Moc Wrestlers Open SoCon Schedule With 22-20 Win Over Citadel

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling team opened the Southern Conference portion of its 2013 schedule with 22-20 win over The Citadel Sunday. The Mocs treated the Legends Weekend crowd to a hard-fought battle over a talented Bulldog team, improving to 5-6 overall and 1-0 in league action.

Nearly 600 fans filled Maclellan Gym to see the Mocs honor the Jim Morgan era of UTC wrestling. And just like so many of Coach Morgan's championship squads, it took a full team effort to pull out the win today.

"It was a good win," stated UTC head coachHeath Eslinger. "They are a good team and we knew we had our hands full. We had to wrestle well in every weight class. I think we left some on the table. I think there are a couple more weight classes we can win in that dual meet. We have to figure out how to do that because those are the matches that are going to get us to the national tournament."

The Mocs started strong behind a 12-3 major decision win from sophomoreNick Soto (Spring Hill, Fla.). Ranked as high as No. 18 in the nation at 125, Soto defeated Joaquin Marquez to improve to 18-6 overall and give the Mocs a 4-0 lead.

UTC handed the lead right back at 133 when freshmanMarvin Lopez (Cleveland, Tenn.) surrendered an 8-0 major decision to Aaron Hansen. The Bulldogs took the lead when No. 8 Ugi Khishignuam posted an 8-1 win over seniorDean Pavlou (Cleveland, Tenn.) at 141.

JuniorAlex Hudson (Marietta, Ga.) evened the team score again with a 9-3 victory against Jordan Dix at 149. He posted a takedown at the buzzer in the first period to grab a 4-1 lead that he would not let go.

The Citadel went back up 11-7 after a major decision win at 157, but that would be the last lead for the Bulldogs on the day. It may have been the intermission session that sparked the Mocs the rest of the way. Coach Morgan and dozens of his wrestlers were honored on the mat following the 157-pound match

"Having those guys back here is awesome," said Eslinger. "Without those guys we would not be wrestling today. We would be among the 200+ programs that dropped wrestling. Without that era and those guys who were on that mat today, we would not have wrestling at this institution. What we owe them...we can't thank them enough. We need to honor them every year, because they bring a lot to the table. Coach Morgan developed a culture, environment and family-like atmosphere that people want to stay connected to for a long time. I need to be working hard to duplicate exactly what he did."

When action resumed, seniorJosh Condon (Powder Springs, Ga.) dominated his match at 165 with Vincent Bellaran. He was up 12-4 when he put Bellaran on his back at the 5:52 mark to give UTC a 13-11 lead.

"Josh Condon is a senior and he is supposed to do that," said Eslinger. "He is one of the best kids in the country and he needs to believe he can go out and do that every time."

FreshmanJohn Lampe (Fairdale, Ky.) had a huge win at 174. He moved up a weight and scored a 3-2 victory over Jack Duane, giving the Mocs some breathing room with a 16-11 lead.

After losing a decision at 184, Chattanooga had a 16-14 advantage with two matches left. No. 18Niko Brown (Kissimmee, Fla.) clinched the win with his pin against Marshall Haas at the 5:44 mark. It was Brown's team-high 21st win of the season, as well as his team-best seventh pin of the year.

"When you are a senior and you are doing the right things, that is what you are supposed to do," added Eslinger. "You go out and you control the match and you do what your team needs and you get the job done. Some kids have it and some don't. Niko has found it and he has to hold on to it and keep getting better."

It was a good thing Brown scored the fall, because The Citadel's 14th ranked heavyweight Odie Delaney pinned freshmanKevin Malone (Carrollton, Ohio) to make the final score 22-20.

"It was a good team effort, but I am not completely satisfied," said Eslinger. "You want to keep making improvements. We did at some weights, but we did not at others."

Chattanooga is now the lone team in the SoCon without a loss. Appalachian State (3-1), Campbell (2-1) and Southern Illinois-Edwardsville (1-1) each have one loss, while The Citadel drops to 2-2 in league action and 3-5 overall.

