BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Head coach Joe Boardwine unveiled Campbell's 2013-14 schedule today. The slate includes six open tournaments, seven Southern Conference opponents, and five regular season matches at home. In addition, Campbell will be the host for the SoCon Championships March 8.
Last year, the Camels finished 7-10 overall and went 5-2 in the Southern Conference, good for second place in the regular season. CU also finished second at the SoCon Championships and sent two wrestlers to the NCAA Championships.
"We are really looking forward to this season's schedule," Boardwine said. "With some new events and challenges, it will give both our athletes and fans a lot of exciting competition to look forward to. Being strategic about our scheduling to give our athletes these opportunities is going to be very important not only in preparing our guys to be successful in their matches at the NCAA Championships, but in getting recognized in the National Rankings and RPI rankings prior to the NCAAs. I really want to thank our Athletic Director Bob Roller, Sport Administrator Chris Pope, Operations Director Kim Graham and Athletic Business Manager Hannah Bazemore for working with us strategically to make this all possible."
The open tournament portion of the schedule begins Sun., Nov. 3 at the Clarion Knight Point Open in Clarion, Pa., where the Camels will see several teams from the northeast including Pittsburgh, Lehigh, Ohio State, and Maryland.
"I'm especially glad that we were able to schedule such a wide variety of teams from around the country," Boardwine continued. "When you look at going up to Clarion and Michigan State for their tournaments and out to Northern Iowa for the UNI Open, competing in the Keystone Classic and also hitting southern events like the NC State Open and Southern Scuffle, this will really give our team the chance to see top competition from the Big 10, MAC, EWL, EIWA, ACC, Big 12 and the Southern Conference."
CU travels to East Lansing, Mich. Sat., Nov. 9 for the Michigan State Open, where several Midwest powerhouses, such as Michigan, Ohio State, Indiana, and Purdue, will also be in competition.
The following weekend (Nov. 17), the Camels will go up the road to Raleigh to participate in the Wolfpack Open. Alongside N.C. State, ACC teams North Carolina, Virginia, and Virginia Tech will be on the mats with the Camels.
On Sun., Nov. 24 CU makes the trip to Philadelphia, Pa. for the Keystone Classic. The University of Pennsylvania is hosting Harvard, Indiana, Northwestern, and Arizona State, as well as six other teams.
CU will have two weeks off before it heads to the Northern Iowa Open on Sat., Dec. 14. Campbell will meet several Midwest schools, including Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri.
The Camels return to Chattanooga for the Southern Scuffle, the last open event of the year, Jan. 1-2. CU will see wrestlers from Penn State, Minnesota, Cornell, Oklahoma, and Iowa State, among others. Last year, the Camels finished 17th, the highest place for CU at the Scuffle in seven appearances. Campbell was the second-highest placer from North Carolina, a sport behind Duke, and finished ahead of North Carolina, N.C. State, and Appalachian.
The Southern Conference regular season begins Fri., Jan. 10 as the Camels host Appalachian State in CU's first home meet of the season. Last year, Appalachian edged Campbell 16-15 as current Camels Michael Dahlstrom and Brent Jorge earned decisions over their opponents.
Campbell is on the road for its next three matches. In the first two, the Camels will be taking on SoCon opponents VMI (Jan. 17) and Gardner-Webb (Jan. 23). In last season's league opener, Campbell handled VMI 32-9, as eight Camels won their respective bouts. CU defeated Gardner-Webb 24-12 to earn its third SoCon victory of the season, as Brent Jorge and Paul Duggan pinned their opponents in 1:17 and 2:53, respectively.
The Camels once again travel to Raleigh, this time for a meet with the Wolfpack on Fri., Jan. 24. In Buies Creek last year, N.C. State defeated Campbell 27-13. Three Camels posted wins, including Paul Duggan with a major decision and John Merickel with a 1:04 pin.
The following Saturday, reigning SoCon champion Chattanooga visits the Creek. Last year, the Mocs defeated the Camels 30-4. The match was an effort to secure a tie for the regular season conference championship, but the Camels came up short, tying for second.
The Citadel returns to Gore Arena Thurs., Feb. 13. Last year in Charleston, CU defeated the home team 25-13, which snapped a nine-match skid for the Camels against the Bulldogs. The Camels registered two pins, a major decision, and three decisions in the win.
In the SoCon regular season finale, and the final Camel regular season home match, Southern Illinois-Edwardsville travels to Buies Creek for the first time on Wed., Feb. 19. Last season, SIUE's first as a SoCon member, CU notched the 41-8 win. Brent Jorge, Taylor McGiffen, and Joe Nolan pinned their opponents, while Michael Dahlstrom and Nick Rex posted major decisions.
Campbell will return to Chapel Hill for the Carolina Duals (Sat., Feb. 22), CU's regular season closer, taking on Pittsburgh and North Carolina in Carmichael Arena. At last year's Carolina Duals, CU split with UNC and Duke, falling to UNC 26-19 and defeating Duke 20-19. Against the Tar Heels, Tanner Bidelspach and John Merickel earned pins, while Joe Nolan was awarded a major decision. The meeting with Pittsburgh will be the first ever between the two schools.
The Camels will host the Southern Conference Championships Sat., March 8 in Gore Arena. Last year, CU was named SoCon runner-up with 62.5 points on the day. James Cook won the 184-pound decision, stunning the conference to earn an automatic NCAA bid with two decisions and a pin.
You can follow the Camels throughout the year on GoCamels.com and on Twitter at @GoCamelsWrestle.