Wrestling Hosts Top 20 Battle Sunday

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
NOVEMBER 20, 2009

Nov. 20, 2009

 Wrestling vs. Arizona State
 Date & Time  Sunday, Nov. 22 at 2 p.m.
 Location  Norman, Okla. | Howard McCasland Field House
 Match Information  Live Scoring

 "Military Appreciation Day"
 -Free soda and popcorn with military ID
 -First 250 fans receive OU camo bandana and koozie
 -Free pizza for OU students

NORMAN, Okla. -- The 12th-ranked University of Oklahoma wrestling squad is set to host a top 20 battle against No. 20 Arizona State in its home opener this Sunday, Nov. 22 at 2 p.m. inside the Howard McCasland Field House in Norman.

The Sooners (1-0) are coming off their 11th-straight Brockport/Oklahoma Gold Classic team championship last weekend in Brockport, N.Y. OU topped an impressive field, including 2009 NCAA runner-up Ohio State and sixth place finisher Edinboro. Winning individual titles were Shane Vernon (157 pounds), Jeff James (174) and Eric Lapotsky (197).

"This Sunday's match is going to be a great test for our team," head coach Jack Spates said. "I don't think anybody thought we would do as well as we did last weekend in Brockport, but our guys fought and wrestled hard and we earned it. Our guys are looking forward to getting back on the mat to face a very talented Arizona State team."

Doors to Sunday's match will open at 1 p.m. and admission is free to the public.


The Sun Devils boast two All-Americans on their roster in Anthony Robles (finished fourth at 2009 NCAAs) and Chris Drouin (placed sixth). ASU is led by first year head coach Shawn Charles.

Arizona State faces a tough weekend, as it will face No. 4 Oklahoma State tonight in Stillwater before making the trip down I-35 to Norman for Sunday's match against the Sooners. ASU enters the tough weekend 2-0 after drubbing UC Davis (38-6) and CS Fullerton (37-4).


Oklahoma owns an impressive 25-13-1 overall record against Arizona State. Last season, OU pounded ASU by a 37-6 final in Tempe, Ariz., on Jan. 18. Four current Sooners - Kyle Terry, Jeff James, Eric Lapotsky and Nathan Fernandez - posted wins a year ago.


Sunday's match against ASU is "Military Appreciation Day," as any fan with a military ID will receive a free soda and popcorn. The first 250 fans in the door will receive an OU camouflage bandana and koozie. Free pizza will be served to OU students prior to the match.

 Probable Sooner Starters (Weight)  Hometown (Year)  Record
 Justin Forrest (125)  Peculiar, Mo. (RFr.)  7-4
 Alex Ekstrom (133)  Palmyra, N.Y. (Fr.)  0-1
 No. 18 Zack Bailey (141)  Kansas City, Mo. (Jr.)  4-1
 No. 5 Kyle Terry (149)  Midwest City, Okla. (Sr.)  5-1
 Shane Vernon (157)  Midwest City, Okla. (Sr.)  5-0
 Derek Peperas (165)  Santa Fe, N.M. (RSo.)  7-4
 No. 9 Jeff James (174)  El Reno, Okla. (Jr.)  5-0
 Erich Schmidtke -or- Ian Daube (184)  Aberdeen, Wash. (RFr.) / Poway, Calif. (Fr.)  6-3/8-6
 No. 7 Eric Lapotsky (197)  Mt. Carmel, Pa. (Sr.)  5-0
 No. 13 Nathan Fernandez (HWT)  Lawton, Okla. (Jr.)  8-2


Oklahoma is ranked No. 12 in the NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll and No. 18 by Intermat.

The Sooners have six wrestlers ranked in this week's InterMat Top 20. Leading all Sooners is No. 5 Kyle Terry at 149 pounds, followed by No. 7 Eric Lapotsky at 197 pounds. Jeff James is also in the top 10, ranked No. 9 at 174 pounds.

Chad Terry and Nathan Fernandez are 13th at 157 pounds and heavyweight, respectively. Junior Zack Bailey entered the rankings for the first time this season, ranked No. 18 at 141 pounds.

Arizona State has two ranked among the nation's elite, headlined by No. 3 Anthony Robles at 125 pounds. Chris Drouin is ranked fifth at 141 pounds.


Entering his 17th season as head coach, Jack Spates has yet to lose a November dual at Oklahoma. His record stands at 23-0-1 for the month.

Sooner fans wanting to attend the first installment of Bedlam wrestling in Norman may now purchase tickets. The Sooners are set to host the Cowboys on Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. inside Howard McCasland Field House.

Tickets are $15 for reserved seating and $10 for general admission (includes youth k-12). Group tickets are also available pre-arranged for $5. F

ans wishing to attend the match can call the OU ticket office at (405) 325-2424 or toll-free at (800) 456-GoOU. Tickets can also be purchased online by clicking here

Cox television is set to broadcast the Bedlam matchup on Dec. 1. The dual will air on Cox channel 7 in Oklahoma City, Cox channel 3 in Tulsa, as well as be broadcasted in Woodward (KOMI), Enid (KXOK), Lawton (KSWO) and Ponca City (KTEW).

NEXT UP... Oklahoma is set to host its annual Oklahoma Open next weekend, Nov. 28 at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman. The Sooners will take on Oklahoma City University at 9 a.m. and North Carolina State at 4 p.m. OCU and NCST will meet at 11 a.m. Admission is free to the public.



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