So I started doing this last year and ran out of time and energy. It's possible it happens again, but what the hell? Squarespace is legit and holds onto things that you never finish, so here we go again! These are my favorite Midlands matches that I could come across on YouTube. Enjoy!
125, Matt McDonough v Andrew Long, 2009: This was the second match of 4 between these two freshman world beaters. I couldn't find the video of their midlands match, but this finals match should do. Either way, I remember the majority of these matches beginning with Andrew Long going out ahead, and McDomination coming back to win each and every match. Both of these guys went on to have very different careers, but either way it was nice to relive this classic battle.
133, Nick Simmons v Jimmy Kennedy, 2006: This one was just too good to pass up. With the recent retirement of Simmons and the ascention of Jimmy Kennedy into the top tier of 65KG US Wrestlers, it would be more of an oversight to not share this. A couple things from this match.
- Nick Simmons hadn't given up an offensive point in his 4 Midlands Tournaments. In fact, his only point was a penalty point (seems about right).
- Those MSU Adidas Singlets were awesome.
- 24 year old Nick Simmons could have done whatever he wanted against 18 year old Jimmy Kennedy, but didn't have much time to illustrate that fact, and didn't need it.
141 Ryan Lang v Alex Tsirtsis, 2006: Admittedly, this was not my favorite, but sadly YouTube doesn't have video of Mark Ironside vs Doug Schwab from 1998, or Casey Cunningham v Roger Chandler in 1997, or either of the OT matchups between Andy Simmons and Nate Gallick in 04 and 05. Regardless, Ryan Lang was a HUGE recruit for NW who was often ranked in the top 3, and Tsirtsis (the older brother of Jason) was the prized recruit of Zalleski to Iowa. He recruited him over Brent Metcalf and Jay Borshell (who both ended up at Iowa when Tom Brands got the job and they transferred with him from Virginia Tech). Strangely, Tsirtsis had a much better Freshman and Sophomore year than Junior and Senior year... Hopefully his brother won't fall into the same trap.
149 Brent Metcalf v Kyle Ruschell, 2008: Is this the best match ever? Certainly not. However, is it fun watching Brent Metcalf wrestle? Hell yeah it is! Is this him beating the shit out of the guy who eventually placed third at 149? You're damn right it is. Doesn't everyone deserve a reminder of how dominant Brent Metcalf was in college from time to time? For certain! So enjoy watching Metcalf work the most dominant front headlock series of all time!
I just remembered why I started this! 157, Bono v Sanderson, 2008: When you look up this match, the video that comes up next is Bono's 1997 NCAA Finals match against Lincoln McIlravy... Bono wrestled in the NCAA Finals in 1997 and in the Midland finals in 2008, eleven years later, and just a couple months shy of twelve years later. Another interesting piece from this match, this was one of the few years that Cael Sanderson was Head Coach at Iowa State. One hell of a match, so check it out.
165 Jordan Burroughs v Andrew Howe, 2010: It really sucks that this was the only video of this match that I could find. This was the year that we all thought this would be the prequel to the eventual NCAA Finals match. The two time finalist and one time champion at 165, Andrew Howe against the returning from injury and up a weight Jordan Burroughs. We never did get that finals rematch, but this was not a dissapointment. I still remember being in Florida on a family vacation, and making sure that I was back at the Hotel to watch this finals match. I do believe there was a bonus match of Ben Askren vs Jake Herbert as well. Ben Askren is really good.
174, Joe Williams v The World; Just to be clear, Joe Williams won the Midlands every year from 1994 - 2003. Every single year. Did you know that? I sure didn't, because it seems absolutely insane. Joe Williams deserves this spot, and just watch him do his thing. Also, think about how many more points he would have scored if today's rules were in place and Roy wasn't able to back out of bounds without consequence. Long live Joe Williams!
184, Jake Varner v Jake Herbert, 2007: This is the worst. This video isn't available, but I could find the match the following year with Herbert destroying Phil Keddy of Iowa. So that's what we have. I also included the 07 NWCA All Star Classic match between Varner and Kish of Minnesota (originally from Lapeer Michigan). Figured if you'd made it this far, you appreciate some bad ass old school matches.
So here is what sucks. Basically, as soon as you start looking for video of any Midlands matches above 184, they all suck. I decided on just sharing the good matches, my memories, and matches including those wrestlers. Not that all the matches suck, but the selection from YouTube are more than limited. Anyway, the above match is just a sweet match up with John Fisher, multiple time Midlands champ, vs Cary Kolat, to make the world team.
My last favorite match was a Heavyweight battle between Jarod Trice of Central Michigan, v Jared Zabriske of Iowa State. Trice got the win against the eventual NCAA Champion. It was excellent to watch and fun for me talking trash in my buddies College house. I can't find the video, but here is Jarod "Dough Boy" Trice doing work and winning (spoiler alert) in the last second. Check him out in his MMA career.
Everyone, enjoy your winter break and hopefully this years Midlands finals will rival these finals matches. Stay cool!