CLEVELAND STATE 21, UTC 17
(Meet started at 174 pounds)
125--Ben Willeford (CS) dec. Nick Soto, 5-4; 133--Mike Carlone (CS) won by forfeit; 141 --Nick Flannery (CS) dec. Dean Pavlou, 5-4; 149--Alex Hudson (UTC) major dec. Mike Mencini, 10-2; 157--Matt Donohoe (CS) pinned Trey Stavrum, 1:10; 165--Josh Condon (UTC) dec. Corey Carlo, 11-6; 174--Xavier Dye (CS) dec. Jake Young, 7-5; 184--Robert Prigmore (UTC) dec. Corbin Boone, 4-1; 197-- Niko Brown (UTC) major dec. Nick Anthony, 14-5; 285--Kevin Malone (UTC) dec. Amon Willis, 6-1.
Records: Cleveland State 3-5; UTC 4-6.
A forfeit and a pin proved to be the difference Sunday as the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling team fell 21-17 at Cleveland (Ohio) State.
UTC's Mocs (4-6) forfeited the 133-pound bout, and the Vikings' Matt Donohoe pinned 157-pounder Trey Stavrum.
"You reap what you sow," UTC coach Heath Eslinger said. "Things didn't go our way in some places, and it snowballed. When you give up points and you have a guy out, you set yourself up for [bad] things to happen."
Marvin Lopez, the Mocs' regular 133-pounder, was suspended for breaking a team rule. The Mocs' other 133-pounder, Alex Ward, doesn't wrestle on Sundays.
"I wasn't going to waver. It's bad timing, but that's what usually happens," Eslinger said.
The coach seemed more disappointed in one-point losses by Nick Soto (125) and Dean Pavlou (141).
"Those are our two best kids, and they lost. You have to find a way to win those [close] ones," Eslinger said.
Too, Jake Young opened the match with a two-point loss at 174 pounds.
Eslinger said he felt his Mocs didn't have enough focus for the meet and that both he and the team might have been looking ahead to Sunday's Southern Conference opener.
"It was immature on my part, on our athletes' part, but you can't panic or throw your guys under the bus when things don't go our way," he said. "I'd like to pout, sure, but you have to say 'What's next?,' practice this week and get ready for The Citadel. There are 10 guys that I like and believe in, and I'm going to keep putting those 10 guys out there."
The teams split the 10 matches. UTC pulled ahead 10-3 with consecutive wins from Robert Prigmore (184), Niko Brown (197) and Kevin Malone (285). Brown and 149-pounder Alex Hudson got the Mocs' only bonus points with major decisions. Their other winner was Josh Condon (165).
The Mocs were looking at an 11-hour bus trip home and an off day today before getting down to work for the Bulldogs' visit at 2 p.m. Sunday at Maclellan Gym. It's Legends weekend and UTC plans to recognize its former All-Americans at the meet.
A reception is planned Saturday evening for all former Mocs wrestlers, managers and trainers. Anyone interested should contact the UTC wrestling office at 425-4787 for further information.
Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...