UTC Wrestlers Host No.8 Wisconsin

Pack Big Mac Friday Night

Thursday, November 7, 2013 - by B.B. Branton

"We can wrestle well and lose and be known as a competitive D-I team ... Or we can win the match and be considered among the best in the nation. Our goal is to be the best."

-- UTC wrestling coach Heath Eslinger


Big 10 Wrestling is coming to Maclellan Gym Friday Night.

Last year it was No.2 Iowa and a standing room only crowd. Friday night at 6:30 p.m. it's No.8 Wisconsin.

What a way for the Mocs to open the 2013-14 season as a top 10 team comes to Maclellan Gym, home to many great college matches over the years.

The No.8 Badgers bring five wrestlers ranked in the top 15 nationally, but UTC coach Heath Eslinger feels he has the wrestlers who can stand toe-to-toe and do battle with the Big 10 wrestlers.

"This is a great opportunity for our guys to show our fans and the nation that we can compete and win with some of the best in the land," said Eslinger.

"By about 8 p.m. on Friday we will know where we stand."

Schedule of Matches

3:30 p.m. - No.15 (NAIA) Cumberland (Tenn.) vs. No.8 Wisconsin

5 p.m. - UTC vs. Cumberland

6:30 p.m. - UTC vs. No. 8 Wisconsin

UTC vs. Wisconsin

10 Weight Classes ... here are a few of the key matches

133 - UTC's NIck Soto faces No.2 Tyler Graff (Sr.) ...Soto has won the SoCon twice and is an NCAA qualifier ... Graff is a three-time All-American

149 -  UTCs Michael Hooker (Fr.) takes on T.J. Ruschell (RS Fr.) ... two freshman each with 200+ wins go at it ...A three-time state champ from McCallie and Father Ryan, Hooker is ready to show what he can do on the college stage ... Ruschell is a state champ from Ky.

157 - UTC's Alex Hudson (Sr.) vs. No.7 Isaac Jordan (RS Fr.) ... Coach Eslinger calls Hudson "Choo Choo" since he goes all day ... could be the match of the night ... Jordan is a 3x state champ from Ohio ... his dad, Jim, is a U.S. Congressman and was a 2x NCAA champion for the Badgers in the mid-1980s

165 - UTC's No.13 Corey Mock (Jr.) vs. Ben Cox (Jr.) ... Mock is a transfer from UNC and the Mocs best wrestler ... big things are expected from him this year and the year starts Friday.

285 - UTC's Kevin Malone (Jr.) faces No. 6 Connor Medbery (RS So.) ... Malone needs a win over a ranked heavyweight ... Medbery was 2013 Big 10 Freshman of the Year

Tickets: Gates open at 2:30 p.m. and tickets are $5 each.  UTC students always get in FREE to home matches.  Live scoring and live video links for all three matches are available on the wrestling schedule page on GoMocs.com.

Big 10 Teams in Big Mac: Wisconsin is the third top-10 team to visit UTC in the last 12 months.  The Mocs also hosted No. 2 Iowa and No. 9 Illinois last season. 

Chattanooga is 1-2 all-time against Wisconsin.  The last match was a 25-16 win for the No. 4 Badgers on Nov. 21, 2010.  The Mocs lone win in the series was a 19-18 victory over an 18th-ranked Wisconsin team at the Lonestar Duals on Jan. 7, 2006.  The other match was a 23-12 win by the 15th-ranked Badgers in Chattanooga on Dec. 11, 2004. 

Cumberland is visiting Maclellan Gym for the second year in a row.  The Bulldogs were a part of the big weekend with Iowa on Nov. 16 last season.  UTC scored a 49-0 win last season to improve to 7-0 in the series. 

PROBABLE LINEUPS - Nov. 8 Matches:
125:  Byron Smith (Fr.)/Zach Bridson (Fr.)
133:  Nick Soto (Jr.)/Mike Pongracz (Fr.)
141:  Austin Sams (So.)
149:  Michael Hooker (Fr.)
157:  Alex Hudson (Sr.)/Jared Presley (Jr.)
165:  No. 13 Corey Mock (Jr.)/Trey Stavrum (Jr.)
174:  Levi Clemons (Jr.)
184:  John Shrader (So.)/Clay Dent (So.)
197:  Jared Johnson (Fr.)/Scottie Boykin (Fr.)
285:  Kevin Malone (Jr.)

125: Justice Griffith (Fr.)
133: Billy Ward (Fr.)/Robbie Resendiz (Sr.)
141: Dalton Baysinger (Fr.)
149: Nick Croley (Fr.)/Chandler Sartain (Fr.)
157: Steven Sandefer (Sr.)
165: Kirk Johnson (So.)/Kyle Delaune (Fr.)
174: Jacob Shirley (Sr.)
184: Zeke Hunt (Sr.)
197: Scott Stewart (Sr.)
285: Tyler Smith (Jr.)

No. 8 Wisconsin
125: Ryan Taylor (Fr.)
133: No. 2 Tyler Graff (Sr.)
141: No. 10 Jesse Thielke (Fr.)
149: T.J. Ruschell (Fr.)
157: No. 7 Isaac Jordan (Fr.)
165: Ben Cox (Jr.)
174: Scott Liegel (Sr.)
184: No. 12 Jackson Hein (Sr.)
197: Timm McCall (Jr.)

285: No. 6 Connor Medberry (So.)



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

PHOTOS: Hixson Outlasts Central For 6-AA Title

Dalton State Soccer Advances To #19 Ranking

The first-year Dalton State men’s soccer team is receiving national attention.   After winning the first two conference games of their inaugural season, the Roadrunners (9-2-1 overall, 2-0 SSAC) are ranked No. 19 in the NAIA Men’s Soccer Coaches’ Top 25 Poll released Tuesday by the national office. “I’m excited to see our name nationally ranked,” said Coach Kerem Daser. ... (click for more)

Legislative Hearing On Volkswagen Emissions Scandal To Be Held In Chattanooga Oct. 29; Haslam To Visit VW Plant Wednesday

The Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee’s Appropriation Subcommittee will be conducting a hearing in Chattanooga to review the financial impact on the state from Volkswagen’s violation of U.S. emissions standards. The meeting will be held at the Hamilton County Department of Education, 3074 Hickory Valley Road, on Thursday, Oct. 29, from 1:30-3:30 p.m.  Members ... (click for more)

Bradley County Commission Decides Not To Provide Animal Pickup Service

Bradley County Commissioners on Monday finally put animal control to rest. It was not easy and it was not without confusion, but in the end, the county will not provide animal pickup service. Confusion began when commissioners were asked to approve the agenda, which included two options for animal control pick up. Item “D” provided for the SPCA of Bradley County to pick ... (click for more)

VW PILOT Crash Landing

The Volkswagen emission scandal proves the point citizen activist, Ms. Helen Burns Sharp, has repeatedly brought to the attention of local government officials. She urged them to "beef up" the PILOT contracts before approving PILOT tax abatements. Any logical person would agree, because it is the only way to recoup a tax loss when unthinkable situations arise. Volkswagen's willful ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: VW’s Primer In Disaster

Volkswagen America has gotten into a real bad “tight,” causing their red-faced leaders to huddle with spin doctors, crisis consultants and countless priests in confessional booths. Conversely, I suspect I have found a solution that would get them out of the mud and hasten their return as one of the top automotive providers in the world. You see, on Aug. 14, 1979, the playbook on ... (click for more)