Girls' tournament to stay with boys'

Girls' tournament to stay with boys'

February 18th, 2011 by Ward Gossett in Sports - Preps

FRANKLIN, Tenn. - There had been talk of allowing Tennessee girls who wrestle to break off from the guys' state tournament, but that talk has been shelved.

"We put that out there with the [Tennessee Athletic Coaches Association] representatives," TSSAA assistant Mark Reeves said. "They came back and said, no, they were happy being with the guys' tournament."

The girls' tournament begins today, but it is an invitational and an unsanctioned event.

"The state needs to go ahead and sanction the sport and urge them to grow rather than piggybacking off the guys," said Soddy-Daisy coach Steve Henry, one of the pioneers in getting girls' wrestling started.

There are currently less than two dozen girls' teams in the state.

Six don't make it

Six Division I wrestlers failed to make weight Thursday: Antioch's Brandon Greer (119 pounds), Dobyns-Bennett's Trent O'Brien (135), Bearden's Kevin McGuire (140), Martin Luther King's Ronquai Love (140), Collierville's Conor O'Dell (152) and Stone Memorial's Jonathan Waldrup (171).

"Either they didn't really care or they were sick or they were in too low a weight class all year and it finally caught up with them," Walker Valley coach Alan Morris said. "I can't understand. You work and sweat all year long for this, and then you don't make weight?"

Sub-60 pin times

There were a handful of pins in less than a minute in the Division I first round, including one in 50 seconds by Soddy-Daisy 103-pounder Jonah Smith and another in 0:56 by Notre Dame's Grayson Mullin (130).

Lot of bonus points

Is the state tournament too big? Are there reasons to consider reverting to a 16-man bracket? The coaches will say no, and do so emphatically, but the first-round numbers make one wonder.

Of Division I's 224 first-round matches, 164 (73 percent) resulted in bonus points. There were 114 pins, 16 technical falls, 28 major decisions and the six forfeits.

Maybe there is reason to think about the return of sectional tournaments. Georgia went to sectionals this season.

A/AA state talk

Amid the talk of a Class A/AA state tournament -- a separation from AAA teams -- the proposed split shows just two AAA schools in Hamilton County, Soddy-Daisy and Ooltewah. If the split takes place, it's possible that those two could wind up in a region with Bradley Central, Cleveland, Cumberland County, Heritage, Maryville, McMinn County, Rhea County, Walker Valley and William Blount.

The area A/AA region would consist of Boyd-Buchanan, Brainerd, Central, Chattanooga Christian, East Hamilton, East Ridge, Hixson, Howard, Lookout Valley, Notre Dame, Red Bank, Sale Creek, Sequatchie County, Signal Mountain, Silverdale, Tyner and Whitwell.

It is possible that some of those teams might be paired in a separate region with Alcoa, Greenback, Kingston, McMinn Central, Sequoyah and Stone Memorial.

Nothing will take place until the next classification period in 2013.

Weight-change option

The national federation is asking coaches if they want to juggle the 14 weight classes with an adjustment toward the upper weights.

The current classes are 103, 112, 119, 125, 130, 135, 140, 145, 152, 160, 171, 189, 215 and 285. The proposed weight classes are 106, 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 145, 152, 160, 170, 182, 195, 220 and 285.

Contact Ward Gossett at wgossett@timesfreepress.com or 423-886-4765.