Aug 10, 2017
WASHINGTON – A road that begins with a dual meet in North Carolina and finishes in Cleveland, Ohio, lies ahead of the American University wrestling team in 2017-18, as head coach Teague Moore announced his schedule Thursday.
The Eagles open the season in a dual at Campbell on Nov. 5 and will battle for the next few months with an eye toward March 3 and 4 at the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association Championships and the NCAA Division I Championships on March 15 to 17.
"Our focus for 2017-18 is on Cleveland," said Moore, who will be in his seventh year as the Eagles head coach. "We believe this group of wrestlers can find success on the big stage of the NCAAs.
"Josh Terao, Jeric Kasunic and Michael Sprague appear to be the most primed and ready for success, but Brett Dempsey, Gage Curry and Jack Mutchnik also have put an immense amount of work into this off-season."
American has four home dual matches on its schedule, beginning with local rival Navy on Jan. 19. The Eagles will also host Bucknell (Feb. 4), Drexel (Feb. 11) and Ohio University (Senior Night, Feb. 17).
"This season's schedule offers some great dual meets and some new locations for competition," said Moore. "I really like the start of season at Campbell. They are a great up-and-coming program that mirrors the type of student-athlete we have here at AU. EIWA duals with Lehigh, Bucknell and Navy are always motivating for us."
The Eagles have added a new tournament early in the season, as they will head to the Journeymen Round Robin in Albany, N.Y., on Nov. 12.
"The Journeymen Round Robin event is unique because our top-caliber athletes will be paired with similar athletes while our freshmen will be paired with similar athletes of success and ability," said Moore. "It's a new format that thankfully takes us away from the all-day open tournament format. We are looking forward to competing at this event."
AU will attend the UNC Duals on Jan. 6, when they will wrestle Wyoming and Army West Point in addition to the host Tar Heels.
Eagles Select Captains
Moore has announced that seniors Brett Dempsey and Jeric Kasunic and junior Josh Terao were selected as team captains in a recent vote by their teammates.
Dempsey, the Eagles' heavyweight last year, has improved on the mat and excelled in the classroom. He was the male senior athlete with the highest GPA last spring across all AU teams.
"Brett is taking the role for the second year," said Moore. "Last year he was the underclassmen captain and did a great job. His leadership style is quiet and reserved but he leads by example. His academic success and commitment to constant growth and development shows others that through hard work, everything is possible."
Kasunic was 25-12 at 197 pounds a year ago and earned a spot to the NCAAs with a fourth-place finish at the EIWA Championships.
"Jeric is coming off a very successful summer with a University National Freestyle title and an undefeated 6-0 run at the University Freestyle Duals," said Moore. "Jeric's NCAA qualification last season was the first step in achieving big success in his AU career. He is closing in on the AU pin record (currently with 30) and will work hard to earn that title this season."
Terao qualified for the NCAAs last year after leading the Eagles with a 29-7 record that included a school-record eight wins by tech fall.
"Josh finished his sophomore season as an NCAA qualifier and has bigger aspirations for the 2017-18 season," said Moore. "Vocally he has become a leader within the squad while also carrying a high GPA as a leader among the team. I'm excited to see Josh grow in this role and help his teammates reach their goals."