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

 


Randy Smith: Some SEC Games To Watch This Fall

We're a month away from college football's opening weekend. While I'm still pondering my annual pre-season picks, I have noticed a few "must see" games in the SEC this season. And while I say "must see" games, they will all likely have serious implications as to how the final standings will shape up. September 3rd : Alabama vs Southern Cal in Arlington, Texas.  ... (click for more)

Former UTC Lineman Lott Signs With Raiders

  Former University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football student-athlete Derrick Lott signed with the NFL’s Oakland Raiders this week.  Lott played three seasons at UTC (2012-14) after transferring from Georgia.    Lott signed with the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted free agent in 2015, but eventually spent the season on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ practice ... (click for more)

Nashville Man Arrested By TBI For Trafficking 12-Year-Old Texas Girl For Sex

Special Agents in the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Human Trafficking Unit, working alongside local and federal partners, have arrested and charged a Nashville man accused of trafficking a 12-year-old from Texas for the purposes of commercial sex. On Friday evening, the TBI received information from the U.S. Marshals Service about the possible whereabouts of a Texas ... (click for more)

Michael Ford Sentenced To More Than 13 Years In Prison On Drug Charges

Michael Shawn Ford has been sentenced to 13 and a half years in prison on drug charges. On April 20, 2105, Ford was arrested at his house in East Ridge. Police found him hiding in the closet with a laundry bag which contained a loaded pistol and 7.9 grams of crystal meth. Officers said that two backpacks were found in the same bedroom, one with 257.3 grams of crystal meth ... (click for more)

Olympic Events On The Ocoee River Made History – But It Wasn’t Easy

It started with a simple “what if” question while Atlanta officials were working on a bid to host the 1996 Summer Olympic Games.  A group of amateur kayakers from the city began asking themselves: “What if Atlanta’s bid is successful? Then where would the Olympic whitewater canoe and kayak races be held?”  To some of the members of that group, the answer was obvious. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Today’s Offensive Word

A respected Knoxville business owner, Lois McGinnis, called the classifieds desk at the Knoxville News-Sentinel on Tuesday and politely asked to place an ad she wanted to appear on Thursday: “Store closing sale – Cedar Springs Christian Store –Clinton Highway location. All merchandise, fixtures, slat walls must go. Sale through August 13, phone 865-XXX-XXXX.” But on Thursday ... (click for more)