The 2014 NWCA All-Star Classic released nine of the ten matchups that will take place in this year’s event on November First. Jason Tsirtsis (Northwestern), Alex Dieringer (Oklahoma State), J’Den Cox (Missouri), and Nick Gwiazdowski (North Carolina State) are four of last season’s ten national champions returning to wrestle at the All-Star Classic. At 149-pounds, a rematch of last year’s finals between Northwestern’s sophomore, Tsirtsis and Oklahoma State’s senior, Kindig has fans hoping for another sudden victory finish. The NWCA All-Star Classic is presented by the United States Marine Corps and the Wrestlers in Business Network hosted by Penn and WIBN-Philadelphia at the Palestra on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania.
Last season’s 125-pound Runner-up, Nahshon Garrett, Jr. of Cornell will wrestling Joey Dance, So. of Virginia Tech. Garrett the last two seasons has showed fans his explosive takedowns and exciting scrambles. Garrett flew through his bracket to face Illinois Jesse Delgado. Garrett fell 3-2 in the finals. Dance didn’t qualify for the NCAA championships last season.
A.J. Schopp, A senior from Edinboro, will battle Mason Beckman, junior out of Lehigh in the 133-pound matchup. Beckman and Schopp both were stopped cold in last year’s national to the eventual champion Tony Ramos. Beckman fell to Ramos in the quarterfinals by a score of 3-1. Schopp dropped to Ramos in the semi-finals by a score of 5-1. Schopp and Beckman landed on opposite sides of the bracket in the wrestle backs. Both wrestlers would finish the tournament with a loss, but finished as all-Americans. Beckman finished sixth in the 2014 nationals and as Schopp finished fourth in the NCAA national Championships.
A rematch of last year’s finals between Tsirtsis and Kindig takes place at 149-pounds. Tsirtsis seeded fifth made his way to the finals as a true freshman by upsetting the defending national champion Kendric Maple of Oklahoma, and knocking off the number one seeded wrestler in the tournament, Drake Houdashelt of Missouri. Oklahoma State’s Kindig was seeded eleventh knocking off sixth seed Jake Sueflohn of Nebraska in the round of sixteen. Kindig’s side of the bracket was full of upsets as well as he wrestled the fourteenth seed, and fifteenth seed to reach the finals.
During their finals match, after finishing regulation locked in a 1-1 tie, the two warriors found themselves in sudden death. Tsirtsis would earn a takedown in the sudden death to earn the victory over the Cowboy by a score of 3-1.
At 157-pounds, senior James Green of Nebraska will square-off against junior Ian Miller of Kent State. Green was seeded number one in last season’s national championships, while Miller was seeded fourth. Both wrestlers fell to Minnesota’s Dylan Ness, Green in the quarterfinals, and Miller in the semi-finals. After battling their way back to wrestle for third, Green and Miller found themselves wrestling for third. Green appeared to be over bearing for Kent State’s Miller as Green went on to win the bout by major decision 13-1. Miller looks to redeem himself against Green after a long offseason dwelling on the loss.
In this 165-pound matchup, Oklahoma State’s junior Alex Dieringer, defending 2014 157-pound national champion will wrestle Virginia’s senior Nick Sulzer. Sulzer is returning to his weight class from last year as he was seeded third at 165-pounds. He reached the semi-finals before falling to runner-up Tyler Caldwell 5-0. Sulzer fought his way back to wrestler for third place before losing to Steven Monk of North Dakota State by fall at 5:26.
Dieringer is bumping up a weight class this season after dominating the 157-pound bracket. Dieringer defeated Dylan Ness in dominate fashion with a 13-4 major decision victory over the Golden Gopher. The Cowboy is a strong, powerful wrestler and sets up an exciting matchup that has the potential to shake up the rankings early in the season.
