Virginia Wrestling Comes to Maclellan Gym Friday

No.4 Iowa, No.17 Virginia and Cumberland in Town

Thursday, November 15, 2012 - by B.B. Branton

Chattanooga and University of Virginia wrestling have been connected for 50 years and when the current Cavalier team arrives in Maclellan Gym Friday afternoon for two dual matches several Scenic City natives who wore the UVa singlet back in the day will be on hand.

The 1960s and 70s McCallie-Baylor connection includes the Moore brothers (Tom, Ted nd Chris), the Boehm brothers (Jeff, Peter and Paul), John McCall, Alex Wells, Jack McGauley and Schaak Van Deusen, plus Lance Schaffer from City High School.

The current Chattanooga connection has former Cornell NCAA champion Jordan Leen as an assistant coach and freshman Zach Watson who is redshirting this season, but plans to wrestle unattached in the Southern Scuffle Jan. 1-2 in McKenzie Arena. Leen was a four-time state champion at Baylor School, while Watson won five titles for the Red Raiders.

Iowa vs. UVA: In one of two marquee matches of the day, No. 17 Virginia (5-0) faces No.4 Iowa (0-0) at 5 p.m. after UVa wrestles No. 18 (NAIA) Cumberland University (Tenn.) at 2.

At 3:30 p.m., Iowa takes on Cumberland, while at 5 p.m., UTC and Cumberland go at it.

Finale: Iowa caps off the night with a match against host UTC at 7.

Tickets: General Admission … Adults: $5 Students: $2   UTC Students:free with ID

“The Iowa match is without a doubt a big match for them and us,” said UVa coach Steve Garland. “We need this type of match to see where we stand.

“I think we are poised to do some special things this season.”

Nationally-Ranked Wrestlers: UVa has seven wrestlers ranked in the top 20 in their weight class, while Iowa has eight.

Marquee Match: No better way to start the match than to have Iowa’s two-time NCAA champion Matt McDonough against UVa’s No.5 Matt Snyder at 125.

The fireworks continue at 133 as UVa’s undefeated true freshman George DiCamillo (9-0) takes on No.3 Tony Ramos.

UVa could have the upper hand at 149 as No.10 All-American Derek Valenti goes against Iowa freshman Brody Grothus.

Iowa Has Two, No.1 Guys: The Hawkeyes have eight of their 10 wrestlers ranked 14th or better, including No.1 McDonough (125) and No.1 Derek St. John (157). St. John was NCAA runner-up in 2012.

Coach Garland on UTC:  “(UTC coaches) Heath, Rocco, Jon and Mike are great leaders of the UTC program and are doing a phenomenal job. They are good guys and myself and other coaches want to see them succeed.”

Coach Garland on Zach Watson: “Zach is doing a great job in the wrestling room and in the classroom (3.7) GPA. He will redshirt this year and wrestle in several open tournaments including the Southern Scuffle.

“Zach is a great young man and he is the type of wrestler we want to form the future of our program.”

contact B.B. Branton at


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