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Wiseman Honored Before Red Takes Scrimmage
Liberty's Red squad won six out of nine official bouts and took the overall dual scrimmage, 19-10, during an event which will help head coach Jesse Castro set his line-up for the year.
After a scratch at 125 pounds, T.J. Mitchell gave the Red team an early lead with a 10-2 major decision over Sean Katz at 133 pounds. The bout remained close through five minutes of action, until the sophomore doubled his score with five points in the final period.
The Blue squad fought back at 141 pounds, thanks to a 6-2 decision victory by Scott Clymer. The sophomore jumped out to a 4-2 lead during the opening three minutes against Sam Walters, before tacking on a two-point takedown in the third to secure the victory.
Frankie Gayeski pushed the Red team's lead to four points at 149 pounds, as the team captain blanked Joey Montgomery for a 7-0 win at 149 pounds.
Shaun Smith followed with the second major decision of the scrimmage, as the team captain knotted the overall dual at 7-7 with a major decision win. His battle at 157 pounds against freshman Thomas Cooper was close early on, but the senior carded seven third-period points to lock down a 13-2 win.
Following the 157 pound bout, the Liberty wrestling program took time away from action on the mats to recognize Troy Wiseman, one of the program's financial supporters. Because of a generous gift, the wrestling program was able to completely renovate its team training area, which now is called the Wiseman Wrestling Room in honor of the benefactor.
"It is quite an honor for us to be part of what God is doing, not just through Liberty wrestling, but at Liberty University as a whole," stated Wiseman. "The late Dr. Jerry Falwell's commitment and vision for all Liberty Athletics was and still is today dedicated to success, not just in terms of producing winning seasons and achieving individual accomplishments, but in utilizing the athletic skills to further the Gospel."
"Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr., the Liberty staff and students understand that excellence in education and in athletics provides such a greater platform for the glory of God and they are 100 percent committed to becoming the best they can be," continued Wiseman. "The Wiseman family could not think of a better institution to support and are blessed to part of the Liberty family."
"We are grateful to Troy and Tina Wiseman for their tremendous support of Liberty University Wrestling," stated Bob Good, Liberty's Assistant Athletics Director for Development and Director of the Flames Club. "They had no other direct affiliation with the program, but they embraced the mission set forth by Coach Jesse Castro and made a significant contribution that is having a tangible impact. They are a part of the success that our wrestling program has enjoyed to date, and they will be a part of the greater success and influence that we realize in the future."
Following the break in action, Liberty's third and final team captain, Chad Porter, took to the mat and tried to secure his starting role at 165 pounds. The junior, who is coming off a redshirt season, wrestled to a 0-0 tie with Joseph Bayer during the opening two periods, before edging out the redshirt freshman, 2-1, during the last two minutes of action.
Porter's one-point decision started a run for the Red squad, as they secured decision wins in four of the remaining five bouts to capture the overall team win in the scrimmage.
Nick Knowles continued the Red push with a 3-2 decision at 174 pounds. The junior led 3-1 over Brad Clark heading into the final period, where Clark made it interesting with an escape to pull within one point, but Knowles was able to hang on for the one-point decision.
Transfer Dave Zeigler will be the lone newcomer in the Flames lineup, as the former Slippery Rock wrestler claimed an 8-4 decision over Joseph Son at 184 pounds. Zeigler led 5-1 after two periods and withstood three third-period points from Son to up the Red squad's lead.
Jacoby Johnson was the only bright spot for the Blue team in the upper weight classes, as the junior captured a 7-3 decision over Brandon Lawrence at 197 pounds. Johnson quickly jumped out a 4-1 lead after three minutes of action and never looked back in the victory.
In the final regulation bout, Josh Pelletier and Andrew Wilson wrestled to a near stalemate, as Pelletier led, 1-0, after two periods at heavyweight. The redshirt junior then scored a two-point takedown to secure his spot in the starting lineup with a 3-1 decision.
The 10th bout of the night was an exhibition at 149 pounds between Miguel Rodriguez and Logan Crawford. The matchup proved to be the highest scoring bout of the night, as Rodriguez used five third-period points to open up a 6-5 second-period lead to secure an 11-8 decision.
The Flames will return to the Schilling Center on Saturday, when they begin their regular-season schedule by hosting Campbellsville in a dual match, beginning at Noon.
Liberty last faced Campbellsville on Dec. 8, 2007, when Liberty opened up the Campbellsville Duals with a 26-9 victory over the host Tigers. Campbellsville was ranked No. 7 in the NAIA national poll leading into the 2007 matchup and currently ranks No. 9 in the first poll released by the NAIA this season.
Red 19, Blue 10
125 pounds – No match
133 pounds – T.J. Mitchell (R) major dec. Sean Katz (B), 10-2, Red 4-0
141 pounds – Scott Clymer (B) dec. Sam Walters (R), 6-2, Red 4-3
149 pounds – Frankie Gayeski (R) dec. Joey Montgomery (B), 7-0, Red 7-3
157 pounds – Shaun Smith (B) major dec. Thomas Cooper (R), 13-2, Tied 7-7
165 pounds – Chad Porter (R) dec. Joseph Bayer (B), 2-1, Red 10-7
174 pounds – Nick Knowles (R) dec. Brad Clark (B), 3-2, Red 13-7
184 pounds – Dave Zeigler (R) dec. Joseph Son (B), 8-4, Red 16-7
197 pounds – Jacoby Johnson (B) dec. Brandon Lawrence (R), 7-3, Red 16-10
285 pounds – Josh Pelletier (R) dec. Andrew Wilson (B), 3-1, Red 19-10
Exhibition (149 pounds) – Miguel Rodriguez (R) dec. Logan Crawford (B), 11-8