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Blue Squad Takes Down Red Squad in Season-Preview Wrestle Off

November 5, 2007  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Aaron Kelley got a two-point reversal late in the third to defeat Chris Dagggett, 6-5, in the 165-pound match up.

Aaron Kelley got a two-point reversal late in the third to defeat Chris Dagggett, 6-5, in the 165-pound match up.

A week before the Flames officially return to the mats to open the 2007-08 wrestling season, Liberty held its annual Wrestle Off in the Vines Center, with the Blue squad defeating the Red squad, 21-13, in the exhibition match up.

Fresh off the 2006-07 campaign, which saw the Flames post a 16-8 dual meet record and send four individual to the NCAA National Championships, Liberty is set to open their 2007-08 slate Nov. 10 at the Brockport/Oklahoma Gold Tournament in Brockport, N.Y.

Friday night's wrestle off served as the final tune-up for the Flames, before the season-opening event and gave second-year head coach Jesse Castro his starting line up for the tournament.

"I am encouraged by the closeness of some of the matches along with the intensity level" said Castro. "Our depth last year was suspect. This year we have guys pushing each other, which makes for a competitive room."

Christian Smith kicked off the event with a 6-1 decision over T.J. Mitchell at 133 pounds, followed by Tim Harner's 12-2 major decision over Justin Krop at 141 pounds, giving the Red squad an early 4-3 lead.

But the advantage was short lived as Zac McCray used his riding time to break a 1-1 tie, gaining a 2-1 decision over Scott Clymer at 149 pounds and give the Blue squad a 6-4 lead.

The see-saw battle continued with the 157-pound match-up when Shaun Smith gave the Red team the lead with a 6-4 decision win over Julian Colon, making the match score, 7-6.

Chad Porter gave the Blue squad the lead for good at 165 pounds, with a 7-2 decision over Joseph Son. Aaron Kelley kept things rolling for Liberty's Blue squad with a 6-5 decision at 174 pounds, gaining two points on a reversal late in the third period over Chris Daggett.

Kyle Walters brought the Vines Center crowd to its feet with the first pin of the evening, when the junior pinned Corey Vasbiner 2:35 into the first at 184 pounds.

Jonathan Campbell capped off 15-straight points by the Blue squad with a 3-0 decision over Rory Bosek at 197, while the Red team gained six points thanks to Patrick Walker's uncontested win at heavyweight.

A trio of non-wrestle off match-ups were all decided by major decision. Franky Gayskie started with a 13-3 major decision over Josh Duren at 149 pounds, Rickey Wilbanks blanked Anthony Emana, 9-0, at 133 pounds and Ryan McDonnell defeated Chris Robbins, 13-4, at 141 pounds.

The match-up between Sean Katz and Miles Negley at 125 pounds had to be postponed due to an injury and will be wrestled early next week.

Below is Liberty's starting line up heading into the 2007-08 season:
125 – TBA (Sean Katz vs. Miles Negley)
133 – Christian Smith
141 – Tim Harner
149 – Zac McCray
157 – Shaun Smith
165 – Chad Porter
174 – Aaron Kelley
184 – Kyle Walters
197 – Jonathan Campbell
HWT – Patrick Walker

Blue-Red Wrestle Off Results, Blue wins 21-13
125 – Sean Katz vs. Miles Negley (match Postponed due to injury)
133 – Christian Smith (B) dec. T.J. Mitchell (R), 6-1 (3-0)
141 – Tim Harner (R) major dec. Justin Krop (B), 12-2 (3-4)
149 – Zac McCray (B) dec. Scott Clymer (R), 2-1 (6-4)
157 – Shaun Smith (R) dec. Julian Colon (B), 6-4 (6-7)
165 – Chad Porter (B) dec. Joseph Son (R), 7-2 (9-7)
174 – Aaron Kelley (B) dec. Chris Daggett (R), 6-5 (12-7)
184 – Kyle Walters (B) fall Corey Vasbiner (R), 2:35 (18-7)
197 – Jonathan Campbell (B) dec. Rory Bosek (R), 3-0 (21-7)
HWT – Patrick Walker (R) forfeit unknown (21-13)

Exhibition Matches:
133 – Rickey Wilbanks major dec. Anthony Emana, 9-0
141 – Ryan McDonnell major dec. Chris Robbins, 13-4
149 – Franky Gayskie major dec. Josh Duren, 13-3