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Notebook: Smith reflects on Scuffle, looks ahead to dual meets

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Trevor Mastrogiovanni

Trevor Mastrogiovanni, OSU's starting 125-pounder, finished fourth at the Southern Scuffle. He will have an opportunity to avenge two losses in Februrary.

It was good to gain experience, but now the Cowboys’ focus shifts to the grueling dual meet schedule.

With 181 points and 12 placers, the Cowboys were crowned the Southern Scuffle tournament champions. Head coach John Smith was pleased with how the team wrestled. Smith has always been a fan of tournaments solely because of the experience his wrestlers gain, especially at renowned tournaments like the Scuffle. There were some unpleasing moments and results, which will be discussed. Here’s a notebook following OSU’s Southern Scuffle victory.

Young struggled in the second half of the tournament

A tech fall and a decision victory was how Carter Young, OSU's 141-pounder, started the tournament. He finished with a 3-3 record in the Scuffle. After Young lost his rematch with Minnesota’s Jake Bergeland 2-0, he pinned Hofstra’s Justin Doyle to put him in the consolation semi-finals and a chance for a third-place finish.

He dropped his next two matches by scores of 5-2 and 5-4 against unranked wrestlers. Young has had a rough start to the season outside of his upset win over Bergeland earlier in the year and not getting a third or better finish at the Scuffle certainly doesn’t sit right with the young 141-pounder.

Smith unhappy with medical forfeits

Medical forfeits came at inconvenient times and in odd situations. There were numerous occasions that wrestlers medical forfeited against OSU wrestlers, most notably top 10 wrestlers Ethan Laird of Rider and Jaxon Smith of Maryland forfeiting back to back against Luke Surber and No. 23 Jacob Nolan of Binghamton forfeiting against Kyle Haas.

To Smith, it seemed like they were situational forfeits rather than medical forfeits to maintain top rankings instead of taking the gamble on wrestling. What perturbed him more is that it doesn’t count as a loss or win, which negatively affects his wrestlers not just record-wise, but experience-wise.

Mastrogiovanni will have a chance to avenge his Southern Scuffle placement

He won’t win first, second or third place, but Trevor Mastrogiovanni can defeat the wrestlers who sent him out with a fourth-place finish. On Feb. 5, Missouri will travel to Stillwater where Mastrogiovanni, OSU's 125-pound starter, will have a grudge match with Noah Surtin at 125 pounds who defeated him 3-0 in Chattanooga.

After defeating Stanford’s Nico Provo 3-1 in the quarter-finals, he dropped his match with Surtin and proceeded to defeat Appalachian State’s Caleb Smith 5-2. In the third-place match, Provo blew the match open with a 9-3 decision to secure the third-place trophy. Mastrogiovanni will face off against Provo again in Stillwater when Stanford makes its way to Stillwater on Feb. 12 to wrestle the Cowboys. Mastrogiovanni will certainly have those two dates circled on his calendar.

sports.ed@ocolly.com