Wrestling To Face Tough Tasks In 2008-09
GREELEY, Colo. - University of Northern Colorado head wrestling coach Jack Maughan today announced the schedule for the 2008-09 season and the Bears face several big name programs.
"I think this is arguably one of the toughest schedules any of our sports has undertaken at Northern Colorado," said Maughan. "And that's saying a lot. Minnesota and Oklahoma State have won seven of the last eight national championships and to have both on your schedule is tremendously challenging. That is the reason why we went back to Division I though, to go back to competing against the absolute best. It's a rigorous schedule, so we can hopefully prepare individuals to go deep into the NCAA tournament at the end of the year."
Right off the bat, the Bears will face the defending Pac-10 champions in Boise State on Nov. 1 in Spokane, Wash. On Nov. 23, Northern Colorado will host its annual Old Chicago Northern Colorado Open at Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion and the next weekend will face the 2007 NCAA Champions, Minnesota, as well as North Dakota State and Portland State at the Northern Duals in Rochester, Minn. The second dual meet of the year comes Dec. 5 in Stillwater, Okla., where the Bears take on the Cowboys of Oklahoma State, which won four straight national championships from 2003-06.
The turning of the calendar doesn't make the scheduling any easier as Jan. 3, the Bears will wrestle both Nebraska, which finished third last season at the NCAA Championship and Michigan, the 2005 NCAA runner-up in Lincoln. The next week the team heads to the Virginia Duals in Hampton, Va., where possible matchups include Edinboro, Oklahoma State, Navy, Old Dominion, Lehigh and Ohio to name a few.
Western Wrestling Conference action begins Jan. 16 when defending league champions Northern Iowa come to Greeley. Two days later the Bears take the mat against Stanford, which finished as the 2008 Pac-10 runners up. They also host Wyoming in the final dual of the season on Feb. 25.
"The other nice thing is most of these teams will return the following year," continued Maughan. "The challenge is to go wrestle all of them on the road this year, but most of them will come back into Greeley next year, which will be great not only for our team, but our fans as well. We are also hosting our first-ever Division I NCAA regional, which is a great opportunity."
Northern Colorado will host the NCAA West Regional in Butler-Hancock on March 7 with the NCAA Championship taking place March 20-22 in St. Louis, Mo., at the Scottrade Center.