If awesomer was a word it would be this past weekends descriptive, though it actually all began Wednesday when a Southern Conference bottom feeder (of late) rose up and took a chunk out of a SoCon up and comer. The Citadel, who, despite the star power of recent All Americans Ugi Kushigyan and 2XAA Turtotogh Lusvandorjh, (AND 110+ match winner, 4x NCAA qualifier Aaron Walker, San Antonio, Judson HS baby!) haven’t really been relevant in or out of conference for several years. Their most recent SoCon crown was 2004. Before that, 1967! Nonetheless, the (military academy) breed of Bulldogs bit their conference brethren from Gardner-Webb 30-12 in a home dual in Charleston Wednesday night. It’s tough to run with ANY dogs when you forfeit 2 weight classes, as GWU did. Some teams can climb out of a 12-0 hole versus comparable competition. They are few, about a dead man plus 2 or 3 in number. Gardner Webbs breed of Bulldogs is not one of them, no disrespect. Nor does the Scribe infer any disrespect towards our amazing military matmen now nor did he in Column 8 when the coaching tenure of the Citadels Rob Hjerling was called into question. More than one important someone must be happy with Hjerlings work. Perhaps the addition of dynamic new young coach Cody Cleveland (just inducted into the Chattanooga Sports Hall of Fame!) is already having an effect. 157lb Rian Burris, 165lb Dazjon Casto and team anchor and 4 year starter 197lb Sawyer Root (Sunshine State SHOUT-OUT, St. Cloud, FL, Harmony School) are all having fine individual seasons. Root, 28-13, finds himself nationally ranked. He just finished 2nd at the All Academy championships this past Saturday. It was his 4th tournament placement this year, and he will earn one more this season. Best thing about this Citadel trio: Burris is back next year and Casto has 2 more seasons left. Another nice note on the Citadels performance this weekend in Vermont: their 56.5 points was more than the scores of the 4 smaller military schools combined. Theres a Hjerling hat-hanger for you.


That the matmen from Annapolis took 5 titles while claiming their umpteenth All Academy Championships this past Saturday is not surprising. That their coach, Joel (Human Motivational Statement)** Sharratt threw effusive team positivisms around like beads at a Mardis Gras parade hardly suprised. What suprised the Scribe and apparently not a few others was the absence of starters competing for the Black Knights. What gives, Army West Point? SOME professional media type should ask about this. Was it the shutdown? Was it a bad pre seeding meeting? Was it a “condition”? There’s Pure and Clean Skin Defense for that. Ask John Smith, he can probably get you some. Whatever the reason(s), no Army team Saturday meant whos the big dog on the military mats gets decided dual meet style February 23rd when Navy comes to town.


Brian Andrews, Wyoming-with a 25-7 record so far this season Andrews is finally drawing some notice nationally, just not enough from this point of view. He’s in that 3-5 range of heavies in the Big 12, trailing only OK Sts Derek White and Utah Valley’s Tate Orndorff. Andrews has taken out top flight heavies from the ACC and the EIWA, and his only “bad” loss was a first match of the season upset. A big Big 12 showdown looms this upcoming weekend as Wyoming meets Fresno St. and Andrews gets acquainted with fellow sophomore star hvy. A.J. Nevills. Those two, along with Iowa St’s Gannon Gremmel, are bad matchups for almost anyone, including each other. This 3 way conference scrum will be going on for years, so just sit back and enjoy!

Gannon Gremmel, Iowa St-speaking of the “Grimm One”, Gremmel is 18-9, not a bowl you over record, BUT…..he’s placed at every tournament he’s entered, top 3 at all but one. Hes beaten 2 of the top 3 heavies from the MAC and the SoCons best, and theres only 1, maybe 2 bad losses on his resume. He closed the gap on OK st. superstud Derek White, holding the deadly Cowboy hvywt to a decision in Sundays 22-15 barnburner of a dual. Gannon also owns a win over national qualifier AJ Nevills of Fresno St. Theres that 3 way scrum again. Now, if only UNI’s Carter Isley (#panthertrain!) can stay healthy, the Big 12s 3 year heavyweight depth chart would be approaching Marianas Trench level. No Megs allowed. #BeyondtheSea.


