“It really had nothing to do with talent,” Coach C.D. Mock said. “It was all about toughness and digging deep to get that last take down.”
For Williams, it was his coach’s belief in him — and his belief in what his coach had taught him — that gave him the boost he needed in the end.
The victory sparked the team’s dominant 22-8 performance over Gardner-Webb.
“If there was a defining moment for me in the match, it was Williams at 141,” Mock said.
In Mock’s eyes, the convincing win was not a surprise to coaches and players, as UNC is the more developed of the two programs.
“This was a match we were supposed to win, in truth,” Mock said. “But it is always good to take a win going forward.”
The UNC wrestlers showed heart and class throughout the match, even when adversity tested the Tar Heels.
Gardner-Webb was deducted a team point after Austin Trott threw a punch following his loss to Ethan Ramos.
Ramos’ performance before the punch was thrown spoke louder than the infraction, as he imposed his formidable strength and will on the Gardner-Webb wrestler.
While he struggled early, Ramos took over the match late and finished with a 9-4 victory.
His victory in the 165-pound weight class was the second of five straight UNC wins, and the punch didn’t seem to slow him down at all.
“I’m not really sure what agitated him, but when he got up he punched me in the face,” Ramos said.
“I never really felt like I was in danger, and once I got my first takedown, I knew that I could turn things around.”
Ramos showed toughness and class against his opponent, even trying to dissuade the referee from deducting a team point from Gardner-Webb after the punch.
Not that the point would have mattered for the Bulldogs, anyway.