UTC hits the road for two matches this weekend. The Mocs visit Gardner-Webb on Friday, Feb. 1, for a 7:00 p.m. (E.S.T.) match against the Runnin' Bulldogs. Chattanooga then travels to Appalachian State for a 2:00 p.m. bout against the Mountaineers on Sunday, Feb. 3. The next home dual is set for Sunday, Feb. 10, against Davidson. Match time is 2:00 p.m. in Maclellan Gym and tickets are on sale now on GoMocs.com or at the UTC Ticket Office at (423) 266-MOCS (6627).

Chattanooga 22 - The Citadel 20
125: Nick Soto (UTC) - MD 12-3 - Joaquin Marquez (CIT) - UTC 4-0
133: Aaron Hansen (CIT) - MD 8-0 - Marvin Lopez (UTC) - 4-4
141: Ugi Khishignyam (CIT) - Dec. 8-1 - Dean Pavlou (UTC) - The Citadel 7-4
149: Alex Hudson (UTC) - Dec. 9-3 - Jordan Dix (CIT) - 7-7
157: Matthew Frisch (CIT) - MD 10-2 - Trey Stavrum (UTC) - The Citadel 11-7
165: Josh Condon (UTC) - Fall 5:52 - Vincent Bellaran (CIT) - UTC 13-11
174: John Lampe (UTC) - Dec. 3-2 - John Duane (CIT) - UTC 16-11
184: Josh Tuck (CIT) - Dec. 10-3 - Robert Prigmore (UTC) - UTC 16-14
197: Niko Brown (UTC) - Fall 5:44 - Marshall Haas (CIT) - UTC 22-14
285: Odie Delaney (CIT) - Fall 3:53 - Kevin Malone (UTC) - UTC 22-20


Jim Reynolds is Quarterback Club Speaker Today

Hall of Fame announcer and Voice of the Mocs Jim Reynolds is the scheduled guest for today's Chattanooga Quarterback Club lunch at Finley Stadium at noon. J.R. handles the play-by-play for Mocs football and men's basketball and is a member of the Greater Chattanooga Sports Hall of Fame, UTC Hall of Fame and will be inducted into the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame in May. The ... (click for more)

Soddy Daisy Wrestlers Win Three In Tullahoma

The Soddy Daisy wrestling team made a Saturday trip to Tullahoma worthwhile as the Trojans came back with three wins, including a 40-31 victory over Wilson Central, a 61-15 verdict over Ravenwood and a 54-19 win over Stewarts Creek. There were five Soddy Daisy wrestlers with three wins on the day, but 126-pound Charles Wheaten was the only one with three pins.  The other ... (click for more)

East Ridge Meth Dealer Gets 168 Months In Federal Prison

A man who agents said was dealing large quantities of meth from his East Ridge residence has been sentenced to serve 168 months in federal prison. Kenneth Lemons appeared before Judge Curtis Collier. Agents said they made several controlled drug buys from Lemons at his residence in 2015. On Oct. 27, 2015, he drove up to a residence where DEA agents were making a controlled ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Man With 5 Violent Felonies Gets 30 Years In Prison

A Chattanooga man with five violent felonies on his record has been sentenced to serve 30 years in prison. Demetrius Joiner, 30, was given a 20-year sentence by Judge Curtis Collier after he was ruled to be an Armed Career Criminal. Judge Collier said the term would be consecutive to several state sentences imposed earlier on Joiner, including 10 years for aggravated robbery. ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Couldn't Manage Public Education

I have been reading the buzz about Signal Mountain and other small municipalities considering a move to form their own school district within their municipal boundaries.  It is quite the comedy hour considering the notion that small cities that for decades could not even manage small sewer systems or 911 districts, are somehow going to do a better job with public education ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: School Board Can’t Wait

It took the Hamilton County School board nine months before the group hired a search firm to find a new superintendent. But you mark my words – the Department of Education will undoubtedly implode if our leaders wait another nine months simply hoping for some type of mystical salvation. In the last week Signal Mountain leaders have all but given notice they will form their own district ... (click for more)