published Monday, December 19th, 2011

Soto stands out in Mat Mocs' loss


125 -- Jesse Delgado (I) won by tech. fall over Cole Gallagher, 5:45;

133 -- Nick Soto (UTC) dec. B.J. Futrell, 8-2;

141 -- Daryl Thomas (I) dec. Shawn Greevy, 11-10;

149 -- Eric Terazas (I) dec. Kelly Felix, 9-3;

157 -- Guy Kirby (I) dec. Dan Waddell, 3-1;

165 -- Jackson Morse (I) dec. Brandon Wright, 11-4;

174 -- Jordan Blanton (I) major dec. Levi Clemons, 19-6;

184 -- Tony Dallago (I) pinned Robert Prigmore, 1:37;

197 -- Mario Gonzalez (I) dec. Niko Brown, 4-3;

285 -- Kevin Malone (UTC) dec. Pat Walker, 6-3.

Records: Illinois 7-1; UTC 3-4.

There must be something about ranked wrestlers that brings out the best in freshman Nick Soto.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga freshman knocked off his second top 10 opponent Sunday although the Mocs fell to seventh-ranked Illinois 30-6.

Soto defeated fourth-ranked B.J. Futrell 8-2 for one of two UTC wins at Champaign, Ill.

"That was a huge win for him," Mocs coach Heath Eslinger said.

Soto, who improved to 9-3, pinned Virginia Tech's sixth-ranked Devin Carter in 6:53 at the Hokie Open. He now has a 2-1 record against ranked opponents including a 14-6 loss to sixth-ranked Ryan Mango of Stanford. Soto, by the way, had a 4.0 gpa last year as a true freshman.

The only other UTC victory came from heavyweight Kevin Malone, who improved to 13-7 with a 6-3 victory over Pat Walker.

"That's another big win for Kevin. He's close. It's a weight class where if he learns to win the close matches he can do great things," Eslinger said.

The Mocs were really chose to wins from 141-pound Shawn Greevy, 157-pound Dan Waddell and 197-pound Niko Brown.

Greevy and Brown lost one-point decisions and Waddell gave up a two-point move in the last nine seconds and lost 3-1.

"I think we had a chance to win five matches and keep it at least close and we didn't capitalize. I think we're closer than the guys realize," Eslinger said.

The Mocs will be practicing but won't return to competition until they host the Southern Scuffle at McKenzie Arena Jan. 1-2.

about Ward Gossett...

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 ...

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