Archer claims McCallie event

Archer claims McCallie event

December 23rd, 2012 by Ward Gossett in Sports - Preps

Soddy Daisy's Logan Richmond, left, gets a leg up on Archer's Thomas Bullard during the McCallie Invitational wrestling tournament Saturday at McCallie School.

Photo by Alyson Wright /Times Free Press.

Archer High from Lawrenceville, Ga., ran its streak to four Saturday when it won the McCallie Invitational wrestling tournament.

That's tournament championships in four different states. The Tigers, who also have won tournaments in their home state, have claimed tournament titles in Florida and South Carolina now have eight total tournament crowns this year.

They won the McCallie tournament over a 19-team field that included Tennessee Division I and Division II powers Cleveland, Soddy-Daisy, Baylor and McCallie and perennial Kentucky favorite Union County.

They finished with 254 points, easily outdistancing runner-up Cleveland (218.5) and third-place finisher Soddy-Daisy (179) with champions at 132 (Chris Diaz), 145 (Thomas Bullard), 195 (Ernest Alexander) and 285 (M.J. Couzan).

"I wish we could've given them a better challenge and we could later in the year once our lineup changes but they have a solid lineup," Cleveland coach Jake Yost said.

"They're a tough team," added Soddy-Daisy coach Jim Higgins. "They're very balanced. They are technically good; good athletes that wrestle hard for six minutes. They definitely compete."

Other champions were Baylor's Michael Murphy (106), Cleveland's Chris Debien (113), Austin Stevison (120) and Ethan West (182); Union County's Brock Ervin (126) and Jayce Carr (138); Soddy-Daisy's Turbo Smith (152); Carrollton's Taylor Lujan; Alexander's Deandre Sims (170) and McCallie's Casey Cook (220).

Former University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestler Kyle McKee is an assistant at Archer, which boasts a 24-0 dual meet record.

"It's a tough tournament and that's the reason we came, to give the kids a test," he said. "This area has great wrestling and this probably is our biggest test to date."

Of its nine wrestlers in the medals rounds, Cleveland coaches saw eight of them win.

"The guys that medaled did a great job. They wrestled the whole six minutes," Yost said.

The Blue Raiders entered the tournament with close to a 10-day period with no meets or tournaments and it showed.

"They wrestled a good tournament. They looked really fresh," Higgins said.

His Trojans, though, looked ready for some time off after winning the Bradley Central Invitational last weekend.

"I think we're ready for a break," Higgins said. "We've had a lot of highs and lows across the board, a general lack of consistency. That's generally a sign of wear and tear and we're planning on letting them off until Wednesday."

N Nashville's Martin Luther King won the Charger Invitational at Chattanooga Christian.

Highest local finish came from Howard, which placed third. East Hamilton was fourth, Red Bank fifth, McMinn County sixth, Tyner seventh, the host Chargers eighth, Brainerd 11th, Sequatchie County 12th, Silverdale Baptist 13th, Whitwell and St. Andrew's-Sewanee 14th and Sale Creek 16th.

Winners from the Chattanooga area included East Hamilton's Brian Potter (106), Matt Meeks (120) and Jacob Wolf (132), CCS's Carter Thomas (113) and Max Kuenzil (220) and Howard's Kentarius Hampton (160), Lawayne Ruffin (182) and Antonio Woodall (285).