Hempstead, NY - The 2016-17 Hofstra University Wrestling season officially kicked off on Wednesday (Oct 12) in the Chief Ray Downey Sr. Wrestling Room in the Teague Ryan Wrestling Complex with the first official team practice under third-year coach Dennis Papadatos.
Papadatos welcomed 19 wrestlers on the mat Wednesday including 11 returnees and six starters from last year's squad that placed 13th in the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) Championships last March. Hofstra does return one NCAA Championship qualifier in senior Michael Hughes, who was tied for national honors with 41 victories last season. The Long Island native is, however, expected to red-shirt this season.
The Pride do return five other starters, who will be pushed by eight newcomers in 2016-17. Leading the returnees are three juniors in Bryan Damon (18-22) at 125, Kyle Krasavage (14-12) at 149 and Cory Damiana (14-21) at 184 and two sophomores in Bobby Fehr (4-18) at 165 and Omar Haddad (8-23) at 197,
The battle for starting spots begins when Hofstra holds its annual wrestle-offs on Thursday, November 3 at 7 p.m. at the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex.
Hofstra opens the 2016-17 regular season on Sunday, November 13 at the Jonathan Kaloust Bearcat Open at Binghamton (NY) University. The all-day event begins at 9 a.m.