The University of the Cumberlands (UC) Men's Wrestling program has amassed a good reputation throughout the NAIA. As they took to the road this weekend at the Cumberland Open in Lebanon, TN, UC came away with a solid showing as well as a few individual Patriots brought home championship hardware.
Grant Burkhalter (Citrus Heights, CA) went 2-2 in the 125 pound class including two decision victories with one being a very energetic match ending in a 15-11 victory. Javier Carbajal (Homestead, FL) also went 2-2 in the 133 pound category earning a 4th place finish after earning a major decision victory as well as another decision win. Calob Perkins (Miamisburg, OH) went 2-2 on the day earning a tech fall win and a decision victory in the 141 pound class. Anthonie Linares (San Jose, CA) also went 2-2 on the weekend with a decision victory and a tech fall win in the 149 pound category.
Jacob Stephens (Brunswick, OH) earned a 3-2 record on the weekend in the 157 pound class earning 2 decision victories as well as one pinfall win. In the 165 pound category, Zachary Barkett (Woodbridge, VA) went 4-0 on the day earning the 165 pound championship with 1 pinfall, two major decisions, and a 9-3 decision victory in the title round. Courtney Freeman (Riverdale, GA) and Fred Byers (College Park, GA) both had impressive showings in the 197 pound category. Freeman went 2-1 on the day while Byers went 3-1 on the day as they shared 3rd place. Freeman earned two decision victories while Byers had two decision wins and a pinfall victory.
Vince Pezzuto (Las Vegas, NV) was the big story of the weekend as he went 4-0 including a pinfall win, a tech fall win, and two decision victories to win the 285 pound championship. He knocked off NAIA #7 ranked Teddy Furnish from Lindsey Wilson (#1 seed of tournament) in the semifinal round with a 2-1 decision win.
Head Coach Matt Lowers commented, "Overall as a staff we were very pleased with the way our team competed this weekend. We had 27 wrestlers compete and we felt like this was the best overall effort we have seen all year. Our guys went out and wrestled with a lot of energy and seemed like they were having fun. Obviously there were a few match outcomes we would have liked to see turned around, but as far as effort goes we were very pleased."
The Patriots will be back in action on Tuesday as they travel back to Lebanon to take on Cumberland University in a dual. Match time is set for 7:00 pm.
For more information on the Patriot Men's Wrestling program along with other Patriot athletics, please visit www.cumberlandspatriots.com.