Lock Haven 125 lber Anthony Noto after his win at WrangleMania (photo courtesy of Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com)
Week two of the collegiate wrestling season is in the books! Man, it was a good one too. Most programs took the mat in one form or another. I like this time of year, because you have some invitational brackets tournaments, open tournaments, dual, and round robins. Whatever format you like best, there's something for everyone.
I spent the weekend in Bethlehem, PA at the Oklahoma State/Lehigh dual, WrangleMainia, and the Journeymen Classic. Later today, there will be an article that specifically talks about the events in Bethlehem; but there are a couple of stories from PA's District XI that I thought warranted a mention in the â€œ7 Biggest Stories from the Week in College Wrestling.â€
Battling at Bragg
I love when teams take an outside-the-box approach to promoting dual meets. Duals are the best avenue for non-hardcores to digest our sport. While the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, Midlands, and Scuffle are fun individual events, it's difficult for a non-fan to follow. They're generally focused on one school and depending on the round, they may not wrestle more than a couple of times in a two-hour block. And once they do, two teammates could be wrestling on adjacent mats.
But a dual. One team against another. Ten wrestlers. Start at the smallest (generally) and work your way to the biggest. It takes place with a two-hour window and you're out.
Now creating spectacles is fun, too. A wrestling mat on a baseball field or in a performing arts center or in the middle of campus. They've been done before, but still are fun and unusual.
What hadn't been done before Friday was a dual in a hangar on Fort Bragg. On Veteran's Day. Campbell took on Michigan and North Carolina, each while wearing camo singlets in one of the most picturesque settings for a wrestling match. Ever.
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