RedStorm grapplers compete at Cumberland Open

By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing

LEBANON, Tenn. — Four wrestlers representing the University of Rio Grande posted a pair of wins in Saturday’s Cumberland Open hosted by Cumberland University.

Freshman Mitchell Freeman (Point Pleasant, WV) and sophomore Brennen Greene (Jackson, OH) both collected two wins at 149 pounds and 157 pounds, respectively, while freshman Kaylin Foust (Charlotte, NC) and freshman Tommy Mabry (St. Marys, OH) did the same at 157 pounds and 165 pounds, respectively.

Freeman defeated Levi Fouts of the University of Alabama by fall at 1:49 of their opening round battle and then earned a 6-3 decision over Carlos Brogan of Keiser (Fla.) University before falling 4-2 to Brett Minor — who was wrestling unattached — in the quarterfinal round of the championship bracket.

Freeman then was on the short end of a 2-1 decision to Reinhardt (Ga.) University’s Devin Griffen in the fourth round of the consolation bracket.

Greene won by fall against Hayden Mccandless from the University of Florida just 56 seconds into their opening match and then posted an 11-0 majority decision over Cumberland’s Anitie Akpan.

Greene lost by fall at 33 seconds in his championship quarterfinal match with Jacob Williams of the Next Level Wrestling Club, then suffered a 9-3 loss to James Dosado of the University of the Cumberlands (Ky.) in the consolation bracket fourth round.

Dosado also defeated Foust, 6-5, in their opening round match, but then rebounded with consolation bracket wins over Coleman Tadich, who was wrestling unattached, and Bryce Samuels from the University of Alabama.

Foust’s win over Tadich was a 13-4 majority decision triumph, while he defeated Samuels by fall at the 5:00 mark.

Foust’s final match was a 9-1 majority decision loss to Keiser’s George Zertopoulis.

Mabry also fell in his opening match, dropping a 10-6 decision to Jesus Zamorano of Menlo (Calif.) University.

Mabry advanced with a bye in the first round of the consolation bracket before defeating Alabama’s Colin Hobert by fall at 1:40 in round two and Florida A&M’s Malio Johnson by fall at 4:08 in their third round consolation matchup.

Mabry’s day came to an end with a loss by fall to Cumberland University’s Michael Long at 4:00.

Also representing Rio Grande in the event were sophomore Lucas Chess (Urbana, OH), who went 0-2 at 125 pounds; freshman Ryan Troyer (Kotzebue, AK), who went 0-2 in the 157-pound bracket; freshman Owenn Meyer (Filer, ID), who was 0-2 at 184 pounds; freshman Logan Huggins (Evansville, IN), who went 1-2 at 197 pounds, and freshman Michael Peneski (Port Washington, NY), who was 0-2 at 285 pounds.

Huggins’ win was by fall over Connor McCubbin of Thomas More at 5:32 of their second round match in the championship bracket.

“The Cumberland Open was a great event to end regular season competition,” said Rio Grande head coach Jason Schweer. “We saw some mixed results and ran into some tough customers — guys we wanted to see and get feedback from — and that’s exactly what we got. Now (assistant) coach (Josh) Chiles and I can make some technical adjustments and start fine-tuning the guys for Mid-South Tournament.”

Schweer said that just having the chance to compete was the biggest takeaway from the weekend.

“Between cancellations due to COVID and most recently with the weather, we hadn’t competed since Jan. 16. A couple guys hadn’t competed since that first weekend in January. That’s quite an extensive lay-off in our sport and you could see a little rust in the matches earlier-on in the day,” he said. “However, as the day progressed, the guys did a good job making adjustments and getting back into the rhythm of tournament competition. Now we have a good week-and-a-half to get the guys ready to go for our national qualifying event and see if we can’t go dancing in March.”

The Mid-South Conference Tournament is scheduled for Feb. 18-19 in Bowling Green, Ky.

By Randy Payton

For Ohio Valley Publishing

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director for the University of Rio Grande.

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director for the University of Rio Grande.