Call it the Battle of Pennsylvania 2 as two wrestlers from Keystone State schools and roots who met each other at last year’s All-Stars will face off again at the 2014 NWCA All-Star Classic, the National Wrestling Coaches Association announced Tuesday.
In a rematch of last year’s 133-pound bout, two-time All-American A.J. Schopp of Edinboro University will face Lehigh’s All-American Mason Beckman at this year’s All-Stars, to be held at the Palestra at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia Saturday, November 1. Last year, Beckman came out on top, 5-1.
Schopp is a familiar face at the NWCA All-Star Classic, with the 2014 edition being his third straight appearance. In 2012, Schopp defeated Minnesota’s Chris Dardanes 2-1 at 133 pounds. It’ll also be the fourth straight year an Edinboro wrestler has been selected for the event.
Schopp was the No. 2 seed at the 2014 NCAA Division I Championships last year, earned his second All-American honors by placing fourth in the 133 bracket. The senior from Tyrone, Pa. completed his season with a 35-3 record. Beckman, a junior who hails from Transfer, Pa., finished last season 28-6, was the No. 6 seed at the NCAAs and finished in sixth place at the same weight to earn All-American honors.
The two are familiar foes beyond last year’s All-Star event. Going back to when they first met on the mat in high school, Beckman has won three of his five bouts with Schopp. The two split their matches while they were in high school; Beckman came out on top in their freestyle match at the 2012 University Nationals. In their most recent match, Schopp avenged his loss to Beckman at the 2013 All-Star Classic by shutting out the Lehigh matman 5-0 at the Midlands Classic at Northwestern in December 2013.
The Schopp-Beckman bout is the first match-up to be revealed for the 2014 NWCA All-Star Classic, an annual event that traditional pits the two top college wrestlers in each weight class. Other match-ups are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
The All-Star Classic, which first debuted in 1967, is an exhibition that does not count on a wrestler’s official record, nor is to be used for ranking or seeding purposes. This year’s All-Star event will be even more special, as it will be conducted under new experimental rules put forth by the NCAA. There are two rules that will be in effect only for this event, designed to limit stalling and promote active, aggressive wrestling.
Fans may purchase tickets for the 2014 NWCA All-Star event online at the Penn Athletic Ticket Office. Additional information on the event is available by visiting its official website. and by following the NWCA on Facebook and Twitter.