BOONE, N.C. - Off to its best start since the 2002-03 season, Appalachian State University wrestling is 4-0 after claiming its first Southern Conference victory of the season over Gardner-Webb on Tuesday. The Mountaineers look to continue on the winning track on Saturday, Dec. 8 when they host Ohio University at 6:30 p.m. at Varsity Gym.
The Apps welcome Ohio (2-3) to the High Country and will face the Bobcats for the fifth-straight season.
"Every match is important," head coach JohnMark Bentley said. "We have to be wrestling hard and we cannot let up. We have to be constantly thinking to score points."
REMAINS PERFECT, BEST START SINCE 2002-03
With the 21-19 victory over conference foe, Gardner-Webb, the Mountaineers have conducted the longest winning streak to begin a season since 2002-03 where Appalachian strung together a seven-match winning streak.
Three Mountaineers also remained perfect on the dual season, as redshirt sophomore Dominic Parisi (125 pounds), redshirt freshman Zack Strickland (165) and sophomore Colin Hedash (174) moved to 4-0 in dual-meets. Parisi tallied the lone Appalachian pin at 125 pounds, giving App State a quick, 6-0 lead.
Strickland, Hedash and redshirt sophomore Paul Weiss (197) nabbed tightly contested decisions to clinch the victory for the Apps. The victory improves the App State record over GWU to 15-0 all-time.
Senior Brett Boston returned to the lineup at 133 pounds after suffering an injury at the Hokie Open in early November. The Preseason All-SoCon selection fell to GWU's Robbie Golde, but will look to get into better shape throughout the season.
Freshman Zach Kechter was slotted at 149 for the first time this season on Tuesday, but did not see action due to a Bulldog forfeit. Junior Aaron Scott, who was originally scheduled for 149 pounds, moved to 157 pounds, but eventually fell to Alex Medved, one of Gardner-Webb's top contributors.
SCOUTING THE BOBCATS
After splitting its first two conference openers of the season last weekend, Ohio moved to 2-3 overall on the year. The Bobcats have earned victories over Eastern Michigan and Anderson, a team Appalachian defeated on the opening day of this year's schedule.
Junior Jeremy Johnson highlights an Ohio lineup that exhibits a lot of youth. Johnson became Ohio's first All-American since 2010, finishing seventh at the NCAA Championships last season. This year, Johnson enters Saturday's dual ranked No. 17 in the nation by InterMatWrestle.com. The junior has recorded 10 victories and four pins this season.
Redshirt freshman Cody Walters (174 pounds) holds the best personal record in the lineup, earning a perfect 12-0 record on the year. Walters claimed first-place finishes at the Michigan State Open and the Navy Classic, including posting a 5-0 record in dual meets. The redshirt freshman comes into the weekend ranked No. 17 by Amateur Wrestling News.
After defeating Gardner-Webb on Tuesday, Appalachian improves its all-time record to 15-0 against the Bulldogs, the most wins against an active program without conceding a loss. On Saturday, the Apps face Ohio, a program that has the most wins over Appalachian without a loss. Ohio holds a perfect 8-0 record over the Mountaineers, including a 20-15 victory in Athens last season.
THE LAST MEETING
Ohio (1-2) 20,
Appalachian State (3-2) 15
December 10, 2011 | Athens, Ohio | Convocation Center
197: Beau Wenger dec. Paul Weiss, 9-3 (OU 3, ASU 0)
285: No. 5 Jeremy Johnson maj. dec. , 13-3 (OU 7, ASU 0)
125: Gabe Ramos pinned , 3:37 (OU 13, ASU 0)
133: Jake Wojcik dec. Brett Boston, 7-6 (OU 16, ASU 0)
141: dec. Darring Boing, 3-2 (OU 16, ASU 3)
149: dec. Gavin Moore, 10-4 (OU 16, ASU 6)
157: dec. Harrison Hightower, 5-1 (OU 16, ASU 9)
165: No. 13 Kyle Blevins dec. Miles Chapman, 7-0 (OU 16, ASU 12)
174: No. 13 Nick Purdue maj. dec. , 10-2 (OU 20, ASU 12)
184: No. 11 Austin Trotman dec. Ryan Garringer, 10-5 (OU 20, ASU 15)