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Penn State Wrestling: Intrasquad Scrimmage Offers Early Look at Team

by on November 04, 2011 7:10 AM

Nico Megaludis wasn’t sure what to expect in his first experience as a wrestler in Rec Hall. Sure, the true freshman from Franklin Regional has made his fair share of trips to the storied hall over the years, but when he finally got on the mat to open up the 2011 Blue/White Intrasquad Scrimmage, something unexpected happened.

“It was quiet; I was just amazed at how quiet it was,” Megaludis said in the bowels of Rec Hall, long after he defeated classmate Jordan Conaway, 5-1, in the 125-pound match, the first of 10 matches on the night.

It was no cake walk for the three-time PIAA state champion, as Conaway proved a worthy opponent, turning away shot after shot and making Megaludis grind for each and every point.

“I should have scored more, but it happens. You can’t always be satisfied every match, but at least this gives me more motivation to go out and keep on scoring and get more aggressive,” Megaludis said.

The opener was followed by two more quality matches, as junior transfer Derek Reber finished off Cameron Kelly, 4-0, to lock up the 133-pound spot to start the season.

Reber, who wrestled at Bucknell for three seasons, said he was surprised by the atmosphere, but for a different reason.

“We had as many fans here tonight for a scrimmage then we’d get at Bucknell for a match,” Reber said.

“It’s just an awesome feeling,” he added.

Cael Sanderson noted in his media-day press conference that the 141-pound slot was still up for grabs, making the night’s third match a highly anticipated one between redshirt freshman Sam Sherlock and redshirt junior Bryan Pearsall.

Sherlock wrestled as an unattached member of last year’s squad -- and lost to Pearsall in the same match a year ago. But it looks as if he worked himself into the starter’s role this time, hitting shot after shot for a never-in-doubt 11-5 victory.

“I’m here to get that spot and make the wrestling family proud and win a national championship,” Sherlock said.

“I knew it would be a hard fought match; it’s been that way with Brian since last year. I just need to keep working as hard as I can, and the spot will come to me,” he added.

Despite Sherlock’s dominating win, Sanderson was still noncommittal on who had locked up the spot for the Nov. 13 season opener with Bloomsburg.

“We want a guy that can go out and score points for the team, not just in small duals but in conference play and nationals, as well. And we think both guys are capable of that,” Sanderson said.

“But Sherlock did dominate tonight,” he went on.

The rest of the card went as expected, as Frank Molinaro, Dylan Alton, Dave Taylor, Ed Ruth, Quentin Wright, and Morgan McIntosh all picked up victories, with the night concluding with Nick Ruggear bumping up to 285 from 197 pounds to take on Jon Gingrich in the heavy-weight match. Ruggear came away with a 5-2 victory.

It wasn’t as easy as expected, though, for Ruth, who battled with red-shirt freshman Matt Brown to the very end for a 7-4 victory.

“What Ed did in the first period is something no one else in the world can do, but you see why we are so excited about Matt Brown,” Sanderson said.

Notes:

  • Sanderson confirmed senior heavy-weight Cameron Wade did not wrestle due to cautionary measures with his injured knee, but will be ready to go for the opener.
  • Quentin Wright recorded the only pin of the night, dropping David Crowell at the 4:47 mark.
  • David Taylor’s third-period tech fall got the crowd going, but not as much as Morgan McIntosh’s major decision over Justin Ortega. McIntosh confirmed what everyone expected going in: He is going to be one fun wrestler to watch.
  • The final attendance for the match was approximately 3,000.
  • Dylan Alton also had to scratch and claw in his 5-3 victory over Dirk Cowburn at 157 pounds, but said afterward he’s happy where he is, and that the bump up to 157 is causing him no problems.
  • Sanderson confirmed after the match that besides the 141 slot, all the other starters were locked in based off tonight’s results.

Full match results, courtesy of Penn State Wrestling:

125: #19 Nico Megaludis PSUW dec. Jordan Conaway PSUB, 5-1

133: Derek Reber PSUB dec. Cameron Kelly PSUW, 4-0

141: Sam Sherlock PSUW dec. Bryan Pearsall PSUB, 11-5

149: #1 Frank Molinaro PSUW dec. Seth Beitz PSUB, 8-1

157: #13 Dylan Alton PSUB dec. Dirk Cowburn PSUW, 5-3

165: #1 David Taylor PSUW tech fall Nick Fischer PSUB, 21-6 (TF; 6:38)

174: #2 Ed Ruth PSUW dec. Matt Brown PSUB, 7-4

184: #1 Quentin Wright PSUB pinned David Crowell PSUW (4:47)

197: #9 Morgan McIntosh PSUB maj. dec. Justin Ortega PSUW, 13-5

285: Nick Ruggear PSUW dec. Jon Gingrich PSUB, 5-3

Related coverage

 

Photo Gallery - 2011 Penn State Intrasquad Wrestling Match



Greg Pickel writes for StateCollege.com and Onward State. He's on Twitter as @GregPickel.
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