Baylor Surprises Soddy Daisy Wrestlers With 35-33 Victory

Defending State Champ Trojans Fall Behind & Can't Recover

Tuesday, January 15, 2013 - by John Hunt

The annual wrestling match between the Soddy Daisy Trojans and the Baylor Red Raiders has been a dandy in years past.  Despite the fact that it's a non-region battle, the competition is always intense and exciting.

Thursday night's match at the Soddy Daisy wrestling arena lacked the usual intensity and for the most part, the excitement.

Granted, both teams were missing several key individuals, but the visiting Red Raiders won six of the first seven matches and were never really challenged as Baylor improved to 14-3 with the 35-33 victory.

It wasn't as close as the final score might indicate.

"That was good," Baylor coach Ben Nelson said as soon as the match ended.

"I know that both teams were missing several starters, but I told my guys that I expected them to wrestle as hard as we could.  If we did that, we had a good chance of winning.  The effort was there in every match and that's all I can ask for as their coach.

"To see them get a win like this against a great team like Soddy Daisy is huge for us.  Most folks in the wrestling community were expecting us to get our tails kicked tonight," Nelson continued.

Four of the first six matches were won by regular decision and Baylor claimed them all.

Bryson Popp gave the Red Raiders an early lead with a 3-2 victory over Branndon Hunt in the opener at 160 pounds.  Ryan Parker followed with a technical fall as Baylor's lead stretched to 8-0 before Garrett Alexander got the Trojans on the board with a first-period pin at 182.

Emory Norred, Jon Schmissrauter and Will Thomas all followed with decisions as the difference was 17-6 before Michael Murphy gave Baylor its biggest lead at 23-6 with a pin at 106.

Nelson was especially thankful for all of those close wins, but he had special praise for Thomas, a junior who is a first-year heavyweight.

"Somebody talked Will into coming out this year and he did with the idea of it helping him be a better football player.  He's been a huge contributor to our success and I'm really proud of him," the coach smiled.

Perhaps the turning point in the match came at 113 pounds where Soddy Daisy's Chase Payne got an early takedown and had Jack Reynolds in a bad predicament near the edge of the mat. 

Reynolds worked his way free and eventually dropped a 7-3 decision, but the Trojans failed to get any bonus points at that weight, which ultimately may have been the difference in the match.

Jacob Stevens and Tucker Russo both were awarded forfeits for the Trojans, but Baylor's Nick Standefer and Brandon Brunner both bumped up a weight and each earned first-period pins to clinch the win for the Red Raiders.

Gage Richmond and Turbo Smith both had quick pins for the Trojans to close out the action, but it was too little too late as Soddy Daisy dropped to 15-3 with the defeat.

Needless to say, Soddy Daisy coach Jim Higgins was not a happy fellow when it ended.  Spending more than 30 minutes in a locked dressing room with his wrestlers, he wasn't smiling when he came out.

"I'm not nearly at all happy right now," he began at the top of the steps as he paused to take a deep breath.

"I just gave them a good dose, but they needed to hear what I had to say.  We have issues right now and I told them we need to get it together before the wheels completely come off.

"We know that Baylor will never come up here and submit, no matter if it's Senior Night or not.  We have some selfishness on this team and we got told on tonight.  I certainly don't want to make any excuses, but Baylor did a good job of capitalizing on their opportunities.

"They wanted it worse than we did.  We're at a crossroad right now and we can pick one of two directions to go.  This was a match of pride with nothing else on the line.  We don't have time to feel sorry for ourselves, but we'll put the hammer down from here on.

"I don't think you can ever count a Soddy Daisy team out, but my guess is that you'll see a different team on Thursday night at Bradley," Higgins concluded.

BAYLOR 35, SODDY DAISY 33

(Match started at 160 Pounds)

106 -- Michael Murphy (B) pinned Jacob McClure, 1:34;

113 -- Chase Payne (SD) dec. Jack Reynolds, 7-3;

120 -- Jacob Stevens (SD) won by forfeit;

126 -- Tucker Russo (SD) won by forfeit;

132 -- Nick Standefer (B) pinned Joshua Stiles, 1:47;

138 -- Brandon Brunner (B) pinned Austin Williamson, 1:40;

145 -- Gage Richmond (SD) pinned Turner Troxel, :33;

152 -- Turbo Smith (SD) pinned Aidon Garron, 1:47;

160 -- Bryson Popp (B) dec. Branndon Hunt, 3-2;

170 -- Ryan Parker (B) won by technical fall over Hunter Maynor, 5:50;

182 -- Garrett Alexander (SD) pinned Winston Cooper, 1:31;

195 -- Emory Norred (B) dec. Tyler Hixson, 10-3;

220 -- Jon Schmissrauter (B) dec. Luke Reno, 6-3;

285 -- Will Thomas (B) dec. Cody Grant, 5-3.

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@comcast.net)


No. 3 UTC Travels To ETSU Saturday

The third-ranked Chattanooga Mocs are back on the road this week, visiting ETSU for the first time in 13 years.  Game time is set for Noon (E.D.T.) on Saturday, Oct. 1, at Tipton Stadium at Science Hill High School in Johnson City, Tenn.   Chattanooga is off to a 4-0 start for the first time since 1979, but is 2-0 in SoCon action for the third year in a row.  ETSU ... (click for more)

Lee Women Ranked No. 6 In NCAA DII

The Lee women’s soccer team became the second program to be ranked in the top 10 in NCAA Division II this week when the NSCAA listed the Lady Flames as No. 6 in its weekly rankings. Lee moved up seven places from No. 13 after a 5-1 win at Shorter University  on Sunday . The men’s golf team was the first to be ranked in a top 10 poll last season.   Grand Valley ... (click for more)

City To Begin Shipping Much Of Its Garbage To Bradley County

City Public Works Administrator Justin Holland said the city plans to begin shipping much of its garbage to Bradley County. He said the deal is projected to extend the life of the city landfill at Birchwood by 15 years. Mr. Holland said Bradley County "has a huge landfill and takes garbage from Knoxville and other municipalities. It's regional." He said Bradley County charges ... (click for more)

Man Says He Did Nothing To Provoke Shooting At Bakewell Gas Station; Suspect Says Victim Was Coming Toward Him

A 33-year-old man who was shot in the face during a clash at a Bakewell gas station said he did nothing to provoke the shooting. The man charged said the victim cursed him, then started toward him. General Sessions Court Judge Clarence Shattuck, after a hearing on Tuesday, bound to the Grand Jury a charge of attempted first-degree murder against Donald Stuard II, 29, of Old Washington ... (click for more)

Jimmy Templeton Will Be Missed At The City Yards

If only we had known about the Chattanooga City Council's planned retirement send off for Jimmy Templeton of Public Works, the room would have been filled to overflowing with his friends and admirers - including me.   I have had the honor of knowing and working with Jimmy since the 1970's (and also knew his father "Big Jim").  Jimmy was a strong right hand for whoever ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Vin Scully’s Last Time

It is said that the opening paragraph of my favorite ode to baseball should be the centerpiece for the canon of sports literature. It was written by former commissioner Bart Giamatti in "The Green Fields of the Mind,” a most marvelous essay to the last day of the regular season in the major leagues. “It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in ... (click for more)