BUIES CREEK – The Campbell University wrestling squad will take to the mat in Buies Creek for the final time on Friday night, hosting SoCon rival The Citadel at 6 p.m. inside Gilbert Craig Gore Arena and the John W. Pope, Jr. Convocation Center. The Fighting Camels and Bulldogs enter the match with identical 3-2 league records, and the dual match winner will finish third in the eight-team Southern Conference standings.
CU will honor two seniors in a pre-match recognition on Friday. John Weakley is a Cleveland, Ohio native who has gone 24-8 this season with seven pins, one tech fall and four major decisions while wrestling in the 197-pound weight class. Weakley recorded his fastest pin in only 29 seconds over Mark Morrill of Northern Colorado on Dec. 14.
Joel Caudill is a native of Wilkesboro, N.C. and has been a four-year member of the Fighting Camel wrestling program. Caudill earned letters in each of his first three seasons in Buies Creek and has been a valuable leader of the squad this season.
Campbell, 11-16 overall in dual competition has several common opponents with the The Citadel. The Bulldogs, 7-8 overall this season, have wrestled ten common opponents with the Camels. The Bulldogs' opened the season against Cleveland State, dropping a 22-12 match to the Vikings on Nov. 12. CU defeated Cleveland State 30-10 in Buies Creek on Jan. 9.
The Citadel also holds a 19-18 win over N.C. State and a 22-15 victory over North Carolina, while Campbell dropped duals with the two ACC programs. Each team holds a home dual match win over Duke, with The Citadel taking a 28-14 victory on Jan. 6 and the Camels earning a 19-17 triumph on Jan. 26.
Within the Southern Conference, the Bulldogs have dropped matches to Appalachian State (21-19) and Chattanooga (27-13), while defeating VMI (36-6), Gardner-Webb (36-10) and Davidson (31-12). Friday's match will be The Citadel's third consecutive conference road dual after wrestling at Gardner-Webb and Davidson last weekend.
Leading the way for the Bulldogs is 197-pounder Kelby Smith and heavyweight division wrestler Odie Delaney. Smith, a senior from Norcross, Ga. is 30-7 individually and 15-0 in dual matches this season. Delaney, a redshirt junior from Santa Rosa Beach, Fla., is ranked 15th-nationally in the latest InterMat rankings and holds a 21-2 individual record this season.
After Friday's regular season finale, the Fighting Camels will prepare for the Southern Conference Championships, to be held at Chattanooga on March 3.