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|Dallas announced as 2006 NWCA All-Star Classic host|
By Jason Bryant NWCA
If the saying "Everything's bigger in Texas," is true, then the 2006 NWCA All-Star Classic should be a spectacle for wrestling fans to concentrate on when the Dallas Convention Center Arena hosts the annual event on November 20.
The NWCA All-Star Classic, presented by the United States Marine Corps, is an All-Star wrestling dual pitting the top collegiate wrestlers in the nation against each other in a showcase that is sure to be a preview of the NCAA Division I Championship finals. The event will include 10 collegiate weight classes along with several feature bouts involving college wrestlers with Texas roots.
The 2006 event will be the 41st such event and the third year the event has been held in the beginning of the wrestling season, rather than in the heart of it.
"The NWCA All-Star Classic is one of the nation's premier wrestling events," said NWCA President Ron Beaschler. "Having the Dallas-Fort Worth area and the state of Texas host the event will only continue the tradition of the All-Star Classic being a first-class event."
"The NWCA is also happy to again partner with the United States Marine Corps in presenting this event for the third consecutive year," Beaschler said. "It's been a good partnership, not only for us, but for wrestling in general."
Three groups spearheaded the effort: the Wrestling Association of Arlington, Team Monday and the National Collegiate Wrestling Association.
The Wrestling Association of Arlington is the group that hosts the Lone Star Duals in South Grand Prairie, Texas, each year. The Lone Star Duals is celebrating its 10th anniversary in the 2006-07 season.
Team Monday, a wrestling club headed by 1988 Olympic Gold Medalist Kenny Monday, is also involved. Many of Texas' top rising stars have emerged out of Monday's wrestling club.
The National Collegiate Wrestling Association, based in Dallas, also helped push to land the event in Texas. Proceeds will go to help the fledging wrestling program at the University of Texas-Arlington, an NCWA team.
"What the NCWA does to promote the sport of wrestling is phenomenal," said NWCA Executive Director Mike Moyer. "One of their primary goals is to start new wrestling programs where they didn't exist or re-start programs at places it once existed."
"This is one of the things the NCWA is doing to help the sport of wrestling grow in Texas and nationwide," said Moyer.
Like the Lone Star Duals, the NCWA is celebrating its 10-year anniversary.
Barry Boustead, the tournament director for the Lone Star Duals, is excited in the progress that Texas has made on the national wrestling scene.
"We've been trying to do things (in Texas)," Boustead said. "We did the Dream Team Classic last year and brought in kids from all around the nation on the high school level, and now we're doing the same thing with the college kids."
"It's a natural progression," he said.
"We're doing this in addition to the Lone Star Duals, the NCWA Championships in March, and RealProWrestling is going to do something down here as well," said Boustead. "We're going to have a lot of wrestling in Texas this year."
While the NWCA isn't expected to announce the line-up for the 41st All-Star Classic until October, the number of returning national champions and All-Americans should make for an impressive set of matches.
For those that haven't ventured to the state for the Lone Star Duals, one thing that the folks in Texas traditionally do well, is hospitality and things for fans to do.
"I think everyone that came down for the Olympic Trials in 2000 and Lone Star Duals in the past realize that the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex is a great place to come for anything," said Boustead.
"The weather's generally better than most places in the country that time of year. There are lots of hotels, restaurants, activities, just lots of things to do," he said. "And the venue is great. The Dallas Convention Center Arena is a great place to watch and a great place for fans to come to watch - it's really easy to get to."
"One things that Texas is known for and what we try to do is be good hosts," Boustead said. "Of all the things we do, it's the one thing we succeed at best. Anyone that comes down is going to have a good time there."
With the NWCA All-Star Classic as the next event headed to Texas, it makes Boustead and other event organizers like Jim Giunta of the NCWA and Steve Silver happy.
"It's an opportunity for us to participate in a high-caliber collegiate event in addition to the Lone Star Duals," said Boustead. "It's an opportunity for our kids to see national championship-level competition for those that haven't been able to travel."
"It also brings a lot of coaches down here, so that's a good thing," he said.
"We're definitely pleased to have the opportunity to host this event in Texas and to lend a hand in helping develop the collegiate wrestling scene in a state that hasn't had varsity collegiate wrestling since the 1970's," said Moyer. "We're looking forward to it."
The 2005 event was one of the most unpredictable in recent memory. Held in Stillwater, Okla., at the Gallagher-Iba Arena on the campus of Oklahoma State University, four defending NCAA champions were defeated in the event.
About the NWCA
The National Wrestling Coaches Association, established in 1928, is a professional organization dedicated to serve and provide leadership for the advancement of all levels of the sport of wrestling with primary emphasis on scholastic and collegiate programs. The membership embraces all people interested in amateur wrestling.
The NWCA, through its organizational structure, promotes communication, recognizes achievement, recommends rules and regulations, sponsors events, and serves as an educational and informational source. Additionally, the NWCA strives to foster the sportsmanship and integrity that are the cornerstones of athletic competition.