published Saturday, October 27th, 2012

Wrestling Mocs hope to boost football

Today's Blue-Gold matches

125 -- Nick Soto vs Zach Bridson

133 -- Marvin Lopez vs Landon Reed

141 -- Dean Pavlou vs. Austin Woods, Jacob Akins, Austin Sams or Landon Reed

149 -- Alex Hudson vs. Jared Presley or Parker Smith

157 -- Trey Stavrum vs Jesse Beaver

165 -- John Lampe vs Sean Mappes

174 -- Jake Young vs Levi Clemons

184 -- Robert Prigmore vs. T.J. Homes, Clay Dent or John Shrader

197 -- Niko Brown vs Jared Johnson

285 -- Kevin Malone vs Caleb Denny

By coming early today, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football fans can see the Southern Conference favorites for the 2012-13 wrestling season.

The mat Mocs will have their annual Blue-Gold intrasquad scrimmage at the First Tennessee Pavilion next to Finley Stadium beginning at 3 p.m. Kickoff for the football game against Georgia Southern is 6 p.m.

"I've always wanted to do it [at the pavilion] because you get the attention of some fans you don't have normally," Mocs wrestling coach Heath Eslinger said. "Then we also get our fans to the pavilion, and hopefully they'll stick around for the football game."

Always on the lookout for a way to promote amateur wrestling and in particular the Mocs, Eslinger said he saw the move as a way to help everybody.

"It's a huge game for the football team, and we want our fans to stay and support them," he said. "It's something new and you have to try different [marketing] ideas in wrestling. You need the meets to be an event rather than just matches, so you take [the Blue-Gold] down to a UTC football game where maybe 10,000 are going to show up."

Headlining the event will be defending Southern Conference champions Nick Soto and Dean Pavlou along with Niko Brown, who joined Soto and Pavlou as members of the preseason all-conference team.

Pavlou (Bradley Central) is one of several Chattanooga-area wrestlers on the team, along with Marvin Lopez (Cleveland), Landon Reed (Heritage), Trey Stavrum (Baylor) and Jake Young (Ooltewah).

Another local wrestler, Soddy-Daisy's Campbell Lewis, is recovering from shoulder surgery and will take a redshirt year. So will Shawn Greevy, the Mocs starter at 141 pounds last season; he is recovering from several injuries.

Former conference champ Demetrius "Bucky" Johnson had an injury appeal for a sixth year granted by the NCAA but has decided against wrestling, and former Mocs starter Josh Condon will challenge for the 157-pound slot in January after taking a year off.

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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