Al Miller-Cleveland Duals are Saturday

Miller Was Honored Friday Night

Friday, December 13, 2013 - by B.B. Branton

Three decades ago, Cleveland wrestling coach Al Miller was the trend setter in Tennessee wrestler as he invited eight teams to compete for the title of duals champion.

"A coach at Ooltewah was from New Jersey and explained how that state ran an in-season two day duals tournament so we tried it and it's very successful every year," said now retired coach and teacher Al Miller.

Now known as one of best duals events a three state area, Saturdays Al Miller-Cleveland Duals will have 16 entries; four teams in four pools in a round-robin format with wrestling set to start at 9 a.m. and finals late afternoon.

Miller also noted that then TSSAA executive director Ronnie Carter came to the duals a couple of years after the inaugural one, liked what he saw and the state championship duals was first held in 1988. 

"I like the duals format, because a kid can have a tough day and lose two to three matches early in the day, but comes back and wins a big match for you in the finals and feel like he has contributed," said Miller.

Surprise Guest: Al Miller founded the Cleveland Duals in the mid 1980s ...

 ... His high school coach Dr John Farr made a surprise appearance for the Cleveland alumni wrestling dinner - where Miller was honored for 40 years in the sport.

Ironically, Dr. Farr, the head wrestling coach at Red Bank in the 1960s, hosted the state's first in-season traditional tournament  - Dec. 29-30, 1967 - and Miller, a junior at Red Bank worked one of the scorers' tables and wrestled in the second annual Lions tourney the next year.

Dr.Farr moved the Red Bank Invitational to Jan. 2-3, 1969 in year two and by year three he took the tourney to Chattanooga Central as Ryan won it that year. 

Today, the Central Invitational is directed by Central coach John Lennon who has been noted as the best wrestler in the Miler Era. 

Lion Wrestler Turned UTC Golf Coach: Mark Guhne is in his 10th year as the Mocs men's golf coach, but thirtysomething years ago (33), he helped lead the Al-Miller coached 1980 squad to the school's first traditional state crown since coach Farr and the Lions of the 60s won three straight, 1963-64-65.

Top Cleveland Wrestlers in the Al Miller Era

Johnny Lennon - Best high school wrestler
Howard Langford -  Most accomplished overall. (Most outstanding wrestler in state & Southern Conference, & NCAA D-I All American.)
Nathan Jones - State champ and NCAA Div. II All American @ Carson-Newman.
Jeff Howard - 3-time state place finisher & college wrestler
Carlos Thompson - 2-time state champion and 4-time state placer.
Danny Coleman - 2-time state champion & 4-time state finalist.
Michael Bowerman - state champion
Bryant Crump - state champion
Dr. John Owens - 2-time state finalist & outstanding football player at 150 lbs.
Josh Coleman-  outstanding team leader, 2-time state place finisher and place in national. preps and wrestled in college.

contact B.B. Branton at william.branton@comcast.net

 

 


Zimmerman Hits Walk-Off Grand Slam For Lady Lions Tournament Win

The Bryan College softball team competed against Virginia Intermont College this afternoon in the AAC Tournament.  The Lions are the No. 4 seed in the tournament, while the Cobras are the No. 3 seed in the tournament.  Both teams already had one loss entering the game, making it an elimination game.  The Lions struck first by scoring two runs in the first inning.  ... (click for more)

Covenant Baseball Playing For USA South Regular Season Title

The Covenant baseball team will wrap-up its 2014 regular season schedule this weekend with a crucial three-game USA South series against Averett. Game one of the series is set for Friday at 4 p.m., and the two teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday starting at 1 p.m. With victories in all three games, Covenant (23-13, 16-8 USA South) will clinch the USA South's regular ... (click for more)

Berke Names Fred Fletcher, Of Austin, Tex., New Chattanooga Police Chief

Mayor Andy Berke announced Thursday that Fred Fletcher of Austin, Tex., is his pick for Chattanooga Chief of Police. With 20 years of experience in law enforcement, Mr. Fletcher has served in an executive, command, or supervisory role for 12 years.  As commander in Region III of the Austin Police Department, Mr. Fletcher spearheaded community initiatives including a drug market ... (click for more)

Child, 23 Months, Found Dead In Crib With Fentanyl Patch On Back; Death Ruled Homicide

A 23-month-old Chattanooga boy has been found dead in his crib with a Fentanyl patch on his back. The death of Demarcus Bryant at 7655 Borris Dr. last month was ruled a homicide. An autopsy report says he died from "Fentanyl patch placed by someone else." Chattanooga Police are investigating. No one has yet been charged. The child was found face down in his crib. ... (click for more)

A Slap In The Face To Local Police Applicants

Little Andy has once again shown what he thinks about the Chattanooga Police Department by ignoring all the applicants from within the department. There were several great candidates within the police department that had as much experience as the chosen one from 1,000 miles away. This is a slap in the face for any officer who is at the Chattanooga Police Department who has aspirations ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: UAW Voices In Detroit

Today we are going to eavesdrop on somewhat of an open conversation that was held far to the north after the United Auto Workers surprisingly dropped a legal challenge with the National Labor Relations Board in Chattanooga the first thing on Monday morning. The NLRB judge certified the VW workers’ February vote to turn away the UAW at Chattanooga’s Volkswagen manufacturing plant ... (click for more)