The Wilson Central Wildcats finished second in the Ooltewah Invitaitonal wrestling tournament two years ago before winning for the first time in 2012.
They wanted to make sure they beat the winter storm that's going through middle Tennessee, so they came to Chattanooga on Friday night.
The effort was worth everything as they ran away with the 26th annual tournament, which is now called the U.S. Air Force Ooltewah Invitational.
The Wildcats, who finished second to Cleveland in last year's state duals before finishing fifth in the state traditional tournament, looked strong from top to bottom as 12 of their 14 wrestlers finished in the medals.
Nine Wildcats advanced to the championship finals where six walked away with titles as they won the team championship easily with 248 points.
Walker Valley was a distant second with 154 points while Cookeville was third with 131. Auburn was fourth with 103.5 while Signal Mountain was fifth with 78.
Red Bank nipped Ringgold for sixth place by a point, 77-76, while Chattanooga Central was eighth with 65.5 and Hixson ninth with 55. East Hamilton finished tenth with 51.
Other teams included Ooltewah with 29.5, Lookout Valley with 20, Rhea County with 13, Chattanooga Christian with 11 and Sale Creek and Silverdale tied with seven points apiece.
The overall outcome had long been decided before the championship and consolation finals began, but the Wildcats put a little icing on the cake with six individual winners, including Christian Cerrito at 120, Austin Richard at 132, Eddie Small at 138, Michael Bimms at 152, Perry Balte at 182 and John Kramer at 220.
Walker Valley had three champs, including Lawrence Cotton at 160, Ric Kennett at 195 and Zach Miller at 285.
Other individual winners included East Hamilton sophomore Briar Potter at 106, Auburn's Khaleel Johnson at 113, Ringgold's Sam Shepard at 126 and Adam Crawford at 145 and Red Bank's Devin Crawl at 170.
Potter, who earned a third-period pin in the finals, was voted the Outstanding Wrestler while the championship match at 138 was voted Best Match where Wilson Central's Small nipped Auburn's Dylan Spurlock by a 4-3 final.
Wilson Central coach John Kramer had every reason in the world to be happy after the success his kids had on the first Saturday in December.
"Overall, I'm happy but we still have a whole lot to work on. We had 12 guys who placed, so it's been a good day for us. We always like coming to this tournament because Wendell Weathers does an outstanding job and we see a lot of teams we don't normally see during the season.
"I'm really happy with Tyler Georgeadis, my sophomore at 170 who finished second. Even though he lost in the final, he had a good day by coming back twice to reach the championship match," Kramer praised.
Walker Valley coach Alan Morris had similar feelings, but he knows that the season is long and that a lot can change between now and February when the state tournaments take place.
"I'm happy in places with how we did, but there are always a couple of guys who don't do what you expect. Wilson Central looked good and they look like they're ready for February, but we just want to build on what we learned today.
"Lawrence Cotton's win was huge as he pinned a pretty good Wilson Central kid. He went out there on a mission and did a fine job. And I'm happy with Ric Kennett, a junior at 220 who won his first tournament today. And it's always fun to watch Zach Miller do well. He's wrestling heavyweight for the first time and he looked really strong as well," Morris praised.
While Wilson Central had 12 medalists, Walker Valley had eight.
Cotton, Kennett and Miller all finished first while Tyrus Hamrick was second at 145.
Ryan Hager (152) and Billy Raulston (182) both finished third while Drake Henry and Elijah Earls both claimed fourth at 113 and 120, respectively.
There were six pins in the championship finals with Walker Valley's Miller getting the quickest in just 49 seconds.
Lookout Valley finished 12th with 20 points, but they did that with just one wrestler. Trent Walliser finished second at 120 pounds, but it was the first time in several years that the Yellow Jackets are fielding a team.
FINAL TEAM SCORES
1. Wilson Central 248; 2. Walker Valley 154; 3. Cookeville 131; 4. Auburn 103.5; 5. Signal Mountain 78; 6. Red Bank 77; 7. Ringgold 76; 8. Chattanooga Central 65.5; 9. Hixson 55; 10. East Hamilton 51; 11. Ooltewah 29.5; 12. Lookout Valley 20; 13. Rhea County 13; 14. Chattanooga Christian 11; 15. Sale Creek and Silverdale tied with 7.
106 -- Briar Potter (East Hamilton) pinned Trent Comeaux (Red Bank), 5:39;
113 -- Khaleel Johnson (Auburn) pinned Warren Weaver (Signal Mountain), 2:53;
120 -- Christian Cerrito (Wilson Central) dec. Trent Walliser (Lookout Valley), 7-0;
126 -- Sam Shepard (Ringgold) dec. Lane Dickeson (Wilson Central), 9-5;
132 -- Austin Richard (Wilson Central) won by technical fall over Bryson Lemons (Chattanooga Central), 5:04;
138 -- Eddie Small (Wilson Central) dec. Dylan Spurlock (Auburn), 4-3;
145 -- Adam Crawford (Ringgold) dec. Tyrus Hamrick (Walker Valley), 6-4;
152 -- Michael Bimms (Wilson Central) dec. Kyle Kappelman (Auburn), 7-4;
160 -- Lawrence Cotton (Walker Valley) pinned John Davidson (Wilson Central), 1:52;
170 -- Devin Crawl (Red Bank) dec. Tyler Georgeadis (Wilson Central), 10-3;
182 -- Perry Balte (Wilson Central) pinned Aidan Talorico (Auburn), 2:39;
195 -- Ric Kennett (Walker Valley) pinned Trent Crumby (Cookeville), 1:59;
220 -- John Kramer (Wilson Central) won by technical fall over Micah Pressley (Signal Mountain), 3:38;
285 -- Zach Miller (Walker Valley) pinned Sam Stephenson (Chattanooga Central), :49.
CONSOLATION FINALS FOR THIRD PLACE
106 -- Roston Droke (Ringgold) dec. Nicholas King (Wilson Central), 8-4;
113 -- Caleb Berta (Wilson Central) won by technical fall over Drake Haney (Walker Valley), 3:00;
120 -- Murphy Elkins (Cookeville) dec. Elijah Earls (Walker Valley), 4-2;
126 -- Joe Hayden (Cookeville) major dec. Grayson Layne (Hixson), 10-2;
132 -- Samuel Talorico (Auburn) dec. Branson Satterfield (Cookeville), 7-1;
138 -- Gabe McDuffie (Red Bank) pinned Tristan Strader (Cookeville), 1:00;
145 -- Andy Hamrick (Wilson Central) dec. David Johnson (Red Bank), 3-2;
152 -- Ryan Hager (Walker Valley) dec. Dalton Underwood (Cookeville), 11-5;
160 -- Austin Hammons (Cookeville) major dec. Xavier Norwood (Chattanooga Central), 16-4;
170 -- Alex Shoemake (Cookeville), dec. Seth Petarra (Signal Mountain), 13-10;
182 -- Billy Raulston (Walker Valley) dec. Cale Shelton (Signal Mountain), 5-3;
195 -- McKenzie Martin (Hixson) pinned Clipper Smith (Ringgold), 1:00;
220 -- Darren Houston (Cookeville) dec. Lawrence Martin (Chattanooga Central), 3-1;
285 -- Jacob Keltch (Ooltewah0 dec. Daniel Cochran (Rhea Co), 4-3.
(Email John Hunt at email@example.com)