In this file photo, Baylor's Alex Manley pins down McCallie's Alex Kent during a prep wrestling match between rival schools Baylor and McCallie. Baylor defeated McCallie with a final score of 37-20.Staff File Photo by Jenna Walker/Chattanooga Times Free Press
Baylor School wrestler Alex Manley has signed or will sign Stanford scholarship papers this morning and return them to the Pacific-10 school.
“I think the paperwork was supposed to come in today,” Baylor coach Ben Nelson said Tuesday night.
According to the coach, it came down to Virginia and Stanford.
“The opportunity to go to a school that has the academics and a rising [wrestling] program is great,” Nelson said. “Stanford had a great showing at the NCAA tournament and is a program on the rise.”
The Cardinal earned a program-best 11th-place finish at the NCAAs and had three All-Americans.
They are getting Tennessee’s all-time wins leader in Manley, whose 49-1 2010-11 season gave him a career record of 229-14. He is also a five-time state finalist and two-time champion.
“Alex has a style of wrestling that is very conducive to the college level,” Nelson said. “With the coaching he’ll get at Stanford, he has a shot at being an All-American one day.”
Nelson believes that like most freshmen, Manley will have to endure a learning curve.
“He was great at keeping good position, controlling the match and not letting things get too far out of hand, which is how a lot of college matches are won,” Nelson said. “He’ll be competitive on his feet, but the hardest adjustments for him will be wrestling on top and on bottom. That is, though, typical for wrestlers that go on to the college level.”
Other area wrestlers who have signed Division I scholarships include T.J. Duncan (McCallie) to Maryland, Preston McCalmon (LaFayette) to Arizona State and Marvin Lopez (Cleveland) to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Contact Ward Gossett at email@example.com or 423-886-4765.
Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...