The dual season is finally upon us as the No. 21 Rutgers Wrestling team officially kicks off it’s 2022-23 campaign this weekend with three matches on the slate.
First up will be the Clarion Golden Eagles, who head to New Brunswick, rather than Jersey Mike’s Arena in Piscataway, to take on the Scarlet Knights at the College Ave Gym aka “The Barn.”
With a win Friday night, head coach Scott Goodale will pick up his 200th career victory on the banks, as he remains the steadfast voice guiding the Scarlet Knights to new heights.
On Saturday, the Scarlet Knights will head to the Liberty High School Showcase in Bethlehem, PA to take on the Sacred Heart Pioneers at 1:00PM followed by the No. 5 Arizona State Sun Devils.
Below, I’ll preview the potential ranked/interesting matchups that we could see for the Clarion dual, and will follow up with a preview of the Sacred Heart/ASU duals tomorrow morning.
No. 21 Rutgers vs Clarion - Ranked/Intriguing Matchups:
125: Dean Peterson/No. 20 Dylan Shawver vs Joseph Fischer
While Clarion’s Fischer enters the dual unranked by Intermat, he’s coming off a solid freshman campaign that saw him go 23-11 and just miss out on a trip to nationals by falling in overtime at the MAC Championships in the gold medal bout.
Whether it’s Peterson or Shawver for Rutgers, they will be favored in this spot (although Shawver is probably a better matchup for the Scarlet Knights in this instance) and both are coming off strong performances at the Princeton Open this past Sunday.
141: No. 12 Sammy Alvarez vs Seth Koleno
We will hopefully see the debut of Sammy Alvarez up at his new weight (141lbs) Friday night where he’ll take on Clarion’s Seth Koleno.
Koleno isn’t currently ranked by Intermat, but comes into the dual ranked in the low to mid 20’s by a few other outlets.
Alvarez is one of the most exciting wrestlers in the country when he’s out there, so fans are eager to see him back on the mat doing what he does best.
174: No. 24 Jackson Turley vs John Worthing
Not necessarily an intriguing matchup, just generally excited to see Turley back in action after an injury shortened his 2021-22 season.
Much like Alvarez, Turley is an incredibly exciting wrestler who went on a wild run to an All-American finish two years ago and hopefully can find that magic again this season.
I also feel like I need to point out that Clarion may also be weighing in a wrestler at this weight named Suds Dubler, an insanely appropriate name for a college wrestler.
184: Brian Soldano vs No. 21 Will Feldkamp
Scott Goodale indicating during an appearance on “The Scarlet Faithful” podcast that the much anticipated debut of true freshman Brian Soldano would take place Friday night against Feldkamp.
Clarion’s Feldkamp, who was up at 197lbs last season, was pinned by former Scarlet Knight All-American Greg Bulsak during the dual between the two schools last November.
Soldano, a former three-time New Jersey state champion at High Point, would quickly become a fan favorite with an upset of Feldkamp in this spot and he definitely has the tools to pull it off.
When it’s all said and done, I like Rutgers taking seven of ten matches with the final score being 23-9. It’ll be great to see the debuts of some true freshman and also the returns of some former standouts Friday night at The Barn.
The Scarlet Knights should secure Coach Goodale’s 200th victory and kick off the season on a high note, heading into a much anticipated matchup Saturday with Arizona State.