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

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