Zac Brunson after a victory at the Big Ten Championships (Photo/Mark Lundy, Lutte-Lens.com)
MANHEIM, Pa. -- The full card is finally set for the 51st annual NWCA All-Star Classic on November 5 at Cleveland State University's Wolstein Center.
Ethan Ramos, a 2015 All-American from North Carolina, will face Zac Brunson, a three-time qualifier and 2016 Big Ten runner-up at 174 pounds to complete the 10-bout main event, which will feature 16 returning All-Americans, two NCAA champions and wrestlers from 16 different schools and six different conferences.
The event, presented by The Brewer-Garrett Company and hosted by the Wrestlers in Business Network, has served as the major kick-off event for the wrestling season since becoming and early-season event. In 2012, the event moved to the first weekend of the major college wrestling calendar and has been a fixture ever since.
"Both competitors can put points on the board and we expect both Ethan Ramos and Zac Brunson to put on a show," said NWCA Executive Director Mike Moyer. "This completes a great kick-off matchup for the sport of wrestling and for the fans in the Greater Cleveland area. We can't thank the Wrestlers in Business Network enough for their efforts in putting this great event together."
Brunson, who was a Big Ten runner-up last season and finished with a 22-5 record, will join 133-pound teammate Zane Richards in the event. A Eugene, Oregon native, Brunson was a four-time high school state champion competing at four different weights for Churchill High School. Brunson was also a five-time All-American at the USA Wrestling Cadet & Junior Nationals, winning a Junior freestyle title in 2011. Brunson holds a career record of 75-29. Entering the 2016 NCAA Championships as the No. 5 seed, Brunson defeated Stanford's Keaton Subjeck and Minnesota's Nick Wanzek, but was upset by Indiana's Nathan Jackson and eliminated by Missouri's Blaise Butler.
Ramos, an All-American as a freshman in 2015, enters with a 53-16 record in two years of varsity competition in Chapel Hill. As a No. 15 seed, Ramos finished sixth in 2015 at 165 pounds. He moved up to 174 pounds last season and wrestled well, entering the 2016 NCAA Championships as the No. 4 seed with a 22-5 record. Ramos failed to place as he was upset in the first round and fell to All-American Alex Meyer of Iowa in the consolations.
Ramos is a Hawthorne, N.J., native and was a state champion in the rugged one-class New Jersey high school state tournament. He also claimed an NHSCA Junior championship and was second at FloNationals.
Along with Richards, Brunson will be making Illinois' 21th all-time appearance in the event. Illini wrestlers hold a 10-8 record in the dual with one no contest. The last time Illini wrestlers were represented came in 2013 when Jesse Delgado (125), B.J. Futrell (141) and Jordan Blanton (174) all competed in November of 2012 at American University in Washington, D.C.
Ramos will be making North Carolina's first appearance in the event since November of 2005 when heavyweight Spencer Nadolsky fell to Harvard's Bode Ogunwole 3-2. The last Tar Heel win came in 1995 when Stan Banks defeated Wyoming's Reese Andy 4-3 at 177 pounds. North Carolina is 7-7 all-time in the event.
51st NWCA All-Star Classic Presented by The Brewer-Garrett Company
Hosted by the Wrestlers in Business Network
November 5, 2016 - Wolstein Center, Cleveland State University
Time: Showcase Matches 6 p.m.; Main Event 7 p.m.
Tickets: $15 GA, $100 Preferred Seating/Social. Group options available.
Tickets available at www.goallstarclassic.com or Wolstein Center Box Office ( 844-407-2279) or Northeast Ohio Discount Drug Marts.
Main Event Matchups
125: Barlow McGhee, Jr. (Missouri) vs. Nathan Kraisser, Sr. (Campbell)
133: Zane Richards, Sr. (Illinois) vs. Eric Montoya, Sr. (Nebraska)
141: Bryce Meredith, Jr. (Wyoming) vs. Anthony Ashnault, Jr. (Rutgers)
149: Lavion Mayes, Sr. (Missouri) vs. Anthony Collica, Sr. (Oklahoma State)
157: Brian Murphy, Sr. (Michigan) vs. Max Rohskopf, Sr. (NC State)
165: Isaac Jordan, Sr. (Wisconsin) vs. Daniel Lewis, So. (Missouri)
174: Ethan Ramos, Jr. (North Carolina) vs. Zac Brunson, Sr. (Illinois)
184: Gabe Dean, Sr. (Cornell) vs. Myles Martin, So. (Ohio State)
197: Brett Pfarr, Sr. (Minnesota) vs. Brett Harner, Sr. (Princeton)
285: Ty Walz, Sr. (Virginia Tech) vs. Connor Medbery, Sr. (Wisconsin)
About the National Wrestling Coaches Association
The National Wrestling Coaches Association, established in 1928, is a non-profit organization for the advancement of all levels of the sport of wrestling with a primary emphasis on developing coaches who work in academic environments. The membership embraces all people interested in amateur wrestling. The three core competencies of the NWCA are: coaching development, student-athlete welfare, and the promotion of wrestling.
About Wrestlers in Business Network (WIBN)
Wrestlers in Business Network is a registered 501 C-3 that strives to unite the thousands of wrestlers that have graduated from the sport and are now in their respective careers. Our mission is to build a community that serves as a platform to connect our members and facilitate business and job opportunities across the nation by leveraging a talent rich pipeline of wrestling alumni, with the ultimate byproduct of increasing reinvestment back to the sport. www.wrestlersinbusiness.org