Monarch Wrestling Set to Begin 2012 at Southern Scuffle

December 30, 2011
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Dec. 30, 2011

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - The Old Dominion University wrestling team will begin 2012 at the annual Southern Scuffle at McKenzie Arena in Chattanooga, Tenn. on Jan. 1 and 2.

All four ranked Monarchs (Justin LaValle, John Nicholson, Te Edwards and Joe Budi) will be in action and in search of a title in a stacked tournament that will feature 21 total attached and unattached ODU grapplers. The venue shifts to Chattanooga from Greensboro, N.C. after many years following the disbanding of the UNC Greensboro wrestling program following the 2010-11 season.

Of the 22 teams scheduled to appear, 15 are currently ranked in the Intermat College Rankings Top-54 and eight are listed in the NWCA/USA Today Division I Team Coaches Top-25.  Highlighted by defending NCAA Champion and fifth-ranked Penn State, the field also includes No. 3 Minnesota, No. 4 Cornell and No. 10 Missouri.  No. 11 Oregon State, No. 15 Virginia Tech, No. 21 Virginia and No. 25 Hofstra round out those from the top-25.   

Other ranked teams include No. 32 (t) Indiana, No. 32 (t) Ohio, No. 43 Appalachian State, No. 44 Navy, No. 49 (t) North Carolina, No. 49 (t) Old Dominion and No. 54 The Citadel. Chattanooga, Army, Campbell, Cleveland State, Duke, Gardner-Webb and N.C. State round out the field.

Individually, over a quarter of all the ranked wrestlers in the nation will compete at the Southern Scuffle.  There are 52 ranked in the current Intermat Top-20, including 25 in the top-10 of the 10 weight classes.  Half of the nation's No. 1 ranked wrestlers will be here, including Minnesota's Zach Sanders (125), Penn State's Frank Molinaro (149) and David Taylor (165) and Cornell's Kyle Dake (157) and Cam Simaz (197).

ODU Participants:
125: Rob Deutsch (Fr.), Eric Dunnet (R-So.), Aaron Runzo (So.), Jerome Robinson (R-Fr.), Buddy Scarborough (Fr.)
133: Scott Festejo (So.)
141: #28 Justin LaValle (R-So.), Jacob Kingett (Fr.), Michael Crowley (So.), Taylor Moeder (Fr.)
149: Josh Clark (Fr.), Pete Baldwin (Fr.), Chris Mecate (Fr.), Brennan Brumley (R-Jr.)
157: #29 John Nicholson (R-So.)
165: Tristan Warner (So.)
174: #12 Te Edwards (Sr.), Adrin Taylor (R-Fr.)
184: Austin Coburn (Fr.)
197: #24 Joe Budi (Sr.)
HWT: Danny Davis (Fr.)

On Dec. 29 at the MatTown Invitational at Lock Haven University in Lock Haven, Pa., five Monarch wrestlers competed with Scott Festejo taking fourth place at 133 pounds and Brett Miller placing sixth at 165 pounds to lead the way. Brandon Choate (133), Billy Curling (184) and Matt Tourdot (HWT) also competed for the Monarchs.