With one extra year of eligibility granted to all winter sport athletes, there have been some very difficult decisions that needed to be made. Coaches are deciding whether they should give scholarship money to certain seniors or start getting their incoming freshmen some mat time before they get stale. Seniors are deciding whether they want to come back for another gruelling year of school and wrestling or get a start in their future careers.
The question on everyone’s mind has been which seniors will return next season? And for us fans, the announcements have been exciting to hear who we get to see wrestle another season. Some announcements have been simple and to the point, while others have been rather elaborate, creative, and thought out. Below are twelve of the most bomb social media announcements for seniors returning to wrestle for one final season in 2022.
12. Sam Colbray (ISU)
With a shortened season and a round of 16 finish at this year’s NCAAs, Sam Colbray is hungry for another year of wrestling. Iowa State posted “Three-time NCAA Qualifier and All-American, Sam Colbray, will be BACK next season for one more go-around!” Just like their other graphics, this one was clean and straight to the point in a good way.
11. Alex Marinelli & Jaydin Eierman (IOWA)
Both Alex Marinelli and Jaydin Eierman announced back-to-back that they will return to the 2022 Hawkeyes team in a very similar, simple way. After disheartening NCAA Championships for both wrestlers, fans speculated whether these two would be back. They answered simply on Instagram, “I will return.”
10. Jaron Jensen (WYO)
Sometimes simple is better. Wyoming went the route of creating a graphic for Jason Jensen with a quote, “This team is special and I’m happy to come back for one more shot at my dreams. If there is still time on the clock, there is still time to wrestle! Go Pokes!”
9. Devin Schroder & Max Lyon (PUR)
One of the best social media graphics departments in the country is Purdue. While they didn’t post anything crazy over-the-top, they welcomed Devin Schroder and Max Lyon back to the team with a fun caption “Family is family. Can’t get rid of ‘em.”
8. Spencer Lee (IOWA)
Was there anyone who didn’t believe Spencer Lee would return in pursuit of his fourth NCAA title? He made the announcement official on March 22 with an Instagram post with the caption, “First title back in Iowa City since 2010. See you guys next year.” He kept it simple, but his announcement was exciting because he can be the first 4Xer since Logan Stieber in 2015.
7. Korbin Myers (VT)
Virginia Tech easily has one of the best graphic design departments in the country (see: Alpha poster). They kept it simple with “run it back,” but also included a cool caption of “Hey #HokieNation, how does one more serving of Korbanzo Beans sound?” The graphic is simple, but it sure did excite Hokie fans.
6. Josh Heil & Chris Kober & Ben Barton (CU)
For most teams, the process is the same: create a graphic for every senior then slowly drip it out over a week. Campbell spiced up the process by creating graphics that linked to an Adobe Sparks webpage about all three of their returning seniors. The webpage included videos, stats, and a message from Coach Wynn Michalak.
5. Hayden Hidlay (NCST)
This was a big one! On the Pack Mentality podcast, Hayden Hidlay didn’t just announce his return to the Wolfpack; he revealed his decision to bump up to wrestle 174 lbs. next season. With Daniel Bullard moving on from NC State, the new “Brothers of Destruction” will pack a heavy back-to-back punch in 2022 with Hayden at 174 lbs. and Trent at 184 lbs.
4. Anthony Valencia (ASU)
Wow! Arizona State knows how to put together an impressive video. Sure, Valencia is reading from a script, but the message is strong, the video edits are well put together, and the music is spot on. The Valencia brothers are building up a strong brand identity to help them compete post collegiately, but Anthony still has “unfinished business.” I mean, he nearly majored the 165 lbs. NCAA Champion, Shane Griffith, at PAC-12s, so he’s bringing a lot of potential back to his podium-finishing team next year.
3. Jake Wentzel & Gregg Harvey (PITT)
Was the video as extraordinarily edited and highly produced like Anthony Valencia’s announcement? No. But sometimes there’s something special about college athletes just having a good time. Bad Boys for Life Gregg Harvey and NCAA finalist Jake Wentzel announced their plans to return in 2022 with a quick video of them walking around the Fitzgerald Field House and their best highlights.
2. Tariq Wilson (NCST)
The reason Tariq’s announcement is so high on this list is because of how he revealed his return. He initially tweeted “Bad news …,” which made fans question whether he would actually return to NC State. A few hours later, though, he explained that the bad news was for the rest of the country in a tweet, “Sorry Coaches and Athletes, I’m back to terrorize once more.” He also unveiled his plans to move up to 149 lbs. Too bad he didn’t wait one more day and made it an April Fool’s Day prank!
1. Michael Kemerer (IOWA)
There’s no comparison here. Michael Kemerer’s TikTok video was not only thrilling news for Iowa fans, it was also hilarious for the rest of the wrestling world. Some fans are upset that the National Finalist gets to return for a 7th year of eligibility, but he poked fun at them with a “Tommy Boy” quote about how “A lot of people go to college for seven years – they’re called Doctors.” He came out in a lab coat with Max Murin on the operating table. Great job, Mike!
What was your favorite announcement?
As wrestling fans, we are spoiled to get one more season to watch some of our favorite seniors. Great job to the athletic departments and wrestlers on being so creative on these announcements and making them worthwhile for the fans. Also, thanks to FloWrestling for coming out with this awesome Senior Tracker so we can keep tabs on who is returning and who is leaving.