UTC Hosts Southern Scuffle Tuesday, Wednesday

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling team is set to host the 2013 Southern Scuffle, presented by Defense Soap. The Southern Scuffle takes place in Chattanooga's McKenzie Arena on Jan. 1-2 and features some of the top wrestlers in the nation.

Gates open at 9:00 a.m. (E.D.T.) on Tuesday, Jan. 1 with action beginning at 10:00 a.m. There are a total of seven NCAA Champions, 10 NCAA Finalists and 20 All-Americans scheduled to suit up for the Scuffle.

There are 23 teams making the trip to the Scenic City, including five of the top 10 programs in the Dec. 18 USA Today/NWCA/AWN Division I Coaches Poll. Seven top-25 teams, including No. 1 Penn State, No. 2 Oklahoma State, No. 3 Minnesota, No. 6 Missouri, No. 8 Cornell, No. 11 Virginia Tech and No. 20 Virginia, will be competing at the Scuffle.

Other teams include the Mocs, Air Force, American, Appalachian State, Arizona State, Army, Campbell, Cleveland State, Duke, Navy, NC State, North Carolina, Northern Colorado, Ohio, South Dakota State and The Citadel.

DEFENSE SOAP WANTS YOU TO PROTECT WHAT YOU HAVE BUILT. The Defense Soap line of products are created specifically with combat athletes in mind. To find out more about Defense Soap's line of products visit www.defensesoap.com. Defense Soap is proud to be a Presenting Partner of the 2013 Southern Scuffle!

Tuesday, January 1st
9:00 a.m. - Doors open for spectators
10:00 a.m. - Pigtails & 32-man Championship
1:00 p.m. - Pigtails & 1st Round Consolations
3:30 p.m. - Round of 16
5:00 p.m. - 2nd Round Consolations
6:30 p.m. - Championship Quarterfinals & 3rd Round Consolations

Wednesday, January 2nd
8:00 a.m. - Doors open for spectators
9:00 a.m. - 4th Round Consolation
11:00 a.m. - Semifinals & Consolation Quarterfinals
1:00 p.m. - Consolation Semifinals
6:00 p.m. - Finals & Medal Matches

Tickets are on sale now at the McKenzie Arena Box Office at (423) 266-MOCS (6627) or online atGoMocs.com. Tickets are $5 per day for youth and $15 per day for adults.

UTC and Flowrestling.org have partnered to bring extensive live coverage of the 2013 Southern Scuffle, presented by Defense Soap. The tournament takes place in Chattanooga's McKenzie Arena on Jan. 1-2, featuring 23 teams and over 300 of the top collegiate wrestlers in the country.

The broadcast is available to all Flowrestling Tech Wave members. Subscriptions can be purchased on an annual basis for $150 ($12.50/month). Fans wanting to see just the Southern Scuffle can purchase a monthly subscription for $20. Links to sign up for the live stream are available on the wrestling schedule page on GoMocs.com.

Live scoring of each match, along with constantly updated brackets will be available on TrackWrestling.com throughout the tournament. Links for TrackWrestling.com's coverage are on GoMocs.com's wrestling schedule page.

125: No. 7Nick Soto (So. - 13-3)
133: Marvin Lopez (Fr. - 7-7)/Alex Ward (Fr. - 1-1)
141: Dean Pavlou (Sr. - 12-6)/Jacob Akins (Fr. - 0-4)/Austin Woods (Fr. - 3-4)
149: Jared Presley (4-6)/Parker Smith (Fr. - 2-4)
157: Trey Stavrum (So. - 7-8)
165: Josh Condon (Sr. - 0-2)/John Lampe (Fr. - 8-7)
174: Jake Young (Jr. - 5-7)/Sean Mappes (Fr. - 4-2)
184: Robert Prigmore (Sr. - 5-7)/John Shrader (Fr. - 4-5)/Clay Dent (Fr. - 1-4)/T.J. Holmes (Fr. - 3-3)
197: No. 16 Niko Brown (Sr. - 17-1)
285: Kevin Malone (So. - 6-5)

The Mocs are 4-4 on the year with wins over Ohio (21-12), Anderson (37-6), Cumberland (49-0) and Princeton (27-10). Three of the four losses have come against ranked teams in No. 16 Virginia (9-26), No. 2 Iowa (6-37) and No. 2 Oklahoma State (9-41).

Be sure to use the hashtag#LetsScuffle when tweeting about the Southern Scuffle. Follow @GoMocs and @UTCWrestling for the most up-to-date information on the 2012 Southern Scuffle.


