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March in Review: Taylor, Cox, Gwiazdowski among Flowrestling award winners

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A number of college wrestlers – along with Edinboro University head coach Tim Flynn – have been honored with awards by Flowrestling.org, the amateur wrestling website announced in a series of articles last week.

In the days immediately following the conclusion of the college wrestling season, Penn State’s David Taylor was named Flowrestling’s Wrestler of the Year, while J’Den Cox of the University of Missouri earned the Freshman of the Year Award. North Carolina State’s Nick Gwiazdowski was recipient of Flowrestling’s Most Improved Wrestler Award. The Fighting Scots’ Flynn was named Coach of the Year for 2014.

In his article announcing Taylor as Wrestler of the Year, Flowrestling's Christian Pyles provided a recitation of the Nittany Lion superstar's statistics (34-0 this season, 134-3 overall)... then launched into this analysis of what made the wrestler whose Twitter ID is @magicman_psu so magical: "His offense was varied and diverse, able to beat you in so many ways. Re-attacks that resemble teleportation, tilts that look effortless, and counters you've never seen. Taylor had it all and did it all. While his final spot in history is potentially muddled by the fact that he "only" has two titles, I think he is still close to the coversation for one of the best ever."

Pyles was similarly poetic in describing why Flowrestling named Cox, 2014 NCAA 197-pound champ, its Freshman of the Year, writing, “He won a weight filled with upperclassmen and experienced brawlers. He’s not your run-of-the-mill upperweight. His combination of power and speed make him a nightmare matchup for years to come… In winning this award, J’den has bested perhaps one of the most impressive freshman classes in some time: Jason Tsirtsis, Gabe Dean and Zain Retherford all had incredible accomplishments and victories this year and in other seasons would be shoo-in candidates for Freshman of the Year.”

In making a case for Gwiazdowski – 2014 NCAA heavyweight champ – as the most improved college wrestler for 2014, Pyles opened with this statement: “From a fringe AA as a freshman to the top of the podium as a sophomore. The unseating of a legend and besting the most talked-about field in college wrestling. Gwiaz has come a long way. Scary to think he’s got two years left.”

As for Edinboro’s Flynn earning Flowrestling’s Coach of the Year honors, Pyles pointed out the seeming improbability of this relatively small Pennsylvania school placing fifth among much-larger mat powerhouses such as Penn State, Minnesota, Oklahoma State and Iowa, then adds, “The awards for Flynn are long overdue and well-deserved. He consistently finds gems year in and year out and turns them into monsters. Coach Flynn nearly pulled off an inconceivable upset this year when his team pushed Iowa to the brink in their dual…”

Want to know more? To read each article on this year’s recipients of Flowrestling awards, click on that individual’s highlighted name.

About the photos: From left, Penn State’s David Taylor (Bill Ennis); Missouri’s J’Den Cox (Facebook); North Carolina State’s Nick Gwiazdowski (NC State wrestling).

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