Stop Missing Great Wrestling!

Posted: September 13, 2014 in ncaa wrestling, schedule, usa wrestling schedule
Tags: , ,

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As I think back over the years of wrestling that I’ve watched a couple of things stick out. Pennsylvania is one of the healthiest wrestling states in the country. But it too has issues. Aside from Penn State, Lehigh, Edinboro and Pitt, high schools generally out-draw the universities. But just from my observation even high school attendance seems to be down slightly over the last couple of decades. It could be that I just see less of the team’s fellow students in the stands.

I’ve seen high school and college wrestling matches all over the country. With the high concentration of talent in PA we’re lucky to have such incredible viewing opportunities – many of them are overlooked. If you look more closely, there are plenty of opportunities to watch top talent. I remember in the late 1980’s and mid 2000’s I was able to watch two 2-time champs Jack Cuvo and Matt Valenti in practically empty gyms. There might have been two-dozen family members and girlfriends in attendance. Watching Valenti wrestle in the midst of a 6 million person metro area with a near empty gym was a treat for me. I’d generally bring my wife, friends, family or former teammates with me and enjoy front row seats to watch a National Champ. Six Pennsylvania Universities are returning at least 1 All American. These are extremely talented wrestlers spread out across the state. Most people are less then a 60-minute drive from watching an All American this winter. Yes you might be hard pressed to get into a Penn State match this year; you can try the NLO it’s rumored to be back this year. Next year they wrestle Lehigh at Stabler arena and inexplicably there are always empty seats for that match. It appeared to me that in 2011 and ‘13 there had to be more than 1,500 empty seats. If you like empty arenas go check out Richard Durso at F & M. I’m just guessing that you can see him from front row seats.

The good news is that the options are plentiful for finding hidden gems in lots of schedules this season. Make a commitment to get out this fall and bring at least 2 people with you to watch an off the beaten path D1 college match. They’ll appreciate the fans, and you’ll get front row action.

Most schools have published their schedules. You can view them at this great link. This link takes you to all D1 college schedules: make plans right now

http://d1collegewrestling.net/Schedules_Front.html

If you’re like me and have a tight schedule look for early season tournaments that let you see as much wrestling in one day as possible. What’s that you say? You don’t have a full day? Sneak out and try to time the semi and finals at a tournament – you can cut your time in half and see the best in the field.

You say that you’ve already stepped up your game? Well then, take it a step further: East Stroudsburg, Pitt Johnstown and Kutztown all have very good D2 programs. Kutztown is returning Ziad Haddad D2 Heavyweight national Champ that has beaten lots of D1 heavies.

If you’re not in a strong wrestling region of the country there can still be good D1 viewing options. If you’re in the South check out the Southern Scuffle. If you’re out west check out the Cliff Keen Las Vegas College Invitational. Also in Vegas next year is the 2015 World Championships

Don’t let good wrestling go unviewed!

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