2011-12 Mocs wrestling
season review 2010-11 recap
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling team wrapped up another successful season on the mat following the 2011 NCAA Championships. Despite not scoring a point in the national tournament and finishing a disappointing 65th, the Mocs still won their seventh-straight Southern Conference Championship. UTC went 11-9 in dual matches under second-year head coach Heath Eslinger. The Mocs were undefeated in SoCon action with a 5-0 mark. UTC has won 35-straight SoCon bouts and has not lost a league match since Feb. 14, 2004. The Mocs sent six wrestlers to the NCAAs, including Demetrius Johnson (133), Cody Cleveland (141), Josh Condon (157), Brandon Wright (174), Jason McCroskey (184) and Niko Brown (197). Brown was an at-large selection while Cleveland, Condon, Johnson and Wright all qualified by winning a Southern Conference title. McCroskey finished second at the SoCon Championships, but the league had two automatic bids at 184. Three seniors ended their UTC careers, including Cody Cleveland, Matt Lettner and Cody Stokes. Junior Jason McCroskey graduated in May of 2011 and also called it a career this season. SENIOR CODY CLEVELAND Cleveland (Tullahoma, Tenn.), a 2008 All-American, won his third SoCon title at 141. He missed significant time this season with an injury but finished 13-2 and was ranked in the top-10 in the nation. He is made his third appearance at the NCAA Championships. Cleveland had a 21-match winning streak and had not lost since the 2009 NCAAs before dropping both matches at this year’s national event. He was 8-0 in Nov. 2010 when he suffered a knee injury at the Indiana Duals that put him out of action for the next year. He went 4-2 at the NCAAs during his All-American run through the wrestlebacks in 2008. He was 0-2 in a return trip in 2009. After missing 2010 with an injury, Cleveland is looking to snap a three-match losing streak at the national tournament.
last two NCAAs. McCroskey went 2-2 at 184 in last year’s championships. He won his opening round match before moving down to the wrestlebacks. He was 0-2 at 174 as a freshman in 2009. McCroskey has a 61-37 record in three seasons, and made three trips to the NCAA Tournament. An excellent student, he is a two-time Academic All-NWCA and an Academic All-SoCon performer. He currently carries a 3.63 g.p.a., majoring in Engineering, and plans to graduate in May. SENIOR CODY STOKES Cody Stokes may go down as having one of the most impressive winning percentages in school history. He scored a pin in his only match as a Moc against Gardner-Webb during the 2007-08 season. He is majoring in Education and also plans to graduate in May. MOCS AT THE NCAAS Chattanooga has been represented at the NCAA Wrestling Championships every year since moving up to Division I in 1978. The Mocs’ best finish was a tie for 14th in 1983. UTC has scored points every year except for 1997, 2003 and 2011. Chattanooga finished in tied for 65th place with no points in 2011. UTC’s second-best result came in 2007 when they came in 21st. They also tied for 21st in 2005. Individually, the Mocs have 12 All-American honors won by nine different wrestlers. Cody Cleveland was the last to earn All-American status, finishing eighth at 141 in 2008. The best individual finish was Charlie Heard’s runner-up at 118 in 1983. SOCON CHAMPIONS AGAIN The Mocs are coming off an 11-9 campaign that includes a perfect 5-0 mark in Southern Conference matches. UTC has won seven consecutive SoCon regular season titles and owns a 35-match winning streak in league action. Chattanooga won its sixth SoCon Tournament in the last seven years and its 27th in the 34 years as a member of the conference. HEAD COACH HEATH ESLINGER
Cleveland only lost one SoCon match in his impressive UTC career. That was his first league bout during his freshman season. He fell to UNC Greensboro’s Chris Bencivenga 13-12 on Jan. 27, 2007. Since then, he went 22-0 against SoCon opponents with three league titles. Cleveland finished a 75-26 record during his career at UTC and is nine wins shy of the top-10 all-time at UTC. He has already completed a degree in Criminal Justice and is currently pursuing an M.B.A. SENIOR MATT LETTNER Senior heavyweight Matt Lettner has fought through injuries throughout his career. He went 9-14 this season, finishing fourth in the SoCon Tournament. He was 25-35 in his career. Majoring in General Management, Lettner has been on the Dean’s List for each of the last four semesters and plans to graduate in May. JUNIOR JASON MCCROSKEY McCroskey still has one year of eligibility remaining, but the fourth-year junior called it a career on the mat following the 2011 season. A former SoCon Champion and the 2009 SoCon Freshman of the Year, McCroskey led the team with a 23-11 record. He was ranked in the top-20 during the regular season. McCroskey (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) is the only Moc who went to each of the
Senior Cody Cleveland won his third SoCon title at 141 in 2011. The 2008 All-American capped off his career with another trip to the NCAA Championships.
2011-12 Chattanooga Wrestling Media Guide