Nicholson Wins SoCon Wrestling Championship

Monday, March 1, 2021
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga junior Drew Nicholson won the Southern Conference title at 165 pounds in Boone, N.C., Sunday.  Nicholson was one of four Mocs to place in the event, leading UTC to a third-place finish in the tournament. 

Nicholson, the No. 3 seed at 165, opened with an 8-4 decision over VMI’s Jon Hoover.  He then scored a big upset over No. 25 RJ Mosley of Gardner-Webb.  Nicholson was 0-3 against Mosley all-time, including a 12-4 major decision loss in the dual during the regular season. 

Nicholson kept control of the match throughout and used a second period takedown to score a 3-2 win and advance to the finals.  There he faced the No.
4 seed, The Citadel’s Dazjon Casto.  Casto had upset the SoCon Wrestler of the Year and top-seed, Appalachian State’s Will Formato, in his semifinal. 

Nicholson had faced Casto five times over the last three seasons.  He had three wins in the three dual matches but lost to Casto at the SoCon Tournament each of the last two years.  All previous five meetings were decisions with just a three-point difference in the total scoring in favor of Casto (31-28).

The finals opened with a scoreless first period.  Nicholson chose bottom in the second and finished the period with a 1-0 lead after an early escape.  Casto chose down to start the third and escaped to tie.  A stalling calling on Nicholson early in the third made it interesting the rest of the way. 

Nicholson went up 3-1 with takedown with 37 seconds left and fought off Casto to claim his first career SoCon Title and punch his ticket to the NCAA Championships.  He is the ninth Moc to win at 165 pounds.  The last to do it was Corey Mock in 2018.

“Last year he went 0-2 at the tournament,” stated head coach Kyle Ruschell when asked about Nicholson’s performance.  “He said that he was willing to do whatever it takes to get it done.  Over the summer, through COVID, he kept working.  He dedicated himself to doing all of the rights things and hard work pays off.”

“I haven’t had much luck at this tournament the other two times I have been here,” added Nicholson. “I wanted this and I put in the work to get it.  I just feel blessed to be able to compete and I am glad it worked out.”

The Mocs finished third in the team race with 64 points, trailing Campbell (92) and Appalachian State (87).  Other Mocs who placed at the event include senior Fabian Gutierrez (3rd at 125), junior Matthew Waddell (2nd at 184) and freshman Logan Andrew (2nd at 197). 

Waddell, the three-seed at 184, opened with a pin over The Citadel’s Kyle Kretzer and advanced to the finals with a 5-2 decision against second-seeded Jha’quan Anderson of Gardner-Webb.  In the finals, he faced Campbell’s No. 20 Caleb Hopkins, who had beaten him 4-3 in the regular season dual. 

Waddell led 2-1 after the first period, despite giving up a penalty point just before the horn.  The score was tied 2-2 when Waddell has hit with another penalty in the second.  Hopkins went down in the third and escaped for a 3-2 lead.  A takedown with just over a minute left pushed his lead to 5-2, which was the final score. Waddell earned an automatic bid to the NCAA's with his second place finish for the second year in a row.      

Andrew entered the tournament as the No. 3 seed at 197, opening with a pin against The Citadel’s Ben Stemmet.  He then beat second-seeded Tyler Mousaw of VMI 8-4 to advance to the finals.

There he faced top-seeded Chris Kober of Campbell.  Kober scored a 4-3 win over Andrew in the regular season dual.  Tonight they battled to a 1-1 tie in the third period.  Andrew gave up a takedown late in the final period to lose 3-1. 

UTC’s No. 1 seed at 141 pounds, junior Franco Valdes, suffered an injury in practice on Saturday and aggravated it during the consolation rounds, forcing him to withdraw. Junior Colton Landers (133), freshman Weston Wichman (157) and sophomore Carial Tarter (174) all advanced to the consolation finals. 

Up next for the Mocs is the NCAA Championship on March 18-20 in St. Louis, Mo.

Team Scores
1. Campbell - 92.0
2. Appalachian State - 87.0
3. Chattanooga - 64.0
4. Gardner-Webb - 50.0
5. The Citadel - 43.5
6. Virginia Military Institute - 18.0
7. Presbyterian College - 6.5


125
No. 24 Fabian Guiterrez – 3rd Place
              Cliff Conway (VMI) – W-Fall (3:21)
              Zurich Storm (Campbell) – L-D, 6-8 (SV-1)
              Benny Gomez (PC) – W-D, 3-2 (TB-2)

133
Colton Landers
             Todd Carter (GWU) – L-D, 3-5
             Cam Chicella (VMI) – W-TF 16-1 (4:55)
             Gabe Hixenbaugh (Campbell) - W-Fall (2:16)
             Todd Carter (GWU) – L-D, 4-9

141
Franco Valdes
              Shannon Hanna (Campbell) – L-D, 2-4 (SV-2)
             Freddy Junko (VMI)- W-D, 11-7

149
Aidan Murphy
             Selwyn Porter (The Citadel) – L-D, 3-9
             Brandon Bright (GWU) – W-D, 3-2
              Selwyn Porter (The Citadel) – L-D, 2-4

