NO. 20 PANTHERS TO HOST NATIONALLY RANKED MISSOURI ON WEDNESDAY
Pitt opens home schedule, hosts Toys for Tots Holiday Hoopla
PITTSBURGH —The No. 20 ranked Pitt wrestling team will look to remain undefeated in dual competition this season as they welcome the No. 7 ranked Missouri Tigers (3-0) to Fitzgerald Field House Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Panthers are 5-0 in dual matches this year and are coming off a solid set of performances at last weekend’s Ohio Duals.
The Panthers currently have three wrestlers ranked in the nation’s top 20 in their respective weight classes. Last year’s national runner up and All-American Keith Gavin ( Factoryville , Pa. /Lackawanna Trail), the nation’s top ranked wrestler at 174 pounds, headlines that list. The fifth-year senior is 11-0 on the season; just two wins shy of 100 for his career. He has posted five falls in his 11 victories, giving him 21 for his career and placing him in a tie for ninth on Pitt’s all-time list with Perry Miller and Mike Moore.
Fellow All-American Matt Kocher (State College, Pa./State College) also finds himself in the top 10; as he was ranked sixth at 157-pounds in the Dec. 11 USA Today/NWCA/Intermat Coaches poll. The program’s all-time leader in tournament victories at the start of the season with 93, Kocher has extended that total to 97 early in the season. With his seven total victories this year, he currently stands tied with Rob Loper for second on Pitt’s all-time list at 131 career wins.
Heavyweight Zach Sheaffer (Carlisle, Pa./Cumberland Valley) rounds out the trio of Panthers who have earned national acclaim, as he was ranked 15th in last week’s NWCA poll. He leads the team in victories with 18 and played a momentous role in Pitt’s dramatic conference win at Bloomsburg earlier in the season. With the Panthers trailing the Huskies heading into the match’s final bout, Sheaffer battled then-No. 6 Mike Spaid to a draw in regulation and defeated the All-American in overtime by a count of 2-1, setting the final score at 18-16.
The Panthers will also be hosting the Toys for Tots Holiday Hoopla on Wednesday. Anyone who donates a new, unwrapped toy at the door will receive free admission to the contest. There will also be numerous other holiday activities for everyone in attendance. The event will be taped and broadcast on the EWL conference’s website, www.ewlwrestling.com.
Pitt matches are usually poorly attended to begin with.
With the student body home on break and high school teams in action, I'm betting they get a few hundred at best.
We'll have to watch the www.ewlwrestling.com broadcast to find out.