DURHAM, N.C.—After months of summer training that extended into the fall, Duke wrestling is back. The Blue Devils will hit the mat officially for the 2017-18 season at the Hokie Open Wrestling Tournament Sunday, Nov. 5. The tournament will be held at the Berglund Center in Roanoke, Va.
Attend the Tournament
Wrestling commences at 10:01 a.m., in Roanoke. Admission for fans is $15 for adults and $5 for high school students and free for kids in grades K-8. Tickets can be purchased at the doors, which open to the general public at 9 a.m.
How to Follow the Action
Fans unable to attend can follow all of the live brackets on FloWrestling and also track Duke wrestling on Twitter (@DukeWRES) for updates throughout the tournament. There will be no live video due to ACC video rights restrictions.
Recapping the 2016 Southeast Open
The Blue Devils came away with a pair of titles at the 2016 Southeast Open, which has since been renamed the Hokie Open Wrestling Tournament this year. Jacob Kasper and Connor Bass finished atop the heavyweight and 174 pounds. Kasper returns to defend his title, while Thayer Atkins looks to improve on his consolation semifinal showing at 125 pounds. Redshirt freshmen Josh Copeland and Roman Romero were solid in the freshman – sophomore division last season, taking sixth and advancing to the quarterfinal, respectively.
Jacob Kasper and Mitch Finesilver are peppered throughout the various preseason rankings. Kasper is a consensus No. 6 pick at heavyweight and is the preseason favorite to take home the 2018 ACC title, while Mitch is 11th in the preseason FloWrestling rankings. He also is considered the ACC’s top 157-pounder according to Flo. Mitch will suit up in a Duke singlet in December, competing unattached up to that point.
Big Rookie Class Makes Collegiate Debut
The largest freshman class in head coach Glen Lanham’s career will be making its debut Sunday. The majority of the 11-man group will hit the mat in Roanoke as it gets its first taste of collegiate wrestling. Nine different weights are represented in the group and as many as three or four could earn spots in the dual lineup in January.
Schenk Moving Up to 197
Redshirt junior Alec Schenk will see his first action as a 197-pounder this weekend. Working tirelessly over the summer in the weight and wrestling rooms, Schenk will bump up one division from 184. He posted a 12-14 record last season as the starter, including a 3-2 mark against ACC foes. The Perry, Ohio native went 1-2 last season at the Hokie Open.
Duke will take a weekend off from competition before much of the Blue Devil lineup heads to Philadelphia for the Keystone Classic. The remainder of the squad will stay close to home for the Wolfpack Open in Raleigh. That will be the final competition until the Cliff Keen Open the first weekend in December.