Whether or not you like the chillier weather which fall brings (I usually do), you will most certainly like what this season also brings: The return of college wrestling to America.
And does it return with a bang!
On Saturday, November 1, the semi-official season premiere of the 2014-15 college wrestling season will take place with the 49th annual NWCA All-Star Classic. Many of the top-ranked NCAA Div. I wrestlers will face off in the ten college weights, along with a number of showcase matches.
Thus far, five defending NCAA Div. I champions are slated to compete: Ohio State’s Logan Stieber, Northwestern’s Jason Tsirtsis, Oklahoma State’s Alex Dieringer, Missouri’s J’Den Cox, and N.C. State’s Nick Gwiazdowski. Several other wrestlers who are ranked number one in this year’s preseason polls will also hit the mat.
It all happens at one of the most convenient locations on the East Coast: the Palestra on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, in the heart of Philadelphia. Just a few blocks from Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station, where both Amtrak and SEPTA go, this event will be easy to access and will occur in a major city.
Here is the lineup as of now:
(Rankings by TheOpenMat.com)
125: #2 Nahshon Garrett, Jr. (Cornell) vs. #4 Joey Dance, So. (Virginia Tech)
133: #1 A.J. Schopp, Sr. (Edinboro) vs. #2 Mason Beckman, Jr. (Lehigh)
141: #1 Logan Stieber, Sr. (Ohio State) vs. #2 Mitchell Port, Sr. (Edinboro)
149: #1 Jason Tsirtsis, So. (Northwestern) vs. #2 Josh Kindig, Sr. (Oklahoma State)
157: #2 James Green, Sr. (Nebraska) vs. #3 Ian Miller, Jr. (Kent State)
165: #1 Alex Dieringer, Jr. (Oklahoma State) vs. #2 Nick Sulzer, Sr. (Virginia)
174: #2 Robert Kokesh, Sr. (Nebraska) vs. #1-NAIA Brock Gutches, Sr. (Southern Oregon)
184: #1 Gabe Dean, So. (Cornell) vs. #1 Jack Dechow, So. (Old Dominion)
197: #1 J’Den Cox, So. (Missouri) vs. #2 Scott Schiller, Sr. (Minnesota)
285: #1 Nick Gwiazdowski, Jr. (N.C. State) vs. #2 Mike McMullan, Sr. (Northwestern)
There will also be five showcase matches at this event. Besides four matches involving top college wrestlers from the Northeast, a women’s freestyle match between 2014 World bronze medalists Helen Maroulis (Tempe, Ariz./Sunkist Kids) and Jillian Gallays of Canada will take place.
Women’s FS 55kg: World #3 Helen Maroulis (United States) vs. World #4 Jillian Gallays (Canada)
133: #1-Division III Alex Gomez, Sr. (Ithaca) vs. #17 Kevin Devoy, So. (Drexel)
141: #1-NCWA Ryan Diehl, So. (Liberty) vs. Jordan Laster, So. (Princeton)
149: #3 Devin Carter, Sr. (Virginia Tech) vs. #20 C.J. Cobb, Sr. (Penn)
184: #3 Lorenzo Thomas, Sr. (Penn) vs. Clint Morrison, Sr. (Rider)
For those unable to attend in person, the event will be streamed live on Flowrestling.org, and requires a FloPro subscription ($20/month). It will also be televised several times on tape-delay on Fox College Sports.
For more information, go to: http://www.nwcaonline.com/NWCAWebSite/Events/nwcaallstarclassic.aspx.
(Eddie Goldman is host and producer of the No Holds Barred podcast, at EddieGoldman.com.)