Dec. 28, 2011
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
After taking more than three weeks off for final exams and the holidays, the Army wrestling team returns to action this weekend (Jan. 1-2) as the Black Knights travel to Chattanooga, Tenn., to compete in the Southern Scuffle.
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga will host the annual event at UTC's McKenzie Arena. Defending NCAA national champion Penn State headlines the 22-team field, which also includes national powers Cornell, Oregon State and Minnesota. Penn State and Cornell tied for last year's Southern Scuffle title.
Tickets for the Southern Scuffle can be purchased by calling the McKenzie Arena Ticket Office at (423) 266-6627.
Army, which placed 20th at last season's Southern Scuffle, has been idle since dropping a 27-6 dual match decision to Hofstra on Dec. 8.
The Black Knights will be participating in their fourth tournament of the season after taking fourth at the Oklahoma-Gold Classic (Nov. 12), finishing seventh at the Body Bar Invitational (Nov. 19) and placing 28th at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational (Dec. 2-3).
Juniors Jordan Thome (133 pounds) and Daniel Young (149) both authored eighth-place finishes at last year's Southern Scuffle, which was contested in Greensboro, N.C.
Thome, who is Army's lone returning NCAA qualifier, has emerged as one of the top 133-pounders in the country this season. The Troy, Ohio, native currently leads Army in wins (12), pins (six) and bonus-point victories (seven).
Young, meanwhile, picked up right where he left off last season as Army's unquestioned starter at 149 pounds. The native of Bloomington, Ind., lists among the Black Knights' leaders in wins (11), pins (two), major decisions (two) and bonus-point victories (four).
Senior co-captain Jimmy Rafferty (157 pounds) has been steady through the first six weeks of the season, having forged a 12-8 overall record with one major decision. Sophomore 184-pounder Wil Brown ranks second on the squad with 11 wins, four pins and six bonus-point victories, while his two major decisions are tied for the team lead.
After competing at this weekend's Southern Scuffle, Army returns to West Point on Sunday, Jan. 8, when the Black Knights host EIWA rival and nationally-ranked Rutgers at Christl Arena. The action is slated to get under way at 3 p.m.