Franklin & Marshall will start its stretch run with a pair of weekend duals starting with Campbell on Friday evening, and concluding at Sacred Heart on Super Bowl Sunday. The Diplomats (0-8) are 3-2 in matches against Campbell and 1-2 against Sacred Heart. F&M will head into Friday night's match with some holes in the lineup, but the pieces should start working back into the puzzle on Sunday.
Members of the F&M roster have faced seven Campbell wrestlers in their careers and hold a combined 6-1 mark against the Camels. No one on the F&M roster was around the last time F&M squared off with the Camels, but a few wrestlers have bumped heads in tournaments this season.
The Diplomats 174-pounder, Matt Fullowan (18-11), squeaked out a 3-2 decision over Peter Comis at this year's Navy Classic. Fullowan is 2-0 lifetime against Campbell wrestlers. Heavyweights Dan Canfield (9-14) and Parker Burns also collided at Navy with Burns edging F&M's big man, 3-1. Both of those matches should be repeated Friday night at Mayser.
Anthony Bongarzone (10-14), Fullowan, and Colin Ely (13-3) were all on the roster the last time F&M faced Sacred Heart in a dual. The Pioneers took the meet 28-15, but the trio of Diplomats all came up winners for F&M. Bongarzone faced Jon Rizzatello at the Shorty Hitchcock Invitational and earned a 2-0 win. It was the second time he had defeated the Pioneer in his career. F&M's current crop of wrestlers are 5-1 against Sacred Heart. Kenny Knapp (7-6) suffered a 6-4 defeat to Justin Belanger in the 141-pound draw at the Wilkes Open.
Jake Bucha will head into the weekend two wins away from 25 on the season. At 23-4, he needs seven victories to become only the fourth Diplomat wrestler to post a 30-win campaign. It would be the fifth 30-win season in the program's history.
Wrestling gets underway at Mayser Center at 8:00 p.m. Firday. GoDiplomats.com will have the coverage live and archived, free of charge.