Mocs Host No. 19 Missouri on Saturday
Sophomore Brandon Wright

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling team is back in action on Saturday, Jan. 16, when it hosts No. 19 Missouri at Maclellan Gym.  Match time is set for 7:00 p.m. (E.S.T.). 

The Tigers are the marquee home contest for the Mocs this season, coming in with a national ranking and a talented roster.  Missouri is 2-4 on the year, with losses to Cal Poly and Purdue early in the season.  They went 1-2 at the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) Duals last weekend, scoring a win over Northwestern and losses to Minnesota and No. 7 Cornell.

The Mocs-Tigers match is the nightcap of a triple-header of activities at UTC on Saturday.  The men's and women's basketball teams are both in action at McKenzie Arena earlier in the day.  Fans can bring their ticket stubs from the women's game vs. Western Carolina (12 p.m.) or the men's game vs. the College of Charleston (2:30 p.m.) and receive free admission to the wrestling match.  

Fans can also bid on matside seats for the Missouri Match.  Bidding is currently open on and is available by clicking here.   

Last season, the Mocs traveled to Columbia, Mo., to take on the No. 12 Tigers where they fell 32-7.  UTC's two wins came from sophomore Demetrius Johnson and senior Cody Cleveland.  Johnson defeated Troy Dolan at 125 while Cleveland won against No. 12 Marcus Hoehn. 

Missouri is coming off an 18-4 season in 2008-09, including a 3-1 mark and a third place showing in the Big 10.  The Tigers placed 11th at the NCAAs last year and return seven starters, five NCAA qualifiers and three All-Americans.  Eight of Missouri's 10 starters are ranked in the Top-25. 

The Mocs have won four straight dual matches, but are will be without the services of Cleveland for the rest of the season.  The 2008 141 All-American suffered a knee injury at the Hoosier Duals.  Freshman Jake Young leads the team with a 16-4 record at 174.  He is currently ranked No. 20 in the Top-25. 

There is a possibility of two rematches from December's Midlands Championships this weekend.  UTC sophomore Jason McCroskey lost a hard-fought 7-5 decision to Max Askren in the 184 brackets.  Junior Tom Minwell was pinned by Mark Ellis (3:36) in the heavyweight division. 

Mocs Probable Line-Up
125:  Demetrius Johnson - So. - 13-8
133:  Josh Statum - Sr. - 10-6
149:  Dean Pavlou - Fr. - 16-8
149:  Alex Hudson - Fr. - 3-5
157:  Josh Condon - Fr - 9-2 
      Bond Davis - Jr. - 9-6
      Kelly Felix - Jr. - 2-2
165:  Brandon Wright - So. - 14-4
174:  No. 20 Jake Young - Fr. - 16-4
184:  Jason McCroskey - So. - 10-8
197:  Niko Brown - Fr. - 8-10
285:  Tom Minwell - Jr. - 13-8
      Matt Lettner - Jr. - 3-4

Missouri's Probable Line-Up
125: No. 18 Brad Wisdom - Fr.
133: Nathan McCormick - Fr.
141: No. 19 Todd Schavrien - Jr.
149: Brandon Wiest - Jr.
157: No. 16 Patrick Wright - So. 
165: No. 6 Nicholas Marable - Sr.
174: No. 10 Dorian Henderson - So.
184: No. 3 Max Askren - Sr.
197: No. 18 Brent Haynes - Fr.
HWT: No. 7 Mark Ellis - Sr.

Freshman Jake Young is the lone Moc in the rankings, coming in at No. 17 at 174.  He won the Hokie Open in his first tournament of the season.  His only two losses have come by two points or less.  He dropped a 3-1 decision in the final seconds against No. 1 Mike Miller of Central Michigan in his last match.  He went 5-0 in the Hoosier Duals, including a 5-1 decision over Indiana's 17th-ranked Trevor Perry. 

Freshman Jay Young was named the SoCon Wrestler of Month for November and the first Wrestler of the Week for the 2009-10 season.  Young, who wrestles in the 174-pound weight class, opened his collegiate campaign with a 13-2 record, including a tournament title at the Hokie Open in his first event with the Mocs on Nov. 8. The Ooltewah, Tenn., native followed that performance with a 5-0 mark at the Indiana Duals, including a win over Indiana's 17th-ranked Trevor Perry. The true freshman's only two losses this season were a one-point (7-6) defeat against Virginia Tech's Anthony Trongone and a 3-1 decision to No. 1 ranked Mike Miller of Central Michigan.

Senior Cody Cleveland, the reigning Southern Conference Wrestler of the Year, is out for the rest of the 2009-10 season after suffering a knee injury in the Hoosier Duals.  Cleveland was 8-0 on the year and ranked No. 9 in the nation when he injured his knee against Indiana's Daniel Monaco.

Senior Joey Knox posted a 4-0 record and won the Wolfpack Open's 157-pound class on Nov. 21.  He only allowed one point in his four wins in the open tournament.   

Freshman Jake Young had an impressive start to his collegiate career, winning the 174 class at the 2009 Hokie Open.  The Ooltewah, Tenn., native posted a 6-1 record in his first weekend of college wrestling. 

The UTC wrestling team has been predicted to win the 2010 Southern Conference Wrestling championship, in voting by the league's head coaches.  The Mocs, who carry a 25-match unbeaten streak in league dual matches into the season, have won the past five SoCon regular season and tournament championships. Under the direction of first-year head coach Heath Eslinger, UTC picked up four of the six first-place votes in the balloting. 

A two-time Outstanding Wrestler at the SoCon Tournament, senior Cody Cleveland was honored as the top wrestler at 141 pounds, and he was joined by teammates sophomore  Demetrius Johnson (125), senior Joey Knox (157) and sophomore Jason McCroskey (184).

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