Wednesday, October 9, 2013

College wrestling's most interesting schedule

Consider it a nomadic schedule for a college wrestling program with huge 2013-14 goals.

Notre Dame College wrestles just three traditional dual meets this season, including one at Ohio State on Friday, Nov. 15. The Falcons also face Ashland at home on Dec. 4 and visit Lake Erie College on Jan. 26. The Ashland meet is NDC's only home event in 2013-14.

The Ohio State dual represents gutsy scheduling by both sides, and it will pit NDC coach Frank Romano against his alma mater. Romano was a two-time captain for the Buckeyes. NDC has never faced Ohio State in a head-to-head sporting event.

The rest of the Falcons' schedule includes an eclectic mix of events. NDC will send wrestlers to four open tournaments hosted by Division I schools -- the season-opening Clarion Open (Nov. 3), Michigan State Open (Nov. 9), Cleveland State (Dec. 14) and Edinboro Open (Feb. 8). The high-caliber opens should push NDC's best wrestler, including returning NCAA champions Joey Davis and Eric Burgey. Davis went 33-0 and only surrendered one takedown as a freshman last season. Meetings between Davis and some of the top Division I  competitors should create a stir in the wrestling community.

The Falcons are also attending opens at Lake Erie College (Jan. 5), Mount Union (Jan. 19) and University of Indianapolis (Feb. 1) and three dual meet tournaments, including the NWCA Division II National Duals, which start Jan. 11 in Des Moines, Iowa. NDC finished second in the 16-team event last season.

By the time the NCAA Division II Super I Region I tournament begins March 1 in Johnstown, Pa., NDC wrestlers will have faced Division I, II and III, and NAIA competition. The Falcons should be tested when the national tournament begins at Cleveland's venerable Public Hall on March 14.

-- Guy Cipriano | @newsheraldguy


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