Six wrestlers, including three collegiate champs and four All-Americans, will step onto the mat in the 205-pound bracket at the first Association of Career Wrestlers event in Pittsburgh Oct. 20, Tour ACW announced Thursday night.
Of the three champs, two won NCAA titles: Cam Simaz, 2012 NCAA Division I champ for Cornell University, and Evan Brown, 2009 NCAA Div. III titlewinner at the University of Dubuque. In addition, Deron Winn was a two-time NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association) champ at St. Louis Community College-Meramec.
In addition to Brown, Simaz and Winn, other wrestlers competing at 205 at Tour ACW include Pete Friedl, a three-time NCAA All-American and Big Ten champ for the University of Illinois; Byron Sigmon, a three-time NCAA Div. I championships qualifier for the now-defunct wrestling program at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro; and Matt Wilps, two-time NCAA All-American and three-time EWL (Eastern Wrestling League) champ at the University of Pittsburgh.
A trio of these wrestlers are now coaching at college programs. Friedl is an assistant coach at American University; Sigmon is on the staff at University of North Carolina-Pembroke; and Wilps returned to his alma mater to be an assistant for the Pitt Panthers.
The inaugural Tour ACW event – developed to provide wrestlers with the opportunity to compete after they’ve completed their college careers – will take place Sunday, Oct. 20 in the Grand Ballroom at the Hyatt Regency Hotel at Greater Pittsburgh International Airport.
“We’re attempting to start a new style of wrestling, with new rules that bring together elements of folkstyle and freestyle,” Teague Moore, American University head coach who’s one of the founders of Tour ACW, said in an interview with InterMat. “The idea is to create a more fan-friendly, action-packed event.”
“Unlike college wrestling, there won’t be a match time limit, and there won’t be a set number of periods,” continued Moore, who was 118-pound champ for Oklahoma State at the 1998 NCAAs. “There are two ways for a wrestler to win: by pinning his opponent, or by being the first to score ten points.”
Winners in each weight class at the first Tour ACW will not only make history... but also win a $2,500 prize.
Want to know more? To learn more about Tour ACW, visit their official website homepage… and check out the InterMat feature on this new competitive option for wrestlers who have concluded their college wrestling careers.
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