Still stinging from a hard-fought loss to Oregon, Boise State's wrestling team looks to resume its winning ways against Oregon State in another PAC-10 dual meet. Action gets underway in Bronco Gym Sunday afternoon at 2.
The much-improved Oregon State wrestling squad presents yet another challenge to the Broncos. Oregon State received votes in this week's National Wrestling Coaches Association/InterMat national poll but didn't crack the top 25. The Beavers (6-2-1 overall, 3-0 Pacific-10) had a four-match winning streak stopped by defending PAC-10 champion Arizona State 28-13 Friday night. During the streak, Oregon State blasted #20 Cal Poly 27-9, Cal State-Fullerton 22-13, Nebraska-Kearney (#4 in Division II) 27-9 and Wyoming 30-10. The Beavers also own wins over Oregon (which defeated Boise State Friday night) and #18 Hofstra.
Joe Wells is in his 14th season as Oregon State's head coach. Wells has led the Beavers to a Pacific-10 title and 4 top-0 finishes at the NCAA Championships during his time at OSU. Under Wells, OSU has had 2 national champions, 17 All-Americans and 22 conference champions. Going into this season, Oregon State is third in all-time dual meet wins among Division I schools. OSU currently has an all-time dual meet record of 891-286-27 and a .757 winning percentage.
Oregon State 157-pounder Tony Hook and heavyweight Ty Watterson are both in the NWCA/InterMat individual national rankings. Hook is ranked 16th in his weight class, owning a 13-7 record with three pins this season. Watterson is ranked 17th with a 19-7 record and seven pins, and he is also 18th in this week's Amateur Wrestling News national rankings. Watterson was defeated on Friday by #4 Cain Velasquez of Arizona State.
Hook, #3 in the PAC-10 rankings, will face Boise State's Ben Cherrington, the defending PAC-10 champion at 157 in the highlight of the match. Cherrington is 11th in the country and a two-time NCAA Championships participant. The Bronco senior is undefeated in 8 matches since returning from a knee injury including a pin Friday night. Hook lost to #8 Brian Stith of Arizona State Friday night.
Watterson will go against Boise State Freshman Andy Patrick in a key match of the afternoon. Patrick has stepped in at heavyweight and has put together a solid 18-11record. Included is a win over #19 Ryler Shovlin of NC-Greensboro and a 7-3 loss to #9 Bode Ogunwole of Harvard in Las Vegas, a tournament in which Patrick placed 4th.
Freshman Cory Fish 13-8 at 125, matches up against Eric Stevenson of Oregon State, ranked 4th in the PAC-10.
Eagle High school graduate Scott Jorgensen is ranked 11th by Amateur Wrestling News at 133 pounds, but had to forfeit his match with #3 Darrell Vasquez of Cal Poly last Sunday due to injury and did not wrestle against Oregon. If Jorgensen is not able to go, Jeremy Baker will likely get the nod for Boise State against Jake Gonzales.
Jordan Brock has struggled to a 5-14 start at 141 pounds. He'll have another tough go against Oregon State's Kyle Larson, the #2-ranked wrestler in the PAC-10 for his classification.
Redshirt freshman Tyler Sherfey has been quite a find for the Broncos at 149 pounds. Sherfey won the Cowboy Open at 149 and is 22-8 on the season wins including a win over Robert Sanders of Nebraska and a 3rd-place finish at the Reno tournament with only an 8-4 loss to #4 Mark DiSalvo of Central Michigan. Sherfey lost a 9-6 decision to #19 Anthony Baza of Cal State-Bakersfield last week but rebounded for a solid 18-6 win over Oregon's Stewart Bogart Friday night. Sherfey will meet up with Oregon State's Orlando Perez in the Gym.
Johnny Nunez is 7-10 wrestling at both 157 and 165 pounds, including a loss to the #4-ranked wrestler in the country at 157 (Wrestling Mall), Matt Lebe of West Virginia and #8 Joey Bracamonte of Oregon Friday night in the 165-pound class. Nunez will take on Oregon State's Anthony Weber at 165.
Oregon State's Jeremy Larson, the #1-ranked wrestler in the PAC-10 at 174 pounds, presents a huge challenge to Boise State's Ben Gilliland. Gilliland is 9-10 on the season.
After missing most of last year with an injury, senior K.C. Walsh has compiled a 17-10 record at 184 pounds, including six losses to nationally-ranked wrestlers. Oregon State Coach Wells will go with Kyle Bressler against Walsh.
Another key battle is at 197 pounds. Boise State Junior Casey Phelps is ranked 11th by Amateur Wrestling News at 197. He'll face the #4 wrestler in the PAC-10, Dan Pitsch of Oregon State. Phelps has a 23-5 record on the season split matches with #2 Jake Rosholt of Oklahoma State and #4 B.J. Padden. Pitsch lost to #10 Ryan Bader of Arizona State Friday night.
The outcomes of the Hook-Cherrington dual and the Watterson/Patrick battle will have a big influence on which team wins the match, especially if Jorgensen can not wrestle for the Broncos. The 125-pound match between Fish and Stevenson will also be key. The Broncos may need wins from Nunez and/or Walsh to produce the win Sunday.