The University of Northern Iowa’s wrestling squad will take to the mat for the first time this year at the Central Missouri Open in Warrensburg, Missouri this Sunday.

The Panthers will be the only Division I team that will take the majority of their squad; the only other Division I team squad that will send anybody is Illinois, who are sending three wrestlers.

UNI looks to finally wrestle somebody other than themselves after a long summer. The Panthers had an intra-squad scrimmage last Saturday, with the wrestlers being asked to make weight for the first time, but this will be the first time since last March that some of them have wrestled someone unfamiliar.

“It’s been a long training period,” Head Coach Doug Schwab said at media day earlier this week. “This week we finally get to grab a hold of somebody else. We’ve had a good spring, summer and fall, and I know our guys are excited to get back out there and compete.”

The Central Missouri Mules, a NCAA Division II team, return two All-Americans from last years squad, including National Champion Frank Cagnina at 149 pounds. He finished last year on a 29 match win streak and he’ll look for that to continue. The Mules also return Ty Loethen, another All-American from last year at 165. Loethen took 8th at nationals last year.

Last year team scores were not kept for the CMU Open, but the Panthers would be the overwhelming favorite if they were. They’re also looking to settle some battles at 141, 174, and 197. As Coach Schwab said on media day, he wants someone to, “Grab it (the starting spot) by the throat and be the guy.”

As of November 14th we’re still not sure who the wrestlers are from the other schools that are attending, but you can follow along this Sunday on, and we’ll have a full recap of the action.

Below you can find a list of schools participating, and the number of wrestlers they’re bringing as of today.

  1. Cumberland (Tenn.) University, TN (12)
  2. Ellsworth Community College, IA (0)
  3. Fort Hays State University, KS (1)
  4. Iowa Western Community College, IA (21)
  5. Labette Community College, KS (0)
  6. Lindenwood (MO) University, MO (22)
  7. Lindenwood – Belleville (Ill), IL (15)
  8. Maryville University, MO (0)
  9. McKendree University , IL (31)
  10. Missouri Baptist University, MO (1)
  11. Missouri State University, MO (1)
  12. Missouri Valley College, MO (0)
  13. Northeast Oklahoma A&M Community College, OK (0)
  14. Oklahoma City University, OK (19)
  15. Pratt Community College, KS (0)
  16. United States Air Force Academy Prep, CO (0)
  17. University of Central Missouri, MO (26)
  18. University of Illinois, IL (3)
  19. University of Iowa, IA (0)
  20. University of Missouri, MO (0)
  21. University of Northern Iowa, IA (29)
  22. University of Oklahoma, OK (0)