After a two-week holiday break, Iowa State Wrestling have its sights set on returning to the mat to start 2020. The Cyclones will travel to Chattanooga, Tennessee for the Southern Scuffle. The Scuffle will take place on Jan 1 and 2.
Injury updates on Jarrett Degen and Austin Gomez
Austin Gomez and Jarrett Degen started the season slated as top guys at their respective weight classes and both have dropped due to injuries.
Gomez was making a targeted return to 133 pounds and had his sights set on the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. However, Gomez was not able to make his targeted return after suffering a concussion and has been in concussion protocol throughout the season.
Degen has been in action throughout the season for Iowa State and everything seemed to be going good for the redshirt junior up until the second day of Cliff Keen. After being one of three semifinalist for the Cyclones, Degen medically forfeited all of his matches in the second day, finished the tournament in 6th place at 149.
Cyclone wrestling fans received good news because Degen has already been cleared and Gomez is set to be cleared on Jan. 2.
“So [Degen] is ready to go, as far as when he’ll compete, we’ll just have to see,” said head coach Kevin Dresser. “[Gomez] has been training, he’s been cardio-ing, looks really good, I think he could probably be ready to go, but with concussions, there’s a lot of formalities there.”
Dresser hinted Degen could possibly make his return to the lineup for the Sundevil Duals on Jan. 11 and mentioned they have the ability to get a medical redshirt for Gomez, providing the redshirt sophomore with three more years of eligibility.
Limited starter action in Chattanooga
Iowa State will be taking a full roster on its trip to Chattanooga, but only three of the 15 wrestlers making the trip are current starters.
The starters making the trip is Chase Straw at 165, Joel Shapiro at 197 and Gannon Gremmel at 285.
“A chance to get four or five matches was really good for [Gremmel] and he’s excited about that opportunity,” Dresser said. “I think those other two guys, Shapiro and Straw, I think we just need matches at those weights.”
With a jam packed schedule to start off the second half of the season, the Southern Scuffle gives the three starters the opportunity to add some wins under their belt, especially with the Sundevil Duals and Big 12 play right around the corner.
Tough second half start
The Cyclones will have their plate loaded as they return to the mat in January, which all begins with the Southern Scuffle on Jan. 1 and 2.
After the Southern Scuffle, Iowa State will kick off Big 12 competition with a dual against Utah Valley in Orem, Utah, on Jan. 9.
Then the Cyclones will make the trip to Tempe, Arizona, on Jan. 11 to take part in the Sundevil Duals, where they’re scheduled to take on Harvard, Campbell and Arizona State.
After the Sundevil Duals, Dresser and company will travel to Brookings, South Dakota, to face South Dakota State on Jan. 17. Two days later, the Cyclones will host North Dakota State at Hilton Coliseum.
Iowa State rounds out its busy January with hosting Oklahoma State on Jan. 26 in a highly anticipated Big 12 battle and traveling to Fresno, California, to face Fresno State on Jan. 31.
“Basically, if you look at our schedule from Jan. 9 to Jan. 31, that’s 22 days, we got eight dual meets in 22 days,” Dresser said. “We’re basically doing a dual meet every two and a half days and that’s hard on your body, so you got to be ready for that.”