Wrestling Begins Stretch Run With Two Duals This Weekend
RALEIGH, N.C. The NC State wrestling team, limping along with injuries to several starters, hits the mat twice this weekend, with dual matches scheduled for Friday at North Carolina and Sunday vs. Ohio University at Reynolds Coliseum.
Friday’s match at North Carolina (10-7 overall, 3-1 in the ACC) will begin at 7 p.m. at the Eddie Smith Field House. Sunday’s bout vs. Ohio (7-5-1) will begin at 2 p.m.
The Wolfpack (4-9-1 overall, 0-2 ACC) heads into the weekend with question marks throughout the starting lineup. Mike Moreno (125 pounds), Joe Caramanica (141), Darrion Caldwell (149), Ray Ward (165) and Bobby Isola (heavyweight) all are battling health issues. None is believed to be serious, but their availability for this weekend is unknown.
“The plan for this team all along has been the postseason,” Wolfpack head coach Carter Jordan said. “That has not changed. Any and all decisions we make about our lineup will be with the postseason in mind. We have several guys who are banged up, and if it comes down to a choice between a regular-season dual match or the postseason, then we’re going with the postseason. We have to keep the big picture in mind.”
Caramanica and Caldwell, the Wolfpack’s two ranked performers, both came away from last weekend’s match at Oklahoma hobbled with injuries. Caramanica has been bothered by a knee that required season-ending surgery a year ago. He tweaked it in the match at Oklahoma. Caldwell, who entered the match unbeaten and riding a 29-match winning streak, had to default in the middle of the second period of his match due to a balky back.
With their injuries vs. the Sooners, Caldwell and Caramanica joined a growing list of NC State wrestlers seeing extra time in the training room. Moreno, wrestling for injured starter Taylor Cummings, has a knee problem. Cummings, a former ACC champion, is out for the year with a fractured wrist. Ward also has a knee injury. Isola has been battling an illness most of the year.
“It’s been one of those years,” Jordan said. “We’re not a deep team, so a rash of injuries like this has really depleted us. There’s nothing we can do about it except to turn the page and ask the guys who are going out there to wrestle hard, and they have. That’s the one thing with this team that’s been a constant all year, the effort. I couldn’t be happier about that.”
Not all the news has been bad for the Pack. Redshirt-senior Kody Hamrah has come off his redshirt season to post his most successful regular season to date, winning 24 of 31 bouts. And freshman 174-pounder Jake Burge, a highly touted recruit, has gotten better and better as the season has progressed. He enters the weekend with a 15-7 overall record and has won six matches in a row, and nine of his last 11.
Following are the probable starters for this weekend’s matches vs. North Carolina and Ohio University.
125 - Mike Moreno (7-9) or Greyson Mills (0-3)
133 - Darrius Little (12-12)
141 - #18 Joe Caramanica (11-3) or Ryan Tice (0-3)
149 - #3 Darrion Caldwell (28-1) or Sean Smith (1-2)
157 - Kody Hamrah (24-7)
165 - Ray Ward (3-7) or Quinton Godley (9-15)
174 - Jake Burge (15-7)
184 - Mark Jahad (2-9)
197 - Joe Trotto (0-0)
Hwt - Bobby Isola (2-14) or Austin Haigler (2-9)
125 - Nick Shields (6-15)
133 - Mike Rappo (22-7) or Mike Robinson (0-5)
141 - #20 Vincent Ramirez (25-7)
149 - #15 Nick Stabile (21-8)
157 - #19 Thomas Scotton (18-9)
165 - #17 Keegan Mueller (28-5)
174 - Ben Fiacco (13-13) or Kevin Owen (7-8)
184 - Daniel Llamas (13-13)
197 - #17 Dennis Drury (23-6)
Hwt - Justin Dobies (23-6)
125 - Tim Silvers (4-12)
133 - Quentin Keyes (12-10)
141 - Germane Lindsey (7-3)
149 - Kevin Christensen (3-10) or Seth Morton (12-9)
157 - Clay Tucker (16-12)
165 - Tommy Weinkam (10-3) or Steve Wilson (0-3)
174 - Jacob Ison (8-1) or Nick Purdue (15-10)
184 - Erik Schuth (8-2)
197 - Chris Iammarino (12-13)
Hwt - Justin Powell (3-2) or Andy Hartshorn (11-11)