published Friday, February 10th, 2012

Region tourneys test fine records

WRESTLING SCHEDULES


Region 3 at Bradley Central

Today

6 p.m. -- preliminary rounds through semifinals

Saturday

11 a.m. -- consolation rounds

3 p.m. -- championship finals

Price of admission: $6 per session (3 sessions); $10 all-day pass available Saturday

Region 4 at Soddy-Daisy

Today

5:30 p.m. -- preliminaries through semifinals

Saturday

10 a.m. -- consolation rounds

12:30 p.m. -- championship finals

Price of admission: $5 per person per day

Region 4 best records

35-0 -- DeAngelo James, Tyner (113)

34-1 -- Nathan Davis, Sale Creek (170)

27-1 -- Jay Rudwall, Ooltewah (220)

40-2 -- Justin Mathieson, Hixson (160)

40-2 -- Alex Seeley, Soddy-Daisy (285)

46-3 -- Grayson Mullin, Notre Dame (145)

39-3 -- Billy Swanson, Soddy-Daisy (220)

36-3 -- Josh Mackey, Silverdale (285)

44-4 -- Jack Boone, Notre Dame (126)

36-4 -- Christian Varner, Hixson (220)

27-3 -- Antonio Walton, Tyner (145)

35-4-- Campbell Lewis, Soddy-Daisy (132)

17-2 -- Packy Mullin, Notre Dame (120)

32-4 -- Francisco Rodriguez, East Hamilton (220)

32-4 -- Turbo Smith, Soddy-Daisy (145)

31-4 -- Brett Ervin, Soddy-Daisy (182)

30-4 -- Larry Dickerson, Central (152)

30-4 -- Matt Sealor, Signal Mountain (170)

15-2 -- Joe Stegall, Central (132)

35-5 -- Isaiah Hawthorne, Hixson (126)

35-5 -- Gage Richmond, Soddy-Daisy (138)

Region 3 best records

53-3 -- T.J. Satterfield, William Blount (220)

35-2 -- Chris DeBien, Cleveland (106)

46-4 -- Keegan Matalock, Heritage (152)

34-3 -- Patrick Benson, Bradley Central (285)

45-4 -- Joey Evans, Heritage (285)

30-3 -- Zach Heavilon, Stone Mountain (120)

39-4 -- Jaron Brock, Marayville (170)

38-4 -- Chad Solomon, Maryville (160)

34-4 -- Austin Stevison, Cleveland (113)

28-3 -- Joshua Bain, Kingston (195)

31-4 -- Austin Oliver, Cleveland (120)

35-5 -- Alan Frisco Maryville (126)

27-4 -- Jesse Jones, Cleveland (182)

27-4 -- Caleb Langford, Walker Valley (132)

35-6 -- Nick Crawford, Heritage (106)

29-5 -- John Adams, Stone Mountain (182)

35-7 -- Cody Caruthers, Stone Mountain (138)

20-5 -- Brooks Talley, Greenback (160)

19-5 -- Skyler Boring, Heritage (138)

There are three unbeaten wrestlers in Tennessee according to National Wrestling Coaches Association statistics -- Father Ryan's Michael Hooker (160 pounds), Brentwood Academy's Amos Mason (220) and Tyner's DeAngelo James (113) -- going into this weekend's regional tournaments.

Hooker won a state title last year while wrestling for McCallie, and Mason also won a Division II state title.

James entered the 2011 Region 4 tournament and extended a win streak to 40-0 before he lost in the finals to Soddy-Daisy's Jacob Stevens. A senior, James has a better feel now for the target painted by his name.

"He didn't place [in the state] last year, but he came back after that loss and wrestled well," Tyner coach Wayne Turner said.

"After I lost at the state it was hard to focus," James said earlier this season. "I wanted to be No. 1, and if I couldn't I lost some of the intensity."

James is aware of his record -- 78-3 thus the last two years -- "but he doesn't dwell on it. He doesn't really care one way or the other," Turner said.

While there is a certain amount of pride in one's record, most wrestlers remember most the matches they lost.

Ooltewah's 220-pound Jay Rudwall enters the postseason with a 27-1 record. While the rally that led to a win over Soddy-Daisy's Billy Swanson was sweet for him and gave the senior a top seed in his region, it is a loss to William Blount's T.J. Satterfield he most remembers.

"I think I'm 27-1," he said. "I didn't keep up with it early in the season. Obviously when I was unbeaten it was easy to say I hadn't lost, and while [the record] isn't a big deal it gained a little more importance once I lost one. That loss to Satterfield sticks out. It was the first time all season that I didn't get where I wanted to be or what I needed to do in order to win. It's something I wanted to learn from and not repeat."

Of course, a win streak started now or continued is more important than at any point in the season. The top four wrestlers in each weight class in the Region 3 tournament at Bradley Central and the Region 4 event at Soddy-Daisy advance to the state tournament next Thursday through Saturday in Franklin.

Winning a region title means an easier road -- facing a No. 4 from another region in the state open -- while a runner-up would face another region's No. 3.

Soddy-Daisy coach Steve Henry doesn't address wins, win streaks or won-lost records.

"The kids don't get hung up on it, but then it has never been a priority with us," Henry said. "The priority has been whatever meet or match we had at the time."

In his coaching career, which covers the better part of three decades, Henry has had one wrestler go undefeated to a state title. It was Jim Higgins, his current assistant coach.

"I remember I had another, Josh Pugh, who went in undefeated and wound up finishing third," Henry said. "I hate having people going into the state unbeaten. Their mindset shifts from winning to not losing."

Often it falls on coaches and how they schedule, according to Ooltewah coach Wendell Weathers.

"If we have a perfect record as a team, then the schedule wasn't hard enough, and that goes down to individuals," Weathers said. "We travel to find the best competition, and I think we've done that."

While an outstanding record might help, quality of competition is what really counts.

"Records are what they are," Bradley Central coach Ben Smith said. "It's the quality within that record where it really pans out."

Eric Phillips, coach of defending state champion Cleveland, agreed with his friend and rival.

"You know at Bradley, Soddy-Daisy, Walker Valley and Cleveland that if a kid is 25-8 then he's probably a stud. A 25-8 at Baylor or McCallie -- yeah, you're good," he said of those school's competitive schedules.

"The Cleveland guys have some losses but that's from a tough schedule, and some teams don't have as tough a schedule as others," Walker Valley coach Alan Morris said. "Yeah, some reords are somewhat inflated. I thought we wrestled a pretty tough schedule with 30 matches, but a guy getting 50 wins? That's a lot."

Today is the beginning of the end for inflation.

about Ward Gossett...

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 ...

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