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Lib­er­ty Men Place 5th in Blithe Memorial Duals

| Liberty SID

Liberty graduate 197-pound wrestler Josiah Murphy and 157-pounder Reid Stewart went 4-0 and 5-0 in their respective weight classes to lead the Flames.

Liberty University's men's wrestling team finished fifth out of 12 teams in Friday's and Saturday's Blithe Memorial Duals, hosted by Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Mich.

"This tournament has a very special meaning to me due to it being named after my late grandson whom we lost at birth," Flames Head Coach Jesse Castro said noting that Blithe was the son of Cornerstone Head Coach Chris Williamson, his son-in-law who formerly served as assistant coach at Liberty.

Castro said the tournament field was a step up from last year's eight-team draw, and that the Flames lost to both the eventual champion and runner-up team.

Tole­do Wrestling is On the Rise” in the NCWA

| Mike Finn

Bryan Knepper credits his love for the Detroit Lions as one of the reasons he has such a passion to rebuild a college wrestling program like few others could.

“I’m almost an apologist,” laughed Knepper. “We are not really fans, but those who have been beaten down over the years.”

But that opinion of his beloved NFL team has changed as the Lions had a winning record last year and led their division this fall after eleven weeks. What’s more, the HBO-produced “Hard Knocks” series on the Lions inspired him to use such a medium in his higher goal to rebuild the University of Toledo wrestling program.

“It got me so pumped up about the Lions and believing in. >>>. Read More

NCWA Sees Promis­ing Resur­gence in Programs in 2023

| Bryan Knepper

The National Collegiate Wrestling Association (NCWA) has been around since 1997 and has expanded from 20 programs that inaugural season to over 175 programs in the United States, Canada, and the island of Puerto Rico. The 2023 season has seen a rapid expansion both in new programs AND in programs that were once in the NCWA but had disbanded at some point in time. On top of this, the NCWA added 7 new athletic department programs in Puerto Rico during the 2022-2023 season culminating in the 2023 National Championship in San Juan, PR. Finally, the NCWA currently has 6 programs transitioning from one National Governing Body (NGB) to another, which makes them post-season ineligible.

UMass Amherst Pre­vails in Tight Dual Against Northeastern

| Jim Giunta

The showdown featured intense bouts and unexpected turns that kept the audience engaged throughout the evening.
The action kicked off at the 141-pound weight class, where Northeastern's Michael Tavares showcased his dominance with a commanding technical fall victory over Caleb Baliton of UMass. Tavares demonstrated his prowess on the mat, securing a 17-1 victory and setting the tone for a competitive dual.
However, UMass quickly retaliated at the 149-pound weight class, as Beckett Herman pinned Northeastern's Ezekiel Gunnison in a contest that lasted 2 minutes and 46 seconds. The pin not only earned valuable team points for UMass but also shifted the momentum in their favor.
The 157-pound weight class witnessed an unexpected

Lib­er­ty Flames Men’s Wrestlers Receive Wake-up Call in Dual with Lindenwood Lions

| Liberty SID

Liberty University's men's wrestling team got a preview of the level of competition it can expect to see in Saturday's Lindenwood Open when the Flames wrestled the Lions in a dual match on Friday in St. Charles, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis.

Lindenwood opened a 19-0 lead before Liberty finally got on the scoreboard by virtue of a forfeit win before pulling within 19-12 on a pin by 165-pound graduate Reid Stewart over Logan Johnson. But the Flames would get no closer as the Lions went on to win the last four matches, the last two by fall, in a 34-12 triumph.

Appren­tice Wrestling Stays Con­sis­tent With Strong Showing at Shenandoah

| Apprentice SID

SHENANDOAH, Va. - The Apprentice School wrestling team was on the road this past weekend competing at Shenandoah University. The invitational had seven teams competing in the tournament ranging from NCAA Division II to junior colleges. The Apprentices showed up with five starters out of their lineup for healing purposes from the week before and still managed to pull a solid fourth place finish (93 points) behind Johns Hopkins University (103 points), Shenandoah University (138 points) and Frostburg State University (143.5 points).

Jacob Meek Starts Strong at 285 with Look Towards 235-lb National Title

| Bryan Knepper

The Toledo Rockets haven't dropped off much since the end of the 2022-2023 season, where they finished a record-high 6th place in the NCWA-D1. Fueling the season early for Toledo has been Senior standout Jacob Meek (Oregon Clay HS). Meek finished in 3rd place at 285 at the 2023 NCWA National Championship in San Juan, PR to claim All-American honors.

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