157
Weston Wichman
             Quarterfinal - Zachary Phillips (PC) – L-Fall (2:26)
              Grant Speer (The Citadel) – W-D, 6-2
             Blake Showers (VMI) – W-For.
              Taylor Parks (GWU)- L-Fall (6:37)

165
Drew Nicholson – 1st Place
             Jon Hoover (VMI) – W-D, 8-4
             No. 25 RJ Mosley (GWU) – W-D, 3-2
              Daxzjon Casto (Citadel) – W-D, 3-2

174
Carial Tarter
              Cole Burke (The Citadel) – W-D, 10-4
             No. 12 Austin Murphy (Campbell) – L-D, 1-6
             Ethan Carpenter (VMI) – W-D, 2-1
             Evan Schenk (GWU) – W-D, 5-4

184
Matthew Waddell – 2nd Place
             Kyle Kretzer (The Citadel) - W-Fall (1:32)
             Jha’quan Anderson (GWU) – W-D, 5-2
              No. 20 Caleb Hopkins (Campbell) – L-D, 2-5

197
Logan Andrew
             Ben Stemmet (The Citadel) – W-Fall (4:53)
             Tyler Mousaw (VMI) – W-D, 8-4
              Chris Kober (Campbell) -

285
Grayson Walthall
             Michael Burchell (App. St.) – L-D, 5-7
             Anthony Perrine (GWU) – L-D, 4-6

 

Lady Roadrunners Have Successful Day In Gulf Shores Despite Weather

Tennessee Softball Run-Rules South Carolina, 11-0

Russell Hits 4 Homers, But Vandy Takes Series From Tennessee


The Track and Field Lady Roadrunners travelled to Gulf Shores, Ala. to participate in the University of Mobile Invitational on Saturday. It had been soggy all week in south Alabama and Saturday ... (click for more)

No. 16 Tennessee softball bounced back in a big way Sunday night, run-ruling South Carolina, 11-0, at the Carolina Softball Stadium. The Lady Vols (32-7, 5-6 SEC) broke out the bats as ... (click for more)

Four huge home runs, including three from senior Evan Russell , powered No. 3 Tennessee to an 8-4 victory over in-state and SEC rival No. 2 Vanderbilt on Saturday afternoon at Lindsey Nelson ... (click for more)



Sports

Lady Roadrunners Have Successful Day In Gulf Shores Despite Weather

The Track and Field Lady Roadrunners travelled to Gulf Shores, Ala. to participate in the University of Mobile Invitational on Saturday. It had been soggy all week in south Alabama and Saturday was no different. RECAP Track and Field meets will usually go on even if it is raining, but not if there is persistent lightning in the area. The meet got underway with the 5,000 ... (click for more)

Tennessee Softball Run-Rules South Carolina, 11-0

No. 16 Tennessee softball bounced back in a big way Sunday night, run-ruling South Carolina, 11-0, at the Carolina Softball Stadium. The Lady Vols (32-7, 5-6 SEC) broke out the bats as they racked up 13 hits on the night. Five players picked up a pair of hits in the win, led by Cailin Hannon who went 2-for-5 with a team-leading four RBIs. It is the second four-RBI game for ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Tim Kelly Sworn In At The Tivoli As New Mayor Of Chattanooga; Some Downtown Streets Briefly Close For Inaugural Parade

Tim Kelly was sworn in on Monday morning as the new mayor of Chattanooga. He said, "The goals for this week are survival. It's a six day transition, so there's going to be a lot on our plate. As I said before, we'll be putting a ballot initiative on the ballot later this year to change this so no city administration has to go through this ever again, because it's not sufficient ... (click for more)

2 Boys, 11 And 14, Shot Sunday Evening On Chandler Avenue; Another Youth Was Handling Gun And It Accidentally Went Off

Two boys, 11 and 14, were shot on Sunday evening on Chandler Avenue. Police said another youth, 14, was handling a gun that accidentally went off. He was charged with aggravated assault and reckless endangerment. At approximately 7:28 p.m., Chattanooga Police responded to a report of a person shot in the 4000 block of Chandler Avenue. Upon arrival, officers located a boy, 11, ... (click for more)

Opinion

Mr. Coolidge Fought The Good Fight

The Chattanooga High School Alumni Association extends our deepest sympathy to the family of Mr. Coolidge. He was a member of the CHS Class of 1939 and a true Dynamo for life. RIP, Mr. Coolidge, you surely fought the good fight. When the Alumni Association decided to establish a CHS Hall of Fame it was also determined to create a special honor, first person chosen for the Hall ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Woke USA Is Nuts

Most of you will know that on April 13 our Centers for Disease Control and the Federal Drug Administration issued joint orders to “pause” distribution of the Johnson and Johnson COVID vaccine because immunizations of the drug were believed to cause blood clots in some women. What you may not know it that “some women” really equaled a total of six women. I am not a physician who ... (click for more)