The Chattanooga Mocs wrestling squad (11-8, 4-0 SoCon) hits the road for a pair of tough matches in non-conference action this weekend. UTC travels to No. 2 Iowa State on Friday, Feb. 13 and No. 21 Northern Iowa on Saturday, Feb. 14. Match time against the Cyclones is 8:00 p.m. (E.S.T.) in Ames, Iowa. Saturday’s contest against the Panthers is set for 3:00 p.m. (E.S.T.) in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
The Mocs are 11-8 on the season and have clinched at least a tie for the Southern Conference regular season championship with a 4-0 mark in league play. Junior Cody Cleveland is No. 9 in this week’s USA Today/InterMat/NWCA individual rankings at 141.
Both matches can be followed online through subscription packages offered by the hosting schools. Iowa State provides live video for home wrestling matches on www.Cyclones.com. A live video broadcast of the Northern Iowa match is available on www.UNIPanthers.com. Live stats for both matches will also be available at no charge. Links to the live stats and video can be found on the wrestling schedule page of GoMocs.com.
Iowa State is 12-2 on the year with its only losses coming to No. 1 Iowa - 20-15 on Dec. 6 in Iowa City - and No. 3 Cornell - 22-15 in Cedar Falls, Iowa, on Jan. 11.
Iowa State has 10 wrestlers ranked in this week’s top 20, including, (125) No. 10 Tyler Clark, (133) No. 7 Nick Fanthorpe, (141) No. 3 Nick Gallick, (149) No. 18 Mitch Mueller, (157) Cyler Sanderson, (165) No. 7 Jon Reader, (174) No. 18 Duke Burk, (184) No. 18 Jeremy Ward, (197) No. 1 Jake Varner and (HWT) No. 2 David Zabriskie.
The Gallick-Cleveland match-up at 141 will feature a pair of top-10 ranked wrestlers. These two met at the Midlands Championships in December, with Gallick taking a 7-6 decision. Gallick’s older brother, Nick, is an assistant coach with the Mocs.
UTC is 0-3 all-time against Iowa State, including winless in two trips to Ames. The last time these two teams faced off, the Cyclones won a 28-9 match on Jan. 4, 2005 in Ames.
Bono Makes a Return to Ames
Mocs head coach Chris Bono was a four-year letter winner for ISU from 1994-97. He won a national title at 150 for Iowa State as a junior in 1996. He was also the 1997 Big 12 Most Outstanding Wrestler and a three-time All-American at ISU.
Northern Iowa is 7-6 on the year, playing their traditionally difficult schedule. They fell to No. 2 Iowa State 26-9 on Feb. 6 in Ames in their last outing.
The Panthers have four ranked in the top-20 including, (165) No. 4 Moza Fay, (184) No. 15 Alex Dolly, (197) No. 15 Andrew Anderson and (HWT) No. 14 Christian Brantley.
Chattanooga is 1-4 all time against Northern Iowa, including a 21-16 loss on Jan. 6 in Douglasville, Ga., last season. UTC did score a 23-15 win on Jan. 7, 2007, in its last trip to Cedar Falls.
Chattanooga has had individual matches with members of both of this weekend’s opponents this season.
• 141 - No. 3 Nick Gallick (ISU) - DEC, 7-6 - No. 8 Cody Cleveland (UTC) - Midlands Championships - Evanston, Ill. - Dec. 29-30.
• 157 - Joey Knox (UTC) - DEC, 6-5 - Tyson Reiner (UNI) - Kaufman Brand Open - Omaha, Neb. - Nov. 22.
• 157 - Tyson Reiner (UNI) - DEC, 10-4 - Brandon Wright (UTC) - Midlands Championships - Evanston, Ill. - Dec. 29-30.
• 165 - Andrew Sorenson (ISU) - DEC, 5-2 - Brandon Wright (UTC) - Kaufman Brand Open - Omaha, Neb. - Nov. 22.
• 175 - Jason McCroskey (UTC) - DEC, 8-5 - Jarion Beets (UNI) - Midlands Championships - Evanston, Ill. - Dec. 29-30.
Last Time Out
The Mocs are coming off an open weekend and have not seen the mat since falling to No. 3 Cornell 32-7 on Feb. 1. The Mocs got wins from junior Cody Cleveland and senior Seth Garvin to account for their seven points in the match. Cleveland, ranked No. 9 in the nation, defeated Cornell’s Corey Manson 12-3. Cleveland led 2-0 after the opening period and extended his lead to 6-2 following the second frame. An escape, two more takedowns and riding time gave Cleveland the 12-3 final score.
