Mat Mocs maul Mountaineers

Mat Mocs maul Mountaineers

UTC wrestlers stay perfect in Southern Conference action with 27-10 win at Appalachian State.

February 7th, 2011 by Ward Gossett in Sports


(Meet started at 149 pounds)

125 -- Prescott Garner (C) pinned Antonio Gravely, 0:24;

133 -- Bucky Johnson (C) dec. Brett Boston, 10-5;

141 -- Cody Cleveland (C) major dec. Mike Kessler, 12-1;

149 -- Dean Pavlou (C) dec. Savva Kostis, 12-7;

157 -- Kelly Felix (C) dec. John Blakely, 14-7;

165 -- Kyle Blevins (A) dec. Dan Waddell, 5-2;

174 -- Brandon Wright (C) major dec. Andrew Downs, 14-5;

184 -- Austin Trotman (A) major dec. Jason McCroskey, 15-9;

197 -- Niko Brown (C) major dec. John Hartley, 14-5;

285 -- Marc Tyson (A) dec. Robert Prigmore, 2-1.

Records: UTC 9-9, 3-0 Southern Conference; Appalachian 6-9-1, 0-3.

What he didn't see Saturday, Mocs coach Heath Eslinger saw in abundance on Sunday.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling team clubbed Appalachian State 27-10 at Boone, N.C. and moved to 3-0 in the Southern Conference.

The lopsided win came on the heels of a two-point, come-from-behind victory Saturday at UNC Greensboro, which had been the unbeaten conference leader.

"It was just a much better team performance today than yesterday," Eslinger said late Sunday afternoon as the team boarded the bus for the five-hour trip home. "There was a lot of intensity at each weight class and when you bring intensity the [positive] results will follow."

UTC is off until Sunday when Davidson visits Maclellan Gym for a 2 p.m. Eslinger said he wants to make sure Davidson sees the team that wrestled Appalachian rather than the one that showed up against UNCG.

"We were inconsistent Saturday and consistent today. We have to make sure that we put today's mindset and intensity on the mat every time we wrestle," he said.

One good thing for UTC, which evened its overall dual record at 9-9 is that the three conference toughies -- UNCG, The Citadel and Appalachian -- are out of the way until the postseason tournament on March 5 at Boone.

The Mocs won seven of the 10 matches against Appalachian and picked up bonus points in four of those. Prescott Garner (125) picked up the only pin of the day and actually did so with a defensive pin 24 seconds into the match. Cody Cleveland (141), Brandon Wright (174) and Niko Brown (197) posted major decisions.

"They're wrestling well at the right time," Eslinger said.

Dean Pavlou stepped back in at 149 pounds after Alex Hudson reinjured a hamstring Saturday.

"He got us off to a great start. He beat a kid that pinned him in the dual last year [Savva Kostis], the kid he beat in last year's conference tournament," Eslinger said.

Pavlou won 12-7.

"I don't know much yet about Alex. We'll have to wait and see how it comes along," Eslinger said.

Also in the lineup Sunday, giving 157-pound Josh Condon a rest, was Kelly Felix, who posted a 14-7 victory.

"We felt like Josh needed a break and Kelly did a great job," Eslinger praised. "If we had 10 guys wrestling with his intensity and that chip-on-his-shoulder attitude that Kelly wrestles with we'd be pretty entertaining to watch."

Bucky Johnson, progressing nicely in his comeback from knee surgery, got his first win of the year after losing his first match of the season Saturday.

"The more matches he has the quicker he's going to progress," Eslinger said. "He's coming along nicely."

Eslinger also was pleased with Dan Waddell (165) and heavyweight substitute Robert Prigmore although each lost his match.

"Dan had the toughest match and did a good job. He gave up questionable back points but he wrestled hard. Super-hard. Prigmore lost his match 2-1 on an unsportsmanlike call," Eslinger said.

The unsportsmanlike call came as Prigmore went to tie up and slapped his hand to the back and neck of his opponent. Eslinger wasn't upset.

Contact Ward Gossett at or 423-757-6288.