ASU wrestling readies for dual against Oklahoma State, keeps one eye on Pac-12

The ASU wrestling program took its weekly rest and recovery period, in a break from drilling action Wednesday.

While the Sun Devils (9-7, 4-1 Pac-12) main focus and mantra all year has been to take meets one at a time, as they plan to do in their upcoming road dual and regular season finale against Oklahoma State, the Pac-12 Championships is nearing and on the horizon for the team.

Coach Shawn Charles definitively answered the biggest question of the week: the status of redshirt sophomore Josh DaSilveira at 197 lbs.

 
download-022114
 

“Josh still hasn’t been released to wrestle yet; he’s going to sit out this week,” Charles said. “With injuries and everything that’s been going on, it definitely is leaning more toward Wes Moore being the guy wrestling at the Pac-12 (Championships).”

Unlike regular season meets, Charles said he needs all of his wrestlers to do their best for ASU to have a chance in the conference tournament.

“I saw that some of our better guys can lose, and other guys will step up and we can still win duals,” Charles said. “But in order to win the conference tournament, we need all of those guys to win on the same day, and we’re working hard right now to make sure that everyone is peaking at the same time.”

Tuesday, assistant coach Tyrel Todd addressed the successes of young upstarts like redshirt junior Chace Eskam (heavyweight), and sophomore Matt Kraus (141).

However, the struggles of one wrestler have flown largely under the radar. Junior Preston McCalmon (149) has not won a match since the one against Utah Valley Jan. 18.

“It’s hard, because you see how hard the kid trains and how hard he wants to win,” Charles said. “If you want things to change in your match, you need to train them in the practice room. We’re trying to get Preston in situations where he can score more points in practice.”

Despite McCalmon’s struggles, Charles said he still has confidence in him.

“I’ve never questioned the kid’s attitude or his work ethic. It’s all there,” Charles said. “Now we’ve just got to make some adjustments in the room for him to be able to pull off those wins. I feel confident that Preston is capable of beating anyone of those guys in our conference; it’s our job as coaches to make that happen.”

The Sun Devils will have their work cut out for them against the Cowboys (8-5, 3-1 Big 12), who have nine ranked wrestlers.

No. 9 sophomore Edward Klimara (125), No. 12 freshman Anthony Collica (141) No. 3 sophomore Alex Dieringer (157), No. 1 senior Chris Perry, and No. 12 redshirt freshman Nolan Boyd (184) all will be formidable opponents for ASU’s top starters.

ASU takes on Oklahoma State at Gallagher-Iba Arena on Friday, Feb. 21, at 6 p.m. MST.

Reach the reporter at smodrich@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @modrich_22