Air Force Releases 2007-08 Wrestling Schedule
Sept. 20, 2007
USAFA, Colo. - Trips to the 45th-annual Midlands Invitational and Lone Star Duals and visits to Big Ten opponents Purdue and Indiana highlight the 2007-08 Air Force wrestling schedule, released by head coach Joel Sharratt. "We are excited about the opportunities and challenges this year's schedule brings to our program," said Sharratt. "The combined support of the Academy and the athletic department has allowed us to build a schedule that we feel has a good balance of conference competition and high profile events."
"The schedule we have this year is going to be great," said senior Jake Kriegbaum, a two-time NCAA qualifier. "It allows us to see a lot more competition from around the country. We've got quite a few top notch tournaments in there, and with eight returning starters, should fare well in them. I'm looking forward mostly to conference and nationals, the two tournaments that we work for all year."
The Falcons, who compiled a 6-10 overall record and 3-1 WWC mark last season, host the Blue-Silver Intrasquad Match to open up the year on Oct. 26. After traveling to the Cowboy Open (Nov. 10), Kaufman-Brand Open (Nov. 17) and Fort Hays Open (Dec. 1), Air Force gets its dual slate out to a start on Dec. 8, hosting Western State. The end of December marks a trip to the prestigious Midlands Invitational, while the team heads to the Lone Star Duals on Jan. 5, where it will face Brown, Appalachian State and Eastern Michigan.
Air Force travels to Adams State (Jan. 12) and Purdue (Jan. 18) before competing in the Hoosier Quad on Jan. 19 with Gardner-Webb, Indianapolis and host Indiana. The 2008 WWC slate begins on Jan. 25 when Air Force hosts Utah Valley State, while the Falcons also host a dual versus Colorado School of Mines. The January schedule also includes three second-team competitions, with a group of athletes heading to the Colby CC Tournament of Champions (Jan. 4-5), the Glen Brand Open (Jan. 19) and the Borah Duals (Jan. 25).
The annual All-Academy Championships will be held on Feb. 2 in West Point, N.Y., before the Falcons return to action with four more WWC matches. Air Force travels to Northern Colorado, North Dakota State and South Dakota State, then wraps up the regular season by hosting Wyoming on Feb. 23. On March 8, the Falcons head to the NCAA West Regional, where they will compete for slots at the NCAA Championships, being held March 20-22 in St. Louis, Mo.
"The team really has the potential to excel in both conference matches and out of conference, as long as everyone stays healthy throughout the year," said senior Chris Szabolcs. "Looking at this year's schedule, I am very anxious to get into the conference competition. I think our team is greatly underestimated in the WWC. Tournaments with big-name teams present, like the Kaufman-Brand Open, Midlands Invitational and the Lone Star Duals, should help to get the team in shape and give us the competition experience that we are going to need to compete later in the season."
"We are excited that this year's projected starting lineup features wrestlers from across the nation, and that many of our away events will give our athletes the feel of being at home," continued Sharratt. "The Academy parents and alumni continue to support and follow our athletes across the country as we work to achieve our program goals. The schedule this year will take us from Colorado to New York and will provide competitive opportunities against many of the athletes who will stand across the mat from us in March."