149: Gabe Johnson 6-5 Brik Filippo
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Five Takeaways from UCO’s Wins over Ouachita Baptist and Emmanuel

UCO rolled over their first two opponents of the season, dominating both Ouachita Baptist(44-0) and Emmanuel College(49-0) on Friday. I thought I’d share five takeaways from the duals here.

1. Wyatt Jordan is back!

NJCAA National Champion Wyatt Jordan sat out last season, but made a lot of noise in his return here. Jordan picked up a tech fall in the second period vs. Ouachita and a first period fall over Emmanuel. He’s always been a pinner and if he can bring that back to the lineup here, he could provide a big boost for UCO moving forward.

2. A lot of good young talent

UCO started three freshmen with Garret Steidley, TJ Long, and Gabe Johnson. All dominated here. UCO has other freshmen in their program that are also good. Judson Rowland beat starter Christian Arriola in their bronze and blue dual and Ryder Ramsey was nationally ranked out of high school and won over JUCO All-American Gage Gomez in the bronze and blue match. There is some very real young talent in the group and if they stay together could do a lot in the coming years.

3. TJ Long

To expand on the conversation about young talent, RS freshman TJ Long is looking good so far. Long picked up a fall and a tech fall here, and a major over Junior Von Gray in the ranking matches. Similar to Wyatt Jordan at 174, he could be a real key for this program this season if he can keep doing what he’s currently doing moving forward.

4. Nice win at heavyweight

Christian Arriola did not get a match vs. Emmanuel, but he faced the best wrestler for Ouachita with Johnny Green. Arriola picked up a solid 2-0 decision over Green. This was the biggest individual match of the dual and a nice win for Arriola.

5. Will fans be allowed back?

UCO announced a “No Fans” policy through the end of January due to COVID-19. These were the only two matches that UCO has at home during January. It will be interesting to see if anything changes and fans are allowed back for Fort Hays State or Nebraska Kearney in February.

What do you think?

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