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Wrestling to Host Rider at the RAC in 2018

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The Two Jersey Programs will meet Dec. 15th

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Nick Suriano wrestles Gerald Wert at the NCAA Championships.
Roy DeBoer

For the first time in six years, Rutgers will wrestle Rider University for an in state showdown during the 2018-19 season.

The Scarlet Knights will take on the Broncs on December 15th at the RAC. According to a report by James Kratch of NJ Advanced Media, confirmed by the Athletic Department, the start time of the meet is TBD due to the Rutgers Women’s Basketball team playing LSU on the same day.

In what is already a fantastic schedule, the addition of Rider to the RAC is a move that will surely fire up the New Jersey wrestling community. Rutgers and Rider have not met since 2012 after meeting every year from 2000 to 2012.

While future meetings are still up in the air, expect this matchup to be a home and home series, with Rider hosting in 2019-20.

Since both programs have risen to national prominence, notably Rutgers with multiple All-Americans and a National finalist in Nick Suriano in recent seasons, this a matchup full of Jersey talent. Although Rider leads the overall series 12-7, Rutgers has won the last five meetings including a 25-5 victory in December of 2012.

Rider, most notably had former All-American’s Chad Walsh and B.J. Clagon, both NJ recruits on their roster. They have since graduated but the Broncs have had a knack for keeping some top talent away from the Scarlet Knights.

Rutgers did try and work out a match with Rider earlier in the year at the Prudential Center in lieu of an outdoor match this season. That event would have been dubbed a ‘showcase’ and potentially would have included Ohio State, but fell through.

Like with Princeton, this matchup will be for New Jersey wrestling supremacy.

Scarlet Knight fans and New Jersey wrestling fans are going to be ecstatic for a Rutgers-Rider showdown but there are some other highlights on the 2018-19 schedule for Scott Goodale and co.

Newly returned Fresno State is coming to the RAC early in the season and could be the first match. Fresno State was rated in the top five in attendance last season in their first season back as a Division One program. It may be a long trip form west to east, but keep an eye out for Bulldog fans in Piscataway come November.

Rutgers will take a dip into the Cliff Kean Invitational in Las Vegas rather than Midlands this season. This will be the first time the Scarlet Knights attend the tournament since 2013. Goodale also would not rule out sending a few individuals to compete at Midlands.

With no Ohio State or Penn State on the dual meet schedule, this could be a chance for the Scarlet Knights to pair a few individuals with wrestlers from those respective schools should they meet up in the brackets. The Buckeyes nor the Nittany Lions send their full varsity lineups to Midlands. A fan can look at this way too: the premier midwest programs usually go to Midlands mixed in with some others while premier programs from anywhere make their way out Las Vegas. Anybody want to see a John Van Brill vs. Jason Nolf rematch? Or a possible Anthony Ashnault vs. Micah Jordan matchup?

There will be a road trip to North Carolina and Duke this season. This will likely be a weekend trip wrestled on a Friday and Sunday later in the season. Rutgers defeated North Carolina 18-17 on criteria back in January.

In addition to wrestling in the toughest conference in the country, Rutgers has made it a point to strengthen their non-conference schedule, which leads to...

January 13, 2019. Remember that date because legendary program Oklahoma State comes to Piscataway for the first time. In what is sure to be a sold out RAC, Rutgers might have a good shot to knock off one of the premier programs in the country.

Should the Scarlet Knights improve upon 11th place overall at the NCAA Tournament in 2018, they can thank a loaded Big Ten schedule, a top tournament in Las Vegas and a stacked non-conference schedule for the preparation.

Rutgers fans rejoice! The official Wrestling schedule is expected to be released later in the Summer.