Boxers Head To Reno For Feb. 9 Matches
Air Force boxing coach Eddie Weichers is gambling that there's no Substitute for experience when it comes to defending the Falcons' national title. That's why he is taking eight boxers to Reno, Nev. for the second time in two weeks to compete Friday, against boxers from Penn State, Nevada, UNLV and California-Berkeley.
The El Dorado Hotel ballroom is the site for Friday's matches which are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
"We are taking a different group of boxers on this trip," said Weichers. "We're just trying to get all of our Wing Open prospects valuable experience."
The Wing Open is scheduled for Sunday, March 4 in Clune Arena beginning at 6 p.m. All of the Wing Open champions advance to regional competition in Las Vegas on March 23-24. From there, the winners advance to national competition in Reno on April 5-7.
Leading the group of Falcons Friday is C1C Joel Rivera fighting in the 120-pound weight class. Rivera is dropping down from the 125-pound division. He is seeking his fourth Wing Open title and his first national title.
Last year he finished third at nationals to win a bronze medal and in 1999 he boxed his way to second place to earn a silver. Also making the trip is C2C Eli Mitchell, a runner-up in the 2000 Wing Open. Mitchell is boxing in the 165-pound weight class.
"I feel that we match up really well against the competition this week," said Weichers. "Gaining experience is so important at this level and when the Wing Open champs return to Reno in April for the nationals they won't be distracted because they have already been there this season."
Other boxers scheduled to make the trip include C2C Tommie Cisar, C4C Marcus Durham, C3C Jacob Hostetler, C4C Clell Knight, C1C Chris Mercer and C2C Michael Raabe.