Right now, college wrestling fans know the date, time and location of the 2013 NWCA All-Star Classic… and that there will be ten matches. But they don’t know which wrestlers will take to that mat at George Mason University’s Patriot Center outside Washington, D.C. on Saturday, Nov. 2.
With that in mind, WadeSchalles.com asked fans to weigh in with their match-ups, in an online poll posted at the legendary amateur wrestler’s website Tuesday, Aug. 20.
In the years since the National Wrestling Coaches Association sponsored its first All-Star event in 1967, organizers have tried to feature the two best college wrestlers in each weight class. However, that doesn’t always happen; some wrestlers and coaches beg off participating in the event, concerned about injury, hurting their early-season rankings (even though it is officially an exhibition), or providing opponents a preview of new-season strategies.
Putting that aside, Schalles – a two-time NCAA champ and two-time All-Star winner for Clarion University – thought it would be fun to get the opinion of fans as to what match-ups they would find interesting, asking at his website, “Which ones would you drive two hours to see?”
At the website there’s a list of possible pairings… along with instructions urging voters to add additional match-ups in the comments section at the website. Among the top vote-getters as of Tuesday evening: Penn State’s David Taylor vs. Andrew Howe of Oklahoma, Oklahoma’s Kendric Maple vs. Iowa’s Derek St. John, and Ed Ruth of Penn State vs. Oklahoma State’s Chris Perry.
Schalles, voted one of the fifteen greatest college wrestlers of all time in a fan poll for the 75th anniversary of the NCAA championships in 2005, instructs participants in his survey that they may vote for the same wrestler twice.
“Why not put the best of the best on the mat for more than seven minutes?” writes Schalles. “Give each athlete their NCAA-mandated 45-minute rest and get them out for a second go-around.”
Schalles, known as a prodigious pinner in his amateur mat career, continues, “This is a goldmine opportunity for the fans who get to watch their favorite wrestlers compete a second time and an opportunity for the athletes to achieve a level of stardom not previous available to them.”
This novel idea could have additional benefits as well. It would be sure to generate even greater fan interest, perhaps leading to a second consecutive sellout (last year’s All-Star Classic, held at American University’s Bender Arena, was the first to sell out in advance in a decade). What’s more, it could also generate extra media coverage in one of the nation’s most important media markets. (George Mason University is located in Fairfax, Va., across the river from the nation’s capital.)
Weigh in with your choices… Visit WadeSchalles.com and cast your votes for your favorite match-ups for this fall’s 2013 NWCA All-Star Classic. And, why not consider “Wondrous Wade’s” suggestion to name a specific wrestler twice – and see him test his mettle against two top rivals in one evening.
Want to know more? To learn more about the 2013 NWCA All-Star Classic, visit the event page at the National Wrestling Coaches Association website. For College Wrestling Examiner’s recap of last year’s All-Stars, click here. And… for an inside look at how American University geared up for hosting the 2012 All-Stars, check out this InterMat interview with AU head coach Teague Moore.
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