Bradley Leads Cleveland After First Day Of State Wrestling

Wilson Central, Halls, Soddy Daisy Follow With Big Day Coming On Friday

Thursday, February 12, 2015 - by John Hunt

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – There’s still an awful lot of wrestling to go, but the first day of action in the TSSAA’s Traditional State Tournament is in the books for the AAA field.

To absolutely nobody’s surprise, Bradley, Cleveland and Wilson Central hold the top three spots and all three have a strong number still alive.

Bradley won 10 of 13 matches in the opening round while claiming victory in seven of 10 in the second round.

  The Bears still have three alive in the consolation rounds and hold first place with 72 points.

Two-time defending champion Cleveland is right there in the shadow with 63.5 points and also 10 alive in the medal rounds, including eight in the quarterfinals and two in the consolation rounds.

Wilson Central, an up-and-coming team from Lebanon that has finished as the runner-up to Cleveland for the past three years in the State Duals, is in third with 54.5 points.  The Wildcats have nine alive, including six in the championship brackets and three in the consolations.

Knoxville Halls and Soddy Daisy complete the top five teams with 52 and 50 points, respectively.

Walker Valley is currently in 12th with 37 points.  The Mustangs have two in the championship running with three still alive in the consolations.

But on a day where action took place on a dozen mats inside spacious Williamson County Agricultural Expo Center, it was more a day of win, survive and move on with a minimal amount of injury.

“It’s a matter of the survival of the fittest,” said Cleveland coach Jake Yost while watching some consolation matches.

“We won eight of nine matches in the second round and even beat some kids we had lost to earlier in the season.  Even the matches we lost (in both rounds) we were in the match, but we’re continuing to build on the success we had last weekend.

“I feel like we’re capable of winning all eight in the quarters, but we’ve got to take care of business in the consolation rounds,” he said matter of factly.

Bradley coach Ben Smith knows that his team has barely scratched the surface as Friday’s quarterfinal and semifinal rounds will probably tell the tale for most teams with championship aspirations.  But he liked what he saw from his battling Bears on the first day.

“We have seven in the quarters and that’s about what I expected.  The only one that I might even consider a surprise would be D.J. Adams at 285, but he’s about dangerous enough to beat anybody in the state he said after his junior heavyweight put two pins on the board as Bradley did an outstanding job of getting bonus points.

“Realistically, that’s about where we should be, but I had three get eliminated earlier than I expected and two of them were seniors.  But we got a lot of bonus points and that’s probably the difference in the tournament right now,” Smith stated..

“We still have nine alive, but we won some big matches tonight, including Perry Baltz, who beat an unbeaten kid at 182,” said Wilson Central coach John Kramer.

“Anything can happen in a tournament like this, but we’re still chasing Cleveland and they are the team to beat.  We have a tremendous amount of respect for those guys, but we’re hoping to catch them one day,” he added.

Soddy Daisy coach Jim Higgins was like a lot of other coaches as he was really disappointed for some of his kids who lost and are finished for the season.

Higgins was talking specifically about Emory Holcomb, his sophomore 138-pounder who hurt a surgically-repaired elbow in his second match, had to default and is finished for the season.

“I’m flustered right now as I hate it for Emory.  I have a lot of mixed emotions right now as a couple of my kids didn’t handle the pressure very well.  We did really well in some spots while not so good in others,” he expressed.

Walker Valley coach Alan Morris echoed similar feelings.

“We’ve done well in spots, but I just feel bad for those guys who lost.  Friday will be a long day, but things have turned out about like how I expected them to,” Morris said with a smile.

Bradley’s seven in the quarterfinals include T.J. Hicks at 106, two-time defending state champ Toribio Navarro at 113, Ryan McElhaney at 120, Knox Fuller at 126, Donnie Beyer at 145, Brett Brown at 182 and Adams at 285.

Cleveland’s eight include Cody Mathews at 106, Tristian Blansit at 120, Colton Landers at 126, Christopher DeBien at 132, Ezra Taylor at 138, Aaron Oliver at 160, John Gaither at 220 and Koran Kennedy at 285.

Soddy Daisy’s four include Chase Payne at 113, Austin Houser at 132, Tucker Russo at 145 and John Williamson at 170 while Walker Valley’s two in the hunt for a state title include Joseph Munoz at 132 and Ric Kennett at 220.

Friday’s action begins at 10 a.m. (CST) with the AAA quarterfinals and A-AA Round of 16. The ever-exciting championship semifinals will be contested in all divisions at 6 p.m. local time.

Brackets, complete team scores and individual team results can be found at www.trackwrestling.com

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@comcast.net)


Covenant Softball Sweeps Sewanee 2-0, 6-1

 The Covenant softball team's pitching allowed just one run in two games and Jordan Brett hit a home run in each game to lead the Lady Scots to a doubleheader sweep at Sewanee in non-conference play on Wednesday. Covenant won the first game 2-0 before taking game two 6-1. The wins give Covenant 20 on the year as the Lady Scots move to 20-12 overall. It marks just the third ... (click for more)

Covenant Sweeps Sewanee In Softball

The Covenant softball team's pitching allowed just one run in two games and Jordan Brett hit a home run in each game to lead the Lady Scots to a doubleheader sweep at Sewanee in non-conference play  on Wednesday . Covenant won the first game 2-0 before taking game two 6-1. The wins give Covenant 20 on the year as the Lady Scots move to 20-12 overall. It marks just ... (click for more)

Boyd Says $4.1 Million In County Budget Cuts Would Yield $43.1 Million For School Projects; Proposes That CSLA Move To Dalewood

County Commission Finance Chairman Tim Boyd on Wednesday recommended $4.1 million in county budget cuts, which he said would provide bond funds for $43,150,000 in county school projects. He recommended that $250,000 of the money from the cuts go to relocating Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts (CSLA) to Dalewood Middle School. He said Dalewood students could move to a portion ... (click for more)

Police Shoot And Kill Sheriff's Office Employee, Daniel Hendrix After Disorder At Brainerd Home; 2 Off-Duty City Officers Were At Scene Of Altercation Where Shot Was Fired

Chattanooga Police responded to an altercation at a house in Brainerd early Wednesday morning and wound up shooting and killing an armed man, who is an employee of the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office. Police said two off-duty Chattanooga Police officers were at the scene of the disorder in the 300 block of Shawnee Trail. A shot was fired before officers arrived at 1:26 a.m. ... (click for more)

Slaxxon Regret - And Response

Back in the seventies my three oldest brothers had a buddy named Steve Slack. “Slack” was a star soccer player at Baylor and he grew up on Lookout Mountain, which is where I grew up. He and Jimmy, Henry and Bill went to the University of Virginia where they were roommates in an old, beat up house that was painted pink. Naturally, the place became known as the “Pink Palace” but lest ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Two Catchers & ‘Shaq’

Kids whose parents are active members in the military were special guests of the New York Yankees when they played the Tampa Bay Rays in an exhibition game last Sunday in Tampa. The Yankees had even arranged for taped videos so some of the kids could watch with the rest of the crowd as their parents told how much they missed them on the Jumbotron. Both the kids and the fans ate ... (click for more)