  • This is the 10th year of the Southern Scuffle. It was held in Greensboro, N.C. from 2003-10 and moved to Chattanooga last year.
  • Records do not show a Southern Scuffle in 2011, but the event did not skip a season. The 2010 tournament was held in late December while the 2012 event was Jan. 1-2.
  • Only four different teams have won the Southern Scuffle, including Cornell (2008, 2009 & 2010 (tie)), Minnesota (2004, 2005 & 2007), Missouri (2003 & 2006) and Penn State (2010 (tie) & 2012).
  • There are seven former Southern Scuffle Individual Champions in the field, including Cornell's Kyle Dake ('12-157, '10-149, '09-141), Minnesota's Chris Dardanes (133) and Tony Nelson (285), Missouri's Brent Hayes (197) and Penn State's David Taylor ('12-165, '10-157), Ed Ruth ('10 & '12-174) and Quentin Wright ('12-184).
  • There are seven NCAA Champions also in the field, including Cornell's Steven Bosak (184) and Kyle Dake ('12-157, '11-149, '10 141), Minnesota's Tony Nelson (285), Oklahoma State's Jordan Oliver (141) and Penn State's Ed Ruth (174), David Taylor (165) and Quentin Wright ('11-184).
  • There are two weight classes that feature a pair of NCAA Champions and could shape up to be the marquee matches of the collegiate season to date. Penn State junior David Taylor and Cornell senior Kyle Dake are both competing at 165. Taylor went undefeated at 165 last season, winning the NCAA title. Dake has won three NCAA Championships in three different weight classes, including last year's title at 157. Penn State junior Ed Ruth and Cornell senior Steve Bosak are both competing at 184. Bosak won the NCAA Championship at 184 last season. Ruth has moved up after claiming the 174 national crown in 2012.

All totaled, there are 24 All-Americans, 10 NCAA finalists and 31 Southern Scuffle placers in this year's field. The following is a breakdown of those accolades by weight:

Nico Megaludis, Penn State (NCAA Finalist, Scuffle 4th)
Matt Snyder, Virginia (Scuffle 5th)
Nick Soto, Chattanooga (Scuffle 2nd)
David Thorn, Minnesota (Scuffle 3rd)
Allan Waters, Missouri (Scuffle 2nd)

Nick Arujau, Cornell (Scuffle 5th)
Chris Dardanes, Minnesota (All-American, Scuffle 1st)
Nick Flannery, Cleveland State (Scuffle 7th)

Nick Hucke, Missouri (Scuffle 4th)
Mike Nevinger, Cornell (All-American, Scuffle 7th)
Jordan Oliver, Oklahoma State (2011 NCAA Champion, 2012 NCAA Finalist, 2010 All-American)

Drake Houdashelt, Missouri (Scuffle 3rd)
Dylan Ness, Minnesota (NCAA Finalist, Scuffle 2nd)
Dean Pavlou, Chattanooga (Scuffle 6th)
Derek Valenti, Virginia (All-American)
Chris Villalonga, Cornell (Scuffle 5th)

Dylan Alton, Penn State (All-American, Scuffle 2nd)
Kyle Bradley, Missouri (Scuffle 4th)
Craig Eifert, Cornell (Scuffle 8th)
Jedd Moore, Virginia (Scuffle 7th)

Tyler Caldwell, Oklahoma State (2011 NCAA Finalist, 2010 All-American)
Kyle Dake, Cornell (Three-Time NCAA Champion, Three-time Scuffle Champion)
Nick Sulzer, Virginia (Scuffle 5th)
David Taylor, Penn State (2012 NCAA Champion, 2011 NCAA Finalist, 2-Time Scuffle Champion)
Zach Toal, Missouri (Scuffle 6th)
Peter Yates, Virginia Tech (All-American)
Cody Yohn, Minnesota (Scuffle 2nd)

Matt Brown, Penn State (Scuffle 2nd)
Turtogtokh Luvsandorj, Citadel (Scuffle 6th)
Marshall Peppelman, Cornell (Scuffle 7th)
Chris Perry, Oklahoma State (All-American)
Logan Storley, Minnesota (All-American, Scuffle 3rd)

Steve Bosak, Cornell (NCAA Champion, 2011 All-American, Scuffle 2nd)
Mike Larson, Missouri (Scuffle 7th)
Ed Ruth, Penn State (NCAA Champion, 2011 All-American, 2-Time Scuffle Champion)
Kevin Steinhaus, Minnesota (2-Time All-American, Scuffle 3rd)

