By Chattanooga Sports Information
Just two years after moving to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, the Southern Scuffle, presented by Defense Soap and Flips Wrestling, has grown into the top in-season collegiate tournament in the nation. Year three looks to be even better as the Mocs welcome 33 teams, the biggest field yet, to the Scenic City.
Action takes place at McKenzie Arena on the UTC Campus on Jan. 1-2. The lineup includes four of the top five, and six of the top 10, finishers at the 2013 NCAA Championships. Defending NCAA Champion Penn State highlights the list as the Nittany Lions look to make it three straight team wins at the Scuffle.
“This event continues to grow each year and we continue to attract the top teams in the nation” stated UTC head coach Heath Eslinger. “We are always going to try to put together a top-flight field that features some of the best wrestlers at the collegiate level.”
Other top-5 teams joining Penn State include 2013 NCAA runner-up Oklahoma State, third-place Minnesota and fifth-place Cornell. No. 7 Missouri and No. 8 Oregon State also finished in the top-10 at last year’s NCAAs and will be in the Scuffle field in January.
Four national champions and eight finalists are among the individuals who will be competing at the Scuffle. All totaled, 135 NCAA qualifiers and 34 All-Americans are scheduled to take the mat for the 2014 event.
“The wrestling community in Chattanooga and throughout the region has really gotten behind what we are trying to do with the Scuffle. I think that support shows in the type of experience we are providing for the student-athletes and the spectators” added Eslinger.
“It is our goal to continue to improve the Scuffle and make it bigger and better each year.”
Tickets for the 2014 Southern Scuffle go on sale on Oct. 1. Daily admission is $15 for adults and $5 for youth. Tickets can be purchased online on GoMocs.com or by calling the UTC Ticket Office at (423) 266-MOCS (6627).
2014 Southern Scuffle Participants (by finish at the 2013 NCAA Championships)
1. Penn State
2. Oklahoma State
8. Oregon State
11. Iowa State
18. Central Michigan
20. The Citadel
22. North Carolina
24. Kent State
38. Air Force
41. Arizona State
49. Appalachian State
60. Old Dominion
63. N.C. State
66. Cleveland State
66. South Dakota State