Keegan O’Toole and Wyatt Hendrickson Dominate In The Southern Scuffle

The Southern Scuffle just wrapped up last night and it did not disappoint. There were great matches throughout and some very big upsets went down. The main guys we will be talking about are Keegan O’Toole and Wyatt Hendrickson who both dominated their respective weights.

O’Toole was not too much of a surprise being that everyone expected him to win pretty easily. The crazy part of any of this was his ability to stay poised throughout bad situations in matches. In the finals vs Peyton Hall he gave up the first takedown pretty quickly then he answered with a quick 2 point takedown followed by an immediate 4 point near fall.

There has been big talk about this being the year that O’Toole will break out and win a national title. 165 has been weird for many years as we all know. He was a third place finisher last year with his only loss coming to NCAA Finalist Jake Wentzel. Wentzel has not looked too great this season and neither have a good amount of guys at 165 pounds.

The main guy that seems to be the one that can beat O’Toole at 165 is Evan Wick of Cal Poly. We have not seen him in too big of a match this season so anything that is being said is all speculation. He was on track to wrestle Alex Marinelli at the collegiate duals and he was supposed to beat Shane Griffith in the finals of the Southern Scuffle and neither of this ended up happening.

O’Toole was able to put up bonus points in 4 out of 5 of his matches and the one match where he did not put up bonus in the quarters he was able to win 11-4 so only a single point away from that. He most likely would have gotten OW if Wyatt Hendrickson did not do what he did.

Wyatt Hendrickson coming into this season I had some doubts about. Mainly with heavyweight getting more and more stacked it came to question who could hang on and who would get left behind. You are seeing guys like Jordan Wood, Matt Stencel, and Tate Orndorff seemingly not performing as well as they have in years past. This is not really them regressing, it is just the weight class improving so much at a drastic rate.

We saw this in the age of Kyle Snyder and Mike McMullan where guys were getting sprinkled it every so often. Now the floodgates are open and it is almost rare to see a successful bigger heavyweight at the college level. Wyatt Hendrickson is part of that and he is only a sophomore.

His closest match at the scuffle was an 11-2 major decision over a top 25 guy in Brandon Metz. He impressed a lot in the finals against Lewis Fernandes who some people had as the favorite to win the match. Hendrickson dominated the match, shooting a double early in the first and essentially having him stuck but the ref did not call it. That did not matter however as Hendrickson locked up another cradle at the restart and rolled in through for the pin on the Cornell wrestler.

Hendrickson was awarded OW honors as expected after that finals performance and his performance throughout. The biggest question is how far can he go?

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