This Saturday, Dec. 2, Drury University’s wrestling team will make history by hosting the first wrestling tournament in Drury history.
Since its establishment in 2016, Drury wrestling has become a force to be reckoned with in the Great Lakes Valley Conference, where Drury is in competition with six other teams across the Midwest.
Those teams include McKendree University, University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Bellarmine University, Indianapolis, Maryville and Truman State University. Currently UW-Parkside is ineligible for the GLVC Championship due to GLVC sanctions.
Despite its relatively short history at Drury, the wrestling team has grown substantially and continues to bring new and exciting opportunities to campus for both avid wrestling fans and our beloved Drury Fanthers. Since the first intercollegiate wrestling event in school history in Jan. 2017, Drury wrestling has gained the interests of the Drury community and grown a significant fan base.
This weekend’s Drury Open will undoubtedly prove to be another special event, ingrained in the minds of many Fanthers and competitors as a Drury first.
Not only will the event be the first dual hosted at Drury, it will also be the last dual of the season for wrestling team, and also the largest competition – 150 wrestlers are scheduled to compete.
In the open tournament, multiple teams will compete throughout the ten weight classes. Teams will bring their starters and backups to wrestle. The event will be held in the Weiser and Mabee gyms, beginning at 9 a.m. and culminating around 5 p.m.
Drury wrestlers have been anxiously anticipating and preparing for the event. Marquise Jacoby, sophomore, knows the significance of the event, noting that he and his teammates have not been taking the event lightly.
“We have been working very hard, day in and day out, to perform well for our school,” said Jacoby.
Ben Stahlman, sophomore, is confident that he and his teammates have the capability for success at the tournament and most looks forward to cheering on his teammates and their inevitable success.
“I’d say that my teammates and I are most excited to watch each other place in the tournament and win important matches against tough competition,” Stahlman says.
While the young age demographic of the Drury wrestling program may be seen as a challenge to some, the wrestlers see this as an opportunity for growth. Participants have seized this opportunity to work together and continue to build an unstoppable team.
“Our team has been performing well as whole, and we have gained a lot of valuable experience and skills in comparison to last year’s team.” Stahlman says. “We have been keeping a rigorous training schedule and everyone is working hard in the room, so look for more success from us later in the year.”
This Saturday, be sure to come out and support our Drury Panthers in their quest for victory in the Drury Open. Don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a part of an event that will surely go down in Drury history books.