MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University wrestling team kicks off the new year in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to compete at the Southern Scuffle, presented by Compound Sportswear.
Billed as the top in-season collegiate wrestling tournament in the country, the Southern Scuffle will take place inside the McKenzie Area on the campus of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga over the course of two days from Jan. 1-2. Day one of the event is set to begin at 10 a.m. ET.
“I think it’s a great event. It kind of starts to mirror the NCAA Tournament when you get a multiday tournament,” fourth-year coach Tim Flynn said. “We haven’t had one yet this year, so I think from that standpoint it’s a nice kind of preview for our guys to get a feel for wrestling two days in a row at an event, and obviously there are a lot of good guys (opponents) there.”
West Virginia will bring 14 wrestlers, including two unattached, to battle some of the top competitors in their respective weight classes. Four of them are seeded in the top eight, which includes redshirt senior Killian Cardinale (125) at No. 1, redshirt sophomore Michael Wolfgram (HWT) at No. 3, sophomore Peyton Hall (165) at No. 4, and junior Scott Joll (174) at No. 8. Missouri leads the way with nine wrestlers seeded in the top eight.
This year’s field is filled with 29 other schools across 18 states (Arkansas, California, Colorado, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Virginia). Seven of the schools making the trip are currently ranked in the top 25 of the latest NWCA Coaches Poll. Big 12 member Oklahoma State leads the way at No. 4, followed by No. 5 NC State, No. 8 Cornell, No. 10 Virginia Tech, No. 11 Missouri, No. 14 Minnesota, and No. 20 North Carolina.
Air Force, Northern Colorado, North Dakota State, and South Dakota State join OSU, MU, and WVU in representing the Big 12 in Chattanooga.
Other schools participating in the 18th annual Scuffle include Appalachian State, Bellarmine, Buffalo, Cal State Bakersfield, Chattanooga, Columbia, Davidson, Drexel, Duke, Gardner Webb, George Mason, Little Rock, Maryland, Michigan St., Rider, Stanford, The Citadel, and VMI.
In the polls, three Mountaineers remain steady among FloWrestling’s latest top-25 rankings. At 125 pounds, Cardinale slides to No. 7 after knocking off two ranked opponents in his season debut against UTC and CSU. Hall (13-0) stands at No. 12 at 165 pounds, while Wolfgram (13-1) cracked into the top 20 at No. 19 in the heavyweight poll. The combination of Hall and Wolfgram head into 2022 with a 26-1 overall record and 16-0 in duals.
Of note, this marks West Virginia’s third appearance at the Scuffle since the event’s inception back in 2003. The Mountaineers placed seventh in their debut in 2016, where four members of the squad earned spots on the podium. No. 11/12 Zeke Moisey led then-No. 25 West Virginia with a third-place finish. In the team’s most recent trip in 2020, Mountaineer standout Noah Adams captured the Southern Scuffle title at 197 pounds. Adams went a perfect 5-0, including three wins over nationally ranked opponents.
Fans can catch all the action live on FloWrestling. Get the FloSports iOS app today in the App Store to watch the event live and on-the-go. Download the FloSports App on iOS, Roku, Fire TV, Android and Apple TV 4 to watch the Southern Scuffle across all screens. Live scoring and interactive brackets are also available through FloArena.