The No.10 ranked UNCP wrestling team sent seniors Rodney Shepard and Faris Teia out with a bang in their last home event of the of the season in their year with the program in absolute dominate fashion on “Senior Day”. The Braves steamrolled over the Queens University Royals in their most dominate performance to date.
“Great to be able to put these two seniors in a position to be able to go out the right way. We were kind of a bit worried that they might not be able to get matches, but we were able to do some shuffling around to make sure that both of these guys wrestle in front of the home crowd for the last time in their wrestling career,” said Head Coach Othello “O.T.” Johnson.
While the Black and Gold benefited from 24 of their total points coming via four forfeits by Royals in the 133, 141, 165 and 197 weight classes, nearly all the Braves that did compete dominated in their matches.
All-American tone setter Nick Daggett got the dual started off with his 6-3 decision win at the 125-weight class, followed by two consecutive Queens’ forfeits to push the Braves’ advantage to 15-0.
Redshirt junior Tyler Makosy would increase the Braves’ lead to 20-3 after his masterful 17-2 technical fall at 157, followed by another forfeit to give the home team a 26-3 advantage. Shepard, an All-American that is the No.2 ranked, would put up the most points of any Brave in his 20-7 mayor decision victory.
“It’s kind of like the end of and era. It’s been a quick beginning and end here. I’ve been here for a year, but I’m really grateful for the opportunity. I do really feel like this is my home,” said Shepard.
Teia had the most electric match of the afternoon in the shortest amount of time. After he was able to pin his opponent in just under two minutes of the first period, he rose to his feet and gestured for the clamor of the crowd as a Roman gladiator would after securing a victory.
“We’re going out with a bang so you can’t ask for a better send off than that right there…Any time I’m at home we have a great crowd that comes out and supports us and we would like them to continue to do that,” said Teia.
After the final forfeit of the bout, sophomore Marcus Bell would put a bow on the Braves farewell gift to their graduating upperclassmen with his swift 11-4 decision win at the heavyweight class. Bell is a natural 197 pounder but wrestled up at the request of his coaches and handled his less nimble opponent with ease.
Only one of their six wrestlers that competed (Jude Lloyd at 149lbs) was able to hold on for the only points that Queens registered on the day in a narrow 13-8 decision victory over UNCP’s William Deese.