Chattanooga Mocs wrestlers are in seven tournaments

Chattanooga Mocs wrestlers are in seven tournaments

August 21st, 2013 by Ward Gossett in Sports - College

UTC wrestling head coach Heath Eslinger

Photo by John Rawlston/Times Free Press.

2013-14 UTC WRESTLING SCHEDULE

(Home meets at Maclellan Gym)

• Oct. 26 -- Blue/Gold match at Finley Stadium, 11:30 a.m.

• Nov. 8 -- Wisconsin, Cumberland, 5, 6:30

• Nov. 10 -- at Hokie Open, Salem, Va.

• Nov. 16 -- Life University, Shorter

• Nov. 23 -- at Navy Classic, Annapolis, Md.

• Dec. 15 -- vs. Purdue at Mountain View High in Atlanta, 2

• Dec. 16 -- Gardner-Webb, 7

• Dec. 20 -- at Stanford, 7

• Dec. 22 -- Tournament of Champions, Reno, Nev.

• Jan. 1-2 -- Southern Scuffle at McKenzie Arena

• Jan. 10-11 -- at Virginia Duals, Hampton, Va.

• Jan. 19 -- at SIU-Edwardsville, 2

• Jan. 22 -- at The Citadel, 7

• Feb. 2 -- Appalachian State, 2

• Feb. 7 -- at Campbell, 7

• Feb. 9 -- at Davidson, 2

• Feb. 16 -- NWCA National Duals at Columbus, Ohio

• Feb. 23 -- at VMI, 2

• March 8 -- Southern Conference tournament at Campbell

• March 20-22 -- NCAA tournament, Oklahoma City, Okla.

A new tournament look is on tap for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's wrestling team.

The Mocs, who'll host the who's who Southern Scuffle on Jan. 1-2, have added trips to the Tournament of Champions in Reno, Nev., and the Navy Classic at Annapolis, Md., while keeping their annual Hokie Open trip to Salem, Va., and the Virginia Duals in Hampton, Va. They're also penciled in for the NWCA duals in Columbus, Ohio, and of course the Southern Conference tourney.

"We've been to all those tournaments in the past, but they are new from the last two years," coach Heath Eslinger said. "At the Navy Classic and the tournament in Reno, we'll see some teams we don't usually get to see. As for the duals, I like dual tournaments and I think they're important."

The Mocs will compete at Stanford and then ride the bus with the Cardinal wrestlers to the Reno tournament.

While there isn't an Iowa or a Missouri on the home schedule, the Mocs will have Big Ten member Wisconsin in on Nov. 8, and they'll host Purdue at Mountain View High in Atlanta on Dec. 15. They'll also be at home against Appalachian State on Feb. 2.

"The home schedule is good. There are a couple of big matches and we'll be doing some unique events in conjunction with a couple of the matches," Eslinger said. "We're having that Purdue meet in Atlanta because we have a lot of alumni there that support us."

UTC will again open its season with the Blue/Gold meet at Finley Stadium prior to a Mocs football game.

"It was awesome last year," the coach recalled. "It was freezing cold, but it still worked. We had a great turnout and the atmosphere was fantastic."

The Mocs have specific spots to fill at 197, 184, 165 and 141 pounds, which were held by then-seniors Niko Brown, Robert Prigmore, Josh Condon and Dean Pavlou. Additionally, Nick Soto, at 125 pounds last season, will be at 133 this year, and redshirt freshman Zack Bridson is the likely 125-pound starter this season. Shawn Greevy, a 2012 conference runner-up who redshirted last season, leads a group of 141-pound contenders. They include Marvin Lopez and Austin Woods.

Michael Hooker, the former McCallie and Father Ryan standout who took a year at the Naval Academy's prep school, is the probable choice at 149, and Corey Mock, a transfer from North Carolina and a two-time NCAA qualifier, is the leader at 165.

Alex Hudson moves up to 157, two-time NCAA qualifier Levi Campbell will be back at 174 and John Lampe and John Shrader will battle for the 184-pound slot. Redshirt freshman Jared Johnson is expected to fill in at 197, and Kevin Malone returns at 285.

Contact Ward Gossett at wgossett@timesfreepress.com or 423-886-4765.