original photo courtesy of Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com
The Open Mat’s College Wrestler of the Week award goes to West Virginia sophomore 197 lber Noah Adams. Noah kept his perfect record intact with a pair of wins during the Mountaineers trip through Oklahoma over the weekend. Not only did Adams get two victories, but the opponents he downed were both ranked in the top 15 nationally and one was a returning All-American. On Friday night, Adams was tasked with facing #14 Dakota Geer (Oklahoma State), a seventh-place finisher at the 2019 NCAA Championships in Pittsburgh. In just over a minute, Noah pinned his Oklahoma State opponent. The fall gives him five for the season, which leads WVU and he has already doubled his 2019 output (two) in that category. Adams was one of two Mountaineers to earn wins in a 37-9 loss in Stillwater. Two days later, Adams and his teammates would face Big 12 rival Oklahoma. The Sooners 197 lber Jake Woodley was ranked eighth in the nation and owned a pair of wins over Adams during the 2018-19 season. Noah turned the tables on Woodley and was on the right end of a one-sided 6-1 win. This time the team fared better winning four of ten bouts, but ultimately losing 22-18 to the Sooners.
The second-ranked Adams continues to impress during his sophomore campaign. His season is all the more remarkable considering he was 19-15 and fifth in the Big 12 as a redshirt freshman in 2018-19. With his wins over Geer and Woodley, Noah now has five wins over opponents that defeated him last season. This year he has won titles at the Hokie Open, the Mountaineer Invitational, and the Southern Scuffle.
Aside from Adams and top-ranked Kollin Moore (Ohio State), the 197 lb weight class has been in a constant state of flux this season. Both are undefeated and have been models of consistency among a chaotic weight. These most recent wins have helped Adams make a case for earning the number two seed at nationals in Minnesota. Of course, Noah will have to go through one or more of his opponents from Oklahoma at the Big 12 Championships, before NCAA’s.