Cultural Exchange Update #1

Cultural Exchange Workout

The team at The Edge in Hoboken, New Jersey before the trip


The trip so far has been great. We drove from Whitewater to Hoboken, NJ. We picked up another wrestler in Ohio along the way. When we arrived in NJ we worked out at Edge Wrestling Facility, the owner Jeff Marsh was an amazing host. He let us stay there over night so we wouldn’t have to pay for a hotel. After practice we went into NYC and we saw Madison Square Garden, Time Square, The Freedom Tower, and The Empire State Building. The next morning we left to take 2 buses to JFK and now we are waiting to fly to Paris and then Sofia, Bulgaria. – Corey Meyer, UW-Whitewater

The team had a great training session last night at an incredible wrestling complex in Hoboken , NJ. The Edge wrestling facility is amazing and CEO Jeff Marsh was more than hospitable. He’s a first class guy running a Top Notch Training Center. The team is made up of 19 coaches/Wrestlers from Eight different colleges . The guys are excited as are the coaches. Getting ready to board the plane for Paris so I have to go!! – Bill Racich, Head Coach, Ursinus College

We are actually getting ready to board the plane. The guys look relaxed and ready to go…This trip should be a great experience for both the athletes and the coaches. We are looking forward to the journey – Pat Curry, Assistant Coach, Ursinus College


We left Monday from Whitewater Wisconsin making the long 18 hour trip and finally making it to New Jersey. We were able to stay at the Edge wrestling facility where we got to get a practice in and spend the night. After our practice we got on a train and headed to New York and checked out Times Square, Madison square garden and the Freedom Tower. Being the first time I have ever been in New York it was a new experience, definitely not used to all of the people but it is a place that everyone needs to experience at least once in their lifetime. We then headed back to the Edge facility to get some sleep. Now we are sitting at the JFK airport waiting to board the plane for the 8 hour flight to Paris, then make the 3 hour flight to Bulgaria. Here we go! – TJ Decker, UW-Whitewater

We flew out of JFK at 4:25 to start of very long travel process arriving in Paris at 6am their time. Then finally making it to Sofia, Bulgaria at 2:30. Our plane was greeted by armed border patrol and local police to bring a man out of the plane in handcuffs, it was really weird and very eye opening. They live a lot simpler of a lifestyle in Bulgaria and their definition of 4 star is worlds different than ours. I immediately gained a greater appreciation for where I live and thankful for what I have. we jumped right into our first workout with practices being a lot slower and extremely technical. As a warmup we played basketball, but not our version there were no fouls in this game. and we got destroyed by the locals! Learning 5-point throws twenty minutes into practice was eye opening for the kids that never wrestled freestyle before. Overall our first day was awesome in Bulgaria and can’t wait for the rest of the trip! Today we head to the mountains to train and compete against the French and Bulgarian teams. – Ryne Morrison, Ursinus College

Yesterday we had our first practice in Bulgaria at one of the countries oldest training centers. Their teams outlook on wrestling has already been eye opening. The Bulgarians have a relaxed, and open approach to the sport and as a result their techniques are clean and original. it was plain to see that the bulgarians not only love the sport but truly enjoy it. Their warm up was a hybrid of traditional wrestling drills and circus moves including a three person wheel barrow tower, and a move where you surf on your partners back as he crawls across the mat. During our training the team was warm and receptive to us. After training we headed back the hotel for a Bulgarian feast which included but was not limited to a mountain of potatoes and a half chicken for each wrestler. – Connor Keating, Assistant Coach, Norwich University

Traveled to Bansko on day 2 for a training session with the French and Bulgarian Junior National Teams. Arrived at the Hotel Olymp. Nice clean facility, and they turned their exercise room into a double mat room. Solid training session, and we were able to venture out on the town. The townsfolks were very nice, and the snow capped mountains were a beautiful backdrop (we are scoping out the mountain tops on Saturday). – Josh Mangle, Assistant Coach, Ursinus College


Yesterday was our second day in Bulgaria, and it was also the first day of competition. Most of the guys got two or three matches against top level competition. The Bulgarian and French National teams where very nice and willing to wrestle anyone that wanted to get another match in, but man were they tough! Many of us wrestled world medalist and European champions. At night after competition one of the locals showed us around the town. All of us guys got to go see the shops and the restaurants. Seeing the town gave us some time to just sit down and enjoy the beautiful country we are training in. Bulgaria is great so far, on to day three! – Alec Noa, Lakeland College

Today was a great day for Division III wrestling as our athletes won seven bouts against future Olympians from Bulgaria & France. All Americans Cedric Gibson, Anthony Egdten (UWW) & Colin Lenhardt (JWU) led the way with big wins over Bulgaria’s future stars followed by Messiah’s Kaleb Loht & Ursinus College’s Eli Gaylor grinding out big wins. The competition level was world class in a fantastic wrestling venue and all of our athletes fought hard and made a name for themselves. Following the competition, World renowned George Kalchev spoke with our team congratulating them on their performance. Kalchev and the other international opponents were openly impressed and demonstrated a level of respect with the quality of our D3 wrestlers. – Bill Racich, Head Coach, Ursinus College

Results vs Bulgarian national team. They are competing in the European championships in two weeks. We wrestled in the basement of a mountain resort hotel. Cool!! The officiating here makes me feel like this isn’t the sport of wrestling….. – Tim Fader, Head Coach, UW-Whitewater

Alec Noa, Lakeland 0-3
Ryne Morrison, Ursinus 0-1
Kaleb Loht, Messiah 1-1
Colin Lenhardt, Johnson & Wales 1-1
Connor Keating, Whitewater 0-2
Maxx Hubbard, Whitewater 0-2
Eli Gaylor, Ursinus 1-1
Cedric Gibson, Whitewater 2-1
Matt Adcock, Whitewater 0-2
Corey Meyer, Whitewater 0-2
Anthony Edgren, Whitewater 1-1
Philip Landis, Elizabethtown 0-2
Damon Cheek, Heidelberg 0-2
TJ Decker, Whitewater 0-2

The trip for me is going very well so far! The plane ride and the driving has all been a great but very long experience for me. We trained really hard the first day here in Sofia. We played a very intense game of basketball with the Bulgarians and learned a hand full of throws and turns on top by George. The second day we traveled to Bansko where the Bulgaria’s Olympic training center is held! There we had a very intense but technical practice and ended the day with competition against the junior national team (France and Bulgaria). Our USA team did very well on our feet with most of our guys taking the France and Bulgarian down at well, we just got points scored on the bottom position, but hey we all have another 5-6 days to improve on that position. We also stop to see the Bulgarian monastery, great and humble experience to enjoy and see the Bulgarian religions, beliefs, norms and culture. Well that’s all for now. The USA team will continue to train hard and improve in the position we need to! Remember only one way to the top (WORK)!! – Cedric Gibson, Whitewater