PAINESVILLE, OHIO -- Fans excited for the second season of Lake Erie College wrestling will have the opportunity to see the Storm in action on Saturday night, Nov. 5, at the Jerome T. Osborne Family Athletic & Wellness Center. The annual "Green vs. Black Preview Night", an intrasquad competition, is open and free to the public and begins at 7 p.m.
"Our team is very excited about the upcoming season and Saturday night should be a fun night for our guys as well as the fans," said second-year head coach Kevin Hoogenboom. "The community involvement and our home crowds last year during our inaugural season were fantastic and I hope that Saturday night is the start of another great year."
The Storm returns eight starters from last season and Hoogenboom and his staff brought in an outstanding recruiting class of nearly 25 student-athletes, many of whom are expected to compete with the returning veterans for spots on the regular dual meet lineup.
"There's been a lot of competition in the practice room so far," Hoogenboom noted. "The returning guys know they won't have a spot just handed to them and some of the new guys are really pushing for a starting spot. But above all else, we are starting to develop some real quality depth in our program and that will be a big different this year compared to last season when we were just starting out."
In its first season, Lake Erie posted a 5-9-1 dual mark, highlighted by a huge victory over regionally-ranked Seton Hill University in the program's home opener.
Among the leading returners is sophomore Josh Linden (Broadview Heights, Ohio/Brecksville-Broadview Heights), who was ranked second in the region last year at 174 pounds when he posted an 18-13 overall record with seven pins. He is expected to move up this year to 184 pounds. Redshirt sophomore Andrew Gasber (Madison, Ohio/Madison/Notre Dame) placed sixth at the NCAA Division II Super 2 Regional at 165 pounds and went 17-14 overall with a team-high 10 pins. They are just two of the six Storm returners who won at least 10 matches last season.
The Storm opens the regular season on Saturday, Nov. 12 at the Mount Union Invitational. Lake Erie's first home dual with be Wednesday, Dec. 14 against West Liberty. The Storm's home slate includes four dates in January, including the inaugural Storm Open on Jan. 7 and a matchup with two-time defending NAIA national champion Notre Dame College on Jan. 20.