Thursday, December 29, 2011
- by B.B. Branton
His goal was to be an NCAA wrestling champion and for Jon Sioredas the best place to be was with the Chattanooga Mocs.
After a stellar high school wrestling career at Great Bridge High School (Va.) as a state and national champion, he wrestled three years for the University of Missouri but needed a change of direction.
“Coming out of high school I wanted to attend a large university with a national caliber wrestling program, but discovered that that setting just wasn’t for me,” said Sioredas who is currently an assistant coach at Old Dominion University and will be in town this weekend with the ODU wrestlers for the Southern Scuffle at McKenzie Arena, Jan.1-2.
He transferred to Chattanooga from Missouri prior to the 2003-04 season and quickly became a force on the mat for the Mocs.
In his two years in the blue and gold singlet, Sioredas won two Southern Conference titles, was 2005 SoCon wrestler of the year and the 2005 SoCon tournament outstanding wrestler.
He also earned national Dean’s List
honors in the classroom and received national attention in the collegiate wrestling world with a win against a future national champ.
“I was able to beat John Hendricks (ranked No.2 nationally) in a dual match (Nov. 2004) on the road at Oklahoma State which was a big thrill and later I earned All-American honors.
“Wrestling for coach Terry Brands and assistant coach Heath Eslinger was exactly what I needed wrestling wise and academically,” Sioredas stated. “Having good coaches who provided great individual attention was a key to my overall college success.”
He capped off his senior year as a Moc by placing fifth at the 2005 NCAAs. His only two losses were to Hendricks, the eventual champion (a re-match from four months earlier), in the championship quarters and to 2004 NCAA champ Troy Letters (Lehigh) in the consolation semis.
Coaching at ODU: Today, as a Monarch assistant coach his goal is to prepare the wrestlers to become All-Americans and also to do well in in-season tournaments such as the Southern Scuffle.
“There are three big in-season tournaments and if you medal or win one of those tournaments it a key to being seeded at the NCAAs in March,” said Sioredas in reference to the Scuffle, the Midlands (Dec. 29-30 at Northwestern) and Reno’s Tournament of Champions (Dec. 17-18).
Old Dominion is led by Justin LaValle (141, 12-5), John Nicholson (157, 9-4) No.4 seed Te Edwards (174, 8-2) and Joe Budi (197, 9-3).
“I am excited about coming back to
Chattanooga and seeing some of my old teammates and of course wanting to see how our guys do against some of the best college wrestlers in the nation,” Sioredas stated.
Southern Scuffle – Quick Facts
Event: 2012 Southern Scuffle
City: Chattanooga, Tenn.
Arena: McKenzie Arena
Dates: Jan. 1-2, 2012
6 p.m. Jan. 2 - Championship finals will be streamed live through MocsVision on GoMocs.com.
Prices: each day - adults ($15), students under 18 ($5) ... all seats are general admission
Online - Bracket updates on GoMocs.com and finals stream via MocsVision.
Southern Scuffle Schedule
Jan.1 – doors open at 9 a.m. ... first matches – 10 a.m. …3 p.m. – round of 16 …
6:30 p.m. – quarterfinals
Jan. 2 – doors open at 8 p.m. … 11 a.m. – championship semis (consolation matches prior to and and during the semis) … 2:30 p.m. – medal matches for places 3rd thru 8th …
6 p.m. – championship finals – 1 mat
Stories and Features
Sunday – Christmas Day ... brackets are released in the morning
Mon. Dec. 26: U. of Virginia, the Chattanooga Connection
Heath Eslinger’s Top 10 Reasons to Attend the Southern Scuffle
Tues. Dec. 27: Oregon State; Jim Hagen vs. Chris Taylor re-told
Wed. Dec. 28: Penn State, Defending NCAA Champs
Thurs. Dec. 29: Old Dominion, former Moc Jon Sioredas
Friday: Dec. 30: Navy Coach, Bruce Burnett
contact B.B. Branton at firstname.lastname@example.org