Mocs Host VMI on Senior Day
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling team will close out the 2011 regular season with Senior Day against VMI on Sunday, Feb. 20. The Mocs host the Keydets in Maclellan Gym at 2:00 p.m. (E.S.T.). Admission for the match is $5 for adults and $3 for youth. Free T-shirts will be given out throughout the afternoon. GoMocs.com, the official website of Chattanooga Athletics, will have live scoring available for all of Chattanooga's home matches. Live video through Mocs Vision will also be available on GoMocs.com.
UTC will honor four seniors on Sunday, including Cody Cleveland (Tullahoma, Tenn.), Matt Lettner (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.), Jason McCroskey (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) and Cody Stokes (Chattanooga, Tenn.).
Chattanooga is currently 10-9 on the year and 4-0 in the SoCon. UTC has secured at least a tie for its seventh-straight SoCon regular season title. A win on Sunday will give the Mocs the outright trophy for the 26th time in Chattanooga's 34 years in the SoCon.*
UTC has not lost to a league opponent since a 27-13 set-back at The Citadel on Feb. 14, 2004. The Mocs have won 18-straight SoCon homes matches. The last time UTC dropped a home match in league action was a 26-12 loss to VMI on Feb. 22, 2003. The Mocs have a 15-2 all-time record against VMI.*
Chattanooga is riding a four-match winning streak, all in conference action. UTC opened its SoCon schedule with a 26-6 win over The Citadel on Jan. 30. The Mocs followed that with a huge come-from-behind win at UNC Greensboro on Feb. 5 and a 27-10 win the following day at Appalachian State. Last weekend, Chattanooga upended Davidson 41-3 at home.
VMI is currently 4-9 on the year and 1-3 in SoCon action, after falling at home 22-12 to UNC Greensboro on Thursday. The Keydets are led by senior heavyweight Josh Wine. Wine is currently No. 17 in the nation and carries a 17-5 overall record. Junior Matt Brock is tied for the most wins on the team with his 17-12 overall mark.
The Mocs won last year's match 31-9 in Lexington, Va. One rematch from last year's bout could come at 149. Chattanooga sophomore Dean Pavlou (Cleveland, Tenn.) took a 7-4 decision over Michael Long in the previous meeting.*
SENIOR CODY CLEVELAND
Cody Cleveland still leads the Mocs at 141. He is 10-0 on the year and ranked No. 9 in the nation. He has missed significant time this season with a number of injuries, but is hitting his stride. Cleveland is closing out an outstanding career at UTC. The 2008 All-American is gunning for a third SoCon title and a return trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Cleveland has only lost one SoCon match in his impressive UTC career. That was his first league bout during his freshman season. He fell to UNC Greensboro's Chris Bencivenga 13-12 on Jan. 27, 2007. Since then, he is 18-0 against SoCon opponents with two league titles.*
Cleveland has a 71-24 record during his career at UTC and is nine wins shy of the top-10 all-time at UTC. He has already completed a degree in Criminal Justice and is currently pursuing an M.B.A.
SENIOR MATT LETTNER
Senior heavyweight Matt Lettner has fought through injuries throughout his career. He has recently battled through a foot injury and is 7-11 this season. He has 23 career wins and has been a leader on the team this season.*
Majoring in General Management, Lettner has been on the Dean's List for each of the last four semesters and plans to graduate in May.
JUNIOR JASON MCCROSKEY
McCroskey still has one year of eligibility remaining, but the fourth-year junior will call it a career on the mat following the 2011 season. A former SoCon Champion and the 2009 SoCon Freshman of the Year, McCroskey leads the team with a 21-8 record. He has been in the top-20 this season but is unranked this week.*
McCroskey has a 59-34 record in three seasons, and has made two trips to the NCAA Tournament. An excellent student, he is a two-time Academic All-NWCA and an Academic All-SoCon performer. He currently carries a 3.63 g.p.a., majoring in Engineering, and plans to graduate in May.*
SENIOR CODY STOKES
Cody Stokes may go down as having one of the most impressive winning percentages in school history. He scored a pin in his only match as a Moc against Gardner-Webb during the 2007-08 season. He is majoring in Education and also plans to graduate in May.*
CHATTANOOGA PROBABLE LINEUP
125: Prescott Garner (So. - 18-11)
133: Demetrius Johnson (Jr. - 2-1) ? Adam Wilson (Fr. - 0-5)
141: No. 9 Cody Cleveland (Sr. - 10-0) ? Shawn Greevy (Fr. - 7-5)
149: Alex Hudson (So. - 2-1) ? Dean Pavlou (So. - 12-10)
157: Josh Condon (So. - 20-6) ? Kelly Felix (Sr. - 2-0)
165: Dan Waddell (Jr. - 13-10)
174: Brandon Wright (Jr. - 8-10)
184: Jason McCroskey (Jr. - 21-8)
197: Niko Brown (So. - 17-8)
285: Matt Lettner (Sr. - 7-11) ? Robert Prigmore (So. - 7-10)
Head coach Heath Eslinger is in his second year at Chattanooga. The former Moc and 2000 SoCon Wrestler of the Year, has a 21-16 overall mark leading the UTC program.
VMI PROBABLE LINEUP
125: John Pope (Sr. - 14-14)
133: Luke Todd (Jr. - 23-7) ? Charles Gray (Fr. - 8-8)
141: David Yost (Jr. - 7-12) ? Ryan Goodsell (So. - 1-14)
149: Mike Long (Sr. - 10-10)
157: Mike Burnett (So. - 2-5)
165: Ted Gottwald (Fr. - 8-16)
174: Matt Brock (Jr. - 17-12)
184: John Dommert (So. - 8-16) ? Evan Dill (So. - 2-10)
197: Ronnie Ellsworth (Sr. - 8-8)
285: No. 17 Josh Wine (Sr. - 17-5)
Sophomore Prescott Garner (West Linn, Ore.) is still holding down the leadoff spot at 125. He is currently 18-11 and 11-6 in dual matches and five of his 11 losses have come to opponents ranked in the top-10.
