Go Greco Initiative pilot season launched to provide Greco-Roman wrestling at college level

By Richard Immel USA Wrestling | April 28, 2015, 3:01 p.m. (ET)
 Photo: Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com
The National Collegiate Wrestling Association, United States Wrestling Foundation and USA Wrestling have teamed up to form the Go Greco Initiative with aspirations of providing a university level Greco-Roman league in the United States.

The league will function under the established governance model of the NCWA by creating Greco-Roman programs at current member institutions of the NCWA.

Ideally, the NCWA Greco-Roman season would begin in March, directly after the folkstyle season, and conclude in the late May to early June timeframe.

The desired schedule structure would include regionalized pods for teams to compete in dual meet competitions during the regular season concluding with a Greco-Roman University National Championship to determine individual national champions. The USA Wrestling national events U.S. Open and University Nationals will also be on the schedule for this initiative.

The league will begin by using the current NCWA weight classes and utilizing a dual meet scoring structure that calculates team score based on the number of technical points scored during matches with falls, technical falls and forfeits also all being assigned a specific team point value.

The goal over the next four years is to have 100 NCWA member institutions competing in the Greco-Roman league.

“I believe anything we can do to keep wrestlers on the mat helps us grow the sport,” said Jim Giunta, NCWA Executive Director. “ Greater numbers lead to greater performance abilities when it comes to the Olympic levels.”

A pilot season for the Go Greco Initiative is currently underway with Texas as its testing grounds.

A dual between the University of North Texas and a Texas All-Star team comprised of wrestlers from three NCWA Texas programs was held last Saturday at Frisco Liberty High School with great success.

Three-time World medalist and North Texas coach Andre Metzger has been instrumental in the development of this initiative and its pilot season.

“It is important to embrace all three styles of wrestling,” said Metzger. “We are creating action to develop Greco-Roman wrestling by bringing in the youth.”

The North Texas squad defeated the Texas All-Stars 88-50 in the first dual of the pilot season.

The first Olympic Champion in Greco-Roman for the United States and current USA Wrestling Chief of Donor and Alumni Relations Steve Fraser has helped spearhead the Go Greco Initiative from the USA Wrestling side.

“This will be a game changer for Greco-Roman wrestling in the United States,” Fraser said.

There will be two more dual meets contested during this pilot season of the Go Greco Initiative with the first NCWA Greco-Roman University Championships being held in Irving, Texas on May 16-17 alongside the Women’s Body Bar Nationals and Texas Freestyle and Greco-Roman State Tournament.

The NCWA and USA Wrestling will evaluate the pilot season at its conclusion to determine the next steps regarding expansion of the league.

Go Greco Initiative Pilot Dual #1 Results
April 25 at Frisco Liberty High School, Frisco, Tex.

University of North Texas 88 - Texas All-Stars 50

125: Kedrick Sousa (North Texas) fall Islam Nabulisi (Texas All-Stars)
141: Daniel Gardner (Texas All-Stars) dec. Taylor Swanson (North Texas), 4-2
165: Anthony Neally (North Texas) tech fall Will Sever (Texas All-Stars), 14-3
184: Dionte Carter (North Texas) fall Luis Garcia (Texas All-Stars)
235: Blake Cedillo (Texas All-Stars) forfeit (North Texas)
265: B.J. Sterling (North Texas) fall Kavrin Cox (Texas All-Stars)
197:Ryan Mcgahey (North Texas) forfeit (Texas All-Stars)
157: David Alquicira (Texas All-Stars) fall Troy Guter (North Texas)
197: Mark Snow (North Texas) fall Kris Bickham (Texas All-Stars)
174: Bryan Lowry (Texas All-Stars) fall Tyler Russo (North Texas)