Cleveland Locks Up State Wrestling Title With Strong Semifinal Round

Beech Second While Soddy Daisy Third Following Friday Action

Friday, February 15, 2013 - by John Hunt

FRANKLIN -- The Cleveland Blue Raiders could have packed up and headed home following Friday's action here in the TSSAA State Wrestling Tournament being held at the Williamson County Agricultural Expo Center, but they chose to stick around one more day to celebrate another outstanding weekend.

The Blue Raiders won four of six matches in the championship semifinals and will have eight wrestlers total in the medals Saturday night, but the team title is already clinched for Cleveland as they enter Saturday's final rounds with 195.

5 points.

Beech is a distant second with 119 while Soddy Daisy slipped back to third with 112 after climbing from fifth to second earlier in the day.

Ravenwood and Wilson Central complete the top five with 106 and 99.5 points, respectively.

Walker Valley is sixth with 93 while Bradley is currently eighth with 72.5.  Central is 13th with 51.5 while Notre Dame, Hixson and East Ridge hold down 19th, 20th and 21st with 43.5, 38 and 36 points, respectively.

Cleveland coach Jake Yost had a grin on his face most of Friday night, but how could the first-year head coach not be happy after his team turned in such a dominating and impressive performance.

"We have to keep pushing, but we have eight on the podium so far with a chance for one more," Yost said before heavyweight Koran Kennedy got eliminated in a triple-overtime consolation quarterfinal match.

"We have a lot of guys wrestling on Saturday and that's a good thing.  Our 106-pounder Tristan Blansit will medal for the first time and that's huge for him as he's had a heckuva tournament.

"We have to put the hammer down tomorrow as those are pride matches.  Everybody wants to finish the season on a winning note," Yost added.

Chris DeBien (113), Austin Oliver (126) and Hayden Hamilton (132) were the first three to advance to the finals before Josh Hamilton (152) and Aaron Lopez (160) got beat.  Ethan West then posted a win at 182 to become Cleveland's fourth finalist.

While Cleveland has four in the finals, Soddy Daisy, Walker Valley and Bradley have two each while Notre Dame and Central have one apiece.

Friday was a roller-coaster day for coach Jim Higgins and his Soddy Daisy team.

After winning all six matches in the quarterfinals Friday morning, the Trojans hit a rough spot where they lost four of six in the semis.  Perhaps the biggest loss came at 126 where freshman Tucker Russo was penalized three times for four stalling points in a 10-8 loss to Cleveland's Oliver.

Jacob Stevens and Blaike Henry were victorious for the Trojans while Austin Houser, Gage Richmond and Garrett Alexander joined Russo in the consolation rounds.

"We were hoping for a different outcome," said Higgins later.

"The first round this morning went great as we got bonus points in all six matches, but tonight was a totally different story.  We aren't blaming anyone else for what we didn't do, but it hurts.  Now we have to react in a positive way.

"Everyone handles heartache in different ways, but we just have to make sure we do it the right way.  It's just one of those life lessons when you find out that things don't always go as you plan, but hopefully we'll bounce back tomorrow to have a strong finish," he nodded.

Walker Valley's two finalists include Caleb Langford at 138 and Billy Raulston at 195.

"I feel good overall, but it hurts when you have one who comes up just a little bit short," said Walker Valley coach Alan Morris after watching Tyrus Hamrick lose a tough one in a consolation match.

"We have two finalists and that's a first for us.  We still have a shot at having four medalists.  I was really happy for Caleb as that kid he beat really caused some problems, but Caleb was confident that he could find a way to win.  He's lost in this round two times before, so it's nice to see him win here tonight.

"Billy Raulston is all heart.  He doesn't have a lot of different weapons, but the ones he has, he uses very well," Morris praised.

Bradley's two in the finals include Toribio Navarro at 106 and Robbie Clark at 160.  Notre Dame has Packy Mullin at 126 while Central has Larry Dickerson looking for a title at 152.

Nobody was any happier than Central coach Johnny Lennon.

"What a deserving young man.  Larry's motor runs all the time as he goes full speed.  He's a coaches dream and he's my first finalist as a head coach.  That makes me really happy," Lennon said, knowing that Dickerson has only lost one match this year and that was in the finals at the Bradley Invitational in mid December.

Hixson doesn't have any finalists, but they have two who will earn medals for the first time, including Isaiah Hawthorne at 126 and Aaron Alemany at 160.  Coach Garrick Hall is just happy to finally see two of his hardest working kids get rewarded.

"Those two have been chasing this for years.  This is Hawthorne's third time here while it's the first trip for Alemany, who always fell short in the region.  All the hard work is worth it when they wrestle like this, but they are pushing through the wall and I'm really happy for them," Hall said.

