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Liberty Wrestling to Open Season at Terrapin Duals
For the first time since the 2007-08 campaign, the Liberty wrestling squad will start their season on the road, as they travel to College Park, Md., this weekend to take part in the first-ever Terrapin Duals. The all-day event will match Liberty against the likes of Maryland, West Virginia, McDaniel and Johns Hopkins in the Comcast Center Pavilion on Maryland's campus.
The last two seasons, the Flames have began their season campaign with dual match victories on their home campus. They defeated Gardner-Webb, 43-6, to open 2008-09, and knocked off Campbellsville, 25-9, to start 2009-10.
In the five-team field, Liberty only has history with one program, with that being the host, Maryland. This year's match-up with the Terrapins marks the third between the programs. Maryland has taken the previous two duals, earning the 26-15 win in 1987, and a 29-11 victory in 1992.
Maryland is coming off a season that saw the Terps finish in 20th place at the NCAA National Championships, as well as earn a second-place finish in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), which broke their streak of back-to-back ACC team titles.
Despite not returning an All-American for the first time under Coach Kerry McCoy (third season), Maryland still returns two former ACC Champions in Mike Letts (174 pounds) and John Kohler (141 pounds), as well as two 2010 NCAA qualifiers, Josh Asper (165 pounds) and Kyle John (157 pounds).
Additionally, Maryland opens the season with three of the aforementioned wrestlers ranked by Wrestling Insider Newsmagazine (W.I.N). Asper holds the highest ranking, at No. 5 at 165 pounds, while John and Letts rank No. 10 and 11 at their respective weights.
In team rankings, Maryland sat at No. 32 in the same Nov. 1 rankings by W.I.N, while being just outside the Top 25 in the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) coaches poll, after receiving votes.
While the Flames and Terps haven't met in a dual recently, they have encountered one another in individual tournament match-ups. At the Body Bar Invitational (Nov. 22) in 2008, Liberty's Julian Colon defeated Maryland's John with a 5-2 decision at 157 pounds, while fellow teammate Joe Pantaleo defeated Lou Ruland by fall (2:09) at 125 pounds.
Under the eyes of Coach Craig Turnbull (32nd season), West Virginia competes in the Eastern Wrestling League, and this weekend's contest will mark the first between the Mountaineers and Flames.
Last season, West Virginia posted a 3-10 record, yet had three NCAA qualifiers. Donnie Jones (165 pounds) and Shane Young (125 pounds) return for the Mountaineers, while the third qualifier, Brandon Williamson, will redshirt this season.
Jones sat at the No. 20 spot at 165 pounds in W.I.N's Nov. 1 rankings.
The final two teams in the Terrapin Duals, Johns Hopkins and McDaniel, both compete at the NCAA Div. III level, and are in the Centennial Conference. This will be the first encounter for Liberty with both of these programs.
The Green Terror of McDaniel finished last season with an 8-7 overall dual record, while being 5-2 in conference match-ups.
Highlighting the Green Terror's roster is Brock Glotfelty (HWT), who is the back-to-back heavyweight champion of the Centennial Conference. Glotfelty produced a 38-6 record last season, which included competing in the Div. III NCAA National Championships, and garnering Wrestler of the Year honors within the Centennial Conference. This season, Glotfelty opens the season ranked as the No. 3 heavyweight in the NWCA Div. III Brute-Adidas rankings.
Johns Hopkins finished the 2009-10 campaign with a 6-9 record overall, and 3-4 mark in Centennial matches under Coach Keith Norris.
Paul Marcello captured the individual conference title at 133 pounds for the Blue Jays last season in his freshman campaign. After a trip to the NCAA Div. III National Championships, Marcello finished the season with a 19-7 record. He opens this season up ranked No. 10 at 133 pounds in the NWCA Div. III Brute-Adidas rankings.
Liberty enters the 2010-11 schedule with two ranked grapplers in the preseason.
Scott Clymer currently is inside the top-20 at 149 pounds in two rankings, with W.I.N placing him at No. 17, and Wrestling Report ranking the redshirt junior at No. 19.
Despite currently recovering from an injury and possibly not competing until later this season, redshirt senior Chad Porter is noted inside the top 20 by Amateur Wrestling News, at No. 18.
LibertyFlames.com will be providing live coverage at the Flames' season-opening action at the Terrapin Duals, via the LibertyFlames Twitter page. LibertyFlames.com updates will include individual match updates, as well as team results throughout the day.
Fans wishing to follow Liberty Athletics' coverage at the Terrapin Duals will need to "follow" the LibertyFlames Twitter page by clicking here or the link at the top of the page.
Liberty's Probable Starting Lineup at Terrapin Duals:
125 – Jonathan Childress or Joel Stafford or Robert Jillard
133 – Joe Pantaleo or T. J. Mitchell
141 – Seth Hicks or Joey Montgomery
149 – Scott Clymer or Rich Bushby or Miguel Rodriguez
157 – Julian Colon or Eric Reger
165 – Eli Sanchez or Jonathan Perkins
174 – Royal Brettrager II or Marcus Nielson
184 – Aaron Kelley
197 – Aaron Thompson or Jon Weber
285 – Josh Pelletier
Dual Match Schedule
Maryland (UMD) vs. Johns Hopkins
Liberty (LU) vs. West Virginia (WVU)
UMD vs. WVU
LU vs. McDaniel
UMD vs. LU
Johns Hopkins vs. WVU
UMD vs. McDaniel
LU vs. Johns Hopkins