PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Cleveland’s 135-pounder lost just once as a senior before earning his third region title and his second state championship. He has signed to wrestle with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. “He was just a workhorse that battled every day,” Blue Raiders coach Eric Phillips said. “He took every practice like it was the end of the world. He’s a wonderful kid who went from an average wrestler to a great wrestler through his hard work.” Lopez compiled a 189-20 career mark, including 40-1 this past season.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Phillips is more interested in spreading the credit than taking any for Cleveland’s run to the traditional state championship, its first since the mid-1990s. “The kids never doubted. They had a lot of faith in what we do. I’m getting a lot of credit, but so much should go to our parents and assistant coaches,” he said. “The kids have a lot of character. I think a younger team like we had, or any team for that matter, came back from a number of defeats and believed me when I said we could win.” Phillips’ staff includes Jake Yost, Al Miller, Thomas Queen, Duane Shriver and Carlos Thompson.
He posted a 21-2 record, winning the region and improving his career record to 68-16.
A two-time region champion, he secured his first state title to cap off a 36-3 season.
A 37-0 season took Bolton to his first state title and fourth region championship.
He went 60-2, leading the area in wins, and earned his fourth region title and first state crown.
He went 31-14, improving his career record to 96-56 with his first region championship.
The UTC signee and two-time state champion went 32-2 this year, 151-9 for his career.
A first-year starter, Hutson entered the lineup after Christmas and still managed a 32-3 record.
A key to the Blue Raiders’ state-title run, Jones won a region title and finished the year 32-8.
He stepped out of his brother’s shadow to go 27-1 and win his first region and state titles.
He posted a 27-9 record and was an integral part of the Blue Raiders’ state-team-title drive.
He finished fifth in the state for a season record of 25-10 and a career mark of 66-13.
A state runner-up this year, he finished with a 58-6 record, improving to 89-10 for his career.
He finished third in the state and had a 38-5 first-year record at the high school level.
He was 23-14, improving his career record to 69-39 and finishing fifth in the state tournament.
JACOB BAILEY Bradley Central Junior 160
DAKOTA BROMLEY Bradley Central Freshman 103
JACOB CLIMER Bradley Central Senior 112
JERICHO CRUTCHER Bradley Central Junior 130
HADEN HAMILTON Cleveland Sopho 125
JORDAN HINES Cleveland Junior 285
BLAKE JACKSON Bradley Central Senior 145
MICAH LANGFORD Walker Valley Freshman 135
DEVN MCCULLEY Bradley Central Senior 189
CHUCK NORWOOD Cleveland Junior 152
TYLER PITTS Bradley Central Senior 140
A.J. SHELTON Bradley Central Senior 171
JOEL SIMPKINS Cleveland Sophomore 119
SETH SNYDER Cleveland Junior 215
TEAMS OF THE YEAR
The Blue Raiders finished second to Bradley Central in the state duals and the traditional region tournament before winning the traditional state title.
2 BRADLEY CENTRAL
The Bears won the state duals again and were runnersup in the traditional state tournament.
3 WALKER VALLEY
The Mustangs continue to chase Cleveland and Bradley but got to the region duals and finished third in the traditional regional.
Photos by Allison Carter. Text by Ward Gossett. Layout by Stacey Wysong.