Chattanooga area teams favored at AAA wrestling tourney

Chattanooga area teams favored at AAA wrestling tourney

February 13th, 2014 by Ward Gossett in Sports - Preps

Cleveland High School wrestler Austin Stevison, right, struggles against a pin attempt by Soddy-Daisy's Emory Holcomb during their bout at the Region 4-AAA wrestling tournament finals Saturday at Walker Valley High School in Cleveland, Tenn.

Photo by Doug Strickland /Times Free Press.

AAA Region finishes:

Region 1: Science hill 221.5, TN High 190.5, Jeff. Co 176, Dobyns-Bennett 154.5

Region 2: Halls 251.5, Bearden 165, Gibbs 153, Powell 121

Region 3: Maryville 195, Heritage 193.5, Seymour 177, Wm. Blount 103

Region 4: Cleveland 196, Bradleey 178, Walker Valley 171, Soddy-Daisy 137.5

Region 5: Cookeville 216.5, Blackman 191.5, Tullahoma 181, Stewarts Creek 137,

Oakland 121, Siegel 120

Region 6: Ravenwood 193, Brentwood 177.5, Franklin 152, Overton 141,

Centennial 135

Region 7: Wilson Central 270.5, Clarksville 165, West Creek 147, Beech 146.5

Region 8: Collierville 187, Houston 154, Arlington 126

Returning DI place-winners from 2012

106 pounds

1. Toribio Navarro (Bradley Central), 2. Devan Cyree (Tullahoma) also 4th at 106, 2012, 3. Nick Crawford (Heritage), 4. Kevin Krier (Whites Creek), 5. Triston Blansit (Cleveland), 6. Luke Mullin (Notre Dame).

113 pounds

1. Chris Debien (Cleveland) also 1st at 106, 2012, 6. Eli Dodson ( Eagleville).

120 pounds

5. Austin Stevison (Cleveland) also 1stat113, 2012 and 3rdat103, 2011, 6. Tristan Hackett (Beech).

126 pounds

2. Packy Mullin (Notre Dame), 4. Tucker Russo (Soddy-Daisy), 5. Elam McCasland (Beech).

132 pounds

4. Eddie Small (Wilson Central), 5. Robbie Allen (Independence).

138 pounds

2. Austin Richard (Wilson Central) also 6that132, 2012; 3. Luke Hamilton (Brentwood), 4. Nick Pton (Centennial), 5. Josh Feuerbacher (Blackman).

145 pounds

3. Gage Richmond (Soddy-Daisy) also 3rdat138,2012, 6. Kaleb Rippy (Beech).

152 pounds

3. Josh Hamilton (Cleveland), 5. Taylor Warren (Ravenwood).

170 pounds

1. Chad Solomon (Maryville) also 5that160, 2012), 4. Garrett Alexander (Soddy-Daisy), 5. Sean Kennedy (Riverdale).

182 pounds

2. Ethan West (Cleveland) also 1stat160, 2012 (Ga), 3rdat135, 2011 (Ga.), 4. Kiel Russell (Clarksville).

195 pounds

2. Billy Raulston (Walker Valley).

220 pounds

2. John Kramer (Wilson Central) also 6that220, 2012), 3. Rex Shotts (Ravenwood), 4. Jeb Davis (Heritage), 5. Zach Miller (Walker Valley), 6. C.J. Baker (East Ridge).

285 pounds

1. Bruno Reagan (Clarksville) also 4that285, 2012, 4. Austin Wells (Blackman).

There's no question that Chattanooga area wrestlers will be able to compete in Tennessee's Class AAA state tournament that begins tonight at the Williamson County Agricultural Expo in Franklin.

They bested the snow and ice by departing Tuesday -- with the blessing of their respective school system administrators.

When told Wednesday of the weather situation here, Cleveland coach Jake Yost replied, "I'm so glad we came up last night."

There didn't seem to be any problem about what to do with the day Wednesday.

"I think we're going to go help them set mats up at the Ag Center. We're here to serve," Yost said with a laugh. "We'll get some lunch after that and then go work out."

Although his Hixson team won't begin competition in the A/AA state until Friday, Wildcats coach Garrick Hall took his team to Franklin early Wednesday morning.

"We've already done the Wal-Mart walkthrough, and now we're at Dick's Sporting Goods so one of the kids can pick up a knee brace," he said yesterday morning. "The rooms aren't yet ready, so we'll probably go sit in the lobby until we can get settled in."

While Hall's team will be one of the A/AA favorites, AAA pick Cleveland will find out much sooner if it deserved the pre-tournament favorite's role. AAA wrestling begins at 4 EST this afternoon.

"I guess you'd have to consider us one of the favorites," Yost said. "We won the state duals, and that has to say something. We don't have the most guys coming, but I would bet we have close to the most points-producers from last year's tournament."

The Blue Raiders are one of six teams with 11 qualifiers, a list that includes Walker Valley. Bradley Central -- the Region 4 runner-up to Cleveland -- and Maryville Heritage, the Region 3 runner-up, have 13. Jefferson County, Maryville and Wilson Central have 12. Soddy-Daisy, the only other Chattanooga area team with a title shot, has 10.

"Cleveland is the team everyone's chasing," Walker Valley coach Alan Morris said. "Then there's Wilson Central. We might be in the hunt."

Bradley Central, once the sport's most dominating team, is still in the midst of reconstruction from its kids club up.

"I don't think you can overlook us but we have fit well into the underdog role and like it. No one is looking at us as a favorite and they haven't for a couple of years but I think it's going to be hard to ignore us," Bears coach Ben Smith said.

He agreed with the majority that Cleveland and Wilson Central are the two obvious favorites. Cleveland had seven champions among its nine region finalists and Wilson Central had six region winners and a runner-up.

"Ravenwood, Bradley and Walker Valley have to fall in right behind those two," Smith said. "You can't overlook Soddy-Daisy but they have two kids I think were automatic point-scorers that are not in the tournament."

Those two failed to make weight for the region last week.

"That's past and we can't go back and do anything about it. We don't have time to dwell on it. This is the individual tournament, and that's the main focus," Soddy-Daisy coach Jim Higgins said.

While the Class AAA tournament starts this afternoon, Division II and the first A/AA tournaments begin Friday. Championship finals in all classifications are scheduled for 6 p.m. EST Saturday.

Contact Ward Gossett or 423-886-4765. Follow him