In any sport, it’s important to set the tone early. In wrestling it’s no different. The first match can set the pace for how things will go. In North Carolina’s 24-12 win against Duke, John Michael Staudenmayer was the Tar Heels’ first man on the mat, and he had every intention of being the first winner.
From the moment the first whistle blew, he was moving. Whether he was finishing a strong single-leg takedown in the first period or locking up a cradle for three near-fall points in the second period, the 165-pound redshirt sophomore was looking to dominate his opponent every second of the match.
“I like wrestling first because I like setting the tone,” Staudenmayer said. “If I go out there with a high pace, then the guy after me is going to go out there with a high pace.”
And with that high pace, Staudenmayer cruised to a 14-3 victory.
His victory led to a victory from Scott Marmoll. The 174-pound redshirt freshman wouldn’t cruise to victory. Instead, he needed two overtime periods to seal a 4-2 win.