This past weekend, the University of the Cumberlands (UC) Men's Wrestling program competed in the NCWA Cliff Keen National Duals in Springfield, Illinois. The Patriots caught a tough draw in the tournament and weren't able to really get going from the start as they were unable to put together the showing they were hoping for, going 0-2 on the weekend competing against some of the top teams in the nation.
The first opponent for the Patriots was the #4 ranked Montana State University-Northern (MSU-N). This was a tough competition for the Patriots as they only were able to rack up two wins in the dual. Sophomore Captain Anthonie Linares (San Jose, CA) racked up one of those wins in a big way with a dominating 19-0 technical fall over Trevor Goss at the 149 lb. weight class. The other victory came by forfeit at the 285 lb. weight class for Vince Pezzuto (Las Vegas, NV) as the Patriots fell to MSU-N 39-11.
The Patriots would then move to the consolation round where they took on #10 ranked Missouri Valley College (MVC). After another hard fought battle, UC was unable to really get the momentum as the fell to MVC 32-9. Anthonie Linares once again won his contest at 149 lbs. winning by decision 10-4 over Missouri Valley's Jake Ekster. Courtney Freeman (Riverdale, GA) also earned a forfeit victory in the 197 lb. weight class as the only other Patriot to score a win.
"Our performance this weekend fell well below the standard that we strive for," said Head Patriot Wrestling Coach Matt Lowers. "As a coaching staff we take it as our responsibility to figure out what caused this poor performance and remedy it before we take the mat again. Anthonie Linares had an outstanding weekend as he defeated one ranked wrestler (#6). He is wrestling at a very high level right now and is driven to reach his goals of becoming a National Champion."
The Patriots look to get back out on the right foot as they prepare to compete this coming weekend at the Cumberland University Open on January 19th. Matches are scheduled to begin at 8:00 am.
For more information on the Patriot Men's Wrestling program along with other Patriot athletics, please visit www.cumberlandspatriots.com.
Article by Corey Chaffin, UC Multimedia & Athletic Services Graduate Assistant