Mocs Eslinger hits 100-win mark, seniors sweep in 37-5 “W”
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Mocs Wrestling needed just one win to solidify Coach Heath Eslinger into the UTC record books. And they got it on Sunday, on Senior Day, winning nine of ten matches against Garner-Webb.
The first four went to Chatt, giving the Mocs a 17-0 team lead.
Seniors Michael Pongracz, Chad Pyke, Justin Lampe, Bryce Carr and Scottie Boykin all finished out their last home match with wins, a clean sweep for the honored seniors.
But their actions off the mat are what impress Coach Eslinger the most.
“They’re just outstanding individuals. You know I say all the time, when you’re coaching guys, you want to have guys on your team that are marriage material. And we really do have a group of guys that are just unbelievable,” Coach Eslinger said.
Connor Tolley capped off the team win with a pin. And to think just weeks ago, the junior was wrestling crippling illness rather than a 285-pound opponent.
For Coach Eslinger, the dominating 37-5 win marks the 100th career win for the long-time Mocs leader.
“I think sometimes these marks, they’re marks of resiliency, not greatness. Just can you make it that long,” coach said.
But his athletes see him as great no matter the win count.
“It’s way past wrestling with him. He’s taught me how to be a man and what the true meaning of a man is. And just like putting aside wrestling and all that stuff, he teaches us life lessons. I just couldn’t be more happy to have him as my head coach,” Tolley said.
The team now focuses on getting a final win before the conference tournament.
“You know there’s one thing true of sport: the thrill of winning doesn’t last very long. You’re back at it tomorrow. The sting of defeat, it stays with you a little bit longer, it’s like bad breath,” Eslinger said.
Mocs head to Campbell on Saturday, hoping to take a win to SoCon in Charleston March 3.
Full list of results from UTC Athletics:
125: Alonzo Allen (CHAT) over (GWU) (For.)
133: Chris Debien (CHAT) over Philip Anderson (GWU) (Dec 7-1)
141: Mike Pongracz (CHAT) over Landon LoAlbo (GWU) (MD 12-0)
149: Roman Boylen (CHAT) over Joby Armenta (GWU) (MD 14-4)
157: Tyler Marinelli (GWU) over Dylan Forzani (CHAT) (TF 16-0 4:37)
165: Chad Pyke (CHAT) over Brett Stein (GWU) (Dec 6-4)
174: Justin Lampe (CHAT) over Christian Maroni (GWU) (Dec 5-3)
184: Bryce Carr (CHAT) over Cole Graves (GWU) (MD 16-6)
197: Scottie Boykin (CHAT) over Anthony Perrine (GWU) (MD 16-3)
285: Connor Tolley (CHAT) over Lathan Bumgarner (GWU) (Fall 5:48)