BETHLEHEM, Pa. –The Lehigh wrestling team will take to the mats in front of the home fans for the first time in the 2015-16 season with the annual Brown and White Wrestle-offs set for Thursday night inside Leeman-Turner Arena at Grace Hall.
Thursday's wrestle-offs currently feature 11 scheduled bouts as the Mountain Hawks enter their final week of preparation for the Nov. 6 season-opener at Bucknell.
Eight of Lehigh's true freshmen will compete for the first time at Leeman-Turner Arena at Grace Hall, while two of the 11 matches will pair wrestlers with previous starting experience.
The Mountain Hawks will be without their four returning All-Americans. Seniors Mason Beckman (133) and Nathaniel Brown (184) will be readying to compete Sunday in the NWCA All-Star Classic in Atlanta. Beckman will be facing Michigan's Rossi Bruno, while Brown was previously slated to face Edinboro's Vic Avery but will instead face Blake Stauffer of Arizona State.
Junior Mitch Minotti is also headed to Atlanta as he was added to the All-Star Classic lineup as an injury replacement at 157. Minotti, a two-time All-American, will face Cody Pack of South Dakota State on Sunday. Minotti and Pack have not met at the college level.
As for Thursday's wrestle-offs, the two matches pitting starters against one another are at 149, where junior Laike Gardner will meet sophomore Drew Longo, and 174 where juniors Elliot Riddick and Ben Haas will meet. Longo was last year's starter at 149, while Gardner moved up to the weight after qualifying for NCAAs at 141 in 2014. Riddick has started his first two years at 174 and then 197 before moving back down, while Haas represented Lehigh in the 2013 and 2014 EIWA tournaments at 165.
With no bout scheduled at 125, the first bout of the night will match sophomore Dean Somers and freshman Ryan Pomrinca at 133.
Two matches are slated for 141. True freshman David Pipa will meet deferred freshman Camden Fischer and deferred freshman Cortlandt Schuyler will meet another true freshman in Kent Lane.
In addition to Longo versus Gardner, a second match at 149 will feature junior Will Switzer and sophomore Brandon Diaz.
At 157, deferred freshman Ian Brown will tangle with true freshman Cole Walter.
A pair of true freshmen will meet at 165 as Charlie Sell from nearby Bangor, will face Paul Dunn from Bethel Park, near Pittsburgh.
Riddick and Haas will be the second of two scheduled matchups at 174. Prior to that match, freshman Andrew Price will face senior Will Sullivan.
Senior John Bolich will face deferred freshman Tom Murray at 197. The final match on the schedule features the return of senior Max Wessell at heavyweight. Wessell will face freshman Christian Colucci.
The wrestle-offs get underway at 7 p.m. Thursday from Leeman-Turner Arena at Grace Hall. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling 610-7LU-GAME or by visiting LehighTickets.com. Tickets will also be available Thursday evening at Grace Hall.
Due to staffing and equipment issues, stemming from the rescheduling of the key Lehigh-Lafayette men's soccer match to Thursday night, Lehigh will not be able to stream video of the Brown and White Wrestle-offs as previously scheduled. Fans who are unable to make it to Leeman-Turner Arena at Grace Hall are encouraged to follow @LehighWrestling on Twitter for match-by-match updates.
A complete recap of the Brown and White Wrestle-offs, featuring highlights and interviews will be posted on Lehighsports.com following Thursday evening's event.
Thursday's probable matchups:
Wt. – White vs. Brown
133 – Dean Somers vs. Ryan Pomrinca
141 – David Pipa vs. Camden Fischer
141 – Cortlandt Schuyler vs. Kent Lane
149 – Drew Longo vs. Laike Gardner
149 – Will Switzer vs. Brandon Diaz
157 – Ian Brown vs. Cole Walter
165 – Charlie Sell vs. Paul Dunn
174 – Andrew Price vs. Will Sullivan
174 – Elliot Riddick vs. Ben Haas
197 – Tom Murray vs. John Bolich
285 – Christian Colucci vs. Max Wessell