCAA tournament.

 

2. Derek White beats Zach Elam 3-1 to win Mizzou dual

In a battle of two unbeaten dual teams in the largest crowd ever at a Missouri wrestling match, the OSU-Mizzou dual came down to heavyweight. White had to beat Junior World Silver Medalist Zach Elam for the Cowboys to win. It went into sudden victory overtime where White took down Elam to secure the match and dual for the Cowboys.

White Winning TD.gif

1. Nick Piccininni pins Spencer Lee to open the Iowa dual

Was there any question on what would be No. 1? I’ve never heard a bigger crowd reaction in my life than the one here. Some say old Gallagher Hall was louder, I can’t imagine what that must been like. Piccininni blew the roof off Gallagher-Iba Arena after pinning defending NCAA champion Spencer Lee in the opening bout of the Iowa dual.

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