Wrestling: Navy Classic Next for WVU
- By Brian Kuppelweiser
- November 18, 2011 11:32 AM
MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – With a strong start to the season in its rear view mirror, the West Virginia wrestling team will travel to the Annapolis, Md., for the Navy Classic at the Wesley Brown Field House on Saturday.
With action set to start at 10 a.m., the Mountaineers will face its stiffest competition of the season, as it attempts to unseat tournament host Navy as the three-time defending champion of the tournament.
“We are ramping up the competition this weekend,” says coach Craig Turnbull. “Navy has a pretty large team, and they will be entering two or three guys at each weight class.”
Along with Navy, WVU will also square off against wrestlers from Bucknell, The Citadel, Franklin & Marshal, Gardner Webb and George Mason.
“Bucknell has a very strong team overall and some very strong individuals,” says Turnbull.
Despite the strong competition, Turnbull expects his team to do well after opening the season with back-to-back dual meet shutouts and placing 11 wrestlers at the Washington & Jefferson Tournament.
“This is probably the right sequence for us, and it has been working out for us as far as the design of the schedule,” says Turnbull. “We started with a couple dual meets and got a good sense of how to prepare. We have also had a tournament with a large amount of matches that gave us a chance to evaluate our guys. We would like to get the same things this weekend.”
One Mountaineer that has shined in the opening stages of the season is freshman Dominic Prezzia. The St. Clairsville, Ohio native is a perfect 6-0 this season and won the 157-pound title at the Washington & Jefferson Tournament.
“Dominic Prezzia has been a mild surprise,” says Turnbull. “We felt that he had a good amount of potential coming into the season, but he has stepped in and competed with a good amount of poise and confidence. His victories this year have been very helpful towards his confidence, and it lets us know that he can step in and have a successful year.”
Also joining Prezzia in the group of unbeatens and first-place finishers from last weekend are junior Shane Young (125), redshirt sophomore Nathan Pennesi (141) and redshirt sophomore Mac Mancuso (197).
Tickets for Saturday’s event are $7 for adults and $5 for students.
As a reminder, only those cars that have a Department of Defense sticker will be allowed to drive onto the Naval Academy grounds. Fans have the option of parking at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium and taking the shuttle to Wesley Brown Field House or may also park downtown (there is a parking garage) and walk onto the grounds through the main gate (Gate 1) where they will be asked for a valid photo ID.
Results from the Navy Classic will be available on MSNsportsNET.com shortly after the completion of the event.