FRANKLIN, Tenn. — The target color will be purple as the Division II traditional state wrestling tournament gets under way today.
The Christian Brothers Purple Wave and the Father Ryan Purple Irish finished first and second in the Division II state duals tournament and are favorites for the traditional event.
"We got about as good a draw as we could have," McCallie coach Mike Newman said. "Father Ryan got good draws, too, but Christian Brothers is still the favorite. Baylor could get into the thick of it. I think Ryan would be the favorite for second, but we and Baylor could get there. It's a possibility."
Christian Brothers, an experienced squad top-heavy with 14 seniors, has no weak weight classes, while McCallie is down one class and Baylor is three short before the tournament even starts.
"Us not having our 152-pounder (Will Patton) hurts our chances. It's not out of the realm of possibility that he would have placed," Newman said.
Patton is working his way back from mononucleosis but still was dealing with swollen glands earlier this week.
The Division II tournament begins at 11 a.m. EST with the round of 16 followed by quarterfinals. Semifinals are at 7 p.m.
Saturday's medal rounds begin at 11 a.m., and the championship finals for Division II and Division I are to begin at 6 p.m.
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 ...