Junior Devin Mellon will look to make his way back into the rankings with a showdown against Ohio's ninth-ranked heavyweight Jeremy Johnson
Dec. 4, 2013
COLUMBIA, Mo. - The No. 9 Missouri Tigers will host the Ohio Bobcats in their home opener this coming Friday, December 6, in the "Clash of the Cats". The Bobcats are currently 3-0 in non-conference duals this season, while the Tigers stand at 1-0 after defeating North Dakota State on November 1. The dual will be the conference opener for both teams.
For the first time in Mizzou Athletics history, the Clash of the Cats will take place in historic Jesse Hall with the mat located on the auditorium stage. With a capacity north of 1,700 people, this will be the first athletic event held at Jesse in its history, and will offer a new and exciting way to experience Tiger wrestling. The dual will begin at 5 p.m.
The Ohio Bobcats have been voted as the top-ranked team in the Mid-American Conference, as decided on by the coaches. The Tigers, while being tabbed No. 9 in the nation by the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA), hold the No. 2 conference ranking in their sophomore season as MAC affiliates. Ohio finds themselves as a bubble team just outside the top-20 nationally. They bring four top-20 ranked grapplers to Columbia this Friday, including No. 7 Cody Walters and No. 15 Phil Wellington. Missouri wrestler Mikey England, who boasts a top-20 ranking of his own, is slated to battle Walters at 174 pounds, with true-freshman phenom J'den Cox set to wrestle Wellington in what should be an exciting top-20 match at 197.
After the Tigers' overall success at the Joe Parisi Open back on November 23, five Tigers are now nationally ranked in the top-15 of their respective weight classes. Junior Drake Houdashelt held on to the top-spot at 149 pounds, while Cox cracked into the rankings and sits at No. 8 in the nation in the 197-pound class. Both wrestlers claimed titles in the Gold Division of the tournament, alongside redshirt freshman Lavion Mayes, whose title in the 141-pound bracket has possibly earned him his first dual start of his collegiate career. Additionally, 14 other Missouri wrestlers placed in the top three of their respective brackets throughout the tournament.
Tabbed at No. 1 in the conference, the Bobcats look to dethrone the Tigers in 2013 and win their sixteenth conference title. The Bobcats and Tigers are meeting for the fourth time, with Mizzou holding a 3-0 edge. They head to Columbia after finishing in sixth place at the Navy Classic on Nov. 23.
No. 9 Missouri vs Ohio
125 - Barlow McGhee, Fr., (10-3) vs. KeVon Powell, So.
133 - Matt Manley, RSFr., (9-1) vs. Kagan Squire, So., OR Thomas McLaughlin, So.
141 - Lavion Mayes, RSFr., (12-4) vs. Noah Forrider, Fr.
149 - No. 1 Drake Houdashelt, Jr., (11-0) vs. No. 18 Tywan Claxton, Jr.
157 - No. 6 Kyle Bradley, Sr., (5-1) OR Matthew Lemanowicz, RSFr., (9-5) vs. Sparty Chino, So.
165 - No. 10 Zach Toal, Sr., (7-1) vs. Harrison Hightower, RSJr.
174 - No. 20 Mikey England, Jr., (7-3) vs. No. 7 Cody Walters, So.
184 - No. 10 Johnny Eblen, Jr., (8-3) vs. Ryan Garringer, RSSr.
197 - No. 8 J'den Cox, Fr., (10-0) vs. No. 15 Phil Wellington, So.
HWT - Devin Mellon, Jr., (8-2) vs. No. 9 Jeremy Johnson, Sr.
Prefacing the event, free pizza will be provided for fans beginning at 4:15pm in the lobby outside of Jesse Auditorium. There will also be a karaoke sing-off as well as a youth wrestling challenge throughout the event that is sure to give away an assortment of great prizes. As part of the Tiger's Takedown Alzheimer's movement, members of the Alzheimer's Association of Greater Mid-Missouri will be in attendance to help raise awareness.
Tickets for the event are available at MUTigers.com, at the Mizzou Arena Box Office, and by calling 1-800-CAT-PAWS. Tickets are $2 up until 10 a.m. on Friday and are available at the door: $5 for adults and $3 for youth/seniors. Students from the University of Missouri will be admitted into the event for free by showing their student ID. Additionally, anyone that brings their ticket stub from either the Mizzou women's basketball game on Dec. 4 or the Mizzou men's game on Dec. 5 will receive free admission.
Friday's dual will be available live online through Mizzou Network. For more information, visit MUTigers.com/allaccess.
For a quick look ahead at what is in store for the top-10 Tigers, the squad is slated to travel North to Cedar Falls, Iowa, on the 14th of December to compete in the Northern Iowa Open. They will then take a couple of weeks off for the holidays before heading to the highly-touted Southern Scuffle on New Years Day.
For an in depth look to everything Tiger Style, make sure to follow the team on Facebook, Twitter (@MizzouWrestling) and Instagram (@mizzoutigerstyle), and on MUTigers.com. Fans can join the conversation by using the hashtag #TigerStyle.
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