It must have worked.
After having lost the two matches prior to Mock’s pin, the Tar Heels rallied to win five straight matches.
The Tar Heels kept the Carolina-blue and white mat hot again on Saturday afternoon against Edinboro, starting off with 125-pound wrestler Nick Shields’ first pin of the year. UNC would never surrender the lead, and they captured a 29-17 victory against the Fighting Scots.
“I didn’t even say anything before the guys went out, Coach Kolat just went off and really fired them up,” UNC coach C.D. Mock said. “It was good, really woke them up a little bit.”
Senior Thomas Scotton snapped a six-match losing streak Friday against the Wolfpack when he beat Nijel Jones 6-5, but not in the most convincing fashion.
“It’s a release,” Scotton said. “It lets me know I still know how to wrestle.”
Scotton started off the match strong, taking a 4-1 lead with a takedown in the first and a reversal in the second.
Despite receiving a penalty in the final minutes for stalling, Scotton sealed the victory, which served as a major confidence booster for the 165-pounder.
In his match on Saturday with Edinboro’s Ethan Saylor, Scotton looked much more driven and determined to wrestle to the final whistle. Scotton won 6-2.
“I texted (Scotton) last night and said, ‘Look, you have to stop wrestling with fear and doubt.’” Coach Mock said.
Last week’s ACC co-wrestler of the week Antonio Giorgio beat N.C. State’s Pat Carey in the 184-pound bout on Friday, but he suffered a knee injury that affected his performance Saturday against Edinboro’s No. 2-ranked Chris Honeycutt.
Mock said that Giorgio learned a valuable lesson about wrestling in the lopsided loss to Honeycutt — sometimes he just has to wrestle through the pain.
“That’s the first thing I said when I walked in the locker room,” coach Mock said. “I pointed at Giorgio and I said, ‘What did you learn? Tell the team.’”
“I could wrestle hurt,” Giorgio responded.
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