Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

PSU Wrestling

PSU wrestling notebook: Starocci a star in the making

Photo by Michigan Athletics (Sam Janicki): Carter Starocci

If Penn State wrestling fans weren’t convinced of 174-pounder Carter Starocci’s potential, they certainly should be after Sunday’s dual meet against Michigan.

The redshirt freshman pulled off not only Penn State’s biggest upset win so far this season after beating Michigan’s Logan Massa, but maybe even one of the bigger upsets so far in college wrestling this season.

Time seems to go very slow in this weird world we’re living in today. Christmas was less than two months ago, but it sure feels like a lot longer than that. You could say the same for when Starocci was knocked off by Indiana’s D.J. Washington in the season opener in mid-January. That seems to be way behind him now.

That loss to Washington was the first time Starocci had lost a match since the state championship his sophomore year of high school four years ago. He was 50-0 his junior year and 46-0 his senior year, with both seasons culminating with state titles.

In his redshirt season last year, he went 18-0 while wrestling unattached, including a Southern Scuffle tournament win.

Starocci took over the 174-pound weight class from Mark Hall, and the comparisons between Starocci and Hall were very obvious after Starocci’s upset. Very similarly, Hall lost in his debut, but we all know how much of a success he made out of his career at Penn State – only three Big Ten championships and a national title.

Fans have to love Starocci’s attitude towards the upset when speaking with the media on Tuesday. He was asked what his approach is when he is wrestling against an opponent with a higher rank.

“I don’t feel like any of these guys are higher-ranked than me,” said Starocci. “I’m No. 1, and that’s what it is with me and all of our team. That’s all that matters. We don’t focus on anything else.”

Just exactly what you want in a wrestler. My opinion, or any other wrestling writer’s opinion, doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. It just matters that Starocci thinks he could beat an opponent like Massa, and he did.

Who wouldn’t want to see that rematch here in a couple weeks at the Big Ten Tournament?

No matter what happens this year, Starocci looks like a future fan favorite if he hasn’t already reached that status.

Howard’s debut

Become a Nittany Pride member for an ad-free experience throughout the site and even more exclusive in-depth content. You can sign up for $3.99 per month or get a yearly subscription for only $38.00.

It seems like forever that the Nittany Lions have had a reliable wrestler at 125. It’s only one match, but there seems to be some hope that Robert Howard could be that guy in the future.

The two-time New Jersey state champion debuted by beating the Wolverines’ Jack Medley, 6-5, on Sunday. Howard was not available for the first three dual meets this year.

There seems to be some competition for 125 now for the future. Not only does Howard have local product Baylor Shunk pushing him, but Reynolds High School recruit Gary Steen will be coming next year and figures to be a 125-pounder in college.

That 125-pound weight class, along with heavyweight, have become the two most intriguing weights for the Nittany Lions for the foreseeable future.

National telecasts upcoming

Penn State travels to Ohio State on Friday night for a 7 p.m.dual meet before the Nittany Lions finally get their first, and probably last, home dual meet on Monday evening against Maryland at 6 p.m.

Both dual meets will be on national television on the Big Ten Network. The Maryland dual was originally scheduled for Sunday, but was pushed back a day to fit the meet on BTN.

Get Nittany Sports Now in your inbox

Sign-up for email updates and get the whole story first from Cory Giger and the Nittany Sports Now team, delivered straight to your inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Written By

Click to comment

Sound Off!

Get NSN in your Inbox

Enter your email address to get notifications of new posts by email.

Most Viewed

PSU wrestling: Lions have four in finals at Big Tens, in 2nd place behind Iowa in team race
Patrick Chambers in mix for Fordham job: report
WATCH: Cael Sanderson's press conference following Saturday's wrestling action
Who dat gonna be the Saints' new punter? Blake Gillikin
5 things to know before Sunday's action at Big Ten Championships
PSU wrestling: Previewing Big Ten Championships
Parsons to the Patriots? McShay has LB going to New England at No. 15
Who will be PSU's next basketball coach? A good candidate pool, with odds
PSU Wrestling: Lions' lineup, pre-seeds revealed for Big Ten Championships
Decision of a lifetime: Myrick bets on himself, gets rewarded with PSU opportunity

More from Nittany Sports Now

PSU Wrestling

0 Penn State will send four wrestlers to the Big Ten Wrestling championship round on Sunday in Roman Bravo-Young (133), Nick Lee (141), Carter...

PSU Wrestling

0 Penn State will have four wrestlers in the finals Sunday at the Big Ten Wrestling Championships, taking place this weekend at the Bryce...

PSU Wrestling

0 Penn State coach Cael Sanderson discussed his four finalists, the Nittany Lions’ slow start and other topics during his Zoom press conference following...

PSU Wrestling

0 Battle with Iowa There probably isn’t much of a disagreement that the battle for the Big Ten championship will likely be between the...

Get Nittany Sports Now in your inbox

Sign-up for email updates and get the whole story first from Cory Giger and the Nittany Sports Now team, delivered straight to your inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Send this to a friend