The University of the Cumberlands (UC) Patriots men's wrestling team knew they had a tough matchup ahead of them on Tuesday as they hosted the NAIA #6 Lindsey Wilson College (LWC) Blue Raiders for a dual. Both teams came out with intensity and heart in front of an enthusiastic crowd in the O. Wayne Rollins Center Intramural Gym.
The evening started off with a very interesting match in the 125 lb class with junior Andrew Tillman (Abbeville, SC) and Myron Bradbury (LWC), who is currently ranked 12th in the NAIA . Tillman was able to pull away with a win in the 3rd period with a final score of 6-4, giving UC a 3-0 lead. This set the bar for the night as sophomore Stephen Hill (Carlisle, OH) stepped up to the mat in the 133 lb class. Hill went in quickly and took control as he defeated Leo Hardy by a final score of 10-4 to give UC the 6-0 lead.
LWC would find points with a win in the 141 lb class, but the momentum would immediately come back to UC in the 149 lb match. Sophomore Anthonie Linares (San Jose, CA) was dominant in his match against Josh Johnson winning by major decision by score of 10-2 giving UC a 10-3 lead.
UC would continue to extend their lead in the 157 lb class as Javier Arellano (Azusa, CA) would defeat Scott Flesher by decision with a score of 8-5 giving UC a 13-3 lead. The Patriots would add more to the lead in the 165 lb class as senior Zack Barkett (Woodridge, VA) defeated Codyn McKeeth by decision with a final score of 12-7, giving UC a 16-3 lead. LWC would earn 6 points in the 174 lb match as they would win by pinfall cutting into UC's lead making the score 16-9. Another win came for LWC in the 184 lb match as the Blue Raiders would add 4 points to the score with a major decision victory making it a 3 point lead for UC at 16-13.
The match would be put away in the 197 lb category as Courtney Freeman (Riverdale, GA), who struggled in the early part of the match, would get the upper hand and come away with a pinfall victory at 5:08 giving the Patriots a 22-13 lead. LWC would win the 285 lb match by forfeit, but UC would come away with the 22-19 victory over the Blue Raiders.
Patriot Head Coach Matt Lowers commented, "The dual was a hard fought victory for the team. Courtney Freeman showed a lot of heart in his match by coming back from behind and sealing our win with a pin. Every competition we strive to be better and every week, every day, every time we are on or off the mat we strive for excellence. The win was big for conference competition, but we are far from where we should be and want to be for the end of the year at nationals where it counts."
The men's wrestling team will travel to Indianapolis, IN on December 1st-2nd for the Little States Invite. Matches are scheduled to begin at 9 AM.
For more information on the Patriot Men's Wrestling team or any other Patriot athletic team, please visit www.cumberlandspatriots.com
Article provided by Alyssa Burke, UC Multimedia & Athletic Services Graduate Assistant