Wolfpack Hosts Tar Heels on Senior Night
Feb. 1, 2012
RALEIGH, N.C.-- NC State wrestling will honor three seniors on Friday in a ceremony that will take place before the match at 7 p.m. against the North Carolina Tar Heels. Quinton Godley, Darrius Little, and Colton Palmer will all be recognized for their accomplishments during their tenure at NC State.
When fans enter the match on Friday, they will have the opportunity to donate to a really good cause and that is the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) foundation, better known as Lou Gehrig's disease. The wrestling team will be raising money for this great cause and is asking that all fans that attend donate to the foundation. Even if fans would not like to donate money to the foundation, your presence at the match will be good as well because there will be a monetary donation made to the foundation that will be calculated by the number of people that attend.
In addition to Friday's match being senior night, it will be Greek night as well and all members of Greek organizations are asked to attend.
“Senior night is always a special time for the coach, the team, and the guys being honored when they compete for the last time in Reynolds Coliseum,” said Wolfpack head coach Carter Jordan. “It’s important to make sure that you don’t get too caught up in everything else going on that you forget about the task at hand, which is to wrestle as hard and as smart as we can.”
The career of Quinton Godley began at the 165-pound weight class, but he moved up to the 174-pound weight class his sophomore year and has found a home in this weight class. During his junior year, he moved up to 184 briefly before returning back to 174. While Godley was wrestling at 184 he knocked off the 18th-ranked wrestler in Jon Fausey of Virginia by decision, 2-1.
As a true freshman, Godley stepped into the starting lineup and won five of his first six matches at 165. He went on to win eight of his first 13 matches that season. His sophomore season he wrestled at 174 for all of his matches and recorded four pins to go along with three major decisions, including an 11-2 major decision over Maryland’s Owen Smith and 6-0 decision over Virginia Tech’s Taylor Knapp. Last year, he reached the 20 wins mark for the first time in his career. Godley started off his junior year at 174 by winning eight of his first 10 matches and also recorded a career best seven match winning streak spanning from Jan. 8 through Jan. 22. He finished the season wrestling at 184 and took home a fourth-place finish at the ACC Championships.
“Quinton is a really hard worker and does everything you tell that will help him better,” said Jordan. “He’s gotten so much better in his time here and will be extremely successful in whatever he does.”
Darrius Little has really been strong for the Wolfpack in his senior year, having recorded 28 wins on the season which is his highest win total of his career with five regular season matches remaining. He has recently passed former Wolfpack wrestlers Joe Cesari, Mark Cesari, and Pierre Pryor in the record books for all time wins with 91 in his career. With his 91 wins, Little is now sixth in school history for career victories, and is only one win shy of tying for fifth all time.
The redshirt senior is currently ranked 10th in the nation according to Intermat Wrestling in the 141-pound weight class. Little has won nine matches in a row and is 15 of his last 16. He is also perfect on the season in dual matches with a record of 10-0. Little has had to work for his wins during the streak as three of his last four matches have been against ranked opponents, including victories over No. 9-ranked Zach Neibert of Virginia Tech, No. 12 Matt Mariacher of American, and most recently No. 14 Josh Kindig of Oklahoma State.
Little wrestled at the 133-pound weight class during his freshman and sophomore campaigns recording 12 wins in his freshman year and 17 wins and two pins in his sophomore year. He made his first NCAA appearance at the conclusion of his sophomore year after finishing the season strong. During the 2009-10 season Little was off to a hot start at 7-3 on the season, but was shut down for the remainder of the season after suffering an injury. He bounced back from injury to have a successful redshirt junior season in which he finished second at the ACC Championships.
“It’s all coming together now for Darrius,” said Jordan. “He’s beaten several ranked guys here lately and he just has to stay humble and he will accomplish his goals for the season.”
Colton Palmer has also enjoyed success during his time at NC State, including 50 career wins along with 20 falls. Palmer emerged for the Wolfpack last season recording 26 wins and a team best nine falls. As a freshman, he wrestled at the 149, 157, and 165-pound weight classes. He moved into the starting lineup midseason and registered seven wins along with a fall. Palmer redshirted the 2008-09 season and did not appear in any matches.
In his redshirt sophomore year, he wrestled at 149 and 157, recording five wins on the season. Palmer really hit his stride during his redshirt junior campaign winning nine consecutive matches, a period spanning from Jan. 5 to Jan. 22. During the streak, he knocked off the 16th-ranked wrestler Vince Salminen of South Dakota State by decision 13-6.
“Colton is really team oriented and is a very self-less guy; he offered to come out of his redshirt so that another guy could redshirt and that’s just the type of guy he is,” head coach Carter Jordan said. “He’s battled some injuries during his career, but has worked really hard to bounce back from those injuries.”
The Wolfpack will enter Friday’s match 4-6 overall, 0-3 in the ACC while North Carolina posts a 2-13 overall and 1-3.
The Tar Heels are led by freshman Evan Henderson and sophomore Corey Mock. The two wrestlers are ranked No. 20 and No. 19 at 141 and 157, respectively. North Carolina is coming off of losses against No. 12-ranked Maryland and Navy.
NC State will look to rebound off of a loss against the top-ranked Cowboys of Oklahoma State last weekend. The Wolfpack gained valuable experience in the match and dropped most of the bouts in the match by only a few points.
Following are the projected starting lineups for NC State and North Carolina:
NC State (4-6)
125- Coltin Fought (21-7)
141- #10 Darrius Little (28-9)
149- Matt Nereim (13-11)
157- Colton Palmer (12-11)
165- Nijel Jones (18-14)
174- Quinton Godley (24-11)
184- Robert O’Neill (16-12)
197- KaRonne Jones (14-18)
Hwt- Josh Davis (11-16)
North Carolina (2-13)
125- Brian Bokoski (16-14) or Josh Craig (1-5)
133- Brock LiVorio (6-15)
141- #20 Evan Henderson (23-8)
149- Joe Burns (9-15)
157- #19 Corey Mock 23-9)
165- Kyle Kiss (13-11) or Derek Golner (2-2)
174- Alex Utley (11-14)
184- Thomas Ferguson (15-11)
197- Zac Bennett (7-5)
Hwt- Frank Abbondanza (2-16) or Nick Tenpenny (6-13)