“On paper we haven’t got a chance,” Mock said, “but we don’t pay much attention to that. It’s one-on-one.”
One of those one-on-one matchups will take place when freshman Corey Mock takes on defending ACC champion Jesse Dong in the 157-weight class. The fifth-ranked Dong beat Mock by three points in a closely contested match in December at the Nittany Lion Open.
In preparation for his rematch with Dong, Corey Mock has been working with redshirt junior Kyle Kiss, who has similar strengths as Dong.
“I want to play my game, not his.” Mock said. “If I can get on top first, that’s a match I’m going to win.”
Coach Mock has confidence in his freshman’s potential but harbors concern about consistency.
“I believe Corey is more than capable of beating Dong, but he’s got to show up.” Mock said. “If the guy that showed up for the Hofstra match shows up for the Dong match, he’s going to get whooped.”
Other rookies have not struggled with consistency like Mock has this season. Freshmen Zac Bennett and Antonio Giorgio were the only Tar Heels to notch victories in both losses last week. The freshman class has been a bright spot this season as many of the upperclassmen are out of the lineup due to injuries.
“I’m very happy with them and the job they are doing,” Mock said. “Giorgio has done a great job and has probably been the most consistent wrestler on the team.”
C.D. Mock attributes the success of the freshman class to confidence, admitting that the young Tar Heels believe they can win every time they step on the mat.
Even though the 4-4 Tar Heels are heavy underdogs, C.D. Mock and his team will not be intimidated.
“We’re planning on going out there individually, every single match just pushing them all over the mat,” he said, “and maybe getting in their head and maybe closing the gap — a little bit — of experience and talent that they have over us.”
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