July 5, 2022

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The Sports Fanatics

Mocs Set to Host the 2022 Southern Scuffle, Presented by Compound Sportswear

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is set to host the 2022 Southern Scuffle, presented by Compound Sportswear, on Jan. 1-2.  Billed as the top in-season collegiate wrestling tournament in the nation, the Southern Scuffle is held in the McKenzie Arena.

Gates open at 9 a.m. on Jan. 1 and competition will begin at 10 a.m. Day two competition will begin at 11 a.m. with McKenize Arena opening for spectators at 10. 

#LETSSCUFFLE
Be sure to use the hashtag #LetsScuffle when tweeting about the Southern Scuffle.  Follow @LetsScuffle on Twitter and Instagram for the most up-to-date information on the 2022 Southern Scuffle, presented by Compound Sportswear.

SCUFFLE TICKETS ON SALE NOW
The lower bowl is filling up fast so be sure to get your 2022 Southern Scuffle tickets now – click here to purchase tickets.  To purchase tickets or passes to the VIP room, which includes two complimentary beverages each day and two free meals a day, click here.

FOLLOW LIVE
Every match of the 2022 Southern Scuffle can be followed live via Flowrestling. Get the FloSports iOS app today in the App Store to watch the event live and on-the-go.  Download the FloSports App on iOS, Roku, Fire TV, Android and Apple TV 4 to watch Southern Scuffle across all screens.  Live scoring and interactive brackets are also available through FloArena.  Links to both are on the TheSouthernScuffle.com and the wrestling schedule page on GoMocs.com.

This year’s field is stacked with four teams listed in the top-10 in the latest NWCA Coaches Poll. Those teams included are No. 4 Oklahoma State, No. 5 NC State, No. 8 Cornell and No. 10 Virginia Tech. Additionally, three other top-25 teams will be coming to the Scenic City – No. 11 Missouri, No. 14 Minnesota and No. 20 North Carolina.  No. 2 Penn State is sending partial representation to the Scuffle.

Air Force, Appalachian State, Bellarmine, Buffalo, Cal State Bakersfield, Columbia, Davidson, Drexel, Duke, Gardner Webb, George Mason, Little Rock, Maryland, Michigan St., North Dakota State, Northern Colorado, Rider University, South Dakota State, Stanford, The Citadel, VMI and West Virginia are also competing with the Mocs this week. 

The field is loaded with 26 All-Americans (the most since 2016) and five national champions (most since 2018). Additionally, there are 29 wrestlers ranked in the top-10 (most since 2018) and 76 ranked individuals (most since 2016). *Rankings are Flo – Nov. 30

MOCS AT THE SCUFFLE
This is the 10th time the Mocs have hosted the Southern Scuffle and the 12th time they have competed in the event.  UTC’s best showing was a sixth place finish in 2006 in Greensboro, N.C.
2020 – 13th (46)
2019 – 14th (37.5)
2018 – 11th (51.0)
2017 – 11th (46.0)
2016 – 20th (31.5)
2015 – 14th (43.5)
2014 – 16th (34.0)
2013 – 14th (31.5)
2012 – 7th ( 79.0)
2006 – 6th (75.5)
2005 – 13th (48.5)

UTC’S PROBABLE LINEUP
125: No. 20 Fabian Gutierrez (5-1)
133: Brayden Palmer (5-3)
141: Franco Valdes (4-3)
149: Noah Castillo (5-2)/Grant Lundy(2-1)/George Coleman
157: Weston Wichman (4-3)
165: Drew Nicholson (1-2)/Caleb Waddell (1-2)
174: Carial Tarter (2-6)/Thomas Sell (2-3)
184: Matthew Waddell (3-4)/Landon Lewis (0-4)
285: Matthias Ervin (0-4)/Grayson Walthall (0-4)
*Rankings are FloWrestling – Dec. 24

MOCS UNATTACHED WRESTLERS 
125: Alex Cottey 
133: Blake Boarman/Jake Insko 
149: Lincoln Heck/Hunter Noland/Matthew Williams
157: Jackson Hurst 

SCOUTING THE MOCS
UTC returns nine of its 10 starters from last year’s squad. All four NCAA Qualifiers return to the Blue and Gold – Logan Andrew (197), Fabian Gutierrez (125), Drew Nicholson (165) and Matthew Waddell (184).  

The Mocs are off to a 3-5 start in 2021-22 after facing three Power-5 opponents and two ranked foes. The squad is 1-0 in Southern Conference action following the team’s victory over Davidson last month. Against their three Power-5 duals, the Mocs fell to No. 12 Rutgers 39-3, No. 23 Illinois 19-12 and West Virginia 25-12. 

Chattanooga was picked to finish third in the Southern Conference race with 50 points. The Mocs went 6-2 in the conference last year, finishing with an 8-4 record overall. Appalachian State received six first-place votes and 61 points to top the 2020-21 preseason poll. Campbell was second with 59 votes.  Gardner-Webb (39), The Citadel (38), VMI (27), Davidson (24), Bellarmine (13) and Presbyterian (12) rounded out the listings.

NICHOLSON NAMED PRESEASON ALL-SOCON
After winning the SoCon Tournament as the No. 3 seed at 165 pounds last season, Drew Nicholson was named to the Preseason All-SoCon team in 2021. The Memphis native went 13-5 last season, 9-3 in dual action and 6-2 in SoCon matches. He is the reigning SoCon Tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler. 

MOCS GETTING THE JOB DONE IN THE CLASSROOM
UTC topped the 3.0 mark as a team for the eighth time in the fall of 2020.  The Mocs had a 3.094 GPA in the fall and had a program-record 22 on the A.D. Honor Roll with a 3.0 GPA.  UTC has posted a 3.0 in each of the last five semesters. 

SCUFFLE NOTES
• This is the 18th year of the Southern Scuffle. It was held in Greensboro, N.C. from 2003-10 and moved to Chattanooga in 2012. It was not held in 2021 due to the pandemic. 
• There five former NCAA Champions in the field include Cornell’s two-time winner Yanni Diakomihalis (141 – ’18 & ’19), North Carolina’s Austin O’Connor (149 – ’21), Stanford’s Shane Griffith (165 – ’21), Virginia Tech’s Mekhi Lewis (174 – ’19) and Oklahoma State’s A.J. Ferrari (197 – ’21).
• There are seven former Scuffle Individual Champions in the field, including Oklahoma State’s Daton Fix (133 – ’19) and Kaden Gfeller (141 – ’18, 149 – ’19), Stanford’s Jaden Abas (149 – ’20), Real Woods (141 – ’20) and Shane Griffith (165 – ’20), Binghampton’s Lou Deprez (184 – ’20) and N.C. State’s Hayden Hilday (157 – ’20).
• Only five different teams have won the Southern Scuffle, including Cornell (2008, 2009 & 2010 (tie)), Minnesota (2004, 2005 & 2007), Missouri (2003 & 2006), Oklahoma State (2017 & 2020) and Penn State (2010 (tie), 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019).
• Oklahoma State’s Kaden Gfeller has a chance to join elite company as a three-time Scuffle Champion. To-date, only 13 others have accomplished that feat. 
• Missouri’s J’Den Cox is the lone Scuffle alum to win an Olympic medal. He won the Scuffle at 197 in 2015 and 2017. He also took the Bronze Medal at 86kg at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. 
• Penn State holds the record for points in the tournament with 218.5 in its 2019 win.