Cleveland’s win cut the Big Red lead to 10-4, but that was as close as Chattanooga would get. Garvin continued his solid senior campaign with a 10-5 decision over John Basting. Garvin held a 2-0 lead after the first period, but Bastings came back to knot the score at 4-4 in the second. An escape, two take downs and riding time in the third frame gave Garvin the win. Freshman Jason McCroskey dropped his match to Steve Anceravage, but put up a strong fight against the nation’s No. 6 wrestler at 174. Trailing 4-1 after the first period, McCroskey cut the lead to 5-3 with a takedown in the second. He scored an escape in the final frame but was unable to get the winning takedown as time expired.
• 125 - Freshman Demetrius Johnson is 6-5 on the year and has won two of his last three matches.
• 133 - Sophomore Josh Statum is 5-7 on the season, but has dropped four of his last six matches.
• 141 - Junior Cody Cleveland, the reigning SoCon Wrestler of the Month, is 19-4 on the year. He has won eight straight matches, including a technical fall, pin and major decision in his last three matches.
• 149 - One of two freshman will go at 149 this weekend, Dan Waddell or Kelly Felix. Waddell is 12-10 on the year, while Felix has a 5-4 mark.
• 157 - 20th-ranked junior Joey Knox or freshman Brandon Wright could be pencilled in at 157. Knox is 15-9 on the year but has only won twice in his last five outings. Wright is 7-7 on the season with his last action coming on the Appalachian State/UNCG trip Jan. 24-25.
• 165 - Senior Seth Garvin leads the team in wins with a 20-7 record this season. He was the SoCon wrestler of the month for December. He has won five straight and pinned two of his last three opponents.
• 174 - Freshman Jason McCroskey is 18-8 on the season, winning four of his last five matches. He is currently 4-0 in SoCon action.
• 184 - Freshman Tyler Roberson is scheduled to go at 184 despite. He was back in action against The Citadel, Campbellsville and Cornell after missing the previous five matches.
• 197 - Freshman Ethan Winel is again slated for the 197 spot for UTC. He is 8-12 in his first year on the collegiate mat.
• 285 - Freshman Cody Sliger is 9-13 in 2008-09 and continues to gain valuable experience at the Division I level.
UTC will likely field six freshmen - Johnson, Waddell, McCroskey, Roberson, Winel, Sliger - and one sophomore - Statum - in the matches this weekend.
Cleveland Named SoCon January WOTM
Cody Cleveland was named the Southern Conference’s Wrestler of the Month for January. The 141-pound junior went 7-0, including three SoCon wins and a pair of pins. He opened the month with a technical fall (7:00) against Oklahoma’s Zack Bailey on Jan. 11. He followed that up with a pin (6:51) against Missouri Valley’s Eric Gordon on the Mocs’ trip to Columbia, Mo., on Jan. 18. Later that evening, Cleveland won a major decision against Missouri’s No. 12 Marcus Hoehn 14-5. Cleveland dropped ASU’s Mike Kessler in a major decision 19-8 and won a decision (13-6) over UNCG’s Chris Bencivenga. Cleveland ended the month with a technical fall (3:23) against The Citadel’s Derek Royster and a pin (3:31) against Matt David. The win over David was the 50th of Cleveland’s career.
Garvin Named December Wrestler of the Month
Senior Seth Garvin was the Southern Conference Wrestler of the Month for December 2008. Garvin posted a record of 5-2 with three pins. He started off December with victories over opponents from Cumberland and Gardner-Webb in non-conference matches. At the Midlands Championships in Evanston, Ill., a few days before the new year, Garvin won his first three matches, including a victory over No. 10 Trevor Stewart of Central Michigan.
The Chattanooga Mocs wrestling team is taking on all comers this season with a traditionally tough schedule. They have already had matches against No. 25 Kent State, No. 11 Northwestern, No. 6 Nebraska, No. 10 Oklahoma, No. 12 Missouri and No. 3 Cornell. UTC faces No. 2 Iowa State on Feb. 13 and No. 21 Northern Iowa on Feb. 14.
Southern Conference Dominance
UTC has a 24-match unbeaten streak in Southern Conference action. The Mocs have posted a 23-0-1 mark during that stretch. Their last loss to a SoCon opponent was a 13-27 setback at the Citadel on Feb. 14, 2004. Head Coach Chris Bono is 14-0 vs. SoCon teams in just over two years at UTC. The Mocs have won the last four SoCon titles.