NWCA All-Star Classic set for Fresno

Updated: October 13, 2010

By Tammy Tedesco National Wrestling Coaches Association 10/13/2010

The NWCA Board of Directors is pleased to partner with California USA Wrestling to host the 45th Annual NWCA All-Star Classic Presented by The Marines, on Sunday, November 21, 2010 in Fresno, California at Selland Arena.

This event will serve as a fundraiser to assist in efforts to preserve and grow the number of college wrestling programs in the state of California. All proceeds from the event will be earmarked to fund strategic initiatives and public relation efforts for the California wrestling programs. The California Division I programs specifically took a hit last year with: Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Bakersfield and UC Davis being placed in limbo. As of right now UC Davis will not be competing unless money is raised and the administration grants approval.

“Having the All-Star Classic in California, will help to continue to promote awareness for the sport of wrestling which currently lacks opportunity within the state. While the need for opportunity is increasing with the growing number of participants at the high school level, the opportunities are being eliminated at the college level,” said Mike Mendoza, head coach Cal State Bakersfield. “The state of California needs to come together and support college wrestling with this event.”

Cal State Bakersfield has been granted another year of competition as well after undertaking large fundraising projects last year with the help of New England Patriot Stephen Neal, former CSUB National Champion and All-Star Classic Participant.

“The 44th NWCA All-Star Classic held at Cal State Fullerton, last November, was a great opportunity for California wrestlers and fans to see great college wrestling up close and personal. One fan described the event as ‘the best wrestling event he had ever been to in California.’ For those of you who have the opportunity to go to the Division I Nationals, you know how great the wrestling is and the All-Star Classic gives us a taste of what we would see at the NCAA Nationals in a few months. We were very thankful to Mike Moyer and the NWCA for awarding the Classic to Cal State Fullerton and now allowing it to return to Fresno, California,” said Dan Hicks, head coach at Cal State Fullerton. “This commitment shows the vision of the NWCA to help California Collegiate wrestling, which has been under pressure because of the difficult economic issues in the state. I would encourage every wrestling fan and competitor to find a way to attend the 45th All-Star Classic held in Fresno. You will love the competition and you will be helping to showcase our great sport and the need to support our California college programs.”

Last year Cal State Fullerton hosted the All-Star Classic raising over $200,000 for their program along with countless donations. They have been granted a reprieve and are able to compete for the 2010-11 season, but must still continue to raise funds to keep their program.

“We are excited to be able to have the NWCA All-Star Classic back in the state of California. After the success of the event at Cal State Fullerton last year, we hope that this will build momentum and raise awareness on what is happening in California,” said Brian Smith, NWCA President. “California has the largest high school participation numbers in America (27,000 wrestlers) and only 7 four-year college programs in the state. This is a huge opportunity to promote the top level competition of the All-Star Classic.”

2010 marks the sixth time in recent history that the NWCA has used the All-Star Classic to help highlight programs that were in jeopardy or in areas that did not have college wrestling. These sites included SIU-Edwardsville; Newark, Delaware; Dallas, Texas; University of Oregon; and Cal State Fullerton.

“We need the entire California wrestling community to step up and support this event. These four intercollegiate wrestling teams need the support more than ever. They will directly benefit from all proceeds generated from the All-Star Classic. The NWCA has identified some very viable and cost effective strategic initiatives uniquely designed to save/protect all four of these college programs but without funding, we’ll probably never know what might have been,” said Smith.

For more information on the NWCA All-Star Classic, visit the NWCA Website at http://www.nwcaonline.com/NWCAWebSite/Events/nwcaallstarclassic.aspx

The National Wrestling Coaches Association, established in 1928, is a non-profit organization for the advancement of all levels of the sport of wrestling with primary emphasis on developing coaches who work in academic environments. The membership embraces all people interested in amateur wrestling.

The three core competencies of the NWCA are: Coaching Development, student-athlete welfare, and promotion of wrestling.