FRANKLIN, Tenn. -- It was dismal outside the Williamson County Agricultural Expo. There wasn't much of a crowd, and they were wrestling for third place in the Division II state duals.
Still, Baylor took a little sweet with the sour Saturday, posting its second victory over Chattanooga rival McCallie by a 40-28 margin.
"There was no ambience," Baylor assistant Schaack Van Deusen said. "This one didn't really mean a whole lot. We had our 2,000-fan match last week [Jan. 27]. Once per year is enough. Obviously for the kids it's important, but we had the biggie already. And, yes, I'd rather win than lose."
Both teams got an early start home, having wrestled their final match in the state duals at 2 p.m. There was plenty of time for reflection.
"We didn't do anything different [from the first meeting]. We wrestled pretty much our straight lineup," McCallie coach Mike Newman said. "We wanted to protect some seeds [for the traditional state tournament] and maybe improve our position in some other weight classes. We have told the kids all season that everything they do is in preparation for the final tournament of the year."
Baylor also improved itself for seeding purposes for the Division II traditional event, improving from a decision to a pin from Michael Murphy and reversing a loss at 220 pounds by Ryan Seaberg.
About the only serious outcome was Baylor's Matt Cate suffering his first loss of the year after winning 41 straight. The senior 152-pound bumped up two weight classes and lost to the Blue Tornado's Eliot Berz 5-3.
"It was a great match," Newman said. "Cate bumped up two weight classes to get a tough match, and they were two guys seriously going at it. I respect anybody that goes up like that looking for competition."
He also predicted that the coaches will be busy at the seeding meeting.
"If we [coaches] didn't know it, I think all of us learned that Division II is going to have some battles in several weight classes and that seeding the tournament is going to be a chore," Newman said.
Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...