Bears Drop Tenessee Temple

December 6, 2013

MONTGOMERY, W. Va. - In front of an energetic crowd the WVU Tech Golden Bear wrestlers moved to 8-3 on the season with Friday night's 46-9 home victory over the visiting Tennessee Temple University Crusaders.

Although Tech was favored to win, with eight freshmen making their home debuts there was some concern that the dual meet might be closer than anticipated. This concern turned out to be unnecessary, as the Golden Bears dominated the match right from the start.

Freshman Devon Steele started the team off on the right foot by getting a forfeit, and this was quickly followed by fellow freshman Jeffrey Bayonne, who took advantage of an opportunity to score another six team points when he used what is called a "chin back," to plant his opponent's shoulders to the mat.

Following another forfeit victory, this time taken by freshman Alfred Martinez, Senior Captain John Walters improved to 10-1 on the year, scoring his 5th first-period fall of the year at 2:43. Walters was aggressive from the start, backing his opponent up and earning a stalling point, before securing the takedown and going to his outside turk leg-ride which he used to turn and pin his opponent.

At 157 lbs. Tennessee Temple got on the board with a first period fall to bring the team score to 24-6, but sophomore Dirk Ponchak put a halt to any momentum the Crusaders had hoped to build by methodically breaking down his opponent and earned a 10-1 major decision victory, and moving his record to 10-1 on the year as well.

At 174 Tech freshman Zach Nibert used a pair of takedowns and a reversal to jump out to a 6-1 lead, and was riding a crossface ride very aggressively when his opponent was forced to make an injury default.

In the next bout the score was 3-2 at the start of the third period, with freshman Tola Morakinyo ahead by the narrowest of margins, when suddenly he shot low, snagged a single leg, and swept his opponent's opposite leg, sending the Crusader crashing to the mat. Morakinyo scored his third fall of the season at the 5:47 mark of the 184 lb. match.

Freshman "Terrible" Terry Nance earned another forfeit victory for the Golden Bears at 197 lbs., and with the dual result already decided, Tennessee Temple earned a 10-6 victory at 285 lbs., to make the final score 46-9.

"I'm really happy we got to compete at home, to let our fans have a look at what our guys are capable of, and to let our guys go out and perform for their friends and families. I think we wrestled pretty well in most positions. The guys who are winning are doing the things we preach, bending their knees, moving their feet, staying aggressive. I'm pleased with the ability to score bonus points the guys displayed, and we were tough in certain positions where in the past we might have been scored on. Saturday we have another challenge, the Southern Virginia Turkey Bowl, and on Tuesday we have our annual dual at OVU. We've got the opportunity to go out and take what we learned so far in practice and competition and make the improvements we need to make in order to reach our goals, "states head coach Sam Gardner.

The Golden Bears continue their weekend run at the Southern Virginia Turkey Bowl in Buena Vista, Va. Saturday afternoon.

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