Chattanooga junior Nick Soto went 8-0 in December, earning the Southern Conference Wrestler of the Month honor, the league office announced today. UTC has taken the first two monthly awards from the SoCon, with Corey Mock also getting the nod for November.
Soto won the 133-pound bracket at the Reno Tournament of Champions and went 3-0 in dual matches. The highlight of his month was unquestionably his 15-8 win over No. 1 Ryan Mango of Stanford on Dec. 20. That performance helped the Mocs knock off the 15th-ranked Cardinal on the road.
Soto opened December with a 10-8 win over All-American Cashe Quiroga of No. 21 Purdue on Dec. 15. He then topped Gardner-Webb’s Robbie Golde via major decision the following day, leading the Mocs to a 35-3 win in their SoCon opener.
At the Reno Tournament of Champions on Dec. 22, the Spring Hill, Fla., native went 5-0 to earn the 133-pound crown, starting with a 15-0 dismantling of Shorter’s Clint Jones. Soto followed that up with an 11-5 win over Oregon State’s Izaak Tobin before rattling off three straight major decisions to clinch the title. Five of his eight wins in the month went for bonus points. Soto was named the SoCon wrestler of the week for his efforts over the final two weeks of December.
This is the second SoCon Wrestler of the Month Award for Soto. He also took the honor in January 2012 during his freshman season. He is currently ranked No. 11 in the nation at 133 pounds and holds a 20-6 overall record.
As a team, the Mocs are 6-4 overall and 1-0 in SoCon action. The Mocs are coming off a 16th place showing at the Southern Scuffle and are just outside of this week’s Top-25. UTC garnered 39 points in the USA Today/NWCA/AWN Division I Coaches Poll this week, just two spots out of the rankings.
Chattanooga heads to the Virginia Duals in Hampton, Va., this weekend. The Mocs open the 12-team tournament against Arizona State on Friday, Jan. 10, at 9:00 a.m. (E.S.T.). The last home match of the season is set for Sunday, Feb. 2, against Appalachian State at 2:00 p.m. in Maclellan Gym.