Mercer Wrestling to Host National Tournament
The National Collegiate Wrestling Association (NCWA) will bring the 2011 National Championships to Macon on March 10th – 12th. In perhaps the biggest event announcement since the Atlantic Sun Conference decided to move the basketball championships to the University Center, the NCWA will bring an expected 10,000 to 12,000 wrestling fans and representatives from more than 80+ colleges and universities to Mercer’s campus to wrestle for national titles.
Mercer Wrestling’s head coach, Kevin Andres, played a large role in bringing the national association to Macon for the 2011 championships.
“I went to a NCWA summer vision forum at the end of June and our association hadn’t locked in a site for the 2011 tournament,” Andres commented. “I approached the Mercer administration about the possibility of bringing the tournament to Macon and received a very positive and favorable response. The Macon Convention and Visitors Bureau also played a key role in helping us to develop a bid proposal. In the end, we were the best choice and I’m very excited to bring this tournament to Macon and Mercer University,” he added.
The last two years, the national tournament has been held in Hampton, Virginia but this year moves south to Macon. Over 9,000 fans attended the three day tournament in 2010 as 83 schools qualified at least one wrestler for the championship bracket. Mercer’s team qualified several key wrestlers and were especially successful in the women’s bracket.
“This is absolutely huge for us,” Andres added. “We brought in the largest freshman class this year with nine recruits and four walk-ons. This season, we’ll have 21 wrestlers on our team roster,” said Andres.
The wrestling team has put together a tougher schedule than in years past with several strong events dotting the schedule. For the 2010-11 season, Mercer will host three matches with the season-opening Bear Invitational (Oct. 30th) kicking off the season in the UC. The Mercer Duals (Jan. 22nd) will also take place in the University Center while the NCWA championships will follow the week after the Atlantic Sun basketball tournament (March 10-12th) in the UC Arena. The Mercer grapplers will also co-host the NCWA National Dual Championships in Dalton, Georgia at the Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center (Jan. 28-29th).
For more information about the National Collegiate Wrestling Association, visit their website at www.ncwa.net.