Fun match-up exercise


Active Member
Aug 5, 2002
So I thought a fun exercise would be to come up with a list of most desired match-ups given the current roster of both the team and NLWC. The idea is that you have been put in charge of a wrestling charity event and you need to put together 10 match-ups that can be intra squad or between a team member and NLWC member. You will need to also determine if the match is folk or freestyle. Below is a list of the current NLWC wrestlers from the NLWC site. Also include Levi Haines even though he is not listed since he is training at the NLWC. Don't worry about injuries or guys leaving so assume everyone is healthy and available. This is just for fun. What would would be your match-ups?

Here are mine somewhat ordered by weight:

Howard vs Steen - Folkstyle
RBY vs Gilman - Freestyle
Retherford vs Lee - Freestyle
Van Ness vs Bartlett - Folkstyle
Haines vs Berge - Folkstyle
Facundo vs Nolf - Folkstyle
Taylor vs Brooks - Folkstyle
Dean vs Beard - Folkstyle
Bo vs Snyder - Freestyle
Kerkvliet vs Cassar - Folkstyle

The big wrestler that I left out was Starocci. Not a lot of options at his weight. I thought it might be fun to see him against Brroks but then that might leave out one of the PSU greats and Olympic gold medalist in David Taylor. Some of the freestyle vs folkstyle could certainly be switched. Lots of possibilities.

NLWC resident Wrestlers:

Josh Rodriguez (57 kg/125.5 lbs)
From Guadalupe, California, Josh attended North Dakota State University before joining the R.A. program in late summer, 2017. During the 2018-19 season, he won a Pan American gold medal, finished with a bronze at the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament, and won a gold medal at the Grand Prix of Spain.

Thomas Gilman (57kg/125.5lbs)
Thomas was 3X All-American for the University of Iowa and has had tremendous success at the International Level. He was a 2017 World Silver Medalist and placed 5th at the 2018 World Championships. He has also won or place highly in numerous other international tournaments, including winning 2020 Pan American Olympic qualifier tournament to qualify his weight class for the Olympic Games. Thomas joined the NLWC Program in Spring, 2020.

Jordan Conaway (61 kg/134 lbs)
A 2X All-American while competing for Penn State, Jordan joined the NLWC Resident Athlete Program in the summer of 2016. In addition to being a top competitor, Jordan’s outstanding technique, positive attitude, and work ethic have made him an excellent training partner/coach at the Club’s Regional Training Center practices.

Zain Retherford (65kg/143.5 lbs)
Zain joined the R.A. Program in April, 2018 after completing one of the finest careers ever for a collegiate wrestler. He was a 3X NCAA Champion who finished his career with 94 straight wins. Zain also won two Hodge Trophies as the nation’s most dominant wrestler and won the NCAA Most Dominant Award three straight years. During the 2018-19 season, Zain went undefeated at the World Cup Championships, finished 2nd at the U.S. Open National Championships, won the World Team Trials Challenge tournament, won the Final X, and represented team U.S.A. at the 2019 World Championships.

Franklin Gomez (74 kg/163 lbs)
A NCAA Champion and All-American for Michigan State, Franklin has been with the Resident Athlete Program for many years. Representing his native Puerto Rico, Franklin earned a silver medal at the 2011 World Championships, was a 2012 Olympian, competed at the 2013 and 2014 World Championships, and also competed at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. Moving up in weight the 2018-19 season, Franklin proved that he can still compete with the best in the world by winning the Grand Prix of Spain and earning a bronze at the Pan American Championships. Franklin continued his run of success through the 2019-20 season and just before the 2020 Olympics were postponed, he had recently qualified for his third Olympic games with a win in the semis of the 2020 Pan American Olympic Qualifier tournament.

Bekzod Abdurakhmonov (74kg/163lbs)
A native of Uzbekistan, Bekzod joined the NLWC Resident Athlete Program in the fall of 2018. He was a 2014 World Bronze Medalist, a 2016 Asian Gold Medalist, and a bronze medal match finalist at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. Bekzod finished the 2017-18 season by earning another bronze medal at the 2018 World Championships.

Jason Nolf (74kg/163lbs)
Jason had a spectacular career at Penn state where he was a fan favorite for his exciting go all out and dominate style. He won 3X NCAA titles in his collegiate career before joining the NLWC Resident Athlete Program in April, 2019. He earned a bronze in the 2019 U.S. Open National Championships and won the World Team Trials Challenge tournament before dropping a close best of three series in the final world team trials. In March, 2020 Jason won the Pan American Games to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Trials.

David Taylor (86 kg/189 lbs)
David had an outstanding collegiate career at Penn State where he was a 4X All-American, a 2X NCAA Champion, and a 2X Hodge Award winner, recognized as the most dominant wrestler in the country. During the 2017-18 season, David was virtually unstoppable in every competition he entered, including the 2018 World Championships where he dominated the 86 kg weight class on his way to a World Title. And at the conclusion of the season, the international governing body of wrestling recognized David as the 2018 top freestyle wrestler in the World! David started off the 2019 season right where he had left off in the 2018 season. He won a gold medal and the OW award at the 2019 Pan American Championships by tech falling or pinning every opponent. David suffered in injury in late spring, 2019, returning to competition in March, 2020 to win the Pan American Olympic Qualifier tournament.

Jaime Espinal (92kg/202lbs)
Jaime was a member of the NLWC Resident Athlete Program and had trained at the Club’s RTC on his way to the Silver medal at the 2012 Olympics. He decided to return to competition and rejoined the NLWC in 2019. Jaime is a phenomenal athlete and an outstanding competitor and training partner. When Jaime returned to training at the NLWC, his wife Jane Espinal also started training at the Club. In spring, 2020, Jane made history by becoming the first-ever Mexican women’s wrestler to qualify for the Olympic Games!

Bo Nickal (92kg/202lbs)
Bo joined the Resident Athlete Program in spring, 2019, after finishing an outstanding career at Penn State where he was a 3X NCAA Champion and earned the Hodge Trophy as the Nation’s most dominant collegiate wrestler during the 2018-19 season. Bo transitioned from collegiate style to freestyle without missing a beat. He won the 2019 U.S. Open National Tournament in dominating fashion and followed that by winning the world team trials best of three final. After dropping two close bouts to the returning world champion in the Final X series, Bo challenged for the U23 World Team spot which he won. Bo then went on to capture the 2019 U23 World Title!

Kyle Snyder (97kg/213.4lbs)
Kyle joined the NLWC Program in fall, 2019. A 3X NCAA Champion for Ohio State, Kyle made U.S. history by becoming the youngest American to win a World title (2015) at 19 years old and the youngest American to win an Olympic gold medal (2016) at 20 years old. Kyle is widely recognized as one of the top wrestlers in the world!

Anthony Cassar (125kg/275lbs)
Anthony, a former Penn Stater, joined the NLWC program in January, 2020 after an phenomenal collegiate career where he won an NCAA title in 2019. Anthony had a lot of freestyle success early in his collegiate career, and he looks forward to competing for Olympic and World titles.


Well-Known Member
May 29, 2001
Since you don't have anyone for Starocci, put him up against Casey Cunningham, Folkstyle.
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Active Member
Aug 5, 2002
Yes, or instead of having Bo wrestle Snyder would could have him wrestle Cael.