 CHAMPIONSHIP SEMIFINALS

106 -- Devan Cyree (Tullahoma) dec. Luke Mullin (Notre Dame), 9-4;

106 -- Toribio Navarro (Bradley) major dec. Kevin Knier (West Creek), 14-5;

113 -- Chris DeBien (Cleveland) pinned Zac Sumner (Collierville), 1:44;

113 -- Christian Lozano (Beech) dec. Austin Houser (Soddy Daisy), 8-4;

120 -- Jacob Stevens (Soddy Daisy) won by technical fall over Nick Insalaco (Wilson Central), 5:29;

120 -- Byron Smith (Cordova) dec. Tristan Hackett (Beech), 14-8;

126 -- Austin Oliver (Cleveland) dec. Tucker Russo (Soddy Daisy), 10-8;

126 -- Packy Mullin (Notre Dame) dec. Dakota Ream (Bradley), 7-5;

132 -- Hayden Hamilton (Cleveland) pinned Matt Lemons (Ooltewah), 1:14;

132 -- Dylan Treloar (Hendersonville) dec. Sidney Smallwood (Germantown), 9-2;

138 -- Caleb Langford (Walker Valley) dec. Josh Feuerbacher (Blackman), 9-8;

138 -- Austin Richard (Wilson Central) dec. Jake Sahutske (Beech), 6-0;

145 -- Nate Crowley (Pigeon Forge) dec. Gage Richmond, 11-8;

145 -- Jacob Freeman (Ravenwood) won by technical fall over Kyle Coder (Siegel), 4:20;

152 -- Larry Dickerson (Chattanooga Central) major dec. Josh Hamilton (Cleveland), 13-2;

152 -- Alex Bennett (Franklin) pinned Joseph Giattino (Stone Memorial), 2:23;

160 -- Tanner Reynolds (Ravenwood) dec. Aaron Lopez (Cleveland), 11-9;

160 -- Robbie Clark (Bradley) dec. Andres Leyva (Gibbs), 3-1;

170 -- Tyler Crane (Clarksville) dec. Derrick Tucker (Germantown), 3-2;

170 -- Chad Solomon (Maryville) dec. Garrett Alexander (Soddy Daisy), 3-2;

182 -- Ethan West (Cleveland) dec. Jordan Davis (Cordova), 9-4;

182 -- Blaike Henry (Soddy Daisy) pinned Fletcher Valentine (Dickson Co.), 1:15;

195 -- Scottie Boykin (Riverdale) dec. Bryson Begley (Dobyns-Bennett), 14-7;

195 -- Billy Raulston (Walker Valley) dec. John Bain (Kingston), 6-4;

220 -- T.J. Satterfield (William Blount) dec. Rex Shotts (Ravenwood), 8-7;

220 -- John Kramer (Wilson Central) pinned C.J. Baker (East Ridge), 4:34;

285 -- Bruno Reagan (Clarksville) pinned Charles Leavell (Farragut), 1:06;

285 -- Taylor Podany (Beech) pinned Austin Wells (Blackman), 3:50. 

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@comcast.net)


PHOTOS: Scenic City Scorcher

Lookouts Continue To Roll With Friday's 4-2 Win Over Mobile

MOBILE, Ala.  -- LaMonte Wade hit a three-run home run in the seventh inning, and Andy Wilkins homered as the Chattanooga Lookouts topped the Mobile BayBears 4-2 on Friday. The home run by Wade scored Dan Rohlfing and Nick Gordon to give the Lookouts a 4-0 lead. Chattanooga starter Dereck Rodriguez (4-1) picked up the win after allowing just four hits over five scoreless ... (click for more)

Woman Arrested In Murder Of Eric Burchfield In Hixson; Mother Of Victim Said, "Ember Killed Him"

A woman has been arrested in the murder of 28-year-old  Eric Burchfield i n Hixson early Friday morning. Police identified her as Ember Lee Cash Elm. She was booked as Emily Leanne Brooks Johnson, 26, of 4024 Woodmont Dr. At 3:25 a.m., Chattanooga Police responded to a person who had been shot at the Kangaroo Express at 4849 Hixson Pike. Officers were on ... (click for more)

Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson Booked At County Jail; Says He Is Not Guilty

Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson was booked at the Bradley County Jail Friday morning. He faces six separate charges of altering/falsifying/forging a title plate assignment. Sheriff Watson, a former state legislator, posted a $30,000 bond. He issued this statement, "For more than a year, I have confronted numerous accusations from some who desire to have more control ... (click for more)

Do Something To Protect Our Children

It is unconscionable in this day and age that these children had to exist in such deplorable conditions and that an innocent baby suffered and died alone in a locked car.  Yes, there is blame and accountability considering this family had child neglect charges filed a few years ago (that were apparently dropped and expunged) and a large part of the responsibility should ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

Every week I get emails full of inspiration and funny stories. This summer I have gathered a sampling of my weekly harvest and presented the collection as a reminder we ought to cherish laughter with those we love and the weekend. I am not only amazed how popular my ‘Summer Saturdays’ have become but this week I have gotten funnies from California, Texas and Arizona, to mention ... (click for more)