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The Daily Tar Heel

Ramos pulls through for Tar Heels' wrestling against Duke

The redshirt freshman won his match 18-7 to propel UNC to a one-point victory

The momentum had shifted for the No. 25 North Carolina wrestling team.

After an intense triple-overtime loss by Chris Mears, Coach C.D. Mock threw his jacket on his chair and stormed over to the referee. The move cost the team one point off of its total score, putting them down by four against Duke Wednesday night. 

"I was kind of thinking I might get ejected," Mock said. "We weren't exactly fired up and I thought maybe if I get kicked out of here maybe they'll get fired up, but I didn't want him to take a point."

With his team in trouble, it wasn't the fire that got the Tar Heels through, but the cool-headed redshirt-freshman Ethan Ramos. It was Ramos' major decision victory that tied the match and sparked the Tar Heels to a 16-15 victory over the Blue Devils.

"I just wrestle for God," Ramos said. "Just have fun and try to show everyone how I feel a Christian should be representing God. I try to go out with one speed and keep going and going and going. I don't really think about how the team is doing as much, but just glorify Him."

Ramos had eight takedowns in his match and won by a score of 18 to 7.

"I guess just my offense is getting picked up," Ramos said. "Near the end of the first period I tried a move I've been working on for a while and I haven't hit it in a match yet, but it worked out pretty well."

A lot of things have been working out pretty well for Ramos recently. With the win he has now won 11 consecutive bouts, including beating Nick Sulzer — who was ranked second in the 165 weight class at the time — of Virginia.

"Did I expect at the beginning of the year that Ramos would beat a guy that's second in the country, one of the best wrestlers by far?" Mock said. "No. I'm not going to say I expected that." 

The road for Ramos has been long this season. Coming off his redshirt year, Mock said Ramos lost some matches early on in the season that he shouldn't have lost. HIs coach credits his work ethic for his current No. 12 national individual ranking. 

Mock has one word to describe his rising star — special.

"The person responsible for Ethan's success is Ethan," Mock said. "That's what I mean when I say he's special. I'd love to say it's coaching and I'm sure our coaching staff has something to do with it. Ethan is special because he hates to lose and he listens.

"He's just one of those special student-athletes that comes along once in a coach's lifetime. No doubt in my mind he's going to be a national champion before he gets out of Carolina."

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