Season begins with strong showing at Hokie Open

Season begins with strong showing at Hokie Open
Monday, November 6, 2017 | by Randall Stewart, Director of Athletic Communications

BLACKSBURG, Va. - Newberry opened the 2017-18 season with three placers at the Hokie Open, a tournament attended by 19 collegiate teams from across the Division I and II ranks.

Jordan Simpson (125 pounds), Nolan Whitley (133), and Louis Wilson (165) all finished sixth in their respective weight classes and won three bouts each, several over competitors from Division I institutions.

Simpson opened with a major decision over Sean Badua from Army before losing a 6-2 decision to Stanford's Connor Schram, the tournament's No. 1 seed. He rebounded with a major decision and a fall in 24 seconds over wrestlers from The Citadel and Army to reach the fifth-place match, where he was defeated 7-4 by Kyle Norstrem of host Virginia Tech.

Transfer Nolan Whitley, a senior that previously competed at Wheeling Jesuit, was defeated in his opening bout before winning three straight over Division I competition, including a fall in 51 seconds over Duke's Josh Copeland. Like Simpson, Wilson also rebounded from an opening loss with a major decision and two decisions, all against Division I wrestlers.

The Wolves accumulated 24.5 points as a team to finish 13th, well ahead of Division II foes Limestone, Coker, and UNC Pembroke that landed in the bottom three positions. Newberry finished ahead of Division I competition NC State, VMI, and Davidson while coming within one and one-half points of both The Citadel and Gardner-Webb.

Zack Clary (133 pounds), Isaiah Royal (141), Jody McAlister (149), Alex Aguilar (174), Haszell West (197), and Patton Gossett (285) also won at least one matchup on the day to propel the Wolves to their impressive showing. Newberry next competes at the Wolfpack Open, hosted by NC State, on Nov. 19.