Central Wrestlers Edge Notre Dame 40-32

Win A-AA Region 4 Duals

Thursday, January 16, 2014

How appropriate that it came down to heavyweight.

Two traditional small school powers – Notre Dame and Chattanooga Central who have six state duals titles between them – fought it out for 13 weight classes before visiting Central prevailed at 285 pounds for a 40-32 triumph Wednesday night.

Central’s Sam Stephenson (285) sealed the win with a second period pin of Hunter Whiting as the visiting Purple Pounders (4-0 in region) clinched the Region 4 title and punched their ticket to the state duals in Franklin, Jan. 31-Feb.1

The John Lennon-coached Purple Pounders spotted Notre Dame 18 points in the first three weight classes (match started at 106)    two on forfeits and one via fall – then roared back to win eight of the final 11 matches.

“We are young and gutsy and having wrestled a tough schedule paid off tonight,” said coach Lennon. “Kudos to the Notre Dame guys as both teams fought for the win for 14 weight classes.”

Central gained nine points from its seniors Jaylen Stinson (decision) and Truman Martin (forfeit win), but one key win came from first year wrestler Hans Casseus.

The Haitian freshman bumped up a weight class to 138 from 132, used his quickness and balance and pinned Casey Brock in 5:13 to pull within 21-10 after six matches.

That win was the first of four straight victories as Alonzo Hayward, David Norwood and Stinson followed for a combined for 12 team points as Central took its first lead at 22-21.

Notre Dame’s Michael Qualtrano then gave the Irish the lead back, 27-22 with a pin at 170.

But Central won three of the final four matches for the win.

Kudos to Notre Dame: In a pre-match ceremony, Coach Lennon thanked Notre Dame coach John Mullin and his staff for letting Central have its Senior Night on the Irish mat as Lennon recognized Stinson and Martin. Notre Dame’s lone senior in the program is team manager Kendall Paolucci who was also recognized before the match for her service to the team. 

Recognizing His Mentors: “I wrestled for hall of famer Al Miller and was an assistant to coach Mullin for 10 years (and three state championship titles) and have learned so much from both coaches,” Lennon stated after the match.

Birthday Win: Central’s Hans Casseus turned 14 this past Sunday and celebrated with a pin against ND … His 13th birthday – Jan. 12, 2012 – was also memorable as his native land of Haiti was hit by an earthquake … the Casseus family left soon thereafter settling in Florida before coming to Chattanooga last year.

Honoring Jabo: Thursday Jan.23 (6 p.m.) Notre Dame hosts Tyner and East Ridge and will recognize the life of late James Jabaley who was a three-time state champ in the 1970s … All Notre Dame wrestling alums are invited to attend the match.

Central 40, Notre Dame 32

106 – Tucker Gill (ND) forfeit win … ND, 6-0

113 – Ned Warwick (ND) forfeit win … ND, 12-0

120 – Luke Mullin (ND) pinned Coty Reels, 2:31 … ND, 18-0

126 – Isaac Coffman (CC) major dec. Jared Nelson, 11-3 … ND, 18-4

132 – Packy Mullin (ND) dec. Bryson Lemons, 6-4 … ND, 21-4

138 – Hans Casseus (CC) pinned Casey Brock, 5:21 … ND, 21-10

145 – Alonzo Hayward (CC) dec. Noah Bankston 8-4 … ND, 21-13

152 – David Norwood (CC) forfeit win … ND, 21-19

160 – Jaylen Stinson (CC) dec. Jonathon Griggs, 7-4 … Central, 22-21   lead change (1)

170 – Michael Qualtrano (ND) pinned Patrick McGehee, 1:49 … ND, 27-22 lead change (2)

182 – Brian Sledge (CC) forfeit win … Central, 28-27   lead change (3)

195 – Truman Martin (CC) forfeit win … Central, 34-27

220 – Chris Hornsby (ND) tech fall Curtis Moiseaux, 20-2 … Central 34-32

285 – Sam Stephenson (CC) pinned Hunter Whiting, 3:13  … Central, 40-32

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

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