UTC's Eslinger Points to Friday Night Wrestling Opener

Iowa, Virginia , Cumberland at Maclellan Gym

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - by B.B. Branton

"To be able to wrestle against Iowa in Maclellan Gym Friday night is comparable to the football team playing Alabama at Finley Stadium or the Mocs basketball team playing Kentucky at McKenzie Arena.  Iowa wrestling is that big ... maybe bigger. "

---- Heath Eslinger, UTC wrestling coach

 

 UTC wrestling coach Heath Eslinger is a visionary and a pro-active kind of guy.

 First he brings the nationally-known Southern Scuffle to McKenzie Arena this past New Year’s Day.

And this Friday he has convinced Iowa and Virginia – a pair of nationally-ranked team – plus Cumberland University for an afternoon and evening of wrestling at Maclellan Gym.

“To wrestle Iowa in our gym is the ultimate,” said Eslinger at Monday’s Chattanooga Quarterback Club. “They are wrestling’s version of Alabama football and Kentucky basketball.”

Iowa is ranked second in the nation and has five returning All-Americans, including two-time national champion in Matt McDonough (125).

Virginia is No.16 and led by All-American Derek Valenti (149) and NCAA qualifier Joe Spisak (133).

“UTC has never had an NCAA Division I national champion, but I think our Nick Soto at 125 is on that path,” stated Eslinger.

“He faces McDonough Friday night at 7 p.m. in Big Mac and I am excited to see how he does.’'

Eslinger illustrated his point on how big wrestling is in Iowa.

“The Lady Vols under Pat Summitt won eight NCAA titles which was a great accomplishment. Iowa has won 23 in wrestling.”

Friday’s Schedule - Maclellan Gym  UTC campus

 2 p.m.  Virginia vs. Cumberland

 3:30 p.m. -  Iowa vs. Cumberland (a kids club match on adjacent mat)

 5 p.m. – UTC vs. Cumberland … No.2 Iowa vs. No. 16 Virginia

7 p.m. – UTC vs. No. 2 Iowa

 Tickets:  Adults- $5  Students - $2  UTC Students – Free with ID

“During the Jim Morgan Era of the 1970s the wrestling Mocs drew big crowds at Maclellan Gym and we are hoping for a large turnout on Friday for our home opener,” Eslinger said.

Developing a Great Era: “Anyone can have a great year, but we want to develop our great era. Iowa, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State have done that.”

Shine at the NCAAs: “Winning conference titles is nice, but to be recognized on the big stage with the elite programs we have to have success at the NCAA tournament,” said Eslinger. “That is how you are measured as an individual and a program.”

For UTC, the measuring begins Friday night at 7 p.m.

contact B.B. Branton at wiliam.branton@comcast.net

 


PHOTOS: DecoTurf High School Tennis Championship

McCallie School fielded three teams  Friday  morning against MICDS of St. Louis, MO. during the doubles competition at the  DecoTurf High School Tennis Championship played at Baylor School. (click for more)

Randy Smith: When Baseball Was King

I came across an interesting television program while channel surfing last night. It was a documentary about George Herman "Babe" Ruth; the man still considered to be the greatest baseball player who ever lived. Even though I already knew most of this story, I still marveled at the way Babe played the game....back when Baseball was King. As you likely already know, Babe started ... (click for more)

Robber Who Was Shot At Rossville Boulevard Car Lot Dies; No Charges To Be Filed

Police said a person who was shot during a robbery attempt at a car lot at 4314 Rossville Blvd. around 1:50 p.m. on Thursday has died. Police said the shooting has been ruled a "justifiable homicide" and no charges will be brought against 27-year-old Alan Miller. The shooting in which the robbery victim shot the suspect was at Miller Auto Sales. (click for more)

Man Charged In Shooting On Sixth Avenue Had Been Shot Himself Last Week; Police Say Incident "Part Of Gang War"

A man charged with attempted first-degree murder on Sixth Avenue Court on Thursday afternoon was shot himself earlier this month. O'Shae Kadaris Smith, 20, of 2114 E. 12th St., is also charged with reckless endangerment, aggravated assault and possessing a firearm during the commission of a crime. He was one of two people shot on Rawlings Street on March 16. Kendre Allen, ... (click for more)

The Problems With Prescription Drug Addiction - And Response

In Tennessee today, we have a major problem with prescription drug addiction, particularly when powerful opioid pain relievers are concerned.    For the first time in 2012, Tennesseans abused prescription opioid drugs more than alcohol.  Our young people ages 18-25 abuse prescription opioids at a 30 percent higher rate than the national average.  In just five ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Hillman Of Bihar

In the year of our Lord, 1927, there was a very poor child born to a very poor family in a very poor place. His name was Dasrath Manjhi and he was a native of the Musahar community somewhere in India. We know he had no education and, as a member of the lowest Hindu scheduled castes, he didn’t have a cut dog’s chance from the very get go. But after spending considerable time in ... (click for more)