Let’s just call it another three-peat for the Cleveland Blue Raiders.
Two weeks ago they won their third straight AAA State Duals wrestling title at the Williamson County Agricultural Expo Center as they beat Wilson Central for the third straight year.
Now 14 days later in the same arena, the Blue Raiders won their third straight traditional state title as they finished with 205.5 points and two champions.
It wasn’t an easy weekend for the guys in blue and white as cross-town rival Bradley was right there on their heels from the first match. But when all the dust had settled and the final awards had been presented, the Bears walked out proudly with the runner-up award after finishing the three-day event with 198 points and three champions.
“That wasn’t too bad,” said Bradley coach Ben Smith shortly after Brett Brown had lost a 6-3 decision to Maryville’s Chad Solomon in the 182-pound final.
“Overall, we had a pretty good weekend. Looking back, I’m sure there will be several shoulda, woulda, coulda situations where we may have done better, but at the end of the day, they all fought hard and all contributed.
“D.J. Adams getting third at 285 was huge as he wrestled over his head all weekend. I’m also really proud of Donnie Beyer, who is a first-year starter who lost a tough match in the quarterfinals, but was able to battle back and finish fifth.
“And what else can I say about T.J. Hicks, Tito Navarro and Knox Fuller, who all won titles and always come ready to work hard,” Smith added.
Cleveland coach Jake Yost was also proud of the effort his team put forth, not only in the championship matches, but in earlier rounds when a few bonus points here and there was probably the difference in the tournament.
“I’m just so proud of all of the guys as they all did a great job this weekend,” said Yost as he waited for the final awards to be presented.
“This is the most decorated group of seniors to ever wrestle at Cleveland High School, but a lot of credit has to go to the younger guys who scored enough points to send them out the right way.
“There were so many situations where we really did a good job. Just like this morning when we won all three of our consolation semifinals and nobody finished fifth or sixth. But they’ve worked hard all season and this is a nice reward for all the time and energy they’ve put into it,” he added.
Bradley had the most champions with three while Cleveland was the only team with two. Brentwood, Soddy Daisy, Wilson Central, Riverdale, Maryville, Clarksville, Blackman and Franklin all had one apiece.
Winning for Bradley were Hicks at 106, Navarro at 113 and Fuller at 126 while Cleveland’s two included Christopher DeBien and Ezra Taylor.
DeBien is now a four-time winner while Navarro now has three straight. Fuller has two.
Other champions included Brentwood’s Tristan Roa at 120, Soddy Daisy’s Tucker Russo at 145, Wilson Central’s Mike Binns at 152 and Blackman’s Tyler Garrison at 160. Also, Riverdale’s Sean Kennedy was the winner at 170, Maryville’s Chad Solomon at 182, Clarksville’s Kiel Russell at 195, Franklin’s Josh Filbey at 220 and Riverdale’s Nick Boykin at 285.
Garrison, Kennedy and Boykin all finished unbeaten with records of 55-0, 48-0 and 43-0, respectively.
Garrison was rewarded with the Outstanding Wrestler award while the 138-pound final between Cleveland’s Taylor and Ravenwood’s Chris Rowland was voted Best Match after Taylor pulled out the 4-3 win for his second state title.
FINAL TEAM SCORES: 1. Cleveland 205.5; 2. Bradley 198; 3. Wilson Central 121.5; 4. Soddy Daisy 105.5; 5. Brentwood 98; 6. Beech 84.5; 7. Knoxville Halls 79; 8. Tennessee High 72; 9. Blackman 71; 10. Rossview 70.
Also, 17. Walker Valley 60; 37. Ooltewah 26.5; 59. East Hamilton 10.