The Scribes beloved Mocs have opened SoCon competition 2-0, beating VMI 32-8 and Davidson 34-9. UTC won 15 of 19 contested matches, picking up bonus points galore and still enjoying fine performances from both 125lb national qualifier Alonzo Allen and his running neck and neck teammate, fellow 125lb Fabian Gutierrez. Who gets the post-season nod? More importantly, can the Mocs pick up a pair of road wins this weekend at Gardner-Webb and 3X defending conference champ App State? A MASSIVE first season “IF” is looming for Coach Kyle Ruschell and company, and any outcome is possible. From here the feeling is two wins would be wonderful, a split is expected, and 0-2 means work to do. On a sad note, condolences go out to all of those who knew UTC legends Jim Morgan and John Farr, who both left us recently. Farr was a wrestler and long time supporter of the sport and the school, coaching, helping direct tournaments, and officiating. The revered Morgan is UTCs all time winningest wrestling coach with over 200 dual meet victories. He forged the Mocs Golden Age, first earning undergrad and graduate degees at Chattanooga, then coaching, finally ascending into Athletics administration. Their same day passing closes a magnificent chapter in an athletics history whose new future is yet to be written.


The Bears of Northern Colorado had a sweet West Coast swing, earning two wins on the road. Troy Nickersons squad dumped the Cal Poly Mustangs 28-13 and staged a thrilling 17-16 comeback victory over Cal St-Bakersfield. Then they hit a Big 12 road trip and it hit back hard. The Bears lost bigly to Northern Iowa and North Dakota State by a 68-13 combined score. And it didn’t get better when they got back home. An excellent and disturbing recent article by the multi-decade wrestling reporter/writer/guru Sam Mustari of the Greeley (CO) Tribune went into depth about potential pending changes in the Northern Colorado athletic department. Graciously given permission by Mustari and his editor, Tyler Silvy, here is a link to that reads great, sounds terrible story…..



Penn State is winning. Bo Nickal won a match by not pinning, teching, or majoring someone. THAT’S news.

Ohio State lost. That IS news. That it was to Michigan has relevance, but not as much as the Maize and Bluers would like.

Oklahoma States winning, not news. They lost hard luck 149lb star Boo Llewallen again. Sadly, also not news.

Iowas winning, big. Its little guys are its biggest winners of late, and one of thems trashing defeated opponents post match. Still looking for news there.

Minnesotas winning a lot. Their freshman heavyweight has won every match. That would be news any year except this year, and maybe the next 2 or three. Or not.

Nebraska…is Nebraska. Thats good news if youre a Husker fan.

Wisconsins lost 6 straight duals after winning 6 straight. News, sort of. Not to worry, the BRM (Bureau of Rasslin Management) coaching trio of Bono, Reader, and McDonough will steady the course.

Lehigh lost a dual after winning 6 straight. After losing 7 straight. Like a window washer on a skyscraper. Or a midnight Lawn runner on the UVA campus.

Missouris dual winning streak is now at 33. Brian Smith for Emperor! Hes always nicely dressed in public, though. On a very serious note, DO listen to the MAT CHAT podcast with David Mirikitani, episode 81 featuring Mizzou Associate Head Coach Alex Clemsen. Nearly an hour and not a damn bit of Coachspeak. Some tough stuff.

See you next week!

Ted Carreras

*”Is that three quotes, Jameson?” “Yes sir.” “Well, add another quote and make it a gallon.” Groucho Marx to Zeppo Marx in Animal Crackers. You REALLY need to get woke on the Marx Brothers.

**H.M.S.-also stands for His Majestys Ship. A bunch of tough boats and sailors OUR Navy has collected down through the centuries. Just sayin.