Maryland's most successful wrestler last year is getting a chance to make a statement at the start of this season. Jimmy Sheptock, #3 at 184 lbs., is slated to wrestle Penn State's Ed Ruth in the National Wrestling Coaches' Association All-Star Classic in northern Virginia on Nov. 2.
The match was added to the star-studded lineup Friday, and the release by NWCA shows just how important this show-down is for both wrestlers:
The 184lb match at the 2013 NWCA All-Star Classic will feature Ed Ruth of Pennsylvania State University against Jimmy Sheptock of the University of Maryland, a matchup pitting conference champions and All-Americans against one another.
And that's underselling Ed Ruth by quite a bit. Ruth is a 2X defending NCAA champion and 3X Big Ten conference tournament champion. If not for his returning teammate David Taylor, he'd be the best collegiate wrestler returning this year. Sheptock had a nice run to end last year, winning the ACC Tournament and earning All-American status with a 6th place finish at the NCAA Finals. Ruth has beaten Sheptock in both their previous meetings.
That said, Sheptock appears to be in the best shape of his career. I had a chance to see him coach high school wrestlers at UMd's beach camp at Cape Henlopen this summer, and he looked ready to start the season then in August. The odds are long he can pull out a victory against Ruth, but I do like his chances to repeat his All-American status from a year ago. In either case, this is a chance for Sheptock, and by extention Maryland wrestling, to get some notice at the premier event to start the season.
The All-Star Classic, presented by the Marine Corps, will take place on November 2nd at 7:15pm on the campus of George Mason University. To purchase tickets to the event, visit the Ticketmaster website. For more information on the All-Star Classic, visit the NWCA website and follow the NWCA on Facebook and Twitter.