106 – T.J. Hicks (Bradley) pinned Sean Sesnan (Lebanon), 5:16;
113 – Toribio Navarro (Bradley) dec. Phillip Maxwell (Gibbs), 2-0;
120 – Tristan Roa (Brentwood) pinned Adam Fuller (Centennial), 3:09;
126 – Knox Fuller (Bradley) dec. Colton Landers (Cleveland), 3-2;
132 – Christopher DeBien (Cleveland) major dec. over Corbin Hurley (Tennessee), 20-7;
138 – Ezra Taylor (Cleveland) dec. Chris Rowland (Ravenwood), 4-3;
145 – Tucker Russo (Soddy Daisy) dec. Delrico Bowen (Northeast), 3-1 in overtime;
152 – Mike Binns (Wilson Central) dec. Luke Hamilton (Brentwood), 11-6;
160 – Tyler Garrison (Blackman) dec. Aaron Oliver (Cleveland), 10-6;
170 – Sean Kennedy (Riverdale) pinned Austin Williamson (Soddy Daisy), 3:51;
182 – Chad Solomon (Maryville) dec. Brett Brown (Bradley), 6-3;
195 – Kiel Russell (Clarksville) dec. Clay Strawn (Maryville), 13-6;
220 – Josh Filbey (Franklin) dec. John Kramer (Wilson Central), 9-6;
285 – Nick Boykin (Riverdale) pinned Koran Kennedy (Cleveland), 3:30.
CONSOLATION FINALS FOR THIRD PLACE
106 – Graham Brothers (Brentwood) dec. Cody Mathews (Cleveland), 6-3;
113 – John Kost (Rossview) major dec. Tolliver Justice (Knox. Halls), 13-3;
120 – Triston Blansit (Cleveland) dec. Juan Herandez (Heritage), 6-2;
126 – Chip Brothers (Brentwood) dec. Devan Cyree (Tullahoma), 6-4 in overtime;
132 – Trevor Rippy (Beech) won by disqualification over Joseph Munoz (Walker Valley);
138 – Josh Feuerbacher (Blackman) pinned Adrian Gonzalez (Rossview), 1:20;
145 – Michael Diemer (Heritage) dec. Jack Holloran (Franklin), 8-6 in overtime;
152 – Darius Rutland (McGavock) dec. Matthew Sells (Blackman), 1-0;
160 – Dustin Holmes (Siegel) pinned Colton McMahan (Knox. Halls), 4:04;
170 – Tate Holmes (Anderson Co.) dec. Macon Webster (Dickson Co.), 2-0;
182 – Kaleb Rippy (Beech) dec. Perry Baltz (Wilson Central), 4-0;
195 – Trent Cumby (Cookeville) won by forfeit over Justin Johnson (Stone Memorial);
220 – J.J. Yellen (Anderson Co.) dec. John Gaither (Cleveland), 9-4;
285 – D.J. Adams (Bradley) pinned Logan Townsend (Jefferson Co.), :35.
CONSOLATION FINALS FOR FIFTH PLACE
106 – Jacob Shelton (Springfield) dec. Calvin Martin (William Blount), 4-3;
113 – Chase Payne (Soddy Daisy) dec. Dylan Coggins (Stewarts Creek), 6-2;
120 – Ryan McElhaney (Bradley) pinned Anthony Cole (Rossview), 2:17;
126 – Zack Wilkins (Mt. Juliet) dec. Landon Butler (Beech), 6-0;
132 – Austin Houser (Soddy Daisy) dec. Cole Iler (Centennial), 4-2;
138 – Dewey Pendley (Tennessee) won by forfeit over Lane Dickeson (Wilson Central);
145 – Donnie Beyer (Bradley) dec. Clay Cook (Clarksville), 11-10;
152 – John Oliveri (Stewarts Creek) dec. Caleb Adkins (Bradley), 6-3;
160 – Joseph Begley (Dobyns-Bennett) dec. Nathan Enzor (Arlington), 7-4;
170 – Austin Hammons (Cookeville) dec. Tyler Dean (Dobyns-Bennett), 5-3;
182 – Virgil English (Jefferson Co.) dec. Nathan Walling (Mt. Juliet), 2-0;
195 – Devonte Walker (Centennial) pinned Michael Lett (Tullahoma), 4:13;
220 – Ric Kennett (Walker Valley) won by injury default over Tyler Barber (Stewarts Creek);
285 – Te’juan Henderson (Oakland) major dec. Hunter Hancock (Summit), 13-0.
(email John Hunt at email@example.com)