Niko Brown, Chattanooga (Scuffle 7th)
Brent Haynes, Missouri (Scuffle Champion)
Scott Schiller, Minnesota (Scuffle 5th)
Quinten Wright, Penn State (2012 NCAA Finalist, 2011 NCAA Champion, 2009 All-American, 2011 Scuffle Champion)

Tony Nelson, Minnesota (NCAA Champion, 2011 All-American, Scuffle Champion)
Dom Bradley, Missouri (2011 All-American)
Alan Gelogaev, Oklahoma State (2010 All-American)
Jeremy Johnson, Ohio (All-American, Scuffle 5th)
Levi Cooper, Arizona State (2011 All-American)

SophomoreNick Soto was the SoCon Student-Athlete of the Week for December 19. He carries a 3.68 g.p.a. as a Business major and went 3-0 in dual matches against Princeton, Rutgers and No. 2 Oklahoma State.

SophomoreNick Soto is No. 7 in the WIN top-20 at 125 pounds. He also checks in at No. 9 according to Intermat and No. 10 in the AWN top-20. Soto is 13-3 overall with a 6-2 mark in dual matches. He finished second at the Wolfpack Open and won the Hokie Open earlier in the year. Senior Niko Brown is No. 16 in this week's AWN top-20 at 197 pounds. He is currently 17-1 overall and undefeated in dual matches at 7-0.

Brown Named SoCon Wrestler of the Month
SeniorNiko Brown was named the SoCon Wrestler of the Month for November. Brown opened the season with a 14-1 record in November, including a 5-0 mark in dual meets. He turned in five pins at the 197-pound weight class in his first month of action. He finished third at the Hokie Open and won the Wolfpack Open.

SeniorNiko Brown was named the SoCon Wrestler of the Week after winning the 197-pound title at the Wolfpack Open on Nov. 11. It is the second weekly honor of his career.

SophomoreNick Soto was the SoCon Wrestler of the Week after going 6-1 in the opening weekend (Nov. 3-4). He won the 125-pound title at the Hokie Open, posting a 10-9 win over No. 6 Jarrod Garnett of Virginia Tech in the finals on Sunday. His only loss was to No. 9 Matthew Snyder in a dual match with Virginia on Saturday. It is the third weekly honor for Soto in his career.

The Mocs are set to host "Legends Weekend" Jan. 26-27. All former wrestlers, trainers, managers and coaches are invited to take part in the two-day event. There is a private reception at the Chattanooga Marriott on Saturday, Jan. 26 from 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. All retuning alumni will be honored during the Mocs match with The Citadel on Sunday, Jan. 27 at 2:00 p.m. in Maclellan Gym. Check out the letter and registration form on the sidebar of the wrestling page on GoMocs.com for more details or to sign up for the event.

The Mocs were selected as the preseason favorite to win the Southern Conference title by the league's coaches. UTC has won 28 SoCon titles since joining the league in 1978. Head coach Heath Eslinger's squad claimed the tournament crown in 2012, received four of eight first-place votes and 46 points overall, narrowly edging The Citadel.

Head coachHeath Eslinger's squad boasts three members on the preseason All-SoCon team. After winning the 2012 title at 133 pounds, sophomoreNick Soto (Spring Hill, Fla.) will drop down to 125 and was the preseason selection there. SeniorDean Pavlou (Cleveland, Tenn.), a two-time SoCon champion at 149, is the preseason pick at 141 this year. SeniorNiko Brown (Kissimmee, Fla.) earned the selection at 197.

Kevin Cooper and Michael Pongracz both recently inked their NLIs in the early signing period and will join the Mocs in the fall of 2013. Cooper, a native of Morning View, Ky., is a two-time state champion at Simon Kenton High School and is expected to compete at 157 pounds on the collegiate level. He went 68-0 as a junior and is currently ranked in the top-20 at 145 by InterMat. Pongracz hails from Milford, N.J., where he is a senior at Delaware Valley High School. He finished fifth in the New Jersey State Championships, posting a 38-4 overall record as a junior in 2012. He is expected to compete at 133 pounds at the collegiate level.

The UTC wrestling team recorded the nation's 13th highest grade-point-average for the 2011-12 season according to the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA). The Mocs posted a 3.15 g.p.a. among its starters and top reserves in 2011-12.

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