On Saturday December 14th, the University of the Cumberlands (UC) Men's wrestling squad traveled to Indianapolis, IN to compete in the 35th Annual Midwest Classic. This would be a test for the Patriots as some of the nation's top talent was present. UC was 1 of 29 teams, and had several wrestlers place on the weekend.
At 125 lbs, Javier Carbajal (Homestead, FL) had the best showing of the weekend as he went 6-2. He won 5 consolation matches all by decision and split the championship rounds at 1-1, as he took 4th place after losing to Jose Torres of McKendree University 7-3 by decision in the 3rd place match gaining 14.5 team points for the Patriots. Andrew Tillman (Abbeville, SC) wrestled at 133 lbs. and fell to Tanner Schmidt of Upper Iowa by a 10-3 decision in the 2nd consolation round. He would receive a bye in the first round of championships, but would fall to Zach Shank of Western State by tech fall after 4:01.
Calob Perkins (Miamisburg, OH) competed in the 141 lb. weight class, and fell in both of his matches, ending the weekend at 0-2. At 157, Isaac King (Waycross, GA) went 1-2 on the weekend as he fell in the second consolation match, won in sudden victory 8-6 over JD Dykes of Coker, then fell to Taylor Knapp of Newberry in the second championship round by fall after 0:44. He would add 1 point for the team score. Steven Traylor (Killeen, TX) competed at 165 lbs. and went 1-2 on the weekend as well. In the second consolation round, he lost by decision to Morgan Fitzgerald of Lindenwood University 4-1. He would go on to win the first championship round as he defeated Isaiah Hill of Trine by major decision 14-3, but would fall to Jeff Weiss of Indianapolis by a 7-1 decision. Traylor added 2 points to the team score.
At 174 lbs., Brocky Leidecker (Orient, OH) wrestled for a record of 1-2 on the weekend. In the first consolation round, he defeated Michael Boyd of the University of Central Missouri by fall after 0:24. In the second consolation, he was defeated by Erick Gomez of Lindsey Wilson College in a sudden victory 6-4. In the first championship round, Brocky lost by decision to Ashland University's Luke Cramer by a score of 7-2. Leidecker earned 2.5 points for the Patriots team points. Eddie Bernal (Covina, CA) wrestled at 184 lbs. and went 3-2 on the weekend. He would win his first match by a sudden victory over Limestone's David Kieta 3-1. In the second round, he was defeated by Lindsey Wilson's Jameel Bryant by a major decision 10-0. In the consolation rounds, Eddie won by a 7-2 decision over Trine's Joseph Stasiak, won by a 10-4 decision over West Liberty's Doug Sizemore, and was defeated in the last match by UNC-Pembroke's Brach Walker by a 3-1 decision. Bernal also added 2 points for the team.
Sam Johnson (River Falls, WI) had a good showing in the 197 lb. weight class as he would go 3-3 on the weekend. In the first round, he received a bye, and the second round he won by decision to Life University's Jacob Dempsey with a score of 2-1. In the quarterfinal match, Sam won by fall after 3:24 over Nathan Islamovsky of Mt. St. Joe. It would be tie breakers the rest of his journey as he fell to Carl Broghammer of Upper Iowa 6-2 in the semifinal. In the consolation semis, he was defeated by Sam Mangum of Western State 3-2. In the match for 5th place, Sam was defeated in a tie breaker 4-3 by Lake Erie College's Evan Rosborough, therefore finishing in 6th place, and contributing 11 points to the overall team score.
Courtney Freeman (Riverdale, GA) also wrestled well on the weekend as he went 4-2. In the first round, he defeated Western State's Lane Stuht by a 3-2 decision. His next match would be a battle as he defeated Tyler Houska of Ashland University by fall after 5:14. In the quarterfinal round, Courtney would be defeated by Kevin Christman of Tiffin by a 10-5 decision. In consolation round #4, he won by fall over Beau Bennett of Baker University after 1:36. In his final consolation match, he was defeated by Logan Hoop of Upper Iowa by a 12-10 decision. To take 7th place, Freeman defeated Austin Akins of Coker by fall after 6:07.
"Our weekend was full of mixed results," commented Head Coach Matt Lowers. "The Midwest Classic is probably the toughest non-division 1 tournament in the country. It featured 8 top 20 Division II teams as well as a handful of highly ranked NAIA teams and Division III teams. We had 3 guys place which is a positive for them. Everybody they lost to was a highly ranked opponent. It was a good measuring stick for our guys to see the type of competition they will have to beat if they want to make it into the All-American rounds at nationals."
The Patriots will be back in action January 4th, 2014 as they travel to take on the Tigers of Campbellsville University in a dual match-up. Match time is set for 9 am.
For more information on the Men's Wrestling team as well as all other Patriot athletics, please visit www.cumberlandspatriots.com.