GREENWOOD – Lander wrestling will compete on 17 dates during its inaugural 2019-20 season, including five in Finis Horne Arena.
"We are extremely excited for the first wrestling season in Lander University history," said head coach RC LaHaye. "I feel like we have put together a schedule that will allow us to grow as a program and really hit the ground running."
The Bearcats will hold the first match in Horne Arena on Dec. 7 against Mount Olive, followed four days later with action against Keiser and Truett McConnell.
King and Emmanuel visit Greenwood on Jan. 24, followed by UNC Pembroke (Feb. 5) and Newberry (Feb. 20) Lander's road tests will come at Belmont Abbey (Dec. 19), Kentucky Wesleyan (Jan. 9), Limestone (Jan. 17), Coker (Jan. 19), and Queens (Feb. 19).
Six tournaments are featured on the schedule. Lander's first wrestling competition in school history will come on Nov. 2 in the Georgia Open. One week later, the Bearcats head to Pembroke for the UNCP Classic. The month concludes with the King Open on Nov. 24. Lander makes its longest trip of the season on Dec. 14-15 for the Midwest Classic and participates in the NWCA Collegiate Open on Jan. 10. The final tournament of the regular season is the Newberry Open on Feb. 9.
"We scheduled a few more tournaments this year than normal," said LaHaye. "With so many freshman on the roster, the idea is to get them as much mat time as possible in the first season and really try to develop them quickly."
The Bearcats will compete in the NCAA Super Region II Championships on Feb. 29 in Pembroke, N.C. The NCAA Division II National Championships will be held in Sioux Falls, S.D., on Mar. 13-14.
Lander's squad was recently tabbed as the No. 9 recruiting class in the Division II ranks by The Open Mat. The Bearcats' roster will feature 28 combined high school state titles and 10 high school All-American honors.