Junior Demetrius Johnson (Memphis, Tenn.) is back in the lineup after missing most of the season with a knee injury. He is 2-1 at 133 after competing at 125 his first two seasons. Freshman Adam Wilson (Atlanta, Ga.) is also a possibility at 133.*
Chattanooga's ninth-ranked senior Cody Cleveland (Tullahoma, Tenn.) is back from a hamstring injury and is undefeated at 10-0. His replacement, freshman Shawn Greevy (Mechanicsburg, Pa.), has been solid in his first collegiate season and is currently 7-5, including a match-clinching 13-0 victory at Ohio on Jan. 3.
Sophomore Dean Pavlou (Cleveland, Tenn.) has won six of his last eight matches but sophomore Alex Hudson is pushing for a spot in the lineup. Pavlou is 12-10 overall while Hudson is 2-1.*
Pavlou is trying to close out a strong SoCon campaign. The 2010 SoCon Champ at 149 is currently 2-0 in league action.*
Sophomore Josh Condon (Powder Springs, Ga.) is second on the team with 20 wins against six losses. He is looking to extend his 3-0 mark in SoCon matches, but junior Kelly Felix (Franklin, Tenn.) could also get in the mix. Felix is 2-0 on the year, including a win at Appalachian State.*
Junior Dan Waddell (Chattanooga., Tenn.) has moved up to 165 where he is 7-5. He is 13-10 overall and also 6-5 at 157. The former SoCon Champ is returning to form after missing all of last season with a shoulder injury.*
Junior Brandon Wright (Germantown, Tenn.) is also looking strong in conference action. He moved up to 174 in the middle of the season and has a 4-0 mark in league matches at that weight. He is trying to close out an undefeated league campaign.
This may be the marquis match of the day with VMI sending out junior Matt Brock. Brock is tied for the team lead with a 17-12 overall record and is also 4-0 in SoCon action.
Junior Jason McCroskey (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) has been in and out of the top-20 at 184 this season. He is not currently ranked but still leads the team with a 20-8 overall mark and is 13-5 in duals.
Sophomore Niko Brown (Kissimmee, Fla.) will get the nod at 197. Brown is off to a 17-8 record.
Senior Matt Lettner (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) is 7-11 overall but could be replaced by sophomore Robert Prigmore (Westlake, Texas). Prigmore has bumped up to 285 where he is 3-5. He is 1-3 in SoCon matches at heavyweight.*
WRIGHT NAMED WRESTLER OF THE WEEK
Junior Brandon Wright was been named Southern Conference Wrestler of the Week for all competitions from February 2-8. He scored a 3-2 win over two-time defending SoCon Champion Bryon Sigmon in the Mocs' furious comeback victory against UNC Greensboro on Feb. 5. He followed that up with a 14-5 major decision over Appalachian State's Carter Downs on Feb. 6. The win clinched the Mocs' 27-10 victory in Boone.
MCCROSKEY NAMED STUDENT-ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
Junior Jason McCroskey (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) was been named the Southern Conference Student-Athlete of the Week for February 9. McCroskey capped the Mocs' comeback in a 20-18 win over UNC Greensboro with a pin over Elijah Adams over the weekend. Chattanooga fell behind 15-5 after the first five matches, but fought its way back to 15-14 with McCroskey set to take the mat in the 184 pound match. At the 2:54 mark, McCroskey put Adams on his back to seal Chattanooga's 32nd-straight SoCon regular season win. McCroskey is a two-time Academic All-SoCon and two-time Academic All-NWCA honoree. He holds a 3.63 GPA in engineering. The SoCon Student-Athlete of the Week is given to individuals with at least a 3.2 g.p.a. who have excelled in competition during their championship seasons.*
MOCS INK TOP-25 RECRUITING CLASS
The Mocs have inked one of the top-25 early-season recruiting classes according to Wrestling Insider News (WIN) magazine. Chattanooga received its top-25 ranking thanks to four prep wrestlers who signed National Letters of Intent in November. This group is highlighted by three high school state champions, including Marvin Lopez (Cleveland, Tenn.), William Kennedy (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) and Nick Soto (Spring Hill, Fla.) and also includes Fairfield, Ohio, native Austin Sams.*
MOCS PICKED 2ND IN THE SOCON POLLS
Despite carrying a six-year, 30-match SoCon duals win streak into the season the Mocs were picked second in the preseason polls behind UNC Greensboro. UTC earned two first-place votes and 21 points overall in the balloting. UNCG took the top spot with four first place votes and 23 points. The Mocs are followed by Appalachian State (16), The Citadel (16), VMI (8) and Davidson (6).*
Chattanooga also had three preseason all-conference wrestlers on the squad, including two-time SoCon champion Cody Cleveland at 141 pounds. Cleveland, the SoCon champion at 141 and Tournament Most Outstanding Wrestler in both 2008 and '09 as well as the 2009 SoCon Co-Wrestler of the Year, missed the majority of last season with an injury. Chattanooga's Dean Pavlou (149) and Dan Waddell (157) were also voted to the preseason all-league team.
IT'S ALL IN THE NAME
On first reference, it is acceptable to refer to us as the "University of Tennessee at Chattanooga". After that, we prefer to be called "Chattanooga" or "UTC". Our nickname is "Mocs".