By Kaylene Chadwell, Chattanooga, Tenn. — The Chattanooga wrestling team decisively beat two Southern Conference opponents—The Citadel and Virginia Military Institute at home this weekend.
“Being tired and continuing to wrestle is an emotional thing more than it is a physical thing,” head coach Heath Eslinger said. “So I thought we did a good job of pushing the pace.”
UTC won 18 out of their 20 matches against the two SoCon foes.
The Mocs started the weekend with a 33-3 victory over The Citadel Bulldogs.
In the preseason polls, The Citadel was picked second behind Chattanooga.
UTC clinched nine of their 10 matches, including the first four from seniors Sean Boyle, Lowell, Mass., Nick Soto, Spring Hill, Fla., and Shawn Greevy, Mechanicsburg, Pa., and sophomore Michael Pongracz, Milford, N.J.
The Bulldogs got on the board after junior Austin Sams, Fairfield, Ohio, lost 10-4 at the 157 weight class.
Freshman Justin Lampe, Fairdale, Ky., recorded his second win at 165 with a takedown right at the start of the match and later scored a pin.
Sophomore Scottie Boykin, Murfreesboro, Tenn., had a rematch of last year’s SoCon Championship against Bulldog Marshall Hass. Hass won last year, but this time Boykin won 5-2 with two takedowns.
Chattanooga celebrated Senior Day by beating VMI 35-3.
Boyle put up an impressive 20 points for the Mocs.
Sams got a technical fall at 157. Sophomore Sean Mappes, Greenwood, Ind., claimed a 12-3 win at 174, while fellow sophomore John Shrader recorded a 6-0 victory at 184.
After sophomore Jared Johnson’s, Jefferson City, Mo., recorded two wins at the heavyweight spot this weekend, he is on an eight-match winning streak and has a team-best 24-6 overall record.
“Jared keeps winning,” Eslinger said. “It’s probably his worst match in the last few weeks, but it’s also a match where he’s giving up 75 pounds. We have to be real strategic with him over the next few weeks and get his weight back up.”
Chattanooga has won 10 out of 11 matches and their 19th consecutive SoCon win. The Mocs are 8-5 overall and 4-0 in conference play.
UTC’s next match is Friday at noon against another SoCon foe, Davidson, in Maclellan Gym.