Tornado Grapplers Wrap Up Hokie Open

Tornado Grapplers Wrap Up Hokie Open
SALEM, Va. – King College Men's Wrestling opened the 2011-12 season this weekend at the Hokie Open, held at the Salem Civic Center (Salem, Va.) where the Tornado were challenged right out of the gate. In a pool of teams that included NCAA Division I schools University North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Old Dominion and No. 2 in Division II Newberry College, King represented well with a series of wins over some tough competition.

As one of only two Division II schools at the tournament, King put together many excellent individual displays at the Open.

Frank Morgan (Maynardville, Tenn.) at 197 pounds defeated his first two opponents, Luke Howard (Citadel) by decision, 10-5, and North Carolina State University's Nick Watson in a 12-0 shutout. In his third bout, Morgan took Joe Budi of Old Dominion into double overtime before succumbing to a 5-4 decision to the eventual champion.

At 141 pounds, freshman Tywan Claxton (Cleveland, Ohio) advanced to the quarterfinals of his division with wins of Tyler Untrauer (U.S. Air Force) and Drew Hammer (Ohio University) by shutout, 4-0. He lost in his third bout to eventual medalist Darrius Little (NC State), 4-3 in double overtime. He advanced to the consolation round before being eliminated by Old Dominion's Tyler Moeder.

Redshirt-junior Patrick Spano (Tampa, Fla.) was moved to the 157-pound weight class and advanced to the quarterfinals of the Open beating Mike Harvey (UNC) and Nijel Jones (NC State) by a combined score of 16-0 before losing to Appalachian State wrestler Kyle Blevins, who eventually finished third in the division. In the consolation round, Spano defeated Tristan Warner (ODU) by decision (4-2) before falling in the medal round to Justin Guthrie of Gardner Webb University.

"This was a really tough tournament for the guys," said Head Coach Nate Moorman. "Our guys performance really well for the first match of the season."

D'Marcus Spencer (Indianapolis, Ind.) won a pair of bouts at 133 while wrestling unattached. He defeated Nicj Shields (UNC) by seven points and Liberty University's Justin Branham, 11-3, before losing to eventual medalist Nick Soto (Chattanooga).

Also registering wins against Division I opponents at the Hokie Open were Nic Stella (149# and Jerrelle McCabe (125#). Brandon Tressler (Orlando, Fla.) recorded a pin over NC State's Robert O'Neill (184#) before slugging it out in a loss to UNC grappler Antonio Giorgio, 15-10. Heavyweight Dondricus Anderson recorded two wins over Division I opponents with a three-point win over Ethan Hayes (University of Virginia) and edging out Dan Garwood (VT), 3-2. Dyvon Passmore (165#) also recorded a win in the Open, defeating Sean McGarry of McDaniel College, 5-2.

"The team learned they can definitely compete with wrestlers from any level this weekend," said Moorman. "The tournament also exposed some areas that need attention. They showed a lot of promise for a successful season, without a doubt."

King will return to Bristol to host the King Open this Sunday, Nov. 13. Matches will begin at 9:00 a.m. More information regarding the Open will be available later this week.


Complete results - click here