Iowa State wrestling showed everything fans could’ve wanted to see from a wrestling team against Cleveland State last week in its 43-3 win.
Guys were tough, attacking and entertaining.
As the Cyclones prepare for Davidson on Sunday at 6 p.m. in Hilton Coliseum, coach Kevin Dresser wants to see more of the same in the home opener.
“We preach a lot about scoring points, being entertaining and having a product out there that people like to watch,” Dresser said.
Iowa State should have no problem doing that against Davidson, who doesn’t have any ranked wrestlers. What Davidson does have, however, are a couple of new coaches and familiar faces. The Wildcats hired former Iowa State wrestler Nate Carr Jr., who is the older brother of David Carr, now in his second season as the head coach. Nate also brought on Iowa State All-American Marcus Coleman to be his assistant.
“They’re young, I like the energy that Nate Carr Jr. has and obviously Marcus Coleman is there now,” Dresser said. “It’s a new and growing program. I’m sure they’re sending a message to their guys that this is what high-level Division I wrestling looks like. That doesn’t take anything away from what we need to do. We need to do what we did this last weekend.”
Iowa State’s lineup may look a little bit different this week, not necessarily because of any of the results last weekend, but because the Grand View Open, a tournament in Des Moines, is also taking place this weekend. Dresser and his staff are still trying to figure out which guys are going to wrestle where.
One new addition to the lineup that Dresser is expecting is true freshman Cody Chittum, who was the No. 1 pound-for-pound recruit in the nation.
“All of this is assuming we have a good week of practice — we have three hard days of training and if everything goes well, you’ll see Chittum this weekend,” Dresser said. “I don’t know where you’ll see Chittum, but it’ll either be Grand View or on Sunday. We’re trying to figure that out.”
Even though the Grand View Open is put on by an NAIA school, the tournament often attracts DI talent from across the Midwest.
In fact, the Grand View Open may provide more of a test and a measuring stick than the dual. It’ll be an opportunity for Iowa State to prove it’s not just the starters that are a force. The Cyclones plan to have everyone on the roster who is healthy compete this weekend.
“It’s probably going to be a harder day on Saturday than on Sunday — that’s not taking anything away from Davidson,” Dresser said. “In fact, the guys who go to Grand View, their stock can actually rise more by the end of the weekend than the guys who wrestle Davidson. We’re going to send maybe even a few starters to Grand View as well.”
As good as Iowa State looked last weekend, Dresser and his staff have a lot to figure out between now and the end of the season when it comes to the lineup. Weights like 133, 141, 149 and 197 are all very competitive.
But it’s also that depth that allows guys to push each other. The Diehard fans who pay attention to both events this weekend will see that it’s not just the starters who are a force to be reckoned with, but many of the backups are as well.
“When there are two guys competing for a weight, they need to compete all year long,” Dresser said. “And the guy who stays in there the longest and is the toughest will be the guy at the end of the year. We’ll see who the leader of the pack is by the time we get to second semester, but right now, there’s a lot up for grabs.”