Knights Dominate 3rd Annual Turkey Bowl

Photo by Justo Photography
Photo by Justo Photography

Written by Chris Pendleton

BUENA VISTA, Va.—The Southern Virginia University wrestling team dominated its first home meet of the season on Saturday as the Knights took six of nine weight classes at the 3rd Annual Turkey Bowl Classic against wrestlers from Bowling Green State University, East Tennessee State University, Lynchburg College and University of South Florida.

Sophomore Joshua Hall (Pocatello, Idaho) set the tone early for Southern Virginia taking the 133-lb. bracket with two wins over teammate Chad Biggs (Gilbert, Ariz.), who was wrestling unattached at Saturday's Turkey Bowl.

Freshman Andrew Evans (Gahanna, Ohio), who was also wrestling unattached on Saturday, won the 141-lb bracket with a 13-3 victory over Bowling Green's Jeff Smith in his first match, followed by a pin 2:20 into the bracket championship match against USF's Matt Damon.

The 149-lb. bracket went to Sean Porter (Kaysville, Utah)—Southern Virginia's third unattached wrestler on Saturday—who pinned his first opponent with just 57 seconds remaining in the match before earning a technical-fall victory in the bracket finals against ETSU's Ben Scott. 

Jeremy Atkinson (Yuba City, Calif.) continued his strong sophomore campaign climbing to 4-2 on the season after a tough-fought 11-6 win over ETSU's Nick Shield in his only match of the day. Atkinson went on to claim the 157-lb. title after Bowling Green's Christian Miskell was forced to forfeit the championship match due to injury. 

Dual-sport wrestlers Michael Kilstrom (Upper Arlington, Ohio) and Josh Wallace (Yuba City, Calif.) both had strong outings in their opening meet of the season after playing in their final Southern Virginia football game of the year just two weeks earlier.

Kilstrom—who played wide receiver for the Knights—pinned his opening-round opponent in the 174-lb. bracket 4:15 into the match. He then advanced to the division finals where he executed two third-period takedowns on Lynchburg's Tony Goodman pulling out a suspenseful 5-3 victory on the way to the bracket title.

Wrestling in his first match of the year just two weeks following his final game as a linebacker on Southern Virginia's football team, Wallace began his day with a thrilling comeback victory in his semi-finals match against Daniel Grastly from Eastern Tennessee State University.

Trailing Grastly by one point (0-1) with less than a minute remaining in the match, Wallace tied the score by escaping Grastly's hold with only 43 seconds left in the third period. With the match still knotted at 1-1 and 14 ticks left on the clock, Wallace executed a 2-point takedown securing a last second win (3-2) and a spot in the bracket championship.

In the championship, Wallace faced off against Grastly for the second time of the day, this time winning by pin 43 seconds into the match's second period.

Men's wrestling will have quick turnaround as the Knights will make the short trip to Lexington, Va. on Wednesday, Dec. 7 for their first dual match of the year at Washington and Lee University beginning at 7 p.m. EDT.