The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling team had three individuals earn Scholar All-America honors from the National Wrestling Coaches Association this week. Juniors v and Franco Valdes and freshman Weston Wichman were among the 191 individuals representing 59 institutions to be recognized by the organization for their work in the classroom.
“It’s my honor on behalf of the NWCA and our Board of Directors to recognize this outstanding list of team and individual award winners,” said NWCA Executive Director Mike Moyer. “These athletes had to navigate a season full of unknowns and the fact they were able to continue to excel in the classroom is a testament to the attack mentality that wrestlers bring to every aspect of their lives.”
This is just the fourth time in school history UTC has had three individuals recognized in the same season. It is the most since Sean Boyle, Jared Johnson and John Shrader won the honors in 2014-15.
Nicholson represented the Mocs at the NCAA Tournament after winning the Southern Conference title at 165 pounds. He was the Most Outstanding Wrestler at the SoCon Tournament and is graduating with a degree in Engineering Management in the summer.
Valdes was an All-SoCon performer with a 9-0 dual record during the regular season. An Academic All-SoCon selection, he is the current recipient of the Nancy Curtis Noblit Scholarship.
Wichman was the SoCon Freshman of the Year after going 9-3 at 157 pounds in the regular season. An Exercise Science major, he pinned two opponents and held a 5-2 record in conference duals.
All three Mocs are set to return to the lineup for the 2021-22 season. Head coach Kyle Ruschell just wrapped up his third year after leading the Mocs to an 8-4 dual record in 2020-21.