College wrestlers from 33 schools will ring in the New Year in a big way, as the 2014 Southern Scuffle will welcome the largest field in the history of the tournament, host school University of Tennessee-Chattanooga announced Sept. 25.
The two-day event will take place Jan. 1-2, 2014 at UTC’s McKenzie Arena.
By any measure, the 2014 Southern Scuffle promises to showcase the nation’s best college mat talent. In terms of top college wrestling programs, the 2014 edition will welcome six of the top 10 finishers in the team standings at the 2013 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships… including four of the top five placers. Along with Penn State — who won both the 2013 Scuffle and NCAA team titles — other top 10 programs scheduled for the Scuffle include 2013 NCAA runner-up Oklahoma State, third-place Minnesota, fifth-place Cornell, No. 7 Missouri and No. 8 Oregon State.
In addition, the Scuffle will be an opportunity for the sport’s top individual athletes to test their mettle against the best in the country. Four national champions and eight NCAA finalists are among the wrestlers expected to take to the mats starting New Year’s Day. In all, 135 NCAA qualifiers and 34 All-Americans are slated to wrestle.
“This event continues to grow each year and we continue to attract the top teams in the nation,” said 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.”
“The wrestling community in Chattanooga and throughout the region has really gotten behind what we are trying to do with the Scuffle,” Eslinger continued. “I think that support shows in the type of experience we are providing for the student-athletes and the spectators. 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 Tuesday, 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 (listed in order of finish at the 2013 NCAA Div. I 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
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