photo courtesy of Tony Rotundo; WrestlersAreWarriors.com
A new feature that we will have on TOM is the “All-2000’s Team” for a respective school. We will go weight-by-weight to feature the best lineup that a team could put together comprised of wrestlers that were in action from the year 2000 to now. Their career could have started in the 1990’s; they just need to have one year of competition in the 2000’s. Each wrestler that is mentioned must have competed for one postseason at their weight class (even if it wasn’t the weight they were most known for).
This team a different than some of the ones before it, as three of its members are still active. In each case, I could have taken a wrestler from the past that is slightly more accomplished, however, I chose to bank on the potential of the current athlete.
125 – Nathan Tomasello (Parma, OH) 2014-18
Four-time NCAA Qualifier, 2015 NCAA Champion, Four-time All-American (2015-1st; 2016-3rd; 2017-3rd; 2018-3rd), Four-time Big Ten Champion
Nathan Tomasello started his collegiate career with an NCAA title as a freshman and then proceeded to finish third in each of his three remaining seasons. Tomasello also became only the second four-time Big Ten champion in school history. His NCAA Championship helped propel Ohio State to their only NCAA Team Championship.
Second Team: Nikko Triggas
133 – Logan Stieber (Monroeville, OH) 2011-15
Four-time NCAA Qualifier, Four-time NCAA Champion, Four-time Big Ten Champion
One of the all-time greats of NCAA wrestling, Logan Stieber became only the fourth four-time NCAA Champion with his title in 2015. Stieber is all over the Buckeye record book with the highest winning percentage in school history (.975), a tie for most career falls (50), and he put together perfect seasons in his sophomore and senior seasons. His initial championship came over Jordan Oliver (Oklahoma State), who was coming off of a perfect season himself.
Second Team: Reece Humphrey
141 – J Jaggers (Northfield, OH) 2005-09
Four-time NCAA Qualifier, Two-time NCAA Champion, Three-time All-American (2009-1st; 2008-1st; 2007-7th), Two-time Big Ten third-place finisher
No one could “shine when the lights are brightest” like J Jaggers. Despite never appearing in a Big Ten final and being seeded sixth, then third, Jaggers still came back with NCAA titles in each of his last two seasons in Columbus. To win his first, J gutted through an ugly ankle injury late in his championship bout vs. Chad Mendes (Cal Poly). There was no such drama in 2009, as he used cradles to pin in the quarters and semis and almost did so in the finals for an Ohio State team that came dangerously close to upsetting Iowa.
Second Team: Hunter Stieber
149 – Lance Palmer (Lakewood, OH) 2006-10
Four-time NCAA Qualifier, Four-time All-American (2010-2nd; 2009-4th; 2008-8th; 2007-4th), 2010 Big Ten Champion
Lance Palmer came straight out of high school and got thrown into some of the most grueling weight classes imaginable at 149 lbs. Palmer proved up to the test and uses his toughness and grinding brand of top wrestling to earn a spot on the podium each season. His highlight was a victory over Brent Metcalf (Iowa) during their senior season in the Big Ten finals. The win gave Lance the top seed at nationals; however, he fell to Metcalf in a slow-paced 3-2 match.
Second Team: Cam Tessari
157 – Micah Jordan (Urbana, OH) 2015-Present
Three-time NCAA Qualifier, Two-time All-American (2018-6th; 2017-4th), 2016 NCAA Round of 12 finisher, Two-time Big Ten runner-up
Three years into his Ohio State career, Micah Jordan has wrestled a different weight each season, with the most recent being 157. Jordan “took one for the team” as a freshman, getting down to 141 lbs and had a solid season, losing at Nationals a match from placing. In each of his last two seasons, Jordan has made the Big Ten finals and became an AA.
Second Team: Keaton Anderson
165 – Colt Sponseller (Millersburg, OH) 2007-11
Three-time NCAA Qualifier, 2011 NCAA fourth-place finisher, Two-time NCAA Round of 12 finisher, Two-time Big Ten runner-up
Though he was perennially one of the top 165 lbers in the nation, Colt Sponseller did not get onto the podium for the first time until his senior season when he was fourth in the country. In his final three seasons, Sponseller was never seeded lower than sixth at nationals and twice was eliminated in the Round of 12.
Second Team: John Clark
174 – Bo Jordan (St. Paris, OH) 2014-18
Four-time NCAA Qualifier, Four-time All-American (2018-5th; 2017-2nd; 2016-3rd; 2015-3rd), 2017 Big Ten Champion, Three-time Big Ten finalist
Like Tomasello and Kyle Snyder, Bo Jordan placed an integral role in the Buckeye team title during their freshmen seasons. Jordan was third at NCAA’s that season and the following season, both at 165 lbs. Bo’s win total, and probably NCAA placement, were lower than one may expect due to him having to battle foot injuries over multiple years of his career.
Second Team: Nick Heflin
184 – Myles Martin (Penns Grove, NJ) 2015-Present
Three-time NCAA Qualifier, 2016 NCAA Champion, Three-time All-American (2nd-2018; 5th-2017; 1st-2016), Two-time Big Ten runner-up
Myles Martin shocked the college wrestling world by winning an NCAA title as a true freshman in 2016. He was the first freshman, seeded in double digits, to win a championship since 10th seeded Jake Rosholt (Oklahoma State) did so in 2003. Myles got back to the finals in 2018 and fell by fall to long-time rival Bo Nickal, the same opponent he beat in the 2016 final.
Second Team: Mike Pucillo
197 – Kollin Moore (Burbank, OH) 2016-Present
Two-time NCAA Qualifier, Two-time All-American (2018-4th, 2017-3rd), Two-time Big Ten Champion
With two years of eligibility remaining and two top-four placements already under his belt, we’ll take the chance of naming Moore over others with slightly better credentials. Looking at his career, as a whole, consistency has been the name of the game for Kollin, winning a Big Ten crown both years and earning a first and third seed his two NCAA Championships.
Second Team: JD Bergman
285 – Kyle Snyder (Woodbine, MD) 2014-18
Four-time NCAA Qualifier, Three-time NCAA Champion, Four-time All-American (1st-2018; 1st-2017; 1st-2016; 2nd-2015), Four-time NCAA finalist Three-time Big Ten Champion, Four-time Big Ten finalist
International accolades aside, Kyle Snyder has still had a remarkable collegiate career, becoming the first 285 lber to win three DI NCAA Championships, since Carlton Haselrig (Pitt-Johnstown) did so from 1987-89. Snyder had two undefeated seasons (2016 and 2017) and came out on top of two-time NCAA Champion and current world team-teammate Nick Gwiazdowski (NC State) in one of the best NCAA finals bouts of all-time. Kyle, along with Tomasello and Jordan, became the first group of three teammates to All-American four-times and graduated together.
Second Team: Tommy Rowlands