Jan. 17, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. -
Pack Off to Strong Start: After competing in six tournaments to open the 2012-13 season, the NC State wrestling team opened up its dual meet portion of the schedule last week.
First-year head coach Pat Popolizio has the Pack off to a perfect 3-0 start for the first time since the 2005-06 season (5-0). In all, NC State won 22 of its 30 matches.
NC State started with a 35-6 win against VMI, and later that night downed host Campbell, 27-13. On Saturday, the Pack came home with a road win from Gardner-Webb, 22-16.
Home Debut: After having its first three duals on the road, NC State returns home to host American on Friday night. Of the 11 dual meets the Pack has this season, only three will be in Reynolds Coliseum.
In addition to the dual with American, Friday night is also Youth Night. Two local youth wrestling clubs will scrimmage before the dual and at the intermission. Youth matches are slated to begin at 5:30 PM.
NC State will also host ACC rivals Maryland (Feb. 9) and Duke (Feb. 20). The Pack did host the Wolfpack Open back in November in Reynolds.
Pack Adds Three to Roster: The Pack has added a trio of grapplers to its roster. Junior Joe DeAngelo (Mebane, N.C./Nassau C.C.) at 125 pounds, freshman Keegan Cerwinski (Green, N.Y.) at 184, and sophomore Bill Cook (Ballston Spa, N.Y.) at 197.
The trio got right into action, as all three were starters at Gardner-Webb on Saturday.
The American Connection: When the Pack hosts American, the two coaching staffs will be very familiar with each other. NC State coach Pat Popolizio, assistant coach Jamill Kelly and American head coach Teague Moore were all teammates on the Oklahoma State Cowboys during their collegiate careers.
Popolizio was an assistant at American for two seasons, 2005-06, prior to coaching at Binghamton.
The Series vs. American: NC State will be facing the American Eagles for the fifth time in the history of the two programs. The Pack has won three of the four previous meetings, including last seasons’s upset of No. 18 American in Washington, 25-18.
Familiar Foes: Three NC State wrestlers have already faced off with an American wrestler this year, and two of those matches are slated for a rematch on Friday.
At 149, NC State’s Thomas Gantt downed Kevin Tao 6-3 at the Southern Scuffle. At the Keystone Classic, Sam Speno earned a major decision over Corey Borshoff 18-5, while Mike Kosoy was defeated by Blake Herrin 4-1.
Gantt/Tao and Kosoy/Herrin are probably rematches.
Up Next: The Pack will have its first ACC dual this season, when NC State travels to No. 9 Virginia Tech Sunday at 2 p.m.