Nebraska’s Robert Kokesh and Pittsburgh’s Tyler Wilps will wrestle at 174-pound weight class for the All-Star Classic. Both wrestlers found themselves last year at nationals on the same side of the bracket. Kokesh seeded third and Wilps seeded seventh. They both reached the quarterfinals before Kokesh was upset by Logan Storley of Minnesota and Wilps was dropped by number two seed and eventual Runner-up Andrew Howe. In the wrestle backs, Wilps and Kokesh met in the wrestle back quarterfinals. The two wrestlers delivered all they had as they went to a tie-breaker, as Kokesh eventually won 2-1 in the first tie-breaker. Wilps went on to win seventh place, earning all-American status. Kokesh battled his way to wrestle for third place and lost in the first tie-breaker to Logan Storley of Minnesota 3-1, earning fourth place. Expect another exciting battle between these two all-Americans.
At the 184-pound weight class, two sophomores will wrestle in a rematch from last season’s nationals third place bout. Gabriel Dean of Cornell was seeded third in the nationals last season and Jack Dechow of Old Dominion was seeded thirteenth. Dechow upset the fourth seed and the twelve seed before falling to Marylands number one seed Jimmy Sheptock in the Semi-finals. Dean as a true freshman last season upset defending champion Ed Ruth during the regular season. He met Ruth in the semi-finals again, giving Ruth a run for his money before finally falling 5-3 to the eventual three-time NCAA champion. Dechow and Dean met in the third place match that came down to a single point in the favor of Dean as he won 5-4 earning a bronze medal.
Missouri’s J’Den Cox, defending champions at 197 as a true freshman, will stand across from last year’s bronze medalist, Scott Schiller of Minnesota. Schiller, a senior, will have his hands full with now sophomore Cox. Schiller lost last season at the nationals in the semi-finals to Ohio States number one seed Nick Heflin. Heflin fell to Cox, the second seed, in an exciting bout by a score of 2-1. Schiller pushed his way back after losing in the semi’s to win the third place medal over the fifth seed from Iowa State, Gadson, by a score of 9-6. Fans are excited to see a match between two powerful wrestlers with explosive speed.
In the heavyweight matchup, defending national champion out of North Carolina State, junior Nick Gwiazdowski, will wrestle 2013 national Runner-up from Northwestern, senior Michael McMullan. McMullan fell last season in the round of sixteen at nationals to the eleven seed. As the sixth seed, McMullan showed tenacity as he grinded his way back defeating six wrestlers to claim the third place medal at the national championships. Gwiazdowski powered his way through the bracket as the second seed to beat the first seed and two-time defending national champion Tony Nelson of Minnesota.
The 141-pound weight class matchup is still pending announcement.
To purchase tickets to the event, click here for the Penn Athletic Ticket Office.
The All-Star Classic will be streamed live by the NWCA’s live streaming partner Flowrestling. Fox College Sports will air the All-Star Classic on television via tape-delay two weeks after the event has completed. It will be aired no less than 10 times throughout the season. The broadcasts are sponsored by Rothschild, a leading global financial advisory based in New York City with offices in Washington, Los Angeles and Houston.
For more information on the All-Star Classic, visit www.theallstarclassic.com and follow NWCA on Facebook and Twitter. Use the #NWCAClassic hashtag to join the discussion on social media. Follow My MMA News on Social Media @MyMMANews for the announcement of the 141-pound weight class matchup.
125: Nahshon Garrett, Jr. (Cornell) vs. Joey Dance, So. (Virginia Tech)
133: A.J. Schopp, Sr. (Edinboro) vs. Mason Beckman, Jr. (Lehigh)
149: Jason Tsirtsis, So. (Northwestern) vs. Josh Kindig, Sr. (Oklahoma State)
157: James Green, Sr. (Nebraska) vs. Ian Miller, Jr. (Kent State)
165: Alex Dieringer, Jr. (Oklahoma State) vs. Nick Sulzer, Sr. (Virginia)
174: Robert Kokesh, Sr. (Nebraska) vs. Tyler Wilps, Sr. (Pittsburgh)
184: Gabe Dean, So. (Cornell) vs. Jack Dechow, So. (Old Dominion)
197: J’Den Cox, So. (Missouri) vs. Scott Schiller, Sr. (Minnesota)
285: Nick Gwiazdowski, Jr. (N.C. State) vs. Mike McMullan, Sr. (Northwestern)
To Be Announced