Photo by Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com
When Jason Tsirtsis transferred to Arizona State from Northwestern, there were questions surrounding his eligibility and what weight he would wrestle. By the time all that got sorted out and we found out he’d be challenging Josh Shields at 157, it was fair to wonder if last year’s number nine seed in St. Louis might be relegated to the bench. Instead, Shields has responded like a champion, building upon a wrestle-off victory over Tsirtsis and a strong opening weekend to post perhaps the two most impressive victories of his college career this weekend. Friday night, the sophomore came up clutch, taking down sixth-ranked Alec Pantaleo (Michigan) late to swipe a 4-3 decision. He was even more impressive on Sunday, frustrating fifth-ranked Micah Jordan (Ohio State) on his way to a 7-4 victory. Jordan is known for his aggressive style and he earned a pair of takedowns in the opening period. However, Shields tied the match at four with a takedown of his own in the first, held a 5-4 lead going to the final frame, then secured the match with another takedown and ride out. With three wins over wrestlers ranked in the top-10 already this season, Shields is proving he is the man for the 157-pound job in Tempe. For his two big wins this weekend, Josh Shields is TOM’s College Wrestler of the Week!