The Collins Hill High School wrestling team skipped the Cleveland Duals in December, but the perennial Georgia state championship contender made the most of an early-January visit to the area.
The Atlanta-area power put seven in the finals and won five individual championships plus the team title Saturday in the Soddy-Daisy Invitational. The Eagles scored 234.5 points, easily outdistancing runner-up Soddy-Daisy, which finished with 195 points.
McCallie was third with 160, followed by Bradley Central with 134.5.
"We'll definitely invite them back. They're legit," host coach Steve Henry said.
Soddy-Daisy actually had three tournaments Saturday, running a junior varsity event in its old gym and breaking the 25-team varsity field into blue and gold brackets with the winners in each wrestling for the championship. The runners-up wrestled for third and fourth, the third-place finishers for fifth and sixth and the fourth-placers battling for seventh and eighth.
"We'll tweak it some, but I think the coaches liked the format," Henry said. "It was really the only way to run a one-day tournament with that many teams."
Said Bradley coach Ben Smith: "This tournament has a lot more depth than most we've been in. You come out of the gate with quality competition. We have kids that are usually seeded in the top four and they were getting sixth, seventh and eighth seeds."
Science Hill coach Jeff Price, whose team will host the Fandetti Brawl next weekend in Johnson City, agreed.
"It's the toughest tournament we've been in," he said. "The competition was great. I wish, though, that they'd do away with the team scoring."
Teams entered in the Fandetti Brawl include Soddy-Daisy, Father Ryan and Baylor.
Notre Dame was one of the 15 teams to get a wrestler in the championship finals, and the Irish got one champion in 126-pound Jack Boone.
"I feel like we did well," Irish coach John Mullin said. "Great competition all day long, and it seems to have been a fairly physical tournament with a lot of competitive wrestling."
Soddy-Daisy was the only team other than Collins Hill with more than one champion, and the Trojans got three: Turbo Smith (145), Billy Swanson (220) and Alex Seeley (285). Seeley beat previously undefeated and defending state champ Patrick Benson of Bradley 5-2.
Collins Hill's champs were Sean Russell (106), Ryan Millhof (113), Drew Ferguson (120), Spencer Rickman (138) and Matthew Connell.
Other winners were McCallie's Tim Westbrook (132), Heritage's Keagan Matlock (152), Independence's McCoy Newberg, Dobyns-Bennett's Bryan Bagley and Brentwood's Nick Coffey (195).
Legend and team scores: 1. Collins Hill (CH) 234.5, 2. Soddy-Daisy (SD) 195, 3. McCallie (McC) 160, 4. Bradley Central (BC) 134.5, 5. Huntsville Grissom (HG) 119.5, 5. Independence (Ind) 119.5, 7. Science Hill (SH) 117.5, 8. Notre Dame (ND) 113.5, 9. Trussville Hewitt (TH) 108, 10. Heritage (Her) 98.5, 11. Pigeon Forge (PF) 97, 12. Gibbs (Gibbs) 85.5, 13. Walker Valley (WV) 83.5, 14. Brentwood (Brent) 81, 15. Cordova (Cor) 80, 16. Beech (Beech) 57, 17. Cookeville (Cook) 57, 18. Tullahoma (Tull) 46, 19. Bolton (Bol) 38, 20. Ooltewah (Ool) 21, 21. Jefferson County (Jeff Co) 20, 22. Oakland (Oak), 9, 23. Knox Central (KC) 7, 24. Kingsport Dobyns Bennett (KDB) 4, 25. Rhea County (RC) 3.
For 1st: Sean Russell (CH) major dec. J. D. Henderson (HG), 22-11. For 3rd: Toribio Navarro (BC) dec. James Westbrooks (McC), 9-6.
For 1st: Ryan Millhof (CH) dec. Tate Dalrymple (Bol), 8-3. For 3rd: Jacob Stevens (SD) dec. Byron Smith (Cor), 9-6.
For 1st: Drew Ferguson (CH) dec. Alex Kaferie (Tull), 4-1. For 3rd: Adam Connell (McC) major dec. Dakota Bromley (BC), 12-4.
For 1st: Jack Boone (ND) pinned Steven Bradtmueller (CH), 5:45. For 3rd: Jericho Crutcher (BC) dec. Josh Deckelman (SD), 5-3.
For 1st: Tim Westbrook (McC) major dec. Caleb Langford (WV), 16-3. For 3rd: Gage Richmond (SD) dec. Tyler Knowles (SH), 5-1.
For 1st: Spencer Rickman (CH) dec. Alex Ward (McC), 7-2. For 3rd: Campbell Lewis (SD) tech. fall over Caleb Little (Ind), 5:22.
For 1st: Turbo Smith (SD) dec. Grayson Mullin (ND), 8-2. For 3rd: Nate Croley (PF) dec. Steven Goldstein (SH), 7-4.
For 1st: Keagan Matlock (Her) major dec. Tyler Schuch (BC), 13-4. For 3rd: Reginald Adams (Cor) pinned Fred Henson (TH), 2:59.
For 1st: Matthew Connell (CH) major dec. Killian Holt (HG), 11-2. For 3rd: Kevin Elmore (TH) pinned Jacob Bailey (BC), 1:30.
For 1st: McCoy Newberg (Ind) de. Andrew Krawolski (CH), 6-4, OT. For 3rd: Elliot Berz (McC) injury default over Blaike Henry (SD).
For 1st: Bryson Begley (KDB) dec. David Kietra (PF), 8-3. For 3rd: Nathan Hoodenpyle (McC) dec. Jordan Davis (Cor), 9-6.
For 1st: Nick Coffey (Brent) major dec. Brian Walker (HG), 14-6. For 3rd: Brett Ervin (SD) dec. Tommy Venuti (Ind), 5-3.
For 1st: Billy Swanson (SD) dec. Raul Leyva (Gibbs), 5-4. For 3rd: Elijah Wellington (CH) dec. Damian Hayes (SH), 6-5.
For 1st: Alex Seeley (SD) dec. Patrick Benson (BC), 5-2. For 3rd: Jamison Hicks (TH) dec. Zach Carmin (CH), 4-3.
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 ...