NATIONAL DUALS! Now That's Entertainment!




OVERALL, I WAS ENTERTAINED!

The ILLINOIS Junior National Dual teams in Freestyle and Greco didn't finish in first place like we all wanted, but I was entertained. The main problem was an injury to Rocco Hayes. The team was looking incredible in the Greco pool during the first day of the tournament, then Rocco ran into a concussion problem against Iowa. 

If Hayes had been able to finish his match, I believe he would've won, and I also believe that that would've been enough to win the dual. Since Iowa won first place in Greco, you know where I think ILLINOIS could have finished. 

(There was also the uncalled Noah Tapia pin in that dual, but, hey, that only cost ILLINOIS a couple of points). 

After that dual, the team had to forfeit the weight in every match. That included every other match in the Greco Championship Gold-Silver pool, as well as every single match in Freestyle. Still, the team finished in the Championship pool in both Greco and Freestyle, earning a fifth place in Freestyle and a sixth-place finish in Greco. 


KANNON WEBSTER

As this is the ILLINI Blog and Forum and Beyond, I want to give special mention to the ILLINOIS recruits, William Baysingar and Kannon Webster. It seems that Kannon is very keen on ankle picks and foot sweeps. The foot sweeps especially look like a Judo type of action, as it is meant to put your opponent off balance. 

Kannon is still growing and, by the look of his forearms and hands, he has some growing still to do. Here is an action shot from the Freestyle portion of the duals:



Versus Evan Frost, Iowa. Hard snap. Hard snap. Sprawl. Reattack with the double leg. Eventually a 13-2 tech fall. 


WILL BAYSINGAR

This young fellow is also growing. He wrestled at 138 most of the time, while Kannon wrestled at 132. Will liked the two-on-one quite a lot, and it was very effective for him. Below, he is looking for that standing cradle:



Versus Cash Raymond, Minnesota Gold. Total wrist control domination. Sprawl. Reattack. Spin behind. Minnesota keeps his head low. Poor decision. Baysingar is a 3-0 winner. The Minnesota kid has been wrestling 152 and 145 lately. 


THE ILLINOIS ROSTER

Please note that the Trackwrestling.com roster below doesn't show Rocco Hayes for some reason. Apparently, once he defaulted out of the tournament, they took him off the master list. A big issue for the ILLINOIS team this year was that their four biggest hammers, Webster, Baysingar, Bailey and Robinson, all wrestle at about the same weight. 

ILLINOIS could only fit two of them into each dual. 

The event has to be very grueling, as you have back-to-back tournaments. You don't want to wrestle your hammers in each dual, but you'd want to wrestle all of them in the biggest matches.

 During these days, it was fun to watch the future ILLINI battle hard, watch the ILLINI-adjacent like Rocco Hayes and Ghee Rachal. (They're both extremely entertaining). See Vincent Robinson battle back from some pretty colorful stomach issues, marvel at Nasir Bailey doing his thing, become bemused (and a little angry) every time the ref failed to call a Noah Tapia pin, and on and on. I will always be a big fan of these guys, as they fought hard and were gentlemen: 


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Photo credits: Top, "BuILLt Here" is from the ILLINI Athletic Department; Middle and Bottom, screengrabs from FloWrestling videos. 

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